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  #61  
Old 01.12.2011, 15:48
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

I'm feeling generous and give them the benefit of the doubt.

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I was writing about the one that did not mention wearing gloves when handling food.
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Old 01.12.2011, 15:59
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

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A couple of general remarks:

3. I've had food poisoning three times in my life: once in the States (and I'm sure the person who prepared my food was wearing gloves...), once in Britain and once in Greece. While Greece would be a typical candidate for that topic, I really fail to see a pattern here. Considering that I spent 33 years of my life in Switzerland and never once had food poisoning here, I'd say hygiene standards are pretty good here. I only spent 2 years in the States (I did get sick within the first 2 weeks of arriving there, however) and only days in Greece and England, so go figure.
Dawiz, I would have to disagree with you here. Just because you have never had food poisoning in Switzerland doesn't mean others haven't and that the hygiene standards are good. I am in this industry and I assure you, while some well run restaurants do observe good H&S practices, there are a lot that do not.

I've been to Greek islands 4 times, never had a problem. Lived in the USA for 5 years, never a problem. Been to several Asian & African cities and never had food poisoning. I've been to Delhi so many times and never had Delhi belly. But my wife (Swiss German) got a seriously bad belly from eating the exactly same food as me in Delhi! BUT in the 3 years in Switzerland I've had it once. The only time in my life. Imagine that. And yes I went to a doctor because the pain was excruciating and he confirmed it was food poisoning. It varies from person to person. What may affect 1 person, won't affect another. But the way to cut out such risks is to ensure good hygiene, health & safety.

I don't assume because of that 1 bad experience that all hygiene standards in Switzerland are crap, not at all. I do however know what I see and I've seen several flaws at several places.
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Old 01.12.2011, 16:01
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

on a more serious tone, I do agree that it would be discriminating and counterproductive on the WHO's part (after all teh cater for ALL the world, not just western countries) for small "one-woman/man" kitchens in the developing countries who sell great and nutricious local food at a fair price on the streets. it would be unrealistic to expect them to be wearing gloves (and to pay for them). I wouldn't say that is necessarily less hygienic, it depends on so many other factors: cooked or raw, how quick the food turnover is, how long has it been heated, how fresh the ingredients, climate and temperature etc. I'm pretty sure that a housewife with enough common sense can have a more hygienic kitchen than a star-rated chef.
and have always eaten there while travelling without experiencing any bad consequence.
does this mean that I don't care if I see someone handling my cheese with their bare hands at the shop down the street everyday, here in europe? NO, sorry.

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I'm feeling generous and give them the benefit of the doubt.
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Old 01.12.2011, 16:29
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

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on a more serious tone, I do agree that it would be discriminating and counterproductive on the WHO's part (after all teh cater for ALL the world, not just western countries) for small "one-woman/man" kitchens in the developing countries who sell great and nutricious local food at a fair price on the streets. it would be unrealistic to expect them to be wearing gloves (and to pay for them). I wouldn't say that is necessarily less hygienic, it depends on so many other factors: cooked or raw, how quick the food turnover is, how long has it been heated, how fresh the ingredients, climate and temperature etc. I'm pretty sure that a housewife with enough common sense can have a more hygienic kitchen than a star-rated chef.
and have always eaten there while travelling without experiencing any bad consequence.
does this mean that I don't care if I see someone handling my cheese with their bare hands at the shop down the street everyday, here in europe? NO, sorry.
Luckily, you're in the minority.
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Old 01.12.2011, 18:46
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

oh dear, I won't be able to sleep tonight.

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Luckily, you're in the minority.
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Old 01.12.2011, 18:48
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

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I don't assume because of that 1 bad experience that all hygiene standards in Switzerland are crap, not at all. I do however know what I see and I've seen several flaws at several places.
Sure, I don't doubt that - it's just silly to think that food standards here are worse than in other countries. And if you look at the statistics, getting food poisoning in Greece or Turkey is drastically more frequent than in Switzerland - that's a fact.

Food poisoning in the US is also a massive problem - although there it's less of an issue with food preparation than with slaughterhouse hygiene and the lack of USDA controls of those facilities. Statistically, 1/4 of all people living in the States get food poisoning at least once per year.

http://www.downtoearth.org/health/ge...soning-america
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Old 01.12.2011, 18:53
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

by the way, the doctor called me today to update me on the results and she gave me the impression that she really cared and is competent.
so I feel like giving the practice a second chance notwithstanding the grimy image.
I think I'm can trust her. but I guess she could have made things easier investing in "decorum"...

thanks for all the constructive infos and tips to all!
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Old 02.12.2011, 01:03
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

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Dawiz, I would have to disagree with you here. Just because you have never had food poisoning in Switzerland doesn't mean others haven't and that the hygiene standards are good. I am in this industry and I assure you, while some well run restaurants do observe good H&S practices, there are a lot that do not.

