What’s the dirtiest part of an airplane cabin? Surfaces you’re likely touching during your flight!
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Marketplace series investigated which surfaces collected the most bacteria and other pathogens by taking more than 100 samples from 18 different flights on Canada’s three major airlines: Air Canada, WestJet and Porter.
Out of all the places that were swabbed, the nearly half contained levels of bacteria or yeast and mold that could put someone at risk for infection.
The most contaminated surfaces? The headrest and seat pockets, which contained E. coli bacteria in some samples.
Flight attendants told the Canadian consumer watchdog series that dirty diapers, used tampons and loose condoms have been found in seatback pockets of planes, which could explain why E. coli was detected.
Former WestJet flight attendant Stephane Poirier told Marketplace that staff typically don’t have time to clean planes thoroughly between flights.
“We don’t have rags, we don’t have spray on board,” the flight attendant explained. “Lots of [cleaners] are a dangerous good… so it’s either water from the aircraft, or a napkin.”
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