Potlucks and faith-based food safety

I like potlucks because of the social interaction and sampling different kinds of foods.

I don’t like potlucks because who knows how various dishes are prepared, how they’ve been stored, and the dreaded double dipping.

I told Erin Quinn of the Waco Tribune-Herald in Texas Monday that,

Maybe you don’t want to eat the turkey noodle casserole made in the kitchen of the woman who you notice never washes her hands before leaving the bathroom.

And maybe you should avoid the pumpkin cheesecake brought by the guy whose shirts are always covered with cat hair.

“There is a lot of blind trust in it. Potlucks are really popular because they bring people together and do a lot of good things. But all of that fellowship can turn into a lot of sick people.”

Powell recommends bringing a digital thermometer to potluck parties. He jokes that this is the reason he is hardly invited to potluck parties.

Still, he said these parties are not inherently riskier than eating at restaurants. And most people, he said, wash their hands properly, have clean kitchens and cook food at the proper temperature.

Allison Lowery, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said she, herself, eats at potlucks and is not too concerned about any risks.

“You can’t go around being scared of everything. You’ve just got to have faith.”