If you haven’t heard yet, I’ll tell you now: money is dirty. As said so well by NPR’s Michaeleen Doucleff, “Your wallet is a portable petri dish.” And it’s true: in 2002, the Southern Medical Journal completed a study testing the filth of money and found that 94% of the bills that were tested harbored pathogens. Further, scientists have found that a single dollar bill can carry about 3,000 types of bacteria on its surface!
So, what does this acquired knowledge mean for you as a server? Well, it means you now have even more responsibility. And, like 90% of food safety tips, it means you should put concerted effort into washing your hands.
Whether you work at an upscale restaurant as a server and handle tips or work as a cashier at a fast-food chain, be conscious of how you handle money. Forget to wash your hands in between handling money and food and your customers will notice—and will probably complain. Wash your hands often, and your customers will thank you. Remember, you’re saving them—and yourself—from 3,000 types of bacteria.
P.S. If you work at an establishment that requires frequent cash-handling (like fast-food), consider designating one person to handle all cash over an extended period of time for efficiency’s sake. Any time shifts or tasks change, remember to wash up!