Food Safety Talk 12: Dueling Experts

Added on by Don Schaffner.

Ben has McDonalds for lunch, which starts the guys talking about the golden arches, food safety and comfort foods, with brief digressions into banjo music, which is a Deliverance reference. Apparently they have rednecks in Canada too.

From there the guys talk about Don's Extension Stakeholder Review and the trials and tribulations of a life in academe. Food Safety Talk is not a productivity podcast, despite the fact that the guys talked about Getting Things Done by David Allen, and a survey on how people fall off the GTD wagon. Don also mentions The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande that he is listening to as an Audible audiobook.

Ben brings the discussion back to food safety by talking about his food safety infosheets and building a Food safety culture as per Yiannis, Griffiths, Ben and Doug). Ben also brings up Malcolm Gladwell. Don holds his tongue and doesn't mention what others have said about Mr. Gladwell.

Don starts the food safety talk in earnest with a mention of the outbreak linked to Your Family Cow, with an aside to Abbott and Costello. Don also mentions his talk on sampling raw milk for pathogens and the early history of HACCP. This evolves into a discussion of sampling and the uncertainties of epidemiology, and the dangers of possibly getting it wrong.

Ben notes that he thinks that Edwin Shank from Your Family Cow guy, does get some aspects of his message correct, noting that Mr. Shank said:

... we are concerned. We do not take even a suspicion of food-borne illness lightly. We took action accordingly.

After a quick digression on Ben's microbe ornaments (not actual size), Ben moves the discussion to labeling, including meat and the USDA cook to a safe internal temperature label, unpasteurized juice labeling, Pillsbury's polite message, and more terse advice from Betty Crocker, regarding Bisquick. Don chimes in with concerns about the profusion of food allergy labels.

The guys get sidetracked into a discussion of dough and flour related food safety including the E. coli outbreak linked to refrigerated cookie dough, the Aunt Jemima Salmonella in flour mix recall, and the Listeria in Eggo frozen waffle recall.

Ben brings things back to consumers and labeling by mentioning research by Kansas State scientists on consumer preparation of frozen, uncooked, breaded chicken products. Not to be outdone, Don mentions research from his lab on the risk of salmonellosis associated with consumption of raw, frozen chicken products cooked in low-wattage microwave ovens.

Food labels seem to be getting longer and more complicated, but even with increased complexity, managing risks of things like hydrolyzed vegetable protein recall may be problematic give the different ways people eat Ramen Noodles, for example. Clearly the safety of microwaved foods is complicated, as microwaved containers also pose non-microbial risks, like tipping over and burning you.

Finally, no discussion of labeling snafu's would be complete without a mention of those kosher "broiled" chicken livers, which made a bunch or people sick, including one reported case in Minnesota. Why do more people seem to get in Minnesota? Here is a hint, it has a lot to do with the Minnesota's commitment to public health including efforts like Team Diarrhea.

Ben concludes by noting that he is a fan of Canadian Marshall McLuhan, even if he gets the quote wrong.

The guys wrap up with a discussion of ideas that they will put in the parking lot for future shows:

Dueling Experts