The guys started the show with some news and general chit chat, including hockey, an article about fighting bacteria with mucus, Linked In (perhaps the creepiest social network), Don’s Silver Beaver Award, surely a ’Major Award’, and the TV they are watching: Arrested Development, Adventure Time and Game of Thrones.
The new ‘Food is the New Rock’ podcast (suggested by fan of the show Brian Sauders - @BSauders) that provides a blend of food and music topics, reminded Ben of this Freganism barfblog article. Don then mentioned some interesting work of University of Iowa's Computational Epidemiology Group was working on, which was followed by a discussion about IAFP annual conference and IAFP PDGs.
The bug trivia segment focused on Staphylococcus aureus, which is ubiquitous in the human and animal buccal cavities. Staph produces a heat resistant enterotoxin in food, famous in part for causing the Chinese canned mushrooms outbreak. Don also noted that S. aureus poisoning was also known as Ptomaine poisoning.
The guys then talked about this SciLogs article by Matt Shipman (from Ben and Matt YouTube fame) and why people might not care about grants that have been awarded but are more interested in research outcomes.
The discussion then turned to the Salmonella Saintpaul cucumber outbreak and Ben was surprised by the lack of media coverage this outbreak created. Don noted that cucumbers generally had high microbial counts, as did other fresh produce such as tomatoes and lettuce, and he wondered why there hadn’t been more outbreaks to date. Ben was wondering whether contamination might be related to the water used in greenhouse production, which reminded Don of a recent article on bacteria in surface waters. Don pondered whether high relative humidity in greenhouses might be related to the transfer of pathogens.
The NSF’s article on the germiest kitchen items made Don and Ben so angry. They were flabbergasted by the lack of scientific rigor used in the work and in the reporting of it. The less-than-helpful food safety messages in the article reminded Don of Merlin Mann’s Old Butchers post, which mentions the ‘useful’ Lifehacker article on using soap to clean dishes.
The guys didn’t feel much better about the Consumer Reports article on ground turkey. They wondered about the low Campylobacter isolation rate and Don shared some concerns about the study that he had also discussed with Marge Perry. Ben and Don congratulated AMI on their spot on public response but they felt that the National Turkey Federation response lived up to its name.