Let’s face it: Everything around us is pretty dirty. Even if we wash our hands regularly and make sure that our living and working spaces are clean, the world is still an insanely germy place. Unfortunately, the same can be said for where we buy (and eat) our food. These are the 10 dirtiest places in every supermarket.
As a rule of thumb, the most bacteria tends to lurk in the places that are touched by the most people. Bathroom sink faucets, light switches, condiment bottles and menus in restaurants, door knobs and handles, computer keyboards and mice, and ATM keypads have been shown to harbor an insane amount of germs. Flu viruses can survive on hard surfaces for as long as 18 hours.[related]
On top of that, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 200,000 Americans contract food poisoning every day, largely by touching something that’s contaminated then transferring the bacteria or pathogen to the eyes or mouth. At the supermarket, where everyone seems to be touching everything (seriously, how often have you picked up an apple there and then put it back down?), there’s also food everywhere, including raw meat. Nowadays just about every supermarket has hand sanitizer by the entrance; we suggest you use it on your way in and on your way out.
It’s easy to freak out about germs being everywhere. While it’s certainly unpleasant to think about, unless you’re very young, very old, or have a compromised immune system, you’re most likely not going to become deathly ill from a trip to stock up on eggs and milk. We have antibodies and an immune system whose job it is to make sure that bacteria are killed before they can cause us harm. That said, you should still wash your hands before you dive into that newly-purchased bag of Cheetos.