As you know, I tend to share things with you as they come up – just my thing. So this time, the item residing in my craw happens to be on the topic of food safety, or more specifically: safe food handling and food-borne illnesses. I know it sounds a tad dry – but believe me; not everyone knows this stuff and I know parents, like me, want to give their kids safe and healthy food.
Although I am a subscriber to the “it isn’t a party till somebody either breaks something, cries, vomits or poops” philosophy, I don’t actually seek to welcome any of those events. That said, I was rightly grossed out recently when, on more than one occasion – both at barbecue events with young families present – some (what I thought were) rather basic food handling rules were broken (i.e. annihilated) right before my watering eyes.
In gross-out number one, the grill-savvy-looking dude with “Kiss the Cook” emblazoned on his apron shocked (and gagged) me with the following infraction: he put the cooked chicken legs back into the (unboiled) marinade that the raw chicken had been in minutes earlier. (“Salmonella – party of 10 – your table’s ready!”)
Gagfest number two came as a well-meaning amateur chef handled raw pork and lamb chops and then stuck her (unwashed) hand into a bag of flour, grabbed a couple of hands full and then put the big bag of flour back in the cupboard (to accent her future gourmet creations with a pinch of toxoplasmosis – charming!) .
Now, I know I’m being my sarcastic self about this, but food safety is serious stuff and not knowing about it can make our kids (and ourselves) very sick. Obviously, no one ever told these generous, welcoming, well-intentioned party hosts about food safety. So, let’s make sure our own kids know about it from a very young age. We can fix this. Let’s do it! Now, pass the (properly refrigerated) potato salad! 🙂
Tell us your scary food safety stories!
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About this blogger:
Paula D’Orazio RN is a public health nurse with the Early Years Health Program at the Halton Region Health Department. Wanna know more about her? Read her blogs! She’ll tell ya! (She kinda likes to talk.)