Infographic – How To Stave Off Colds and Flus

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Preventing colds and flus require a combination of good health and good hygiene. By looking after our bodies, we can let our internal immune system protect us, whilst keeping our home hygienic and clean will also prevent the spread of potentially sickness inducing germs.

Check out our infographic which provides tips and tricks in the aid of staving off colds and flus using basic mind and hygiene tips.


A Guide To Reheating and Re-Cooking Your Christmas Meat

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It’s become tradition amongst many families where Christmas dinner leftovers are so vast, they can make another meal at the very least! While it’s extremely rare that you’ll see a stray pig in blanket left over on Boxing Day, there’s always plenty of turkey going – perfect for butties or even a curry!

To make the most of your Christmas leftovers and the rest of the the festive break, it’s important to make sure you keep your food safe to eat. These quick and simple measures can keep your meat fresh and delicious, as well as ensuring you and your family are kept away from the dangers of bacteria.


Cool and store your meats

Your turkey, gammon, goose or any other meat or poultry, should be cooled as soon as possible after cooking. Don’t put it in the fridge straight away as hot food can cause the temperature in the fridge to rise, causing bacteria to grow. Instead, transfer to a cool, clean dish and slice the meat into smaller portions. This will help the meat to cool down fairly quickly.

Make sure that your meat is then stored in airtight containers and refrigerated in the two hours after it has been cooked. Always keep cooked meat away from raw meat. Doing so prevents the likelihood of bacteria growing on the meat, which can cause food poisoning when consumed.

Any cooled leftovers should be consumed within three days, for safe and delicious festive food even after the day is over.

Top Tip: Make sure your fridge is 5°C or lower. The temperature your fridge is set at could surprise you.


Can you freeze or refreeze your Christmas meats?

Freezing your Christmas leftover meat is absolutely fine, as long as you have followed the same cooling process as above. Be sure to wrap the portions separately in cling film, to avoid the chances of freezer burn that can ruin your food.

It’s recommended that you do not refreeze leftover meats that have already been frozen and defrosted. Bacteria is more likely to grow this way, as is your chances of contracting food poisoning.


Reheating your Christmas meats

Before cooking, make sure your food is thoroughly defrosted. If you’re hoping to eat it then and there, you can defrost it in the microwave, using the correct settings. Alternatively, if you’re planning ahead, leave the meat in the fridge to thaw, to avoid the growth of bacteria. This can take longer than leaving it to defrost at room temperature, so bear this in mind when choosing when to take it out of the freezer.

Defrosted meats should be eaten within 24 hours of being thawed. When reheating your defrosted meat, wait until it reaches 70°C in temperature, and continue cooking for another two minutes. By then, the food should be piping hot and rid of any harmful bacteria.


Keep your kitchen clean

A clean kitchen is vital in ensuring that any cross-contamination doesn’t occur. It’s said that the average chopping board has over 200% of faecal bacteria than the toilet seat itself, which comes from failing to clean both yourself and the home effectively. Not only that, but sponges are one of the dirtiest items in the home. This is simply because we don’t tend to replace them for a while, allowing time for bacteria to grow on them.

By wiping down kitchen surfaces down both before and after cooking, you can seriously reduce the likelihood of bacteria sticking to and growing on them. It’s recommended that you use single use wipes, such as those from our Universal Range, that clean and disinfect surfaces at the same time.

Following these simple steps can allow you and your family to continue enjoying the never ending amount of Christmas leftovers you will most likely have, without falling ill and starting the new year happy and healthy.

Healthy & Hygienic Nails & How To Protect Them From Bacteria

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Nails are an important part of our anatomy, as they help to protect our fingers and toes from harm. Yet even though our nails do their best to look after us, why do some of us choose not to look after them?

Our nails can gather a whole multitude of dirt and germs which can lead to infections and illnesses. They can also develop problems of their own when you don’t care for them properly, so how can you make sure your nails are as healthy and hygienic as they can be?


Keep your hands clean to begin with

Hands are one of the biggest contributors to the spread of germs, particularly in the home. Without washing your hands, germs and bacteria can latch onto them and enjoy a journey from one place in the home to another. It’s scary to think that germs from the toilet can easily make their way onto food and kitchen utensils, just because people chose to skip a quick, cleansing hand wash.

