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I am not a Germophobic (my children might disagree with me on this one)  but there are certain things that really bother me when it comes to germs and cleanliness.

One researcher says that “double-dipping” is like kissing everybody at the party. It’s like putting your whole mouth in the dip. They found that on average, three to six double dips transferred about 10,000 bacteria from the eater’s mouth to the remaining dip.

I used to work with a woman that “double-dipped” every time we went to a Mexican restaurant and they brought out the salsa and chips. That is not all she did. She would eat off someones plate if given the chance. It used to make me almost physically sick and everyone in the office eventually refused to eat anything she brought if we had a potluck meal.

I love to cook and many times I sample what I am cooking but I always get a new utensil to stir the recipe other than the one I tasted it with. My thinking is that I might have some bacteria in my mouth that would be transferred to my guests or family. I don’t lick my fingers while cooking either and it bothers me when other people do it.  Cold sores, throat infections such as strep, and mono can all be passed by using the same eating utensils.
Another thing, if you are not a big fan of germs, beware of the salad bar. I have seen people sneeze, cough, grab food with their hands, and eat off the serving utensils. I read that the plastic gloves that service workers wear can lure you into a false sense of security. They are purely for show and can get just as contaminated as bare hands if they don’t change them often. Actually, they can lure the employee into thinking that as long as they wear the gloves they don’t have to wash their hands. This is not true!
Remember the “five second rule” that states a food item dropped on the floor and picked up within five seconds will be safe to eat. Research concluded that there was a potentially significant amount of bacteria transferred in those five seconds.
The single most important way to prevent the transmission of infectious organisms is to wash your hands often – before eating; before and after handling food, particularly raw meat and fish; after having sex; before putting in contact lenses or treating a wound; after using the toilet; after sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose; after changing a diaper; after playing with a pet or cleaning a litter box; and after gardening.
The kitchen is the room in your house that has the most potential to harbor germs. Kitchen counter tops can have over 488 bacteria per square inch. Clean counter tops before and after cooking. Use a spray bottle of water and 1 teaspoon of bleach. Spray counter, let sit for 2 minutes and wipe with a paper towel.
I might go overboard with some of this stuff but I can’t help it. I rarely ever get sick and I don’t take any kind of medicine. My health is a big concern to me at my age and I certainly don’t want to be contracting germs from other people.
Here is an article that may shock you by the editors of Food Network Magazine. They surveyed chefs across the country — anonymously — to find out everything we’ve always wanted to know and found out that roaches are more common than you think and bread baskets may be recycled!   25 Things Chefs Never Tell You!
What are your thoughts on the subject? 



One Comment

  1. I have to agree and I don’t think you can be too paranoid about such things, especially given all the new illnesses out there. I used to work in a restaurant and many times saw the employess pick up food that was dropped on the floor and put it back on the plate. Ewww. To this day, I’m not to fond of eating out.

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