I have stared into the eyes of death and survived a stronger man.
[Note: this post contains profanity. I’m fucking sorry, m0m.]
Given the recent tensions on the Korean peninsula, most would assume I am referencing a potential WWIII sparked by the ROK and the DPRK. In reality, I speak of a much more terrifying horror: kindergartners making a buffet of Thanksgiving inspired food. My GI tract shudders at the mere thought of it.
As horrible as it sounds, the sanctities of food and food safety were plumb thrown out the window as each “kindy” class at my hagwon prepared one dish for a Thanksgiving buffet. To put the icing on the cake, the kids supplied the ingredients for the dishes and the dishes could not be cooked. That’s right; kiss any possible kill-step away, fellow food scientists.
What was a former Food Inspector to do? Remove the kids from the equation as much as possible. While other teachers dared to lead students down paths of ham sandwiches, kimbab, mashed potatoes, and the like, I opted to make things bitch-ass simple (that’s right bitch-ass is the new vernacular adjective for very).
I instructed my students to bring bags of M&Ms, various nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruits, and any other non-potentially-hazardous-foods. They would be making some traditional Thanksgiving trail-mix. I’d dump the unopened bags of treats into a bowl, shake it up. The kids could spoon, cup, or ladle the mixture into cups for dispersal, no Escherichia coli required. The cups would even be decorated as unbearably cute turkeys colored by the kids. Dreams are made of this shit.
Then things changed and I got stuck with my other class…
This meant I would instead be covering Oreos and Choco-Pies with whipped cream and using nuts and candies to decorate the cookies. This involved extensive hand contact. There were gloves and I made my kids wash their hands before they put them on, but my god.
For an exercise in frustration, please try to explain to 7-year-olds what they can and cannot touch with their gloved hand. Try to explain why they cannot touch food intended for someone else with their nasty bare hands. Try to explain why they shouldn’t jokingly put a cookie they plan to decorate halfway into their filth-ridden obnoxious mouths. I dare you.
I saw things I cannot unsee. I was terrified for the health of those children and any teachers poor-sighted enough to eat at that buffet. Needless to say, I did not eat any food made by the children that day.
Lawl, also try explaining why kids shouldn’t double-dip their pineapple/banana skewers into the molten chocolate (bonus points if you convince them not to double-dip their fingers).