Colleges dumping cafeteria trays – what about cross-contamination?

The New York Times reports that scores of colleges and universities across the country are shelving cafeteria trays in hopes of conserving water, cutting food waste, softening the ambience and saving money.

The story has lots of the usual fuzzy stuff about sustainability but mentions nothing about sanitation. In the absence of trays, the silverware better stay on the plate because the accumulated microbiological mess on the cafeteria tables would cross-contaminate any forks, knives and spoons that were placed on the table.