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20% of Workplace Coffee Mugs Have Poop on Them

Do you use a ceramic coffee mug at work? Well, your cuppa of French vanilla medium roast might just contain traces of fecal matter. Drink up, everyone!

A new University of Arizona study finds the vast majority (90%) of office coffee mugs have gross germs on them, which doesn't seem all that surprising somehow. But get this: 20% of office coffee mugs have traces of poop on them.

What is causing the transfer of fecal matter to our office coffee cups? A recent study finds many of our co-workers aren't washing their hands after they use the restroom. That's because our own germs aren't the problem; it's our co-workers' germs that are the problem!

But that's not all. The break room sink sponge that was last replaced in...actually, nobody in the office can remember when it was last replaced? The stinky, dirty sponge that serves double duty for wiping down the sink before using the same sponge to clean coffee mugs that are then put back on the shelf? Ew.


How to Keep Your Coffee Mug Clean
Office employees everywhere can do better, and here are five tips for keeping office coffee mugs cleaner:

1. Use separate sponges. Have a sink sponge for cleaning the sink and another sponge for cleaning utensils and mugs. Replace them often. Label the sponges "sink" and "cups" if you think anyone will be confused.

2. Buy a dishwasher. Better yet, invest in a dishwasher that will reach a high enough temperature to kill most germs. Remind employees that everyone has to clean up after themselves, because management isn't Mom.

3. Microwave the mugs. Experts say that microwaving ceramic mugs for 60 seconds can also nuke a lot of bacteria in lieu of a dishwasher. (PS: Don't overdo it or your mugs might start to crack.)

4. Label cups. Employees can go BYOM (Bring Your Own Mug) or use a plastic tumbler. Encourage employees to label their ceramic mugs and to wash them at home every night, because cold and flu season is right around the corner.

5. Be careful how you carry. I see so many people with their fingers around the rim of a beverage cup as they hand it to a friend, customer or co-worker. Where did this rather off-putting trend come from? Instead, let's wrap our hand around the mug handle, or around the coffee cozy. That's what they are there for, right? Right.

Of course, some of your co-workers won't heed any of this advice, but at least you've been warned. Would you like a cup of light roast?


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