We’re back with another edition of John Tesh Germ-o-phobe. Today, we’re going to talk about germs on planes. Budget Travel magazine recently did an investigation to uncover the germiest places on airplanes – and here’s their top 3:
The water! Airplane water has been under review by the EPA for traces of E. coli for 6 years! And E. coli is the leading cause of food poisoning in North America. So on board, don’t order coffee or tea – the water doesn’t get hot enough to kill the bacteria. The good news is, new EPA Aircraft Drinking Water Rules are going into effect to that ensure the water is disinfected.
Another germ hot-spot at 30,000 feet? The seat pocket and anything in it. You know the drill, you sit down and put anything you might need during the flight in the seat pocket in front of you. Well, putting your hand in that seat pocket is like sticking your hand in some strange lady’s purse and rummaging around. You’ll come away with used tissues, gum wrappers and maybe a soiled baby diaper. And cold and flu viruses can survive for hours on fabric and much longer on non-porous surfaces, like the laminated safety card and the glossy airline magazine.
Finally, you may want to keep your tray table in the upright and locked position. Flight attendants have seen parents changing baby diapers on tray tables. To make it even more frightening – when researchers from the University of Arizona tested tray tables from 3 major airlines, a whopping 60 percent tested positive for MRSA! By comparison, when they tested samples from the New York subway – only 11 percent came back positive for MRSA. So carry on some disinfecting wipes and never eat directly off the surface.