Food is marketed as 21st century snake oil — a veritable sideshow of hucksters and buskers, flogging their wares to the highest bidder or at least the most fashionable.
And never underestimate the ability of American industry to make a buck off a trend. In this case, it’s food safety, and keeping those nasty bugs away from clean hands.
A colleague passed along this picture of the latest kitchen necessity – Playtex Disposable Gloves, to “Handle raw meat, poultry and seafood with confidence.”
But just like in food service, gloves can provide a false sense of security. Doesn’t matter whether someone is wearing gloves or not, they scratch their ass and cross-contamination is a possibility.
It goes both ways.
If I’m wearing these things while preparing my raw meat, and baby Sorenne or the dogs or Amy demands attention, I may forget I’m wearing bacterial-laden gloves and cross-contaminate.
Reminds me of 2002 when some PR type contacted me to see if I’d endorse Saran Cutting Sheets. These were the new thing, a way to reduce cross-contamination through disposable cutting sheets. The manufacturers commissioned a survey in Oct. 2002 that allegedly found that 65 per cent of Canadians are concerned about food poisoning and nearly as many, 62 per cent, feel they know how to prevent it.
After asking why anyone would want me to endorse anything, me and the PR person had a chat about the human behavior research they had done to verify that people wouldn’t cross-contaminate on these disposable sheets. They hadn’t done any such research, but insisted they knew how all Canadians would handle the new product.
I also said the sheets were unnecessary for the typical kitchen, ad the PR type assured me the sheets were for times when soap, water and cutting boards weren’t readily available, like camping.
I said, maybe there was a role for the things in such situations but without the consumer behavior research, I wasn’t endorsing anything.
When the TV blitz began, with some celebrity chef, the tagline was, Saran Cutting Sheets – No Kitchen is Complete Without Them.