The U.S. Secret Service is tight-lipped about whether presidents utilize “food tasters” to ensure a commander in chief’s meals are safe to consume. But comments by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) appear to confirm what is widely assumed: the president’s food must pass inspection before eating can commence.
During a Thursday luncheon with Republicans, President Barack Obama reportedly was unable to dine on the lobster feast set before him. Daily Caller obtained audio of Collins explaining the reason why.
“He honestly did look longingly at it,” said Collins. “But apparently he has to have essentially a taster, and I pointed out to him that we were all tasters for him, that if the food had been poisoned all of us would have keeled over so, but he did look longingly at it and he remarked that we have far better food than the Democrats do, and I said that was because I was hosting.”
Collins’s comments echo those of past reports. During a 2010 presidential visit to India, local media quoted a doctor discussing presidential food tasting protocols. President George H.W. Bush’s food taster reportedly brought along bottled water and condiments when dining at restaurants.