• Jun 9, 2010
Ever eat in your car? If so, we're thinking there is a good chance there is currently at least one french fry stuck between the driver seat and the center arm rest. That's pretty bad, but a study by researchers from British auto accessories retailer Halfords shows that there probably are a lot more disgusting things in your ride than some fried potatoes or a few chunks of shredded lettuce. Scientists swabbed the door handles, steering wheel, shift knob, radio and seats and found bacteria ranging from Staphylococcus to Bacillus Cereus. Those names just sound unhealthy, and in reality they are the germs that cause food poisoning, impetigo severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Those nasty germs enter your car through the soil you walk on, the pets you travel with, the passengers you transport and the very hands you use to eat all that food.

That's really bad news if you eat in your car regularly, and the study by Halfords shows that 70 percent of people do just that. Further, half of those study admitted to leaving food behind in the car, giving those bacteria the sustenance they need to help ruin your week. And don't think that since this is summertime that the sun will bake your interior to the point where the germs die off. Quite the contrary, the nasty little microbes multiply faster as your vehicle heats up, bolstering the little buggers for the impending fight against your immune system.

To protect yourself from these germs, the best defense is to keep your hands clean and leave the eating for a clean kitchen table. But if you must eat while driving, scientists feel that car owners should clean their vehicles as often as one would wipe down that kitchen table. We're not the type to shy away from every germ nature has to offer, but something as serious-sounding as Staphylococcus makes us want to make with the disinfecting wipes in short order.

[Source: Daily Mail | Image: Getty]


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  • 55 Comments
      eric
      • 4 Years Ago
      I work on cars and there is nothing worse than having to work on the inside with food all over the place you cannot imagine what is learking under peoples seats let alone what spilled liquids does to switches and electronics. STOP SPEND 10 MINUITES AND EAT AT A PARK BENCH OR INSIDE THE RESTAURANT YES YOU HAVE TO WALK IN BUT YOU PROBABLY NEED THE REST FROM YOUR DRIVING
      • 4 Years Ago
      If we are taking fast food...I'll take eating in MY car over eating inside any one of these fast food places anyday of the week!!!! The germs in MY car came from me or my family/freinds...who knows where the germs inside of the McD's came from????
      sandy
      • 4 Years Ago
      To change the subject just a tad......how about people that read books going down the interstates? I can't tell you the number of times my husband has been passing the car on the right, and I look over and the driver has a book propped up in the window. I couldn't believe it the first time I saw it, and when I mentioned it to my daughter, she said she had done the same thing when she was in college. I'm the kind of driver that hates to take my eyes off the road to check the rear view mirror, and here are people that read books! No wonder we have so many traffic accidents.
        alex
        • 4 Years Ago
        @sandy
        Uhh yaaa that's why....no we have so many traffic accident because of the dumbasses that decide it's a great idea to drink and drive.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I was going to say that boy looks too young to drive, and needs MORE burgers. Too dainty. :)

      Can anyone identify THAT CAR?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Isn't all that same stuff all over the house to?
      Why not?

      Of course it is.

      I have eaten in my car, being a typical suburban type american most of my life, more times than I can care to count.
      I can also count the number of times I have had food poisoning.
      Any statistical correlation in my own little world approaches zero faster than a gambling addict in vegas.
      • 4 Years Ago
      yeah, they are called germs, they are everywhere all the time
      thats why you have an immune system
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's called not eating with dirty hands. I never touch my food with my hands in the car. I use the packaging it comes in.

      But by the logic of this study, we shouldn't picnic either. Nor should we eat at the Fairground. And woe be to anyone who eats while camping.

      Too bad we have become a culture of hypochondriacs afraid of germs. Everywhere you go now, this paranoia is evident. You can't walk into a retail store anymore without being greeted by hand sanitizer on a dispenser stand waiting for you. WTF!? We are creating a society where our kids won't develop a proper immune system because we are going to great lengths to make sure they are not exposed to germs. (Sort of like giving all kids a trophy just for participating) The real world will catch up to them.

        • 4 Years Ago
        I get your point.
        I have eaten hot dogs since I was a kid.
        Often from street vendors.
        I don't think there is anything on the steering wheel which my immune system has not seen and dealt with before.
        I feel sorry for the wee-beasties really.

        You see, they think they have locked my immune system in there with them.
        But they don't understand.
        They are locked in there with it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Tsk tsk Mr. Editor. Remember that organism names are italicized and the species epithet is not capitalized.
      Ecpierceok
      • 4 Years Ago
      THese news reportsare bull, I would rather eat in my car than at a fast food
      resturant, no trays that's been previously handled, you don't touch any thing
      but a paper sack. i think some of the media that suggests needs to get a job
      to pass the time of day.,
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder if this research extends to buses.

      While I know that eating is not allowed in public buses, tour buses hired for marching bands have less stringent rules. We can eat inside the bus as long as we clean up after ourselves... I've seen nearly everyone eat foods from the "buddy bags" that they exchange beforehand.

      Now, I'm not sure if it did actually increase risk of food poisoning... but I DO remember having a severe stomach flu after returning from this one three-day trip that we had.

      Really though, germs are nearly everywhere, even in places that look clean and sanitary. We cannot live a sane life if we become paranoid of them everywhere we go.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Since the most I ever have in my car is a drink and I clean the interior regularly, I'm not concerned.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "PSA: Eating in the car increases risk of food poisoning"...great, that is the best news i heard in years. Natural selection.
      ablacksafari
      • 4 Years Ago
      The only time I eat in a car is when me and my wife are having some fun in the back seat. LOL
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