Quarter of people have faecal bacteria on hands, says study

A quarter of people in the UK have faecal bacteria on their hands and 11% of hands carry more germs than a dirty toilet, a new survey has shown.

Such a high percentage is a particular problem in the food sector, where hygiene and biosecurity are vital to businesses.

The research was carried out by experts at Queen Mary University of London and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. It was discovered that 26% of hands, 14% of bank notes and 10% of credit cards in the UK tested positive for faecal bacteria.

Too few people are washing their hands properly, marketing director Lee Wright of the hand sanitising company Slingsby said. “According to the UN hand washing could save a million lives a year globally and is the most cost-effective intervention to prevent the spread of disease.”

He added that by implementing adequate hand washing facilities, examples can be set. “Signs in bathrooms reminding people about the importance of washing their hands are also proven to improve hygiene.”


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