Thought for the day…

From the Annals of Improbable Research, today’s edition:

Investigator Ron Josephson alerted us to the following mathematics-related dispatch, which appeared in the October 11, 2002 issue of “The Salt Lake Tribune”:

The menu at the Coffee Garden at 900 East and 900 South in Salt Lake City has included a scrumptious selection of quiche for about 10 years.
The recipe calls for four fresh eggs for each quiche.
A Salt Lake County Health Department inspector paid a visit recently and pointed out that research by the Food and Drug Administration indicates that one in four eggs carries salmonella bacterium, so restaurants should never use more than three eggs when preparing quiche.
The manager on duty wondered aloud if simply throwing out three eggs from each dozen and using the remaining nine in four-egg-quiches would serve the same purpose.
The inspector wasn’t sure, but she said she would research it.

Published in: on October 18, 2002 at 10:31  Comments (4)  
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  1. *suppressing laughter from cow-orkers*
    I’m highly amused. More proof that the general populace lacks general comprehension beyond about an eighth grade education. I could be wrong (it’s been a looong time since I took statistics myself) but even something like going from a 4-egg to 3-egg quiche only reduces the chance of a salmonella-carrying egg being in a quiche from ~69% to ~58%.
    In any case, there’s a simple solution to this… Cook the damn thing long enough. Fire good. Bacteria bad. If they’ve been in business 10 years, it’s a fair bet they’re not serving them raw.

  2. That’s what I was going to say. Only you said it first and just as eloquent. So… Yeah! What he said. 🙂

  3. I bet the inspector simply saw a way to get more funding while, at the same time, eat more good quiche.
    In academia, everyone is carefully trained, when confronted a question whose answer is not immediately obvious, to give the response, “I don’t know, but that would make an excellent research project, with profound applications, if only I had more funding…”

  4. It sounds like one of those jokes involving a biologist, a mathematician and a statistician . . .

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