Let’s face it: We’re surrounded by filth. Whether it’s the dirty credit cards in our wallets or the cell phones to which we are constantly glued, germs are always there, lurking just below the surface. And according to Foodbeast, a study out of Canada has identified yet another bacteria-spreading culprit — your airplane tray.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Marketplace,” a consumer watchdog TV show, recently sent researchers on 18 flights with three different Canadian airlines (Air Canada, WestJet, and Porter). Samples collected during the flights showed that the airplane tray is one of the dirtiest areas on an aircraft, in addition to headrests and seatbelts. The researchers tested various airplane surfaces and found several types of bacteria, including yeast and E. coli.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exposure to certain strains of E. coli can result in stomach pains and bloody diarrhea. In rare cases, E. coli sickness can also cause kidney problems, high blood pressure, and even blindness.
It’s enough to make you want to keep your airplane tray table in its full upright position for the entire flight, amiright?
Considering travelers are up to 100 times more likely to catch a cold while flying, it’s not too surprising an airplane isn’t exactly the cleanest way to travel.
Despite the completely gross findings, the truth is the spaces we occupy the most also harbor the most germs.
For example, light switches and doorknobs are some of the dirtiest surfaces in your home, according to Healthline.
As are toothbrushes and bath towels.
And yes, this GIF is now giving us the heebie-jeebies.
Your cutting boards and kitchen sinks aren’t exactly the cleanest, either.
Yeah, we feel like throwing the dishes out the window, too.
Your furry friend’s favorite tennis ball could be covered in staph bacteria, yeast, and mold.
Fancy a morning cup of joe? You might want to give your coffee maker a thorough cleaning first.
Think airplane trays are bad? Your car’s steering wheel and gearshift are pretty grimy, too.
A flight-induced cold might put a damper on your vacation, but you’re not safe from germs at work, either.
As it turns out, the elevator buttons in your office building are covered in bacteria.
The photocopier’s start button has more germs than the average public toilet.
You better run!
The lesson here? Wherever you are — on an airplane, at home, or toiling away at your desk — it’s never a bad time to wash your hands. (Hand sanitizer works, too.)
As for your next flight, a sanitizing wipe or two will do wonders for that dirty airplane tray.