The surprisingly slack standards of food safety in Germany

In the U.S., food workers are required to wash their hands multiple times a shift.
In the U.S., food workers are required to wash their hands multiple times a shift. Photo: Kelly Thomas

For a country known for its bloated bureaucracy and strict regulations, Germany has comparatively lax food safety laws – at least in comparison to Washington state.

To get my Washington food worker’s card, I had to watch a little video online about various food-related rules and answer simple questions related to them afterwards.

In Germany, I showed up one evening at a repurposed furniture store, sat in a crowded room, and watched a video on an ill-fated food worker who got a bad case of food poisoning and had to stay home three days from work. Continue reading “The surprisingly slack standards of food safety in Germany”

At a Wendepunkt … turning point

As the weather in Hamburg slowly shifts and is now firmly entrenched in fall, so, too, is my life changing, and instead of a supermarket warehouse worker, I’m starting to feel like a student again.

I grew up in Washington, the Evergreen State, so living somewhere with dramatic fall colors never ceases to awe me. If you like my photos, follow me on Instagram: https://instagram.com/alison_haywood/
I grew up in Washington, the Evergreen State, so living somewhere with dramatic fall colors never ceases to awe me. If you like my photos, follow me on Instagram: https://instagram.com/alison_haywood/

I quit my job at the supermarket, which had been bringing me down and taking up a lot of time for a while now, and now have three new jobs – the most exciting of which is definitely teaching German to refugee children.

Continue reading “At a Wendepunkt … turning point”

Bureaucracy and birth control: Navigating the Danish health care system

Denmark has free, universal health care. One of the perks of paying 37-55% of your income in taxes, I suppose. It’s free to visit a doctor, and you pay a subsidized rate for prescriptions – not unlike the co-pay that many American insurance plans have.

“Free” and “universal,” however, are not necessarily synonymous with “efficient.”

After many phone calls, automated recordings and unresponsive doctors, I finally attained birth control in Denmark. Health care here may be free, but it's not particularly efficient!
After many phone calls, automated recordings and unresponsive doctors, I finally attained birth control in Denmark. Health care here may be free, but it’s not particularly efficient!

Continue reading “Bureaucracy and birth control: Navigating the Danish health care system”