These Are the 11 Dirtiest Things in Every Restaurant

Basically, don’t touch anything

Toilet

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While the toilet usually gets cleaned regularly, it’s still obviously not something you really want to be touching with your hands. A study found that there are 295 bacteria on every square inch of the toilet seat, and 3.2 million inside the bowl itself. 

Ice

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An investigation into fast food restaurants in the U.S. found that 70 percent of the ice in the ice machine contained more bacteria than the water in the toilet.

Bathroom Floor

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Public restroom floors have been found to contain about 2 million bacteria per square inch. 

Menu

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Some icky news: menus are rarely if ever given a thorough cleaning, especially if they’re paper. Recently, Good Morning America sent a team to swab items on the tables of 12 restaurants, and they discovered that menus carried the most germs, averaging 185,000 bacteria. 

Doorknobs

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The average bathroom doorknob gets cleaned daily (or as often as the bathroom is cleaned), but by the time dinner service rolls around it’s usually filthy again. As for the main entrance door handle… don’t ask. 

Salt and Pepper Shakers, Ketchup Bottles

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The items that remain on the tables throughout all of service can get quite a germy buildup over the course of the day. Ever notice that they’re sometimes sticky? Yeah, you don’t want to be touching these very much. 

Lemon Wedges

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The lemons that garnish your Diet Coke and limes that get muddled into your mojito most likely weren’t washed first, and they’ve been sitting all day (or sometimes longer) in the open tray on the bar before the bartender touches them with his bare hands. If you squeeze the lemon into your soda, don’t toss it into your drink afterwards. 

Salad Bar Tongs

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These are rarely replaced during service, and are handled by everyone else who approaches the salad bar. They’re basically as dirty as the toilet flush handle. 

Faucets

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What’s the first thing people usually touch after using the toilet? The sink faucet. Here’s a tip: Wash your hands, grab some paper towels, dry your hands, turn off the water and open the door with the towel in your hand, hold the door open with your leg, and toss the towel into the trash. No contact = clean hands. 

Rims of Glasses

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If you ever see a server hand you a drink with their fingers on the rim of the glass, request a new drink. As a rule of thumb, always drink from a straw at a restaurant. 

Tables

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Sure, tables get a wipe-down between customers, but have you ever seen the ratty old rag that they usually use? All it basically does is spread the gunk around. If any of your food touches the table, consider it a goner.