Tidbits for Political Junkies with Short Attention Spans & Hearty Appetites


Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Jane Brody

Among the people I would probably not choose as a dinner companion would be the New York Times’ Jane Brody.

Occasionally, however, she does come up with some good advice. A case in point would be this piece on food safety, which contains useful tips for avoiding “cross-contamination” – which commonly occurs when cooks fail to wash hands, knives, and cutting boards adequately between preparing raw meats and cutting up raw vegetables. I’m certified in food safety, so I tend to agree: after cutting up a chicken, I wash & sanitize everything in sight before moving on to the next step. Call me neurotic, but somehow the idea of salmonella in my salad just doesn’t appeal to me.

She’s also right about defrosting, right about storing and chilling, and right when she advises washing melons before cutting them. I would not, however, take her advice on cooking temperatures too seriously, unless you never again want to mop up a nice runny egg yolk, or dig into a warm slab of rare roast beef (never mind the béarnaise sauce). One would hope, at least, that if you handle your food carefully -- you won't have to ruin it to make it safe to eat.


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