You may know where your shoes have been, but do you always know what they’ve stepped in?
Throughout the course of the day, your shoes will have been to the restroom and to the sidewalk at least once. And during all those trips, your shoes may have picked up some human fecal matter, animal droppings, petroleum traces, pollutants, and all the deadly bacteria and germs that come along with that. Your 10,000 daily steps aren’t all that clean and healthy, are they?
Separate studies conducted by the University of Houston and the University of Arizona as well as ABC’s identified some disease-carrying bacteria. Here are just a few of the deadly bacteria that can Enter your usiness:
1. Clostridium difficile
Clostridium difficile, or more popularly known as the C. diff, is a bacteria responsible for severe cases of diarrhea. In worst cases, C. diff causes a life-threatening inflammation of the colon called colitis. This bacteria is normally found in contaminated feces of both humans and animals, but it’s also in the air, water and soil and can be transferred via direct contact. In University of Houston research, 25% of shoe samples were contaminated with C. diff.
2. Escherichia coli
Most varieties of E. coli are common culprits of diarrhea but other varieties can also cause urinary tract infection, pneumonia and some respiratory illnesses. The nastier strains of E. coli, however, can cause severe abdominal pains, vomiting, and even bloody diarrhea. In its worst forms, especially if contracted by the elderly or younger children whose immune systems are compromised or weaker than most people’s, E. coli can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome, a possibly-fatal form of kidney failure.
According to the CDC, over 250,000 E. Coli infections occur each year in the U.S. Restaurants are especially susceptible to E. coli. Major chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill, Costco, Taco Bell and Jack in the Box have all caused major E. Coli outbreaks.
3. Klebsiella pneumonia
K. pneumonia is a normally harmless gut bacteria but it causes a myriad of diseases when it enters different parts of the body. At best, it causes simple wound infections, but at worst, it can cause anything from pneumonia to bloodstream infections to fatal meningitis. K. pneumonia is not an airborne bacteria but it can be acquired by direct contact.
4. Serratia ficaria
S. ficaria is one of the many varieties of bacteria in the genus Serratia that is known to cause infections in wounds as well as in the respiratory tract.
How can I stop deadly bacteria from spreading in my business?
Research at the University of Arizona also found that 99% of the time, the bacteria at the bottom of the shoes is transferred to the floor, with carpets being one of the easiest places for these harmful bacteria to cling.
Because of this, sanitation and hygiene experts recommend leaving shoes outdoors to avoid bringing in harmful contaminants. However, where walking barefoot is completely impossible, like in workplaces and healthcare facilities, the next best thing is to make use of specially sanitized anti-contamination mats to minimize the spread of these bacteria and germs.
To learn more about how mats can keep your workplace clean and sanitary and help you avoid spreading harmful, deadly bacteria, contact NDC Mats at 800-238-2387 to speak with one of our experts!