Filtering by Tag: Andreas Kiermeier

Food Safety Talk 55: Damn Ignorant PhDs

Added on by Don Schaffner.
But I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn't frighten me.  - Richard Feynman, 1918-1988

But I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn't frighten me.

- Richard Feynman, 1918-1988

The guys started the show with a teaser about a guest later in the show and reminisced about past guests Mike BatzChris GunterMichelle Danyluk and the infamous Andreas Kiermeier. The guys then followed up on cashew cheese (FST 53) and how to reach food entrepreneurs about hazards an risk management and resources like NECFE or the NMPAN. The guys then wondered about selling food (unregulated) over the Internet, possibly for Bitcoin, and the Swiss Cheese Pervert. And Don remembered Mary's name.

Then David Gumpert (The Complete Patient) came onto the show. David has written about raw milk and food rights including "The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America's Emerging Battle over Food Rights" and "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights: The Escalating Battle Over Who Decides What We Eat". The guys invited David to come on the show as a follow-up to FST 53, Raw Milk Hampsterdam, and David's critique of it. For audiences most interested in raw milk topics, the conversation with David begins at 25:30.

Discussion topics the group touched on included raw milk and consumer choice, including the Raw Milk InstituteDavid's follow-up post and the Real Food Real Talk - Raw Milk Revealed, the Minnesota study, CDC's Estimation Methods and Attribution of Foodborne Illness, The Joint FDA/Health Canada QMRA for Listeriosis from Soft-Ripened Cheese and FDA's failure to attend an IAFP sponsored raw milk meeting.

In the after dark, which begins around 1:30:00, Don and Ben talked about EvernoteHabitsShackelton Death or Glory, and Plan 9 from Outer Space.

 

Food Safety Talk 39: Des Moines is Known for their Scallops

Added on by Don Schaffner.

The guys start by answering a question from listener Tom (whom Ben met at the Consumer Federation of America National Food Policy conference) and his request for guidance on research areas in food safety. Don’s advice was that Tom should follow his passion and from there pick a university or faculty member. This then turned into a broader discussion about education, with a focus on distance and online learning.

Don then talked about his attendance at ISGP’s  Food Safety, Security, and Defense: Focus on Technologies and Innovations conference in Verona, Italy, which operates under the Chatham House Rules (not to be confused with the Cider House Rules). Don really enjoyed the discussions between the scientific experts and policy makers and he enjoyed meeting Lynn Frewer. Don also talked about his recent visit to GOJO with his student (and some times listener Dane Jensen) to discuss Dane’s PhD research.

In the Bug Trivia segment, Ben talked about Clostridium botulinum, the ‘sausage poisoning’ bug, and Ben’s recent Barfblog post on the topic. The guys thought that tin-foiled potatoes caused unnecessarily large concern because of one outbreak, as most botulism cases are linked to ineffective home canning practices. While Ben had trouble pronouncing nitrosamines, he challenged Andreas to find papers by Gibson and Roberts on Clostridium and cured meats. Andreas did not disappoint, finding Factors controlling the growth of Clostridium botulinum types A and B in pasteurized, cured meats parts I, II, III, IV, V, and VI.

The guys then talked about the Egg Rollie, as Aaron "you-SUE-ghee" wanted to know whether the cooked ‘egg rollie’ could be contaminated by raw egg as it rises. Ben wasn’t too concerned and Don pointed out that while there was a risk, the risks of illness from eating raw eggs were rather low.

The conversation then turned to the Listeria and cantaloupes, as FDA was planning to undertake a survey of Listeria monocytogenes in US cantaloupe packing houses. Ben has been organizing industry workshops with Chris Gunter (guest in FST episode 3) and some others. Ben explained what he would do if he was a producer and FDA were about to visit his packing house for sampling. Don agreed with Ben’s strategy and pointed out that baseline information on pathogen prevalence on produce was needed. However, the guys couldn’t understand why the samples were not also going to be tested for Salmonella, which had been involved in more cantaloupe related outbreaks than Listeria. In addition, Don wasn’t convinced that this survey was the best use of public funds. This reminded Don of a USA Today article on sequestration which included a Doug Powell quote, which Don also posted on his Tumblr.

