London: Dirty cars can pose serious threat to your health in warmer weather, reveals a new study.
The findings revealed that motorists are at danger from germs like Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus "each time they enter their car".
Bugs linked with food poisoning, vomiting and skin infections were all discovered inside a "random" car when it was subjected to a range of tests.
During the study, scientists analysed swabs taken from the car used by a couple and their two children and found Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus bacteria inside, including on the steering wheel, gear-stick and door handles.
Staphylococcal infections are contagious and can be transmitted from person to person. They can lead to skin infections and food poisoning.
Bacillus cereus, a bacteria which forms spores that lie dormant until ideal conditions arise - such as warmth and a source of nutrition - can also be responsible for food poisoning. It can cause severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
"Although many strains of bacteria are harmless, some can cause unpleasant illnesses," telegraph.co.uk quoted Anthony Hilton, reader in microbiology at Aston University, as saying.
"People would be horrified at the prospect of eating from a toilet seat; however they ought to be aware that eating from a contaminated dashboard may represent the same health hazards.
"It is important, particularly now the weather is becoming warmer, for people to ensure they do not leave food debris in their cars as bacteria can thrive on even tiny crumbs. Also if you have animals in your car they can contribute to the presence of harmful micro-organisms," Hilton added.
"Those who eat in their car should treat it as an extension of their home and maintain the same levels of hygiene as they would in their dining room," he said.