Here in the UK, a monstrous 11% of us are considered to have ‘grossly contaminated’ hands. A lot of this is down to the faecal matter that is commonly found on hands, which is then very easily passed on to other surfaces, including mobile phones. It isn’t just bad habits, it can also lead to easily preventable deaths. According to research, only 53% of people washed their hands during the swine flu pandemic in 2009!

By simply washing your hands regularly, you can significantly improve your hand and nail hygiene; as well as preventing infections too, such as influenza, pneumonia and trachoma. Make the effort to wash your hands:


  • After going to the toilet
  • Before and after spending time with friends or relatives that are ill
  • After cleaning
  • After touching animals
  • After spending time outdoors
  • After blowing your nose
  • Before, during and after cooking


All it takes is a simple 20 second wash. Run warm or cold water over your hands, apply soap and rub all over your hands for at least 20 seconds to create a lather. Make sure you rinse off all of the soap before drying your hands with a clean towel or dryer.

Of course, there may be times when you struggle to locate a clean sink to wash your hands in. In this case, make sure you have some antibacterial hand wipes ‘handy’, whenever you head out. Our hand wipes clean both clean and disinfect hands, unlike many others available, so you can be sure that your hands and nails are happy and healthy on the go.


Additional ways to keep your nails healthy and hygienic

Whilst handwashing provides the basics for clean and healthy nails, there are plenty of other ways to improve the cleanliness and health of your nails.

Keep fingernails short and well manicured to reduce the amount of space that germs have to make a home in. Simply trim them to your desired length and make sure the edges are smooth and rounded off.

When washing your hands, give your nails a scrub too. There are plenty of nail brushes available in pharmacies and online that are perfect for the job. Simply add a little soap to the brush and brush underneath your nails. Rinse with warm, running water to wash away any germs or bacteria.

If you’re a nail biter, this needs to stop! Not only can biting your nails damage your teeth, it can also bring bacteria from underneath your nails into your mouth, which can then lead to infection.

Try to avoid cutting your cuticles back too far too. Whilst doing so gives a nice appearance to your nails, cuticles are important for preventing infections, so it’s worth keeping a little there to keep you and your nails healthy.

Regularly clean any nail clippers, brushes, files, or any other equipment that you use on your nails. Over time, germs and bacteria grow and develop on these items, so simply washing or wiping them with an antibacterial wash can help prevent infection.

Keeping your hands and nails healthy and hygienic is so quick and simple, it’s a wonder why so many Brits choose to skip the sink so often! By following these steps, you can feel safe knowing that you’re doing your bit to help prevent infection.

How to Prevent Salmonella and Bacteria from Ruining Your Christmas Dinner

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In the flurry of Christmas preparation, it’s likely that you won’t spend too much time thinking about cleaning underneath your toaster. Cleaning the oven might be an afterthought too, something for you to tackle in the New Year. The kitchen hosts more germs than any other room, that’s probably no mystery, and when Christmas brings in guests, friends and family, it’s even more important to make sure your kitchen is clean and ready.

The last thing you want is an elderly relative coming down with the flu and it being your kitchen’s fault. And you definitely don’t want to waste the festive period in bed with food poisoning, so here’s how to rid your home of Christmas-ruining bacteria.


Microwave your sponge

The one object in your home that’s harbouring the most germs is something you may often rely on, or even use to wipe down all of your surfaces – the humble sponge. The warm, moist environment it provides is like a high-rise flat for germs and allows them to flourish. Using it on pots, pans and surfaces just spreads the germs around your kitchen.

The best way to sanitise a sponge is to microwave it for 30 seconds, or even wash them in the dishwasher. This can kill the large majority of bacteria, but as soon as they’re used again they absorb more, and bacteria can multiply into 8 million cells in just 24 hours. Consider a scrubbing brush over the Christmas period when your washing up is going to pile up more than usual.


Brush up on your turkey knowledge!

It’s not Christmas without a turkey, but it’s not going to be a great turkey unless you follow the golden rules of defrosting, preparation and cooking. The preparation stage is when you can expose your hands, kitchen environment, chopping boards and surfaces to the most harmful bacteria.

