So in my almost two weeks with Berilac's family I have been reminded of what a nutcase I am. There is one thing about me - something I can easily forget (when I prep my own food) something I try to forget about when not reminded by too many meals and loads of extra time to do nothing but watch others cook in mass ... I am turning into a germ-a-phobe. (My SIL only adds to my neurosis)
My biggest freak-outs this vacation:
1. I learned that the dispenser used on the front of refrigerators (you know, that kind that delivers ice and filtered water) is a germ magnet ... unless you want to share whatever is on the lip of your drinking glass - don't press the glass up against the dispensing arm.
2. this reminded me of the story I heard on the news about how there are more germs from the ice machines dispensed at restaurants than those restaurants' toilet bowls - yikes.
3. All garbage cans should have a foot pedal to open them up ... people have to touch the cabinet door the garbage hides behind, you have to either lift a lid or pull the garbage bin forward (both of which require touching) in order to get rid of your disposable items. As well, if you watch closely ... many people shove garbage deeper into a garbage bag (in order to make more room in the can) ... they then continue on finishing the food prep for the upcoming meal.
4. People don't always wash their hands - yet they share bags of food with you. Chips are the biggest offender. How many of you pour your chips into a bowl and pull out a serving utensil to divy out the goods?
5. If you have a tupperware of cold food and you open it up for some eats ... you need to microwave it to the point of boiling/steaming (killing all the bacteria) you also cannot open the lid, flip it over (with cold bacteria ridden food particles all over) and place your cooking utensil ON THE LID where the bacteria is (yes, hopefully it will be ok if the preparer cooks the food to a very high heat ... but really, can my mind rest on this thought?)
6. cutting boards should have different uses (veggie board, fish board, beef board, chicken board) ... even better than this, I learned from my equally psycho SIL that you can cut meat on dinner plates and then put them through the dishwasher (in order to santize them).
7. ADULTS double dip!!! ... people please!
8. Let me tell you that the kitchen sink (specifically the drain rim and down into the drain) is the dirtiest place in your entire house - including the toilet bowl) ... so if you place something into the sink - it is OFF LIMITS for use until AFTER it's been properly washed and sanitized. If you're using a utensil for cooking, and you place it in the sink (or on the counter) it is no longer clean ... even if you rinse it off.
9. Toddlers have a tendency to touch shared foods - after they've played with the bottom of shoes and/or wiped their snotty noses. Not their faults, but really, the best way to share food between children and adults (or adults and adults!) is to request/require that people dish out food to their individual plates rather than sharing germs from child to adult (and from what I've learned it's most dangerous for adult germs to pass to toddlers - rather than my fear of being an adult getting the kid germs)
10. Food should not stay unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours. If you make dinner, eat dinner, get distracted by a movie or games ... and it's been longer than 2 hours - the food has gone bad. If you go to a restaurant and you take a doggy bag ... and then end up shopping or going out to a movie or dancing or whatever afterwards - throw the food away if it sits outside of a fridge for 2 hours ... remember that you chit chatted at the restaurant after not eating the entire meal so your two hours can't start when you leave the restaurant, better to start the timer when you enter the restaurant (and really that would require that you head right home to preserve the food ... an in diningroom meal can take 1.5 hrs)
Ok, ok ... I'm done venting ... I'm so glad to be going back to my house, preparing my own food ... controlling my own germ intake.
I think this all started in the Springtime when I was sick for 10 weeks ... and they suspected a really bad case of stomach flu. I missed almost a month of work and almost lost my job! I guess it's not surprising that my mind finds these types of fears. These days I drink Kefir each day to get good bacteria into my gut just so I can fight anything that finds its way into my tummy. I DO NOT want to go through another sickness like that again any time soon.
So if you actually read my long list of freaky things ... good luck getting them out of your head. If you haven't and you're just skipping ahead ... very wise of you. I'm not sure how much of this craziness can truly be good for me. Perhaps the stress associated with controlling this type of stuff is more damaging than chowing down on a little bacteria.