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Food News

Restaurant High Chairs Carry More Bacteria Than Toilet Seats

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Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 1:00 PM
click to enlarge High chairs at McDonald's - FLICKR USER STILLRIVERSIDE

The Daily Mail has reported on a new and disturbing study. According to swabs taken at 30 different restaurants, the amount of bacteria found on high chairs was significantly greater than the amounts found on public toilets. Toilets had an average of eight bacteria per square centimeter. High chairs had 147. Ready for the kicker? The study was done in the United States, not England.

To be fair, we should also point out the study was conducted by Microban, a company which makes antibacterial products. But that doesn't necessarily make the testing inaccurate either. Said Dr. Nicholas Moon, Microban's director of technical affairs, "the report found high levels of bacteria even on high chairs that looked clean to the visible eye - indicating that even when staff clear obvious spillages they are not using antibacterial spray cleaners to ensure that the chair is thoroughly cleaned before the next child sits down. This lack of attention could easily lead to cross-contamination or more serious illnesses."

The solution, fortunately, is obvious. If you're going to use a restaurant high chair for a child, bring antibacterial wipes with you and give the surface of the chair a good cleaning before placing your kid inside. And for any restaurant owners out there -- maybe it's time to put a little extra focus on scrubbing those things down throughout the day. The good news? Finally a good PR day for public restrooms.

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