Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Germ Culture
Old 01-14-2007, 09:55 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,199
Germ Culture

Whenever I visit my family, I experience culture shock in terms of hygiene. For example,
  • They share food with anyone ("who wants the rest of my mashed potatoes?")
  • They don't refrigerate the butter.
  • They'll taste soup that they are cooking for a potluck, and put the spoon back in the soup.
  • If they drop something on the floor, they'll pick it up and eat it.

They'll say things like "The stomach acids will kill the germs." and "It will make my immune system stronger."

My feeling is that while it's true that the chances you'll get sick from these behaviors are pretty low, it's just not worth the risk.

Is it pretty clearcut that those things aren't a good idea, or am I a germophobe?


__________________

__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Germ Culture
Old 01-14-2007, 10:06 AM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,620
Re: Germ Culture

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
They'll say things like "The stomach acids will kill the germs." and "It will make my immune system stronger."
My feeling is that while it's true that the chances you'll get sick from these behaviors are pretty low, it's just not worth the risk.
Is it pretty clearcut that those things aren't a good idea, or am I a germophobe?
They probably live in close contact with each other all the time and share common bacteria & common immunities. The things (THEIR things) that will have you in the bathroom all night after dinner won't affect them. If you behaved the same way at your house cooking dinner for them, the chances are far higher that you'd be fine and they'd be sick.

You are a germophobe but you're also right. I learned from a high-school teacher on a camping trip that families (routinely sharing each other's germs & bacteria) can get away with sanitation lapses in their homes that would give dysentery to every customer at a McDonalds (or on a camping trip). That type of behavior from just one guy in a submarine galley, especially at the beginning of a patrol, will sicken at least 20% of the crew. It absolutely destroys a watchbill, to say nothing of the effects on the sewage system and the ship's atmosphere...
__________________

__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Germ Culture
Old 01-14-2007, 10:08 AM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 166
Re: Germ Culture

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Whenever I visit my family, there is a culture shock in terms of hygiene. For example,
  • They share food with anyone ("who wants the rest of my mashed potatoes?")
So? They are family, family germs are ok
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
  • They don't refrigerate the butter.

So? Soft butter spreads better. If it is used in a few hours it won't go rancid

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
  • They'll taste soup that they are cooking for a potluck, and put the spoon back in the soup.
If it is a family pot-luck - so? If not, a bit off, but if it is hot, not so bad. What the eye does not see.........
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
[list]
[
  • If they drop something on the floor, they'll eat it anyway.
So? Haven't you heard of the 5 second rule? And the Yorkshire epithet "you've got to eat a peck of muck before you go".

Put the Lysol down and relax, we are full of microbes and most of them are beneficial.
I think you should worry more about restaurants. "Slime in the ice machine" is probably the least of your worries there, even in some very fancy establishments.
__________________
nil illegitimus carborundum
F M All is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Germ Culture
Old 01-14-2007, 10:22 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,199
Re: Germ Culture

The sharing is even with relative strangers or relatives who visit only every year or so. The butter is left out permanently (never refrigerated), and the potluck was for 30 people at a school function.

Potluck story: A friend was rushing to a potluck, and put the soup on the floor when she went to get her car keys. When she came back, the dog was happily lapping up the soup. She took it anyway.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Germ Culture
Old 01-14-2007, 10:32 AM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Re: Germ Culture

Family sharing germs: fine.
Sharing germs outside of family: not fine.
Butter out indefinately: may go rancid, depends on how much butter you eat. Growing up everyone I knew left the butter out.
Eating food dropped on floor: Fine. Floor is probably has less germs than a counter.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Germ Culture
Old 01-14-2007, 10:34 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Re: Germ Culture

I was RVing for about 3 months and had the opportunity to watch people that DO NOT wash their hands after visiting the toilet or after disconnecting a sewer hose from the RV. Simply amazing.

I now wash my hands more than ever and avoid touching my face with my hands.

I also appreciate the the Japanese custom of bowing instead of shaking hands.

