Friday, May 20, 2011

Won't Miss #322 - open meat handling/tray disposal

The Japanese are known for being fanatical about cleanliness and food safety, yet they engage in a thoroughly unsanitary and slightly gross habit in their markets for dubious reasons. There are trash bins near the counters and tables set aside for people to bag their own groceries. These bins have open packaging that used to contain various sorts of raw meat. On occasion, I have witnessed women ripping open their chicken packages and slopping the contents into thin plastic bags that are freely available on large rolls (mainly used for vegetables that aren't plastic wrapped or as a secondary bag for leaky meat packages). This repackaging of raw meat, especially chicken, requires people to handle the meat with their bare hands (which they then do not wash and touch communal areas of the store or even products) and allows the juices to drip and splatter. I'm also not too happy about the open trays just lying out there next to where I'm bagging my food allowing bacteria to have a party in the warm, moist air.

I won't miss this habit of repacking ones meat and leaving the open trays out for all and sundry to see, smell, and share germs from.