Monday, December 1, 2014

On PHF's (Potentially Hazardous Foods)

I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving! 
I know that I did....   6 parties/meals/events, and I gained about 5 pounds. 

Now it's time for a rant. 

My employer, Jukt Micronics, threw a Thanksgiving meal/party for the employees in each shop.  Several of the employees brought additional food from home. 

The main course was something called "Carnitas", which Bing defines as "a dish of Mexican cuisine. Carnitas are made by braising or simmering pork meat in oil or preferably lard until tender. The process takes three or four hours and the result is very tender and juicy pork meat, which is then typically served with chopped coriander leaves and diced onion, salsa, guacamole, tortillas, and refried beans."

Heck yes.  These were some authentic old-school Carnitas.  No one was injured. 

Later on in the week, we had a Supervisor's Lunch.  All food was brought from home by the Supervisors or their spouses. 
Everyone who brought something brought enough to feed about 5 other people. 
It was awesome. 
No one was injured. 

A few days later, I went to Gainesville TX, for the legit Thanksgiving meal with my youngest sister, her husband, and his extended family. 
They cooked almost all of the food.  My mother (that's her with the whitish hair and blue sweater in the Supervisor Lunch picture) did the rest.  That's her again, in the next pic, on the far left at my sister's house. 
She has taught me a deep and abiding love of food, groceries, meals, cooking, plants, animals, spices, and anything else that's edible. 
Once again, no one was harmed....

Thanksgiving night, some friends of mine from a local bar threw something that they call "Friendsgiving". 
It was awesome.  100% of the food was prepared by my friends and their families. 
No one was harmed, although I DID overindulge in bourbon, and have sworn off it for several weeks. 

There was one other event centered around a west-side bar....,
And then another friend of mine threw another party Saturday night. 
Both occasions featured plenty of food from homes. 
No one had his stomach pumped.  (That's a total of 6 Thanksgiving parties, in case you're keeping score....)

So what's my point in all this? 

Here's a letter that my shop received several months ago from the Consumer Health Division of the City of Fort Worth.  It's totally unrelated to Thanksgiving.  We got the letter back in April. 
I've hung onto it for occasions when I'm in a bad mood and want to make it worse.

To: The Woodshop Manager

"Spoke with production manager (Blank Blank) and he stated that female employees do sell sandwiches, Barbacoa (that's Messican BQ) and hot dogs."

"Complaint Confirmed.  Warning issued to all 3 employees.  There was no sign of any PHF's onsite (Potentially Hazardous Foods - prepared from home)."

"One employee admitted they sell about 5 burritos a day."

"Explained to each employee that it was illegal of prepare foods @ home and sell them to the public.  If another complaint happens, a citation will be issued to the individuals selling prepared foods."

Signed - Consumer Health Specialist 

Let me rewrite that letter for you, ok? 

To: The Woodshop Manager, who at this point is now my bitch,

It's painfully obvious to anyone who thinks about it for more than a few seconds that people are quite capable of making good choices about what to eat, what to buy, and whose cooking they trust.   

However, my job gives me the right, and the responsibility, to hassle people about what foods they sell. 

Tens of millions of people consume PHF's (Potentially Hazardous Foods) prepared from home without giving the City Of Fort Worth's Consumer Health Division a kickback money for a food-handler's permit or a license to sell burritos. 

The quality and safety of the food doesn't improve at all as a result of my job, or the kickbacks licenses and permits. 

But if you complain about this visit, my buddies in other City Hall departments will hassle you about your water runoff quality, your factory's air emissions, your habit of parking in the vacant lot next door that's not zoned for parking, or any of the thousands of other niggling little things we could use to make your life miserable. 

So get out of the burrito and barbacoa business, or give me some money. 

Signed - One Of Your Many Lords And Masters

I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving!!


Anonymous said...

According to the law, something changes in the presence of an exchange of money.

I can bring in food for me to eat. I can bring in food and give it to others to eat.

But if money changes hand then the food becomes potentially hazardous.

Amazing power that money has -- maybe we should stop the government from having so much of it.

Bob S.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Yeah, it's amazing how much "harm" appears when commerce is involved.

Buffalo Pete said...

Man, I missed you! Good to have you back in fighting trim!