Nosestretcher alert: beards are dirtier/have more poop than toilets

Maybe I’m biased as a decade-long beard wearer but the clickbait trolling the Internet today about beard and bacteria isn’t the most science-based.
According to KOAT TV, one of the most venerable science publishing sources, microbiologist microbiologist John Golobic of Quest Diagnostics is concerned that a few  beards in the Albuquerque area are full of poop bacteria. Which ones, he doesn’t say. He’s heard saying ‘enterics’ in the video at the site. But that’s all we know about what is in beards. I look forward to the publication.zz-top
“I’m usually not surprised and I was surprised by this,” Golobic said.

Several of the beards that were tested contained a lot of normal bacteria, but some were comparable to toilets.

“Those are the types of things you’d find in (fecal matter),” Golobic said, referring to the tests.

Even though some of the bacteria won’t lead to illness, Golobic said it’s still a little concerning.

“There would be a degree of uncleanliness that would be somewhat disturbing,” Golobic said.

Golobic recommends a thorough beard scrubbing and lots of hand-washing.

“(Also), try to keep your hands away from your face, as much as possible,” he said.

If the city were to find similar samples in the water system, Golobic said it would need to be shut down for disinfecting (because it is an indicator in water – not in beards -ben).

 The headline likely has more poop in it than my beard does – without seeing the data.
The data isn’t there to ban beard wearers from food handling.
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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.