Is it clean...or not? - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Is it clean...or not?

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) - - Germs are everywhere. It's a fact of life.  

I tested everything from the food you eat to the clothes you buy.

Do you wash your brand new clothes before you wear them for the first time? You might expect them to be clean or not worn, but you might want to think again.

"Of course you're just going to go home, take the tag off and put it on," said one shopper.

Some think they are clean enough to wear. Are they?

You are not going to believe what we found.

We bought some clothes that included a pair of underwear, a sports bra, a shirt and a child's cup at a popular department store. We had everything tested at a local lab, including that cup that appeared to be chewed.

"There's no telling what's gone on with that," said lab director Connie Cook.  

Cook can tell if something has fecal matter on it or staph (like the staph that causes staph infections) just by wiping the items with a solution and sending it off for testing.

"We could conceivably find some staph on there or some other form of staph," said Cook.

Just because it hasn't been returned doesn't mean someone hasn't tried it on in the store. You could be touching someone's armpit. You could be touching someone's...anything.

"Well mostly it's going to be an "eww" factor.  It is not a major health issue," Cook said.

"Ew" is what we found. Our test results showed fecal matter on the sports bra and the child's cup. "Finding a healthy colony there. That was surprising," said Cook.

Cook thinks it came from someone's hands and, would you believe after selling that cup to us, looking like it was chewed, that someone put it back on the store shelf, after we returned it? Yes, a cup with fecal matter on it is back on sale.

"I don't know what I would think about something like that. That is really..wow," said one shopper.

"Our world is full of bacteria and you can be afraid or you can accept it as a fact of life and just take regular precautions," said Cook.
And when you buy clothes remember you never know where they've been or who they've been on.

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