Don’t let the stress of the Christmas dinner lead you to neglect one of the most important parts of food prep. Use a separate chopping board, utensils, dishes and bowls for anything involving raw meat, and wipe down the kitchen counters with a multi-surface anti-bacterial wipe. These can be thrown away immediately after use and stops the spread of salmonella into the dining room.


Don’t be liberal with your leftovers

We all know that Boxing Day is about three very important things – laziness, Christmas TV and leftovers. To make sure you thoroughly enjoy your turkey sandwiches and turkey curry, make sure you don’t keep cooked turkey at room temperature for too long, because this is the temperature that encourages the most bacteria growth.

After your family have unbuttoned their jeans and retired for the day, let the turkey cool within one to two hours, then cover and refrigerate immediately.

Despite what you might have been told, you won’t be finishing off the turkey for a week after Christmas. It’s recommended that you use leftovers within 48 hours or you run the risk of ingesting bacteria.  

Keep your guests happy and your Christmas salmonella and germ free! Wipe your surfaces, separate raw from cooked, and your guests will leave happy after they’ve eaten the entire contents of your fridge.

Germ Hotspots in the Bathroom: Effective Cleaning

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Every bathroom is home to germs. They thrive in the conditions a damp, warm room presents. The invisible invaders are easy to target in conventional ways, but bleaching your toilet once a week isn’t enough! From your shower curtain to your toothbrush, germ hotspots pulse throughout your bathroom. Cleaning effectively is important to staying healthy and avoiding a range illness. Common bathroom germs can cause diarrhea and a whole host of other nasty symptoms. With this in mind we’ve put together some of the germs favourite homes and how to send them packing:

The first point of call is touch points. These are locations in your bathroom that people commonly touch, creating a space where the build up can become dangerous. Door handles, flushes and taps are all examples of touch points. They are best tackled with a disinfectant spray or wipe. Allow the formula to sit for a couple of minutes before wiping clean in order to allow the chemical to work.  

Next up is your whole shower area, where the heat combined with the regular supply of water allow germs to breed. Opening your shower curtain while you aren’t using it prevents some of this build up as there are less confined spaces. Follow the instructions on how to wash it regularly to avoid mould building up. Pay attention to the showerhead and allow it to run for 20 seconds before getting in. This, alongside monthly cleaning with water and disinfectant, should keep it clean. Finally beware of sponges that have been sitting for too long. The retained moisture provides a breeding ground for bacteria. Microwaving the sponge for a minute every couple of days will heat it enough to kill them off.

Researchers at the University of Manchester have shown that up to 10 million bacteria, viruses and fungi can live on an uncovered toothbrush. It can be victim to toilet spray (yuck!) or excessive water and can hold bugs that can make you seriously ill like E. Coli. Drying your toothbrush thoroughly after use will kill a lot of the germs. A toothbrush should be replaced regularly and not stored with other family members toiletries as these could pass on the germs. This is especially the case is someone is ill, many bugs and virus’ can be spread throughout the house like this. Keep your toothbrush in a cupboard or on your bedside table so you know it’s fine to stick in your mouth!

You’ll never kill all the germs in any room of your house, but understanding how they grow and the best methods of containing them will help you stay healthy. Disinfectant wipes, sprays and a bottle of bleach will keep your bathroom spick and span. Regular preventative steps help maintain a healthy bathroom that won’t leave you feeling dirtier than when you went in! You’re ready to nuke the germs!  

Paper Towels Or Hand Dryers – How to Remain Hygienic In A Public Bathroom

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With 80% of infection being spread from the hands, the act of drying your hands is an essential part of the handwashing process, as the spread of bacteria greatly increases with wet skin rather than dry skin. But which is better? Some public bathrooms have electric hand dryers, others just paper towels, and plenty have both. But which is more hygienic? Don’t fear, we are here to help.

So why are we debating about it?

Sometimes we don’t have an option as to what methods we dry our hands with. However, when faced with the option, most people have wondered what is the most hygienic method. Paper towels are certainly the most efficient, whereas hand dryers appear to be the most cost effective and environmentally friendly. But which one is the most hygienic?

