Don’t put your money where your mouth is. Scientists at New York University did microbiological studies to find out what germs live on dollar bills. As it turns out, the list is long.

More than 3,000 different types of bacteria were found, including some that have not yet been identified. That doesn’t even count the viruses and fungi.

The most common bacteria included those that are associated with acne, but germs linked to pneumonia, ulcers and food poisoning were also prevalent. Paper money provides a good growth medium for microbes, especially when it is kept in a wallet in a back pocket. Body temperature encourages microbial proliferation.

The next time you pay for a bagel, burrito or sandwich, wash your hands before you handle your food. And if you see the barista use his hands to apply the lid on your coffee cup after taking your cash, you may want to transfer your beverage to a clean cup before drinking it.

[Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2014]

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  1. J

    I am with you on all counts, Joe. Someone mentioned that those who handle food should wear gloves. I have seen food handlers wear gloves and handle money and then food again without changing the gloves. Do they assume the gloves are going to sanitize everything? Keep putting it out there for us, Joe.

  2. pp

    When talking about money and food handling, don’t forget plastic–those cards can carry germs too!

  3. Paul C. G.

    Hi, Recently, there was news on what types of surfaces bacteria won’t grow on. The bacteria won’t grow on an irregular surface like a cantalope’s skin’s surface. Remember to turn your cantalopes regularly so the surface doesn’t get white and flat and bacteria can grow on it and rot it. If money had a cantalope surface, the bugs wouldn’t grow on it as well and it would solve Joe’s problem with bacteria. How about that for a solution, Joe.? pg o&o

  4. Donnie

    I don’t eat out anymore, but I sure wouldn’t want to eat anything after handling money. Too many people don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom, handling raw meat, pesticides, chemicals, pets or anything else. Money even smells strongly of perfumes and other chemicals. Not anything I would want to ingest.

  5. ou.alum

    I wonder how much bacteria is on salt and pepper shakers, catsup bottle in sit down restaurants. I carry wipes and wipe my hand after picking one of these up. I keep in car also.
    I realize I can’t avoid all germs but try to lessen getting sick when using my fingers to eat a dinner roll or sandwich after handling things that other customers have touched. Some salt and pepper shakers are so greasy I wonder if that makes them a breeding and transfer source.

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