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To expect basic hygiene

(48 Posts)
grannyactivist Sun 16-Mar-14 09:15:06

Yesterday I was in a crowded ice cream shop to buy a cornet for my grandson. Assistant A was serving whilst assistant B was chatting to her boyfriend and eating chips and ketchup, with her fingers, at a second counter. Assistant A asked B to refill the child's cornet stand, which she duly did after disposing of the ketchup wrapper and licking her fingers: she opened the box, opened the inner polythene and then started to take out the cornets. There was no way I could get close enough to be discreet as there were too many people between us, so I called out to her and said, "Excuse me, wash your hands please". She looked mortified and did so immediately, but what I found surprising was that people looked more askance that I'd asked her to wash her hands than that she was serving food with dirty hands.

DebnCreme Sun 16-Mar-14 09:35:31

Good for you ga I remember many years ago buying biscuits in Woolworths. A second girl came onto the counter putting her hair into a ponytail as she did so. They had a small sink so I asked her to wash her hands before serving me. I was greeted with blank amazement but at least she did it.

whenim64 Sun 16-Mar-14 09:51:19

A few years ago, I called in the chip shop for fish and chips for the family. The assistant serving me cut her finger, sucked it, and proceeded to wrap my food. I quietly asked her to go and wash her hands and put a blue plaster on her finger, which she did. Then, she returned and carried on wrapping the food, so I asked her to give me a fresh lot as I noticed a small blood smear on the wrapping. I was polite and quiet, but by that time all the other customers had cottoned on, and the woman behind me said 'good for you.' I left the chip shop with my fresh order and as I was going, I heard 'cow!' I didn't go in there again - shame, as it was chippy of the year!

Nelliemoser Sun 16-Mar-14 09:53:12

"GrannyA" Well done you!

Charleygirl Sun 16-Mar-14 10:20:58

A small cafe opened close to where I live so I visited it one day. There were scrumptious home made cup cakes on display but none were covered. The owner could not understand why they were not being bought until I told her that I would never buy food which is not adequately covered. She thanked me for telling her, saying that even her friends had not mentioned it.

The next time I went in they were covered and she was no longer making sandwiches, collecting money and then making more sandwiches without hand washing.

glammanana Sun 16-Mar-14 11:00:31

Good for you GA I do think everyone working with food in any way should undergo a hygiene course and all be made to wear gloves when dealing with food stuffs.

rosequartz Sun 16-Mar-14 11:06:10

I wish I had been more assertive years ago when DD2 was having a surgical wound dressed in outpatients after an operation on her ankle. I was sent to wait outside but saw through a window that the nurse put on her gloves, pulled out a large piece of blue paper and blew her nose on it. Before I could get in and stop her, she had started tending to DD2's wound without changing her gloves. Needless to say, the wound developed an infection and she had to have antibiotics. I had a word with Sister, who said that NONE of her nurses would ever do that. I said I had just seen her. Next time we had to go Sister dealt with my child herself.

I would be more assertive these days.

grannyactivist Sun 16-Mar-14 11:07:52

The other people in the shop must all have seen the same thing that I did and yet none of them indicated that they were pleased I'd said something. On the contrary they all looked very uncomfortable that I'd pointed out the lack of hygiene. It got me wondering about why people don't complain or point out obvious inadequacy or incompetence. Is it to do with not wanting to seem judgemental? Or a lack of confidence? What would others have done in the same circumstances? If you wouldn't have pointed out the problem, what is it that would have stopped you? I am genuinely intrigued.

rosequartz Sun 16-Mar-14 11:20:43

Grannyactivist, you did absolutely the right thing. I do remember asking someone to wash their hands when dealing with food a while ago, but cannot for the life of me remember when or what circumstances. Oh dear, will probably remember at 2 am.

rosesarered Sun 16-Mar-14 14:28:14

grannyactivist I think you have answered your own question; it's not some un-looked for reason, just what you mention plus a bit of British-ness [don't draw attention to yourself!!]

durhamjen Sun 16-Mar-14 14:48:07

Complain online to your local council if you see it again. Their health department gives the scores on the doors for hygiene ratings.
Do not go to a food outlet that does not display a perfect score.

rosequartz Sun 16-Mar-14 14:56:32

We had a wonderful meal out at a restaurant recommended by a friend who is extremely 'picky' . We were the only ones in there, and they gave us a free bottle of wine as it was my birthday.