Ben sent a shout out to Ashley Chaifetz, a PhD student studying public policy, who wrote a Barfblog post on Salmonella in dog food (and this follow up post) and how she now longer trusted the dog food manufacturer. Finally the guys sent a big thank you to the folks at SHS Design who updated their FST logo for iTunes.

In the after dark the guys talked about a couple of iTunes comments, their usual scheduling challenges, a potential guest, "Rappaz R.N. Dainja” and Science Online.

Food Safety Talk 32: Zombies and (Bleep)

Added on by Don Schaffner.

This week the guys talked to Andreas Kiermeier (who’s been doing a yeoman’s job the show notes, i.e. the words you are reading right now).  Andreas works at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), not be confused with Sardi's in New York City.  Andreas is into trance music, which led to a discussion of John Lennon, Portishead and Tangerine dream.  Andreas is a photographer, as shown on Flickr.  He’s the official photographer of the Adelaide Zombie Walk, which is similar to the Zombie Run in Raleigh. Andreas has published an article on the microbiology of kangaroo meat, co-authored with John Sumner of Risk Ranger fame.

The discussion then turned to the risks of using Bakelite and raw milk for making double cream; expiration dates, shelf-life and Listeria; and public libraries which Ben loves, for many reasons, among them, creating this picture. Don and Ben then dissected An In-Depth Analysis of a Piece of Shit: Distribution of Schistosoma mansoni and Hookworm Eggs in Human Stool - thanks to Chip Manuel (SeeManual) on Twitter for finding that gem!  This was followed by a brief discussion of the two recently FSMA rules on Preventive Controls and Produce, and the relationship between organic food and autism.  The show finished off with a discussion of XL foods inspections and a call back to Food Safety Talk Episode 1, and the NAS report on releasing FSIS inspected establishment data.

The after dark featured a discussion of the IAFP Annual Meeting, Crashplan - the cause of Andreas’s bad Skype connection, and Daniel Shannon (phyllisstein) on Twitter.

Food Safety Talk 32: Zombies and (bleep)

Food Safety Talk 20: I’m not worried about eating my own poop!

Added on by Don Schaffner.

The guys’ problems with Skype continue, though it’s unclear whether it’s because of Skype not ringing the bell or due to their own fault (e.g. when Don mutes himself).

Ben’s trip to Rochester for the filming of a show of Second Opinion was cool as Ben was able to talk to his heart’s content rather having to limit him to small sound bites. The show’s theme was the E. coli O157 outbreak in 2006 involving spinach and it will screen in Rochester probably sometimes this summer and nationally in fall. Apparently the show stems from a journal club, run by University of Rochester Medical Centre, which aimed at providing a scientific discussion of some of the fictitious causes presented on TV shows, such as ER and House. Ben also managed some significant carb loading thanks to the coffee and donuts he got from Tim Horton’s, while spotting Sarah Palin from his hotel room. Or was that Russia? Or Canada?

Ben’s carb loading is continuing thanks to the delicious cookies that Dani had made thanks to a recipe she found on Pinterest. Though Don’s feeling left out, because he doesn’t know anything about this ‘Tumblr for the non-nerds’.

Michael Batz was mentioned half a dozen times (in a row) to acknowledge him for the wonderful review of the podcast he had left on iTunes. So join Mike Batz and Evan Henke – Don’s star pupil who really gets QMRA – to leave a review on iTunes – whether good or bad – though we obviously prefer good. The guys are always open to feedback, as seen by their efforts after Merlin Mann provided some pointers.

