Back 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.
Dr 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) SueW-nansfarm.net 2018