Is Restaurant Water Safe to Drink? 4 Things to Know About Germs

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

When you go to a restaurant, every meal is accompanied by a glass of water. And while most places in the United States offer safe tap water, that does not mean what you are consuming is bacteria-free or safe. In fact, a simple glass of water can harbor more germs than a toilet seat. Gross!

Here are four factors to be wary about with a glass of water:

1. The ice

Most people prefer ice water but that could be a dirty (pun intended) habit. Consider this: Last year, the Daily Mail ran its own survey to find that most restaurant ice machines had higher levels of bacteria than water samples taken from toilet bowls at the same location.

A few years back, NBC ran a Dateline report on the perils of not handling ice safely. Dateline observed that many restaurant employees used their bare hands to retrieve ice — an act that is frowned upon in terms of food safety and a health code violation. And if you think a self-serve soda machine is a safe source for ice, think again! Employees typically have to manually refill the machines with ice, which means their hands (translation: their germs) will be all over the ice you consume.

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