How afraid of germs are you?

posts from 13 October 2004 to 14 March 2011
Locked
David
registered
Posts: 354
Joined: Tue 09 Nov, 2004 9:41 am

How afraid of germs are you?

Post by David »

I won't eat free peanuts from an open dish in a public bar and I won't use sugar cubes from a bowl in a café. I wash my hands after every trip to "answer the call of nature" but I don't always wash my hands immediately before every meal unless I know I have handled something unclean or touched an animal. In fact if I've touched an animal I always feel the urgent need to wash as soon as possible.
ejm
registered
Posts: 356
Joined: Thu 14 Oct, 2004 12:53 pm

Re: How afraid of germs are you?

Post by ejm »

Oh dear. You're right. I'm much more afraid of germs than I used to be.
David wrote:I won't eat free peanuts from an open dish in a public bar and I won't use sugar cubes from a bowl in a café. [...]
I use my sleeve, scarf, bottom of my shirt, ANYthing but my bare hands to open any doors. I HAVE to wash my hands if I've been on public transit. I also have to wash my hands before eating if I've shaken hands with anyone.

Strangely, I will eat free peanuts from an open dish in a public bar but only if I'm very very hungry. I won't use sugar cubes from a bowl in a cafe but that's because I don't use sugar cubes at all.

I'm amazed that I'm the same person who used to peel gum off the sidewalk to chew it because we weren't allowed to buy gum. (Where is the smiley with its hair standing on end?)

I was an extremely obedient child; I don't think I understood that the rule was that we weren't allowed to chew gum.... :lalala:
So... have YOU backed up your files lately? And defragged too!?
MrsBrown
registered
Posts: 303
Joined: Wed 13 Oct, 2004 10:02 pm

Post by MrsBrown »

In these days of extreme germ paranoia, I wash my hands several times a day. I wash them after every call of nature (as David so euphemistically put it), before I eat, when I come in from being in the car,.... If I cook with any meat but especially chicken, I wash my hands several times in the course of cooking the meal, just in case of contamination.

At the supermarket where we shop, there is an olive bin with 6 or 8 pans of olives covered by a plastic roof. You scoop the olives up by yourself to put them in a plastic container to be weighed at the checkout counter. I walked past one day to see a man cough into his hand, pick up an olive, smell it, say, "I don't like this kind" and put it back!!! I was HORRIFIED. I complained to the manager who said in 10 000 words or more that nothing could be done. How about putting the olives behind a counter and having a worker dole them out?!? :stinks:
David
registered
Posts: 354
Joined: Tue 09 Nov, 2004 9:41 am

Post by David »

I also frequently wash my hands during the preparation of any dish involving meat, especially chicken and was also subjected to a gum ban and also used to peel it off the floor.

I never buy any food, other than fruit or vegetables, where a member of the public with poor hygiene has an opportunity to touch or cough on it. This prevents me from purchasing from many delicatessens and bakeries.

I am comfortable using door handles with my bare hands but that's not to say that I would touch food or even my own face before washing.

If my meal is prepared by someone else and consumed entirely using cutlery and I haven't recently touched an animal or something that found itself on my unwritten "unclean" list I can eat without first washing as in my mind germs won't jump onto my food from my hands unless I touch it.
DataRyder
registered
Posts: 92
Joined: Sun 14 Nov, 2004 4:45 pm

Post by DataRyder »

When I lived in India I had a good friend who, whenever we went to a restaurant, insisted that I wash my hands at the public sink first. One day I asked why. It turned out he wanted me to be the one to clean the soap for him.

I guess the germs you know are better than the germs you don't know.
At this point all I can tell you is; what we do know is far less than what we don't know.
ejm
registered
Posts: 356
Joined: Thu 14 Oct, 2004 12:53 pm

Post by ejm »

If I go to the kind of restaurant that hands out cutlery wrapped in paper serviettes, I carefully unwrap the cutlery, tear off a piece of the serviette and lay the cutlery on the paper rather than the table. I completely freak out if my fork or spoon touches the table.

In Chinese restaurants, I like to put my chop sticks into my tea cup filled with very hot tea. Is this a good idea? Probably not. It's likely that the tea is no longer at the boiling point and has reached the temperature that will encourage germs to multiply exponentially.

Connecticut College: [...] "five-second rule" more like 30
NY Times: "The Five-Second Rule Explored, or How Dirty Is That Bologna?" by Harold McGee
chow.com: Saving the Five-Second Rule
MrsBrown wrote: At the supermarket where we shop, there is an olive bin with 6 or 8 pans of olives covered by a plastic roof. You scoop the olives up by yourself to put them in a plastic container to be weighed at the checkout counter. I walked past one day to see a man cough into his hand, pick up an olive, smell it, say, "I don't like this kind" and put it back!!! I was HORRIFIED. I complained to the manager who said in 10 000 words or more that nothing could be done. How about putting the olives behind a counter and having a worker dole them out?!? :stinks:
Some years ago before I started making all of our bread, I spotted a lone child (around 7 years old or so - old enough to know better...) scrabbling through a large wooden bin full of buns, picking one out and taking a bite. I stopped him and told him he was never to go through those bins with his bare hands and that it was stealing to eat the bun without payi... At that point, the child's mother came up looking furious and I thought "Good, now she'll take over"

And she did. She laced into me, telling me that I was not to even speak to her child. So I said, "Fine. Tell your child that he is never to go through the bins with his bare ha..." and she stomped away, dragging her child behind her. I'm still not sure if I got my point across. But we started to take buns from the very back of the bin where children with sticky germy fingers couldn't possibly reach. And then, we always reheated the buns in a VERY hot oven before eating them.

I'm afraid that I didn't say anything to the store manager though.
meow
registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat 27 Aug, 2005 9:15 am

Post by meow »

Hi all again,

Looking back over the past number of years,,, im surprised that I dont think I had any germ related illness, yet I was struggling from a health issue which left me with just about zero energy for years, which meant hygene had to be a zero effort thing.

I knew at least to keep uncooked meat such that it cant contaminate anything in the fridge or preparing for cooking etc. although I think in the UK at least we have got "eggwina" curry to thank for making sure things like e.coli is an absolute minimum in fresh eggs and meat.

also we take for granted things like clean water, yet a trip to spain we quickly learned not even to trust ice cubes in coca cola.

I dont think anyone can blame you if you err on the side of caution. but whenever I use demestos I always worry about the 0.1% that it cant kill.

I dont think you can avoid germs totally, or that it is totally necessary or even helpfull to try and avoid them 100%. it takes quite a big exposure to overwhelm out primary defenses, in fact a frequent but harmless small exposure has been shown to be beneficial in keeping our immune system able to handle a larger exposure, but I wouldnt suggest going out of your way.

its also been shown that some diseases which are on the increase are associated with higher use of cleaning chemicals, but its a balance , I wonder how many other diseases are associated with lower use.
Locked