Saturday, September 4, 2010

Would YOUR Kitchen Pass This Test?

I love this story. Home cooks took a similar test to one that restaurant kitchens are subjected to (without the actual inspection by health examiners, of course). While 98% of restaurants in Los Angeles county pass with flying colors, only 61% of average homeowners got an A or B grade and 14% actually failed.

So it just might be safer to eat in a restaurant than a friend’s kitchen.

Plus when health officials looked at these results, they said that people who would take such a quiz online in the first place were probably skewed towards those that actually worried about kitchen hygiene.

"You'll miss a big population who don't have home computers or just really don't care" about the cleanliness of their kitchens, said Martin Bucknavage, a food safety specialist with Penn State University's Department of Food Science.

So how did I score? You will be shocked to learn that I, the queen of snarkiness when it comes to other people’s kitchen hygiene, got a C on the test, a SEVENTY EIGHT actually. WHY? HOW could this be?

Because I admitted to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health that I do not cook meat until the juices run clear, my fried eggs have runny yolks and, YES, there is dust in my kitchen cabinets. Not an overwhelming amount of dust, just an-every-once-in-awhile bit of dust that I eventually get to.

On the plus side, I have no rats, cockroaches or other vermin on my walls, floors or countertops and I have working screens which prevent flies from settling in on different surfaces. And the door in my kitchen is “rodent-proof (there are no gaps of ¼ inch or greater at the bottom)”. I thought that was to keep in the heat IN. Who knew it would keep the vermin OUT?

My other transgressions:

I don’t remove rings from my hands before preparing food.

And, probably the worst, I don’t break down leftovers and cool them in an ice bath, before putting them in the fridge.

Oh, and I don’t cover my hair when cooking, which wasn’t on the actual quiz, but in the analysis I got of my results.

Not JUST because of my lousy score, I do think that many portions of this test are not the most pertinent to the home cook…but it’s still fun to take it.

Those of us that have to worry about flies, rats and pieces of deteriorating ceilings falling in our food have bigger things to worry about than if we sanitize our kitchen counters regularly, although that’s never a bad idea.

Take the test here.


Anonymous said...

I took such a test once and failed right off the bat because a dog ran free on the premises and entered the kitchen at will, well of course, food was always dropping on the floor and he was my canine vacuum cleaner. Fran

Sue said...

Hi Fran,

I don't feel so bad now. And I'm really second-guessing myself for admitting to dust in my kitchen cabinets. Don't tell anyone.

Tracy said...

I didn't take the test but if a canine vacuum cleaner is a problem, then I'd fail too. No vermin that I know of. I do take off my wedding ring when I cook, though. And pull my hair back some of the time.

Pam said...

Is there anything about kitty cats sitting on the kitchen counters? Not that anything like that would ever happen around my house.

charmaine said...

Fun factoids! Do you think it counts as "clean" when you let your dogs lick the floor clean?

Sue said...

You'd get an A in MY book, but I obviously have a long way to go to get a stellar grade. I'm impressed you take your ring off, but be careful with that, and I'm in awe that you tie your hair back. I figure a hair or two is extra protein.

I think kitties on counters are a good strategy to prevent vermin from overrunning your kitchen.

Don't they say that dogs' mouths are a lot cleaner than ours are? Now if your husband or other housemate is licking the floors, THEN I'd be worried.