Last Word: Would you like a disclaimer with your meal?
Had a juicy restaurant steak recently? Tell me if this exchange sounds familiar.
Customer: “I’d like the 12-ounce Delmonico steak, please.”
Server: “How would you like that cooked, sir?”
Customer: “Medium would be fine, thanks.”
Server: “That’ll be pink in the middle, slightly warm to the touch. Is that OK?”
Customer: “Great. Perfect.”
Why am I the one getting grilled about the finer points of steak doneness? Is this the equivalent of the fine print most people don’t read at the bottom of the menu page that warns of the dangers of eating undercooked meat? You know some legal firm drafted this disclaimer and convinced the restaurant to tell customers what a medium steak looks like.
Customer: “Could I get a porterhouse steak, please?”
Server: “How may we cook that for you, sir?”
Customer: “Medium rare.”
Server: “The inside will be a flaming magenta color, cool to the touch, with a 15 percent chance of getting a food-borne illness and 3 percent chance of contracting Mad Cow disease. Is that OK?”
Customer: “Yes, perfect.”
Server: “Sir, please fill out this six-page form, releasing Circle-8 Steak World from all harm forever in perpetuity.”
Customer: “Fine. Got a pen?”
Server: “I also need to see proof that you have up-to-date health insurance.”
Customer: “You know what? Cancel that steak. I think I’ll just have a spinach salad.”
Server: “Would you like to buy the optional E. coli insurance coverage for 2 dollars?”
It’s not just restaurants who are wrestling with killer food. Salmonella has recently made the rounds on everything from tomatoes to jalapeno chiles. I checked the Food and Drug Administration’s Web pages that list recalled consumables from the past couple years that could cause harm. A few examples:
• Royal Seafood Specialty Produce recalled Dried Roach fish food, due to possible health risk. I seriously doubt this product could be any unhealthier than being a fish in the Merrimack River.
• Bella Cucina issued an allergy alert for undeclared walnuts in Death by Chocolate cookies. You’ve been warned. The product name says all you need to know.
• Seoul Shik Poom Inc. recalled Frozen Salted Yellow Croaker due to possible botulism contamination. Take a hint from the food description. Any product with the name “croaker” will not cross my lips.
• Eight In One announced a recall of Dingo Chick’n Jerky Treats for Dogs, Cats and Ferrets. Great. First the dingo ate my baby and now it might harm my ferret.
• Federal authorities ceased sale and distribution of counterfeit Lipitor, a cholesterol-fighting medication. How would you ever know if it was real or fake? You might not know till you dropped dead in five or six years. Of course, counterfeit Viagra would be a lot easier to detect. You’d know about that in about 30 minutes.
Server: “Would you like to see a dessert menu, sir?”
Customer: “My pink steak was really yummy. I’d like a Death by Chocolate cookie.”
Server: “You bet! But first, could you sign this release form?”
You can hear Mike Morin weekdays from 5 to 10 a.m. on “New Hampshire in the Morning” on 95.7 WZID-FM. Contact him at Heymikey@aol.com.