Our battle with Gwyneth: cookbook edition

The coverage of extension associate Katrina Levine’s research on cookbook food safety messages took an unexpected turn yesterday. Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘people’ weighed in.

By ‘people’ I think it’s the folks who published her cookbooks.

It started with a string of emails from some folks in the UK who saw the NC State press release about the research. After analyzing 1700+ recipes from cookbooks on the New York Times best seller list we found that safe endpoint temperatures only appeared in just over 8% of the instructions.

Not great.

A few journalists want to know who are the biggest offenders are (quick answer: it’s pretty well everyone we looked at – but not all the time).

One of the books included in our study was Paltrow’s It’s All Good. In a flurry of questions, and without being able to find all the recipes online, I sent one of the enquiring minds a recipe from another book, My Father’s Daughter as an example of what we were looking at, with this note:

“Here’s one from chef Paltrow that does not have a safe endpoint temperature included (165F or 74C).

Heat oven to 400°. Mix butter, garlic salt, paprika, pepper and salt in a bowl. Rinse chicken inside and out; pat dry. Insert fingers between skin and breast to separate the two. Rub seasoned butter over chicken and under skin. Tuck wings underneath bird and tie together with a piece of twine. Tie legs together with another piece of twine. Place chicken on its side in a heavy roasting pan and roast 25 minutes. Turn onto its other side and sprinkle with several tbsp water; roast 25 minutes more. Turn chicken on its back; roast 10 minutes more. Turn on its breast; roast until skin is crispy and chicken is golden brown, 10 minutes more. Remove from pan and let rest, breast side down, 15 minutes, before carving (remove skin).”

The Paltrow folks responded, through the journalist with this:

“The recipe for “Roast Chicken, Rotisserie Style” was published in MY FATHER’S DAUGHTER in April 2011. While it did not have an endpoint temperature included, the directions called for the chicken to be roasted at 400F for 70 minutes, which is ample time to cook a 3-4 pound chicken.

IT’S ALL GOOD, which was published in April 2013, does include endpoint temperatures. “Super-Crispy Roast Chicken” in IT’S ALL GOOD is baked for 1-1/2 hours at 425 degrees and the recipe advises “The chicken thigh should register 165 degrees F on a digital thermometer at the very least (I usually let it get to 180 Degrees F just to be completely sure it’s cooked all the way through the bone).”

So we went back to the data – and yep, we noted that the Super-Crispy Roast Chicken had a safe end point temperature. What they omitted was that the first instruction in the recipe was to wash the chicken; one of the steps that can increase the risk of foodborne illnesses.

There were these other recipes from It’s All Good that don’t have the safe endpoint temperatures (and tell the reader to do non science-based things like touch it, look for clear juices or color to ensure doneness):

The row (I think that’s the correct colloquial British term) made the front page of the Daily Mail (above, exactly as shown).

As for this comment, ‘the directions called for the chicken to be roasted at 400F for 70 minutes, which is ample time to cook a 3-4 pound chicken.’

Maybe, show me the data. Lots of variables that can impact the final temperature – starting temperature of the chicken, thickness, oven heat calibration.

Isn’t it just easier to tell folks what the safe temperature is and tell them to stick it in?

Food and Wine points out exactly what we found. It’s not just Gwyneth.

But for once, let’s cut Paltrow some slack. Out of the whopping 29 best-selling cookbooks these experts analyzed, only nine percent of them included specific temperature information. She’s in good company. Meanwhile, only 89 — 89! — of the 1,497 recipes included in the study were deemed instructionally safe.

Honestly, none of this seems too egregious, and we almost wish Paltrow didn’t have to deal with the PR headache.

Oh well.

Raw is risky: Drake cancels show in Amsterdam after sushi makes him barf

For Canadians, the musician Drake will always be known as Jimmy Brooks from the teen dram series Degrassi: The Next Generation.

For Americans, he’s known as Drake, with 21 tracks on the streaming songs chart (all from ‘More Life’), beating his own record for the most concurrently charting tracks. He’s also No. 1 on Billboard.

For the Dutch, Drake is known as the barfing performer who couldn’t do a show.

TMZ reports Drake ate some bad sushi on Monday, and it messed up his stomach. We’re told it was so bad he had to get medical treatment immediately. It wasn’t enough though … he was still too sick to go onstage, which seriously pissed off the entire arena full of fans who’d already been waiting in their seats for 75 minutes when they got the bad news.

