Sudden outbreak

The recent e-coli scare and the subsequent unfortunate downfall of spinach from a leafy, nutritious green to a carrier of a deadly bacteria has had another effect – a closer media scrutiny of hygiene practices – from supermarkets and restaurants to airlines and hotels! A stomach-churning report from months ago found the ice served in restaurants filthier than toilet water. A recent article has some interesting insights on the ubiquitous hotel room – Viruses thrived in rooms where guests had the common cold. The study does point out that the research was done before the rooms were cleaned. The hotel room is a place where different people stay at different times and is the equivalent of a home away from home, behind locked doors. It is in the interest of hotels to err on the side of caution and overclean a place than to leave any bacteria lurking on the remotes. The e-coli outbreak and the cruise-ship sickness incident from months ago have proved that hygiene is not always the priority it needs to be – even in an advanced society. Re-training may be the need of the hour.

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.

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