WITNESS

Letters

What is the point of a restaurant or cafe worker wearing a glove, or gloves, if that same glove is going to touch the till, drawer, open the drinks cooler and, especially, touch money.
The point of wearing gloves when serving food is to protect the customer from cross-contamination, but in Papua New Guinea we see the same person wearing the glove and serving food also wiping the table and mopping the floor wearing the same glove.
Gloves should be changed every time a new customer is served, again to prevent cross-contamination.
Money, especially, is very dirty. A research in Britain found that a coin or note can have more harmful germs than a toilet seat, yet only 20 per cent of Europeans wash their hands after touching money.
Why is money dirty? Money passes from person to person, is dropped on the floor, stuffed down someone’s pocket, and in Port Moresby it was even being washed in the same dirty water a market vendor in Boroko used to wash garden produce.
In New York, for example, researchers last year swabbed $1 bills from a bank to see what was living on the paper currency and found hundreds of species of micro-organisms.
While some were harmless skin bacteria, they also found those that caused acne, microbes from mouths, DNA from pets and viruses and – wait for it – virginal bacteria.
Yuck!

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