The dirtiest currency in Europe revealed

More than 40,255 bacteria was found on Denmark's krone

You’d better wash your hands – and ensure you give them a good scrub – after shopping in Denmark.

The nation has been found to have the dirtiest currency in Europe, according to tests by Oxford University that have confirmed our worst fears about just how filthy bank notes can be.

More than 40,255 bacteria was found on Denmark’s krone, compared to the European average of 26,000.
The second dirtiest currency was the Switzerland Franc with 32,400 bacteria, followed by Russia’s Ruble with 30,000.
New currency contains 2400 bacteria.

Professor Ian Thompson from Oxford University’s engineering science department said it proves handling money is a dirty business. He warned the level of bacteria detected on the notes could pass on disease.

“The euros we tested harboured an average of 11,000 bacteria, which for a number of pathogenic organisms is sufficient for passing on infection,” Prof Thompson said. “Previous studies of bank notes have indicated contamination with potentially harmful bacteria such as Klebsiella and Enterobacter species which can cause disease in humans.”

Fifteen countries were tested. Here are the worst offenders:

  • 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


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