A recent study found as many as one in 10 credit and debit cards have fecal bacteria on them and one in seven bills are contaminated, too.
“Things that get touched multiple times by many people are likely to be contaminated, particularly money, and in this case, a credit card because we pass them from our hands to someone else and back and forth and its not at all unusual for them to be contaminated with bacteria," said Dr. Alan Taege with the Cleveland Clinic.
Researchers at Queen Mary University, in London, swabbed the hands, money and credit cards of nearly 300 people. They found bacteria on the hands of 11 percent of the people, on eight percent of the credit cards and six percent of the bills they tested.
“They highlighted the fact that staphylococcal bacteria, as well as many organisms that are found in, hate to say it, fecal matter found in stool in the GI tract were found on these particular items that they tested," said Taege.
Researchers say bacteria spreads fast and cell phones and handbags are also hot spots for germs.
Dr. Taege says to avoid getting sick when you shop, you can wipe down your credit cards after using them, be sure to wash your hands as much as possible and avoid touching your eyes and mouth while shopping.