I’m bona fide. I’m the paterfamilias. I have a residency card and can leave the U.S. and get back in

Or something like that from George Clooney in the 2000 movie and Courtlynn favorite, O Brother Where Art Thou.

As far as the U.S. government is concerned, I am indeed somewhat more bona fide, having received my permanent residency (below), so let the food safety world tour begin.

First stop – the motherland, U.K., in early January. Amy has a conference in Manchester, so thought we’d see some of my relatives in Newport, some friends in Cardiff, and visit the statue of my now confirmed great-great-great-great grandfather, William ‘The Tipton Slasher’ Perry, bare-knuckle boxing champ of England in 1850 and 1856, in Birmingham.

Where to get germs while on vacation

I’ve walked down Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Chinese Theatre. I bought a $2 map of the stars’ houses and photographed the "foot prints" of Star Wars’ R2D2 and C3PO in the cement. But I didn’t touch anything.

That sidewalk made the list of the five germiest tourist spots in the world as determined by editors at TripAdvisor.com this summer:

1. Blarney Stone in Blarney, Ireland – Last year, about 400,000 people hung upside down to kiss this stone in their quest for the gift of eloquence.

2. Market Theater Gum Wall in Seattle, Washington – This 15’x50′ wall of gum began as a few sticky pieces discarded by college students waiting in line for movie tickets fifteen years ago.

3. St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy – For some reason, people love feeding the pigeons here, though city officials have been cracking down on the pooping menaces in recent years.

4. Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California – The celebrity handprints in the cement  out front encourage bare-hand contact with a city sidewalk, which, according to a Theatre tour guide, is mopped daily and pressure washed once a week to support the trend.

5. Oscar Wilde’s Tomb in Paris, France – Admirers of author and playwright Oscar Wilde don bright lipstick to kiss his tomb when they come to pay their respects.

CNN’s report of the list states,

"Though it is unlikely to get sick from visiting one of these places, health experts say germs are always a gamble. The more people who touch and visit a spot, the more germs there are in the mix, they say.

"Their traveling advice? Travelers should load up on hand sanitizers and wash their hands often on their trips."

Good advice, baseless assumptions. Now, what about the kissing? And the pigeons?

TripAdvisor travel expert Brooke Ferencsik was quoted as saying, "These places are great attractions regardless of the fact that they are germy."

I’d say they were good for a photo, maybe. But I’m passing on the hands-on (or mouth-on) participation.

Travel agents: if people are barfing at a resort, don’t keep sending more tourists

A 48-year-old teaching assistant from Crayford, and a family from Broadstairs are among more than 500 British tourists who won compensation for a nightmare Caribbean holiday at the Bahia Principe Hotel in the Dominican Republic (below, left) in 2007.

According to media accounts, the holiday companies continued sending guests to the hotel despite a major outbreak of Shigella and Salmonella which lasted for months.

"My husband couldn’t reach the toilet when we were there. I went down to reception to tell them to call a doctor and they said put a nappy on him to take him to the medical centre. … Some people had to have new mattresses because they hadn’t made it to the toilet in time. There were children screaming all over the place and pregnant women."

Tracey Chambers, 43, said,

“People were being sick in the swimming pool and the toilets were all blocked up. Lots of people were being sick. We were told to watch what we ate because there was bug going round. …  My dad had to be put on a drip because he was dehydrated and couldn’t take on enough water. They were charging 40 dollars for a trip to the hospital.”

Other guests were diagnosed with shigella, giardia, salmonella and E coli, thought to have come from food dressings.

A spokesperson for Thomas Cook said,

"We are pleased that the majority of legal cases have now been settled and we want to be able to reassure all our customers that we work with our hotel partners to continually monitor the hygiene standards in their properties."