Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Unsafe at Any Temperature

So the other day we went out to dinner with friends. For our first course, we were offered a choice of soups: Maryland crab or cream of crab or a combination of the two. Mr Minx and I chose the combination, figuring that in most places, "cream of crab soup" is just a euphemism for "seafood-flavored wallpaper paste" and a mixture of paste + liquid soup might make for a more pleasant texture. (Because, honestly, I love cream of crab soup if it's done right.)

Those folks who ordered straight cream of crab were bought bowls of soup so thick and stiff I do believe one could have used it for modeling clay. One taste revealed it to be nearly stone cold. Our "half and half" soups were more on the tepid side, having benefited from also containing Maryland crab, which was piping hot. The flavor was fine, so I didn't really have a problem with eating soup that was less than hot. But then our cute but stupid waitress revealed that the burner under the pot of cream of crab had been turned off at some point during the day. "I don't know how that happened!"

I'm thinking that this large restaurant that likely serves a lot of crab soup uses huge pots. For a soup to get so cold, the pot was likely off the heat for hours. A cream-based soup containing shellfish, left off the heat long enough to get cold, seems like a health department violation to me. If *I* ran this restaurant, I'd take the cream of crab off the menu for the evening and offer Maryland crab only. To be on the safe side. Instead, our waitress took our bowls and popped them into the microwave. When she returned with the soup, a friend asked how she knew whose bowl was whose. The waitress replied that she just remembered where she had put each bowl on her tray.

Needless to say, Mr Minx and I declined to finish our soup. I'm still kinda nauseated just thinking about the whole thing. As far as I know, nobody in our party got sick after the meal, but I wasn't about to take chances with my health.

Posted by theminx on Minxeats.com.