__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Germ Culture
Old 01-14-2007, 10:42 AM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,620
Re: Germ Culture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Butter out indefinately: may go rancid, depends on how much butter you eat. Growing up everyone I knew left the butter out.
What's the chance of butter in Minnesota getting warm enough to promote bacterial growth?!?
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Germ Culture
Old 01-14-2007, 11:15 AM   #8
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,132
Re: Germ Culture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Family sharing germs: fine.
Sharing germs outside of family: not fine.
Butter out indefinately: may go rancid, depends on how much butter you eat. Growing up everyone I knew left the butter out.
Eating food dropped on floor: Fine. Floor is probably has less germs than a counter.
I'm with Martha on this. I also heard that 40% of folks don't wash their hands after going to the toilet :P and and only 10% of those who do, wash their hands effectively :
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is online now   Reply With Quote
Re: Germ Culture
Old 01-14-2007, 12:20 PM   #9
Full time employment: Posting here.
bruce1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Hagersville
Posts: 793
Re: Germ Culture

I too am with Martha except in the case where cat walks on floor after using catbox. Cat no longer goes on counter.

Bruce
__________________
I wish I was half as good as my dog thinks I am!
bruce1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Germ Culture
Old 01-14-2007, 12:32 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
cube_rat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,466
Re: Germ Culture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan
I'm with Martha on this. I also heard that 40% of folks don't wash their hands after going to the toilet :P and and only 10% of those who do, wash their hands effectively :
Ugh, I worked with a Senior Director who did not wash her hands after using the restroom. This was NOT a one time incident either where it "slipped" her mind.

With regards to cats, I do not want cats walking/sitting on my kitchen counter. There's something about the thought of cat ass on my counter which turns my stomach. :P

Now, if drop something on MY floor, I may eat it. The 10 second rule is applicable in most cases...
__________________
fuzzy? cute?
cube_rat is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Germ Culture
Old 01-14-2007, 01:07 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Coach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 1,127
Re: Germ Culture

I leave the butter out -- it doesn't seem to be a problem, other than melting when it gets too hot. I live alone so I don't go through it real fast.

I don't refrigerate peanut butter or vegtable oil either. I was surprised to learn that some people do.

Coach
__________________
"Comprehensive health insurance is an idea whose time has come in America." President Richard M. Nixon, February 6, 1974
Coach is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Germ Culture
Old 01-14-2007, 01:14 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Outtahere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,677
Re: Germ Culture

I'm not germaphobic but I'm not eating someone's left over mashed taters family member or not!

Butter was always left out at our house but now that it's seldom used we put it in the fridge.

As for testing the soup/sauce with the same spoon, no way, not only because it's gross but just as a common courtesy to those I'm going to serve it to. If it's a can of soup I'm warming for myself then yes, I'll save myself some silverware washing.

If it drops on my floor it doesn't get eaten unless one can rinse it off. I have a dog that walks on that floor after doing who knows what. I don't have a cat but I know we have an occasional mouse around here (old house) so who knows what kind of ass has sat on my counter or floor, I make sure I wipe the counter down before I use it.

I find myself getting sick when dh doesn't and the same thing happens to him. We both know it's from the resturants we eat in for lunch, he frequents the same place every day and now notices what waitress is feeling sick and stays away from her.

My dad is getting pretty bad with this stuff though, if you take him food on a plate, when he returns it he's washed it and put it in a plastic bag or wrap to return it to you without touching it. Dh and I both chuckle about it and try to do the same thing but we know damned well he rewashes it once we give it back.

__________________

Dogs aren't our whole lives, but they make our lives whole. - Roger Caras
Outtahere is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Germ Culture
Old 01-14-2007, 01:16 PM   #13
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,132
Re: Germ Culture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach
I leave the butter out -- it doesn't seem to be a problem, other than melting when it gets too hot. I live alone so I don't go through it real fast.

I don't refrigerate peanut butter or vegtable oil either. I was surprised to learn that some people do.
ditto on the peanut butter and vegetable oil. We do keep the "butter" in the fridge but only because it would be too soft in the room (we eat vegetable oil based spread).
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is online now   Reply With Quote
Re: Germ Culture
Old 01-14-2007, 01:17 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: Germ Culture

Keeping butter fresh is a function of reducing contact with the air and refrigeration. Salted butter left out in open room temperature air will go rancid in about 2-3 days at 70 degrees. Faster if its warmer. Kept in a closed container like a butter dish with a lid and kept in a cabinet away from light and heat sources, perhaps a day or two longer.