It was the third time in 3 months Drake had to postpone an Amsterdam gig … which explains why fans threw crap onstage. He’s promised to make up the show Wednesday.

Sometimes celebrities — and mere mortals — use foodborne illness as an excuse to mask their excesses the night before. Just sayin’.

Hundreds get food poisoning from free meal in Myanmar

 

I used to look like Buddhist, Richard Gere, but I’ve aged and he hasn’t.

A free lunch for villagers in southern Myanmar turned sour after it landed more than a third of the rural community in hospital with food poisoning.

Hundreds of villagers from Eain Ta Lone, west of Yangon, fell ill after eating fish stew served at a Buddhist ceremony to celebrate the ordination of local novices.

The entire 1,000-person village was taken to the nearest hospital, where 367 were admitted for treatment, said charity worker Wai Lin Aung, who helped to transport the villagers. ‘

Celebrity barf: Ryan McCartan spent Halloween in hospital

Ryan McCartan of Minnetonka High School in Minnetonka, Minnesota, who plays Diggie on the Disney Channel sitcom Liv and Maddie, spent Halloween in hospital with food poisoning.

ryan-mccartanRyan posted an Instagram picture of himself in the hospital, hooked up to an IV and looking pretty miserable. He’s doing better now, but Ryan wrote he landed in the hospital because of food poisoning, dehydration and diabetes-related complications. Yikes!

“This is how I spent my Halloween after a series of food-poisoning, dehydration and diabetes-related complications… Life is precious but fragile, and boy did I get that reminder!” Ryan wrote under his picture.

Celebrities want to own a restaurant: Gladys Knight Chicken & Waffles scores 44 on health inspection

The popular but troubled diner Gladys Knight Signature Chicken & Waffles scored a low failing grade of 44 on a recent health inspection.

gladys-knight-chicken-wafflesRoaches and fruit flies, as well as grease and dirt build-ups, were noted on the Peachtree Street restaurant’s inspection, which happened last Thursday.

Under Georgia law, the restaurant will be inspected again within the next 10 days. Another failing grade could lead to Chicken & Waffles being shut down temporarily to fix the problems or even having its license revoked.

Gladys Knight has filed a lawsuit to have her name removed from the chain of restaurants now run by her son, Shanga Hankerson. Hankerson has refused.

That move came after federal revenue officials conducted a June raid at all locations of the restaurant and its corporate headquarters.

The Department of Revenue has opened an investigation of Hankerson, alleging he has failed to pay more than $650,000 in sales and withholding taxes.

Lionel Messi vomits while sitting on the Barcelona bench- proves to the world he is human after all

I don’t know who Lionel Messi is but he seems to be some soccer dude, and apparently he is mortal and can barf.

colbert-soccerMessi (who was only a sub) sitting on the bench during the first half of Barcelona’s match against Deportivo La Coruna. He’s sitting there, watching the game… when he starts to vomit.

Some of you might not think much of it. You might think the fact Messi came on later in the game and scored in a 4-0 win suggests this was just a strange, inconsequential moment.

However, this clip takes on a much bigger significance once you look at the considerable history of Messi puking.

Why does this keep happening? There are several theories, but the one offered by former Argentina head coach Alejandro Sabella might be the most revealing. “Nerves. I reckon that in these moments there is anxiety more than anything.”

Not something Messi probably wanted the world to hear, but if that’s true, it does prove a couple of things.

  1. The stress of being a football genius is far greater than many of us realize.
  2. Barcelona’s main man does have at least one human flaw which proves he is not a hi-tech footballing cyborg from the future.

Food poisoning grounds Blue Angels at California airshow

Sam Stanton of The Sacramento Bee writes the Blue Angels flight team abruptly canceled its performance Saturday afternoon at the California Capital Airshow at Mather Airport after the squadron’s commanding officer came down with a form of food poisoning.

blueangelsformationpdAir show officials announced the cancellation after determining that Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi “contracted a foodborne ailment and is under the medical supervision of the team’s flight surgeon.”

“Cmdr. Bernacchi will be re-evaluated regularly, as the team is hopeful he will be ready to fly for the final day of the air show,” a statement from organizers stated. “At this time, the Blue Angels are scheduled to perform on Sunday as planned.”

Organizers said people who attended Saturday’s show can have their tickets honored for general admission for Sunday’s show, and parking passes will be honored with proof of purchase from Saturday or a parking stub.

The Blue Angels are the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration squadron and stars of the two-day event at Mather, which last year drew more than 109,000 attendees to the event at the former Mather Air Force Base.

