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5 not-so-obvious places that can make you sick

By: Matt Hickman on Dec. 5, 2011, 8:28 a.m.
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When it comes to germs and cleanliness in restaurants, all eyes are usually on the kitchen and for good reason. But one of the most ubiquitous — and most touched — elements of dining out, the menu, is also the most germ-infested. As reported by Prevention, a recent study in the Journal of Medical Virology found that cold and flu viruses can survive for 18 hours on hard surfaces and that includes passed-around-but-never-washed restaurant menus. Since donning a pair of surgical gloves just to peruse the daily specials sheet at your local café probably isn’t the most socially acceptable idea, simply excuse yourself to wash your hands after you've ordered and the menu has left the table. And if your server brings back a dessert menu … unless they don’t mind reciting it to you, looks like it may be time to wash up again.