Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop





Another reason why I don't like eating in the dark

Posted 8 December, 2008 at 1:05am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, Rant)

Yesterday, Tina and I went to the Yahoo! Holiday Party at the San Mateo Convention Center. Like previous years, the Party took place in two of the convention center halls. This year the second hall had different food from the main hall which included sausages and mini-burgers. I made myself a little burger with a beef patty and shiitake mushroom. I took a couple bites, savoring the flavor of the mushroom with the light char of the beef - the surprisingly soft and tender beef. I took another bite and thought that the burger tasted really good but the texture was off - I like flesh that's soft, but it should also be firm and provide some resistance when chewed. This hamburger was just soft. I looked down and all I saw was a dim red burger in my hand.

Tina looked at it and said it looked pink to her. I agreed, but I also knew that my mouth was telling me it was the texture of raw ground meat. I turned on my flash and took another picture.
Yep, it was raw. I don't eat raw beef unless it's prepared at a decent quality restaurant or I've processed the beef myself from larger cuts. I certainly don't eat raw ground beef (especially ground because of the increased surface area and the much higher likelihood that contaminated meat will contaminate an entire batch) prepared in large quantities by a the catering staff of a convention center and then left on chafing dishes for who knows how long.

Tina suggested I tell someone, but I decided against it - who was I going to tell and how were they to decide which of the patties to keep and which to discard? Hmmm, now that I'm writing this, it seems like may be I should have taken the effort to find someone to inform about the raw beef.

If you're reading this, what do you think I should have done? (I just put the burger back on my paper plate and walked it over to the compost bin.)

4 comments to Another reason why I don't like eating in the dark

Michael Chu, December 8th, 2008 at 1:07 am:

  • Oh, I should also mention that the idea of a mini burger composed of a cooked shiitake and small burger patty on a small bun is great - but I think a thinner patty would have been more flavorful and better balanced with the mushroom.

salsa, December 8th, 2008 at 10:50 am:

  • Wow, I hope nobody fell ill after eating one of these. You're right to blog it so anybody else who noticed the burgers can contact you or comment. It might help as well to mentioning this to party organizers so they can reprimand the caterers… and never hire them again!

scott, December 8th, 2008 at 11:07 am:

  • Maybe it was supposed to be that way…*shrugs* My parents always had raw beef with rye bread and raw white onions whenever there were big family gatherings, right next to the whole smoked trout.

maria thorp, December 12th, 2008 at 12:35 pm:

  • Michael,
    Coming from the banquet industry my self - I would have advised you to
    take it right to the kitchen (discretely) and hand it to the chef.
    Or, to the coordinator who had direct contact with the hotel….
    Blogging sends a strong message too.