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Here’s Why You Should Never Keep A Mug On Your Desk At Work

Discussion in 'Microbiology' started by Ghada Ali youssef, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. Ghada Ali youssef

    Ghada Ali youssef Golden Member

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    If one thing has come to be a symbol of the modern workplace, it’s the humble old coffee mug. Whether you take your coffee black with two sugars, or prefer a mug of Earl Grey, this little bit of ceramic, usually decorated with some goofy picture of slogan your Aunt got you on some trip, has become iconic.

    Of course, other elements have become iconic when discussing the mug: stain rings, sugar or coffee powder become solid in the base of the mug, and the odd stray packet of sweetener. Annoying but not a deal breaker. However, what if I told there are worse things than sticking tea residue and spilling tomato soup on your new skirt? Indeed, the mug may be more dangerous than you previously imagined.

    Charles Gerba, Ph.D., a professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona, in an interview with Men’s Health, has been looking into bacteria growth in domestic environments. For example, there’s more fecal bacteria on the average cutting board than there is on your toilet seat. When it comes to mugs, he said that, ‘Colonies of germs are living in your favorite cup’. His research shows that 20% of office mugs carry fecal bacteria, and 90% are covered in other germs.

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    The reason? Because in an office, most people tend to clean their cups with bacteria-laden sponges or scrub brushes instead of in a dishwasher. This lets bacteria transfer to the mug, where they can live there for three whole days. how can you combat this? Aside from not nursing drinks too long, send it to the dishwasher daily, ensuring it goes through the dry cycle, which uses the hottest temperatures and fries every last microbe in there.

    Well, how’s that for informative and invigorating? That’ll make you think twice before deciding it’s an oh so brilliant to just chuck your next black with three sugars and cream in there without bothering to at least be somewhat concerned about that strange black fond in the bottom.

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