Ben was in a holiday mood after spending time in Florida and catching up with friend of the show, Michelle Danyluk. He also met up with Doug Powell for the annual barfblog editorial team meeting and had lunch with Bert Mitchell. The guys exchanged their holiday MP3 picks, including Sloan’s Merry X’mas Everybody and Jonathan Coulton & John Roderick’s Christmas in Jail. Some non-Christmas and non-food safety-related ramblings included The Good Lovelies, The Comic Book Club of Ithaca, Doctor Doom, Teen Titans, the comiXology app, and Saga.
The guys then talked food safety communication and Ben praised this system for restaurant inspection disclosure, as well as jurisdictional approaches (such as this one in Plano) that provide access to restaurant inspection histories. Don was excited about "Variability Among States in Investigating Foodborne Disease Outbreaks", but felt let down as there was little information about the reason for this variability. Ben and Don wondered whether it had to do with the caliber of epidemiologists – or was it related to how hard they were looking for foodborne illness problems and the things that define their food safety culture?
The discussion then turned to smartphone apps, which was prompted by Ben’s barfblog article about a soon to be released app by Food Sentry. The guys were curious about what they’d be getting for the subscription fee and how rankings were magically created, and noted that some of the information is already publically available through the FDA’s Product Recalls app and others. The serious discussion about risk rankings quickly degraded into poop-a-licious fun with the Poop the World app. While Don was a little freaked out he was pleased that the app included a hand washing reminder. Ben was wondering whether the data could be used similar to Google’s Flu Trends to identify and track food borne illness outbreaks.
The guys then talked about several food safety related papers, including a paper co-authored by Don entitled “Fate of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella on fresh-cut celery”. The second paper was “Efficacies of Sodium Hypochlorite and Quaternary Ammonium Sanitizers for Reduction of Norovirus and Selected Bacteria during Ware-Washing Operations” and Ben wondered what the implications for cleaning up after a vomiting event in a restaurant setting are (like the one Ben lived through in Episode 22). The article “Outbreaks of Acute Gastroenteritis Transmitted by Person-to-Person Contact – United States, 2009-2010” blew Don’s mind as he found at that the CDC was not tracking person-to-person transmission of acute gastroenteritis prior to implementation of the National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS) in 2009.
The guys then finished off talking about some recent Kansas City Star articles about the beef industry, especially one about problems with needle tenderised beef, as well as the recent barfblog article about a paper on food safety and social media.
Don was excited that Chuck Haas and Aamir Fazil are now listening to the podcast and he invited listeners to comment on the discussion during the show. They guys also urged listeners rate the podcast on iTunes.
In the after dark, Don told Ben about the Spaceteam app, which he wants to play with Ben and Mike Batz (like these guys). And planning a Skype call between the guys and Andreas in Australia was proving a little difficult, because of the time difference.