Food Network stars may inadvertently be teaching the wrong lessons during their
popular shows, according to a new Texas
study on food safety measures.
year researchers sat down to analyze food-safety practices used on the Food
Networks' heavy hitters - 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray, The Essence of
Emeril, Everyday Italian, Paula's Home Cooking and Semi Homemade Cooking with
results weren't exactly savory: 118 positive food-safety measures and 460 poor
food handling incidents. Among the most noticeable bad behaviors were not
washing fruits, vegetables and herbs properly, as well as a lack of hand
washing in general.
analyzed 49 shows airing over a two-week period and used 17 different coded
categories: six positive and 11 negative. Positive categories included hand
washing, cleaning equipment, washing fruits and vegetables, adequate
refrigeration, use of a thermometer or other positives.
behaviors include food from unsafe sources, failure to use a thermometer, use
of food from the floor, failure to refrigerate perishables, failure to wash
fruits or vegetables, inadequately washing equipment, sampling food or licking
fingers, cross-contamination of ready-to-eat or raw foods, touching the face
and failing to wash hands.
are important behaviors because if they're not followed you can become ill,"
said Mindy Brashears, associate professor and director of Texas Tech's International Center for Food Industry Excellence.
"Many food-borne illnesses can be prevented by proper food handling, and that's
why it's important these popular stars follow good safety practices."
The Food Network is distributed to more than 85 million households in the United States
and is considered the giant in food programming, ranked number one out of 50