Friday, February 26, 2010

Fussy About Food

I'm the type who's always washing my hands with soap when handling food for myself and others.  It was a shocker when I began noticing that most people don't.

Ironically, uselessly, in many restaurants the staff wear gloves in order not to touch the food, but they don't take the gloves off when handling money.  And studies have shown that money is full of bacteria and viruses.  I also can't stand the use of those wet-wipes (all brands) used for cleaning hands and food surfaces, because the chemicals aren't wiped/rinsed off.  It turns my stomach to think of eating those chemicals.  I prefer (when it's possible) soap, water and a clean water rinse for cleanliness.

In another couple of days, we'll be celebrating the Purim holiday.  It's a Jewish holiday to commemorate our victory in Persia over those who wanted to annihilate us.  It's customary to dress in costumes to hide our identities, like G-d hid and controlled events in His mysterious ways.  We're commanded to give charity to the poor in our Jewish community, read the Purim story in the Scroll of Esther, have a thanksgiving feast and send food packages for the feast to others.

As I write this, I picture some of the plates which arrive from well-meaning neighbors.  Even when I wasn't trying to avoid sweets and carbohydrates, I just couldn't touch the unwrapped food items, candies, cookies etc touched by who knows how many dirty hands.

I admit that I'm probably a terribly neurotic fanatic about food cleanliness.  During the years I was the cook at the local day care center for infants to three year olds, there were no cases of food-born illness.

Yes, I've heard that it's healthy to get the body used to local bacteria and viruses at an early age.  That's why many people new to a region (like those moving to Israel) find themselves constantly ill during their first year.  Their bodies just aren't immune.  There are easier ways to get vaccinated.

I don't know what Mishloach Manot, food gifts, we'll receive this year, but especially with my elderly father in the house, I'll have to be extra careful about what's put on the table for noshing and eating.

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