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Wash, Then Read

January 21, 1998

The detailed hand-washing article is nice but not complete ("For Safety's Sake, Handle Raw Chicken With Care," Nov. 19). If your hands have possible contamination on them from raw chicken moisture or tissue and you turn on the faucet with your hands, that faucet handle is also contaminated. Then if you wash your hands and turn off the faucet with clean hands, you recontaminate your hands.

A suggestion is to use a paper towel to turn off the water. Though knee levers like the ones used in hospitals and clinics would be cost-effective and safe in a commercial kitchen, the paper towel route is easiest at home (but tough on trees).

SYLVIA COLTON

Family Nurse Practitioner

Bishop

*

Our overindulged society raises its food animals in cruelly cramped quarters, often feeds them disgustingly unnatural food and transports them cruelly to the slaughtering frenzy that ends their lives, ignoring all the while that these too are feeling, living creatures.

Any wonder that The Times' Food section proposes an elaborate soap and water washing ritual before and after touching each piece, along with a rigmarole of sanitizing and rewashing as we prepare the poor dubious carcass so that it may be fit to eat.

And if our appetites cannot be satisfied within our own country, we plunder the world to supply our greasy hamburgers. Too lazy to cook at home, we support such legions of restaurants that properly trained kitchen workers cannot be had on the cheap. Nor are there enough government funds to adequately supervise these grubby facilities.

May we hope for a recipe for Clorox marinade in another Food section? Perhaps a soupcon of mouthwash might be added for piquancy.

BARBARA HORTON

Pasadena

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