Germs abound on TV remotes in USA hotel rooms


How many germs are on your TV remote in a USA hotel room?


According to New York Newsday, a study by the University of Houston has found that television remotes and bedside lamp switches in American hotels have just as high a level of bacterial contamination as toilets and bathroom sinks.


Collecting samples from 19 surfaces in three different hotel rooms in Texas, Indiana and South Carolina, researchers also found rather worryingly high levels of bacterial contamination on sponges, mops and other cleaning items on housekeeper’s carts which they claim should be cause for particular concern given the potential for cross-contamination of rooms.


The lowest levels of contamination were said to be found on bed headboards, curtain rods and bathroom door handles. Although researchers could not ascertain specifically whether the bacteria detected in these hotel rooms could cause disease, they did feel confident enough to suggest that their contamination levels were a valid and reliable indicator of each hotel room’s overall cleanliness.


‘Hoteliers have an obligation to provide their guests with a safe and secure environment. Currently, housekeeping practices vary across brands and properties with little or no standardization industry wide. The current validation method for hotel room cleanliness is a visual assessment, which has been shown to be ineffective in measuring levels of sanitation’ said Katie Kirsch, an undergraduate student at the University of Houston who worked on the research.


As unclean rooms pose a potential risk to guests, especially those with weakened immune systems, Kirsch suggested the study’s findings could help hotels develop more effective and efficient ways to clean their rooms.


‘Currently, housekeepers clean 14 to 16 rooms per eight-hour shift, spending approximately 30 minutes on each room. Identifying high-risk items within a hotel room would allow housekeeping managers to strategically design cleaning practices and allocate time to efficiently reduce the potential health risks posed by microbial contamination in hotel rooms’ she explained.


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