I've been to Greek islands 4 times, never had a problem. Lived in the USA for 5 years, never a problem. Been to several Asian & African cities and never had food poisoning. I've been to Delhi so many times and never had Delhi belly. But my wife (Swiss German) got a seriously bad belly from eating the exactly same food as me in Delhi! BUT in the 3 years in Switzerland I've had it once. The only time in my life. Imagine that. And yes I went to a doctor because the pain was excruciating and he confirmed it was food poisoning. It varies from person to person. What may affect 1 person, won't affect another. But the way to cut out such risks is to ensure good hygiene, health & safety.

I don't assume because of that 1 bad experience that all hygiene standards in Switzerland are crap, not at all. I do however know what I see and I've seen several flaws at several places.
I spent a year and a half on Greek islands, and there I saw just about every atrocity concerning food hygiene I can think of, yet I never had the slightest problem. On the other hand, my American OH, as germophobic as can be, always contracts severe food poisoning on her last day in the oh-so-hygenically-minded USA before flying to Europe. The funny thing is, her dog gets it too, although he doesn't eat the same food.

I think I needn't explain the conclusions I drew from this phenomenon.

As for medical staff and gloves -- in oral surgery, no one wore gloves except during certain special procedures, and that without any issues until the fear of HIV seized mankind in the early eighties. Of course, as mentioned by other posters, apart from real surgery, the gloves were mainly meant to protect the staff, not the patient; after all, drawing blood or removing a broken root tip from the jaw is not open heart surgery.

Funny enough, even before AIDS became a buzz word, the risk for the staff to contract hepatitis was (and still is!) much higher than HIV, but because hepatitis, unlike AIDS, never was hyped by the media, nobody cared, neither patients nor medics. Normal standard hygienic precautions were considered sufficient, and basically that still is the case. Only the point of view of some patients has changed, mainly due to slanted coverage on the media.
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Old 02.12.2011, 06:52
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

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by the way, the doctor called me today to update me on the results...
so? Did the nurse call in sick and they are now hiring again?
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Old 02.12.2011, 11:22
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

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Sure, I don't doubt that - it's just silly to think that food standards here are worse than in other countries. And if you look at the statistics, getting food poisoning in Greece or Turkey is drastically more frequent than in Switzerland - that's a fact.

Food poisoning in the US is also a massive problem - although there it's less of an issue with food preparation than with slaughterhouse hygiene and the lack of USDA controls of those facilities. Statistically, 1/4 of all people living in the States get food poisoning at least once per year.

http://www.downtoearth.org/health/ge...soning-america
Thank for the response, I enjoy a good discussion.

Again, I believe otherwise. I think it's silly to assume that food standards here are better than in other countries just because you never had food poisoning here or based on a few shallow stats. If you base it on my experience, then it's quite contrary. I never claimed that hygiene here was the worst in the world, certainly not, I just said problems do exist. Go into professional kitchens and see what actually goes on. I do and I know. Often facts are only numbers taken by people who see things one way and therefore they are often not what they seem.

But since you want to talk about statistics, here's one for you: 9 out of 10 cases of food poisoning in Switzerland & Germany are NOT reported. Whereas in Greece & in USA, far far more cases are reported, so this changes the statistics. We all know how things can be exaggerated in certain countries in the hope of obtaining compensation ... freebies/refunds anyone !

Another known fact is that a lot of cases of food poisoning are reported by travellers. And there is a massive difference in the type of travellers to Switzerland versus the type travellers to USA & Greece. A lot of the visitors who come to Switzerland are from a higher income bracket and therefore can afford to dine in higher end establishments where hygiene practices are better observed. If you go to Greek or Spanish islands, you'll see a lot of cheap package tourism who frequent lower end restaurants/bars/hotels constantly searching for a cheap meal, with their only holiday interest being all inclusive alcohol. I've catered to many many guests who have claimed food poisoning only for me to send them to the doctor at the hotels expense, and to find out in the end that the guests were simply dehydrated from too much alcohol, too much sun, no water and malaria medicines. In Switzerland, that's not the case. You're talking apples and oranges.

