Kitchen hide and seek – looks clean, but is it safe?

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Germs in kitchen
War against germs – there is a way to win

OK, time out.

Pretend you’re a germ in a professional kitchen – one of those high-performance, quick-acting norovirus types – a food poisoning nightmare – where would you hide?

There’s no time limit, you start airborne, coming in on some posh lady’s red Christian Dior coat. Through-draft from the HVAC system wafts you across the dining room and the rubber seal on the kitchen door sucks you in. The kitchen, whoo-hoo!

It’s moist in here and warm, all those pots boiling and bubbling. You’re airborne, somewhere near the hood over the stove area. There’s prep stations on both sides, two big bain maries, and a massive deep tray of cooked vegetables. Take your choice.

A word of warning. Most places, they’ll come at you with professional cleaning liquids – spray surfactants that also disinfect. They’ll go at work tops and counters every few minutes – and the floor gets done four times a day. Tricky.

Or not. Clever thinking puts you on the underside of a prep station – basically a metal table top against one of the walls. It has a quick wipe-down surface and shows dirt instantly. But you’re right, nobody thinks about the underside – and sometimes they even put black rubbish bags down there.

Under the sink’s good too. You might like the moisture. They’re always washing in this place and ripples of water slop over all the time. Yes, it’s often got detergent but that never deterred you did it? Ha, ha. Moisture makes you grow!

Oh, you’ve gone for somewhere else – the ceiling! Good thinking, they’ll never get you there. Everything all gets wiped down and disinfected, but only the work surfaces. Nobody thinks of the air itself – that’s 80% of the room space – or those places normally out of reach.

But when you’re only 2 microns across, you can ride the air currents to wherever you like. The updraft from that pot of boiling courgettes should do fine. And you’re right in the middle, above all the action. Perfect.

Safe to breed and multiply. Ready for your future generations to drop down and ride to wherever. One of those house specials, for instance. Into the middle of that “terrine of foie gras and suffolk chicken, damson, celeriac hazelnut and toasted brioche”. Ever so posh.

That full-of-himself bloke in the Brunello Cucinelli wool suit, rabbiting on with “Anything but Chardonnay” is going to love you. The up-chucks and the runs. All that sitting on the loo. How many days will you give it? Five? Like your thinking. That’ll teach him to shoot his mouth off.

But oh, oh. There’s a problem. They’ve shut the kitchen down for the night and just rolled in this thing like an electronic wheelie bin. Some kind of sprayer, from the looks of it. Let them try. Up here on the ceiling you should be jake. Just keep doing what you’re doing.

Except it isn’t going to work is it? That spray-mist it’s putting out is ultra-fine, tiny molecules smaller than droplets of water. See look, it’s ionised, actually reaching out and grabbing hold of your buddies down there. What a way to go, ripped apart by oxygen atoms – these people are monsters.

And whoops! That stuff is rising too, spreading everywhere. It’s reached in under that prep station – thank goodness you didn’t hang out there. Up, up, nobody told you about mist rising, swirling across the ceiling. Better face facts, pal – you’re going to get yours.

Because it’s hydrogen peroxide is why – and no bacteria or virus comes back from exposure to that. And just to be brutal, it’s boosted with colloidal silver. You and your whole dynasty are gone, finished, kaput.

Sure, it’s a horrible death – but you know what? We never liked you anyway.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Originally posted 2014-08-05 17:19:55.