CHAPTER 4: FOODSAFE?

Wax Paper and Donuts

The next time you visit your favorite morning bagel or donut shop, pay close attention to how your food is handled. The morning is a busy time for many breakfast fast food establishments. Food is being delivered from the bakery or pulled out of the oven, patrons are waiting to get their coffee, and the associates taking your order are busy trying to juggle many tasks.

One place I visit tries to make things easier for the associates and customers by using wax paper from a box to pick up food items. The prime reason for using this paper is to prevent the associate’s hands from touching your food. Sometimes tongs are used but most often the wax paper is used.

In theory, this may be a good idea but think about all the items that associate comes into contact with while standing at the counter register. Dirty money, trash, people’s hands (some which are not washed properly) and cleaning products are the obvious culprits.

Now think about where that wax paper ends up. The wax paper that has touched the hands of the associate is now probably in your bag, wrapped around your donut or bagel. Soon it will be pulled out and used as a crumb catcher or worse, a napkin to wipe your hands and face. Talk about transferring germs.

We see now how easily it happens. Let me take you through it. The associate goes to the bathroom and does not wash his or her hands or does not wash them properly. He or she then uses wax paper to grab your food, which is now exposed to any germs contained on the wax paper. You whiz off to work while eating your breakfast. Makes you think twice doesn’t it?

The next time you go to your favorite eating place, take notice and take control of your health. Think about the pains and gurgling in your stomach, and decide what you are going to do about it.