Weeks later we saw that they had a very dire hygiene rating on the council's website.

felice Sun 16-Mar-14 16:15:48

Glad to see this thread as just 24 hours ago I was being critisised for expecting basic hygiene from Mary Berry and Co, are they outside the hygiene remit, or does Si King with his hair falling all over the place merit a different rate to 'ordinary' people.
I just attended a wonderful lunch cooked by the African/Phillipino members of our Church congregation, hygiene rules are strictly adhered too, and over 100 people had a great lunch.
If the celeb chefs show the wrong example then people will think it is correct, my X works for one of them and as someone said on the TV last week, about someone else, he would attend the opening of an envelope to get the publicity for the latest book/series etc.
wash hands please, basic

Aka Sun 16-Mar-14 16:38:52

Good point about the Hygiene Ratings. Most restaurants, take-always and cafes round here display their score in the window. I googled two that didn't (it's not compulsory to display them, though it ought to be) and found they had a rating of 1 and a 2. Yuk!

durhamjen Sun 16-Mar-14 17:47:41

I would not go to one that did not display the score, If it's a good one there's no reason not to display it.
There are a lot more rules since I had my cafe. You have to check your fridge and freezer temperatures more often, and keep a record. It's like teachers having to fill in spread sheets. You can actually get a low rating if you do not have an up-to-the-hour list.

Soutra Sun 16-Mar-14 18:25:07

I have never checked a Hygiene Rating but would be turned off by dodgy loosor surroundings in a pub or restaurant. Nor am I at all bothered by uncovered cakes indoors at least not until the fly/wasp season!

Mishap Sun 16-Mar-14 18:29:33

At our farmers' market a lady comes along with cakes and quiches, all uncovered and the quiches have no refrigeration - I do not buy them.

But when we are in France, especially at markets, the hygiene is awful - wiping a knife on their apron before serving pate etc. And there are very strict laws in France about causing food poisoning. Hotels etc. are pretty scared of falling foul of them as the penalties are high.

Charleygirl Sun 16-Mar-14 18:29:48

Soutra people were standing close to the cakes, coughing and breathing over them. That is very unhygienic.

durhamjen Sun 16-Mar-14 18:37:55

The laws in France are the same as they are here, Mishap. Except for scores on the doors, I think.

JessM Sun 16-Mar-14 18:57:23

I've spoken to medical staff e.g. You are" going to wash your hands aren't you before taking the baby's blood ?"
Ever since my son had a stem cell transplant (which temporarily wipes out your immune system) I have been right "off' cakes and other baked goods that are displayed without covers or wrappers. It is very prevalent and the posher the cafe the more likely they are to do it. i went to one recently that was brand new and up market and had obviously been designed so that the first thing you saw was a table top area covered in uncovered pastries etc. NO-whu I don't want a croissant that could have been sneezed on, coughed over or picked up by a customer (or their child) and then put down again. I assume that it does actually sell more - leaving baked goods there as if they are just waiting for you to help yourself.
This is, however, an excellent way of controlling the urge to eat cakes and pastries 1. Is it covered / wrapped in cling film? 2. does it look really good?
Often one of these is negative and I pass by on the other side. grin

kittylester Sun 16-Mar-14 19:28:14

I won't mention the man with a dripping nose serving ice cream in St Mark's square and trying to drag the children away once we go to the front of the queue, on one of the hottest days of the year. [yuck]

Flowerofthewest Sun 16-Mar-14 19:32:04

The nurse who sneezed over a friends arm while taking her blood.

Mishap Sun 16-Mar-14 21:14:49

A midwife used to visit me at home after my first baby (forceps, huge episiotomy) - she had her dog in the car. She was stroking and kissing it and then got down to poking about in my nethers to check my stitches!

Aka Sun 16-Mar-14 21:23:30

You're lucky she didn't greet you on traditional doggy fashion then Mishap grin

Aka Sun 16-Mar-14 21:23:42

on in