Recovery of Microorganisms from Various Locations in Apartments Occupied by College Students

  •  Paul Dawson    
  •  Ahmet Buyukyavuz    
  •  Julie K. Northcutt    


Introduction: Microbial contamination in living quarters is important for public health and contamination of different locations within the home is of general interest. Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the level of contamination at five different locations in university apartments. Method: Total aerobic microorganisms and yeast and mold populations were enumerated from kitchen sink drains, kitchen counters, refrigerator door handles, toilet seats, and kitchen sponges over a 6-week period. Results: Kitchen sponges were found to harbor the highest bacterial and yeast/mold populations among the five locations sampled. Kitchen sink drains were the second most contaminated location with the kitchen counter, refrigerator door handle and toilet seat containing the fewest number of microorganisms from among the locations tested. Conclusions: This points to the importance of finding an alternative method of cleaning or changing sponges frequently.

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