Never keep a mug on your desk at work even if you wash it every day

Mugs and cups in offices all over the country are, according to a professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona, a breeding ground for all sorts of nasties.

“Colonies of germs are living in your favourite cup.”

His research shows how 90 per cent of office mugs and cups are covered in germs which can live in their snug environments for up to three days.

And 20 per cent of them actually carry FECAL BACTERIA. You don’t have to be a complete slattern. Bacteria is nothing if not opportunistic.

“If it [the mug / cup] sits unwashed on your desk after being used, germs will start reproducing immediately – and bacterial colonies grow even when the cup contains nothing more than a coffee ring.”

Don’t sneer and scoff if you religiously wash your mug either.

These germs and this bacteria are in fact a result of what happens when you clean your mug with an office sponge which has been hanging around for ages.

Gerba recommends bringing your mug home every day to be washed in the dishwasher and “make sure it goes through the dry cycle, which uses the hottest temperatures and zaps every last germ.”