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Office germ hotspots revealed

Published 11th November, 2021 by Neil Nixon

Office germ hotspots revealed

New research by Chicopee has revealed the germ hotspots in Britain’s offices. COVID-19 and the long term effects of the pandemic have meant that businesses are all becoming more conscious of keeping communal areas safe for workers returning to the office. With many office workers returning to the workplace, at least on a flexible basis over the past few months, it is important to understand the danger areas for harbouring germs and bacteria.

Chicopee, which specialises in microfibre cloth that removes 99.99% of bacteria, swabbed the main touchpoints in offices to test for aerobic bacteria, yeast and mould. The swabs were then incubated and tested to find the amount of colony-forming units per cm2, revealing the worst offending areas for high levels of viable bacteria and fungal cells.

The germ hotspots of the office as revealed by the study were:

1. Computer mouse (580 combined colony forming units).

2. Kettle (336.6 combined colony forming units).

3. Fridge (295 combined colony forming units).

4. Laptop (264.8 combined colony forming units).

5. Washroom lock (188 combined colony forming units).

6. Hand sanitiser bottle (175.5 combined colony forming units).

7. Printer (100.5 combined colony forming units).

8. Light switch (99 combined colony forming units).

9. Desk phone (96.5 combined colony forming units).

10. Kitchen cupboard (67.9 combined colony forming units).

Eileen Calder, product manager wipes, EMEIA at Chicopee, said: “It was no surprise that touchpoints that are contacted by multiple people and warm, humid environments, such as the kettle, are a breeding ground, but these are spots that could potentially be missed during a robust cleaning regime. The research has revealed just how important it is to keep office environments clean, using quality products multiple times a day to minimise risk - we recommend wiping down areas such as kettles and kitchen spaces after every use to stop the spread of bacteria and keep build-up of cells to a minimum, and ensuring everyone in communal spaces has access to effective and easy to use cleaning products.”

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