A new investigation by Which? has revealed that popular gadgets harbour more germs than toilet seats

Although it has been known for a long time that tablets, laptops and smartphones have excess levels of bacteria on their components, it was not understood if the amount was harmful.

But in one case recorded by Which?, there were 600 units per swab of an illness-causing bacteria called staphylococcus aureus (SA), which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, on a tablet. This constituted a serious threat to workers’ health.

High levels of SA were also found on keyboards and smartphones.

Richard Headland, Which? editor, said: “It’s shocking that a smartphone or tablet can harbour more germs than a toilet seat. Gadgets should be cleaned regularly and thoroughly to avoid germs that could lead to illness.”

Which?’s microbiologist noted that the bacteria is not harmful unless it enters the human body and as such, regular hand washing should be conducted by office workers looking to avoid a lengthy spell on the sidelines.