Safety at home

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Safety at home

Postby Kay » Wed 27 Aug 2003 16:58

I guess we all have our little foibles and rules around the house. I'm kinda funny about things in my kitchen. Apart from all the usual food hygiene basics like keeping raw and cooked meat separate etc, I insist that anyone doing anything in there first washes their hands, then puts on an apron (yes, really, and I have man-sized chef aprons available), and must wear adequate footwear.

Bl**dy typical, I broke my own rule tonight for the first time I can remember and cooked dinner without wearing shoes. I managed to pour boiling oil from the roast tattie tin all over my bare foot. That'll teach me. :cry: :oops:

Has anyone got any "rules" of their own? Are they sensible or are they more what you'd call quirkiness?

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Postby Rich » Wed 27 Aug 2003 17:20

I managed to pour boiling oil from the roast tattie tin all over my bare foot. That'll teach me


:shock: :shock: Ouch. That's gotta really hurt. Hope you can hop well enough to make it to Ruggie's, and the swelling isn't too bad.

Has anyone got any "rules" of their own? Are they sensible or are they more what you'd call quirkiness?


I don't really have any "rules" as such, more along the lines of quirks/habits i suppose, but none that I really impose on anybody else (that I can think of).

Stupid things I do for no apparent reason include:

* I always close and lock (and check it's locked) the bathroom door, even if i'm just brushing my teeth, and even though i'm the only person in my appartment.

* First thing I do every morning is wash my hands. Even if I really need the toilet, or a glass of water, I will stand there and wash my hands first. But that's often only time I do all day.

* I also have a thing about sitting on the floor, normally cross legged and almost always bare footed, even when there are beds/sofa's/chairs etc to sit on. I even do this at work i.e. when we're having meetings (including with customers!) or i'm eating lunch. Everybody still thinks i'm bonkers (probably correctly)

There are many, many more stupid things like that I do, but you get the picture...

The only sort of rule I have which I try and make everybody else follow is making sure all the rubbish goes in the correct bins for recycling etc., but that's a big thing in Sweden so all the locals do it automatically and you can be fined heavily if your caught putting stuff in the wrong bin.
Last edited by Rich on Thu 28 Aug 2003 17:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Kay » Wed 27 Aug 2003 17:49

That's interesting, Rich, and thanks for sharing it.

I am a hand-washing freak. But I don't think I have that compulsive syndrome thing. It's just that I wash my hands before touching food and after touching various things like raw meat, after going to the toilet, after touching eggs (because we were told in chef school that eggs shells have as many germs as raw meat), and so on and on.

Many times the skin on my hands is just about falling apart and I have to try to minimise the old hand-washing thing by doing things in a different order or by getting the maid to do something for me.

And yet I'm a great believer in not worrying too much about things. In my experience the people who worry are the ones who get sick. I've eaten in all kinds of weird places and been fine. Some of the places Tim and I ate in whilst travelling in Vietnam were absolutely shocking, and we never got sick.

I've never had any problems in two years in Delhi, and Dave and I go out and about eating at various places. And I drink the water here. :shock:

Therefore, I suppose that I have to conclude that my "rules" are more of a quirkiness as, whilst I insist on it in my own kitchen, I can quite happily risk whatever's on offer elsewhere. Hmmm, I'm a very picky eater, though.

In all the time I've been overseas, I've only twice had a serious dose of Delhi-belly. Once from a 5 star hotel buffet and the other time from the American Club in Peshawar. And the time I had dysentry, as fate would have it, coincided with having no water in the house. :(

My motto is: kill the germs with alcohol and you'll be fine.

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Postby Rich » Wed 27 Aug 2003 18:16

And yet I'm a great believer in not worrying too much about things. In my experience the people who worry are the ones who get sick. I've eaten in all kinds of weird places and been fine.


Something like that. I sort of work on a don't ask basis. What you don't know, won't kill you. When it's just me my kitchen hygene especially is really bad and I probably break virtually health & safety rule going. Even the wash hands after toilet thing I often just forget. I take allot more care when cooking etc for other people, and there's things that I eat which i would'nt serve anybody else. I ain't dead yet, and that's more or less good enough for me.

When I was growing up I was always getting stomach infections etc, but since i've been cooking etc for myself and ignoring most basic hygene rules, I've never had a problem. Also never had a problem eating in many strange places (although not been to anywhere considered particularly high risk yet) and only problems i've had are when i haven't spotted that something has been washed/dressed in vinegar (Very, very allergic) until too late.

And that's an eminently (sp?) sensible motto.
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Postby chabrenas » Thu 28 Aug 2003 15:26

We have a few rules/guidelines.

1. We don't clean often, but when we do, we do it thoroughly. All greasy nooks & crannies.

2. NO SMOKING IN THE HOUSE. EVER.

3. Wash hands before preparing food for guests, or before using them to handle food after it is cooked. (If I'm cooking for myself and don't intend to use my fingers to eat, I don't usually bother here unless I know I've been touching something suspect recently - but Botswana is a very dry, sterile environment. In Europe or wetter parts of Africa, I wash my hands more frequently).

4. Wash hands after using the toilet - OF COURSE.

5. Wash hands THOROUGHLY after using toxic chemicals.

6. Blow or scrape dog hair & dust off things I drop on the floor, before eating them. This isn't a hygiene thing - I just don't like hair (or sand) in my mouth.

