Cross-contamination 101: NBC Today Show co-host learns to cook, sorta

People wonder why ratings are falling for NBC Today.

Last week chef Bobby Flay spent some time trying to teach Savannah Guthrie some cooking basics (because apparently she didn’t know).

Whatever she learned in celebrity cooking school, it can’t all be Savannah’s fault because teach and student were both cross contaminating everything with all sorts of microorganisms.

Flay started with chicken stock and tomato sauce – basics that are easy and usually better to make at home. (Note the disdain from Flay in the video below).

A roasted chicken is a cooking basic that may require advanced food safety precautions. Don’t wash it, check that it’s done with a thermometer, and whenever anyone in the kitchen touches raw chicken or anything, wash your damn hands before touching something else.

This is the stock about to percolate from last week’s roast chicken in our household.

As noted by The Braiser: Things Savannah finds confusing: chicken bones, dicing onions, why we make stock when we can buy it in a box at the grocery store. (The answer, Savannah, involves shriveling up with dehydration and/or going into sodium shock.)

By Friday, Savannah potentially poisoned prepared a meal for the other bingo callers on the morning gabfest. However, The Today Show only gave Savannah 45 minutes to cook all those courses, so of course, she adopts two sous chefs to help her. 

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I learned to cook watching my mom – and cooking shows.

But watching Bobby Flay’s show on grilling was a cross-contamination nightmare.

He touched cooked, ready-to-eat steak right after handling raw dough. After tasting the steak, he went back to the dough. He later prepared some sort of grilled chicken breasts, which would have been fine, except he touched the grapes and everything else that made up his salad without washing his hands after handling the raw chicken.

These shows are recorded in different shots and might take proper safety procedures in-between takes, but unless the viewer is told, who would know?

All raw food has the potential to be contaminated, so be the bug. And stick it in with a tip-sensitive digital thermometer.

Grill It! And make some kind of effort to kill the bacteria. With Bobby Flay

After the successful tip-sensitive thermometer verified 145 F leg of lamb for dinner guests on Saturday, I’m back to basics for Memorial Day. Whole wheat rolls from scratch, spinach and tomato salad from the garden, and a roast chicken stuffed with an enormous load of garlic.

While entertaining baby Sorenne with initial solids – banana, sweet potato – I was preparing the chicken and trying to ignore the terrible advice from celebrity chef Bobby Flay, who said his BBQed chicken was done when it felt fleshy to the touch and the juices were running clear (sorta looks like the ShamWow douche, right)

This is absolutely wrong. Color is a terrible indicator. For instance, this image (below, left) from Pete Snyder is of a fully 165F cooked chicken leg with back attached.

Oh, and the cross-contamination involving raw product and dirty hands with Bobby and his guests was a microbiological disaster. But it’s OK. He’s a celebrity. Maybe they don’t barf like the rest of us.