Are There Germs Lurking at Your Favorite Coffee Shop?

Experts say lids and other coffee shop items that many people touch can become breeding grounds for bacteria.
2:46 | 01/08/15

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Transcript for Are There Germs Lurking at Your Favorite Coffee Shop?
We're back now at 7:42 with "Gma investigates" and this morning the health hazard that could be lushing in your morning cup of coffee. ABC's Becky Worley has our story. Reporter: For millions of caffeine hungry Americans morning starts like this, but you may be in for a rude awakening. Did you ever think who touched this lid before it touches your lips? Does that gross you out? A little bit. Reporter: Experts say lids and other coffee shop items that lots of people touch can become breeding grounds for bacteria. Some of which can make us sick. That coffee cup, do you ever think of about who touched it before you did? You know, no. I know that goes through quite a few hands. Reporter: Who knows the last time the barista washed her hands. The person who handed this to me was touching money. Don't forget about the self-serve lids. You know they're grabbing 20 and putting 19 at the back so that's gross. Reporter: So what's living on your lid? "Gma investigates" along with Dr. Susan Whittier, a microbiologist at new york-presbyterian Columbia testing lids at 10 coffee shops around 3 cities and tested the milk and sugar containers. Of our 60 samples, 25% had bacteria and when left to grow in a petri dish they looked like this. For the most part these are not going to cause disease. It's just gross. You don't want someone else's bacteria on your coffee lid. Reporter: But in our samples we find three that Dr. Whittier found disturbing. First a lid from a San Francisco barista grew this bacteria. It has the potential to sicken someone with a weak immune system. It's a marker that things aren't as clean as they should be. Reporter: Next a sugar jar from a New York coffee shop had mrs. If it gets in your bloodstream from a cut on your hand. From another sugar from a Chicago mom and pop shop, a bug which Whittier says you're more likely to find in feces. I would guess the outside of the sugar jar does not get wiped down as much as it should. Reporter: On the plus side we didn't find any living viruses on our swabs and only three nasty bacteria out of 60 Sams. We're not walking around in a sterile environment. It's not a dangerous environment, it's just not sterile so as you touch things you have to make sure you're not touching your face. You're not rubbing your nose. Reporter: If germs respect your cup of tea maybe wait to drink your coffee without the lid. For "Good morning America," Becky Worley, ABC news, San Francisco.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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