DALLAS - It's a fast paced world, but ever wonder how fast germs travel?
Joel Winders with Pollock Packaging shows us a device that does the dirty work, showing the dirtiest surfaces on stuff you touch every day.
"This surface may look clean, but I can measure it, and you may be surprised how high the number can be," Winders said.
The 3M Clean-Trace Test is normally used to conduct hygiene tests at hospitals and schools.
"When you get above 200 that's a measure of concern.," Winders said. "Typically in our world, if you can stay below 20, then that is the pass zone."
He even swabbed all the cracks and crevices of this reporter's phone - which I thought I kept clean. He then placed the swab in a liquid enzyme, and the $3,000 machine measures the amount of germs in seconds.
"I don't know if I want to see it," Winders said. "It's over 1100! That's pretty bad, Debbie."
We figured the vending machine would be dirtier, considering Pollock Packaging and Distributors has 200 employees grabbing snacks in its break room, but the result showed 556. The coffee pot? 525.
Nothing in the break room passed the cleanliness test with a score of 20 or below.
The numbers are alarming to folks who eat here everyday.
"It's actually very scary considering how much you touch everything," said employee Patti Robertson. "You don't even know who has been there before you... It's like, 'Oh my gosh.'"
The top offenders in public places included a drive-thru ATM at a big bank, which tested at 1,032. Surprisingly, the toilet at a public restaurant is significantly cleaner, at 431. The dirtiest thing News 8 tested was a gas pump, which nearly reached the 2,000 mark, measuring a whopping 1,907.
"This will change the way I look at when I'm at the pump," said Darius McDonald as he filled up his car. "This is crazy. I'm gonna have on gloves and hand sanitizer."
One squirt of disinfectant on my nasty phone, and the germ level drops drastically from more than 1100 all the way to 90.
However, Dr. Cedric Spak, an infectious disease expert at Baylor Dallas, says there are good germs and bad germs. So there's no need to become a germ-a-phobe.
"Think about it this way, has anyone ever proven that somebody got sick from a dirty phone? Actually, I would submit to you, no," Spak said. "But has anyone ever proven that someone got sick from dirty salsa? Yes! So, if it's something you put in your mouth, you really got to pay attention to it."
Spak says extremely contagious organisms, like salmonella, usually found in restaurants, is more of a threat.
"I can't emphasize enough how important it is to wash your hands," Spak said.
And to watch whose hand you shake.
Though it can give peace of mind knowing a simple sanitizer can do the trick of making sure you don't get sick.