ALE Winter 2003/04 No. 312 : Next section

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Letter: hygiene and courtesy in pubs

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Dear Sir
I have noticed over the past few years the decline in hygiene behind the bar in pubs particularly the big beer barn type of establishment. I am a natural and a trained observer and hold a food hygiene certificate. I'm also trained in health and safety so even when I'm not trying I will notice things. I will let quite a bit go with out saying anything (like handling money - one of the dirtiest things known to man) but, and this is an important but, I do have a big problem accepting staff serving me after handling dirty glasses and ashtrays with out washing their hands (this should be done behind the bar so that the public can see it being done). The same goes for scratching an itch, pushing back hair, and particularly after coughing or sneezing into their hands (yes you know who you are). What is even worse is that when asked to wash their hands by a customer they argue that their hands are clean, or that the glass is clean.

A particular irritation is the latest trend to hold the glass by the brim so that they can hook the index finger around the tap to pour the beer; others are rolling or tossing the glass between their hands before pouring. And then they take exception to being asked to change the glass. Whatever happened to the barman's adage that the bottom third of the glass is for the barman and the top two thirds belonging to the customer? Then you have the bad manners of arguing with the customer, in effect calling the customer a liar. Do they not know that they are in the service industry and within reason the customer is always right? Have they forgotten that it is the customer's patronage and money that pays their wages?

Name and address supplied

Interesting historical comparison: Keep It Clean! - Greene King's advice to its landlords in 1980.

ALE Winter 2003/04 No. 312 : Next section
Cambridge & District CAMRA