How Dirty Are Restaurant Menus?

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As noted by Food and Wine, while your average restaurant menu isn’t cleaned often, it goes through the hands of many food and germ-infested patrons and can even end up on the floor. And the result of a menu coming into contact with so much dirt and grime without being properly disinfected is about what you’d expect.

In fact, ABC News reports that an average restaurant menu can have up to 185,000 bacteria swimming around on its surface — which beats out the bacteria on a restroom toilet seat 100 times over. And that’s not even the worst part. WebMD states that menus at restaurants have been known to have traces of E. coli and S. aureus, otherwise known as staph, lingering on their plastic.

However, while these numbers are alarming and (putting it bluntly) gross, that doesn’t mean you have to hang up your regular restaurant run for good. You only need to ensure that you wash your hands after handling a restaurant menu to enjoy a germ and hassle-free meal out. However, this startling revelation may also inspire you to make sure you’re not skipping out on any must-clean areas in your own kitchen.



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Professional online writer. Tea drinker. Committed optimist. I write about health, wellness, fitness, parenting conundrums and navigating complex relationships.

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