Food poisoning is a major concern by many people when they eat out, and for good reasons. Appearances can be deceiving, and many people often assume that restaurants apply safe and clean food practices. However, this is never a guarantee. Unknown to many people, it’s not only the foods served or the interiors that harbor bacteria and germs but even in the most unlikely places of a restaurant.


Keep an eye out for these five places that are potential contamination risk areas in a restaurant:


1. Menus

One of the common breeding grounds for bacteria, menus are popular villains in a restaurant. Every day, hundreds of hands go over the menu, and they are never wiped or cleaned in between guests. Think about this – the common flu and cold virus can survive on hard surfaces for 18 hours, which makes the menu the most common carrier of germs in a restaurant. Disinfect after you’ve looked over the menu and try not to put them on your plate.


2. Lemon Slices

Many health-conscious individuals prefer having lemon water than plain water. What many of them don’t know is that lemon wedges are another common breeding grounds for germs. If you see lemon slices in your water, it is likely to be ridden with germs and bacteria. One study confirmed and showed that most chefs who slice these lemons were actually not using any gloves. Their hands are also not the cleanest since it has been contaminated by salmonella or fecal bacteria. The main factor is that, before slicing the lemons, they have touched all kinds of meat that carry these bacteria. In the future, if you request for water, it is best that you stay away from lemon slices.


3. Tables

Tables are common areas of high contact, with all the guests coming in and out quickly and everything that’s on top of it. Most often, restaurant tables are not as clean as you think because they are only “cleaned” using rags of questionable quality. Think about it, they recycle rags and who knows where it has been previously used.


4. Ice

Ice served in your drinks may contain nasty bacteria, such as E. coli, microbes, mold, and other harmful elements from the hands of the person handling both the ice machine and the ice. Poor handwashing habits, exposed ice containers, poor maintenance of the ice machines, and poorly-handled ice utensils like scoops are all the common causes of bacteria buildup in dirty ice.


5. Tabletop condiments

Salt and paper shakers, balsamic and olive oil bottles, oregano containers, ketchup, and mustard bottles, may contain a high amount of aerobic bacteria, known to thrive on areas with high levels of oxygen. E. coli and Coliform bacteria, found in fecal matter and gut, are among the kinds of bacteria found in these condiment bottles.

Keep your restaurant clean at all times

There should be no room for any germs in a restaurant, and some people may even say not to mind these small issues and let your immune system take care of them all. However, for those who are not healthy and strong enough to fight off these bacteria, it is best to practice extra precaution when eating out. For restaurants, it is ideal to have your space cleaned regularly, starting with your linens and restroom supplies. 


If you’re looking for cleaning services in Medicine Hat for your restaurant, get in touch with us to see how we can help!

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