Saturday, 30 March 2013

It's Finger Lickin' Bad

One thing that really gets on my nerves - and I saw an example while getting some odds and ends this evening after Doctor Who - is the poor quality of food hygiene in supermarkets.

Back in the mid-nineties I worked in various food factories in Leicester and one thing was essential - the holding of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health's Basic Food Hygiene Certificate.

Although I am not the world's tidiest person, when it comes to food hygiene I am fussy. Open a packet of cereal and its contents go in an airtight container. Never use the same knife for meat and then something else, or even for two different types of meat. Separate chopping boards (although not the colour-coded ones).

But it seems that basic food hygiene is an alien concept in modern supermarkets.

The most common is when they get carrier bags for you. Finger in gob, lick and get the carrier bag and then touch your food.

A few weeks back there was a daily ritual at the supermarket over the road from where I work. I would do some food shopping, and whoever was at the till would - you guessed it - put finger in gob etc.. The next stage of the ritual was my finding the duty manager and explaining why it is unhygenic. I get the promise that all till staff will be told and it will not happen again. And then the next day - yep, you've guessed that as well. So, by now I know that all duty managers are thinking of is "what shall I say to make annoyed customer shut up and clear off?".

Or else there is the chewing gum fad. One thing we learned was that you never chew gum (or anything else) or eat while handling food. But now it's chew chew chew. I remember shopping and seeing the actions of one woman at the fruit and veg. Chew, chew. Hand in gob. Sort chewing gum out. Pick up fruit and carry on sorting. I did explain to the duty manager why that is unhygenic, but couldn't get her to comprehend.

Or else the sneezers. I recently shopped, put my shopping on the belt at the till, and the till operator sneezed into her hands. And then carried dealing with the shopping of the person in front of me. So I just started putting my shopping back in the basket and went to another till.

No comments:

Post a Comment