If you pay too much attention to all the TV commercials for antibacterial soaps, wipes, lotions, and sprays, it can be difficult not to feel paranoid about all the germs out there that can get you. Now there's a new threat, or at least a newly publicized threat, to worry about.

Your computer's keyboard may be harboring the kinds of bugs that can cause a nasty case of food poisoning.

This is according to new research by the London-based consumer group Which? In swabbing 33 keyboards in its office, it found that four were home to enough bacteria to be potential health hazards. One harbored five times more germs than one of the office's toilet seats and 150 times more than the level the group considers safe, a keyboard that was so badly contaminated that it had to be trashed.

Most of the group's keyboards, and by implication most keyboards in use today, aren't harboring harmful levels of E.coli, staphylococcus aureus, and other nasties. But is yours?

There's no economical way to test all the keyboards out there, but there are commonsense ways to prevent bacterial contamination or eliminate it if it exists.


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Reid Goldsborough  |  Contributing Writer
Reid Goldsborough is a syndicated columnist and author of Straight Talk About the Information Superhighway. He can be reached at reidgold@comcast.net or www.reidgoldsborough.com.