I dread to think how the ice in a Birmingham branch of KFC became contaminated with faecal bacteria, otherwise known as shit to you and me. I am no longer a regular KFC user (that makes me sound like a former drug addict) for the very simple reason that the Colonel’s Kentucky Fried Chicken is extremely high in fat and, if consumed in regular amounts, is likely to send me to my urn in the very near future.

The story resonated with me because I have this profound concern every time I go out to eat somewhere that the person who prepared my food might not have washed his or her hands after visiting the bathroom. I know that a worryingly large number of people in the pub – I only see the men, to be fair – pay a visit to the bathroom and then return straight to the bar without washing their hands. This is where it gets a little unpleasant, at least in my mind.

It is not just a small minority of men who do not clean their hands after disposing of excess body waste. I know that I am shaking hands with people when the last thing they had in their hand was…well, you know. I have even seen people returning from the cubicles and missing out on the cleaning facilities. I would like to think that cooking staff do not do this, but plainly someone at the KFC may have overlooked their ablutions.

Although this sounds all jokey, jokey is not how I feel about it. I do appreciate that even the Queen and the Prime Minister require regular bathroom visits, just like we all do, even if it is a little hard to imagine. But the hygiene aspect makes me increasing queasy.

I was told once by a lady with whom I worked that it was not just a man thing: even some women are not quite as through with washing their hands as men do. That surprised me a little because I have always associated those of the fairer sex (God, that sounds so sexist and patronising: sorry) as being more meticulous than us sweaty men on the cleanliness side of things.

Of course, not every branch of KFC will be contaminated with…cough, splutter…faecal bacteria and the odds are that we won’t suffer from some debilitating intestinal virus as a result of that variety meal (hot wings on mine, please), and a heart attack is far more likely.

But please, when you’ve had a pee or the other one, just wash your hands, eh? I am grateful for the pint you’ve just bought me, but don’t mix the beer with a little of your urine on my pint glass. It’s just taking the, er…