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  #1 (permalink)  
Old August 17th, 2008, 01:22 PM
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Default Very Crucial Observation!!

Dear Fellow Cruisers:

We just returned from our fifth cruise and witnessed something utterly unbelievable -- something done in restaurants each and every day which is crucial for people to notice:

Staff clearing dirty glassware from tables via the "spider finger" method; grabbing multiple glasses simultaneously by the rims with fingers -- right where the peoples' mouths were just moments ago. We saw this in Lido restaurant as common practice (I did give the supervisor the heads-up). What was even worse is that they would put the glasses down in the station where the clearing trays are (in plain view) and then promptly grab more roll ups (silver rolled up in napkins prepared on a neighboring tray) to put on the table which they just cleared the glasses from.

This is with hand sanitizers positioned everywhere -- for a reason.

I will not mention the line because many cruisers will refuse to believe this could possibly happen on this line (you will see it but most people don't realize just what's happening.).

It probably wouldn't be so bad if the crew did not immediately grab the clean roll-ups to put on the tables. God forbid they'd sanitize their hands, as all the passengers have been doing.

It was also common practice on our cruise for the stewards to lay their trays down on our already crowded table(s) so that they could clear any dirty plates. They would scrape the food, so that they could then stack the plates. This is ON the dining table. I finally had to say something. Our crew was extremely unexperienced all-around, and I met with the Hotel Manager to voice all concerns, so will not be reviewing this cruise on the Internet.

Again, I will not mention the line because I will get blasted as a complainer and people would not believe the line if I did. Our other cruises were most exceptional, and they trained their crews before throwing them to the wolves with no experience whatsoever.

This was on a smaller ship where I believe many of the lines may be guilty of putting all the talent on the bigger, newer ships, and ditching the standards on the smaller, older ones.

I only ask that people please notice this in any restaurant they go to -- land or sea. All the hand sanitiazers on Earth won't help as long as this appalling practice is tolerated.
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Old August 17th, 2008, 05:53 PM
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I am not saying I don't believe all of this because I have seen "spider fingers" happen on land and at sea but never on a large scale. I do have to say that by you not identifying the line, ship and sailing it lends little credence to your account.

It basically puts it into another account of shipboard legend. Perhaps based on fact but with no facts to back it up.

Take care,
Mike
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Old August 17th, 2008, 07:28 PM
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Please re-read my last sentence.

I have been lurking (both) communities for over 10 years and could just hear people saying "I was on the same ship and I never saw that and everything was flawlessly perfect."

Your believeing my account has little credence -- even though I never even named the ship (God forbid) -- confirms that people can not cite observations (even those which may benefit others) without somebody basically calling them liars.

We were totally stunned to see it, which is why I even posted. What good are the hand sanitizers? Why not let people know to be aware no matter where they are? We were certainly surprised.


Incredible.
And people wonder why all the outbreaks occur...If it weren't a health issue, I would not have posted anything. Can't win.
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Old August 21st, 2008, 10:29 PM
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I believe that you certainly have the right to pass along this information without naming the ship. This just gives us a heads up to watch for this practice on any ship or food establishment. The fact that you met with the hotel manager to voice your concerns seems like the proper way to handle a situation like this.

Some people never even think about the cross contamination factor in many (bad) practices they see everyday, until someone points this out to them. I am a co-manager and have food service employees, who have been to the training classes and received food handler permits, and they still don't think before doing something like that, until it is pointed out to them.
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 05:15 PM
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Voyagers 927,

What you relate is most believable. Anyone with any food handling experience (even when they were young and are now 61 ) picks up on conduct of that nature virtually every day, especially in fast food restaurants.

Your comment about scraping the plates at your table while you were sitting there I found, in all seriousness, astounding (and I'm not saying that I disbelieve you). I too, would pull someone's coat to that practice in any level of establishment at which I were dining.

Your post addresses something of which I'm sure most cruisers are unaware as the average citizen isn't that familiar with food handling techniqes. Hopefully, those reading your post will take the initiative in learning the correct methods of food handling, if only for their well being at home. Indeed, the occasional bouts with vomiting and diarrhea common to virtually all households, can often be traced to food poisoning in one's own domicile.

Todd
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Old August 25th, 2008, 01:41 AM
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I have worked in many food establishments in my time, and although I believe in all the basic food handling practices... there are some other things to think about....
for example: I rang up a customer once who paid in cash. She accused me of not washing my hands before making her pizza, (which I did). She made a big stink out of it.... when I apologized that she didn't see me, I washed my hands again... then made her a new pizza....
this same lady sat down and proceded to eat the food I prepared for her, with her bare hands and did not wash her own hands first... than just burned me up.

Second example, I used to work in a sandwich shop... at the time, we were not required to wear gloves when preparing food, since then it has become a requirement.
But let me tell you what I observe...
A person puts on plasitc gloves... procedes to make the sandwiches... first cutting the bread, then mayo etc... then placing cheese, meat and veggies... etc... then without changing gloves makes another sand this time, maybe a hot sandwich, now they pull meat out of a pan, place in a dish put in microwave, then push several buttons.... (meat juice, veggies, meat etc from previous sand still on gloves) then maybe, they are they only employee making the sandwiches while someone else rings money... how much food do you think is left on the knife, microwave and gloves after a lunch rush... how many times do you think they wipe down the knife and mirowave.? Even assuming they change gloves between each sandwich (which they don't) I'm sure the fridge & Micro and door handles are pretty discusting by dinner.

