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Kristin Hayes, R.N.

Restaurant Silverware Could Give You the Flu

By December 28, 2012

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New research by Ohio virologists and public health officials shows that typical protocols for washing dishes at restaurants isn't necessarily enough to kill the flu virus, specifically, a highly contagious virus called norovirus which causes gastroenteritis.

Researchers infused different types of tableware with the norovirus and milk products, along with certain strains of harmful bacteria, then put the dishes and utensils through standard dishwashing techniques used at most restaurants. What they found is that while the techniques were adequate in killing the bacteria enough of the virus remained to make people sick. "Proper sanitation and handling remain the single biggest factor that can prevent cross-contamination of food and dishware at food service establishments. However, it appears that we need to identify better agents or methods to significantly reduce the presence of norovirus and work to update the protocols," said Melvin Pascall, associate professor, Department of Food Science and Technology at Ohio State. For more info about this study you can read about it at Newswise.

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