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Sunday, December 15, 2019

Self-Serve and Germ Pick Up

Where has 2019 gone?  Today marks the last business trip of the year and my 2nd to last blog for 2019.  Travelling can be equal parts of enjoyment and irritation.  Enjoyment in terms of the people you meet, places you get to see and the occasional really good dinner.  Irritation due to waiting in lines, delays in travel, last minute cancelled meetings and poorly cleaned hotel rooms (as evidenced by the picture of my hotel room faucet).

With Christmas season upon us, travel will be increasing.  Kids are coming home from school, families travelling to see their loved ones and if your parents are like mine – many people will be travelling to escape the cold.   I’ve previously blogged on the level of contamination found on those horrid grey bins we place our belongings in when we go through security and of course the most frequently contaminated surfaces on a plane, but have you thought about the self-check-in kiosks at the airports?  How frequently are they cleaned and more importantly how many hands touch them throughout the course of a day?!

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the busiest airport in North American and perhaps the world.  With 192 gates, the airport manages 2,500 flights and 275,000 people every day. Having been one on many occasions I can say, they do a pretty good job of moving people along and have a pretty decent selection of restaurants to eat or drink away your time between flights.

A study completed by Insurance Quotes found that the average self-check-in screen contained 253,857 Colony Forming Units (CFUs) of germs which is 13 times more than the average airport water fountain button.  To put it into comparison, when we think toilets are gross they on average only have 172 CFUs on the seats.

There are always pros and cons when it comes to improving efficiency.  In the world of self-check-in kiosks at airports or self-check-out kiosks at grocery stores, restaurants and as I came across last night while getting my bad of Doritos for dinner at the Houston Airport – even quick serve food self-check-outs, germs are everywhere!  It’s not that improving with the times is a bad thing.  It’s about not forgetting the tried and true methods for keeping ourselves healthy.  If you grab something on the go, wash your hands before you eat, particularly if you are eating on a plane.

If you’re an owner of the one of these self-serve kiosks consider looking at how frequently they are cleaned or better yet have some disinfectant wipes handy that can be used by customers to wipe down before they the check-out machine!

Bugging Off!

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