Family Flublog

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Pandemic flu, Salad Bars and Buffets

Picture this: You go through the food line behind twenty others, picking up tongs or spoons to get each item you want. Then you put them back into the food, thereby contaminating the food as well as the tongs so that the person behind you has two chances to catch a virus per item. At the end of the line you pay, take your tray to your seat, perhaps go get some bread or soup, and start to eat.

What's wrong with this picture? Probably nothing, right now. I do it all the time and I'm reasonably healthy. Thank heavens for good immune systems. They take a lot of abuse.

But if pandemic flu gets out of the box anywhere in the world, you bet I am going to change my habits! Maybe buffets will require patrons to put on disposable gloves, like their own employees wear, before they start through the line. That's easy enough, and I would gladly do it. But until they do, I will stick a squirt bottle of alcohol-based cleanser in my purse and do a quick ablute before I pick up my bread.

What about a restaurant? The food preparers generally wear gloves, but what about the server who adds the toast or salad to your order at the last minute? Not only do they not wear gloves but they also handle money. Hmm. Any ideas about that one?

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