I can’t say that I’ve ever been too trusting over the hygiene of the London underground, but I never thought that it would be this bad.
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Someone recently took swab samples on the tube and what they discovered was pretty nasty. The research carried out by carpet cleaning experts BISSELL on the Bakerloo Line found that there was a significantly large presence of the bacteria E.Coli, which is found in both human and animal faeces.
That’s great news, especially when you consider how many people eat their breakfasts and dinners on their commute. It makes me shudder just thinking about it.
Other swabs taken from emergency doors and handles showed reasonable levels of bacteria while samples from window frames show traces of Enterobacteriaceae. This comes from a large family of bacteria that includes Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus which is found on the skin of around 35% of the population and in septic cuts, noses and throats. Again, not really the kind of news you want to hear if you’re one of those unlucky commuters.
But the main problem here seems to be the seats, which is no wonder when you consider that the seats on the District, Jubilee, Northern, Circle, Piccadilly, Metropolitan and Hammersmith and City lines are never shampooed. Looks like I’m going to be standing on my underground travels from now on.
According to the researchers, the presence of E. Coli is probably down to people not washing their hands after using the toilet or from pets having accidents whilst travelling.
Hygiene expert Dr Lisa Ackerley said:
Bacteria are everywhere and most of them are completely harmless, if not beneficial.
However, there are some bacteria and viruses that we need to avoid, and it is particularly disturbing that E. coli was found on a seat.
If you sit on public transport eating food and licking your fingers, and those fingers have just been touching dirty seats and windows, then you could be in for an unpleasant surprise.
People often think it is the last thing they ate that made them ill, but in fact it could be contamination they picked up on their hands.
So next time you get a sick bug, just remember that it might not be that dodgy fish supper at all – it could just be because you have been covering your hands in actual poo bacteria. Yum.
To read about the recent study which found the world’s deadliest superbug on the London underground, click HERE.