Does The President Really Have Their Own Food Taster?

This is top secret stuff, shrouded in winks and nudges and guarded by the Secret Service. Does the President of the United States have a food taster? Is someone currently employed to (just maybe) perish or puke in the line of duty while tasting the red-sauced angel-haired pasta and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that — per The Washington Post – are among President Biden's favorite foods?

Entered into evidence: a 2020 Linkedin job posting that The White House might have posted (just maybe), and that's dutifully immortalized by Washingtonian. The position suggests that someone was hired to taste the president's food, including (wait for it) "the occasional corn pops."

Take note of Exhibit Two. When he dined at La Fontaine de Mars, a charming bistro located on an equally charming Parisian street corner, waiter Gabriel de Carvalho confirmed that then-President Barack Obama and then-First Lady Michelle Obama's food was tested before it touched their forks. The French weren't, apparently, pleased as Punch. "It wasn't very pleasant for the cooks at first, but the person was very nice and was relaxed, so it all went well," the waiter's gossip circulated the world (via The Sydney Morning Herald). But John Burgess, who spent his life as a US Foreign Service Officer, says the idea of a presidential taster is all hype. Burgess wrote on Quora that while the Secret Service might observe a dish's preparation, no White House taster exists. What's the truth of it? 

Really, does the president have a food taster?

Snopes is convinced that yes, the President of the United States really does have a taster. Among the proof it cites is a The New York Times piece from 2001 suggesting that George W. Bush was accompanied by tasters (plural) to an event: Navy mess specialists that traveled with him and oversaw all culinary operations.

Walter Scheib, who served for over a decade as an executive chef at the White House, has a story that closely aligns with The New York Times. He did tell the Washingtonian that an official White House Taster position is fiction. He also, however, stipulated, "there are people in charge of watching anything the President would come in contact with," including "screeners" for all food. Scheib further told Intelligencer that those in charge of tasting a president's meal are more than just "some kind of Medieval court food taster." As per the former White House chef, "these folks have a number of different duties and responsibilities, one of which is to be sure that the president doesn't get poisoned, quite honestly." 

In other words? Yes, the President of The United States really has their own food taster. But also, no, they don't ... not exactly.