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Spread of Germs and virus

 
greenhorn
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Location: North Island - New Zealand
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This new Virus going around - and those that are now affected aboard the Cruise Ship.
Here is a bit I wrote about what my wife and I saw on the Ship we were on back in 2008 during our cruise from Vancouver to Alaska..
The below is from our Travel log and it is one reason these 70 plus year olds are not keen on cruising again.

So as to not identify the ship I have changed the Ships Restaurant name to self serve.

During a meal at the self serve Restaurant aboard our ship - I watched as a man sneeze into his hand, but then he grabbed the server utensil that was laying on top of food with the hand he had just several times sneezed into - dished up some food onto his plate, then put the server utensil back on top of the food with the handle laying across the food.

He then moved on to the next lot of food. I then noticed that all the serving utensils, spoons, tongs etc were laying on the plates of food. That man and possibly many others that followed and used those tongs now had his sneeze contaminating their hands – They in turn picked up the utensil and then just layed it back onto the food.

The other problem I saw was the fact that people used a spoon or tong utensil to put food onto their plate then proceeded to use the same utensil in other food items and left it laying across the last lot of food served which is a means of cross contamination - I asked to see the person in charge of the food service. He came from out the back - in his white jacket, and several gold stripes and introduced himself.

I said that the Captain keeps advising us that the Norovirus is spreading at an alarming rate on board the ship.  He tells us there are passengers sick and more each day.

I explained what I had seen, asked him to just watch what people were doing with the serving utensil once they put food on their plate. He watched with me as I pointed out different people, and he began to see the problem.
I said that they needed to supply another small plate to rest the serving utensils on - and because there wasn't one available, the passengers just placed the serving utensil back in the most convenient place - onto the food that it belonged.

He immediately sprang into action. Within about 3 minutes, 6 kitchen staff were laying down plates where the serving utensil could be placed. Others were gathering up the used utensils, and new clean ones were being laid onto the small plates.
Then I saw a staff person, standing by each servery area - directing passengers to put the server utensil back onto the small plate - and not on the food. It was amaizing to see such a transformation of the way food was being self served in such a quick time. The Head of the Food service thanked me as we were leaving.

Just imagine Johnny goes and Raymond uses them as well as another 20 or 200 other people handling them. We don't know who washed/sanitised their hands or who didn't, or if in fact the person before you sneezed into his hand - all placing the tongs back on the food.  It is no wonder then people on cruise ships get sick.
Another thing I noticed people with mobile phones; they take them out of their pockets begin tapping away or scrolling - using them for taking photos of the food then put their mobile back in their pocket where they retrieved it from. What the heck has been in that pocket previously you have to wonder? None of them I see disinfect their phones before putting them away - They definately do not use a disinfectant on their hands before handling the serving utensils after say photographing the foods available with their mobiles. The "mobile phone" is just ripe as a carrier for a future type Norovirus to arrive.

Update: February 2020
Currently a virus ( Corona virus ) is spreading ( reports say it began in a fish market in Wuhan China ) The news is telling us number of Cruise Ships are being quarantined because passengers are being found with the deadly virus aboard. People are also turning up with the virus around the world. It is spreading rapidly and with the virus spread so too, the death toll is rising.

Upon re-reading my 2008 entry above something I over-looked on our cruise.. The fact that the tongs used to place food on the plates are handled by numbers of passengers. In fact 100's of passengers and if indeed 2 or 3 persons cross contaminated those tongs then 100's of passengers have that same contamination on their hands.

I do remember as one entered the self-serve Restaurant there was a antibacterial hand sanitizer for use - BUT - How many passengers voluntary used it ? If indeed they did - out would come their mobile phones from their pocket and their contaminated hands were back again touching and using the food serving tongs.

 
rancher
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What we really need is brass-handled serving utensils, along with brass doorknobs, and anything else that many hundreds of people touch being made out of brass. Its natural antimicrobial properties make it a natural replacement for materials that tend to extend the life of bacteria and viruses deposited upon them, such as plastic.

I mean, we'd need in-seat heating, but brass toilet seats might be amazing, along with brass flush levers and door and faucet hardware. What about brass cellphone covers, and brass telephone handsets?

-CK
 
Donald MacLeod
greenhorn
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Chris Kott wrote:What we really need is brass-handled serving utensils, along with brass doorknobs, and anything else that many hundreds of people touch being made out of brass. Its natural antimicrobial properties make it a natural replacement for materials that tend to extend the life of bacteria and viruses deposited upon them, such as plastic.

I mean, we'd need in-seat heating, but brass toilet seats might be amazing, along with brass flush levers and door and faucet hardware. What about brass cellphone covers, and brass telephone handsets?

-CK


Gosh I didn't know about Brass having antibacterial properties. Just found numbers of reports about it.
 
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