I have had salmonella poisoning (in the UK, twice) and giardiasis (in Malawi, once) from restaurant meals, but never suffered from anything I prepared myself.
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Postby justajester » Thu 28 Aug 2003 19:00

My friends call me the bleach queen...i have a spray bottle with a mixture of bleach and water on my counter and tend to use it a lot. I am also particular about the whole handwashing thing, and a stickler for not handling anything after i've touched raw meat, especially chicken or other poultry. I will not leave a pot of oil, even to answer the phone- i'll turn it off even if i think i'm only going to be away for a minute.

I have taught my children and am teaching my grandchildren to do "three things" before they leave the bathroom-1. put the lid down 2. flush 3. wash your hands...all i have to do now is hold up my 3 fingers and if they have forgotten any one of them, they return to do it.

And always turn the handles in ...i've seen what a little one can do if they can reach one :cry:
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Postby chabrenas » Fri 29 Aug 2003 05:09

And always turn the handles in

Amen to that. But the follow-on is that whenever a child shows an interest in doing something, show them how to do it properly, and make sure they understand. If necessary, adapt and find a solution.

Our younger son was very successfully cooking scrambled eggs standing on full 5 litre (1 gallon) paint cans at a tender age - but we knew he was exceptionally well-coordinated and sensible.

And both were taught to put scalded or burnt fingers under the cold tap and hold them there for several minutes. Whatever you do, they will get minor burns & scalds, so teach them what to do.You may not be around one day when they hurt themselves.

They were both taught at a very early age how to deal with cuts (cold tap again, to get them clean - then press for a few minutes and the bleeding will stop). If it doesn't, press a pad of toilet paper firmly over the cut and find help. The sight of blood is nothing to panic about, and howling won't even get you sympathy.

Nosebleeds: blow all the muck out, THEN pich niostrils and hold on for several minutes. If bleeding starts again, you didn't get all the muck out, so start again.
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Postby Tim » Sat 30 Aug 2003 09:14

Talking of cuts and grazes, I'm happy to say that a few years ago I found something good that came out of the USA! Triple antibiotic ointment. You use it like Savlon, but it works much, much faster and is a boon in climates where little wounds just don't seem to heal. Slap some on and you can more or less watch it get better!

Rich - take some with you on your trip!
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Postby Rich » Sat 30 Aug 2003 13:01

Triple antibiotic ointment. You use it like Savlon, but it works much, much faster and is a boon in climates where little wounds just don't seem to heal. Slap some on and you can more or less watch it get better!

Rich - take some with you on your trip!


Interesting. Never seen or heard of it. I'll try and find some to add to our ever-expanding list of things to take!
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Postby Kay » Sat 30 Aug 2003 13:17

Hmmm. I never use antibiotics if I can possibly avoid them. I wonder what our medical guru, Mike K-H, has to say on the subject.
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Postby Tim » Sat 30 Aug 2003 13:33

I've never seen it anywhere except in the US. I always get friends to bring some back with them. You can get brand-name or generic in any drugstore over there. It's an ointment, so I can't see it having the problem that systemic antibiotics (pills) have, but I guess what it does is clear up the bacteria that are preventing the wound from healing. It works much better (ie faster) than antiseptics.

I didn't know we had a resident medical guru any more, but for info I'll copy the hingredients from one of my tubes:

per gram (in light mineral oil and white petrolatum): bacitracin 400 units, neomycin sulphate equiv to 3.5 mg of neomycin base and polymixin-B sulphate 5,000 units.
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Postby Kay » Sat 30 Aug 2003 13:40

I didn't know we had a resident medical guru any more,


We do and we don't. Nick was prohibited from giving medical advice on here because he is a qualified medical doctor. Mike K-H on the other hand has no professional training or qualifications in medicine, and therefore he doesn't have to worry about professional indemnity. :roll:

That said, Mike is still a pretty good medicine man. Try him.

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Postby chabrenas » Sat 30 Aug 2003 13:56

I'm not a guru - just a reasonably-informed amateur on account of beng married to an Occupational Health Nurse & Midwife, and having a Vet for an elder son. Your ointment sounds much the same as the stuff my local vet uses after dogfights, etc. Should be particularly useful in humid tropical Africa, where even small wounds have a habit of going septic. We use a powder with similar ingredients which is useful because ointments pick up muck unless you stick plasters over them, but wounds heal more quickly open to the air if you can keep them clean. (Try taking off plasters before you go to bed, and putting new ones on in the morning).

Antiseptics aren't really any more use than soap & water. Liquid Savlon is an excellent wound cleaner (dilute it!), and doing a thorough job of cleaning a wound is the most effective treatment.

If you get caught with a thorn-prick, etc., going septic (i.e. starting to throb), dunk it in very hot water (so hot that you can't hold it there) as frequently as you can. In Zambia, a surgeon/sailing colleague told me that I'd saved myself quite a painful minor operation by doing that. (He'd offered to cut my thumbnail open if it didn't heal in a couple of days - that frightened me into taking the hot water treatment seriously)
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Postby sandibeach » Thu 30 Oct 2003 03:08

:D We in America can also purchase triple antibiotic with a little bit of lidocine in to take away the sting, pain associated with cuts, bites etc.
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Postby Not-Lorna » Thu 30 Oct 2003 12:42

I'm a great believer in the healing properties of Essential Oils, but there is a time and place for them and conventional (man made) medicine. Lavender essential oil has properties ranging from analgesic, antiseptic and antibiotic, bactericidal and decongestant, it's a sedative, it helps with muscular pain, etc. etc. etc. The workers in the lavender fields in France and the tanners who used essential oils in their work were not affected by the Great Plague. So my medicine cabinet is very small and smells very nice.
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