Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Where Has Your Purse Been?

I received this forward from a friend. The Shauna Lake referred to is a news anchor with KUTV in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Purse Hygiene

A friend sent me this, I really never thought about how dirty my purse could be until I read this.

Have you ever noticed gals who sit their purses on public rest room floors that then go directly back to their dining tables?

It happens a lot!

It’s not always the ‘restaurant food’ that causes stomach distress.

Sometimes “what you don’t know ‘will’ hurt you”!

Read on…

Mom got so upset when a guest came in the door and plopped their purses down on the counter where she was cooking or setting up the buffet. She always said that purses are really dirty, because of where they’ve been.

Smart Momma!!!

It’s something just about every woman carries with them. While we may know
what’s inside our purses, do you have any idea what’s on the outside?

Shauna Lake put purses to the test – for bacteria – with surprising results. You may think twice about where you put your purse next time.

Women carry purses everywhere; from the office to public rest rooms to the floor of the car.

Most women won’t be caught without their purses, but did you ever stop to think about where your purse goes during the day?

“I drive a school bus, so my purse has been on the floor of the bus a lot,” says one woman. “On the floor of my car, probably in rest rooms.” “I put my purse in grocery shopping carts, on the floor of bathroom stalls while changing a diaper,” says another woman “and of course in my home which should be clean.”

We decided to find out if purses harbour a lot of bacteria. We learned how to test them at Nelson Laboratories in Salt Lake, then we set out to test the average woman’s purse.

Most women told us they didn’t stop to think about what was on the bottom of their purse.

Most said they usually set their purses on top of kitchen tables and counters where food is prepared.

Most of the ladies we talked to told us they wouldn’t be surprised if their purses were at least a little bit dirty. It turns out purses are so surprisingly dirty, even the microbiologist who tested them was shocked.

Microbiologist Amy Karren of Nelson Labs says nearly all of the purses tested were not only high in bacteria, but high in harmful kinds of bacteria. Pseudomonas can cause eye infections, staphylococcus aurous can cause serious skin infections, and salmonella and e-coli found on the purses could make people very sick. In one sampling, four of five purses tested positive for salmonella, and that’s not the worst of it.

“There is fecal contamination on the purses,” says Amy.

Leather or vinyl purses tended to be cleaner than cloth purses, and lifestyle seemed to play a role. People with kids tended to have dirtier purses than those without, with one exception.

The purse of one single woman who frequented nightclubs had one of the worst contaminations of all.

“Some type of feces, or even possibly vomit or something like that,” says

So the moral of this story – your purse won’t kill you, but it does have the potential to make you very sick if you keep it on places where you eat.

Use hooks to hang your purse at home and in rest rooms, and don’t put it on your desk, a restaurant table, or on your kitchen countertop. Experts say you should think of your purse the same way you would a pair of shoes.

“If you think about putting a pair of shoes onto your countertops, that’s the same thing you’re doing when you put your purse on the countertops.”

Your purse has gone where every individual before you has spat, coughed, urinated, emptied bowels, etc.!

Do you really want to bring that home with you?

The microbiologists at Nelson also said cleaning a purse will help. Wash cloth purses and use leather cleaner to clean the bottom of leather purses.

My comments: I was shocked and disgusted reading this article. I know that when I bring groceries home, I put my purse on the counter or even (gasp) on the kitchen table. I vow, here an now, to change my ways!

Having said that, I rarely ever get sick. My theory is that I have lived and travelled in so many places with questionable hygeine that I have developed resistance to many of the bacteria that bedevil us. I would guess that eating out puts me more at risk for food borne problems than any other behavior.

While I am a sushi supporter, I have to warn my fellow aficianados that raw fish is one of the WORST carriers of bad bacteria, microbes, and parasites. Sushi eating is a risky behavior! Sushi on a buffet is even worse because it has been exposed to more microbes, sneezes, contamination. So if you choose to eat sushi, use protection! Know your sushi maker and practice safe sushi eating.;-)

January 10, 2007 Posted by | Eating Out, Family Issues, Health Issues, Hygiene, Living Conditions | 6 Comments