Where the Most Germs Are in Restaurants

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Neither the bathroom nor the kitchen top the list. But three items in this picture are on it.

ABC News recently did a sneaky study of germs at 10 different restaurants. The results are surprising. The top three germ-infested locations:

3. Lemon Wedges

One of the most frequently occurring contaminants in the test results was fecal matter. Half of the lemon wedges tested were tainted with human waste.

How does fecal matter get on lemons in the first place? Cameras caught restaurant workers grabbing lemons with their bare hands, reaching in again and again without gloves or tongs. If they haven’t washed their hands well after using the bathroom, germs spread.

2. Menus

[Reporter Elisabeth] Leamy found the bacteria that causes staph infections on one, and the germs that cause strep throat on another.

1. Seats

Seventy percent of the chair seats Leamy tested had bad bacteria on them — 17 different kinds, including strains of E. coli. Why? All customers sit on them, and most restaurants don’t think to sanitize them.

So wash your hands right before and after you eat.

Stacy Johnson

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