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A Reader Recounts More Stories Of Immigrants Who Don’t Believe In Germs
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October 21, 2014, 04:35 PM
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Re: James Fulford's article Invincible Ignorance And Ebola—Why Are We Letting In Immigrants Who Don’t Know What A Germ Is?

From: An Anonymous Midwest Reader [Email him]

I used to know a health inspector in Madison, Wisconsin.

She inspected restaurants, outdoor food vendors, swimming pools, etc.

She said that she had a lot of trouble with immigrants who did not understand or believe modern principles of sanitation and hygiene. They often told her that she was just oppressing them because she was white and they were brown. She was often forced to resort to threats: "Okay, you don't believe me when I tell you these are important health rules. Well, do them anyway because otherwise I will shut you down."

Among the practices they saw no value in, and would not follow:

  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
  • Wash hands when returning from bathroom.
  • Wash hands after handling meat and eggs, and before handling foods that are served raw.
I used to know a field biologist who lived in the Chicago area. He related some of his experiences in rural Central America. For instance, he saw a woman carrying cut up goat meat from the slaughtering pen to the kitchen. She dropped the tray onto ground that was covered with animal feces. She laughed and picked up the meat and continued on to the kitchen. She and the other villagers saw nothing risky in eating food that had been contaminated with animal feces.