Have you ever noticed that you regularly pick up bugs, maybe a cold or worse, after flying? In a study by travel calculator in 2015, microbiologists took swabs on four flights and five airports. Tray tables were revealed as the most germ-infested places on a plane with 2,155 colony-forming units of bacteria per square-inch, compared to the toilet flush button which was found to have 265 in the same area.
Worryingly, this is the surface that our food rests on when we eat our inflight meal. Authors of the small study, said it is advisable to ‘eliminate any direct contact your food has with the table’, to reduce the risk of the bacteria getting into your mouth. Even better, take antibacterial wipes with you and give that table a good old wipe down. Who cares if you look like a loon – you will have the last laugh, avoiding the bugs you could potentially pick up.
You should also be aware that the overhead air vent and the seatbelt buckle were similarly bacteria ridden to the toilet flush, although much less so than the tray table.
The study also investigated airports and the dirtiest areas were drinking fountain buttons and bathroom locks.
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