A few years ago, a scientist named Dr. Cunrui Huang, from the Queensland University of Technology, decided to find out the answer. He carried out a review of 12 studies evaluating how efficient these methods were at the removal of bacteria. As it turns out, the winner was Paper Towels.


Why is this?

This is largely based on two factors:

  • It removes more bacteria in a shorter amount of time
  • It physically removes the bacteria


Factor 1: How long does it take to dry your hands

With paper towels, one of the studies found that residual water on that hands reduced to just 1 per cent after 15 seconds. This is a stark contrast with hot air dryers that leave 3 per cent of residual water on the hands after 45 seconds.

This difference of 30 seconds becomes even more significant when compared with another one of the studies which found that on average people don’t generally dry that hands for much longer than 20 seconds.

This is why drying hands with paper towels is less likely to carry less bacteria. This means a lower risk of illnesses and the prevention of ccross-contamination due to wet skin; which is important during these cold months.


Factor 2: The Physical Removal of Bacteria

As well as being able to dry your hands in a shorter amount of time, the actual motion of drying your hands with a paper towel and the friction that comes with it physically removes the bacteria. This is another large contrast to standard hot air dryers, which can blow organisms up to a foot into the air!

What do the public prefer?

According to the study, the public prefer paper towels to hand dryers. It showed that 55 – 64% of bathroom users preferred paper towels, compared to a mere 28% who preferred hand dryers.


Why is drying your hands important?

Whatever method you have available to you, drying your hands properly is imperative, as damp hands can spread more than 1000x more bacteria than dry hands. If you are ever unsure whether you have thoroughly cleaned your hands, it’s always a good idea to carry around antibacterial hand wipes or a small bottle of hand bacterial gel, which can be used anywhere, even on public transport.

How To Get a 5-star Rating For Your Restaurant

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The numbered hygiene rating is given out to all restaurants and food establishments by local authorities. The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) helps customers choose where to eat by informing them how seriously the restaurant takes its cleanliness. It is an essential rating system that is used to encourage trust among the public. Restaurants or food establishments with poor ratings will generally see fewer customers coming through the door than those with higher standards. It’s therefore used as a deterrent for food establishments who might cut corners when it comes to hygiene. The threat of fewer customers and consequently less revenue is enough to ensure that the food rating scales are adhered to.

But how does it work? And what are the local agencies looking out for when inspecting the premises? The food safety officer will look for three fundamental things;

  • How hygienically the food is being handled. This includes looking at exactly how food is stored, prepared, cooked and reheated
  • Secondly, the inspector will take a look at the building and decide whether or not it meets the standards set for cleanliness, lighting, ventilation and other facilities and potential issues
  • Finally, how the business manages and records its methods and what it does to ensure that food is safe is also examined

Once the inspector has completed made their decision, they will award the restaurant a numbered rating, which should be displayed at the front of the restaurant for all customers to see. The rating will scale from 0-5. The top rating of 5 means the business passes all the required fields and is considered to have very good hygiene levels. Ratings of 0-2 are poor with drastic improvements required and 3 is considered satisfactory. These ratings, as you can imagine, have a huge impact on the way customers will view a restaurant.

Everyone has access to your food ratings through the government’s website. From here they can view your hygiene rating and make their own mind up about the cleanliness of the establishment. There is no breakdown of why some ratings are lower than others available to the public, so an error that may seem small to the owner and in their view, may not affect the experience of the customer, could be translated as overall poor hygiene by the customer who only has the rating scale to reference.

For a business to achieve the highest rating they must make the improvements set out by the inspector on the visit. The officers are there to give practical advice on how to make improvements, which should be considered and implemented. To ensure that the scheme is fair, businesses have a set of safeguards to refer to, should they feel that the decision is harsh. This gives the business grounds on which to appeal any decision, the right to reply and an opportunity to request a re-visit once improvements had been made. These safeguards allow for food establishments to ensure that the right decision is met. Fundamentally the rating is used so that customers are sure that they are getting the most hygienic service possible.

Makeup Brush Bacteria: How To Prevent Bacteria Growth

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Every day, millions of people start their mornings with a cleansing shower that’s followed on with a beautification using makeup. However, what many don’t realise is that the efforts from washing and cleaning their face in the morning is often eradicated when applying makeup, due to the buildup of germs and bacteria on makeup products.

