Filtering by Tag: Carl Custer

Food Safety Talk 38: Like an 80's Dating Show

Added on by Ben Chapman.

Once again, Skype and Call Recorder weren’t playing nicely for Ben while Don felt a bit like Michael Douglas in the Wonder Boys. Don has been investigating Google Hangouts for running a online live show though Michelle Danyluk didn’t think they could do a live show at IAFP, unless maybe it was in the format of an 80’s dating show, like the one on Mallrats.

Ben had some follow up to his son, Jack, vomiting on a Delta plane reported in Episode 37 . While Ben initially thought the etiological agent was Astrovirus (which would make Jack ‘Astro Boy’) he wasn't sure after feeling the effects a week later. It even stopped Ben from fully enjoying the dinner he had at Fire with Michele.

Ben then had some follow up about the state ag-gag laws. The guys were concerned about the protective approach instead of being open and transparent. The latter would also help the agriculture industry to create a greater understanding of food production. And sometimes an exposé (or Exposé) can change things for the better.

In the new Bug Trivia segment, Don shared some information about Salmonella pulled together by Carl Custer. It turns out that Salmonella was named after a guy who didn’t discover it and after a disease that it didn’t cause – go figure.

The discussion then turned to a Cryptosporidia-related outbreak in Bendigo, Australia. Ben felt that the public health messages in the article were conflicting (and incorrect). The guys disagreed with the advice that hand hygiene was important (in this instance) and were more inclined to believe that it was transmitted through swimming pools. In fact, crypto is a hardly little parasite for which alcohol based sanitizers and even chlorine aren’t effective.

This reminded Don of a recent hepatitis A scare and an article that was published in the journal of Food Protection entitled “Cost Effectiveness of Vaccinating Food Service Workers against Hepatitis A Infection” which concluded a public health benefit to hospitality workers, but not patrons. This prompted a broader discussion about Hep A infected restaurant staff.

The guys then turned from pastry chefs in restaurants to pastry in Greek university canteens. The guys were concerned about the results, though Don’s work on ready-to-eat foods in university canteens shows much, much lower levels. Well, maybe the staff in the Greek university canteens didn’t have time for training, just like the business that took part in a study by Campden BRI, which indicated that food safety training was hampered by lack of time. However, Don and Ben were skeptical about “43% [who] said food safety training was obstructed by the difficulties of checking the effectiveness of training programmes.”

Ben then steered to conversation to writing journal articles and Don’s use of contour plots – he clearly is The Boss. Don’s contour plot shows the log increases in Listeria organisms given time and temperature, from which suitable consumer messages can be created.

Before signing off, the guys then briefly talked about Doug Powell being fired from Kansas State for bad attendance and Don expressed his gratitude for all of Doug’s work, which helped him enormously over the years. And it looks like Doug’s keen to come on the podcast … so stay tuned.

In the after dark, the guys talked about toilet paper dispensers for campers, though Ben’s missing the iPhone holder, and the Apple remote.

Food Safety Talk 34: Don't puke up the doughnuts

Added on by Ben Chapman.

Participating in the Krispy Kreme Challenge challenged Ben in more ways than one. Don is looking for a new podcasting mic and he is getting some guidance from Dan Benjamin’s guide. The guys discussed the download statistics for the podcast and Folding Text to manage their pre-show notes, as well as Don’s homework, The Newsroom (Canadian TV series), which prompted Don to correctly note the excessive plaid fashions. Bill Hallman had provided some further thoughts on the “no illness language” in recall notices (FST Episode 33) which led to a broader discussion about recalls, including one for Listeria in Crab Dip.

The discussion continued with Listeria, namely Missa Bay LLC's recall due to Listeria in apple slices  and the more recent FDA warning letter to the company. Don and Ben were surprised by where and how much Listeria was found by the FDA. The guys agreed that the publication of these warning letters was a good thing – not only for customers, but also to provide valuable information to suppliers of similar products – which reminded Ben of the Blue Pages for teachers.

The guys then switched to the Chicago Tribune article “Triclosan: Anti-bacterial soaps called useless, potentially dangerous” that Don had been interviewed for (based on his publication “A Meta-Analysis of the Published Literature on the Effectiveness of Antimicrobial Soaps.”) The average benefit of antimicrobial soaps over normal soaps was about 0.5 log, or 63%, and Don explained that the benefits were greatest when the contamination levels of hands were high, for example after handling raw meat and poultry or after cleaning up vomit.

Then Ben and Don got back into the reusable bag discussion. This was prompted by an article by Klick and Wright (not Watson and Crick). Klick and Wright combined Gerba, Williams and Sinclair’s research on bacteria in reusable shopping bags with a pathogenic E. coli related illnesses and deaths in hospital in the San Francisco area. They concluded that the ban on grocery bags led to an increase of 5.4 additional deaths per year, though Ben got really fired up on Barfblog about the lack of epidemiology and microbiology evident in the article. Don also took issue with a couple of lawyers mistaking correlation with causation and recalled FST Episode 19 where the guys had discussed reusable bags, which Carl Custer likes to call nickel bags (or check out this link).

Ben then shared that that his department was advertising a local food extension / research position to collect evidence for a range of possible impacts of local food systems, including food safety, nutrition, or related areas. This led to a discussion about local food systems and Don was all in favor of fresh food, such as the locally source food available at Wegmans.

In the after dark the guys geeked out with Folding Text, Markdown and its syntax, the octothorpe (not to be confused with Dr. Octavius from Spider-Man 2), Ben’s Garage Band workflow, Apple messages for the Mac, and Ken Finkleman.

Food Safety Talk 34: Don't Puke Up the Doughnuts

Food Safety Talk 15: Soylent Pink

Added on by Ben Chapman.

Don and Ben chat about meeting up in Georgia (and the awkwardness of chatting in person) and the ongoing pink slime/lean, finely textured beef saga.

Soylent Pink