Filtering by Tag: Conference for Food Protection

Food Safety Talk 47: But that's not science

Added on by Ben Chapman.

The guys started by talking about their office and home podcasting set-ups; how Don inspired his son Zac; podcast sponsorship (thanks Dr. Indian Clarified Butter); the Food Science short course at Rutgers; MC-ing; Ben’s wedding; and, customer service at Frito Lay’s and General Mills.

In the bug trivia segment the guys talked about the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, recently reviewed by Beniamino and colleagues. T. gondii was ranked the second worst pathogen in terms of quality adjusted life years (QALY) by Mike Batz (guest on FST 4) and colleagues, and recently featured on Back to Work.

The discussion took a short detour to food thermometers, including the PDT 300, iGrill, and ThermaPen, before coming around to the retiring Pete Snyder, from HI-TM. Pete is held in high regard by both Ben and Don, not only because he wasn’t afraid to ask questions, like Don did in the comment exchange to the Snapper barfblog article. Thanks to Pete’s guidance Ben is always seeking the primary information for creating his Infosheets.  A classic example of Pete’s drive for the scientific justification relates to the information produced on thawing poultry at ambient temperatures, which was picked up by barfblog.

Ben then talked about the CDC report on the tempeh related outbreak discussed in FST 18. He found it interesting that many of the illnesses appeared to be caused by cross-contamination rather than consumption of the contaminated, unpasteurized tempeh. Don was bummed that his own work wasn’t cited by the CDC, but he noted that Michelle’s recent work showed that cross-contamination was facilitated by moisture. This then turned into a broader discussion around managing risks in a food service setting.

Don then wanted to hear Ben’s thoughts about Bill Marler’s question on what cantaloupe and baseball have in common. Bill’s suggestion to change the incentives had the flavor of a Modest Proposal, but without the satire. Ben agreed that retailers and restaurants should be held responsible, as without them there isn’t enough pressure on the suppliers. The guys then discussed third party audits and the setting of supplier standards. Both agreed that the current system doesn’t work how it should and that proper data analysis could provide significant insights.

In the after dark the guys talked about Ben’s upcoming trip to Brazil, the PCV show, food safety a-holesMexican wrestling masks, the Conference for Food Protection councils, laws and sausages, and getting hurt at the doctor's office.


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 18: Bunkum!

Added on by Don Schaffner.

The show opens once again with the requisite Skype complaints. Don tries to impress Ben with his use of the 5by5 soundboard, but to no avail. The guys briefly discuss Ben's son Jack, Don's student (and fan of the show), Dane, and other fan of the show Michelle, who was inspired by e16 to spend the day listening to "The Hip".

As usual, the guys eventually get around to discussing food safety and the current Tempeh-borne outbreak, which is occurring in Bunkum County, North Carolina. Where Alice B. Toklas might have once lived, or not. The Tempeh in question was produced by a company called Smiling Hara, where according to Wikipedia, Hara might be a Japanese term referring for the stomach, feces in Maltese language, or pigsty in Latin. Ben has actually visited Buncombe County, because it is well established, he is a hippie. Surprisingly, or maybe not, the food safety risks of tempeh have actually been documented in the scientific literature, including the observation that "Active mycelial growth on the beans resulted in a sharp increase in pH. This was always accompanied by a sharp increase in the growth rate of the test organisms".

After the discussion of tempeh food safety, the guys move on to a discussion of the safety of cut leafy greens and proper refrigeration temperature and the FDA model food code. Of course, this leads to a mention of the Conference for Food Protection, where issues like time out of temperature control get debated. Ben points out that the Federal regulations for food processors require refrigeration at 45 F, while the more up to date Food Code says 41 F is the right temperature. He has this on good authority, as he's checked this with Kevin Smith... er... anyway, the Kevin Smith from the FDA Office of Food Safety. Ben's interest in cut leafy greens lead his student to do research, which may have lead her neighbors to think she was cooking meth in her car. In the interest of public safety, we are passing on Randy Phebus's sage advice: if you see a cooler by the side of the road, don't open it.

The guys discuss a bunch of stuff in the after-dark, and discover the amazing fact that Rochester, NY is equidistant from their respective home towns.

Food Safety Talk 18: Bunkum!

Food Safety Talk 17: Blood, Sugar, Nakaochi Scrape, Magik

Added on by Ben Chapman.

Don and Ben talk about bands that usually don't suck (but sometimes do), alternatives to conferences where the audience is talked at (although that's not always bad) and salmonellosis linked to meat scraped from the backbone of tuna.

Food Safety Talk 17: Blood, Sugar, Nakaochi Scrape, Magik