Dirty Dining – What’s Not On The Menu
Recent Studies Show Restaurants Are Plagues with Baceria and Germs
Lemon wedges were one of the most surprising and worst offenders. The Journal of Environmental Health found that 70% of restaurant lemons were tainted with potentially harmful bacteria. Possible sources of the contamination are uncooked beef and poultry, as well as unwashed hands of servers and bartenders who may frequently handle money, dirty dishes, and waste receptacles. Restaurants should strictly enforce proper hand-washing procedures and use produce only cutting boards to maintain food sanitation.
Another secret offender was found to be restaurant ice buckets. Nearly half ice buckets sampled were found to contain Coliform bacteria which come from feces. "This kind of contamination can be prevented by regular and careful cleaning of ice buckets and ice machines. Also by replacing ice bucket that have been in service for too long, the chances of contamination are much more slim" said Todd Snively, President of Buy Wholesale Cheap, an online sales company.
A third unexpected culprit was found to be restaurant seats. While bathrooms and the kitchen are regularly cleaned and sanitized, chairs in the dining room are often ignored. But with dozens of different people visiting them every day and almost never receiving anything more than a swift brush off, there is no wonder approximately 70% of tested seats were discovered to have at least 17 different types of bacteria including E. Coli.
The good news is there ARE some steps consumers can take to protect themselves. Restaurants are generally required to display their sanitation scores from the Department of Health. Additionally, restaurants are typically required to complete further certifications such as ServSafe to demonstrate their commitment to cleanliness and public health. Other steps recommended to protect consumers are taking notice of the habits of restaurant workers, washing their hands regularly during their meal visit, and carrying portable packs of sanitizing wipes.
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