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-holes, Mexican wrestling masks, the Conference for Food Protection councils, laws and sausages, and getting hurt at the doctor's office.