Letters - Thursday, November 25, 2021

Why you can’t be too careful around food

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 3:45 pm
Food hygiene rating

I read with some alarm a letter written by Bewildered in Monday’s Gazette (Use some common sense around germs, Your Say, November 22) in which a previous letter is rubbished because the letter writer was dismayed at people’s hygiene and the handling of food in shops by children and adults.

Bewildered thinks that it’s okay to handle food willy nilly even in a pandemic. He mentions people handling food before it gets onto the shelves; so they do but they obey the hygiene rules whilst doing so. That’s why we have hygiene certificates for people who have done the courses, and why those mysterious green labels with numbers on them appear on the front of food premises, like restaurants.

Gregg Wallace has an excellent TV programme where he visits food-making factories and you can see the hygiene rules being put into practice.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

As for petrol pumps and mail? That’s why there are such things as sanitisers and gloves. Yes, germs are all around, but these ones can be fatal.

As for the government overreacting, as far as lockdown is concerned I agree, plenty of places reacted in a sensible manner, such as Blackpool Zoo, and also cafes that put dividers up and other safety measures, but they were ignored by the government and they lost a lot of money.

Meanwhile, it took three months before they acted on controlling the borders and then wasted billions of our money in the process.

Common sense is woefully lacking all around and until people start to use it this thing will drag on.

Sam Norris

Address supplied

RAILWAYS

Empty promises destroying hope

The historic folly of the Tory Government throwing away its majority having reasserted its fundamental belief that civilisation ends north of Watford Junction can only lead to the Starmers measuring the curtains to No 10 while Sir Keir writes his application to rejoin the EU and abandon Sterling.

Downgrading levelling up rail to save money condemns the Midlands and the North to suffer economic damage.

When will they learn that short term-ism is the destroyer of hope?

Keith Punshon

Via email

So this project (HS2) has now been cancelled.

So much for Government promises. The North are used to getting the crumbs from the South’s table – now we are not going to get even these except yet more promises.

Alec Allen

Via email

UTILITIES

Water companies need controlling

The recent public outcry over Conservative MPs voting for the release of raw sewage prompted several very basic questions.

In their defence it was claimed that it’s better to have sewage in rivers than homes – true, but is that a choice we should be forced to make in a civilised society?

Heavy rain, global warming, and our Victorian infrastructure were also blamed.

But heavy rain is not exactly unknown here, and global warming has been a threat for decades. Victoria died 120 years ago, and a decade of Conservative government has failed to produce credible plans for the world-beating infrastructure we deserve.

Is government able or willing to adequately control water companies? After huge public disgust and threats of a Tory rebellion, a tiny, mealy-mouthed U-turn emerged.

Water companies will now be obliged to prove they have reduced the impact of sewage discharges from storm overflows – but only by 2026. Given the significant cuts the Environment Agency has suffered over the last decade, how can these obligations be properly monitored, never mind enforced?

What part have our privatised water companies played in this shocking public health hazard? Is their primary responsibility the wellbeing of the nation, or shareholders’ dividends? £57bn has been paid out in dividends over the past 30 years – £6.5bn since 2016. Shareholders rightly expect some return, but have those returns been proportionate compared to spending on updating vital infrastructure? Almost three quarters of England’s water industry is currently owned by overseas entities. So how much interest do these owners have in updating our country’s infrastructure?

Tony McCobb

Address supplied

ANIMALS

Help PDSA care for sick animals

People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) is appealing for help this winter so that it can continue to be here for pets, like they’ve been here for us throughout the pandemic – providing comfort, companionship and love during these uncertain times.

The charity provides free and low cost vet care for those who struggle to pay treatment costs for their sick and injured pets.

It’s vital that pets and their owners can access our life-saving services and get the treatment they deserve, when they have nowhere else to turn. Pets have done so much to improve our health and wellbeing, but now they are at increased risk – with 2.9 million more people claiming Universal Credit than before the pandemic and the cost of living crisis squeezing household budgets, we know many pet owners will be unable to afford essential vet treatment.

With 388,000 pets treated in 2020, by keeping our 48 Pet Hospitals open, we can be there for the thousands of pets that need us across the UK every day. Please donate today and help save pets’ lives – www.pdsa.org.uk/pdsa-chance.

Lynne James

PDSA Vet

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here