Why isn't there more (Dis)Trust in Potlucks?
So my friend recently went to a potluck this weekend for a retiring professor from her department- Entomology; the study of bugs. That’s right. And it got me thinking… do you trust everyone bringing the food? Should you? Don’t we? Typically I like to assume everyone is as clean and respectful as I am, read: I’ve taken a microbiology class, I use my dishwasher regularly, I keep my pets out of the kitchen…well now I do anyway…and I don’t have 5 rats anymore…and we’re not housesitting 2 feral kittens from Cambodia…and the snake has been rehabbed and released back into the wild…and Martini the Tiny Terrapen was moved to a sweet pen out back…and our 2 Golden Retrievers are groomed and shaved. BUT, I digress. Along with this social faux pas: the only Chinese attendee was asked if he brought the spring rolls (actually the young white newlyweds bought them at TJ’s) a potluck begs these hygenic faux pas questions: -did the attendees wash their hands and keep them clean (without wiping their noses,sneezing, or adjusting their underwear) throughout the entire prep and cooking process? -did they lick the spoon/prep utensils while still cooking? -did they sample the dish unsanitarily while preparing it? -did they have all the ingredients or did they have some creative substitutes? I bring this up b/c I heard a new mom confessing on the radio once to using her OWN BREASTMILK for a bake sale recipe since she was out of cow's milk!! -do they have pets or children? -do they have a communicable disease or a cold that could be transmitted through saliva or airborne micro-droplets? -are their workspaces clean? -did they use fresh ingredients? -did they cook everything well enough and keep any uncooked items properly cooled?
and: http://www.foodsafety.gov/~fsg/fsgadvic.html Sure, cooking and chilling a dish properly will kill most bacteria but do you want to tell your guests all these guidelines because you think they have cooties?! Simple solution: Irradiate, with a capitol I. Yep, I said it; albeit facetiously. How hard is it to bring your own uv light along with your insulated casserole carrier? That's right, it's not. Sure, the life force of your tasty morsels will be dead and gone, kaput, but you’ll be eating sterilized-and-safe goodness! Thankfully! No worries about hugging the porcelain goddess later that evening, or being wrenched awake at 3AM by diarrhea pangs. What better way to say hey friend, I like to keep your company and share the bounty of our kitchens together but I think you pick your nose!? Actually, you'll be ready for what's coming from the FDA: