Dr Oz did a segment with Peter DeLucia called “Would Your Kitchen Pass a Health Inspection?” Doctor Oz sent Peter, a health inspector, to the home of three women in Westchester to grade their kitchens. Some of the things Peter spoke about I had heard already heard of, but there were several shockers!
In home number one, DeLucia found scratches in pans with non-stick surfaces, which is a big problem because of the chemicals it can release into your food. This is one of the reasons I am in the process of replacing my non-stick pans with other alternatives. In fact, just today I found out that Mauviel, a fabulous French cookware brand, is going to send me one of their pans to review and another to giveaway on our sister site Opinion Queen, so anyone looking to replace their non-stick pans should definitely sign up for the e-mail list over there for a chance to win an alternative to your non-stick pan! DeLucia also saw paint chips coming off the ceiling, which is a problem because the peeling paint can fall into your food. The last problem that Peter found was that home number one stored all of their chemical sanitizers together with food (a bottle of olive oil).
In home number two, DeLucia found unclean cabinets, as well as medicine being stored over the kitchen counter top. This is a problem because the medicine could accidentally fall into food you are preparing. The last issue at this home was that there were no screens on the windows, so bugs and insects could fly into the kitchen and contaminate the food.
In home number three, DeLucia said that their fridge was too warm, plus the kitchen floor was getting rips and tears which makes i hard to clean. Lastly, he did not like that the mom in this home was walking around with no shoes on, because you could accidentally drop a sharp knife or utensils and cut your foot.
Safe Fridge Temperature: 41 Degrees F
Dr Oz asked Peter if he graded these three homes on the same standards as he grades restaurants, and he said no because otherwise everyone would have failed! The third home got a grade of D, because of the potential health violations with the temperature of the fridge, as well as the possible cross-contamination issues in the fridge. DeLucia said that even though there is a built in thermometer in the fridge, you still have to make sure to check the temperature with another thermometer to be sure it is accurate. You want you fridge to be 41 degrees F. Also, you do not want to store raw meats, poultry and seafood on the top shelf or near other packaged foods. This mom had a bowl of raw shrimp on top of her kid’s juice boxes. It can be a major hassle to rearrange the whole fridge, but it is something that we really have to get better at.
Bleach Sanitizing Solution for Cutting Boards
The second home received a grade of C, with her biggest health violation being that her cutting boards had too many deep grooves. DeLucia told Dr Oz that if you have too many deep grooves in your cutting board, then even if you sanitize it by running it through the dishwasher, it can still harbor bacteria. A good test is to run an index card down your cutting board, and if it gets stuck in grooves, this means it is time to get a new cutting board. DeLucia told Dr Oz that a great homemade sanitizing solution is to mix 1 tsp bleach with 1 gallon of water, and to use this to sanitize your counter tops and cutting boards. I would assume that you better wash your counter tops and cutting boards after this though, because eating bleach or getting bleach residues in your food cannot be a good thing!
Dr Oz: Meat Thermometer
The first kitchen got a grade of D because she had no thermometer to test that her meat was fully cooked before serving it. There are the big meat thermometers that we have all seen used in the oven for big turkeys for example. But there are also smaller thermometers that you can use on your stove-top when you cook meat. Dr Oz said that you want to cook ground beef to 160 degrees F, poultry to 165 degrees F and pork to 160 degrees F.
Replace Wooden Spoons with Grooves
DeLucia surprised Dr Oz and inspected his kitchen too! Dr Oz got a grade of C for his kitchen’s health inspection because he had wooden spoons with grooves in them that needed to be replaced, his fridge was one degree too high and his cat was on his kitchen counter. Wow Peter DeLucia, you are one tough cookie!