Filtering by Tag: Dan Benjamin

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 30: What Do I Owe Them? Some Toilet Paper?

Added on by Ben Chapman.

The show started with Ben struggling to get the sound right. Then guys talked about writing proposals and how Ben’s bitten off more than he can chew.

Prompted by Amy Jane Gruber’s experiences with allergies on Salt & Fat, including her allergy to chicken proteins, the conversation turned to allergy awareness and where it fits with food safety. The guys shared their own experiences – Ben’s reactions to aspirin and Don’s sons allergies and intolerances to milk and lactose.  This prompted a broader discussion of allergies, controlling allergens and cross contamination. They discussed the similarities and differences compared to microbial cross contamination. Don noted the importance of tools such as GloGerm that can provide immediate feedback to people on how cross-contamination works.

The guys then talked about the Cleveland County (NC) fair E. coli outbreak in October, for which the final investigation report had been alluded to. The report apparently (although it isn't online) identifies a number of risk factors but no definitive source. The epidemiologists considered the possibility of insect vectors contributing to the outbreak, the potential for which has previously been identified. Don recalled a 1999 paper that reported experiments on the transmission of E. coli O157:H7 by fruit flies. While this work showed the possibility of such transmission, Don questioned whether there is any epidemiological evidence to show its importance.

Then the guys moved on to antibiotic resistance of Yersinia in US pork, which was prompted by this Consumer Reports article, which was followed by this Food Safety News article. Subsequently, Don was interviewed for Food Safety News where he questioned the public health significance of the findings, as Yersinia has previously been found in pigs, though there was some evidence associating Yersinia with pork chitterlings. Ben thought that while the industry has long been managing Yersinia, the Consumer Report article has ‘unearthed’ and publicized its presence in pork, even if it’s a none-issue. Ben felt that the most important part was for industry to communicating the risks, and controls, before someone else points out the risks, such as Beth Weise in this Thanksgiving article. While the guys agreed that “science by press release” wasn’t transparent and rigorous enough, Ben looked at the bright side, namely that the article has provided an opening to discuss food safety in a broader sense.

The guys then talked about a bunch of non food safety related stuff. Don then commended Ben on his appearance on the 5by5 show "The Frequency." Don was also excited about finding out about John Roderick’s TourFoodRules. Ben thought he wouldn’t eat at a place called “Crazy Fingers” (Rules 3 & 4 combined – and it actually exists) which reminded Don of a Grateful Dead song and Ben of Fubar.

In the After Dark, Ben expressed his frustration with not finding anything in iTunes 11 and that the guys can only see the US reviews of FoodSafetyTalk. Andreas confirms that only he has submitted a review in the Australian iTunes store. Don explained the extended family’s traditional Brooklyn Christmas Eve celebration and Ben also shared his Christmas plans.

Food Safety Talk 30: What Do I Owe Them? Some Toilet Paper?

Food Safety Talk 5: A Medley of Fleetwood Mac

Added on by Ben Chapman.

Don and Ben are back in the same time zone and talk a lot about cantaloupe. The episode starts off with a bit of nerdy discussion about Apple products and upgrading to iOS 5. But then the guys talk about food safety, outbreak investigations, social media and messaging. The podcast is available here.

A Medley of Fleetwood Mac

Food Safety Talk 1: Frampton Comes Alive

Added on by Don Schaffner.

In this episode Don and Ben discover that they can indeed talk about Food Safety for an hour. This episode they talk about why they decided to do a podcast and about restaurant inspection.

Here are some link to some of the things they discussed:

And here is the podcast:

Click here for Food Safety Talk season 1, episode 1