Grocery Story Hygiene

Fourteen months here and there are still new things to churn my stomach. it wasn’t much of a churn this time, which means I’m either getting used to it or I’ve internalized the First Commandment of store-bought animal protein: Cook It Thoroughly.

The chicken parts section of the meat counter at Lee’s has tongs for placing one’s selection in a plastic bag. I don’t use them. I figure there is enough raw chicken on the part the user grasps to require an immediate application of hand sanitizer after bagging the bird. That means I’m going to get raw chicken on my messenger bag and the sanitizer container.

Instead I take the plastic bag and use it as a glove to pick up bird bits, then reverse the bag and I’m done without contacting raw chicken.

Others do not share my concern. I saw that taken to a new level today. A shopper using tongs had selected and deposited several chicken parts in her plastic bag. The area was getting crowded and there was now a 1 foot gap between her and her plastic mini grocery basket on the floor. She reached down, grabbed the almost empty basket with the tongs and pulled it toward her.

I’m sure the baskets are cleaned occasionally.  Still I can’t help but notice that when I pick one up when entering the store the choice is usually between a dirty basket and a dirtier one.  I’m not sure which bothered me more:  Getting raw chicken on the basket or transfering whatever was on the basket onto the tongs.


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