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More Germs than a Toilet Seat? Beware of the Average British Barbecue

Update Date: May 22, 2013 10:02 AM EDT

Toilet seats often get the reputation for being one of the dirtiest things within a household. More and more research, however, is disproving this assumption every day. For example, a study conducted by Initial Washroom Hygiene and reported by Daily Mail, found that the average purse contains items, such as hand land lotions, that are dirtier than a toilet seat. In another study, reported by the same news organization, the average British outdoor barbecue could contain up to double the amount of germs found on a toilet seat.

After an analysis of over 1,000 outdoor barbecue grills, hygiene expert, Dr. Lisa Ackerley, reported that the average grill contains up to 1.7 million microbes per 100 centimeters squared. This number is 124 percent more than the number of germs found on the toilet seat within the same household. Not only were the grills incredibly dirty, they researchers discovered several dangerous organisms, such as e-coli, salmonella and listeria within the gardens. These organisms could have originated from spilled foods, plants and outdoor animals. These tests were done for the cleaning brand Jeyes.

Although this finding might seem like a surprise to many, the researchers stated that their findings were not that unreasonable because people tend to clean the insides of their homes more frequently than the outdoor areas. In this study, the researchers also questions the 1,400 participants about their cleaning habits. They found that 71 percent reported cleaning their kitchen tables daily while 42 percent stated that they scrubbed their toilets every day as well. Only 28 percent of the participants said that they cleaned their patio tables more than twice a year with only 36 percent of them admitted to washing their barbecues more than twice a year. The barbecues that were analyzed for this study all appeared to be very clean.

This study reveals just how much attention people give to their outdoor spaces. Due to the high levels of bacterial contamination, the researchers recommend people to start cleaning outdoor items as frequently as well, especially item that the elderly or young children come into contact with. These infections can be transferred via food that is placed on the grill, leading to health complications and discomfort.

"Use appropriate disinfectant could significantly reduce the risk and lead to a healthier, safer outdoor experience for all," Ackerley stated. 

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