“I Don’t Even Know What Pasteurized Means”

Brace ya-selfs!  At Baker’s this morning:

Clerk1:  Do we have any pasteurized eggs?

Clerk2:  You’ll have to ask Suzie Q.

Me: I think you do.  (short comment about what they carry)

Clerk2:  {shrug} I don’t even know what pasteurized means, so…  {shrug}


These clerks were at least in their 20s, and it was mid-morning so they weren’t high schoolers for sure.  I did gasp, “Really?” but I had to seriously bite my tongue so I wouldn’t ask, “Where did you go to high school, and did you graduate?”  Nice, seemingly bright girl, but not so much schmartz.

Msr. Pasteur is not amused.

First of all, this is an education issue.  Development of pasteurization was pivotal in our human history, and I believe is still supposed to be taught in basic science classes.  I get that many people don’t care what’s sold as food these days, but this goes to the school systems to make sure the students learn this fact.  As basic as the discovery of the New World!  Even/especially if you are of the belief that foods are best left unpasteurized, you need to know what it is.  And I’m talking about learning and knowing for life, not being coached short-term so you can get a good score on the standardized test.

Secondly, they work in a grocery store and she doesn’t know what pasteurization is?!  This is disturbing.  On many levels.  A customer with special dietary needs should be able to get accurate assistance from any clerk.  Okay, so they weren’t trained properly — we should accept that?  I get that a cashier would refer a clerk to someone else while cashiering, but she said she didn’t know what it MEANS.   Is this why dairy products are often left in the aisles unattended for long periods of time — do the employees not understand basics about bacteria growth?

Thirdly, it clearly didn’t matter to her what it is or that it was related to her job.  Again, disturbing, although not very surprising.  I’m done with this part.

I left shaking my head.  This afternoon I will make sure my middle schooler knows what pasteurization is.  If you don’t know about it, at the very least read this, or Bing it.  Please.


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