I received this in email. Because there is a study mentioned that was supposedly done in a lab, I checked it out on snopes.com, and indeed there have been scientific studies.
"Have you ever noticed gals who sit their handbags on public
toilet floors, then go directly to their dining tables and set it on the table?
Happens a lot!
It's not always the 'restaurant food' that causes stomach
Sometimes "what you don't know will hurt you"!
Mom got so upset when guests came in the door and plopped their
handbags down on the counter where she was cooking or setting up food. She
always said that handbags are really dirty, because of where they have
It's something just about every woman carries with them. While we
may know what's inside our handbags, do you have any idea what's on the outside?
Women carry handbags everywhere; from the office to public toilets to the floor
of the car. Most women won't be caught without their handbags, but did you ever
stop to think about where your handbag goes during the day?
"I drive a
school bus, so my handbag has been on the floor of the bus a lot," says one
woman. "On the floor of my car, and in toilets."
"I put my handbag in
grocery shopping carts and on the floor of the toilet," says another woman "and
of course in my home which should be clean."
We decided to find out if
handbags harbor a lot of bacteria. We learned how to test them at Nelson
Lake , and then we set out to test the
average woman's handbag.
Most women told us they didn't stop to think
about what was on the bottom of their handbag. Most said at home they usually
set their handbags on top of kitchen tables and counters where food is
Most of the ladies we talked to told us they wouldn't be
surprised if their handbags were at least a little bit dirty.
out handbags are so surprisingly dirty, even the microbiologist who tested them
Microbiologist Amy Karen of Nelson Labs says nearly all of
the handbags 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 handbags could
make people very sick.
In one sampling, four of five handbags tested
positive for salmonella, and that's not the worst of it. "There is fecal
contamination on the handbags" says Amy. Leather or vinyl handbags tended to be
cleaner than cloth handbags, and lifestyle seemed to play a role. People with
kids tended to have dirtier handbags than those without, with one
The handbag of one single woman who frequented nightclubs had
one of the worst contaminations of all. "Some type of feces, or possibly vomit"
So the moral of this story is that your handbag 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 handbag at home and in toilets, and
don't put it on your desk, a restaurant table, or on your kitchen
Experts say you should think of your handbag 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 handbag
on the countertops" - Your handbag has gone where individuals before you have
sneezed, coughed, spat, urinated, emptied bowels, etc!
Do you really want
to bring that home with you?
The microbiologists at Nelson also said
cleaning a handbag will help. Wash cloth handbags and use leather cleaner to
clean the bottom of leather handbags."
I don't put my purse on the floor of rest rooms if there's a place to hang it, but it's always on the floorboard in the car, right there where my feet have tracked in farm dirt that contains who-knows-what. And guess where my purse is sitting right now?
On the kitchen table.