taxlady: (Default)
Here's my last crabby post about the food safety lady on TV.

Another suggestion was colour-coded cutting boards. Red for raw meat, yellow for poultry, green for fruits and veggies, and black for cooked or ready to eat. She also prefers plastic because of the cut marks you get on wood.

She didn't mention the cut marks on plastic. It's kind of controversial, which is better, wood or plastic. But, there was a study at the University of California (Davis) that shows that wood is safer: Food Safety: Comparing Plastic and Wood Cutting Boards By Dean O. Cliver, Ph.D. I have heard of other studies with similar results. I don't know this for sure, but I think she hasn't studied it and is just using "common sense" and what other "experts" say.

She owns five cutting boards. They didn't look very big. I have five white plastic cutting boards (three small, two large) and a wooden board. I don't want mine colour coded - I have a dishwasher. I just put the meat and poultry boards in the dishwasher as soon as I'm done with them. I might need another vegi board while the first one is dirty. Without colour coding, I just grab a clean white one. Yeah, I think wood would be better, but I still have an ingrained prejudice in favour of plastic. I guess the next one will be wood. The last three were cheap at a yard sale.
taxlady: (Default)
I will continue my critique of the advice given by the food safety specialist from the TV show.

She says to keep large utensils in a drawer. Yes, it's decorative to store your utensils in a container near the stove, but it isn't a good idea. You grab the utensil by the end that will be touching the food, rather than by the handle. You should put them handle end out of the container and wash the container regularly.

I don't keep the big utensils in a jar by the stove because it's decorative. I keep them there because it's handy when I'm cooking. It also means I don't have to touch the handles on my drawers. I wash my hands before I cook, so grabbing by the end that touches the food shouldn't be a problem. If one has dirty hands, it's probably irrelevant which end you touch, because you are going to get germs from your hands into the cooking anyways. If I stuck the utensils in the jar handle out, I would need three or four jars, not just two. It would also make it harder to grab the utensil I want.

Washing the jar regularly sounds like a good idea.
taxlady: (Default)
The food safety specialist from the TV show that I wrote about yesterday said to use a "thin dishcloth" to wash dishes instead of a sponge. (Personally, I prefer a brush followed by thorough rinsing or the dishwasher.) The "thin dishcloth" she showed was a reusable/semi disposable, non-woven cloth usually called by brand name: J-Cloth in Canada & the UK or Handi-Wipe in the US. (I will refer to them as "J-Cloths" for convenience.) I agree that sponges harbour far more germs than "J-Cloths" and a counter wiped with a used sponge can't really be considered clean. That's because "J-Cloths" are thin and dry quickly; sponges don't. Of course, that assumes that you hang the "J-Cloth" up to dry. She also said that if your dishrag smells of mildew, it's not drying properly and it's time to chuck it. Wait a minute, these are reusable; you can put them in the laundry with bleach.

She goes on to tell us that she prefers that we dry our hands with a paper towel (Holy environment Batman!) and that if we use a tea towel (dish towel), we should change it every day. My goodness. I was taught not to use my tea towel to dry my hands. I have a separate, terry towel for that. I even have yellow tea towels that I only use for drying fruit and vegetables.

I use "J-Cloths" instead of paper towels most of the time. Spill something on the floor - wipe it with a "J-Cloth" and toss the "J-Cloth" in the laundry. I save the paper towels for broken glass and other stuff that shouldn't be rinsed down the drain. I even use "J-Cloths" to dry meat. Of course I take a clean one and then rinse and toss it in the laundry.
taxlady: (Default)
I saw a TV show today that had a guest who was telling us all sorts of things to change in our kitchens to minimize food contamination. Some of the advice was good. Most of it had me sputtering.

Hand washing: Wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap for at least 20 seconds.

Yikes. Anti-bacterial soap is one of my pet peeves. I have some for very special cases, but using it every day is equivalent to running a program to breed anti-bacterial soap resistant germs. Thorough washing with regular soap and water followed by a good rinse is plenty good enough. If you don't believe me, have a look at this article: Is antibacterial soap any better than regular soap?

20 seconds! If you are using anti-bacterial soap, you have to leave it on your hands for two minutes, if you want it to have special powers.

It even turns out that triclosan, the germ killing agent in most anti-bacterial soap, may mess with our thyroids and cause environmental problems: Researchers sour on antibacterial soap.

I will post the rest of my snarky observations over the next few days.
taxlady: (tiny blue flowers)
A friend, [livejournal.com profile] ellenk, has lost her keys. It reminded me of a wonderful episode of The Twilight Zone, A Matter of Minutes.

So, I decided to Google for it and found out why it was so good. Have a look at the credits:

Writer:         Harlan Ellison, Rockne S. O'Bannon
Director:         Sheldon Larry
Story:         Theodore Sturgeon

Then, I decided to see if it was on Youtube, and it is. Here are links to the video:

part one
part two

I hope the minute guys put her keys back. ;)
taxlady: (Saami bjørn)
The View
When The View first appeared on television, it sounded like a great idea. Barbara Walters discussing current events with other women. w00t! I watched a few times and couldn't stand its gossipy, celebrity flavour.

Recently, I discovered that Rosie O'Donnell was on the show. Well, I like listening to Rosie O'Donnell, even if I don't agree with everything she says. She's real and she's smart. But, now she will only be on the show occasionally. I wonder how long it will take for the show to go back to mostly gossiping about celebrities. I'm probably exaggerating, but back to that flavour.

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