Martha Stewart tries to kill Matt Lauer?

On the 7/14/09 edition of the Today Show, Martha Stewart cooked “Zesty Chicken Burgers” for Meredith Viera and a somewhat reluctant Matt Lauer. While Martha was going on about how special chicken burgers are, Matt quietly asked a food safety question.

Matt: “Obviously people are going to say you have to be careful how to cook a chicken burger. You have to get it to a certain temperature. Is that about right?”

Martha: “Um. Yeah. Well, you’ll see. It’s… It’ll won’t be pink inside. It’ll get …

Meredith: “It will have to be white inside.”

Martha: “Yeah, all the way.”

And then on to how beautiful they are. Martha went on from touching raw chicken to touching the bun she served Matt’s finished burger on. He turned away from the camera both times he “took a bite” and claimed they were very good. Who knows if he really ate the potentially killer chicken burger. I wouldn’t have.

If you cook chicken burger, use a tip-sensitive digital thermometer to make sure they reach an internal temperature of 165F. Wash your hands between touching raw meat and anything that is going to be served, especially if the person you are feeding is famous.

Many thanks to the barfblog fan who signaled Katie about yesterday’s Today Show.

Wanna learn how to cross contaminate? Watch the Today Show

Anyone see the Memorial Day edition of the Today Show? Amy and I are set up in an apartment in Montreal and the channel selection is limited, so it was on in the background.

Apparent BBQ guru John Willoughby (right) was on, preparing Grilled cowboy steak with barbecued leeks and wholegrain apricot mustard. The video is available for viewing at

Willoughby shows how simple it is to cross-contaminate — directly or indirectly —  and to remain completely unaware of the transfer of potentially dangerous microorganisms from raw meat to hands and tongs, and back to cooked meat and clean plates.

Cross-contamination is simple — and it happens everyday on TV, in food service and in the home. One approach may be to think like a microorganism — be the bug — and take steps to contain the bug, without going all Howard Hughes.