While you may share the same taste as other restaurant diners, you don’t want to share their germs. But that’s what is happening when you touch those filthy restaurant menus, which are never cleaned or disinfected. A study in the Journal of Medical Virology revealed that cold and flu viruses
can survive for up to 18 hours on hard surfaces such as those laminated menus. So after you hand the menu back to your server, Prevention Magazine recommends washing your hands, and also warns diners to never put their silverware on the menus.
Restaurant tables are just as filthy as restaurant menus. In fact, they may be worse. The tables are usually washed off after one group of diners leave and before the next group arrives. However, the tables are usually washed off with dishrags that are not being disinfected or changed out often. As a result, washing the tables can actually spread bacteria, according to Elaine Larson, an epidemiology professor at Columbia University’s School of Public Health. To be on the safe side, use your own disinfecting wipes to clean the table.