Disgusting consequence of the fast food self order kiosks...................

I’m not impressed with my mother’s kitchen.


I use the towel dispenser first, wash hands, then tear off towel to turn off water and open the door.

In the UK, it’s very rare to find other than electric hot air dryers in toilets. Does mean you have to hope a cubicle is unoccupied so you can grab some toilet paper to open doors, etc.

Yep. There are still many paper towel dispensers in US but the electric ones are making headway.

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I don’t “mind” the old school hand dryers with the adjustable nozzle, but I can’t stand those new dyson hand dryers. I don’t want to place my washed/clean hands into something that I’m making incidental contact with when who knows how dirty the machine is.

Good ole paper towels are the choice for me.


Dyson type dryers are now so last year in the UK. Modern kit is a bit like the old style - unit on the wall that you put your hands under, sensor activated, but with a blow force like the Dyson. Good kit for the job - but it does depend on the person taking a shit or a piss to actually use it before they start messing about with the self order machines.

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It seems to come and go/vary from place to place. And fwiw, however counter-intuitive it might seem, there have been studies showing that they’re actually less effective than paper towels at reducing the spread of microbes. Given the complexity of the overall “system” (of microbe spreading), it’s not really surprising that they haven’t been able to determine exactly why it’s so, but it does seem to be the case. Whether it’s more “eco-friendly” is probably also open to debate, but that’s another sub-thread altogether…

But all in all, we are talking about routine hand-washing in public spaces, not scrubbing up for surgery. When you’re out in public, you are going to end up with some of “other people’s” germs on your hands. Short of gloving up immediately after washing your hands (see above re surgery), there’s really just no way around it. And in this particular context, freaking out about it seems more than a little excessive. I mean, we are talking about a “mostly flu-like” illness, not Ebola, or even SARS or MERS…

The mechanical rubbing action helps kill bacteria and viruses, I’ve read.

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Of course we know that in addition to McDonald’s touchscreens and Applebee’s touchscreens and ATM touchscreens being covered with skeezy bacteria and traces of poop, so are restaurant menus, ladies’ purses, smartphones, TV remotes, bedsheets, gas pump handles, salt and pepper shakers, and condiment dispensers just to name a few. Keep those hands clean.


I don’t doubt you. Do you have footnotes? If you do it will save me diving down that rabbit hole.

To your other point, there is a belief in some professional kitchens that gloves are counter-productive as they lead to a false sense of sanitation and contribute to cross contamination. I still want my surgeon wearing gloves. grin

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Many years back, I use to earn my living as procurement manager for the government agency which employed me. One of the early exercises I tried to undertake was a “green” assessment of best methods. This was back in the mid 1980s. Even then there had been studies but they tended to come to different conclusions. When I dug deeper, it was clear that research sponsorship money had come from the various suppliers and, surprise surprise, conclusions tended to support the companies that had paid for the research. I cannot recall the detail now nor, for certain, the conclusion I came to as to our way forward.

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Unfortunately this is true even in academia. It helps tremendously to focus on peer-reviewed research. Things balance out. Not everything published from academia is peer-reviewed.

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Gloves have their pitfalls. Would you rather I wash my hands and touch your food, or wash my hands and put on gloves then wear them until sweat drips down my wrist into your food? (Which may not take long on a warm day) Glove sweat is real, and gross.

And no surprise about the touch screens. While I doubt many people are pooping on their hands then going out to eat, bacteria and microbes are still everywhere.


this is a major pet peeve of mine at spots- the “magic” gloves. people seem to think using gloves is a cure all; picking stuff up off the floor, touching money, rubbing face, etc…wearing a glove while doing it makes that ok?