Your Purse is Contaminated

A purse. It’s something just about every woman, teenager or girl carries with them. We throw it over our shoulder or we carry it in our hand but we also put our purses in places with lots of germs.

WSB-TV, Channel 2 in Atlanta, GA. saw women setting their purses on a public sidewalk, on the floor at their office, on the floor in public bathrooms and on table tops and counters in restaurants and bars.

“I only have two hands and if it comes between putting the baby down on the floor or putting the purse down on the floor then I will put the purse down,” said Kerry Ludlum. “I usually sit it on the floor in my van, underneath my desk on the floor at work,” said Veronica Daniels. “You put your purse everywhere. At work I put it on the floor. Of course at home, I put it on the kitchen counter, that is not a good thing to do, but I don't think people give it any thought,” said Anna Hovind. “I go to the gym a lot and I am always putting it on the floor in the gym,” said Gloria Pritchett.

These ladies aren't the only ones who put their purses in germ-laden places. Channel 2’s Jovita Moore said she puts hers on the floor all the time and then sits it on her desk at work and even on her kitchen counter. So, she swabbed it to see what kind of germs were on it.

Channel 2 also took germ samples from 37 other purses. We swabbed the bottom and handles of purses and then put those samples in sterile vials and sent them to Nelson Laboratories in Salt Lake City for analysis. After incubation and intense testing what we found was pretty disgusting.

“We had several of them that came back with fecal contamination,” said Beau Rollins, a microbiologist with Nelson Labs. You read that correctly. Fecal matter was found on a lot of the purses we tested, including Jovita Moore’s. Needless to say, the women who let us test their purses were shocked to hear that.

“I am shocked. I am embarrassed. I am…my heart is palpitating. I'm thinking fecal matter? I have a 3-year-old. Where did that come from,” asked Daniels. “That’s disgusting. That is really, really gross,” said Kelly Gallagher.

The lab technician that analyzed our samples said when he sees ladies putting their purses on restaurant tables, he cringes.

“I don't think they ever realize what they are transferring onto the plate. That is basically like wiping feces on your plate and eating it,” said Rollins.

Our testing also found the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus. If you ingest it, it can cause serious food illness and sickness.

“My mom always said to never bring your purse home and put it on the kitchen counter or kitchen table. That was the rule always,” said Elaine Warren. Some other good rules to follow when it comes to your purse include hanging it on the hook in public bathrooms. Don’t set it on the floor. Also, clean your purse from time to time.

“I plan on cleaning that purse and all the other purses I have or getting rid of them,” said Daniels. If you have a cloth purse, throw it in your washing machine at least once a week. If you have a leather or vinyl bag, using disinfecting wipes at least once a week to keep it clean will help.