September 17, 2008
I cringe a little when I see Food Network hosts like Paula Deen and Rachael Ray dig into raw ground beef with wedding rings on their hands. I assume they have washed their hands, but there could be a petri dish of organisms living under those rings.
It also bothers me when the hosts don’t wash fresh herbs and produce. Some of them will mention that it has been washed, but not always. Pathogens transmitted from garden to cutting board to plate can cause serious foodborne illness.
So I was interested when I received a news release last week about a study that analyzed the food-safety practices displayed on the Food Network, the nation’s most popular cooking teacher.
At Texas Tech University in Lubbock, food microbiologist Dr. Mindy Brashears and Dr. Cindy Akers and Erica Irlbeck from the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications watched 49 episodes of programs aired on the Food Network. They coded the food-safety practices they observed.