Note: This story is from my old website but it's too much fun to throw it away. We should all say a little prayer that it's no longer like this. But, knowing the stupidity of man, it's probably now worse than this.
So, I had to get my Food handler's card today again because my employer lost mine, somehow. I had to once again go through the ritual of taking the test and paying $12 to get this accomplished. The 12 bucks sucks, but the test is certainly a pleasure taking. In my opinion, I think it's just another way Maricopa County can suck and extra $12 out of people, because there is no safety issue here. We're not protecting the commonwealth of the people by making food handlers take this test. As you will read below, these are not doctored in any fashion; it is just what it is!
Before, when I first started working in Arizona I took the test to be a server. Even back then the questions were so ridiculously easy, I couldn't believe that this was the real test! I memorized one of the questions with their answers and have held on to it for years, here it is:
How should you check the temperature of a food product?
A. Hold a portion of the food to your lips
B. Use a sanitized long stem thermometer
C. Hold the outside of the container
D. Put your finger in the food product
That was back in 1993. Evidently, those questions are too hard for some people. Luckily, you can miss up to five of these questions!! FIVE???!!! I suppose, though, you don't get to call-a-friend or use any other lifeline, so there you go. Now, when you go take the test, the questions are so ridiculous, I actually laugh until I cry when I take it. This is actually my second time - and it keeps getting funnier!!
Why aren't you allowed to smoke in the kitchen?
A. Customers will see the smoke and think something is burning
B. Other workers may be allergic to cigarette smoke
c. Other people may be trying to quit
D. Germs from your mouth can transfer to your fingers
What is the best way to prevent food-borne illness?
A. Prepare all foods well in advance before serving
B. Taste all foods to make sure they can be served to customers
C. Wash and keep your hands clean at all times
D. Keep foods at the correct temperatures
What is the best way to get rid of cockroaches?
A. Keep all foods up off the floor
B. Keep the lights on at all times, even after business hours
C. Seal off all hiding places
D. Step on them or crush them with something heavy
E. Firm discipline
When you are sick with a fever or diarrhea,
A. The customers always know
B. You should blow your nose in a place where customers can't see you
C. You should wash your hands more often
D. You should notify your boss and stay home
Why should workers wash their hands after using raw foods?
A. Keep their hands from getting infected with germs
B. Keep germs from getting into the garbage
C. Customers do not like to see dirty hands
D. Customers like workers who wash their hands
Cross contamination happens when raw foods come into contact with ready to serve foods. How can this be avoided?
A. Storing raw meats below ready to serve foods
B. Washing your hands often
C. Sweeping the floor
D. Providing adequate lighting
Germs grow rapidly:
A. in an ice bath
B. in unsanitized wiping rags
C. above 165 degrees
D. in dark corners
There are a few more that were really funny, but I didn't want to get kicked out by taking pictures of the test and the guy that was sitting in front of me got up. One of the questions, my finger got in the way of the lens, but I remember the funny part. The question was something like: 'What should you do if you know that a food product has expired?' and one of the answers was 'Any food product that has expired must be offered for free.'
I'm Reminded my of high school - except the tests were a lot harder!
There were only three questions dealing with temperatures; one that deals with the microwave, one for poultry, and one for meat. I got three wrong. Chances are I got those three wrong. The only important things that you should know about cooking and there are only three questions for them.
Here's the kicker!! You have two tries a day on this test. If you fail twice in the same day, you have to go to north Phoenix and watch a movie - then you don't have to take the test. This makes me queasy: I only know this because the two people in front of me failed the test. One got 9 wrong and the other got 7 wrong. I couldn't stop laughing!! You can see the (ugly) picture on my card; I'm still laughing in the picture, but trying to hold it back.
So remember, if you want to work in the food service industry but don't know dick about food, bugs, cleanliness or logic - come on down to Arizona, we'll get ya a job!