Then the conversation turned to hand washing, which is of interest to some of the CSA (community supported agriculture) organizations that Ben has been working with. But, Don’s rant was set off by an article in The Forecaster entitled “In tepid water: Many fast-food restaurants don't comply with Maine health requirement”, shared by Doug Powell. In particular, Dr. Stephen Sears, Maine State Epidemiologist, assertion that using cool water for hand washing is putting the public at greater risk than using warm water. Don tried to think about the scientific justification, though he couldn’t come up with any. It couldn’t really be because of the soap, as camp suds work well in cold water. So maybe it’s a comfort thing, but that is surely a cultural preference as noted by their friend Bobby Krishna from Dubai. But then Ben remembered the Chili’s Salmonella outbreak where lack of warm water had something to do with the outbreak … or was it a lack of water altogether?  As expected, Ben is opposed to putting someone else’s poop into his mouth, but strangely enough he seemed rather comfortable ingesting his own.

Don goes on to note: he would have been more interested in the availability of paper towels and soap, unobstructed hand wash sinks. Or maybe inspectors should be checking more critical things such as burger temperature or cold holding temperature? And just because the tap can give you 110˚F (43.3˚C) doesn’t mean that employees wash their hands with it (if at all). As the Michaels et al. and Todd et al. reviews have showed, water temperature had no impact on the efficacy of hand washing. While the journalist wrote that “There are no statistics that demonstrate how many illnesses are caused by improper hand washing,” the guys were quick to point out that Guzewich and Ross’s article “Evaluation of Risks Related to Microbiological Contamination of Ready-to-eat Food by Food Preparation Workers and the Effectiveness of Interventions to Minimize Those Risks” refutes that point. Don finished his rant by suggesting that a better story would be to write about the lack of resource for public health people to inspect restaurants every year (provided they look for the things that matter).  Let the record show that eventually Don did write a barfblog post on this topic.

The guys then swung around to another liquid – raw milk – which sent Ben off on a tirade on effective, or more precisely ineffective, risk communication. The offending article was “Education needed to show why pasteurization is needed for milk” in Ag Weekly, which epitomizes bad risk communication. The guys agreed that there were many reasons for why people drink raw milk, e.g. “Motivation for Unpasteurized Milk Consumption in Michigan, 2011” and that it was critical to present the risk, but to let the consumer decide whether the potential or perceived benefits outweigh the risk. Ben pointed out a good example of risk communication that was demonstrated by the recent CDC ad campaign, which showed the consequences of smoking but didn’t tell you that smoking is not safe, though Don hadn’t watched any ads since getting TiVo.

Don is still flabbergasted that educated people don’t understand that zero tolerance does not mean zero risk! Don reflected on why a lawyer upset him after he presented at Washington DC meeting “The Future of Performance Standards in Food Safety: Innovation Ahead?” The lawyer was indignant that she had to defend a company that made pig ear dog treats, which had made people sick as she felt that it was the consumer who was to blame for having a pet or for mishandling the dog treat. Don disagrees with blaming consumers, unless they do some really stupid stuff. In fact, pet treats have been associated with human illness on a regular basis, whether they be pig ears or beef pizzles (here’s what a pizzle is), likely due to lack of hand washing after handling the treat. The guys noted the need for producers to understand how people are using their products (irrespective of whether they are pet treats or human food products) and the risk associated with the actual use, rather than just the intended use.

Don had a great time at MaxFunCon, because it made him feel awesome, and possibly because it made Mike Batz jealous. In winding up, a huge shout out went to Dr. Andreas Kiermeier from SARDI who’s volunteered to doing the show notes. He’ll be one of the first ones, right after Mike Batz, to get a T-Shirt once Don gets the T-shirt idea out of Omnifocus.

In the after-dark, the guys work through their difficulties with finding a suitable time for recording the next podcast, which was exacerbated by Don’s plans to see Steven Wright live. Don found a new Safari extension called TabLinks by Brett Terpstra to save many of the links they discuss in the Dropbox shared folder to help Andreas with the show notes. The guys said good-bye and Ben went to the pool with his kids and Don went to do a Friends of Scouting presentation at a Boy Scouts meeting.

Food Safety Talk 20: I’m not worried about eating my own poop!