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TV Remote, Light Switch Germiest In Hotels

SAN FRANCISCO (UPI) — The most contaminated surfaces in U.S. hotel rooms — outside of the toilet and sink — were the TV remote and the bedside lamp switch, researchers found.

Katie Kirsch, an undergraduate student, and colleagues at the University of Houston, Purdue University and the University of South Carolina tested a variety of surfaces from hotel rooms in Texas, Indiana and South Carolina. They tested the levels of total aerobic bacteria and coliform, or fecal, bacterial contamination on each of the surfaces.

Kirsch, who presented the findings at the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, said most concerning was that some of highest levels of contamination were found in items from the housekeepers’ carts, including sponges and mops which pose a risk for cross-contamination from room-to-rooms.

Surfaces with the lowest contamination included the headboard, curtain rods and the bathroom door handle, Kirsch said.

Kirsch said the study was preliminary and is limited by the sample size, which included only three rooms in each state and 19 surfaces within each hotel room.

“Currently, housekeepers clean 14 to 16 rooms per 8-hour shift, spending approximately 30 minutes on each room,” Kirsch said in a statement. “Identifying high-risk items within a hotel room would allow housekeeping managers to strategically design cleaning practices.”

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