Whether you got away without washing your hands or not.
Not that you really think about it when you’re having fun. You’re on a roll – grab a burger and go, go, go! Why not, it’s summer. Party time!
Until your four hours are up.
Paying the price
That’s how long the collywobbles usually take.
Cramps, nausea – the price you pay for forgetting soap and water.
Not nice, but it could be worse.
Like full-on norovirus – the super-puke nasty. All happy-happy for up to three days before it kicks in.
Then the cramps.
And the nausea, so bad you think you might die. And the vomiting, so bad you’re terrified that you won’t.
Oh yes, and the diarrhoea – all of your insides suddenly outside and burning like hell – over and over again. Up to four days of it if you’re unlucky.
Serious dehydration and up to a million hospital cases every year in the UK. And the lurking reality that 80 people a year actually die from it.
One hell of a price to pay for a burger.
Down and dirty
Because that’s where it starts. Right there at your fingertips. Or more accurately, ON your fingertips.
You see, we reckon we’re so safe and invincible most of the time, hand hygiene never even occurs to us. This is good old Britain, it can’t happen to us. It’s not like we’re in darkest Africa – underdeveloped, underfunded and forgotten, with disease round every corner.
So it’s highly likely we can go through a WHOLE DAY without washing our hands even once. Touching handles, keypads, phones – and then our faces, where germs are most likely to get in.
Not everything we touch is clean either – so there’s dirt and crud and other stuff, even poo.
And how about those nappy changes on the back seat of the car, which only gets cleaned maybe once a month? Do you always use wet wipes? Do you even carry a gel?
Fact is, 95% of us don’t wash our hands properly even when we do. A five-second rinse under the tap does nothing – or makes it even worse if you dry your hands on your clothes. Germs thrive on dirty wet.
Five minutes of easy effort to avoid the death of us – and still we don’t do it. That’s why we call it the Don’t-Wash-Hands Disease.
Because nine times out of ten, all those food poisoning stories you hear are self-inflicted.
Dodgy dinner ingredients or scruffy staff?
You might want to rethink that. Because even the poshest of us never thinks to wash our hands before sitting down to splurge in a five-star restaurant.
And the germs on the door handle of a Mercedes ML 450 are just as potent as those on the strap-handles of the Bakerloo Line.
Far and wide
Worse, because of the incubation period, it spreads to everyone we have contact with and we’re none of us any the wiser. Everyone we meet, touch, hug, shake hands with, kiss.
And norovirus is possibly the most contagious of all time. More than the common cold. So transfer is inevitable. Everyone can get it and does – the ultimate cruise ship souvenir.
Plus, you’ve got to remember it’s a virus. A half-alive organism that can last active and awake for days and weeks without sustenance. Or survive dormant for years if necessary, waiting for your live body cells to give it power and energy.
So it’s not the burger that gives you cramps.
It’s unwashed hands. Forgetfulness. Unintended negligence that could cost you your life.
Five minutes with soap and water, that’s all.
A good burger from McDonalds is less than a quid, surely you’re worth more than that?
Lots of people eat a burger. And don’t get fat doing it.
They chow them down with enjoyment, and stay exactly the same size.
But burgers are bad for you, the nagging nannies insist. All that fat, all those carbohydrates.
Except lucky not-fat people aren’t impressed. And burgers aren’t so evil either.
A few burger facts
A straight McDonalds cheeseburger is 15 grams of protein, 12 grams of fat and 2 grams of fibre – 300 calories all up.
Stack that up alongside a good healthy Sunday roast with all the trimmings – Yorkshire pudding, potatoes, vegetables, gravy and stuffing – and the energy value comes in at around 565 calories.
Cross the road to Jamie’s posh Italian place and his designer burger on a toasted brioche bun with caramelised onions, crispy pancetta, Westcombe cheddar and totally decadent sauce weighs in at 1,387 calories – 2½ times the oomph of the roast – and 4½ times more than McDonalds!
Lots of people eat Jamie’s burgers too, and don’t get fat. They know when they’ve had enough and they’re satisfied.
Enough is enough
And that’s the secret. Stop eating when you’ve had enough, and extra inches don’t happen.
Your body tells you anyway. Starts feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Puts you off eating anything else until you’re back to normal.
