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May 30, 2012

Helpful Hints from joeeze: Flaps up


Consider, the next time you're in a grocery store, that plastic piece on the shopping cart that serves as a seat for small children so they're secure and facing mom or dad. In the "up" position it blocks the holes kids legs go through, and prevents small items from falling to the floor.

Now, ponder toilet training in kids young and small enough to sit up there instead of walking around the store. 

Next, imagine what a petri dish seeded with flora from the butt-contact side of that piece of plastic would grow out.

My guess: You'll make sure that little seat is in the full upright and locked position:


from now on.

May 30, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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Pamela, I'm thinking it's kind of like when you watch one of those "60 Minutes" segments on conditions in factories that make hot dogs and suchlike: you swear you'll never eat another one, but then after a while you forget how horrible the process was and Bob's your uncle.

Posted by: bookofjoe | Jun 7, 2012 11:03:41 PM

Joe, some time ago you wrote about always putting the toilet seat cover down when you flush because of the sprays of bacteria heading straight for your toothbrush and I was galvanized into action and proceeded to annoy my family no end with always-closed toilets. And then, when I got to thinking about the zillions of people who have dropped over dead when their systems got overwhelmed by the bacteria from their bacteria-laden toothbrush..........hmmmm. And the other zillions who used a public toilet, didn't wash their hands and then ate with those hands.....hmmmm.

So folks aren't only not dropping dead they don't even seem to be getting sick from these clouds of e.coli that are truly everywhere! What's the deal do you think?

Posted by: Pamela Daley | Jun 7, 2012 10:39:02 PM

I tend to be a non-whiner and continue frolicking in the bacterial stew with which my species has always contended. if you can convert 50& of your fretting time into actual life you'll gain 20 years.

Posted by: Kyle Kiernan | Jun 1, 2012 1:33:54 PM

More effective, 6.02*10^23, that's undeniable. But you would not believe how grumpy they get at Albertson's when you set fire to the carts. Which is what it would take to make sure.

Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Idea coming....

Cart dips! Yes! A cement trough by the place they store the shopping carts, filled with a disinfectant solution which all the carts are run through, like a sheep dip, before they are parked in the ready area. Total immersion in something which would kill an engineered biowar virus.

Bet that's patentable.

Posted by: Mike James | May 31, 2012 2:03:38 PM

After I put the groceries away I go into a fetal position

with a bottle of Tawny Port.

Posted by: JoePeach | May 31, 2012 11:38:15 AM

joe - do what i do - select a cart in the parking lot and spray it down with a bleach solution - people look at you funny but so what - plus the extra exercise is good for you and management says this helps lower the cost of food

Posted by: sherlock | May 31, 2012 3:20:29 AM

Gee, Mike - put that shot (or two) on the contaminated object and ignite. Far more effective.....

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | May 31, 2012 12:25:35 AM

Here's a little trick that's always worked for me:

When you go shopping, always bring home a bottle of EverClear, or Bacardi 151, and take a good big slug after every bite of your germ-ridden food. You'll never get germs. Or at least you won't give a damn.

Posted by: Mike James | May 30, 2012 11:15:44 PM

And now the grocery stores supply "steri-wipes" for their carts. That might work. For as long as it takes to see the majority of pathogens evolve resistance.

F3cal (beating the blog's auto-censorship) coli forms are certainly present on the sitting surface - but how did they get there? Mom or dad put the distal GI tract of their issue in semi-contact with that surface. Mom, dad, and issue all have coli forms on their paws and from those contaminated surfaces they contact and transfer bacteria to the cart handle, the foods that they handle - and return to the stack, bin, rack, etc..

Let's not forget our Salmonella contaminated chicken and eggs. Touch a leaky package (or, a cooler bin that has colonies) and the paws of the shoppers are a veritable bio-warfare agent.

I presume all foodstuffs that are not sealed as contaminated. Listeria is an emerging food pathogen, and along with the coli firms, constitute serious hazards for the young, old, and immune compromised.

I always bring home groceries in coolers (soft-side) and segregate proteins from carbs.

Believe it or not, I have pasturized many of my foods (google Sous Vide). I always wash my hands before and after buying food (and, use a dry towel to open the bathroom door) and wash my hands and tools numerous times during preparation.

The salad spinner is your friend! Wash your greens. Then, once well-washed, put some saturated salt water and ice into the salad spinner and give it 10 min. Wash hands, lift basket, dump salt water, fill with fresh water. Replace greens and mix till ice melts. Drain and spin. That's as close to sterile that you can make a salad (and, everything is really crisp thanks to the power of osmosis).

Buy a good thermometer and use it!

When in doubt: throw it out!

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | May 30, 2012 6:13:45 PM

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