In order to truly be free, we all might need to eat a little poo.
That was the gist of the opinion given by Senator Tom Tillis (R) of North Carolina on Monday while speaking at the bipartisan policy center where he opined that food workers shouldn’t be required to wash their hands based on the principle that such a regulation constitutes government interference with private business.
“I don’t have any problem with Starbucks if they choose to opt out of this policy as long as they post a sign that says we don’t require our employees to wash our hands after leaving the restroom. The market will take care of that. It’s one example.”
As Colby Itkowitz of the Washington Post points out, a requirement to post a sign informing customers that there was likely fecal matter and bacteria on their food would, necessarily, also constitute regulation but Mr. Tillis was either undeterred by the thought or didn’t care.
Here’s why the FDA says handwashing is important, more important even than the right of restaurants to potentially poison their customers with poo flecked food.
Proper handwashing reduces the spread of fecal-oral pathogens from the hands of a food employee to foods. Handwashing can also help reduce the transmission of other pathogens from environmental sources. Effective handwashing includes scrubbing, rinsing, and complete drying of hands and is essential for minimizing the likelihood of cross-contamination. The fingernails and surrounding areas are often the most contaminated parts of the hand and are also the most difficult part of the hand to get clean. Every stage of handwashing is equally important and has an effect in reducing contamination of the hands.