It is my doody to warn you that this article contains:
- Poop Humor
- Turd Cakes
- Poop Poisoning Stories
- Vital Information About Food Safety
- This sickness that we call the “stomach flu” really should be called the “accidentally ate poop virus” because that’s what it is. The leading cause of viral gastroenteritis, specifically, norovirus, is the ingestion of – yes – crap. In culinary terms, it’s called the fecal-oral route of transmission.
FACT: Even trace amounts of feces, invisible to the eye, are enough to trigger a food poisoning incident. Bacteria are smart – they know how to self-replicate.
Common Forms of Crap Found in Food
- Pet Poop – Allowing a pet in the kitchen and/or petting an animal before/during food preparation without hand washing is a no-no.
- Chicken Poop – i.e. Salmonella, which is present on raw chicken meat & in raw eggs, has a high rate of cross-contamination via cooking implements and surfaces. It duplicates rapidly at room temperature. It does not easily clean off plastic cutting boards. It is particularly problematic in conventional U.S. chickens.
- Mouse or Rat Poop – When these critters invade your ingredients or dry storage areas, they leave their droppings and dander behind.
- The Poop of the Human Who Prepares the Food – This is the most widespread cause of transmission, mainly due to insufficient hand washing.
- The Poop of Some Other Human – Beware of people who share your kitchen and bathroom spaces!
You ESPECIALLY Don’t Want to Serve Turd to:
– Pregnant Women
– Infants & Young Children
– The Elderly
– Immuno-Compromised Individuals
FACT: Chilled chocolate mousse makes the best pretend poop.
Poop Poisoning Stories
True Story #1
Wedding Gone Wrong
After a fabulous wedding in New England, many of the guests started puking their guts out. Some got so sick that they went to the emergency room, which triggered a Board of Health investigation. Investigators traced the culprit back to the wedding cake from a popular localy bakery, where one pastry cook had a case of persistent diarrhea that week and failed to wash her hands properly. It turns out she had Hepatitis A and her failure to adhere to food safety protocol led to a major outbreak. Once it hit the news, the effect on her employer’s business was devastating.
Moral of the story: Thorough and consistent hand-washing is critically important at all times. Moreover, cooks should never work or serve food to others during a severe bout of ongoing diarrhea or vomiting, as that may be a symptom of norovirus, salmonella poisoning, or Hepatitis A, all of which are dangerous and highly contagious. Kitchen managers should quarantine themselves and others when these symptoms are present.
True Story #2
I once worked in a fancy, filthy food establishment that developed a fly infestation over the summer. It was the thick black hairy kind of fly that hangs heavy in the air. In the midst of a heatwave, there were swarms of them. In the prep kitchen, a cook butchered and cooked chickens as flies touched their feet down on the raw meat. Those same flies flew into the pastry kitchen, where they touched down on the frosted and ready-to-eat treats. The next day, an employee bolted past me and vomited into a trash can. The day after that, there was a call about an upset stomach from a customer. The day after that, another complaint came in.
Moral of the story: Flies will gladly walk poop onto your food.
True Story #3
At the same bakery mentioned above, every other week, a pastry cook prepared bulk batches of chocolate mousse for us to fill various pastry and cake orders. Every so often, a customer got sick and called to complain after consuming a dessert that contained chocolate mousse. The chef knew the culprit was the mousse. Yet without food safety training, he couldn’t figure out how to solve the problem. Out of frustration, he blamed the pastry kitchen employees, sometimes yelling or pulling the chocolate mousse out from under our hands.
What he did right
He enforced a rule that employees must never leave the chocolate mousse out at room temperature for very long. Reason: Salmonella in raw eggs multiplies faster at room temperature therefore it’s important to hold items containing raw eggs, such as chocolate mousse, at refrigerator temperature.
What he did wrong
- He failed to refrigerate the eggs themselves. Typically, he stored a number of cases out at room temperature to have on hand because room temperature eggs whip to a lighter and fluffier volume compared to cold eggs. However conventional American eggs should not be stored at room temperature.
- He failed to enforce the vital principles of FIFO, i.e. First-In-First-Out Rotation of all products and ingredients. As a result, newer batches of mousse were used first and the older batches of mousse were used second or third.
- He failed to enforce a Label & Date System, so employees could not tell the difference between new and old batches of mousse. With salmonella multiplying slowly but surely at refrigerator temperature, the older batches grew dangerous over time.
- He failed to analyze the situation and identify the hazards, putting the customers and employees repeatedly at risk.
Moral of the story: Whenever possible, hold conventional egg products in the refrigerator. Abide by the principles of labeling, dating, and the FIFO food rotation system. Always investigate food safety hazards and seek their solutions.
Food Safety is a Matter of Public Health!
If you don’t have the funds to pay for a certified Food Handing Course, you can educate yourself for FREE by reading the following guide: Managing Food Safety. I am not being paid or compensated in any way to make the above recommendations.
Food Safety Posters for Your Business
Here are some cool visual aids for your reference. I recommend hanging these on the walls of your commercial kitchen establishment.
- First in First Out Guide
- Safe Cooking Temperatures Guide
- Proper Refrigerator Food Storage Guide
- Employee Hand Washing Guide
- Step by Step Hand Washing Guide
- Sanitary Dishwashing Guide
- Uniform Hygiene Guide
- Don’t Contaminate Guide (Meat)
- Separate, Don’t Contaminate (Hot vs. Cold)
New to Wicked Goodies? Start *HERE*
You might also enjoy