Americans love to eat out. But, you may be getting more than just your food. Here are some things that should never be touched. Use these hints to help you through the maze of germs.
1. The Bathroom Blues
Okay, you probably saw this one coming. If the bathroom smells dirty, it is dirty. Make sure you use plenty of soap and use a paper towel to open the door knob. Plus, use a bit of hand sanitizer when you return to the table.
2. Your Table and E. Coli
Are you surprised by this? One study showed there were enough germs on the average restaurant table to actually make people sick. This included E. coli and coliform. Don’t ask for your table to be wiped down, that rag is probably where a lot of the germs are coming from. Use your own antibacterial wipes.
3. Buffet Bars Do Not Bar Germs
That sneeze guard at your favorite buffet and salad bar? It doesn’t do much as far as germs go. Food temperatures are often not monitored. Clean utensils are often not used when transferring food from one container to another.
4. Menus Serve More Than Food
Here is a simple one. Just think about all those people who have held that menu before you … and where their hands may have been. Also, where are those menus held? On dirty tabletops or counters? Studies show 24 that E. coli can survive 24 hours on a laminated menu; and salmonella can last up to 72 hours.
5. You Can Get More Than Just Ketchup With Your Condiments
Tableside condiment containers are often refilled, but often not properly wiped down. Pick them up with a napkin or use an antibacterial wipe you may have handy
6. That Ice In Your Drink May Not Be As Pure As Your Think
Restaurant ice makers are almost NEVER cleaned out. Often, they are only touched when they break down. Ask for no ice. (The drink is usually cold anyway.)
7. That Fruit On The Side Of Your Glass
One study showed almost 70% of lemon slices had some kind of bacterial growth. Why? People with dirty hands are touching the fruit that is then going in your drink.