I stopped by my local grocery store this morning to get a loaf of bread… simple right!! NOT SO FAST! My first hot flash was getting it sliced!
They now have a help yourself bread slicer on the counter, at first glance/thought I think.. great. But then, I think to ask how often is this machine cleaned…what happens if my gluten-free bread is pushed through this slicer…then I noticed there are no hand sanitizer or gloves.. gulp!
I decide to slice my own bread at home.. ahhh I’m so wise! As im patting myself on the back for making a good food-safe decision, I round the corner to see staff placing sliced watermelon right next to raw chicken. My second hotflash! Except this one is hotter. I decide to take a picture, giving prove of what I’ve seen. Suddenly I’m accosted by, presumably, someone in authority, to tell me I’m “NOT ALLOWED to take pictures in this store!” but .. but .. I say.. I’m not comfortable with this potential of cross-contamination. I try to explain that I can’t wash this sliced watermelon at home if raw chicken were to contaminate it… I’m told that I will be escorted from the store. Not another HOTFLASH!!
I sigh, knowing that I’m making a fuss, I’m getting unwelcome attention, I’m upsetting the status quo, I’m making a point, I’m challenging the policies, I’m too aware of food safety concerns… I ask myself how this can be wrong! I just wanted a loaf of bread!
I start to notice more things.. I don’t mean to.. but my hot flashes are coming faster …. I observe a gentleman reaching in the bun bins with bare hands, not using the available tongs… I see the unattended child spitting into the dry goods containers, giggling to himself… I see a staff member taking a cantaloupe off the shelf without washing the fruit, cutting and serving it to customers… I realize that there are no thermometers to read the temperature in the deli case, the milk is leaned up outside the refrigeration curtain..
Surely this store doesn’t want to hurt me, has my best interest at heart, and wants me back as a regular customer? Right!! I smile as I read the message on the staff t-shirts..”CUSTOMERS COME FIRST” ! That answers my questions, but why are they insisting I leave the store and not take pictures!
The revelation that hits me like another hot flash, they are afraid, they want me to continue to go by blind faith, make the assumption that everything is fine and will be fine…that nothing I observe or don’t observe will harm me. I so wish that were true, if only I hadn’t heard of the deaths and sickness and recalls from every corner of the country. If only I wasn’t so observant…..
Share your “ hot flashes “ with me, maybe we can fire up some enthusiasm together for answers to our questions and make changes to our world.