Keeping an airplane clean is quite the difficult task, considering the high number of flights that most planes are scheduled for. And while you can expect some places on a plane to be dirtier than others, the 5 dirtiest things in planes and airports might actually surprise you.
Travelmath.com decided to look into this matter, just in order to find out the truth, in spite of preconceptions and expectations that people might have. And so, they hired a microbiologist, who took samples from all across airplanes and airports and tested them for bacteria so that he could find out which are the dirtiest places.
And when the results came in, the situation was not exactly what people expected to find. It seems that the dirtiest place on the entire plane, by far, is actually the food tray placed in front of the seat. The microbiologist identified as many as 2,155 Colony Forming Units (CFUs)/ square inch on the tray table that everybody is so excited to flip up as soon as they take their seat.
And this is probably what should have gave it away in the first place, since so much touching, paired with little time for cleaning between flights, makes for a pretty dirty spot.
The next place on Travelmath.com’s list was the button for the drinking fountains in airports, which scored as much bacteria as 1,240 CFUs/sq. in.. And again, this is quite understandable because people wash their hands before touching these buttons only coincidentally and because so many people use the drinking fountains from the airport.
The no. 3 dirtiest thing was the overhead air vent, which scored 285 CFUs/sq. in. and came extremely close to a place that everybody expects to be riddled with bacteria, the lavatory flush buttons, which scored 265 CFUs/sq. in. and came in at no. 4.
While airport bathrooms are cleaned quite often, the flush buttons managed to maintain a low score in spite of the obvious contamination potential. As for inside airplane cleaning, it seems that there is quite a lot to improve there, because there are quite a few bacteria hot spots there.
So, it is not so surprising that the no.5 spot is also a place from the plane, that all passengers must touch. The seat belt buckle scored 230 CFUs/sq. in. and came in last on the top 5 list.
The one positive finding of Travelmath.com’s experiment was that there was no fecal bacteria present on the tested places from the planes and airport.
So next time you go need to fly, remember all the places you should try to avoid as much as possible and try to wash your hands as much as possible.
Image Source: dailystar