I just hope that you are not eating anything as you read this article because I might nauseate you with what I have opted to pen down. I happen to visit one of the popular food joints in town. They don’t disappoint when it comes to cooking. I like the fact that their food  is always fresh, tasty and affordable.

Image courtesy of keko64 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of keko64 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Well as I order my favorite dish, there is this tall guy who comes in. It is quite obvious that he is hungry because he keeps on uttering a yawn. Suddenly he coughs out, expectorating a very thick sputum which sticks all over his hands. Everybody gapes at him. He hurriedly takes a bar of soap and washes his hands straight away. He later proceeds to sit and order his meal.

The above scenario gets me thinking hard bearing in mind that I used the same bar of soap to wash my hands too. Who knows may be this is what this “gentleman” and his other friends in crime do whenever they visit this hotel. I feel so contaminated when I remember how I rubbed my hands aggressively with that block of a detergent.

This is the reason why all food joints should do away with bar soaps and embrace the use of liquid detergents. It is evident that bar soap is likely to do us more harm than good. This is how a considerate customer should use a public sink that has a liquid soap:

  • Always use the back of your hand to squeeze the soap out of the barrel to avoid contamination. This is because exterior part of the hand is likely to be less tainted.
  • Always use a disposable serviette to dry your hands after washing your hands. It is unhygienic to splash water in the air with your wet hands. Hotels should stop issuing clothy hand towels to clients when serving meals. We are aware you don’t always wash them after every single use.
Image courtesy of Praisaeng at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Praisaeng at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  • One should never spit in the sink.

I don’t want to entirely blame this young man for what happened at this eatery. After all, sneezing is an involuntary action which can be difficult to suppress.  However, I understand that there are people who are determined to lead the uncultured lifestyle which is likely to affect other people’s health adversely. Are you aware that talking and chewing food simultaneously can be dangerous in an event your airway gets blocked by half chewed food particles.  Besides, it is disgusting and this may affect the appetite of other clients negatively. Am humbly requesting them to adopt the spirit of brotherhood whenever they are having their meals in the public because not everyone is immune to their unhygienic practices.

There is another disturbing picture that emerges just when am about to pay my bill. I find the cashier counting some money. One of the customers’ orders an extra Chapati and this guy serves it swiftly with his bare hands without putting into a consideration that he was handling cash. We all know the kind of contamination  money is subjected to immediately it leaves the Central Bank. Virtually everybody is a culprit of having kept his/her money in some weird places for various reasons. How  can this guy roll and mount that chapati on a fork without washing his hands? Why didn’t he use kitchen disposable gloves then if regular washing of his hands before handling food is “time consuming”.

It is just not healthful how some of these waiters handle our food from the kitchen to our dining tables. They make you wonder what might be happening in those enclosed kitchens of theirs if at all they can demonstrate a complete disregard of sanitary conditions for serving food in the open. My arguments might look simple  but they might cost you a hospitalization.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I personally don’t like being served with a meal that has a well-arranged salad. The possibility of it being polluted with dirty hands is very high. It is better I eat a tossed dish rather than octopus-like lettuce that will prompt me to seek for an emergency sick leave from my employer.

I always equate people who work in restaurants to healthcare providers. You are dealing with human beings who have entrusted you with their precious digestive system. You must stick to the set standards no matter what. There is no room for negligence.

Finally I will post several questions to my dear readers.  Where do you eat? How do they serve you?  How do you eat? Food for thought.


# Afya yangu; Bidii Yangu

Author: Eliud Kigotho: Registered Nurse, HTC Counselor