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The Other Guy Must Wash His Hands, Too

February 02, 1998

Your article ("The Wash Cycle," Jan. 26) was extremely interesting, but it was also frustrating to me. I have long wondered why there isn't more of an enforced requirement for the separation of money and food at fast food stands.

It always seems like a person who handles the money and also grabs the buns, cones, sandwich material, etc., could use some means to keep their hands off the food that goes into my mouth. Even if the employees do a good wash job on their hands after a restroom visit, they are nonetheless running their hands through their hair, grabbing old rags, doorknobs and broom handles in between the sandwich preparations.

My hands are clean, per your article's instructions--but I don't think theirs are!

JOSEPH R. READ

Anaheim

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Loved your feature on hand washing. It's appalling to hear or see many people leaving a public restroom without washing. I became a fanatic about hand washing after chemotherapy treatments when my immune system was battered, especially when I traveled abroad.

Your procedure needs one further step, and that is to hang on to that paper towel, using it to open the restroom, store and mall doors as one exits. Skip this, and all those cooties are right back on your hands as if you had never washed them at all.

ANGI MA WONG

Palos Verdes

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Talk about timing! The Friday before Martin Miller's article on hand washing appeared, I was using a stall in my office men's room. I saw another man's legs in the stall next to me when I sat down. He got up, flushed and left the men's room without bothering to wash his hands! I cringed mentally--and physically. (I still do as I type this!)

When I got back to my office, my appointment was waiting for me, a man who I had never met before. He introduced himself and offered his hand. But I immediately recognized his pants and shoes as those belonging to the man in the stall next to me.

I told him flat out: "Please excuse me for not shaking your hand, but I was in the stall next to you in the men's room and you left without washing your hands. With all the illnesses going around, that's practically a death sentence."

His face got as red as the stripes in his tie. I'm far from being Melvin the Germophobe in "As Good As It Gets," but I do resent it when I see a man use a urinal and not bother to wash up afterward.

Where are some men's brains?

BOB CANNING

Burbank

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