As the world becomes increasingly aware of environmental impact, individuals and communities have sought to reduce waste. From reusable water bottles and bags to brewing coffee at home, finding environmentally-friendly alternatives to standard one-time-use items is easier now than ever before. In fact, reusable coffee cup popularity has exploded in the past month; the English government plants to impose a 25p “latte tax” on disposable cups, and a number of major coffee chains have begun to offer special discounts for those who bring in their own travel mugs. These reusable coffee alternatives, however, may pose a separate risk—this time, to the individual’s health.
Public Health England has released a statement explaining that reusable travel cups must be cleaned after every use; failure to do so may result in the growth of potential harmful bacteria. The warning is directed at the rising number of office workers using reusable cups continuously throughout the day, often without washing them. Nick Phin, the deputy director for national infection service at PHE, said in the statement: “As with regular cups and glasses, wash and clean reusable cups thoroughly after every use.”
PHE explains that bacteria can grow when food or liquid builds up in the cup or around the mouthpiece—a particularly tricky section to clean. To hinder this buildup, the deputy director recommends filling the cup with soapy water, attaching the lid, and shaking for several seconds. This is especially important for coffee products containing dairy and sugar, as these add to the likelihood of growing potentially dangerous bacteria.
Read the complete, original article at The Telegraph.