Yesterday I had lunch with a friend. After she tore open the ketchup packet she offered it to me. Since she had a cold I declined her offer of contamination. You run the risk of contamination with all condiments whether you use packet, bottle or squeeze jar. In a restaurant watch the person cleaning the tables and you’ll notice they clean the tables and chairs, but not the condiment bottles. And the bottles are usually sticky and shiny from the greasy fingerprints of the people who’ve come before you. Touch one and virtually you’ve kissed everyone in the restaurant.

With jars of mayonnaise or mustard you risk cross contamination from the person who sticks their knife in, holding it with the hand they just sneezed on. It’s like germs on a plate. Touch one and kiss everyone.

What makes me shudder is a butter tub whose inner rim is sprinkled with toast crumbs. This person butters their morning toast and wipes the excess butter (with crumbs) back into the tub. Wipe it off with a napkin! Wash it off in the sink! Don’t put it back! Yuck!  So, when you’re offered the butter, you’ll choose the jelly.

At a pancake house the jams and jellies are beside the syrup bottles. Syrup bottles are not only germ covered, but sticky to boot. Touch one and kiss everyone in the restaurant.

Some restaurants supply bottles of Purell in the restrooms. But you have to wonder if that’s safe or if you touch it  – do you kiss everyone in the restaurant?

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