Finger Marks (2)

IllnessBack in September my friend and blogging partner, GC, wrote an article for our Weekly Prompts Word Prompt named ATM Germs.

GC voiced his concerns about contracting germs from ATM machines, and in a separate post, I backed his claims.

In response to GC’s article, one or two bloggers poo-pooed this notion. So, in view of the recent news that microbiologists in the UK have actually found traces of ‘poo’ on touch-screen machines, and considering the phrases used here I cannot help but raise a smile, a smug one!

The randomly tested machines were, in fact, customer touch screens at eight McDonald’s restaurants in London and Birmingham.

Is it likely that the faecal bacteria found on the touch screens is limited to McDonald’s? A more likely scenario is that all customer touch screens both in the UK and around the world are sources of unwanted infection.

McDonald’s say that all screens are cleaned regularly throughout the day, and yet, the bacteria was present on those machines.

What about other types of customer touch-screens? Obviously I’m thinking of ATM machines, who cleans those, and let’s not forget the self-check-in screens found in hospitals and doctor’s waiting rooms, are they cleaned regularly throughout the day?

Should we be concerned, or are we worrying too much about picking up germs?

Read and Judge for yourself.

McDonald'sDr Paul Matawele, a senior lecturer in microbiology at London Metropolitan University stated, “Metro UK has tested the customer touch screens in eight McDonalds restaurants in the UK. we found poo on every screen as well as a host of other bacteria.

We were all surprised how much gut and faecal bacteria there was on the touchscreen machines. These cause the kind of infections that people pick up in hospitals.

A screen at one branch was found to have staphylococcus, a highly contagious bacteria that can cause blood poisoning and toxic shock syndrome.”

It starts around people’s noses, if they touch their nose with their fingers and then transfer it to the touchscreen someone else will get it, and if they have an open cut which it gets into, then it can be dangerous.

Klebsiella is also from the gut and mouth, they are associated with urinary tract infections, septicemia and diarrhoea. Some species can infect the respiratory tract resulting in pneumonia.

Listeria bacteria was found in Oxford Street and Holloway Road branches. It can cause listeriosis which can lead to miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women. Listeria is another rare bacterium we were shocked to find on touchscreen machines as again this can be very contagious and a problem for those with a weak immune system.’

Dr Matewele added: ‘Touchscreen technology is being used more and more in our daily lives but these results show people should not eat food straight after touching them, they are unhygienic and can spread disease. 

As most people who order their meal through the new self-service feature don’t wash their hands before collecting and tucking into their burgers, this is a cause for concern.”

Editorial Comment:  I remember the first time my late husband took me to a McDonald’s. It was when we were away for the weekend. I asked for knives and forks, my husband laughed and told me use my fingers. I protested and insisted that neither I nor the children would be eating with our fingers.

He told me McDonald’s was an American chain and it was becoming popular here in England. I muttered, “Well tell the Americans to take it back!”

(c) 2018

19 thoughts on “Finger Marks (2)

  1. Definitely a cause for concern, Sue. I got off a train at London Euston a few weeks ago and almost immediately, cleaning staff were spraying and wiping the push buttons that open the doors. You just cannot be too careful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Same argument as the urine in peanuts on the bar counter, shaking hands with anyone at any time, breathing in a public place, inhaling microscopic animal dung particles etc etc. People are dirty, and pretty disgusting, let’s face it! I will carry on carrying on, and mitigate the risks as I have always done.


    1. They certainly are dirty. Thankfully, along the way we pick up some immunity. Though you would be surprised at how many ladies leave public toilets without washing their hands, far more than actually stay and wash! Thank you for your comments Peter.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know it was!!!
        I think I might do an Eamon Holmes, and install an App on my phone to tell me where all the nearest toilets are. I could do an even better job of monitoring. I could take photos as they were leaving so I could name and shame! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It ain’t just women who don’t wash their hands upon leaving. And kids….. There should be a loud voice that admonishes all those who do not wash just as they are leaving. I could think of a few choice words, but then I might offend someone. I hope my immune system is firing on all eight. Thanks for that info. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perhaps we need more hygiene education in our schools. Over here they’re big on sex education but hardly any hygiene education. Thank you Dan 🙂


  4. Sophie

    Whenever I press a button at a crossing or use a keypad at a till etc I always wonder if anyone ever cleans these things??! Definitely not after each person!! A good reason to always wash your hands when you get home. As you’ve always taught me Mum! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The other day after cleaning at Joshua’s house I returned to the car and forgot I was still wearing disposable gloves. Joss asked if I was intending to wear them all day. Perhaps that’s not a bad idea after all! 😀 Thank you Sophie


  5. Maureen Helen

    Good information, Sue, but pretty disgusting facts. Perhaps there is a need, after all, to carry disinfectant wipes and use them regularly. Or hand sanitizer?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Maureen. I can understand both sides of the argument here. Too much cleanliness and we fail to build up immunity. On the other hand I don’t want to become infected because some stranger couldn’t be bothered to wash his/her hands. So, I will continue with the hand washing and a mini bottle of sanitizer! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. gc

    Reblogged this on THE MAIN AISLE (c) 2018 and commented:
    My blog partner and friend Susan W. has done her research and again offers proof that touch screens, touch pads and the like are actual breeding grounds for the transferral of germs and bacteria. Read this article and be enlightened. Thanks Susan for the heads up. – gc

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for re-blogging this. You were right to be concerned about touch screens and I’m glad we found something to back up your claims. 🙂


  7. I don’t doubt if a similar research was carried out here, the results would be the same, and I’d dread going into a Macdonalds in Paris, I still shiver when I recall my stay in that city.

    I rarely visit a MacDonalds, can’t remember the last time,

    I posted a pic of my gd. Ruby in a post yesterday, taken a couple of years. back enjoying her first burger at guess where.

    I doubt if she’ll be going back any time soon though, Her mummy has become a vegan, and the rest of the family have to follow.

    Been a bit of a chat on the subject of MacD’s on that post, between Andrew, who lives not far from you I believe, in Grimsby;is that Yorkshire? and me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tell me about Paris. Was it dirty?
      I wouldn’t visit McDonald’s on my own, it’s usually the choice of one of the grandchildren. I prefer to make my own burgers, much tastier and healthier.

      Grimsby is North East Licolnshire, though I always thought it was just inside the border of South East Yorkshire, near enough for Yorkshire I’d have thought. I’ve only been there once, a friend had a boat there so a group of us went across simply to spend time sitting and drinking on his boat! I’ll check out your friend Andrew, though I think our paths may have crossed already. And I will send you the apples! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dirty! Grubby! the rudest people, worse than the Romans and they take some beating.
        We only sat ‘outside’ to eat twice, in Paris and each time there was some children or youths, diving into the the restaurant and swiping womens hand bags and whatever the could grab in the few seconds that they were in. The second time some one managed to grab and hold one of the perps, turnes out a girl, about 11 or 12 and the boys fled on their pushbikes.
        The people of Rome are just thieves, still (I suppose that’s okay they just pop into see the pope and get absolution.
        Austrian are the antithesis of the French & Italians.
        Andrew’s a good bloke, likes to pack his wives and travel

        Liked by 1 person

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