In yesterday’s New York Times, Andrew Martin says he’s gotten used to the idea that hamburgers can make people sick but it never occurred to him to worry about frozen dinners. Until now. Customers who got sick from eating ConAgra pot pies contaminated with toxic Salmonella were told it was their own fault. They should have done a better job of following the directions for cooking the pies. Martin convincingly demonstrates the absurdity of that idea. If you want to eat frozen meals, he says, you had best zap them to pieces and use a thermometer. But why not argue that ConAgra should do a better job of making safe products in the first place? Hasn’t the company ever heard of HACCP? Why isn’t it following standard food safety procedures to keep harmful microbes out of food? If ever there was a situation ripe for a lawsuit, this one is it. I’m not the only one who thinks so, apparently. The lawyers are already on the case. It should be an easy win.
Next public appearance
This is a conversation about 101 Classic Cookbooks, 501 Classic Recipes (Rizzoli Books, 2013), with Clark Wolf, Marvin Taylor (curator NYU Fales Library), Rose Levy Beranbaum (author, The Cake Bible), and Madhur Jaffrey (actor and author). 7:30 p.m. 92ndY Tribeca, 200 Hudson St, Price $15, RSVP: here