Do not stand on toilets; a graphical illustration

We’ve seen a lot of toilets along the highways and byways while making the 19-hour drive from Arkansas to Anna Maria Island, Florida, including a couple of special ones in the middle of the night on Alabama back roads (it was a shortcut).

I told the woman encased in her plastic booth at a Shell station off I-75 in northern Florida that the men’s room was out of paper towel: she sneered.

But the best sign came from the toilets at the Southbank splash park and playground in Brisbane, Australia, where people apparently have a unique approach to using the facilities.

Pearl Jam guitar player Mike McCready loves restroom access

I love Pearl Jam — Two of their albums (Ten and Vitalogy) definitely make my top 5 favorite albums. They are my guilty pleasure (the band I’m not too sure I want to tell folks I love because it might reduce my coolness factor).

It’s a stretch, but Pearl Jam provides some barfblog material today:

According to 93X Rocks, a public-access-to-restrooms law, that Pearl Jam guitar player Mike McCready has been lobbying for, was signed into law yesterday.

The guitarist, who suffers from Crohn’s Disease, testified before the Washington State legislature in favor of a bill that would allow people suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases to use business restrooms. The bill singed into law yesterday has that provision, and also requires businesses to allow any customer to use an employee restroom if three or more employees are working at the time and the request doesn’t pose a security risk.

Yeah for Pearl Jam, the pooping activist band. Hope those restrooms will also have to be stocked with the tools needed for proper handwashing.

Dirty restaurant restrooms send customers out the door

Rating bathrooms is one of those stories that just won’t go away.

But are restrooms really indicative of restaurant cleanliness?

The Detroit Free Press reports this morning that an online survey of 2,175 adults by Harris Interactive last year found that 88% of people who visit restaurants believe that restroom cleanliness reflects the restaurant’s overall hygiene, including sanitary standards in the kitchen and prep areas.

But is that assumption correct — or just a myth?

Health Department officials contacted about the survey said they couldn’t say because they’ve never studied the subject — and they wouldn’t speculate.

Ben says that while dirty bathrooms can be gross, like the gotcha moments on hidden camera programs, there really isn’t any information that suggests a place with a dirty bathroom is any more or less likely to cause an outbreak than a place with a clean bathroom. Risk-based inspection systems focus on factors that lead to illness as identified by the CDC and WHO — not the floors, walls and ceilings, and how many flies are on a fly strip.