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May 31, 2012 02:16 AM

Salt and pepper grinder phobia


I suppose restaurants that have these grinders on the table, especially the disposable grinders, do so out of some notion that fresh ground is better. Perhaps so, but I'd rather not have to handle grinders on the table. It is rare that they are washed or cleaned between diners, and by the feel of some of them they aren't even washed from day to day. I have the same aversion to regular salt & pepper shakers that aren't kept clean, but the grinders especially bug me, since it is usually necessary to grip a grinder with force, and more of the flesh of one's hand is exposed to the surfaces of the grinder. Eating with that hand after handling the grinder is difficult for me. Do others feel the same way, or is this over the top?

  1. It never occurred to me to worry about this, but if you do, why not just pick up your napkin and hold the grinder with it?

    3 Replies
    1. re: small h

      This will only transfer the flesh particles of dozens of doubtlessly diseased strangers onto your cloth napkin, which you will use to wipe your hands and mouth throughout the meal.

      The only solution is to bring your own disinfectant, disposable cloths, and a portable incinerator.

      1. re: DeppityDawg

        Or just ask for a fresh napkin. Too easy?

        1. re: DeppityDawg

          Good Lord- why leave your house? Disease and people shreds abound!

      2. Doesn't bother me in the least. I'd say either wash your hands after, bring disinfectant or bring your own salt and pepper grinders or little takeaway packages. I've actually never encountered a restaurant with a grinder on the table, usually the waiter does it or its a shaker and not a grinder. If I did encounter a grinder I wouldn't even think about it.

        1. Not a bother to me. I wouldn't expect it to be any worse than many of the other surfaces that you come into contact with on a day to day basis.

          And I'm on medication that suppresses the immune system...

          1. Yes, I feel the same way. I rarely touch any container left on the table. Truth be told, I have a lot of "germ" issues.

            At my first waitressing job, the woman half of the partnership was nuts about keeping the shakers clean. We had to wipe them down with bleach water and a clean bar rag before every shift. I always think of her when eyeing up the salt shakers.

            Those grinders are showing up at many places in my area.

            1. Not a problem for me whatsoever. While I believe that germ theory is one of the greatest advances in lengthening the human life span, I also believe the germ phobia is a godsend to antiseptic product companies, which cultivate neurotic behavior in consumers. Kinda like the way prescription medication abuse is a far more serious problem in our culture than the abuse of illegal drugs.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Karl S

                Agreed. I don't want to live in a sterile environment. It's not healthy!

                Your immune system needs something to attack or it will attack you. Autoimmune disorders are on the rise

                1. re: scubadoo97

                  That assertion about autoimmune disorders is incorrect. It doesn't work that way. Since this is not a medical site, however, I will not go into it here.

                  1. re: scubadoo97

                    'Your immune system needs something to attack or it will attack you."

                    Could you please elaborate? I'm not understanding what you're saying.