So if your workers regularly eat at their desks and continue to tap away on the keyboard while devouring their lunch, or fail to wash their hands after using the bathroom, you could face a major health hazard in the near future. You may even want to ban the practice altogether and certainly include regular keyboard cleaning in your maintenance schedule.

A Which? Study of its own keyboards revealed that one was physically quarantined by a microbiologist after it was found to contain 150 times the acceptable limit for bacteria. Out of 33 keyboards, four were found to be health hazards and traces of e.coli, coliforms, staphylococcus aureus and enterobacteria were found on a significant number. The Which? Report claimed that these were typical results for any office environment, but there is even more worrying news elsewhere.

The Royal Society of Chemistry carried out its own report into keyboard hygiene and found an alarming number contain mouse droppings. The rationale is obvious. Mice come out in search of food, smell the remnants of lunch in and around the keyboard and go looking for food. In the process, they can leave deposits of their own.

Mouse droppings can be responsible for salmonella infection and, in extreme cases, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. As an employer, this kind of risk is simply unacceptable and you owe it to yourself and your employees to minimise the potential risks.

So it’s simply best practice to ensure that the keyboards in your office are cleaned at least once a month to prevent the build-up of food particles and grime that can lead to disease. Miniature vacuums are one great solution to the problem, but even the traditional approach of using compressed air in a can followed by a wipe-down with a lint-free cloth can be enough to keep your keyboards germ-free and your workers healthy.