I can’t say I “liked” the wake-up call of the Hepatitis A in an NYC restaurant. But I was happy to see it at least slightly nudge all those who believe food workers should cover their own health care and be denied sick days. As this outbreak proved, one infected worker will cost an employer 400-plus vaccines for patrons rather than the few needed for prevention’s sake. Might I quote myself, just as a new book is out reminding everyone of the very same thing? Typhoid Mary was a cook.
Archive for the ‘typhoid mary was a cook’ Category
Message to all bartenders of the Y chromosome variety: If you have to sport a beard, please don’t stroke it constantly. You mix with those hands? Or: Bring on the Brooklyn nets. In Manhattan, and everywhere.
If this country had had universal health care in the early 1900s, Mary Mallon would not have become one of the most famous cooks in history. Apparently we still haven’t learned the lesson. While the wingnuts kick up sand and the rest of the world marvels at the backwardness, the fact remains that without health care even the super-richest remain at risk of typhoid from the meatloaf. Sweet sauce or no sweet sauce.
“Contagion” was pretty much a waste of our discount coupons and 6 gazillion dollars for popcorn, but (big-time spoiler alert) the ending could have been even more chilling. Bad enough a chef wipes his mitts on his apron and shakes hands with a patron. Imagine if that hand had been in a glove. Used in a bathroom shortly before it went into a pig’s snout. . . .
I have mentioned this probably as many times as the government has issued recall notices on spinach/sprouts/scallions, but it was 20 years ago that I actually got an op-ed published in the hometown paper on “which came first — the salmonella or the egg?” And I am now wondering how E. coli could infect Spanish cucumbers badly enough that tourists are dropping like Montezuma flies in Europe right now. Did the salad buffets serve the things unpeeled? Did what a certain travel writer calls “the stinking Germans” not wash either their produce or their hands? I grew up thinking my family was German because of our surname and my parents’ deception, even though my mom never cooked anything sauer. So maybe I’m just ignorant, but the biggest surprise in this deadly outbreak is that Germans eat anything raw. . .
So many shiny objects are being dangled so frenetically these days it’s hard to choose which one to pounce on, but I guess the sorry reality that the worst president ever is out trying to rewrite history with the help of corporate media is the most offensive. Given his record in allowing 3,000-plus Americans to be slaughtered in the “homeland” while he was asleep at the switch on the “ranch,” this really is like Typhoid Mary having the gall to flog a cookbook.
I never thought I would say this, but I really hope all the union-busting going on in the NYC restaurant world suffers epic fail. I always thought unions protected the weak and thwarted the strong — when I was hired by the NYTimes the first time, at 29 and with no college degree, I got less pay and benefits, because of Guild rules, than all the old gray ghosts with their proper credentials. But more and more we’re really paying the price for Addled Reagan’s fantasy of a disunited America. Airline pilots are living on food stamps and sleeping in lounges before reporting for work transporting hundreds of fellow travelers. Too many people in food service cannot afford to take a sick day, let alone see a doctor when they are oozing in agony, and now restaurateurs want to bust the last bastion of protection for them and us? I understand all the problems of an overprotected work force, but I put in five years on our co-op board and know that if you want to get rid of a lame employee, you can do it. It’s not easy, and it is far from pleasant. But it also makes the other workers better; ebbing tides prove all boats can sink. Whoever takes over Tavern on the Green or Cafe des Artistes could even use a union workforce as a selling point: If a chef spits in your food, you can be sure his/her hawker does not carry a virus. Which is so much more appetizing than having it your way to the ER.
Reports that the Chimp’s very own Go Fuck Yourself has acquired verbal diarrhea simply to sell a book are queasy-making. Wouldn’t that be like giving Typhoid Mary a cooking show?
Nothing like a little pandemic to push Go Fuck Yourself’s war crimes to the back burner. Shouldn’t someone start torturing swine for information right about now? Only the free-range local kind, of course. The industrial pigs are safely doctored up with antibiotics.