Whilst having Dim Sum today I watched the lady at the next table
carefully cleaning all the cups, bowls and chopsticks (using the tea and hot water provided by the restaurant).
The problem is that once you notice people doing this you can’t help but observe that most people who do this (and many restaurant staff) handle cups, bowls and chopsticks quite indiscriminately. So we have to hope that their hands are really clean.
I wrote about this several years ago, and these were the explanations offered in the comments:
- There’s a lot of TB in Hong Kong. Which is true:
- A brief history of TB in Hong Kong
- Tuberculosis in Hong Kong falls to lowest level in 70 years (but is still higher than most parts of the world)
Another comment was that a brief wash with hot water is unlikely to kill many germs, which must be correct (for that you’d need water that is actually boiling).
So if you are really a germaphobe you should probably stay at home.