10 July 2006

I Bust All My Own Myths...

I was going to get a t-shirt printed for this weekend's Death Slide with "I do all my own stunts" printed on it, a la Adam Savage. Instead I think I will get one with "I bust all my own myths" instead...

So Phill, what meat based myth do we have this week? Well Phill, this week we are looking at the myth of food poisoning from under-cooked meat. Is that really a myth, I thought everyone knew it was true? Well you'd think so but the Food Standards Agency spend millions each year warning people about the dangers of barbecued meat that is charred on the outside but still rare on the inside. Okay then, how are we going to test this myth? First off I thought we'd have a barbecue with three of the most common meats used: beef mince, pork sausages and chicken (thighs and breast). We'll assemble six people and to keep that authentic barbecue feel we'll provide oodles of alcohol too. One person will be the pork and beef control in that she will only eat chicken, four will eat all of the meats available and one impatient bugger will be the chicken control by only eating one port sausage and several beef mince products. Hold on Phill, don't we need a control that eats none of that? That's correct Phill, although there are only six people at the barbecue so that would leave around six billion people as the control.

Okay, what did our experiments tell us? The beef and pork control was fine, as were the four that ate everything. It was our impatient chicken control that suffered. It seems that if you cook food long enough it's safe to eat on a barbecue, even chicken. If however you dive for the first pork sausage and first beef burger that isn't 100% cooked in the middle you'll end up regurgitating your dinner at several discrete times during the night and having really painful stomach cramps the following day. I would say that would be myth confirmed wouldn't you Phill? Definitely a very painful myth confirmed.

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