Colonel Colon to the rescue – Produce Blue Book

I sometimes joke that my favorite superhero is Bleachman.

Bleachman was an unlikely character featured on commercials in San Francisco in the late 80s and early 90s. Sure, he had the obligatory red cape and his head was shaped like a bottle of Clorox with a scowl on his face. .

Bleachman targeted the city’s drug addicts, who were spreading AIDS by sharing needles. Bleachman’s goal was simple, clear and direct: if you share needles, at least have the good sense to sterilize them with bleach: “If you use the drug, you have to use the jug.”

Bleachman has won some affection among his target audience, though it’s not entirely clear if he really had a big impact on HIV transmission. In any case, he has long since retired from his fights against the AIDS virus.

Bleachman was joined in the Legion of Security Superheroes by Colonel Colon and the League of Fecal Fighters, campaigning for food security. The league was created by Bill Marler, the most prominent food safety advocate in the United States.

The Colonel’s Squad includes “Clean”, whose superpowers are that he “cleans food and countertops, and keeps his bucket of water ready for an extra rinse and shine!”

Then there is “Separate”. Superpowers: “Separates food with his kitchen knife and cutting board, and prevents germs from transferring from one dish to another.”

The “cook’s” uncanny abilities include the power to cook food to its safe internal temperature.

The last soldier, “Chill”, chills food and refrigerates perishables so that they [sic] stay out of the danger zone. It always keeps it cool at 40 degrees or less.

Security is a serious and ever-present issue, but it’s not very sexy. While Colonel Colon’s League is definitely comically inspired, like Bleachman, it uses humor and the perennially popular concept of superheroes to sell its message of good food handling.

I doubt Marler’s creations lead to lucrative spinoffs like DC and Marvel did, but they remind us of a number of things we must never forget.

Comments are closed.