Monday, 15 August 2016

Could faeces be Britain's biggest urban threat?

A story from New Zealand demonstrates the economic damage that a little faeces in the water supply can do. It highlights two risk factors - our lowered immunity to faecal bacteria, coliforms and pathogens and the extent to which we depend on sources of food and water that can be readily contaminated. There is a third risk - everyone can produce toxic faeces, in large and repetitive quantities. It is the weapon of the weaponless, and the poorer and more ill-conditioned the donor, the greater the toxicity. Anyone who works in a supermarket, in food distribution, manufacturing or packaging, in a restaurant or fast food outlet is in an ideal and undetectable position to distribute faecal contamination effectively - far more effectively than evacuating ones bowels into a reservoir, anyhow.   

In my old part of South London two health conditions were permanent and endemic - head lice and norovirus. I avoided both by adopting the same precautions I used in North Africa. However, zero-hours contracts and the use of casual or illegal workers, none of whom get sick pay, is a bad idea when workers infected with norovirus will continue at work and spread the uncomfortable infection. If you've ever been stuck on a tube with someone suddenly afflicted with projectile vomiting or explosive bowel discharge, it's really no joke.

Most infections are accidental rather than deliberate. The prevalence of minute particles of faeces over bus, train and tube grab handles and straps will make you want to wear gloves in Summer. However, there have also been persistent stories about deliberate contamination of food and ring-pull drinks in supermarket stockrooms. So far, as far as I'm aware, there have been no prosecutions, which may indicate that such tales are apocryphal. Or that police are unmotivated to investigate. 

Economic terrorism doesn't need an AK47 - just a handful of toxic poo. There's not much anyone at risk can do except take basic precautions and imagine you're in Tangiers.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Curry houses with Islamic toilet practices. "From my arse to your plate".

Nick Drew said...

Economic terrorism doesn't need an AK47 - just a handful of toxic poo

join the Movement ...

Weekend Yachtsman said...

"Or that police are unmotivated to investigate"

By far the more likely explanation.

Especially if the RoP is involved.

Rotherham?

Poisonedchalice said...

As Anon 08:03 says, curry houses! Yep, I have given up going to curry houses long before Raedwald posted this piece. There is one in Chester called "Barton Rouge" - a supposedly posh place and it looks it from the outside. However, the local authority tested the place and it scored one star our of five. You really have to try hard to only get one star; it means filthy!! And it does seem to be a theme here with Pakistani and Bangladeshi restaurants - most getting three stars or below on the "scores on the doors" system at use in these parts.

An advertisement should read "Indian restaurants - a good source of E.coli"

Budgie said...

Our water supply and sewage systems are what make our civilisation possible.

Anonymous said...

@ police are unmotivated to investigate.

They can't be arsed.

Anonymous said...

Antibiotics hardly work in South-East Asia partly because they have been released 'into the wild' by dumping into water courses. Bacteria can pass on 'immunity' between 'species' so the 'good' bacteria can effectively teach the 'bad'.

What this means is that even a healthy person from Asia moving to Europe can spread benign antibiotic resistant bacteria to the local population without apparent harm, that is until they get ill and find that they have been 'enriched'.

Rush Is Right said...

"There's not much anyone at risk can do except.... imagine you're in Tangiers."
In London, and many other enriched urban areas, that ain't so hard.

Dan said...

I agree with what you're saying but one other factor also comes into play here: crap workplace design.

My place of work is currently (purportedly on the orders of a Very Senior Manager with a reputation as a micromanaging clod) trying to cut their office costs. They are doing this by converting an old machine room and many small offices into one huge open-plan office for 200-300 people.

No, they do not have the HSE-recommended number of toilets for this many people.

No, they have not read any of the myriad peer-reviewed papers demonstrating that large open-plan offices are exceedingly disruptive, annoying and difficult to work in.

No, they have not considered that such a crowded place is a soul-destroying, morale-sapping pit of despair.

No, they have not yet considered what happens when (not if, when) a Norovirus outbreak occurs in such a place, and the entire IT department goes off sick either genuinely or protectively to avoid the plague.

They will, though.

