You might want to stay away from the TV remote control because according to a study it has more bacteria on it than the bathroom door handles.

The small study examined about 3 hotel rooms in each US state. Around 19 items in each room were tested for contamination.

The highest contaminated items were TV remote controls, bed lamp switches and the more obvious being toilet seats and covers. The least contaminated items were curtain rods, headboard on the bed and bathroom handles.

"Hoteliers have an obligation to provide their guests with a safe and secure environment. Currently, housekeeping practices vary across brands and properties with little or no standardization industry wide. The current validation method for hotel room cleanliness is a visual assessment, which has been shown to be ineffective in measuring levels of sanitation," said Katie Kirsch an undergraduate student at the University of Houston who presented the study.

According to the researchers, the items on the carts used by the housekeeping staff were most contaminated and carried a risk of spreading a disease in case of a breakout.

"Currently, housekeepers clean 14-16 rooms per 8-hour shift, spending approximately 30 minutes on each room. Identifying high-risk items within a hotel room would allow housekeeping managers to strategically design cleaning practices and allocate time to efficiently reduce the potential health risks posed by microbial contamination in hotel rooms," said Kirsch.

The study was designed to assess the cleanliness of hotel rooms by applying Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system.

The researchers tested the presence of aerobic and fecal bacteria on the surfaces. They say that these bacteria were not known to cause any severe diseases but only showed the level of cleanliness in the hotel rooms.

"The information derived from this study could aid hotels in adopting a proactive approach for reducing potential hazards from contact with surfaces within hotel rooms and provide a basis for the development of more effective and efficient housekeeping practices," says Kirsch.

The study was present at the 2012 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.