Makeup brushes are the biggest culprits of this, due to a buildup of makeup over time and bacteria growing from it. We’re here to offer an insight into the impact of dirty makeup brushes and how to go about cleaning them.


The potential effects of not cleaning your makeup brushes

With each swipe of your makeup brush, dead skin, oil and dirt can embed themselves into the bristles. This combined with makeup that gradually builds up into the bristles, can provide bacteria with a pleasant home to grow in.

Bacteria including E-coli, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus, as well as a number of viruses and fungus have all been found within the bristles of some makeup brushes, each of which can make its way onto or into the body, causing unpleasant conditions and illnesses.

If you often allow friends, family or colleagues to use your makeup brushes, you may want to reconsider doing so. Any bacteria or infection they may have can be passed onto yourself, through the sharing of a makeup brush. Conjunctivitis is a particularly common eye infection that is the perfect example of such infections.

As you continually use these brushes to apply makeup, an increasing amount of makeup is left behind, causing the bristles to harden. Unlike the soft bristles that you once had, the clumpy bristles can irritate and break the skin, which can cause spots to appear. Not only that, but free radicals can be swept from the brush and into your skin, which over time can cause elastin to break down and kick start the appearance of ageing.


How to clean makeup brushes and prevent bacteria growth

Begin by running your tap on warm-hot water and preparing some sheets of kitchen towel. One at a time, place your makeup brushes under the water and massage with your fingertips to soften and loosen any makeup residing there.

Add a foaming cleaning solution to the brush – baby shampoo is said to work extremely well – and work through the bristles to remove excess makeup. Rinse thoroughly and repeat the process until the water turns clear.

While many choose to then use an alcohol-based cleanser to spritz onto the brushes, our non-alcoholic sanitising spray is a fantastic non-toxic alternative that’s less harsh on the skin and that children are safe around, too. Spray enough of the sanitiser onto your makeup brushes so that they are damp and completely covered. Afterwards, set each of the brushes on its own sheet of kitchen towel and leave to dry thoroughly before using. You may wish to use some of our antibacterial wipes to thoroughly clean the brushes’ handles as well, to really make the most of your cleaning and infection control.

Try to clean your makeup brushes as often as possible, leaving them no longer than two weeks between washes. Through efficient cleaning, you may begin to see improvements to the condition of your skin, as well as reducing the chances of infection.

Germ Hot Spots To Look Out For On Your Way To Work

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While many of us strive to keep our homes and even workplaces as clean as possible, multitudes of germs can creep up on us in public spaces, and can easily make their way onto our skin, hair and clothes, to be brought into our safe, clean spaces.

With winter almost upon us and the annual bout of the common cold on its way, germs in public spaces – particularly those we pass through on our daily commute – are expected to increase, along with the likelihood of catching the cold and passing it on to friends, family and colleagues.

Here are some of the germ hot spots to be aware of on your commute to work, in order to reduce the chances of bringing them into work or your home and to effectively manage infection control.


Buses, Trains and Trams

If you tend to use public transport on your way to work, there are a number of spots to look out for, in which germs love to call their home and multiply. You can expect to find all kinds of bacteria on buses, trains, trams and other forms of public transport, brought on by other individuals who have already come into contact with the germs elsewhere.

Poles, handrails, seats, armrests, floors and windows are all susceptible to picking up germs from members of the public, and the warm environment provided will give them the ideal atmosphere to grow in numbers.


If You Drive

It might surprise you to know that your car’s dashboard is one of the top spots in your vehicle for bacteria to stick to and grow. This is due to the bacteria in the outside air being drawn into your car through vents. Not only that, but with sunlight coming into the car through the windscreen, the dashboard can get particularly warm, allowing germs living there to multiply. Try to wipe down your car’s interior frequently using our antibacterial surface care wipes, to minimise the amount of germs in your car as well as the likelihood of catching an illness.

Food spills are also a common reason for germs residing in your car, so in cases where you unfortunately drop or spill food in your car, try to clean up the mess as soon as possible and sanitise the area, too. That way you’ll not only be minimising the amount of bacteria in your car but it will be left smelling fresh and clean, too.