Yet another factor is that people who travel to the Greek islands and other tropical destinations will eat very different food from what they are used to eating at home. If you eat sandwiches, burgers and fries on a daily basis, a fresh grilled garlic sea fish or a rich & creamy full fat Punjabi butter chicken will most certainly upset your tummy. And there is a massive difference between an upset tummy/diarrhea and food poisoning. They are 2 totally different things yet they are often confused. How many people have claimed food poisoning yet have never gone to a doctor. Food poisoning can be very very dangerous and a doctor must be consulted.

Another major factor in food safety is temperature. The temperatures that products are prepared, transported, received and stored are the major cause of food poisoning. In warmer climates, more controls are absolutely necessary. Whereas in colder locations not so much. What could result in a major outbreak in Mumbai for example, would not in Oslo. But that doesn't mean that your food shouldn't be properly handled regardless of location.

Since you mentioned the USDA, I have a short response. COOP supermarket. How one of the biggest supermarket chain in Switzerland managed to evade important H&S controls proves my point. Where were the standards then? If they were allowed to do what they did, imagine what smaller independent restaurants are getting up to. While it also happens in many many countries the world over, it happens here as well.

It might sound funny but I'm not too anal about H&S, unfortunately it's a big part of my profession so I'm discussing it. I eat out a lot and prefer kitchens that are behind closed doors (unless it's sushi or teppanyaki), because what I don't see I don't know. But for certain places that I have frequented that have visible kitchens, I feel stronger practices are necessary.

H&S is a big responsibility of every restaurateur/hotelier to ensure that the guest's safety is observed. You are paying for it, why not get the best out of it. It doesn't cost any more to wash your hands or to wear a chefs hat/ hair net.

I remember another place I worked at outside Geneva, the chef would drink beer all day and smoke cigarettes while behind the stove cooking food! And this was at an expensive restaurant .
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Old 02.12.2011, 11:31
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

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But since you want to talk about statistics, here's one for you: 9 out of 10 cases of food poisoning in Switzerland & Germany are NOT reported.
Says who? I know for a fact that all cases of campylobacter jejuni infections (campylobacter is the most frequent form of food-poisoning) have to be reported in Germany (§7 IfSG, if you want to look it up). The same goes for salmonella, e. coli etc.

In Switzerland, all food-borne illnesses have to be reported:

http://www.puls.sf.tv/Nachrichten/Ar...an-nicht-sieht

"Infektionen, die durch verseuchte Lebensmittel ausgelöst werden, sind in der Schweiz meldepflichtig"


And again: I think you must be joking if you believe food hygiene here is worse than in countries such as Greece or the US.
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Old 02.12.2011, 11:36
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

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[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]Yet another factor is that people who travel to the Greek islands and other tropical destinations will eat very different food from what they are used to eating at home.
I hardly think it matters whether you get an e.coli infection from undercooked Stifado in Greece or from a hamburger at McDonald's - the outcome is the same. As there's no such thing as resistance to gastro-intestinal bacterial infections, the local population suffers from the same kind of food-borne illnesses as the tourists (unless they don't eat at the same places, of course). So the whole "only travelers get sick" point is moot.
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Old 02.12.2011, 11:57
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

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I hardly think it matters whether you get an e.coli infection from undercooked Stifado in Greece or from a hamburger at McDonald's - the outcome is the same. As there's no such thing as resistance to gastro-intestinal bacterial infections, the local population suffers from the same kind of food-borne illnesses as the tourists (unless they don't eat at the same places, of course). So the whole "only travelers get sick" point is moot.
But of course, that's hardly arguing against what I'm saying. A real food born illness will affect everyone. But if you read my post properly, you'd see that I was referring to people claiming to have had food poisoning but didn't.

While everyone may have to report food illnesses, most don't. Now that is a fact. You're having a laugh if you think EVERYONE reports food poisoning here.

And I shall reiterate for you again, I don't state that food hygiene practices are worse than in Greece and/or USA, but I know there are problems/serious issues. You're tripping if you think hygiene practices here have no problems. COOP.

http://cgd.swissre.com/events/Risk_T...itzerland.html

http://cgd.swissre.com/library/Risk_...d_Article.html

"Quoting statistics from both the European Union and Switzerland... nine in ten cases of food poisoning through contamination go unreported... 28% of food poisoning cases reported in Switzerland result from eating out"

And since you're jumping to conclusions, I never said 'only' travellers report food poisoning. Where did I say that?
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Old 02.12.2011, 12:10
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

