Hot air is a more hygienic way to dry your hands than a regular towel. It is easier to do the dishes after some soaking. There is nothing like a cup of coffee to get through a day in the office. Old habits die hard but some of them have to. Hand dryer, kitchen sink, coffee machine carry and many other innocently looking things carry and distribute more bacteria than you could ever imagine.
We have picked some habits whose health impact has been scientifically proven.
Here are ten of them. Be careful!
1. Leaving dirty dishes in a sink
Do the dishes immediately, unless you want to spend a day or two in a bathroom. Such bacteria as colon bacillus, staphylococcus and salmonella breed extremely fast in a kitchen sink. Taking this into consideration, also remember to clean the sink every time after washing meat, scaling the fish or peeling the vegetables.
2. Hot water for hand washing
According to the latest research, it is time, not the temperature of the water that kills the germs. It means, that you have to expose your hands to hot water for 30 seconds in order to eliminate all the bacteria. Could you tolerate that? We don’t think so. Besides, hot water interferes with the protective functions of the skin, which results in dermatitis and other unpleasant conditions.
3. Wearing makeup to a gym
Rushing to a gym after a busy day in the office, we often think, “Why remove my makeup? I’m going to take a shower anyway”. But physical activity with your makeup on may result in clogged pores, acne, and other conditions. Get down to your workout routine with clean skin.
4. Hand dryer vs Paper towel
The fact that you do not touch anything in a hand dryer gives you a false sense of safety. Actually, the flow of warm air catches and spreads the bacteria just as much as a regular linnen towel, if not more. The use of disposable paper towels is proved to be much safer.
5. Reuse of a grocery bag
Once used, a grocery bag accumulates all the bacteria from its contents. Even if you buy pre-packed raw meat, the germs from it may contaminate fruit and vegetables if you keep using the same bag. To avoid it, use disposable bags or wash your tote bag every time you do the groceries.
6. Using the same board to cut different foods
Think twice before chopping veggies for your salad on the board that you use to cut meat. According to Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist, it may contain 200 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. Meat carries such bacteria as campylobacter and salmonella, which cause some nasty stomach conditions. To avoid cross-contamination, cut meat, fish and vegetables on separate boards, preferably, made of glass.
7. Drinking coffee in the office
Every time you have a cup of coffee in the office, remember: even the doorknob in your bathroom is cleaner than the reservoir in a coffee machine. To stay safe, it should be washed in hot water and with a detergent on regular basis. It is also better to make a new batch of coffee every day.
8. Phone in a handbag
Surprisingly enough, your phone is still exposed to contamination when you put it in your bag. Carrying it in your pockets is much safer. Also, remember to clean the phone every day – it tends to pick 10 times as much bacteria as a toilet seat.
9. Putting off the washing of winter clothes
Don’t put off washing your warm scarves, gloves and hats until spring. As experts advise, do it at least once in a week or two. Scarves and gloves touch our mouths and noses, thus accumulating the bacteria and viruses. Few immune systems can handle such an impact well.
10. Thawing frozen foods outside the fridge
Many people tend to put speed before safety and thaw frozen meat or fish straight on the table, which is a very bad idea. Defrosting foods on the upper shelf of a fridge is a simple way to avoid food poisoning.
Bonus: sharing is a good thing from any viewpoint
Tasting the dessert from the plate of your loved one or offering your bag of fries to your friends improves your health as much as your relationships. Experts claim that by sharing a meal we exchenge good bacteria, on condition that your partner is healthy. When they are sick, the result is quite the opposite.
So, how do you handle all that health hazards that you are exposed to every day? Any ideas or how-tos? Feel free to share them with us!