By Mike Pomranz
Updated October 27, 2014
Bill Varie / Alamy

Coffee gets a lot of us through the workday, but it might also get a lot of us sick. According to a recent experiment, the company coffeepot is one of the top spots for germs in an office.

A researcher at the University of Arizona wanted to show how illnesses can spread in an office environment, so he placed a virus called MS-2—which isn’t harmful to humans—on all of the doors at an 80-person company. Within four hours, the germ could be detected on half of the office staff.

But here’s where things get scary: The most infested area was near the coffee, especially on the handle of the coffeepot. Turns out all those people who need their caffeine fix are turning the break room into a densely populated petri dish.

What’s the moral? Researchers suggested using alcohol-gel sanitizers and disinfectant wipes, which they claimed reduced the spread of MS-2 in later experiments by 80 percent to 99 percent. But I wouldn’t overlook getting your coffee only from a Starbucks, or just quitting your job entirely and never leaving the house again.