Monday, August 07, 2006


i'm noticing a trend in food service. a trend that repulses me. not only because of my germ thing, but because of it's gross violation to Health Codes. i'm sorry if this awareness causes you to be more cognizant of your eating experience, but welcome to MY world.

in food service, when handling foods, employees are usually required to wear gloves. now these gloves are not to protect the employee. these gloves are to protect the person consuming the food. even the Department of Health refers to these gloves as "single-use". (yes, i have researched it, shut up)

it says, "except when washing fruits and vegetables, food employees shall avoid contact of exposed ready-to-eat food with their bare hands by use of suitable utensils such as deli tissue, spatulas, tongs, or SINGLE-USE gloves"

this does not mean wear the SAME gloves all day long.

case in point, i went to wal-mart the other day during my lunch break... i stopped by the deli to grab a lil something to snack on before i went back to work. the lady behind the counter did not put on new gloves. she adjusted her hair net, and proceeded to manually grab my food from the heating pans. when i asked her to use tongs, she just started gingerly picking up my food and putting it in the bag. i asked her to stop and put on new gloves at least. she changed A glove and then continued to fill the bag with the already "contaminated" food. when she realized that one of the items i had ordered wasn't so fresh, she offered to cook some more. at this point, she went back in the back, touching the door handle, opened the freezer, touching that door handle, put the chicken in the fryer, touching those buttons, went and opened a deli case to get out some ham, touching that handle, sliced the ham, wrapped it back up, and then using the same gloved hands, manually grabbed my chicken and put it in a bag.

at this point, me, being me was experiencing 2 emotions. rage and nausea.

i then went to complain about the whole thing to a manager. you never know who is in charge of what there... for all i knew i just tattled to the garden center diva.

and begrudgingly ate my germ infested lunch. i didn't have time to wait to get someone else get me food and didn't want to cause a scene.

cut to today. i took Roo to the vet to get his "walnut-ectomy" and on my way home, i stopped for breakfast tacos. i paid the lady and then i saw her, with one gloved hand using the utensil and her ungloved hand prying my tortillas apart and watched in horror as this woman who had touched money and been touching money all morning, make my breakfast. i wanted to hurl in the drive-thru. those of you who know me know how i feel about handling cash money. and the fact that i actually HAD cash money was shocking. but to feel the germs crawling on my hands after i handed it to her and then to have those same germs come back to me in my food was all that i could stand.

i was so angry and crazy at the time that instead of going back, i drove off. about half-way home i fished out the receipt and called the store. i told the guy what happened and that now i was going to have to throw my food away. i cant wrap my head around eating money food. and that its somehow different that the glove girl at wal-mart IS different to me. the crazy doesn't have rules... it just is.

i will call the Department of Health and "report" both occurrences. and trust me, if i could NOT be this way about food, i would give it away in a heartbeat. but the fact is, i can't. it is out of my control. it's a disorder. if i were able to control it, it would be called something different. like a phase, or that weird germ thing christel has.

so, i ask you, please, if you are IN food service and reading this, BE AWARE of what you touch. the gloves are there to protect me and everyone else from germs. not to protect you from the food.

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