Day 88: Have a long talk with a health inspector

November 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Today I interviewed a health inspector about how he keeps salmonella and rodent droppings out of our food. Here are some of the interesting facts I learned:

  • Chicken must always be on the bottom of shelf of any meat shelving unit because the drippings are the most unsanitary of any meat. Beef, pork and fish may be placed on the shelves above it in that respective order.
  • 1 out of every 20,000 eggs has salmonella.
  • Packages of mushrooms should be sold with holes in the top to prevent the growth of botulism.
  • Pickles should always be boiled in vinegar, not just salt water, because the vinegar lowers the pH and protects the pickle from supporting bacterial growth.

He also told me a story about how when he was young health inspector years ago he walked into a Korean market and found in the kitchen a guy smoking a cigarette and smashing frozen cow tongues on the floor to break them apart. Needless to say the store was closed shortly thereafter.

A local woman I interviewed for the same article also told me that she eats out 40 to 50 times a month. Holy crap that’s a lot.

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