Malaysians love malls. Only second best to eating, Malaysians love going to malls to shop, spend time with family or friends, or just simply to kill time. They have become a go to destination, especially during festive seasons or school holidays. Mall operators experience much higher footfall during these periods, which brings to attention several health risks. Being in close proximity with thousands of people with high humidity levels provides the perfect conditions for viruses, bacteria and infections to spread quickly. Here are 5 germ hotspots that businesses should be aware of.
1) Food Courts
Food courts or any self-service restaurants are at the top of the list for being hotspots for bacteria. Tables, trays and garbage bins show large numbers of bacteria count, with food trays being the most dangerous. We place our food and cutlery on these trays which increases chances of contamination. While mall operators are not able to dictate what is provided in individual businesses, ensuring sinks with stocked soap dispensers, paper towels and hand sanitisers are available in food courts will decrease bacteria count tremendously.
ATMs are another hotspot for germs. The keypads on these machines are constantly touched which leaves skin particles and sweat drops which are food to bacteria. It was found that these machines have a higher bacteria count than the average toilet seat, with each button containing about 1,200 germs. Customers who use these machines go on to touch other surfaces, which allows for the spread of bacteria. Generally, these ATMs are located conveniently in one spot, hence providing a hand sanitiser station would greatly reduce chances for cross contamination.
3) Elevators and Escalators
Hand railings and buttons are one of the worst places to touch in malls. Not only are food residue and bacteria like E.coli are common, it was found that blood, urine and faecal matter were also present on those surfaces. This can not only cause diarrhea and other short term infections, it could potentially impact long term health as well. It should go without saying that these particles can be very harmful to your customers well-being. Sanitising these surfaces routinely will help protect your customers from contracting various infections.