If you’re worried about poop particles in public places, don’t. They’re everywhere.

If you’re worried about poop particles in public places, don’t. They’re everywhere.

[Ed. – Whew! That’s reassuring.]

We and everything around us are pretty much covered in fecal bacteria, but it’s nothing we should get worked up about, according to an infectious disease expert.

Jennifer Gardy, a senior scientist at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, says you shouldn’t worry about what microbial critters may be coating things we regularly touch.

A recent report out of the U.K. suggested the touchscreen ordering system at a fast-food chain’s restaurants were found to be harbouring fecal coliform bacteria. The Chronicle Herald was curious about whether the same would be true about something that pretty much everyone who buys food, goods and services outside of their home handles regularly: the hand-held debit machine.

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“Literally everything in the world is covered in bacteria,” Gardy said in a telephone interview. “All of these studies that go and look and say ‘oh, we found fecal coliform bacteria on the touchscreens at McDonald’s, we found it on cafeteria screens, we found it on the ATM screens on the bank,’ — you can’t not find fecal coliform bacteria.

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