3 On Your Side
3 On Your Side

Dining out? Don't touch the menu!

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(Source: 3TV) (Source: 3TV)

It's probably something most consumers don't really think about, the cleanliness of menus and other stuff on the table.

But after what 3 On Your Side discovered maybe you should think about it.

"We maybe go out like once a week or so."

It's something most consumers say they like to do.

"I go out about once a week."

Going out for a meal is a treat but it also comes with a reasonable expectation.

"Cleanliness is a big item for us."

And it should be a priority, but just how clean are certain restaurant items..

"We found a lot of stuff."

The 3 On Your Side team visited several Valley restaurants and while we were inside, we swabbed things that customers usually touch when they sit down.

Menus for example, condiments like salt and pepper shakers and ketchup bottles.

What did we find?

"There was bacteria on everything, so everything had a significant amount of bacteria growing on it."

Brandon Guida is a germ expert at Mesa Community College.

"We actually found a lot of staph, probably about fifty percent of what we found was staph. The grossest thing we found was mold, so some fungus that we found."

Well that really may not be the grossest thing he found.

"The worse one I could say that we found was a species of staph called saprophyticus, and this one is actually more associated more with the female urinal genital tract. We don't know if this is where this came from but we do know that according to sources that this organism causes a high percentage of urinary tract infections in females."

Yeah you heard right, that particular organism was found on a menu we had swabbed.

"Personally from a scientific standpoint I was not surprised, it's kind of what I expected to see."

Really?! Well, most consumers might be surprised.

But, this germ expert said you shouldn't be because many items we touch, whether it's the salt shaker, a menu or ketchup bottle, are going to contain bacteria.

However, our immune system is usually strong enough to overcome any illness.

"You're ingesting everything that's on your fingers, on your lips, your mouth is full of bacteria, so every time you swallow you're constantly swallowing bacteria."

Hey, I guess mom was always right, it's a good idea to wash your hands before you eat, and try not to touch so many things after wash them.

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