Restaurants take extra precautions against flu virus - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Restaurants take extra precautions against flu virus

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INDIANAPOLIS -

Restaurants are taking precautions to keep you and your family safe from the flu.

Twenty-nine children in the United States have died so far this flu season, according to new numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's too early, though, to tell whether it's an unusually high number of child deaths.

Indiana is among 48 states, including Illinois and Michigan, reporting high flu activity this week.

At The Greek Islands, customers come for the Greek food on the menu. But these days, the restaurant is trying to avoid serving up a side of the flu virus.

"Its serious business. I mean, we've taken a lot of extra precautions now to make sure that we don't pass anything from customer to customer or from employee to employee," said owner George Stergiopoulos.

With health officials saying it's the most serious flu season they've seen in years, restaurants and their customers can't be too careful.

"You gotta be aware of all the different places that germs come around. You know, you just have to be aware," said Greek Islands customer Gary Sobczak.

For the folks at Greek Islands, that means extra hand sanitizer everywhere and wiping down everything with bleach water several times a day.

"We're wiping down the sugar caddies, the salt and pepper shakers, the door handles. Any surfaces that people really, really touch," said Stergiopoulos.

That means even the menus.

"We wipe our menus down, usually twice a day, but now we're doing it a lot more," added Stergiopoulos.

It's the same story at Ambrosia in Broad Ripple.

"We have a lot more hand sanitizer in the winter time than we do any other time of the year. We try to use it as much as possible," said Dave Butts with Ambrosia.

It doesn't end there, though. Doors, windows, countertops, all are being wiped down. Anything the public and staff comes into contact with.

"A lot of its wiped down with a sanitized towel, you know, or different, various ways we take care of it," said Butts.

Experts say nothing beats washing your hands several times a day during flu season. Running them under warm water - using soap - to kill the flu germs, which can survive on a surface up to eight hours.

"Our clientele pretty much knows we're kind of clean freaks anyway," says Stergiopoulos.

A comfort to know, this time of year, given how long flu germs can survive and how just how dangerous the flu can be, if you get it.

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