Regina Silvester, chief executive officer of the Richmond chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Frozen Foods, admitted to reporters today to accidentally overcooking her Lean Cuisine meal in the office microwave during lunch last week.
Silvester, who has served as the SPCFF director since 1997 and has long been an outspoken critic of food overcooking, said she brings Lean Cuisine to work about three times a week as a “healthy alternative to eating out,” though she never leaves the dish in the microwave for more than five minutes.
In a tearful interview with Tobacco Avenue today, Silvester’s secretary, Ed Saunders, admitted to distracting the SPCFF leader while her Fiesta Grilled Chicken cooked on a rotating plate for nearly 50 minutes, reaching temperatures of almost 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Silvester and Saunders decided to discuss the matter openly after staying silent for a week.
“I remember putting the Lean Cuisine in the microwave and then I hit what I thought was a five and two zeros, for five minutes, but I must have accidentally put a third zero on there,” Silvester said, trying to hold back tears. “Then Ed told me I had a phone call and I got distracted with work, as people always do.”
“I forgot my Lean Cuisine was in the microwave,” she added, noting that once she recognized that she was still hungry, “I realized immediately what I had done.”
The Fiesta Grilled Chicken, which includes thick slices of grilled white meat tossed in a sour cream sauce and served with Mexican-style rice and melted cheese, exploded in the microwave after 48 minutes and 22 seconds of cooking on the “high” setting.
Silvester said she frantically tried to scoop the remnants of the 260-calorie meal from the inside of the microwave in an attempt to cobble together a quick lunch, but it was too late. SPCFF chairwoman Karin Phillips said the Board of Directors “does not waver in its support” of Silvester, who does not plan to resign despite the accident.
“This should serve as a lesson to the public that leaving your Lean Cuisine in the microwave for too long can happen to anyone,” Phillips said.
Though the CEO was able to piece together a quick lunch of peanut butter crackers and a Diet Coke, Silvester said the situation would have looked far worse if, say, she were an outspoken critic of animal neglect and accidentally had her pet die in a hot car.