But it’s not the same for fat people.
They don’t feel satisfied, so they keep going
Their bodies don’t tell them when they should stop
They wind up eating more than they need
Three personal disasters that normal, healthy bodies just don’t experience.
Which means something’s out of kilter. Somewhere, something’s wrong with their appetite control.
Appetite gone bananas
Because normal people just CAN’T overeat the way that fat people do.
Think back to the festive season only a few weeks ago. Try as we could, there was never any space for that extra helping of turkey or another piece of Christmas pud.
Which means it’s not burgers that are unhealthy – if they were, we’d ALL be dying like flies.
Except we’re not.
The unhealthy element is those poor overweight people – rapidly including the rest of us – who have a condition that’s doing them down. Only a few are gluttons, deliberately gobbling more than they should. The rest of us, like it or not, have a compulsive eating disorder that pushes us over the top.
And being fat is not nice.
On our way to fat
We try to control it and hate the way we look. We hate the way we feel too. The breathlessness and lack of strength, the constant strain of carrying all that weight around. Three stone overweight is like lumping a whole holiday suitcase everywhere.
As more and more of us are starting to know. Because right now two-thirds of UK adults and one-third of our kids are all overweight or obese – our numbers nudging steadily upwards over the last twenty years.
Told you so! say the nannies, threatening kale and pak choi. Something is definitely wrong.
Wrong, yes. And our medical experts do nothing about it.
Lots of wagging fingers and lectures about diet though. All that high energy food we eat, our couch-potato lifestyle and never any exercise, no wonder we’re all packing it on. We need discipline and control. And penalties for the error of our ways – fees for NHS treatment and deductions off our wages.
Medical fat shamers
J’accuse. One finger pointing, three fingers pointing back.
Because it’s not unhealthy eating that’s making us fat. Burgers don’t contain poison or noxious substances. We just eat too much of a good thing. Too much need-it-now, quick-satisfying, hunger-busting, high-energy food because we’re always famished. Eat, eat and overeat.
Because something in our bodies causes us to. Over-riding our natural balances and forcing us to overindulge. And it’s been getting worse over the last twenty years.
Out in the fat farms
Visit any of our Twenty-First Century factory mega-farms and you’ll see why. There are at least 800 of them out there, classified as intensive production units by the Environment Agency – shorthand for farms with more than 40,000 birds, 2,000 pigs or 750 breeding sows. All kept alive in crowded, severely challenged hygiene conditions by regular doses of antibiotics – at least that’s how the use of such drugs is justified.
Reality comes from the amazing side effect that antibiotics have – and which Big Agriculture has been steadily cashing in on for the last fifty years – snowballing in the last twenty.
Antibiotics make animals grow faster, fatter, bigger.
And guess what?
We’re animals too.
We feed them, they feed us – and we’re all part of an antibiotic ingestion chain, regularly eating drip-drip doses of the most efficient growth boosters ever discovered.
And we wonder why we’re getting fat!
Truth is, via today’s supermarkets we get these growth boosters across the whole spectrum of things we eat. They’re in our meat, poultry and fish. And in our vegetables too – because manure from dosed animals is used to enhance plant crops – and leaches down into the water table, out to our streams and rivers.
Which means vegetarian nannies watch out! There are antibiotics in your pak choi too – ever noticed you’ve started nibbling two leaves instead of one?
Because either we get off antibiotics now, or we’ll all be fat and looking down the slippery slope to obesity, asthma, heart disease, cancer and a long, slow exit.
It’s not going to happen, is it? Too much inertia, too many vested interests, too much not wanting to face facts.
But it’s either that, or we each of us individually go cold turkey. Tighten our belts and just eat less. Or wear corsets. External gastric bands. It could even start a new fashion trend – especially if it makes us slimmer.
Walk a mile for a burger
It can be done though. If we’re strict enough with ourselves. Yours truly dropped 3½ stone in six months just by eating smaller meals, cutting out snacks and sticking to the two mile walk every day.
We’ll still be getting the antibiotics. But now we know, we can compensate for them.
And if our new slim selves enjoy the odd burger now and then, who’s going to know the difference? Enjoy!
Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.
The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed.It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.