Is Your Desk Making You Sick? New Survey Finds Desktop Dining Poses Food Poisoning Risk

Posted: Sep 18 in Health And Wellness, Weight Management Strategies by

As someone who eats at my desk during the workweek (breakfast at home), and sometimes lunch at work, I found this article from the American Dietetic Association to be interesting. Take a look and let me know what you think!

A whopping 83 percent of Americans typically desktop dine in an effort to save time and money, but not practicing proper food safety at the office could end up costing them both. When it comes to protecting themselves against food-borne illnesses, many professionals are still “out to lunch.”

62% of Americans continue to eat lunch and 50% snack throughout the day at their desks. 27% eat breakfast there, and 4% have their dinner at their desktop. ADA spokesperson Toby Smithson says, “While shorter lunch hours may result in getting more accomplished, they could also be causing workers to log additional sick days, as desktops hide bacteria that can lead to food-borne illnesses.”

The average desktop has 100 times more bacteria than a kitchen table, and 400 times more than a toilet seat? Wow! It seems that we need to be treating our desktops like we do our counters and tables at home. Who knew? Smithson says that, surprise(!) we should wash our hands before handling food or eating at our desktops, and keep moist towelettes or hand sanitizer available for those times we can’t get to a sink. Good advice now that kids are back in school and bringing those viruses home and to work with us.

To your Health!

By Tracy Boykin, RD


One Response to “Is Your Desk Making You Sick? New Survey Finds Desktop Dining Poses Food Poisoning Risk”
  • Irysha Boone says:


    I had no idea how much bacteria is located in office spaces. That’s another good reason why people should try to eat at the table, and not put food on bare counter tops. Thanks for sharing this information, I will be more cautious.

    Irysha Boone

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