Waste not, want not: food safety, discarding food, and tough times

Whenever I think of leftover pizza, I recall my teenage years listening to Rolling Stones on vinyl at George’s apartment, I wonder whatever happened to that stray puppy one of the visitors brought home until the fleas were discovered, and I wonder how long the pizza would be good. I’ve probably eaten pieces of pizza that spent the night on the turntable.

So when Susan Reef, president of US Food Safety Corp., says eating pizza that has spent a few hours at room temperature is a no-no, I sorta scoff (low water activity, no epidemiological history of outbreaks from morning-after pizza consumption, she probably doesn’t like the Stones).

Kim Painter reports in USA Today tomorrow that if Maribel Alonso, a food safety specialist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Meat and Poultry Hotline, brings home a broken egg, she discards it.

Doug Powell, a food safety person at Kansas State University, says he would cook with the egg, probably into a batch of pancakes, adding,

"It’s just messy, but if it’s been kept cold, it should be OK.”

(Messy means, be careful of cross-contamination).