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Miss South Africa attacked for wearing gloves to feed HIV orphans

"I want to know why she would put on latex gloves to touch black children." One Twitter user wrote.

The cause of the firestorm was that people felt that she was racist or that  she was afraid of touching the kids as the children being fed were either orphans, HIV positive or both.

One person wrote “You forgot to put on a surgical mask; gloves aren't enough to defend your whiteness from catching the black.” While another asked “Do you want to explain why you are eating with gloves?? Or you are just afraid to touch black people????”

It went pretty much downhill from there with racist accusation after racist accusation. Which was far-fetched as even the black people at the soup kitchen wore gloves to feed the kids.

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Posting a video on Twitter after the firestorm, Miss Demi Leigh said: "We were handing out food to young kids and that was the only intention with wearing the gloves. It was purely to be as hygienic as possible. I really feel like my intentions were really misunderstood but I would like to apologise if I offended anyone."

But the Twitter spirits were not appeased as they kept asking her that if it were for hygiene purposes why didn’t she wear a hairnet or an apron? Or wear the gloves while peeling the potatoes?

One Occupational health nurse by the name Lana Lambert came to her defence revealing that wearing gloves was more of a hygiene issue rather than a prejudice issue.

" I'm an Occupational health nurse, fortunately, we are guided by legislation which is very clear: food handlers themselves could pose the main risk and so there are various vaccinations and criteria you have to follow before you allowed to touch food. But when dealing with "No Bare Hand Contact" is the practice of preventing direct contact with bare hands while handling ready to eat foods. This practice provides a secondary protection against the contamination of foods that do not require further cooking with microbial pathogens from the hands of ill food employees.

The 2005 FDA Food Code recognises the increased risks of foodborne illness in highly susceptible populations (HSPs) such as the very young, older adults, and those with compromised immune systems. Food establishments in health care; assisted living, child or adult day care, hospitals, nursing homes, nursery schools, and senior citizen centres are required to take additional precautions to prevent the transmission of foodborne illness. It’s a requirement, guys.”

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Even the community centre where the kids were fed said that the accusations levelled against the beauty queen were ridiculous and through the programme director Carol Dyanti they relayed this message "All volunteers, including our staff members, wore gloves during the food preparation. It was mandatory. It was such successful day and I am sorry that the focus is now on the gloves rather than the positive impact it had."

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Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

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