Money: perhaps the most universally handled item we come into contact with on a daily basis. So, should we be surprised to learn how much bacteria lives on our local currencies?

Apparently not! A recent study conducted by MasterCard found that almost 60% of us consider money to be the least hygienic item which they frequently handle. The research was carried out across 15 European territories and asked individuals what they considered to be the dirtiest everyday item they come into contact with. And now, thanks to new tests conducted by Oxford University, our fears have been justified.

Scientists carried out a number of tests to calculate how many thousands of bacteria (on average) live on different national currencies within Europe...and the results are in!

Krone (Denmark) 40,266
Franc (Switzerland) 32,400
Ruble (Russia) 30,000
Zloty (Poland) 25,700
Sterling (UK) 18,200
Krone (Norway) 11,733
Euro 11,066

Considering the European average is around 26,000 bacteria the UK rates aren't particularly alarming, but should we be worried by these findings?

A little, according to Ian Thompson of Oxford University. He argues that 26,000 bacteria is enough to pass on certain types of infection and disease. But as contactless technology continues to grow, many argue that the need for a physical currency will soon become superfluous and that these levels will fall over time.

Money isn't the only thing to be cautious of when abroad to avoid picking up a bug. Experts have also cited the following as being items which could potentially carry large numbers of bacteria:

  • Shopping Trolleys
  • Light Switches
  • Computer Keyboards
  • Toilets

No matter where you travel (if anywhere) this year, our advice is simple with regards to safeguarding yourself against foreign and local bugs:

  • Wash your hand regularly where possible
  • Always carry a supply of anti-bacterial wipes when out and about
  • Refrain from putting foreign objects in contact with your mouth

We may not be able to safeguard your money against bacteria, but we can safeguard your money against high excess charges! From £2.99 a day an policy will protect you against car hire excess liabilities of up to £2,000 and can be used throughout Europe. For more information simply CLICK HERE

Disclaimer: All prices contained in this article were correct on the original date of publication. Prices may change over time, so for current prices, please get a quote.