Throughout our day-to-day activities, we rarely stop to think about the places that we visit, and ho our interactions with these places may endanger our well-being. Seriously, have you ever wondered who touched that kiosk before you? Well, you should, according to a recent investigation.
An investigation carried out by the Metro.co.uk something quite shocking was uncovered. They took swabs from eight McDonald’s restaurants across London and Birmingham to see what kinds of things they could find lurking around. Every single one of them had coliforms and as it seems were covered in fecal bacteria.
Dr. Matewele from the London Metropolitan University told the Metro as follows in regards to these findings:
“We were all surprised how much gut and fecal bacteria there was on the touchscreen machines. These cause the kind of infections that people pick up in hospitals.”
“For instance, Enterococcus faecalis is part of the flora of gastrointestinal tracts of healthy humans and other mammals. It is notorious in hospitals for causing hospital-acquired infections.”
They even managed to find staphylococcus on a screen in one branch in particular that is quite shocking and terrifying for a number of reasons. For those who may not be aware staphylococcus is very contagious and can cause blood poisoning and toxic shock syndrome. If one person touches that screen with an open cut they could be damning themselves without even being aware of the dangers in the first place.
It seems the feces bacteria, in this case, is actually not the worst of things at all. Among the staphylococcus and poop traces, these officials also found the presence of another rare bacterium known as listeria. This can also be very contagious and for those with weak immune systems a serious death threat. They actually noted listeria on two branches, not just one like they did with the staphylococcus.
While a Mcdonald’s spokesman has defended the touchscreens in saying that they are all cleaned frequently throughout the day, is that enough? Considering that most people do not wash their hands before or after using them probably not. Of the eight locations tested, something was found at each one and the bacteria Proteus was noted at every single one. Perhaps the traditional counter might be a bit better on our health.
With these touchscreen ordering systems being introduced across the US and the UK in recent times we should be very aware of this kind of thing. While bacteria is everywhere if it can be avoided it should be, right? Carrying a small container of hand sanitizer with you might not be a bad idea for use before and after this kind of thing.
Sadly, for some reason, not everyone washes their hands when they use the bathroom so things like this will always happen. It can be quite sickening when you really think about how many people are willing to ignore the potentially deadly bacteria on their hands. Professor Valerie Curtis told the Metro that ‘There is a film of bacteria on everything we touch and touchscreens are no different but the problem is people who do not wash their hands after the toilet.’
Refusing to wash your hands is not only harming these people, but it is also putting others at risk. She says this is an important issue that needs to be made clear. She says throughout her research it seems only about 32 percent of men and 64 percent of women wash their hands after going to the toilet.
Image via The Hook