File under "ick": NYC iPad demo units sporting bacteria

Maybe it's not surprising that a flat surface touched by thousands of fingers would end up harboring some nasty critters, but the Daily News has a word to the wise for iPad shoppers in the Big Apple: BYO hand sanitizer. The paper surreptitiously swabbed and cultured samples from iPads at the 5th Avenue flagship store and at the unfortunately-nicknamed "Meatpacking" store on W. 14th Street. Turns out those oleophobic screens don't repel everything.

One of the cultures turned up Staphylococcus aureus, a nasty pathogen that's responsible for skin infections and other illnesses. Another showed less-virulent yeast and bacterial contamination.

Apple insists that it keeps the iPads clean and that the stores are a healthy environment... but perhaps a small dispenser of antibacterial wipes would be in order. In the meantime, before and after playing with those iPads -- wash your hands!

Note: As commenters have pointed out, the Daily News neglected to sample other commonly-touched items like subway railings and doorhandles -- chances are they would have found similar bugs in those places, too.