Members of the squadron were among Capital Airshow performers who participated in a Friday night “block party” in midtown where fans were able to meet air show pilots, the Sacramento Kings Dancers and take part in other entertainment.

Up until about 3 p.m. Saturday, there were no indications of problems. Before noon, the Blue Angels’ Twitter account indicated all systems were go: “Happy October, Fans! Today, we turned up and inspected the jets, making sure they were good to go for today’s California Capital Airshow.”

But word that illness had grounded the team led to fans expressing their disappointment on social media, and to a number of suppositions about the origins.

“No more gas station sushi!” one follower tweeted.

Inevitability of reproduction – TV cooking show edition

In 2004, my laboratory reported (and by reported I mean published in a peer-reviewed journal) that, based on 60 hours of detailed viewing of television cooking shows, an unsafe food handling practice occurred about every four minutes, and that for every safe food handling practice observed, we observed 13 unsafe practices. The most common errors were inadequate hand washing and cross-contamination between raw and ready-to-eat foods.celebrity_chefs4

The abstract is below.

Once the paper was published, it made headlines around the globe.

And then it started getting replicated. Texas, Europe, a few other places, and now Massachusetts.

Compliance With Recommended Food Safety Practices in Television Cooking Shows

Nancy Cohen, Rita Olsen

Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2016 Aug 28. pii: S1499-4046(16)30715-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2016.08.002. [Epub ahead of print]

Objective

Examine compliance with recommended food safety practices in television cooking shows.

Methods

Using a tool based on the Massachusetts Food Establishment Inspection Report, raters examined 39 episodes from 10 television cooking shows.

Results

Chefs demonstrated conformance with good retail practices for proper use and storage of utensils in 78% of episodes; preventing contamination (62%), and fingernail care (82%). However, 50% to 88% of episodes were found to be out of compliance with other personal hygiene practices, proper use of gloves and barriers (85% to 100%), and maintaining proper time and temperature controls (93%). Over 90% failed to conform to recommendations regarding preventing contamination through wiping cloths and washing produce. In only 13% of episodes were food safety practices mentioned.

Conclusions and Implications

There appears to be little attention to food safety during most cooking shows. Celebrity and competing chefs have the opportunity to model and teach good food safety practices for millions of viewers.

 Mathiasen, L.A., Chapman, B.J., Lacroix, B.J. and Powell, D.A. 2004. Spot the mistake: Television cooking shows as a source of food safety information, Food Protection Trends 24(5): 328-334.

Consumers receive information on food preparation from a variety of sources. Numerous studies conducted over the past six years demonstrate that television is one of the primary sources for North Americans. This research reports on an examination and categorization of messages that television food and cooking programs provide to viewers about preparing food safely. During June 2002 and 2003, television food and cooking programs were recorded and reviewed, using a defined list of food safety practices based on criteria established by Food Safety Network researchers. Most surveyed programs were shown on Food Network Canada, a specialty cable channel. On average, 30 percent of the programs viewed were produced in Canada, with the remainder produced in the United States or United Kingdom. Sixty hours of content analysis revealed that the programs contained a total of 916 poor food-handling incidents. When negative food handling behaviors were compared to positive food handling behaviors, it was found that for each positive food handling behavior observed, 13 negative behaviors were observed. Common food safety errors included a lack of hand washing, cross-contamination and time-temperature violations. While television food and cooking programs are an entertainment source, there is an opportunity to improve their content so as to promote safe food handling.

‘MasterChef-itis’ leading to Australian restaurant staff shortages (and dumb food safety)

Young Australians are attracted to the “rock star” chef lifestyle depicted in reality cooking shows, but don’t want to put in the hard graft to get there, Good Food Guide editor Myffy Rigby says.

rockstar-chefRigby has just released the latest annual Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide and said while the food industry was going strong, many restaurants were still having a tough time finding staff.

A Deloitte Access Economics report last year found a current gap of 38,000 staff across the tourism and hospitality sector, a shortage predicted to increase to 123,000 by 2020.

The report predicted demand would be strongest for chefs and restaurant managers.

However, Rigby said young people in particular just weren’t prepared for the years of physical toil it required to make it to the top.

“I think there’s a little bit of MasterChef-itis, I’m going to call it.”

Meanwhile, the Guide announces 11 café trends they’re glad are going away.

Here’s another: No more raw eggs in mayo and aioli.

But that’s a food safety thing and can’t compete with food porn.

Until people get sick.