CBS News 11 in Fort Worth wanted to know if there was any credence to the old advice of giving the lid of your soda can a rinse, or at least a good wipe with a towel or napkin. As it turns out, it is actually a pretty good idea to do so.
A lab in the area took swabs of the tops of cans purchased at various stores and vending machines nearby, and what they found was rather unpleasant.
More than you bargained for on your can
The lab tests revealed quite a few germs on soda can lids, including stenotrophomonas maltophilia, pseudomonas luteola, enterobacter cloacae, yeast and staphylococcus. The results of the tests are located here.
‘I really wasn’t expecting these to be as bad as they actually are considering the sources they came from,’ said Karen Deiss, a microbiologist at the lab that did the testing. ‘The thought of that growing in your mouth after your drink is awful,’ she said.
So what locations were the worst offenders when it came to germy soda cans? According to the lab results, cans purchased from gas stations and stores had the most germs. Cans from vending machines had the next highest amount of germs, followed by cans from 12-packs with the least.
Dr. Cedric Spak, an infectious disease specialist at Baylor University Medical Center of Dallas said the cause of the germs may have been from someone who handled the cans after using the restroom without washing their hands, or it could have been from a rodent who stepped on them at some point while the cans were on the shelf.
“You’ll find out it can cause infections in patients with a variety of serious medical conditions,” he said. But, he said, ‘It’s not that bad and it’s not that surprising at all.’
He recommended running the cans under some tap water as the best way to protect yourself from any germs.