Page 13 - Barbecue News Magazine
P. 13

safe bbq
Real Pitmasters
are Safe Food
 Ardie Davis
aka Remus Powers BBQ Hall of Famer
 It was Saturday morning at sunrise. We were camped on a bank of the Verdigris River near Tulsa, Oklahoma. Uncle Chuck, Penny, Ronnie and I had finished a hearty campfire breakfast of fried po- tatoes, bacon and scrambled eggs fried over live fire in cast iron skillets, plus some wake-u-up campfire-percolated coffee after running our trot lines before daybreak, returning with a big haul of flatheads, yellow bullheads, channel cats and two eels.
Uncle Chuck delegated the clean-up to Ronnie and me. We scrubbed the dishes and utensils in soapy water, rinsed them in a tub of clear water and commenced to dry them. When Uncle Chuck noticed that we had been so casual about the cleanup that we had missed some food residue on the plates, he went ballistic! “That’s no way to clean dishes!” he shouted. “You boys better make damn sure there’s not a speck of food on them dishes and utensils. If you ever saw a man suffer with dysentery, you’d take it seriously!”
food poisoning experience, local officials know the importance of enforcing those rules. There was pushback, and still is, to some extent, but most everyone has adapted to the rules.
No need to review safe food handling guidelines here since they are available from your congressional representative, the Food & Drug Administration and various barbecue organizations’ web- sites. Real pitmasters and competition barbecue team members these days know and do safe food handling
Now that the traditional barbecue sea- son is on full throttle, it behooves all of us to brush up on common sense safe food handling practices and stock up on soap, disinfectants, gloves and other es- sentials. Let’s make the summer and fall 2021 barbecue season the best, safest, most memorable ever!
Barbecue judges count on teams to fol- low all safe food handling rules.
Guests at a Texas Social Club private party knew this pig was safe for pickin’!
Barbecue judges count on teams to follow all safe food handling rules.
Guests at a Texas Social Club private party knew this pig was safe for pickin’!
 “Dysentery” was a new word to Ronnie and me at age 11, but we knew in an instant that it is bad. We were permanently imprinted with the knowledge that unclean dishes, forks, knives and spoons are bad and can make people sick or worse! Uncle Chuck is long gone, may he rest in peace, but that lesson about the dangers of food-borne illness stuck with me evermore—just as it had with Uncle Chuck from his years as a soldier in World War II.
Since then of course I’ve learned more about food safety, espe- cially in the competition barbecue and special events arena.
At many barbecue contests back in the last century, contestants would set up a meat pickin’ table for passersby to sample left- overs. It was fun, popular and a big draw for crowds until local county or city health department officials put a stop to such do- ings due to non-compliance with federal food safety rules and regulations aimed at protecting the public from possible food poi- soning. No doubt, like Uncle Chuck and others with first-hand
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