12 november 2012

High levels of contamination found in Canadian hotels rooms


CBC's Marketplace
'If you're going to pay the extra money for a top-end hotel, don't expect to have better sanitation.'— Microbiologist Keith Warriner

A test led by CBC’s investigative consumer program Marketplace shows high levels of contamination in hotel rooms across the country.

Marketplace tested thousands of individual spots inside 54 rooms, from budget to luxurious, at six hotel chains, in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto. University of Guelph microbiologist Keith Warriner conducted the tests for Marketplace and found alarming results.

“I wasn’t expecting [bacteria] to be so prolific… [Maids] make it look nice, but [they’re] not making it sanitary, which is totally different”, he said.

The test found that bed comforters, bathroom faucets and TV remotes were the top three dirtiest spots in hotel rooms. Other major hot spots included bed throws, bathroom sinks, toilet bases and telephones.

Warriner warns that bacteria found in hotel rooms pose a greater threat because the germs come from thousands of strangers.

According to longtime hotel housekeeper Brigida Ruiz, the main reason that many rooms are so filthy is that staff is overburdened. Employees have an extensive task list for cleaning each room, but rarely have enough time to complete it.

If you are in Canada, you can watch Marketplace’s The Dirt on Hotels, Friday, Nov. 16th, at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. in Newfoundland and Labrador).

Gilda Salomone, with files from the CBC.


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