Diatribe: Fried Paper Towels And Hot Oil.
Last Saturday night we had a small dinner party. One of our guests has recently joined Weight Watchers so, wanting to be supportive, I scoured the internet for an interesting recipe that looked yummy enough for everyone else yet would allow my dieting friend to participate without feeling different or somehow needy. The meal that I selected wasn’t particularly difficult to assemble but it did require a lot of last-minute preparation. Consequently, my guests happily offered to lend a hand and we all enjoyed cooking it together.
Except for the part when, as I added jumbo shrimp to the pan, scalding hot Extra Virgin Olive Oil splattered onto the inside of my right wrist. Although I was in quite a bit of pain, I quietly ran cold water on the burn and held a wet paper towel as a compress for a few minutes as we finished preparing the meal.
Everyone enjoyed the recipe and, unlike seven-year-old Oliver Hallam of Newcastle, England, not one guest bit into a fried paper towel.
Last month, Oliver’s step-mother, Krystal Henderson, bought food at a local KFC and carried it home for her family to enjoy. Oliver took a bite out of what he assumed was chicken and was disgusted to learn that he had bitten into a used paper towel that had been battered and fried.
“He pulled it out of his mouth and when he did, it pulled away the batter – you could see the blue roll inside. The blue roll could have been used for anything … it could have bleach or disinfectant on it. Had someone wiped their hands on it, had it been used to wipe the floor?” – Krystal Henderson.
KFC investigated the incident and sent an apology letter, explaining “the blue tissue has most likely originated from a tissue roll used for KFC hygiene purposes. The store assumes it must have fallen unseen into the breading lug that is under the sieve and was not noticed by the cook.” The fast-food company also apologized, gave her a refund and retrained the store’s staff to ensure that paper towels would never again be deep-fried and served to customers. They also offered Henderson a free meal.
My paper towel was properly disposed of. My dinner guests indicate that they had a lovely evening and, when I mentioned my burn days later, no one remembers it happening as the meal was prepared. I do, however, still have the scars to prove that it did.
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