Is wearing shoes in the house an unhealthy practice?

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Is wearing shoes in the house an unhealthy practice? Have you ever been asked to remove your shoes before entering someones home? There may be traditions at work here if you had been asked to do this or if you do this yourself.   You may also do it for health reasons. What is on your shoes may be anything from fecal material to bacteria that is on the pavement. If you walk in the house and tracking this throughout it, is it unsafe, unsanitary or does it really matter? The New York Times recently explored this idea with surprising results.  Many of us have pets that drag stuff into the home on their paws, yet neither we or the pets become ill from it. Actually, it is good to be exposed to bacteria from the outside world because it constantly trains our immune systems.   Having a pet may do this as well.  Conversely, the idea of the 5-second rule with food landing on the ground and then eating it rarely makes us ill, but improper food handling can make us quite ill. According to the NY Times, taking off the shoes in the home is a personal choice, and if you want to make sure things are clean, they suggest washing your hands to remove potentially harmful bacteria. They also suggest that you take your shoes off if you have small children crawling across the floor. Check out this interesting article from the NY Times Should You Take Your Shoes Off at Home? It isn’t even a question in many homes, but here’s what the science has to say. By Christopher Mele Published Aug. 27, 2019 Maybe you kick off your shoes at home because you don’t want to track dirt across clean carpets or floors, or maybe it’s just a relief to shed them. Taking off shoes inside the home is also a common practice observed in Asian and Middle Eastern countries and households. But if you regularly take them off mainly because you’re worried about harmful bacteria from the outside getting inside and making you sick, you can probably relax. Those concerns are overblown, according to experts, who added that more pressing health risks are often overlooked. What’s on your soles? Charles P. Gerba, a professor, and microbiologist at the University of Arizona studied how many and which kinds of bacteria linger on the bottom of shoes. Read more