Coffee Mug Germs | VideoVan Tieu | 2/28/2013
Colonies of germs could be growing in your favorite office cup. Yuck! Ninety percent of offices mugs are covered in germs, according to a recent finding at the University of Arizona.
The study says about 20 percent of coffee mugs could even have fecal matter in them. And that`s because people either don`t wash them or use dirty community brushes.
I took one of our own mugs to the Health Department to get tested. Christie Massen is a microbiolgist with a masters in laboratory science from the University of North Dakota, and she agreed to conduct our experiment.
The Arizona researcher recommended taking mugs home to wash with extra hot water and a non-communal sponge. So we were curious if it were true, what kind of bacteria would we find? Now, we didn`t seek out the grossest cup we could find. We tested a mug that was used every day and rinsed with water but without soap, and a brush sitting on the sink.
After the swab and scrape, the plates sit in the incubator at 37 degrees Celsius to ensure optimal growing conditions for the organisms. After 24 hours, it`s time for the results.
"It`s clean, for the most part. There were some organisms but nothing too terrifying," said Massen.
Phew! So KFYR-TV stays pretty clean. Massen says rinsing mugs with water is enough if you`re just drinking water or plain coffee out of it.
"If you would put food or anything sugary in your cup and leave it or don`t clean it properly or thoroughly, then the organisms would have an opportunity to use that as a food source to grow."
If you don`t at least rinse your cup after using it, Massen says bacteria like e-coli and salmonella could start growing on them.