What Happens on the Cooking Show Stays on the Cooking Show
If your preteens are big fans of the ever-popular food and restaurant reality TV shows, you might want to give them a heads-up that the food-handling techniques that tend to get demonstrated on TV should never be attempted in real life.
According to researchers at the University of Guelph, chefs on popular television cooking shows commit an average of seven food-handling faux pas during a typical 30 minute episode.
The most frequent food handling errors observed by the researchers include poor hand-washing, cross-contaminating ready-to-eat foods with raw foods, neglecting to wash fresh fruits and vegetables, and failing to wash cooking utensils and cutting boards.
So does this mean you should pull the plug on the on-air food entertainment? Not at all. Seize the opportunity to let your kids know when the chefs are cutting corners on the food safety front, what they should be doing instead, and why.
Let your kids know that you're not just nitpicking about the fact that their favorite TV chef doesn't wash his hands—at least not on camera—the entire time he's in the kitchen; and how sick this corner-cutting in the food handling department can make people in the real world.
Here are some kid-friendly food handling resources that are worthy of a spot on the family refrigerator:
City of Toronto: 4 Step Food Prep: Separate, Clean, Cook, Chill.
HYPERLINK "http://www.toronto.ca/health/he/pdf/fs_4step_food_prep.pdf" www.toronto.ca/health/he/pdf/fs_4step_food_prep.pdf
Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education: Mrs. Cookwell's Fact Sheets.
HYPERLINK "http://www.canfightbac.org/cpcfse/en/cookwell/mrsc-factsheets/" www.canfightbac.org/cpcfse/en/cookwell/mrsc-factsheets/
Ann Douglas is the author of numerous books about pregnancy and parenting, including The Mother of All Pregnancy Books and The Mother of All Parenting Books. Visit her online at HYPERLINK "http://www.motherofallblogs.com" www.motherofallblogs.com.