Food Safety Talk 18: Bunkum!

Added on by Don Schaffner.

The show opens once again with the requisite Skype complaints. Don tries to impress Ben with his use of the 5by5 soundboard, but to no avail. The guys briefly discuss Ben's son Jack, Don's student (and fan of the show), Dane, and other fan of the show Michelle, who was inspired by e16 to spend the day listening to "The Hip".

As usual, the guys eventually get around to discussing food safety and the current Tempeh-borne outbreak, which is occurring in Bunkum County, North Carolina. Where Alice B. Toklas might have once lived, or not. The Tempeh in question was produced by a company called Smiling Hara, where according to Wikipedia, Hara might be a Japanese term referring for the stomach, feces in Maltese language, or pigsty in Latin. Ben has actually visited Buncombe County, because it is well established, he is a hippie. Surprisingly, or maybe not, the food safety risks of tempeh have actually been documented in the scientific literature, including the observation that "Active mycelial growth on the beans resulted in a sharp increase in pH. This was always accompanied by a sharp increase in the growth rate of the test organisms".

After the discussion of tempeh food safety, the guys move on to a discussion of the safety of cut leafy greens and proper refrigeration temperature and the FDA model food code. Of course, this leads to a mention of the Conference for Food Protection, where issues like time out of temperature control get debated. Ben points out that the Federal regulations for food processors require refrigeration at 45 F, while the more up to date Food Code says 41 F is the right temperature. He has this on good authority, as he's checked this with Kevin Smith... er... anyway, the Kevin Smith from the FDA Office of Food Safety. Ben's interest in cut leafy greens lead his student to do research, which may have lead her neighbors to think she was cooking meth in her car. In the interest of public safety, we are passing on Randy Phebus's sage advice: if you see a cooler by the side of the road, don't open it.

The guys discuss a bunch of stuff in the after-dark, and discover the amazing fact that Rochester, NY is equidistant from their respective home towns.

Food Safety Talk 18: Bunkum!