Study identifies smartphones dirtier than toilet seats

A study conducted in 2011 by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found faecal matter on 1 out of every 6 smartphones. University of Arizona microbiologist Charles Gerba found that the picture was even worse - cellphones carried 10 times the bacteria of most toilet seat.

Part of the reason was that toilets got cleaned more frequently, according to Gerba. People associated the bathroom with germs, while cellphones were often overlooked.

Cellphones are not the only electronic devices named as the dirtiest items in the home as such items like remote controls for TVs, DVD players and streaming devices were not included in most cleanings.

Tablet devices like the iPad were not cleaned regularly, USA Today reported. When devices were shared between multiple people, it spread germs and subsequent illness.

Elecronic device surfaces could be wiped clean with disinfectant.

Kitchen sinks at homes carried more bacteria than both the toilet and the garbage could, Gerba's research found.

''There's more faecal bacteria in a sink than there is in a flushed toilet,'' Gerba told NBC's Today news programme. ''That's why dogs drink out of the toilet. They know better than to drink out of the kitchen sink,'' he joked.

According to Gerba, kitchen sponges were even worse, carrying up to 200,000 times more bacteria than a toilet.

Gerba told Today that shopping cart handles, shopping cart child's seat, produce aisle, meat and seafood counters and canned and boxed goods were amongst the 10 germiest things and places in your grocery store.

Since 80 per cent of germs were transmitted via our hands, it should come as no surprise that shopping cart handles were covered in bacteria. ''The first thing I do is wipe the handle,'' says Gerba. He urged consumers to take advantage of the sanitising wipes at the entrance to the store or carry their own wipes.