Reviews

ILT

*** “Food and vermin are the topics presented in twenty-five bite-size tales by food safety practitioner David Walpuck. The reader is introduced to the odiously unsanitary conditions witnessed in various dining establishments and the potential health risks afforded by such unhygienic negligence, these hazards are addressed and resolutions enumerated. Macroscopic rodents such as mice and rats compete with the insects for the food supply, microscopic fungi, bacteria and invisible viruses are opportune organisms that readily infect the diner. Food workers neglecting to effectively wash hands, utensils, and food products serve as potent vectors of disease. The results of unsanitary practices can produce diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and even death for the unfortunate consumer. Food safety is important and this report will cause the diner to better inspect the cleanliness and practices of the restaurant and its workers. While microbes are not themselves discernible, be on the lookout for roaches, flies, mosquitoes, mice, rats, and obvious decaying food residues. Looking at the situation through this inspector’s eyes provides a quick read…” –Aron Row, March 2016 Reference, San Francisco Book Review

“An eye opening expierience that will educate the consumer and give laughs along the way. Recommend to anyone who eats out and especially those working in food service who need to get it right.  A quick read that is entertaining and informative.” —Mike D.

“Simply said-BRAVO! The book is funny, awful and truly gripping. I  learned a lot to take heed.” —Evelyn B.

“Really  enjoyed the book. You don’t need to be in the food service industry to enjoy it,  some very funny stories and some practical tips.” —T. Burns

“Honest and  vivid representation of food service. Will think twice about eating out.”D. Smith

“In this non-fiction debut, part memoir, part food-safety guide,  Walpuck offers anecodotes about his expieriences as a food-industry health inspector. There is a lot of useful information throughout this volume.” Kirkus

Review from The Hudson Independent: 

Tarrytown Author Tackles Negligence in Food  Safety

The United States “culture of food safety” includes some of the strongest  regulations in the world. If you doubt this, think China, where melamine in
adulterated milk sickened 300,000 children, and farmers recently dumped 16  thousand dead pigs into a river.  That said, the U.S. has millions of cases of
food poisoning each year and hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations.  Lifelong Tarrytown resident David Walpuck’s new book, “Contaminated:  Negligence  in Food Safety” gives a rare look behind the scenes of food preparation and safety in supermarkets, restaurants and delis. What he finds will shock and entertain you while providing information that will lower your risk of contracting a food-borne illness.  Walpuck relates the mystery that helped propel him into a 20-year career as a food safety auditor and instructor.  He had bought a can of chili, and after consuming it, ended up with a gut-wrenching  bout of food poisoning. “Was that chili expired, the hermetic seal damaged, or  the ingredients flawed in processing?” he wondered. The Certified Professional in Food Safety (CP-FS) never found out for sure, but he has spent the last 20  years as a food auditor and corporate sanitarian insuring that it doesn’t happen to you.   Walpuck serves up an entertaining and informative read, explaining  why you should avoid dented cans (they could signal the presence of Clostridium Botulinum bacteria) and identifying less obvious risks.  For example, who knew of the inherent danger of putting cubed ham next to eggs in the dairy case?  According to Walpuck, “Cross-merchandized items like cubed ham are always forgotten because the meat manager thinks it’s the dairy manager’s responsibility while the dairy manager thinks the meat manager should be  responsible because it’s pork.”  As he pokes around ice machines and inspects the inner workings of deli slicers, Walpuck sprinkles in advice, such as never put a large pot of hot food in a refrigerator because it will not cool fast enough to stop bacteria from forming and will likely raise the temperature in surrounding foods to dangerous levels. And if you find little shards of metal in your food, chances are it comes from worn metal cleaning pads that should be replaced by those green scrub cloths.  Some will find Walpuck’s discoveries in restaurants or delis disgusting.  Suffice it to say if you find a cup lodged beneath a bathroom sink serving no discernible function, do not eat in that restaurant!  It’s an alternative to toilet paper in some cultures.  The 1986 graduate of Sleepy Hollow High School—captain of the football, baseball and hockey teams—still lives in Tarrytown with his wife Sofia and dog Romeo. His parents remain in the village, as well.  What comes out most about this book is a man who loves his job. “When I bust out my digital thermocouple thermometer during an inspection, it’s like a light saber from Star Wars. I make sure I brandish it accordingly when it’s time to reveal the Dark Side of food safety. Sometimes, when I sanitize the probe, I bring it up to eye level.  That way everyone can see and start to worry about the improper temperature that is about to come out of the closet.”  Walpuck became a Star Wars fan in 1976 at the age of eight, when his dad took him to see the movie at the former theater on Beekman Avenue in Sleepy Hollow.  “Contaminated: Negligence in Food Safety” is a feast for anyone who doesn’t take nourishment from an  I-V.

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