Wash your hands

As a parent, you get used to having no privacy. The other day I was interrupted in the bathroom* by my child coming in to wash her hands:

Me: “Hey, Frogger, what are you doing?”

The Frogger: “I was helping Mommy make dinner and I touched the raw meat. So, now, I have to wash my hands so my tummy won’t hurt.”

Me: “Good job. Got to avoid that dysentery.”

Huzzah for food safety, especially considering that her professed life goal is to become a chef, like Uncle Ben. I wish* I could say that she had learned about the importance of hand washing from her favorite cooking shows on the Food Network (whatever the current iteration of Ina Garten and Giada de Laurentis are).

These shows certainly include hand washing, sort of. After handling raw chicken, the host will invariably remind viewers that they now need to wash their hands. Cut to a shot of the host daintily rinsing the tips of her fingers. That, however, is not proper hand washing. You might say that people know how to wash their hands. You would be wrong. I have been in public bathrooms. Some people know how to wash their hands. Many people do not.


  1. Wet hands with clean running water
  2. Apply soap
  3. Rub hands to form lather and scrub well for 20 seconds
  4. Rinse hands well under clean, running water
  5. Dry hands thoroughly with clean towel/air

based on recommendations from CDC

Food Network, it would be better for everyone if you actually showed your hosts washing their hands thoroughly. But, I understand that time is tight on these shows. Let’s save you some additional time. It is arguably better to just have the host say they need to wash their hands and cut to the next step or commercial, rather than just showing the last two seconds of the hand washing, which looks like what guys do after a piss when they are pretty sure they didn’t get any on their hands.

*Why, yes, I did wash my hands thoroughly when I was done.

**No I don’t. This was the result of awesome parenting by her Sainted Mother.


Author: Josh Witten


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