ARIZONA: What's really on the table at your restaurant
Posted: January 3rd, 2011 - 7:48am
If you're going out to eat over the New Year holiday you may want to bring the anti-bacterial gel with you.
Researchers from the University of Arizona swabbed items on the tables of 12 restaurants in Ohio, New York and Arizona.
Analysts at the lab then examined the swabs for total bacteria count.
The study determined that the ketchup, mustard and salt were not the worst offenders.
The pepper had more, coming in at an average bacteria count of 11,600 organisms.
Researchers say the items on the table with the most germs were the menus, with an average count of 185,000 bacteria.
"You probably have about 100 times more bacteria on that menu than you do a typical toilet seat in the restroom," said Dr. Chuck Gerba from the University of Arizona.
Experts advise people to wash their hands after touching the restaurant's menu.