Your ten germiest places

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Your ten germiest places

By Craig Smith. CREATED Apr 25, 2014 - UPDATED: Apr 28, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Some of the nastiest things in your world are too small to see.

Just about everything you touch is crawling with bacteria, and viruses.  All those just---plain--germs can make you sick. 
We're going to gross you out...but maybe keep you healthy.  You can't avoid germs and still live a normal life but knowing where they lurk can help keep you out of trouble.

Now some of the places that are the germiest.

It is a germy world so let's get started....

When you serve your family that perfect meal. Do you believe it came from a perfectly clean kitchen?

"The kitchen is the germiest place in your household."
That's UA Professor Doctor Charles Gerba.  He's made such a career out of studying germs, people call him Doctor Germ.
When he says there are more germs in your sink, and the rest of your kitchen than in your toilet, he did the tests.

"That's why dogs drink out of the toilet,” he laughs, “There's fewer fecal bacteria in there than in your kitchen sink.” 

KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith said, “Now they didn't reason that out.” 

Dr Gerba: “They might be smarter than we know."

He says you're much more likely to get sick from home cooking, than in a restaurant, because restaurants have to pass inspections.

Your kitchen cutting board is a germ sponge soaking up those raw meat juices full of bacteria.  It has to be disinfected before you use it for anything else.
Then there's your real kitchen sponge. Things may look clean after you use it, but if it's not disinfected you're helping the germs spread around.

Dr. Gerba says, "Either change it once a week, because it takes a week for the bacteria to grow to large numbers or use a disinfectant cleaner in the kitchen area."
You can cross paths with a lot of germs just getting food into your kitchen.

Grocery carts are going to be pretty germy. First of all, all those hands on that handle.  And how about that baby seat? What goes on, where your baby sits?

Dr. Gerba says, "The same place you're gonna put your broccoli, some kid's butt was in the last use of that grocery cart."
As a mom watching out for a very young baby, Kristen Armbrust already knew about that rolling germ magnet.

"I do not put him in that.  I carry him in this and I use the cart wipes they offer at the front."
You can check out with more germs at---the check out.  All those hands on the keypad make it especially germ-o-rific.
Those re-usable grocery bags may be good for the environment but they're good for bacteria growth too.

"You need to wash those once in awhile because bacteria like e-coli are very commonly found there because you never clean them."
You will not escape germs at the office.        

The trouble starts before you even get to your desk.  The lower the floor, the germier the elevator button.

According to Dr. Gerba: "First floor elevator button--large number of germs because everybody has to touch it to get out of the building."

Your phone's always in your not-so-clean hands.

Your computer keyboard has germs from your fingers, and, because you're a hard working, eat-at-your-desk type, it's full of food fragments too.

So maybe you need to relax and escape all this scary microbial mess, with some entertaining TV.

Dr. Gerba has some bad news for you. “TV remotes are bad because nobody ever disinfects and cleans them. When you're sick, what's the first thing you do, you jump into bed with a TV remote."

None of this should send you shopping for a hazardous material suit.  Dr Gerba says just pay attention to good handwashing, and antiseptic cleaners.  He says when you see antiseptic on a label, that's not empty advertising.  That product is required is be an effective germ killer.

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

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Craig enjoys using innovative writing and visuals to make difficult stories easier to understand. As a newsroom manager at KGUN 9, Craig was part of the team that won three best newscast awards from Arizona Associated Press