Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Food Safety Corner: Befriending Bacteria?

Regular readers here know that I like to share tidbits of information about food safety. A reader recently brought this well written article to my attention. In it, an American studying in a French Culinary School, decribes the conditions in the kitchen.

"Since our first day, there has hardly been any discussion of sanitation, no mention of the dangers of cross-contamination, and there is still no hand-washing requirement before class begins. Every day we prepare fish, raw poultry and meat on our cutting boards and then cheerfully chop vegetables on those same boards after lightly wiping them down with a damp sponge. Some sort of cleansing product – a French version of Mr. Clean – appeared near the sink last week, but we’ve never used it. Meats, shellfish and eggs hang out on the counter unrefrigerated for hours at a time. Sometimes we share dirty spoons to taste dishes."

However, she goes on to describe the great care and love with which the French approach their food, and how well they treat it. she also points out how the illusion of sterility and cleanliness in the American food supply is just that, illusory.

The important lesson, which can't be repeated enough, is to WASH YOUR HANDS!


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