Today, 10/05/2017, on The Doctors, they discussed ways you can unknowingly get very sick from common ways a bar may or may not clean. The last thing you want to worry about is every thing you touch or drink; especially, after a hard day. There are simple things to look for at any bar or restaurant to ensure a healthy and happy experience. Most bars are a fast-paced environment, constantly overturning customers, and very hard work for the bartenders. Keeping the customer satisfied is their goal; however, being so busy can cause crucial mistakes in cleanliness and hygiene. With the cold and flu season coming up, we need to make sure an “unwinding” doesn’t turn into an illness from being exposed to pathogens.
Pathogens can be spread from food or unwashed hands to prep areas, equipment, utensils or other food. Fortunately, steps you can take to prevent this. Here are important tips for preventing cross-contamination from the restaurant or bar to yourself.
Things to look for when you are sitting at a bar or dining
- Is the bar mat wet and nasty-this can be a breeding ground for e-coli-do not take or touch a drink that has been sitting on an unclean bar mat-most restaurants never clean them
- Look at the waiters apron. If the apron is dirty, leave the restaurant. The waiters have handled money, bussed tables, and all those germs will be transferred to your plate, change, etc.
- Leather bill holder-if this is greasy, sticky-refuse to touch it. All those germs from money, food, etc. are on the surface causing a breeding ground for contamination.
- If you taste “tin” in a draft beer, do not drink it. Beer companies no longer clean lines and some restaurants do not do this very often. This taste is bacteria that has built up in the lines. You can prevent cross-contamination by purchasing food that doesn’t require much prepping. This minimizes handling and can reduce the transfer of pathogens from one surface or food to another.
- Never accept a dirty glass, plate, silverware, or table. If the bar glasses look dingy, demand a disposable cup. Most bars rinse in a sink and do not use a dishwasher.
- Watch your bartender. If they remove dirty dishes before you sit down and then start cutting up fruit and not washing their hands-there can be cross contamination.
- Make sure food handlers come to work healthy. Include actions such as reporting illnesses and covering wounds.
- Don’t wait for seat and immediately sit down before a surface is thoroughly cleaned. Wet surfaces can also contain bacteria.
- Wash your hands before you leave the restaurant. You may have picked up a pathogen from the table or anything you touched.
- Look for the bar’s rating on the wall.
- If floors are nasty, restrooms, walls, etc.-leave. Short staff is not an excuse to dine there.
E. coli is a bacteria usually found in the intestines or manure of cattle. People who ingest it can suffer severe cramps, bloody diarrhea and, in extreme cases, kidney failure. Cross-contamination is the physical movement or transfer of harmful bacteria from one person, object or place to another. Preventing cross-contamination is a key factor in preventing foodborne illness.
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