Bathroom In The Airplanes Are Not The Dirtiest Place

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Bathroom In The Airplanes Are Not The Dirtiest Place

Airplane bathrooms seems like culprit when you think of the dirtiest place in the airplanes. That distinction belongs to the tray table, according to a new report.

Trip planning website Travelmath sent a microbiologist to test five different airports and four different flights on two major airline carriers. Tests were performed on different items at each airport and on each plane, and then ranked by the median of the results.

The surfaces were tested for the presence of “colony-forming units,” (CFU) which could potentially make people sick — although the presence of bacteria does not necessarily mean that those exposed to it will get sick. In fact, the tests provided some good news: None of the samples from airports and airplanes tested positive for fecal coliforms like E. coli.

The six most contaminated places, according to the report, are:

  1. Tray table — 2,155 CFU/sq. in.
  2. Drinking fountain buttons — 1,240 CFU/sq. in.
  3. Overhead air vent — 285 CFU/sq. in.
  4. Lavatory flush button — 265 CFU/sq. in.
  5. Seatbelt buckle — 230 CFU/sq. in.
  6. Bathroom stall locks — 70 CFU/sq. in.

The tray table’s top ranking makes sense. Is there anywhere on a plane that gets touched more often?

“Since this could provide bacteria direct transmission to your mouth, a clear takeaway from this is to eliminate any direct contact your food has with the tray table,” Travelmath’s report states.


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