Rob Mancini: Use a thermometer, and use it right

“A concierge is the Winnipeg equivalent of a geisha.”

I thought that line was so good on the television show, The Office, last night –when a few of the staff took a business trip to Winnipeg, Canada — that I wrote it down for future use.

So when telegenic public health inspector Robert Mancini of Winnipeg (former co-host of the television series Kitchen Crimes, right, pretty much as shown) e-mailed me about something he saw, I had my excuse to use the Winnipeg line.

Rob writes:

“Yesterday, upon walking into a restaurant kitchen to perform a routine inspection, the chef was actually using a metal stem thermometer to determine doneness of a hamburger patty. Naturally, this excited me until I asked the chef what temperature he was aiming for. He said 130?? F. Lovely.

“Just because a chef has a thermometer and uses it once in a while doesn’t really mean anything, they need to be aware of proper cooking temperatures. The chef, assuming that I was a health inspector (I guess all my fancy gadgets gave that away) used the thermometer to impress me and perhaps gain some extra bonus points.  It almost did as I scurried over, maybe too excitedly, but sadly left disappointed. Let’s get people talking about food safety.”