Health & Safety

In the inaugural post of this blog, I used the quote, Fair is foul and foul is fair.

But is there any ‘fair’ any more? Is there any fair, for example, in foul earth-vampire Chevron appealing the landmark ten year case won against it by indigenous Ecuadorians for dumping chemical waste on them? Or in the construction of the Belo Monte dam? Or in the legions of earth-vampires lobbying weak, compromised, racists like erstwhile Peruvian president Alan García to dig up the rain forest and the hell with any two-legged humanoid animals that happened to live there? Thankfully, current Peruvian presidente Ollanta Humala has now passed a bill restoring rights to indigenous people. Sooner or later we will realise, we are all indigenous people, just, we’ve had some kind of heavily delusional virus.

Closer to home, I recently found myself at a lavish investment conference, beneath the borrowed relics of Lizardry Itself that constitute the British Museum’s current exhibition Treasures of Heaven – which is excellent and recommended and thoroughly merits a review all of its own, if I have time.

Here, I am more concerned with the catering industry, and its dark adherence to Health & Safety legislation. Chatting with one of the Do&Co catering company’s waiters about the evident massive superabundance of food – and, this being the heart of Lizardry itself, we’re talking damn nice food – I was appalled to learn that the staff were not allowed to take any of excess home with them. Or, heaven forbid – take it out the back door and offer it to those who might be lurking and hungry out there. Nope. Soon as anything was returned to the catering room it was deemed finished, and to touch it was to contravene Health & Safety. We’re talking kilos of prime beef, great trays of gourmet mushroom linguine, spinach and seaweed, oysters, rollmop, potatoes… It all reminded me of another conference I magically appeared at many years ago (I can count the conferences I have been to on one hand) in New Orleans (before Katrina 2005)…I remember in particular the banqueting room of the Hilton International piled high with bacon, Caesar salad, croutons, toast..everything you could possibly imagine eating for Sunday brunch and then some…after everyone had finished eating, while the streets I had just walked that morning were lined with homeless black people wandering around in search of salvation and soup.  Poor bleeding heart going, I asked a member of staff if a tray couldn’t be taken outside. And when he said no, I naively said, of course, it would be saved in the fridge or something. Oh no, he said, it all had to go straight in the bin.

Back to the BM…I suggested staff try drafting and signing a waiver of their rights or of anyone to whom they had given leftover food to complain in the case of food poisoning. And if that is not acceptable, then to demand a written statement of the exact point at which the food is deemed ‘leftover’…NB – we’re not talking food scraped from used plates here, I’m talking about whole trays that never even made it out to the serving platform, or came back half served or less. What happens to it? It goes in the bin.


Tired of the madness?

Then start asking.

I shall be writing both to Do&Co and to the HSE for clarification as to why perfectly good food has to be thrown away. There are countless other examples of this…this logoidal lockdown… It needs to be highlighted, revealed in all its absurdity. In the process we willcome to see just how much of our world is composed of it.