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Sep 23, 2017 @ 6:30 pm

We all know that washing our hands often and thoroughly is important. But how many of us wash our hands as much as we should? One teacher wanted her class to see the negative effects unclean hands can have, so she came up with a disgusting germ experiment using slices of bread.

Donna Gill Allen teaches Health Occupation at Cape Fear High School in Fayetteville, so she knows a thing or two about the potency of germs. To show said potency, she and her class removed three slices of bread from the bag from which they came—one slice they removed while wearing gloves (the “control”), the second they removed with freshly washed hands, and the third they removed and passed around to all the students in the class.

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Each slice was placed into a separate baggy and left to sit for a few days.

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“Watch how the bread changes over time due to germs,” Allen wrote in her now viral Facebook post showing the experiment’s results. “It is so cool and a great way to teach the importance of hand washing.”

To all my teacher friends this is the grossest yet coolest experiment. I did this while teaching about germs and how...

Posted by Donna Gill Allen on Sunday, August 13, 2017

Clearly, the slice that was passed around the class developed some serious issues whereas the “control” slice and “clean hands” slice look fresh enough to eat. Shocked Facebook users have shared Allen’s post almost 75,000 times to spread the word.

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If that “dirty” slice doesn’t make you want to wash your hands right now then please don’t come near us with those paws of yours! Just kidding ... but seriously.

Allen’s experiment provides the CDC’s well-known statistics on hand-washing with a clear visual. The CDC reports that researchers in London found that if everyone routinely washed their hands, “a million deaths a year could be prevented.”

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A million deaths could be prevented. Get thee to a sink, people—and use soap!

Any time you’re thinking about skipping the sink, just remember that “dirty hands” bread slice. Thanks to Allen’s disgusting experiment, we’ll be taking part in our hand-washing ritual a lot more often.

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