Sunday, October 29, 2006


So the other night, little Miss Faery decided at about 2 am that she'd had enough sleep and she wanted to get up and play. So I ended up on the couch with her until about 5:30.

There's not much on TV in the middle of the night, but I did find something--a fascinating show about food and germs. I don't remember what it was called, but man! I was stunned.

Not by the amount of bacteria etc. you may find in your food--believe me, I'm so paranoid about that I used to wash out my Thanksgiving turkeys with a very, very weak bleach solution before cooking (followed by gallons of clean water). I'm so paranoid, apparently, that when I told hubs about the show, he said, "I know you don't do that--you treat raw chicken in the kitchen like toxic waste, and every time someone comes in the room you shout, 'Don't touch that! It hasn't been washed!'"

Which is true. I do obsess about it. I practically wear a Haz-Mat suit. It's true that I make careful note of what I've touched with raw chicken hands, and even wash the sink taps as I wash my hands. It's true that it's not unusual for me to do so five or six times before I put the chicken in the oven, because I can't touch the refrigerator handle or the cupboard handles until my hands are clean. There's a reason I keep a super-intense moisturizer by the kitchen sink.

But the people on this show...first we have the raw chicken woman. She didn't even rinse her hands after touching the chicken, but went straight to the ham to slice it. She touched her kids and handed them cookies. She touched loaves of bread. She touched her husband's suit. She touched plates and dish towels and cabinets and pens and...*shudder*. It was horrifying. Especially when they used a blue light to show all the places she'd touched glowing with salmonella.

Far worse, though, was the woman who didn't wash her hands after using the bathroom, then started setting out cookies for her friends.

But the ultimate, and by this I mean the ultimate in "Are you insane?", was the guy who ordered take-out, ate half of it, then fell asleep on the couch--and in the moning finished the take-out. Which had been sitting on his coffee table all night. Who does that? Who among us, having reached the age where we have our own homes, really thinks it's okay to eat food that's been sitting out all night? Did that even look appetizing, or taste good? The curry sauce had a grimy skin on it! Who eats that?

Who is dumb enough to take home the wedding buffet food that's been sitting out for ten hours? I'm not talking about tortilla chips or anything, which would be stale but edible if you were really hungry. I'm talking about pork pies, or chicken breasts.

What's the yuckiest food thing you ever heard?

(BTW--Blogger's refusal to allow me to post yesterday means I missedmy chance to dance around and celebrate the Cards' World Series win. But YAY! I grew up in St. Louis, I remember their '82 win soooo well, and it was very exciting to see them finally win again!)

(BTW again--tomorrow evening I will list the answers to any unsolved quotes in the movie quote game below, so get your guesses in!)


Bernita said...

Bacteria is the only culture some people have, ya know, December, maybe that's why they support it.

Erik Ivan James said...

Next year, December. It'll be the Tigers next year. Enjoy yours now. ~chuckling~

Isabella Snow said...

I was a micro major and am a bit bacteria psychotic myself. I don't even touch raw poultry with my hands. You ought to see me cook it - quite the circus act!

But I'm SOOO guilty of eating food that's been sitting out. Nothing you could get salmonella from, though.

I should probably not touch anything that had butter spread on it though. That's been a painful lesson more than once.

Trust me!

All stems from laziness though. I'd rather spend 2 hours in the bathroom than 20 minutes cooking something else, lol.

December Quinn said...

Heh heh Bernita. Bacteria culture. Mind if I steal that?

Are ya chuckling, Erik, or are ya *choking*? choke choke...choke choke... Hehehehe.

I touch it with my hands, Isabella, but I then wash obsessively--often twice in one go--and spray that Dettol Surface spray stuff everywhere. My house is a mess but you could eat off my kitchen counters.
Define "sitting out", though. All night? Really? Like takeout curry or pasta, really? This wasn't like a couple of hours later, this was 12 hours after the stuff was delivered. *shudder*

Anonymous said...

Some of the natives that traveled with Lewis and Clark would start eating a downed animal immediately. No cooking, etc. -JTC

Jenn on the Island said...

Well, I've eaten 3 week old leftovers, but they were in the fridge in Tupperware the whole time.

I'm so not a bacteria freak. Yeah, I clean up and wash my hands etc. but anti-bacterial soap will only kill the weak ones. A friend of mine used anti-bacterial everything: hand soap, laundry detergent, dish soap, febreeze (that stuff freaks me out) and her kids were perpetually sick. Why? Becuase only the really nasty ones were left in her house. Besides, the phrase is a bit redundant. Soap, by it's very nature is anti-bacterial.

I heard that one of the Scandanavian countries have salmonella free chickens....

cyn said...

hmm. well, i'm chinese-american. so i do like pig intestines. i won't eat the ears anymore, tho. and i also refuse to eat frog legs and sea cucumber. i've also become too americanized to eat chicken feet. as for bacteria, i'm probaby middle of the road. a few hours or so won't scare me.

December Quinn said...

I don't use antibacterial stuff for that very reason, Jenn (except the aforementioned Dettol spray, butthat's for the cutting board and the countertops so it doesn't count.) There's no good and possibly bad from using antibac soaps and wipes and whatever else. Soap works just fine.

A few hours doesn't bother me either, Cyn, but twelve do!

I have never eaten any of the things you just described. But I'm a picky eater, too. My ex-stepmother, the Evil One, used to eat pickled pigs' feet. Every once in a while I'd open the fridge and find a jar of horrible whitish pig's feet floating in some reddish goo. I'd just close the door and walk away, appetite gone.

S. W. Vaughn said...


Somebody forwarded me something the other day about purses, and how dirty they usually are, and how you should never set your purse on a counter or table.

Good thing I don't carry one. :-)

Robyn said...

My husband grew up in St. Louis, and he shares your joy!

We've both worked in food service for a long time. What people do in their own homes would get them shut down permanently if they did it in a restaurant, believe me.

Sam said...

Bernita - LOL!!!!

I always wash up before touching food, and I'm pretty strict about making my kids wash up too before they touch food or the dishes. I keep anti-bacterial soap by the sink, and I can't eat fruit or viggies raw unless I wash them first.
My hubby thinks I'm mad, lol.
He Never gets sick. Drives me batty.

Bernita said...

Of course not, December. I stole it from someone else.

Isabella Snow said...

Umm.. well.. I've eaten pancakes that Id left sitting on my counter all night. Got sick from that, I did. ;)

I use forks and knives to maneuver poultry. And then I still wash obessively. But then, I'm a crazy, obsessive/compulsive kind of gal.