The guys then got onto the recent IAFP annual meeting (abstracts are here), which clearly was a huge success. Ben was impressed by Michelle Danyluk’s deconstruction of the FSMA Fresh Produce rule to create a convincing story, which included recently published work from Don and Michelle. Ben then talked about the symposium on farmers' markets, and Erin Jobe’s talk about the realities of the Carrboro Farmer’s Market. Lastly, the guys talked about the round table discussion on “Bridging Gaps between Scientific Assessment of Risk and Public Perception” which was reported on Barfblog and Food Safety News. And of course, IAFP always includes Karaoke.
Moving on from IAFP, Don noted that he’s following John Gruber and Merlin Mann's advice and is podcasting for just one person, Chuck Haas. Turns out that Chuck also sent an email about an upcoming publication on the dose-response curve for Helicobacter pylori (see FST 45).
Ben then recalled the conversation about the Salmonella outbreak associated with the Holiday Inn and the article he wrote on barfblog. Ben wondered why employees wouldn’t tell management that they were sick but would tell the health department? Both Don and Ben concluded that it’s surely related to not getting paid while being off work.
The discussion then turned to the current Cyclospora messiness and disagreement between epidemiologists. While there is lots of bad advice out there, the most recent information indicates a link to prewashed salad mix to Taylor Farms de Mexico, though this information wasn’t available when ACSH reported that the “mystery was solved". The guys also noted Bill Marler’s interesting thoughts about disclosure as well as why naming a product too early can have consequences. The guys also re-iterating that washed fresh-cut salads don’t need additional washing.
To finish off, Ben wanted to talk about Jimmy John’s who are considering bringing back sprouts, with a warning sign. Don felt that this approach was nonsense and that the risks of eating still outweigh the risks of not eating. Instead Don wanted to know about Jimmy John’s food safety program, and whether it included buying from sprouters who get it, like Bob Sanderson’s at Jonathan Sprouts. Ben wasn’t against the label though he felt that it could be improved.