I'm just saying if I see an obvious mishandling of dishes/food etc, I will report it...
But somethings are a given and life is too short to sweat the small stuff.
BTW, I've never gotten sick or food poisen from anywhere, including my last cruise. Thank God!
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Old September 24th, 2008, 12:17 AM
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I have seen fast-food people (thankfully not on-board ship) throw raw hamburger patties on the grill with their bare hands (not yet a problem, if they remained at that station) then proceed to handle hamburger buns, put cheese on the meat, and collect cash, make change etc. with the very same hands. Gross. They proceeded to contaminate virtually everything, and every surface in the establishment, every tool handle, every button on the register etc...
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Old September 24th, 2008, 09:50 AM
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I guess I should be more observant, I've yet to see this practice on any ship I've been on. I have seen them scrape plates, but only at thair work stations, not on passengers tables, never...
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Old September 24th, 2008, 12:02 PM
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Yes, I agree that the dishware handling mentioned is not proper and there are areas all lines can improve. I also have to say that the cruise industry has taken sanitation and Norovirus protection to substantial levels.

Keep in mind when you hear of a Norovirus outbreak that the incubation period for the disease makes it highly likely that it was brought onboard by the last batch of passengers who possibly caught it in the extremely unsanitary airport environment. Look at the seat recline button, tray table latch, that magazine in the seat back, did the guy two rows back cough? Did you wash your hands after you returned your seat to the full upright position?
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Old September 24th, 2008, 12:05 PM
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Pilotdane,
Wow, more things to consider when passing germs....Things I've never thought twice about, thanks for that important info. Seems the cruiselines always get the bum rap when it comes to things like this.. Look at all the ports passengers visit each cruise as well, all kinds of public restrooms, handrails, etc.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 12:10 PM
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Point well taken. Seriously, though, if you actually knew what lurked outside your door, you'd never venture forth.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 05:47 PM
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Just found in the Hammacher Schellemer (sp?) catalog a battery operated handheld UV sterilizing light slightly larger than a cell phone.

I'm thinking about it (tho not cheap!) mostly for the plane - don't want to contract something and ruin 1/2 of a great cruise! But I have also read on the packing threads of those who bring disinfecting wipes to clean everything in the cabin and bathroom!

There are germs everywhere and always have been. Sometimes we go overboard - for me it's just the thought of that dirty plane, EEEUUWW, and all that recirculated air (cold germs!)
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Old September 24th, 2008, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bear
Just found in the Hammacher Schellemer (sp?) catalog a battery operated handheld UV sterilizing light slightly larger than a cell phone.

I'm thinking about it (tho not cheap!) mostly for the plane - don't want to contract something and ruin 1/2 of a great cruise! But I have also read on the packing threads of those who bring disinfecting wipes to clean everything in the cabin and bathroom!

There are germs everywhere and always have been. Sometimes we go overboard - for me it's just the thought of that dirty plane, EEEUUWW, and all that recirculated air (cold germs!)
I don't know if I would go so far as to buy/carry that device on a plane. If I used it and was totally grossed out, I would have no escape
I don't disinfect my cruise cabin, but I do carry (alwasy) hand sanitizer and a purse size lysol spray bottle. This comes in very handy when using public restrooms.

I learned from the medical field years ago to always use the paper towel that I dry my hands with to both turn off the faucet and to open the door. If I don't have a towel, I use the back of my hand or wrist and wait from someone else to open the door and catch it with my shoulder. I use my knuckles to press elevator buttons. In public restrooms, I take a wet, soapy towel and a dry towel into the toilet with me in case I need to wipe off the area and then spray it with Lysol and use the seat covers when available.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 03:08 PM
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Isn't this the reason there is a head waiter and Matre'D in dining rooms. To help customers and take care of complaints. A practice of grabbing glasses by your fingers to clean, set, or reset tables should be addressed with the head waiter. Point out the infraction and see if they take care. They may or may not have an answer to the problem; however, they should be made aware of it.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 09:17 PM
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If you really do wish to complain to someone seek out the sanitation or food safety manager/officer.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 07:26 PM
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My last cruise we noitced the head waiter was going from person to person, plate to plate, using the same set of utensils to remove lobster tails from the exoskeleton. EWWW!!! We did say something to him, but he seemed not to care. Needless to say, I pointed it out to my tablemates and all of us freed our own lobster tails!
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Old February 5th, 2009, 12:38 AM
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I think this thread just made me a germaphobe! On a serious note I had not thought about these things. Thank you to the OP for bring this to our attention.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaGalloway
My last cruise we noitced the head waiter was going from person to person, plate to plate, using the same set of utensils to remove lobster tails from the exoskeleton. EWWW!!! We did say something to him, but he seemed not to care. Needless to say, I pointed it out to my tablemates and all of us freed our own lobster tails!
The problem being? No cross-contamination that I can see. No different than the server at the carving table cutting the roast repeatedly with the same carving knife.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
I think this thread just made me a germaphobe! On a serious note I had not thought about these things. Thank you to the OP for bring this to our attention.
While the OP has a valid point some folks seem to be so paranoid that I can imagine them wearing a bio-chem suit full time.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 12:42 PM
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just a question: do folks really observe all of these hygiene issues at home as scrupulously as they would demand on a cruise ship? do they don and change gloves when guests come over? do they have sanitizer dispensers in every room? do they scour their cutting boards and test them for bacteria? just because it is one's home doesn't mean there aren't bacteria. and if we protected ourselves from all bacteria, we would have no immunity capability, no anti's. i was a teacher for 25 years and a priest for 10 years, shaking hands, patting heads, etc. and rarely got sick. maybe this is a tad overblown.

but, i like the 'octapus hands' image; i do it all the time
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