Last month, we heard (and were later reassured) about beards being filled with poop. It was, needless to say, a scary time for people who like scruffy men.
Now the fear has struck again: Researchers at Quinnipiac University analyzed toothbrushes belonging to students who shared a bathroom with an average of 9 people. They found that 60 percent of the brushes had fecal coliform bacteria on them, and there was an 80 percent chance that the bacteria came from someone else. This means your roommate's microscopic poop particles could be on your toothbrush. I repeat, your roommate's microscopic poop particles could be on your toothbrush. (There are, thankfully, two caveats: The study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, so the findings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal, and it wasn't reported how many toothbrushes were analyzed.)
As Science of Us reported in the wake of the Poop Beard Crisis, there's fecal bacteria (not actual feces) on our bodies and on most surfaces, but it probably won't make you sick. Coliform bacteria lives in our intestines and it's likely not harmful on its own, though it could suggest the presence of disease-causing germs like E. coli. But hey, this gives you another reason to whine about your roommate's bathroom habits.
Speaking of cleanliness, here are 15 things you should throw away, like now:
Spring cleaning: 15 things to throw away today
Your roommate's feces could very well be on your toothbrush
TOSS WHAT YOU DON'T USE
This should be an obvious one, but if you haven't even opened an item, definitely don't buy more. If you think you can use it, look around for a fun recipe. If not, toss it or donate it.
Leftovers make for a great lunch, but they can only last so long. Toss ones that smell or look funny.
Super processed snacks are convenient, but not very healthy. There are a lot of recipes for snacks that don't come out of a box. Try making popcorn for a satisfying crunch.
There's no need to keep unhealthy candy around as a sweet temptation. Swap sugary candies out for dark chocolate to satisfy any springtime cravings.
Soda is okay for a treat, but it's not necessary to enjoy at home every day. In addition to hurting your teeth, soda has actually been found to increase appetite (even the diet kinds).
By now you've probably heard refined flour isn't the best for your health, so the white bread can go. Whole grain bread is a lot healthier and keeps you satisfied for longer.
MYSTERIOUS FROZEN FOOD
If you can't tell what it is anymore or don't even remember freezing it, toss it. Make room in the freezer for things you'll actually eat, and try out a marking system to identify how long different foods have been in the freezer.
FLAVORED WATERS AND SPORTS DRINKS
Unless you're a serious athlete or working out constantly, water is a perfectly acceptable post-workout drink. Sports drinks and flavored waters can have a deceptive amount of sugar in them, which can send you way over your recommended daily intake.
Sure, they have fewer calories than regular sugar, but many artificial sweeteners are filled with chemicals, and since they're lower in calories, sometimes you end up wanting to eat more.
Sadly, herbs older than six months begin to lose their flavor. So if you've been storing that parsley for a while, it's probably best to let it go.
Unlike certain cheeses where you can cut off the moldy portion and continue eating, you should probably avoid eating produce with mold on it. Definitely throw out fruits and veggies that have started showing signs of mold.
Many studies have found that meat isn't always good for you. Deli meat is particularly unsavory because it often contains nitrates.
While bars can be great quick snacks, it's generally better to stick to real food. Like other processed foods, energy bars can contain a lot of hidden sugars and fat.