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How clean are the plates we eat off?

It's something every household has to do! But are we all washing up as well as we should be? Some studies show that apparently we are not! Many of us wash up our dirty plates in a bowl which in itself can contain many germs unless disinfected after each and every use. Microscopic food particles can be left behind on any surfaces that we are using to wash up including the sink, whether using it with or without a washing up bowl. Disinfecting our sinks and washing up bowls is not enough to keep germs off our plates however as I will explain here. We wash our plates in a nice clean and disinfected sink or washing up bowl but the water which we are using is of course dirty from the food particles on our dirty plates, so unless we rinse our plates under clean running water after we've cleaned them, then our plates will remain dirty with food particles and germs on them. What's more, those germs can be transferred to the towel which we use to dry the plates with and also the draining board where we store our wet plates and cutlery to drip dry.

Most of us often treat ourselves to a meal out and rely on restaurants and pubs to have high hygiene levels in the kitchen so we are not subject to any germs when we eat. Quite shockingly though is that most restaurants and pubs use industrial dish washing machines to clean vast amounts of plates and cutlery in bulk quantity but....... the water which they use remains in the washer for more than one cycle! In fact, the dish washer water is only changed every so often, perhaps once daily or even less frequently than that and maybe only once every few days. This of course is not hygienic at all as we are eating off dirty plates that have been washed up using dirty dish water! When dining out, if you look closely at the cutlery, you can sometimes see that it is smeary with dirty water stains and quite simply this is because the water which is being used is not clean and so it leaves behind a dirty residue whilst the cutlery and plates are left to dry. Unfortunately, there's not too much we can do about this, as our trust is placed behind closed doors in the kitchen, the place where we never get to see! But really, how clean is that kitchen? Perhaps, it's better that we don't know!

BEST TIP!: Always rinse your washing up with clean water and leave to drip dry or use a clean towel to dry, in order to help eliminate unwanted germs!

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