When you need to top up your fuel, be aware of the bacteria found on petrol and diesel pumps. Particularly at this time of year, when germs are spread through sneezing and blowing noses, germs are then passed onto everyday objects, with fuel pumps being a popular choice for germs setting up camp. Keep some antibacterial hand wipes or spray handy in your car, to thoroughly clean your hands after filling up the tank.


Public Restrooms

If you’re in need of a trip to the ladies or gents on your way to work, there are many germ hot spots to look out for. The soap dispenser, for one, is home to many types of germs and bacteria. However, making sure to thoroughly wash your hands with warm water and the soap for at least 15 seconds will remove any bacteria transferred from the dispenser onto your hands. Be sure to completely dry your hands afterwards, too, as germs enjoy growing on damp surfaces.

When possible, be sure to close the toilet lid before flushing, to reduce the chances of bacteria within the toilet from escaping into the room.

If you can, try to use a tissue or throwaway material to pull open the door when leaving. Studies have found that many people forget to wash their hands after using the toilet, and so bacteria is commonly left on the door handles from this.

These are just some of the common places in which germs can be found on your way to work. There are, however, plenty of other spots that you may regularly come into contact with on your way to work, so try to carry around antibacterial wipes as often as you can, as well as regularly cleaning your home with surface wipes to remove any germs brought in from the outside world.

10 Things You’ll Relate To If You Hate Germs

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Whether you’re a card carrying germaphobe or just like to think of yourself as a clean person avoiding contagious germs you’ll probably relate to the majority of the list below.


  1. Clearing out your handbag to find 12 half used bottles of hand sanitizer.

Fighting against germs can be a constant battle when you’re out and about in public. Touching door handles and taps can mean constant exposure to germs on your hands. Short of wearing gloves, a bottle of hand sanitizer is your best weapon in the war against germs.


  1. Using your foot to hold doors open to avoid touching door handles

Along with pulling your sleeve down over your hand, using your foot to hold doors open and even flushing the toilet is one way to know you’re super cautious about avoiding germs at all costs.

Did you know: Obsessed with being clean? There’s a name for that – it’s Mysophobia – defined as the pathological fear of contamination and germs.


  1. Carrying plastic gloves with your whenever you ride on public transport

Although extreme, keeping disposable plastic gloves in your handbag is a sure way to stop your clean hands touching dirty surfaces such as handrails when you’re on the train or bus.


  1. Disinfecting your workstation with antimicrobial wipes

Research has suggested that the area on your desk where your hands rest has around 10,000 bacteria; using a disinfectant wipe can work to combat this.


  1. When someone sneezes in public you want to duck and cover

It’s coming up to winter, so whilst everyone else is getting excited for the Christmas break and the chance of snow, you’re anxiously waiting for workmates and passers-by to unnecessarily start sneezing all over you. Naturally, you duck, shield your face and run.


  1. Public Toilets

The dreaded germ pit that is the public toilet. A place that fills you with fear at the thought of being forced to enter, due to an annoyingly full bladder. The only way to prevent the germ fear is to wipe the seat down with a sanitiser spray – just to be sure!

Did you know: More than a quarter of people admit being worried about germs or bacteria


  1. Hugs and handshakes make you shudder

Family occasions, public events, meeting new clients, basically any time when you are forced to make uncomfortable, awkward physical contact to be ‘polite’. We’d really rather not, thanks.


  1. Overly friendly dogs

Even the biggest dog lover we know doesn’t really liked being licked on the face, not by their dogs and certainly not by someone else’s – we know where that tongue’s been, Rover. If you get caught short in an unexpected post lick situation you can freshen up with these face wipes, thankfully!


  1. Buffets (or pretty much any food-share situation)

Free food – great!

Free food that’s already been mauled with by countless other strangers – NIGHTMARE.

As much as we all love getting something for nothing (even better when it’s food), there’s not a prayer that you’ll be eating someone else’s cast offs, you’d much rather go hungry.


10. You dread Airplanes

You’re excited for your summer break, naturally, but the thought of spending 4+ hours in an enclosed space full of people who do nothing but cough and splutter makes you consider staying at home. You will inevitably come home with a cough or cold, eurgh!

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