Germs on Surfaces

Published 02/27 2013 10:58AM

Updated 02/27 2013 11:03AM

It's the sick season and everywhere you go, I know you have heard someone sneezing or coughing. But what about the germs that just seem to linger on surfaces? ABC News just revealed a list of the top public places and items where cold and flu germs live as well as E. coli bacteria. I bet you encounter at least one on this list every day. Let's start with restaurant menus are seldom cleaned after being passed around from person to person. Viruses live on hard surfaces for up to 18 hours. It's a good idea to wash your hands after you have finished ordering. I like lemon in my iced tea, but according to the Journal of Environmental Health, nearly 70% of lemon wedges contain disease causing microbes. Some of the more common microorganisms found were E. coli and fecal bacteria.Condiment dispensers are shared by people day after day. Since we know that few people wash their hands before they eat in a restaurant, the container sitting on your table is now covered with germs from the previous dinner. I've seen some people pick up a condiment with a napkin but napkins are porous and germs can pass right through them. I'm pointing these out not scare you into becoming a germ-a-phobe, but to raise awareness in order to keep your family healthy, especially during the winter months. Don't forget the hand sanitizer! I'm Dr. Sue with The Kid's Doctor helping parenting take charge.

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