Column: Fine dining and our dirty little devices

In Plain View by Lachlan Labere

I think it’s fair to say my cell phone wouldn’t qualify as being food safe.

I’ve never thought to actually clean my cell phone, nor considered its hygiene implications, until a recent visit with my brother. He’s a chef at a fancy restaurant, one where celebrities dine (I remain envious of the fact he got to meet Lou Reed).

During one conversation, he noted my cell phone and asked if I have to be on it all the time, understanding it’s likely an important tool of the job. I admitted I’m on it much more than I ever thought I would be, having put off acquiring one for as long as I could. My brother expressed his, well, irritation with the excess cell phone use he sees in his industry, where customer service and cleanliness are immeasurably important. One scenario of concern raised was the food server who takes their cell phone into the washroom with them. While they may have washed their hands for the minimal 20 seconds required before returning to service, it’s unlikely the cell phone received the same attention. And yet they’re back to checking messages or what have you, running their fingers across their screen – the same fingers that will be serving food momentarily.

Read more: Letter: Parents should be aware of cell-phone dangers

Read more: Guest column: Shuswap mother warns parents about Whisper

Read more: B.C. Mountie’s warning to not talk on phone to driver at drive-thru sparks online rage

Read more: Cell phone rings in 46th anniversary today

Why this irritates my brother, in addition to being a workplace distraction, cell phones can also be dirty little devices. One U.S. study (Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials 2009) took 200 cell phones from the hands of 200 participants and found 94 per cent demonstrated evidence of bacterial contamination. A University of Arizona microbiologist found cell phones to carry “10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats.” And in yet another study, this one from the UK, scientists found one in six mobile phones in Britain to be contaminated with E. coli. I read in another news story that pathogens like C. difficile can live on a cell phone for days. Gack.

Of course, you can use your cell phone to check all this out for yourself. But I think I’m on board with my brother – if you’re serving, preparing or doing anything with food, be it for yourself or others, maybe hold off on Googling until later.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Special memorial service to say goodbye to murdered teen

A memorial service and celebratio of life was held Tuesday for murdered teen Elijah-Iain Beauregard

Wilson M. Beck Charity Golf Tournament in Kelowna benefiting YMCA of Okanagan

The tournament is sold out with 144 golfers swinging for the cause

Kelowna baseballers invited to league all-star game

The 2019 West Coast League All-Star Game will have two players from the Kelowna Falcons

Casa Loma residents petition to halt proposed Blackmun Bay project

West Kelowna City Council grants second reading for what would be the city’s largest development

Lakestone Grand Opening set for this weekend in Lake Country

MP Stephen Fuhr, MLA Norm Letnick and Mayor James Baker will all speak at the event

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Okanagan College campus flies Syilx flag

The Okanagan Nation Alliance flag was raised at a ceremony at Vernon campus on July 16

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

Summerland clinic will be closed on August long weekend

Medical office assistant needed at Rosedale Medical Clinic

Driver who killed Shuswap motorcyclist receives absolute discharge

Chase family speechless following decision by BC Review Board

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Most Read