White House food tasters?

posted at 12:17 pm on June 7, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

In medieval times, royal courts employed food tasters to ensure that the kitchen staff hadn’t conspired to commit a coup d’etat through poison.  The practice continued for heads of state until modern times, and also for novels and Hollywood movies.  AFP reports that Barack Obama used one this week — in a French restaurant, no less, and I’m getting a lot of e-mail on it:

A US “taster” tested the food being dished up to President Barack Obama at a dinner in a French restaurant, a waiter said on Sunday. …

Asked by AFP to comment, the restaurant confirmed the report.

Sacre bleu! What an insult to French cuisine!  Why, this is unprecedented … except that it’s actually not.  From November 2003:

AS if the Queen hasn’t got enough on her plate accommodating all President Bush’s security demands, the Secret Service have put a food taster into the Buckingham Palace kitchens.

Nothing is being left to chance by the Americans, who have assembled the largest security operation seen in London for the three-day visit.

According to sources, everything that is destined to be served up for the President has to be tasted first.

Granted, Bush was a lot less personally popular in Europe than Obama even in the best of times, but it was also Buckingham Palace. The Secret Service apparently decided to leave nothing to chance, and I suspect that they have made this standard operating procedure when the President dines outside the US.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this hasn’t been SOP for more than just Bush and Obama, too.

Overly paranoid?  Perhaps, but then again, the Secret Service doesn’t get paid to roll the dice unnecessarily.


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Comment pages: 1 2

You know why Obama has spent so much time with MSNBC………?

………. He has gotten used to the taste of the clam chowder, especially when Chrissy Matthews personally serves it to him.

Interesting, he does not ask why Brian Williams and Keith Olbermann have their pants down while standing over the soup pot masturbating………..

…….. but never the less, he has acquired the taste.

Seven Percent Solution on June 7, 2009 at 8:24 PM

Geez…this has nothing to do with anything except it shows how thin-skinned French chefs can be. I would hope the POTUS has some food testers and would hope they’ve had them for decades.

AUINSC on June 7, 2009 at 8:27 PM

Now what and the world has Hopey/Changey
have to fear!!

On the otherhand,its a smart insurance policy!!

And,if the food taster accidently is poisoned,
does he/or/she get a state funeral!!

canopfor on June 7, 2009 at 8:32 PM

Did they have food tasters at the Berger joints and restaurants that Obama likes to frequent with the press and on date night…………?

Seven Percent Solution on June 7, 2009 at 9:37 PM

Come on Ed, how much did that food taster cost!

If they wouldv’e ate prepackaged MREs warmed up from their own piss maybe then they wouldn’t have to have a food taster that cost so much money just to taste food!

Sheesh, jump on your horse faster…

PresidenToor on June 7, 2009 at 11:51 PM

Did they have food tasters at the Berger joints and restaurants that Obama likes to frequent with the press and on date night…………?

No need. Everyone in America understands our laws of succession and thus knows that poisoning Obama leads directly to the three most terrifying words in the English language: “President Joe Biden.” Barack barely needs Secret Service inside the country at all.

Fabozz on June 8, 2009 at 12:08 AM

My question is, what good does the “food taster” really do? How far in advance does the “food taster” taste the food? And what good is it going to do?

If I wanted to off someone through food, I’d use some kind of chemical or biological agent that took a really long time to work–say, 2-3 days. The Russians offed people a few years back with polonium isotope (sp?) which, if memory serves, didn’t start to do its damage for 3-4 days and took almost 2 weeks to kill.

Outlander on June 8, 2009 at 12:12 AM

It is weird that Obama can just drop into those restaurants… I wonder how much notice the restaurants get and if there is really a taster there long before the cameras.

How did that Russian guy die that it is suspected Putin’s people poisoned? It happens… and we do have enemies.

petunia on June 8, 2009 at 12:47 AM

Did they have food tasters at the Berger joints and restaurants that Obama likes to frequent with the press and on date night…………?

Seven Percent Solution on June 7, 2009 at 9:37 PM

No need. No Bacteria or other chemical additive can survive once the ‘secret sauce’ is slathered over the almost meat.

MSGTAS on June 8, 2009 at 10:10 AM

Why the heck does Obama need a food taster? After all, we’re the ones who have to swallow his stuff.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on June 8, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Is this a joke? How long does Obama have to wait to see if the poor schlub gets sick or dies before he can eat? I’m surprised there’s no I-Phone app. yet.

mike_NC9 on June 8, 2009 at 4:26 PM

I have a thrill going down my throat…

Choke / Puke

Kuffar on June 8, 2009 at 6:01 PM

Comment pages: 1 2