Open thread

by EPI Staff on June 24, 2010

Welcome to Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like.  We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Eleanor Judd June 24, 2010 at 8:32 am

Do you not eat, tell her?

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Eleanor Judd June 24, 2010 at 8:27 am

What do you do when the hostess does not use wash hands or touches pets while preparing meals for guests?

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Eleanor Judd June 24, 2010 at 8:30 am

Sorry, What do you do when the hostess does not wash hands after touching pets when preparing food for guest. it is repulsive to me.

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Vanna Keiler June 24, 2010 at 11:18 am

The polite thing to do would be to avoid publicly chastising the hostess in front of other guests. If you are close friends with the hostess, you can take her aside and make the suggestion quietly in private, or discussing etiquette in general at a later date and mentioning it as one rule of etiquette, rather than point out her blunder may be better. You may end up offending your “friend” regardless, as the uncleanliness implication is obvious, and there is the possibility the hostess was simply preoccupied and didn’t realize she forgot to wash her hands. However, hoping the hostess would prefer to be enlightened rather than remain ignorant is a fifty-fifty gamble. Therefore, if you are not close to the hostess, I suggest eating as little as possible (if you are repulsed) and avoiding future visits with this particular host.

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Julie June 24, 2010 at 11:05 am

If you say something, you will embarrass your hostess. How unclean are these pets? I would probably not invite you back if I was the hostess, but it is also your choice not to accept future invitations.

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Eileen June 24, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Someone who cooks and touches pets should absolutely be called on it. Food safety isn’t something you should mess around with. Sometimes embarrassment is an okay trade-off for eating something that you know was cooked by someone with clean hands and without pet grossness.

I think how you frame your comment depends on your relationship with the hostess. If its someone close to you, you can probably say something in a way that doesn’t offend them forever. If they’re not as close, maybe its someone you don’t want to be close to. Pet fingers in your food. Yuck.

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Alicia June 25, 2010 at 2:44 am

It seems to me that questioning the hygine of your hostess is rather rude. If you do not want to eat the food simply say how wonderful it is but sadly you are not hungry. If you are cooking with the person you can pet the pet and then make a point of saying you need to go wash your hands before you handle food. It is also reasonable to not accept future meal invites to this persons home.

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Graceandhonor June 25, 2010 at 4:21 am

I agree with Eileen. Etiquette should take a backseat on this one; food safety should be the primary concern. “Sally, you forgot to wash your hands after petting Spot!” said clearly, but pleasantly, is definitely the way to go. Its the same as if you rubbed your child’s head or touched a broom handle; hands should always be washed immediately prior to food preparation.

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Julie June 25, 2010 at 8:12 am

For some reason I doubt she would make the same suggestion to the hostess if the hostess had just shaken hands with someone or touched her child’s head. I would be offended at the suggestion that my pet was unclean or gross and I would never forget that she chastised me. That might sound immature, but I know I would not be able to help but remember it. Washing of hands should occur no matter what prior to food preparation. Yet, we never truly know in restaurants do we. The hostess might be better off without this nit picky guest around anyway.

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Graceandhonor June 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I assume, if I’m in someone’s kitchen while they are preparing food, that I’m on close enough terms to remind them! The level of pet cleanliness isn’t the issue, and you are right that washing of hands should occur no matter what! Good observation, Julie!

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