Not all germs are harmful – but their mere existence on surfaces indicates the potential for problems. The higher the bacteria level, the more likely that some of the microorganisms are harmful. In this study, NetQuote swabbed surfaces to find out how many colony-forming units (CFU) were present per square inch on each surface and determined the breakdown by germ type.
The samples revealed the presence of various germ types – some of which are potentially harmful: bacillus (a type that can cause infections and food poisoning); gram-positive rods, including cocci (which is linked to skin infections, pneumonia, and blood poisoning); gram-negative rods (which tend to be harmful to humans); and yeast (which under the right conditions has the potential to cause skin infections, especially in people with compromised immune systems.
Of the vehicles they tested, rideshares yielded the highest bacteria levels by far – more than 6 million CFU/sq. in. on average. The rental cars averaged more than 2 million CFU/sq. in., while the taxis had an average of just over 27,000 CFU/sq. in.
To put it in perspective, rideshares averaged almost three times more germs than a toothbrush holder. Toilet seats and coffee reservoirs both contained fewer microorganism than rideshares and rental cars.
Hire a limousine service!