Most of us go to restaurants and feel happy with how clean and tidy they look. Some of us see news reports and horror stories on TV about filthy kitchens and we might worry about what’s going on behind closed doors. However, by and large we have faith that the retail and restaurant cleaning services these businesses use can do their jobs well and that we’re eating and drinking in a safe environment.

There are, however, certain spots in restaurants that even the most stringent daily cleaning routines may miss. It’s one of the reasons they call in the professionals regularly for a real deep clean. Here are some of the dirtiest spots in restaurants that only the pros know where to look:

1. The Menus

Just imagine how many hands menus pass through day by day, and then just imagine how many places and things those hands have touched. Sure, they may have been washed hands at some point, but how many were totally clean when picking up the menu? It can get a bit scary when you start to imagine it, and with good reason.

It’s plastic menus that you have to be more careful of, because the plastic doesn’t absorb any water on it, which then just sits then allowing bacteria to grow and thrive. Paper menus aren’t exactly clean, either, but at least the water is absorbed more. Any restaurant that doesn’t disinfect menus is doing you a big disservice.

2. Touschreens

Yes, even the more advanced restaurants that have moved their service to using POS systems, touch screen tablet menus and similar systems also face issues with hygiene. The system may be more efficient and reduce the number of mistakes by making tickets clearer, but the same issues with passing around shared devices that fingers are touching has the same problem as regular menus.

In some ways, it’s even worse because some operators are afraid to wipe down their touchscreen systems because they fear the sanitising process will damage the electronics. Wiping laminated menus is easy, but this touchscreen equipment was expensive!

3. Condiment Containers

Many casual restaurants are happy to put condiments on the tables for customer convenience. They may also put down sugar bowls, as well as salt and pepper shakers, olive oil containers and much more. Once again, just consider for a moment the number of fingers and hands that have gripped those, and then wonder about how often they are not just wiped down with a dirty cloth, but actually sanitised.

Some restaurants have moved to individual sachet portions of various condiments and seasonings since it’s a little more hygienic, but customers often hate them, and they don’t work for everything — e.g, olive oil mixes for Italian restaurants.

4. Door Handles

Another place in the restaurant that is infested with hand stains is every door handle in the place. The ones you should especially worry about are the door handles to the bathrooms. Coming out of the bathroom, many have hopefully washed their hands, but they’re walking in there with dirty hands, which logically makes the outer handle riddled with germs.

5. Sinks

Interestingly, this is the first example in our list so far that is something in the kitchen, the one place where everyone expects to get dirty and need serious cleaning. One of the most neglected spots in the kitchen is the sink. Operators assume that because the sink is being flushed with detergent and is a cleaning space that it will naturally stay clean.

Nothing could be more wrong. Between all the grease, food bits, and steady buildup of grime along the sink walls and down the drain, your sink becomes a really foul spot.