7 Dirty Restaurant Secrets You Didn't Know

How closely do restaurants actually follow hygiene standards, and which meals are you being overcharged for? Keep your budget and health in check with these industry secrets.

By Sheri Alzeerah
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1. We Don't Wipe Down the Menus Between Customers

Or the salt and pepper, or bottles of ketchup and mustard. It may come as no surprise to a germaphobe that restaurant kitchens are bacteria paradise. But bugs dwell on tabletop items too.

Good Morning America sent a team of scientists to swab the items on the tables of 12 restaurants, including the items mentioned above. They found that menus carried the most germs, with an average count of 185,000 bacteria—nearly 16 times that of the second most germ-infested item, pepper shakers. (Everyone looks at the menu. Not everyone loves pepper.)

Next time you're out, place your order. Then wash your hands before you eat.  

(Photo: Comstock/Thinkstock)

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