Friday, January 8, 2016

Mr. Monk's 8 Things You Should Never Touch at a Restaurant

Recently Tom (whom I call Mr. Monk) came across an article about things you should never touch at a  restaurant, so we're reprinting the article here. Once you read it, you may never eat out again. :)

Mr. Monk's Solution: BRING WIPES!!!! (Really)

Here's what we call: Mr. Monk's 8 Things You Should Never Touch at a Restaurant 

1) The table - Charles Gerba, PhD, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, found significant numbers of E. coli and coliform bacteria on restaurant tabletops — enough to present a danger to the public, particularly young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems. The numbers were even higher after the tables were wiped down — suggesting a direct connection between dirty rags and bacteria. The solution? Ask your server not to wipe your table before sitting down. 

2) The menu - It’s hard to avoid touching a menu — which is probably why it’s one of the germiest things in any restaurant. A 2013 study found that menus are an ideal vehicle for different types of bacteria. E. coli can survive on a laminated menu for up to 24 hours, and salmonella up to 72 hours.

3)  the ice in your drink  - Restaurant ice makers aren’t cleaned nearly as often as they should be (ideally once a month), and may be harboring bacteria. The bottom line? Ask for your soda without ice — your stomach will thank you.

4) The lemon and lime wedges in your drink
Whether you request it or not, restaurant drinks often come with a slice of lemon or lime. But a 2007 study found that 69.7 percent of lemon wedges tested showed some type of microbial growth — either on the rind or the flesh. Why? By the time it reaches your drink, a piece of fruit may have been handled by multiple people — plus there’s no way to ensure proper handwashing practices have been followed.

5)  The ketchup bottle and salt and pepper shakers
“These are most likely never wiped off, and if they are, it is with a cloth that has been used to wipe off the table, chairs, trays, and has been ‘rinsed’ in a tub of dirty water,” Duberg says. Beyond that, it’s impossible to know who touched these before you (and whether they washed their hands). You’ve got your antibacterial wipes, right? If you need that ketchup, give the bottle a once-over before pouring.

6) The tray  -Just like the condiment bottles and menus, trays are rarely wiped down (and when they are, it’s with that same rag — yuck). Duberg suggests you avoid touching your tray as much as possible. “When eating in a fast food establishment with trays, “she says, “I use hand sanitizer before touching my food and never touch the tray after I sit down until after I am done eating.”

7)  The buffet -Yes, buffets are as dirty as you thought they were. “It is a rare day when I will eat at a buffet or a salad bar,” Duberg says. “There are very few assurances that the food has been kept at the proper temperature (hot or cold); the remaining food from the container being replaced is often scooped into the container of fresh food, and the serving utensils are usually reused over and over again.” These latter two actions can carry bacteria, which have been multiplying all day, from one batch of food to the next. All you can eat? It may not be worth it.

8) The bathroom  -It seems obvious, but the bathroom is often a reflection of how clean the rest of a restaurant is. Duberg suggests checking to see if there’s a cleaning schedule posted on the door. “And use the sniff test,” she says. “If it smells dirty, it most likely is — wash your hands with lots of soap and water, dry with a paper towel, use the paper towel to open the door, and use hand sanitizer at the table before eating your food. Reminder: People who are not feeling well often go into the bathroom to vomit or have diarrhea, and may not wash their hands as well as I do.”

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next