A "butter bell" or specialized crock uses a butter container within a larger container holding water. When you put the lid on it, the lid 'seals' with the water to prevent flow of air into the container. Refilling the butter bell with cool water each day can help butter sit unrefrigerated for as much as a week, maybe two at cool room temps (below 65 degrees).

Salted butter lasts twice as long as unsalted butter. Clarified butter (ghee) lasts quite a while at room temperature in a closed jar.

Bacteria and germs are everywhere, but many people maintain an illusion of cleanliness that simply doesnt exist. Its a good idea to keep sources of parasites or serious organisms like botulism under control. Past that, the human system will regulate itself to the surroundings. Note that mexicans can eat stuff that will keep an american praying to the cool, cool toilet bowl for a week. Children raised in ultra clean environments have weaker immune systems.

And sometimes the over worrying about avoiding germs is more detrimental to ones health than the germs themselves.

We do have a number of rules here at la casa bunny. No cats on the tables or counters. A "two drinks of water and four hour" limit between the dogs eating anything "funny" outside and any licking of the face. Wash up after bathroom breaks. And its really not that tough to rinse things off that fall on the floor, in excess of the "three second rule".
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Germ Culture
Old 01-14-2007, 01:23 PM   #15
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,132
Re: Germ Culture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outtahere
My dad is getting pretty bad with this stuff though, if you take him food on a plate, when he returns it he's washed it and put it in a plastic bag or wrap to return it to you without touching it. Dh and I both chuckle about it and try to do the same thing but we know damned well he rewashes it once we give it back.
My Dad is about as un-hygenic as you can imagine - it drives my sister nuts - and she is always clearing out the left-overs and out-dated food from his fridge and counter tops. He is 81, been alone since mom died in '95, rarely, if ever, gets sick, been a smoker all his life, 40+ years a coal miner etc.
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is online now   Reply With Quote
Re: Germ Culture
Old 01-14-2007, 03:47 PM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
Linney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 262
Re: Germ Culture

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
Now, if drop something on MY floor, I may eat it. The 10 second rule is applicable in most cases...
Disproven by the Mythbusters TV show:
http://kwc.org/mythbusters/2005/10/m...nvasion_a.html

But if I drop chocolate on the floor, well . . . . what stinkin' rule? <chomp chomp>
__________________
Linney is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Germ Culture
Old 01-14-2007, 05:21 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,199
Re: Germ Culture

I was sitting at an outdoor food stand in Monterey, and I observed the following. I am not making this up, or exagerating any parts.

A woman's labrador retriever was near our table, and it vomited on the floor. It then licked up the vomit, and walked back to its owner, who saw nothing. The owner then held out her ice cream spoon, let the lab lick from it, then continued eating her ice cream with it.

__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Germ Culture
Old 01-14-2007, 07:47 PM   #18
gone traveling
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,036
Re: Germ Culture

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl

A woman's labrador retriever was near our table, and it vomited on the floor. It then licked up the vomit, and walked back to its owner, who saw nothing. The owner then held out her ice cream spoon, let the lab lick from it, then continued eating her ice cream with it.

But it was HER dogs vomit. What's your point? :
__________________
honobob is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Germ Culture
Old 01-14-2007, 07:48 PM   #19
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,132
Re: Germ Culture

My family back in England is like that. If it isn't vomit then it is bound to be something else disgusting that the dog has been eating or licking before having a lick of my sister's ice cream or lollipop. :P
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is online now   Reply With Quote
Re: Germ Culture
Old 01-15-2007, 01:04 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: Germ Culture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linney
Disproven by the Mythbusters TV show:
Yeah I saw that one. Thats why I use a ten second rule, rather than the five second rule they tested with.

Since I always beat the ten second clock, the results of any testing are incomplete and invalid.

While I'm thinking that over, either I eat the item or feed it to a readily available dog.
__________________

__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Our shameless culture dex Other topics 69 04-16-2007 07:27 AM
Culture of Complaint yakers Other topics 18 01-24-2006 08:44 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:24 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.