British researchers swabbed every customer kiosk touchscreen at eight (8) McDonald’s restaurants in the London metropolitan area, and found evidence of human gut-related bacteria on every single one – nasty, but not terribly surprising.
When hundreds or even thousands of people touch a screen, some are bound to have bacteria on their hands, and that winds up transferred to the screen. Sounds logical enough, but how many people think to wash their hands after they order? Most are in a rush, order, pick up their food, and chow down.
The findings are significant, not because there was bacteria found on the screens – bacteria are environmentally ubiquitous – but because of the types found. These included Enterococcus faecalis, Listeria, Staphylococcus aureus pseudomonas, and a host of others, broken down in the report by location. Some of these are notorious infection spreading troublemakers found in hospital environments, and others may be antibiotic resistant strains. Immune compromised people are of course, most vulnerable.
A small container of disinfectant hand sanitizer is your best friend – use liberally.