We all enjoy a good meal at the local hawker center or restaurant, but what is the risk from bacteria or virus that could be lurking on a spoon, fork or plate?

There is good news, and some bad news:

  • The bad news: bacteria and viruses are commonly found on cutlery, glasses and plates, even after they have been cleaned
  • The good news: our immune system is well equipped to protect us, and we can help reduce the risk of bacteria and viruses

A study conduced by The Ohio State University1 found the following bacteria and viruses present on cutlery and dishes after cleaning via hand-washing or washing in a commercial dishwashing machine:

  • Murine Norovirus (MNV-1)- causes nausea, vomiting and severe diarrhoea, responsible for 90% of epidemic non-bacterial cases of gastoeneririts, highly contagious
  • Esherichia Coli (E. coli)- bacteria that is commonly causes ‘food poisoning’, diarrhoea is the most common result
  • Listeria innocua (L. innocua)- not a common bacteria, causes flu-like symptoms or gastroenteritis and potentially causes serious illness.

The study found dishes that are hand-washed are more likely to contain bacteria and viruses than dishes cleaned in a commercial dishwasher.

To reduce the risk posed by these germs:

  • Cleaning: Bacteria and viruses thrive on surfaces that aren’t properly cleaned, ensure your tabletop, cutlery and plates are not showing any dirt
  • Disinfecting: Clean and disinfect your cutlery, plates and table with a non-toxic, high-level disinfectant, like BioCair Disinfectant Pocket Spray. Remember, what appears to be clean can contain thousands of bacteria and viruses.
  • Hand Hygiene: Disinfect your hands prior to eating to avoid transferring any germs from your hands to a plate or cutlery. It’s a good idea to disinfect your hands again after eating.

More about BioCair Disinfectant Pocket Spray here

 1Details of the study can be found here: Ohio State University study: https://cph.osu.edu/node/869