Since this is the time of year when we gather for parties and meet friends at restaurants and the movies, I thought we’d do a show on how dangerous all that really is. Dangerous, of course, in terms of germs. Did you realize that sharing a buttered popcorn, or using the electric hand dryer in the rest room, or simply standing next to someone blowing out the candles on a birthday cake can make you vulnerable to a whole slew of diseases? And what about those ice cubes in your cocktail and the lemon wedges served with your lobster? What about simply having a little bite of your friend’s entrée at a restaurant or holding those laminated plastic menus? You got it. They’re all as potentially dangerous to your health as a guest who double dips his corn chip in a bowl of salsa or a host who drops a shrimp on the floor and places it back on the platter. But what if the shrimp was on only on the floor for five seconds? That’s okay, isn’t it?
My guests today are two food scientists whose new book takes us into the lab to examine the myths and the truth about germs, food, and hygiene. Paul Dawson is a Professor at Clemson University. Brian Sheldon is a Professor Emeritus in food microbiology at North Carolina State. Their new book is called Did You Just Eat That?