I must say I too was concerned when I saw the nurse didn't wear gloves, but, after she finished with me I saw her wash her hands, so I rest my mind with the hope that she does that for every single patient.
Then I gave a bit more thought and, without any scientifical studies and such, came by myself to the conclusion that taking blood without gloves must be easier, so there are practical reasons behind that. And anyway, it should be the medical staff woried, much more than the patients.
As for handling burgers, BTW, has anyone here ever tried to cook something wearing gloves? Now imagine you would have to wear them all day long, to put at rest somobody's phobia. (I also have it, btw )
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Old 02.12.2011, 12:30
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

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I've seen chefs cut vegetables on the same chopping board where they were cutting raw meat (cross contamination).
Just out of interest, when was the last time you heard of a carrot catching BSE, or a cow having potato blight?

As long as the vegetables are cooked and the meat is cooked, I think it doesn't matter if just before being cooked they may have briefly been in contact.

Or if you're eating the vegetables raw for that matter, and the meat raw as well, what difference does it make if they were chopped on the same board.

I don't know about you but I have a small kitchen and don't have the option of keeping a whole armada of chopping boards.
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Old 02.12.2011, 12:41
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

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Just out of interest, when was the last time you heard of a carrot catching BSE, or a cow having potato blight?

As long as the vegetables are cooked and the meat is cooked, I think it doesn't matter if just before being cooked they may have briefly been in contact.

Or if you're eating the vegetables raw for that matter, and the meat raw as well, what difference does it make if they were chopped on the same board.
Oooh Amogles, it's quite dangerous actually and a major part of any H&S inspection. Imagine if a piece of raw poultry has a deadly strain of campylobacter or salmonella and you chop it up on a chopping board. You then go ahead and cook it to the optimal temperature so it's fine, safe. But the carrots and tomatoes that you chop on the same chopping board after the poultry are put together in a raw salad are of high risk. The person eating the salad is in great risk of food poisoning.

In professional kitchens, there are chopping boards of different colours to avoid such flaws: red for raw meat, blue for raw fish, yellow for cooked meat, green for salad and fruit, brown for veggies and white for breads. I'm not sure if the colours change depending on where you are in the world. In fact, meats, fish and veggies are prepared in different areas of the kitchen.

http://www.foodsafety.asn.au/_srcfil...mination_2.pdf

While at home you can relax because you are doing the cooking and you're obviously not going to kill yourself. I use 2 chopping boards. 1 for non-veg and 1 for veg. And I make sure that the one I use for non-veg is well washed in very hot water after every use and then in the dish washer. It was the way I was trained and I've never had a problem. If you're going to use only 1 board, please chop the veggies first and the poultry/meat last. It's for your own and your family's safety.

p.s. my kitchen is pretty small too
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Old 02.12.2011, 12:49
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

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And I shall reiterate for you again, I don't state that food hygiene practices are worse than in Greece and/or USA, but I know there are problems/serious issues. You're tripping if you think hygiene practices here have no problems. COOP.


To my knowledge, no one has been made ill through the Co-op practices.

In those two links there's only one case of food poisoning.

You really need to put things in perspective.
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Old 02.12.2011, 13:35
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

I used to work for a H&S Laboratory a few years ago and sometimes was pretty shocked about what is going on even in high class restaurants. I'm with MM&I in most of the points and sometimes it's just better you don't see the kitchen. There should just be more transparency regarding the results of the control, for example a rating that the restaurant has to display.
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Old 02.12.2011, 13:44
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

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I don't know about you but I have a small kitchen and don't have the option of keeping a whole armada of chopping boards.
I covet this thing...
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Old 02.12.2011, 13:58
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Re: Hygiene at doctor's practice

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To my knowledge, no one has been made ill through the Co-op practices.

In those two links there's only one case of food poisoning.

You really need to put things in perspective.
Re: COOP - I'm sure you're right Tom but that doesn't mean it was not a serious flaw. It could have resulted in a major issue. I'm very glad that the problems surfaced and received the response that they did from the people because we deserve better treatment. We all deserve the right to a safe life. Why should we suffer because a few individuals couldn't be bothered? With all the smoking, drinking, high stress jobs, we already do enough harm to our bodies. We don't need others making it worse.

The links, yes, but you need to read the articles through. There's a lot of info there. As I've studied H&S, hygiene and nutrition, I have tons of material at home. Lots available on Google if one needs to dig deeper into it.

p.s. I studied hospitality in Switzerland and in USA and a lot of what we learnt was related to the Swiss & American hospitality industries.
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