March 24, 2018

Eating At the Mall? You Might Want to Bring Wet Wipes

Everyone has eaten at food courts in shopping malls. They’re convenient places to grab a quick bite to eat. The food might not be gourmet, but it’s usually pretty good. But have you ever wondered about the food safety at food court dining establishments? When I was younger, my mom would always have wet wipes in her purse, and she wiped down the tables before we sat down to eat. Turns out she was ahead of her time.

food courtA new study published in Epidemiology and Infection has found that the food court at shopping malls are a potential transfer point for pathogenic microbes. Bacteria was found on tables and on the cleaning cloths used on them. The bacteria on the cloths was pathogenic, and was found on the tables, suggesting cross-contamination. In other words, the rags and cloths used to “clean” those tables aren’t very clean themselves.¬†Another study conducted by the CBC in 2011 found that plastic trays at mall food courts that you use to hold your plates, spoons, and cutlery are harboring as much bacteria as were found on toilets.

Putting some antibiotic towels in your purse or backpack is a good idea. Use them to clean off tables (and your tray) before you get your food and sit down in highly trafficked dining areas; just in case.

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