- LONDON (Reuters) - Toilet seats are more hygienic than many surfaces
in the average home, including chopping boards, kitchen surfaces and sinks,
according to a report on Wednesday. A survey of 15 homes by researchers
from the University of Arizona in Tucson found the toilet seat was the
cleanist of 14 sites in kitchens and toilets.
- During the 30-week study the researchers
took samples of bacteria from each site. In the final 10 weeks they gave
the homeowners bleach and told them how to keep the surfaces clean. ``What
we found, and we are still theorizing as to why, is that even before we
introduced any disinfectant, the toilet seat was always the cleanest site,''
Pat Rusin, who led the study, told New Scientist magazine Wednesday. Kitchen
chopping boards had three times as many bacteria as the toilet seat and
water rung from dishcloths had a million times more.
- The researchers think bacteria breed
better in damp environments such as chopping boards and kitchen surfaces
and cannot thrive on toilet seats which are too dry. They advised homeowners
to soak dishcloths in a sink filled with a cup of bleach for at least 10
minutes once a week and said kitchen worktops should be scrubbed daily.
- (Note - If your local supermarket or
butcher shop uses a wooden table to cut meat on, you might want to think
of shopping elsewhere. Trying to sterilize a wooden table surface is virtually
impossible. 80% of chicken meat cut and packaged by your butcher is said
to have salmonella. This bacteria can easily remain on the table top and
in the wood. All chicken handled by the consumer should be considered
infected with salmonella. Hands should be washed thoroughly and cleaning
of all contacted surfaces should be given highest priority.)