Hotel Germs—What You Need to Know
When we snuggle under the covers in our hotel, rarely do we consider the dangers lurking nearby. However, studies show hotel rooms—from Motel 6 types to the Ritz—harbor germs, often at alarming levels.
As we know appearances can be deceiving, and while a hotel room may look and smell clean, it’s what you can’t see that’s cause for concern. So what can’t you see? BACTERIA! Since it’s not visible to the naked eye, that’s where science comes in. Keith Warriner , a microbiologist at Guelph University did a study on common germ “hot spots” in popular hotel chains in Canada. He tested hotel rooms ranging from budget to luxury and was shocked at his findings. Warriner states, “I wasn’t expecting bacteria to be so prolific,” he said. “I was really surprised at the lack of sanitation.”
In a Rossen Report investigation, they used a bacteria testing meter to show the bacteria levels on various hotel surfaces. According to the meter any reading over 100 is considered an unacceptable level of bacteria. In their investigation, they found that many common contact points had very high levels of microbial contamination (GERMS), with many readings at two to three times the acceptable limit.
So what are the top 3 germ riddled spots in a hotel room?
- Bed throws. Since duvet covers are not required to be cleaned or changed between hotel guests, it’s no surprise that they are loaded with germs.
- The telephone. A commonly used item, it’s no shocker that hotel room phones harbor plenty of bacteria too. They’re touched frequently, and we find that maids often miss cleaning/disinfecting them.
- The TV remote. In most tests, the TV remote is the most bacteria-laden item in a hotel room, often crawling (like the visual there?) with Bacillus spp and cocci, which are responsible for respiratory and digestive illnesses. Makes you want to cough just thinking about it!
So, how can you protect you and your family from the dangers of hotel germs? The answer is simple: wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water, forgo using the bedspread (take it off the bed and don’t use it, and if you’re cold call the front desk and get an extra blanket), and give the TV remote, phone, and doorknobs a good once over with an antibacterial wipe.
We know that bacteria is everywhere, but being mindful of its presence and practicing good hygiene habits can protect you and your family from getting sick while traveling or on vacation.the expe
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