Last week, I urgently needed an Everything Bagel, so I went to the neighborhood Bruegger's. I was waiting in line while two Bruegger's employees behind the counter were discussing something. One, a young man, said in response to the other, "I don't know..." and picked up a scooper filled with cream cheese and brought it up to his nose, sniffing deeply. He said, "It's chive," and threw the scooper back in the vat. He then looked up at me, with a dot of cream cheese on his nose.
"Can I help you?" he asked, wiping his nose with his sanitary, be-gloved hand.
Eww. You just sniffed the cream cheese. Not only did you sniff it, you touched it with your nose. And you put the scooper back in the vat. There is now nose contaminating the cream cheese.
These are the thoughts that ran through my head while I stood there, mute. I kept waiting for him to acknowledge what he had done. But he didn't. I went ahead with my purchase (no cream cheese) and left.
...and then I remembered. Many months ago, my wife went to the same Bruegger's to pick up some bagels, as well as a muffin for one of the kids. She ordered a corn muffin, and the employee picked it up out of the basket and said to a colleague, "Is this corn or vanilla?" The employee took the muffin, held it up to his nose and inhaled. "Nope, vanilla," and tossed it back in the basket.
Since when did it become appropriate for food handlers to SNIFF the food they are handling? Is this a new company policy? The manager tells everyone during the morning pep talk, "Now let's go out there and sell some bagels! And remember, a sniffed bagel is a fresh bagel! Put your nose all over those bagels!" Should I assume that there are boogers on my Bruegger's bagels?