A survey of workplace kitchens has revealed some pretty grim findings…
Swab testing of a sample of communal workplace kitchens carried out by Initial Washroom Hygiene has revealed that 75% of work surfaces were home to more bacteria than an average feminine sanitary bin.
Half also harboured dangerously high levels of coliforms, bacteria present in faeces, which can lead to outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease. Over a quarter of the draining boards tested registered more than four times the level of coliforms considered to be safe.
The handles of shared fridge-freezers were also shown to be bacteria-rife, with a third carrying high levels of coliforms, whilst 30% of shared microwaves were also shown to be contaminated around the handles and buttons.
Over 40% of kettle handles were found to be carrying high levels of bacteria – significantly exceeding the bacteria levels on toilet doors.
Initial suggests that the lack of hand washing equipment in office kitchens is making surfaces and appliances less hygienic, and could also be making workers more prone to illness. Few kitchens had soap or a hand sanitizer dispenser and surface sanitising wipes weren’t available in any of the workplaces involved in the study.