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Do you know the most contaminated object in a hotel room…

Do you know the most contaminated object in a hotel room…

Last Reviewed : 01/08/2021
Do you know the most contaminated object in a hotel room…

When we go to a hotel, we get concerned about bedsheets or toilet seat. Can you guess the most contaminated object in a hotel room? You may or may not. It is a TV remote. Yes, you read it right. It is the television remote and here is the proof.

A study was done by researchers from the University of Houston to find out the most tainted places or surfaces in the hotel rooms. They established that television remotes are the most heavily contaminated objects in a hotel room. They also emphasized on the items in the housekeeping cart that have the potential to cross-contaminate the rooms. This report was presented in the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, in 2012.

Katie Kirsch, an undergraduate student at the University of Houston, who presented the study, said that hoteliers have a commitment to provide their guests with a safe and secure environment. The housekeeping practices across different hotels differ and there is no standard procedure that is to be followed. The only method of validation is by visual inspection, which is futile in measuring sanitation. The level of cleanliness is one of the most important factors that are being contemplated while selecting the room. There can be outbreaks in the hotel too when the contaminated surface comes in contact with the susceptible persons.

The study was devised as the initial step in employing the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system to hotel room cleanliness. HACCP is a systematic preventive approach that identifies potential biological, chemical and physical hazards and designs measurements to curtail these risks to safe levels. It is designed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Kirsch and her colleagues examined a variety of surfaces from hotel rooms in Texas, Indiana and South Carolina. They tested the levels of total aerobic bacteria and coliform (fecal) bacterial contamination on all of the surfaces. The specimens that were expected to be most contaminated were toilet and bathroom sink. But to their amazement, they found the highest level of bacterial contamination on TV remote followed by bedside lamp switch. Highly contaminated samples also included items found in housekeepers carts such as sponges and mops, which pose the risk of cross-contamination.

The surfaces with the least contamination included headboard of the bed, curtain rods and the bathroom door handle. It is still not yet clear whether these bacteria can cause the disease, but the contamination levels can be considered as a reliable pointer of overall cleanliness.

Kirsch winds up that identifying high-risk items within a hotel room would allow housekeeping managers to critically design cleaning plans and allocate time to skillfully lower the potential health risks posed by microbial contamination in hotel rooms. This study should assist hotels in embracing a proactive approach for decreasing potential hazards from contact with surfaces within hotel rooms and provide a basis for the development of more effective and efficient housekeeping practices.

Thus, in conclusion, the television remote is the most contaminated object that is found in a hotel room. Next time, when you visit a hotel, you can use a wipe to clean the remote or use a hand sanitizer after you use the TV remote.


References:


American Society for Microbiology. "Remote controls are one of the most contaminated objects in hotel rooms."

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