The show started with Mr. Roboto, Brazilian Cheese Bread, the upcoming IAFP’s annual meeting in Charlotte, and StoryCorps (not to be confused with Adventure Time). At the IAFP meeting Ben will be stuffing bags at the Food Lion and Don will try to control the unruly Dr. Harris at her first board meeting. The guys then celebrated Canada Day with some pop culture such as The Tragically Hip, Rheostatics and Frampton Comes Alive! (as featured on FST 1), and Reality Bites.
Ben and Don then turned their attention to Helicobacter pylori. Ben reported having had a belch inducing H. pylori infection, which was diagnosed by a breath test. It reminded Ben of Don’s asymptomatic H. pylori infection. Don wondered how Ben got exposed to H. pylori and whether it may have been foodborne, which Ben agreed was a possibility. In fact, Helicobacter pylori and Food Products indicates that the organism can also be widespread in some drinking water supplies. Don also noted an article on “Assessing the Risks and Benefits of Treating Helicobacter pylori Infection" which pointed at the possible commensal role of H. pylori.
The discussion moved from gastrointestinal microflora, to soil and water microflora and ecology and the impact of microflora on safety of the produce grown in different areas. This turned into a broader discussion of farming and extension and the need for multifunctional teams, such as NoroCore and STEC CAP.
In FST episode 43 the guys discussed the silliness of washing bananas, and Ben found yet another ridiculous article on the same topic. Don pointed out the lack of epidemiological evidence linking foodborne illness with bananas, though he recognized that “absence of evidence does not equal evidence of absence.” The earlier conversation about bananas prompted Don to post humorous photos of the individually wrapped bananas he found in the United Lounge at São Paulo airport.
Don then shared an email from listener ‘Deep South’ who was wondering where mechanically tenderized beef was being sold. An FMI survey of the membership indicated that none of the responding members sold this type of beef. So while it appears that the product is predominantly sold through food service, Ben noted the lack of epidemiological evidence connecting illness outbreaks with food service.
The guys then turned their attention to the Townsend Farm related Hepatitis A outbreak, which FDA has now linked to Pomegranate seeds. Ben applauded Bill Keene for focusing on employees first. Ben shared his thoughts about handling of pomegranate seeds and how they could become contaminated with Lynne Terry via Twitter. But are other producers learning from this and asking their suppliers the right questions?
In the after dark the guys discussed Ben’s tenure application. Good luck, Ben.