Sunday, January 24, 2010

Five-second rule

When the cooks on the USS Robison (DDG-12) dropped a pork chop onto the deck in the galley, the offending cook called out, "I just changed the wax paper."

I suppose the lighthearted remark eased the guilt of scooping the round, preformed chop off the deck and tossing it back onto the griddle.

In defense of the Robison's galley team, there was little chance for bacteria to catch a ride to the griddle and contaminate the rest of the meal. Quick action on the cook's part limited the time the chop rested on the deck.

Plus, the deck was scrubbed after each meal, a process that washed bacteria down the drain. The cooks ran a tight ship in the sanitation sense of the word.

While our process called for decisive action, it won't work in today's kitchen. No one uses wax paper any longer.

I found the answer on Facebook this afternoon. Friend and fellow chef Ira Krizo posted a link to the five-second rule decision tree.

I traced the photograph back to the San Francisco Food Blog (SFoodie).
We've all been there: You dropped your cupcake on the ground. Did it land icing up, down? Can you just scrape off the icing? How many hours have you lost trying to decide? Here's a time-saving flow chart to help out. (Andrew Wright, "You Dropped Food on the Floor. Do You Eat It?" January 19, 2010.)
There you have it. Commit it to memory. Next time you drop a pork chop (or cupcake) onto the floor, you can quickly determine if it's edible or not.

Since cats weren't allowed on the the Robison, it looks like the cooks rightly threw it back onto the griddle. Following the "Is it a raw steak?" chain, the cooked pork chop was safe to eat!

1 comment:

  1. Pretty funny! I follow those rules loosely myself. The five second rule is accompanied by the old phrase I hear lots of kids repeat..."God made dirt and dirt don't hurt." This is assuming the dirt is outdoors, and as long as the dirt you dropped it in is not a sandbox, which we all know cats love to use as their personal BIG kitty box, then a little dirt never hurt anybody... :)