Microbiologists in New Mexico were shocked after swabs of beards showed traces of things found in dirty toilets.

Quest Diagnostics microbiologist John Golobic tested swabs taken from random beards, finding normal bacteria as well as bacteria found in fecal matter.  Though the levels were not high enough to make the owners of the beards sick, Golobic was nevertheless concerned and shocked with the results,

There would be a degree of uncleanliness that would be somewhat disturbing.

Though the bacteria levels were not of a level to cause sickness, they were substantial enough that were they found in a water supply, the facility would be shut down to be disinfected.  Golobic encouraged the bearded community to regularly clean their hands and beards, and keep their hands away from their faces as much as possible.

Nick Evershed of The Guardian noted that while this wasn't a strictly scientific study, similar tests conducted in hospitals have shown bearded people do shed more bacteria than the clean-shaven, but the wide array of microbes present on the average human makes this not a cause for concern.

via USA Today