Mark Clauson is a microbiologist at Western Kentucky University. He says: "Well, remarkably we found no coliform bacteria. The indicators that we were looking for did not have detectable levels."
After checking in with Western's Microbiology Lab Coordinator, Mark Clauson, we learned that the four restaurants we took samples from were free of coliform bacteria. So we set out to find how the restaurants keep everything clean for your kids.
The first place we tested was the McDonalds on Scottsville Road.
McDonalds released a statement from their owner operator- Paul Burrell.
It says: "Providing a clean safe and comfortable environment for our customers is a top priority for me... my restaurant managers and crew. For that reason we have stringent daily and weekly cleaning schedules for the playplace to ensure the highest level of cleanliness for our customers. In addition on a monthly basis we contract with a service company to conduct a detailed cleaning of our Playplace."
Next on our list was Chick-Fil-A. We asked owner operator Andy Robinson how they keep their play area so clean.
Robinson says: "We clean it daily. We sanitize the entire surfaces daily. Every week we do a detailed clean on it. It's kind of hard to imagine but we get up there on top of it and clean and dust and make sure the lights are burning."
He says they clean it four times a day or more if needed. And everyone at Chick-Fil-A is trained to clean it.
Up next, we went back to Chuck E Cheese where kids go straight from the table to the video games.
Brandon Blackburn is the Technician Assistant at Chuck E Cheese. He says: "You'd be amazed. They eat pizza. Pizza everywhere. Grease everywhere. So that's basically our job to keep it clean."
Blackburn says they also have procedures in place if a child gets sick.
They rope off the area and do a detailed cleaning right on the spot.
Blackburn says: "It makes me feel good to know that we're doing our job right. Because if we weren't doing our job there's a bunch of kids who'd get sick."
The last place we tested was the carousel in the Greenwood Mall. Antonio Alexander is the director of housekeeping there. He says they clean the horses three times a day or more, if needed.
Alexander says: "Every part that a kid would normally touch with his hands. We clean this and the handle with a disinfectant. We use a professional grade disinfectant to clean it with."
Alexander says the carousel worker also keeps a bottle of the disinfectant under the work station in case of emergencies. If an accident should occur there, the mall uses two way radios to dispatch their housekeeping staff. Mark Clauson says all of the areas we tested were successful in maintaining clean play areas.
Clauson says: "Having found no coliform bacteria speaks volumes for the people who are sanitizing those areas that were sampled. And also maybe the general public is aware that the best thing we can do is wash our hands to prevent transmit of disease."