Here are 8 of the most germ-infested public places. Take extra care to wash your hands, take an Emergen-C, sauna, slather on hand sanitizer (or all of the above), after touching these (warning… not recommended reading for people who are already germaphobic):
1. Soap Dispensers—
A recent study found that 25% of restroom soap dispensers are carrying fecal material. Gross, I know. Wash your hands for 15 to 20 seconds. And add a little alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you have some.
2. Bathroom Door Handles—
Bathroom door handles are some of the dirtiest things you can touch (think about all of the people who don’t wash their hands after using the restroom). Grab an extra square of toilet paper of paper towel on your way out to grip the door handle with.
3. Restaurant Menus—
Considering that cold and flu viruses can survive for up to 18 hours on a hard surface, don’t let your silverware touch your menu and wash your hands after ordering and before you reach for the bread- with your bare hands.
4. Condiment Dispensers—
Think of all of the French fry grease-saturated hands that gripped that very same, uncleaned bottle of ketchup. Wash your hands after pumping that ketchup on your fries and before actually picking up the first fried bite.
5. Grocery Store Carts—
These actually contain more germs than your regular public bathroom handle. Bring disinfectant wipes to clean the cart handle with. Many groceries are starting to provide these so look or ask for them in the front of the store.
6. Airplane Bathroom—
A study found that many bathroom faucets and doorknobs on commercial jets are contaminated with E. coli (often because of feces). Try taking green tea supplements in the days or even weeks leading up to a flight.
7. Doctor’s Office—
Bring your own magazines, newspapers and children’s toys if you have them. Even bringing your own tissues and hand sanitizers is a good idea.
8. Lemon Wedges—
While the restaurant is busy, whoever has time just grabs a lemon and slices it up to refill the beverage station, and they don’t usually have time to go wash their hands in between. Order your drink without the lemon.