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Why you'd better keep your hands off the pepper shaker in the restaurant


More harmful germs on pepper shakers than on toilet seats

Many people who have to go out and eat to eat put toilet paper on the toilet seat. After all, many pathogens could romp around there. But elsewhere in the restaurant there are significantly more health-threatening germs - on the pepper shakers.

Pathogens lurking on numerous things

Although many people are disgusted with visiting public toilets, there are often more germs elsewhere than in the loo. Studies have shown, for example, that enormous amounts of bacteria can often be found on money. Kitchen sponges are also a real spinner. Dangerous germs can also be transmitted via cloths and rags, as scientists at the University of Mauritius recently reported. Very few people are likely to expect pathogens that are harmful to health on pepper shakers. But that's exactly what you find in abundance.

A closer look at articles from restaurants

The “Good Morning America” news program “ABC News” carried out an examination of the utensils that are on the tables of restaurants.

They wanted to know which of the articles contained the most bacteria. Ketchup, mustard, salt, pepper, sugar or the menu?

For this purpose, tableware was taken from twelve restaurants in three US states (New York, Ohio and Arizona) and examined by researchers from the University of Arizona.

Of the foods, pepper contained the most germs

As already suspected, the lowest bacterial count was found on sugar with an average of 2,300 bacteria.

Ketchup, mustard and salt were contaminated with more pathogens than sugar, but there were significantly fewer in them than in pepper.

According to a report by the broadcaster “ABC News”, it had the second highest average number of bacteria with 11,600 organisms.

“In principle, pepper can contain a large number of bacteria. Bacteria like pepper, ”said Dr. Chuck Gerba from the University of Arizona.

Jonas Sickler from "ConsumerSafety.org" has another explanation: "Most salt and pepper shakers are only wiped off if they appear dirty, and even then only with a damp cloth", the expert told the radio station "106.9KROC" .

More bacteria than on a toilet seat

However, there were even more bacteria on the menus: an average of 185,000 germs were found on them.

"You probably have about 100 times more bacteria on a menu than on a typical toilet seat," said Gerba.

"Have you never been to a restaurant and stuck to the menu? It has happened to me many times, ”he added.

The next time you eat out, keep in mind that you might get more than you ordered - from the menu.

Keep menus away from children

However, the broadcaster points out that most of the bacteria found are not particularly harmful. The most common diseases that can be caused by this are respiratory infections.

The experts also have advice: place your order and wash your hands before eating.

And keep the menus away from young children as they love to put them in their mouths. (ad)

Author and source information


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