I may not be working for them when this revelation occurs, but it will happen.

English Pensioner said...

You mention grab handles on tubes and buses but I regard one of the main risks as being the handle of a supermarket trolley. They rarely seem to get cleaned, s just think about it and watch some of the children with sticky fingers pushing the trolley.

Demetrius said...

What a cheery happy way to start the week, excuse me for a minute or two.

wiggiatlarge said...

Here's one that was prepared earlier, not an urban myth then........

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3537652/Swindon-takeaway-chef-prepared-food-wiping-bottom-bare-hands-doesn-t-use-toilet-paper-cultural-reasons.html

Anonymous said...

Yes, Raedwald, your warning is timely. For myself, I have made aware of potentially contaminated surfaces (handles, counter tops, bus seat tops, etc) due to some people's different hygiene, and always wash hands thoroughly after returning from shopping in my local town in which there is a very large, locally dominant immigrant population (many apparently rather new arrivals). Doubtless, there is little to fear from most, but I wish to protect myself fromn those who are not. Likewise, TB. The watchword is - care!

Span Ows said...

can't believe anyone hasn't said that the post all the comments are shit! ;-)

Anonymous said...

There really is no limit on the maleficent evil that men do and when men regard their fellow human beings as something less than dirt, the maleficence becomes toxic death.

Why are they here, who lied and lied again "the benefits of Multiculturalism" and brought this pestilence among us? What have they done, what did we do to earn such black hatred?

Will black hatred be reciprocated? It cannot be denied, it's true that, the nation is weak but was purposefully infantilized. Thus, during the conflict which surely is imminent when will the public finally wake up to the threat and most likely well before the scum sucking fraudsters some call 'our' UK government finally come to admit and at the last minute to midnight, maybe confront it?


HMG, and its willful dereliction of its primary duty, to secure, to protect and defend. What jest it is.

The ridiculous claim made by the EUphiliacs when the wall came down, of the peace dividend brought low the number of armed troops and who doubtless will be asked to do the impossible, and when the BEF goes down what then?

Upset tummies, probably the very least of a nations worries.

Anonymous said...

Aren't we somewhat immune, having added shit curry to our diet several decades ago? And to think - we all thought the squits were down to the chillies ...

The illustration of a lota (water jug for washing a Paki arse) looks like the spout is a sort of penis. So they bugger themselves at the same time?

Ed P said...

Hand-spread diseases & infections have increased partly due to the replacement of brass taps with stainless or plastic, often with moronic designs, so one touches the same surface when turning them on with dirty hand as when turning them off again after washing, thus recoating the just-washed fingers. This applies especially in hospitals, where the reliance on alcohol-based sanitisers is the sole and inadequate control method.
Brass is a unique alloy which has both bactericidal and healing properties, just from the copper & brass in it. The old-fashioned taps with a four-way knob were good for prevention and also one did not cross-contaminate the dirty/clean sides of the tap knob.
Another seemingly sensible improvement is the growing use of triclosan-containing cleaning and washing products. These leave a molecular film on surfaces, which kills bacteria. However, less than 100% will be killed and over time resistant bacteria build up.
I have good old-fashioned brass taps in my house (& never touch common surfaces when out). Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Oh for the traditional English owned and run chippy, hard to find I know. Go out of your way to use a corner shop that also sells alcohol(even if you only want a newspaper do the test by asking what brand of strong cider they have,if they stock it you don't need to buy, just say its not the brand your looking for and then get your newspaper), and only use cafes that do bacon butties.

Elby the Beserk said...

2nd after Islam

Bill Sticker said...

Here in BC, antiseptic foam and wipes are provided free of charge by the supermarkets to wipe down trolley handles. Very rarely see them used though.

Thud said...

In my reasonably long life I never have and never will patronised a curry house, nothing to do with food I just decided long ago to vote with my wallet my dislike of a certain group.

Anonymous said...

I am a westernised Muslim. The only meat products I will eat are pork, ham and bacon, because then I know that no unwashed arse-wiping hand has touched them. I am also in the Labour Party, and these meats support Labour Jew-hatred.

Now, where are those postal votes?