Filtering by Tag: Raw Milk

Food Safety Talk 61: I Needed a Semenko

Added on by Don Schaffner.

The show opened with a long discussion of various philosophical issues relating to careers in Academia, followed by a brief diversion into gutter cleaning drones, comiXology, and the new TV show Silicon Valley.

Ben shared he has been listening to Gord Downie, The Sadies, And The Conquering Sun. Downie will be familiar to FST podcast listeners as the Canadian rock musician, writer, occasional actor who is the lead singer and lyricist for the Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip. Don noted that he had backed the new Lee 'Scratch' Perry Album kickstarter project.

In the follow up segment the guys noted that a new show noter was still needed, before moving on to a listener question from Jon Kimble about the protective effect of wine in foodborne disease outbreaks. Ben also talked about his experiences at a raw milk conference he attended in Canada. Fortunately for Ben, Dave Semenko was not needed.

The Outbreak flashback segment of the show flash all the way back to the 1981 listeriosis outbreak linked to coleslaw made from cabbage fertilized with sheep manure. Ben noted that sheep were also one among many possible Listeria sources in Jensen farms outbreak, as also indicated by fashion plate and Apple guy, Dr. Lawrence Goodridge quoted in the story.

Ben wanted to talk about Hep A and Tevana, when the show finally started, because he is a mall rat. This led to a discussion about Hepatitis A vaccinations for Foodservice workers. While it might not be "cost effective", it still might be the right thing to do.

The discussion then turned to sous vide cooking, and a new product on the market, and Don's interactions with the reviewed.com reviewers as well as the product manufacturers in the comments. Don was less successful in leaving comments on a recent sous vide NPR blog post, but thanks to Doug, Don was able to weigh in on barfblog.

Don then quizzed Ben (who is from Canada), regarding whether he now lives in the South.

The show ended with a mention of the passing of noted self experimenter Seth Roberts, including the predictable reaction from hacker news. More on his cause of death has been provided on his blog, posted after FST recorded.

Food Safety Talk 56: Damned hard to make safe food

Added on by Don Schaffner.

The guys started the show following up on the previous episode, the write up on David Gumpert's website and the comments on the Internet. Theresa Lam also reached out wanting to know more about the risks associated with bootleg versus regulated raw milk.

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Despite raw milk drinker's hatred of epidemiologists, Don confessed that maybe he wants to be an epidemiologist, while Ben noted that he has admired them ever since the Jalapeno Saintpaul outbreak. Don also praised Petran, White and Hedberg, for their efforts to identify what items in a restaurant inspection were predictive of the possibility of an outbreak, and Ben's comments to USA Today on the topic.

A quick round of "I think you're thinking of" with Howard Dean, and Roger Dean, not to be confused with Roger Dean followed. The guys then hopped back in time with the whizzinator before moving on to food storage mistakes and tortilla safety as prompted by Listener John Kimble.

The guys covered the 1990's in the IAFP history segment, which also featured a discussion of 808, the Beastie Boys and the speed of Joe Walsh's Maserati. Ben identified the 1990's with the adoption of PFGE and rapid methods, while Don though the Mega Regs characterized the time. Ben recalled a recent discussion with Cathy Cutter about meat processing and how HACCP shaped other food safety regulations.

The discussion then turned to Norovirus, prompted by a couple of recent noro outbreaks on the "Explorer of the Seas" and the Caribbean Princess, the boat that Chris Gunter boarded. Unfortunately, Chris couldn't find out whether the hand sanitizer on the ship was the one that works, though he was assured that it was "alcohol based". Ben wrapped up the noro discussion with the MoChunk resort outbreak. The guys talked about Netflix in the short after dark.

Food Safety Talk 55: Damn Ignorant PhDs

Added on by Don Schaffner.
But I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn't frighten me.  - Richard Feynman, 1918-1988

But I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn't frighten me.

- Richard Feynman, 1918-1988

The guys started the show with a teaser about a guest later in the show and reminisced about past guests Mike BatzChris GunterMichelle Danyluk and the infamous Andreas Kiermeier. The guys then followed up on cashew cheese (FST 53) and how to reach food entrepreneurs about hazards an risk management and resources like NECFE or the NMPAN. The guys then wondered about selling food (unregulated) over the Internet, possibly for Bitcoin, and the Swiss Cheese Pervert. And Don remembered Mary's name.

Then David Gumpert (The Complete Patient) came onto the show. David has written about raw milk and food rights including "The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America's Emerging Battle over Food Rights" and "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights: The Escalating Battle Over Who Decides What We Eat". The guys invited David to come on the show as a follow-up to FST 53, Raw Milk Hampsterdam, and David's critique of it. For audiences most interested in raw milk topics, the conversation with David begins at 25:30.

Discussion topics the group touched on included raw milk and consumer choice, including the Raw Milk InstituteDavid's follow-up post and the Real Food Real Talk - Raw Milk Revealed, the Minnesota study, CDC's Estimation Methods and Attribution of Foodborne Illness, The Joint FDA/Health Canada QMRA for Listeriosis from Soft-Ripened Cheese and FDA's failure to attend an IAFP sponsored raw milk meeting.

In the after dark, which begins around 1:30:00, Don and Ben talked about EvernoteHabitsShackelton Death or Glory, and Plan 9 from Outer Space.

 

Food Safety Talk 53: Raw Milk Hamsterdam

Added on by Ben Chapman.
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They dove in to follow-up with additional information they received from Cheryl Deem from the American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) on the spice story in FST 52. Cheryl explained why ASTA didn't have a response to the FDA risk assessment as reported in this NYT article and shared a guidance document ASTA had prepared in 2011.

The discussion then turned to yet another pruno-related botulism outbreak in a Utah prison. Pruno has been discussed in FST 27 and the investigation of that outbreak has just been published in this paper, including the experimental Pruno recipe.

In the IAFP History segment, Don shared Manan Sharma's article on the 1970's, which marked changes to food consumption, food safety and environmental trends, including HACCP and microwaves. After a short 1970's detour to Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Vol 1, Ben marveled about the advances in microwave technology, including the magnetron. While Ben's new microwave exceeded his cooking expectation, Trader Joe's cooking instructions for Mac & Cheese fell short. In contrast to Trader Joe's, who don't have a social media presence, Don did like Publix who asked for a haiku on Twitter.

Don then shared his latest irritation with Fightbac.org. It was prompted by their latest campaign called Bac Down and their lack of understanding that Listeria monocytogenes can grow at temperatures as low 32 °F. The guys challenged listeners to send in their creative Bac-themed puns for great prices!

Ben then wanted to talk about Jeffery Arthur Feehan who tried to shoplift meat in his pants. But Ben wasn't quite so worried simply because store employees put the meat back on the shelf (a big yuck factor!), but that Jeffrey took the meat to the restroom for his pants stuffing misdemeanor. Jeffrey's comment to the judges reminded Ben of a famous Animal House quote.

The discussion then turned to a recent paper on Raw Milk Consumption and illnesses. While the underreporting aspect got some publicity, Ben suggested that all the information wasn't going to change minds This had been highlighted in this article on Michigan consumers of raw milk and that's got to do with raw milk proponents not trusting health officials. Ben discussed the "The Abuela project", an example of an innovative approach to overcoming the difficulty of developing successful education campaigns. The challenge of course is how to develop a campaign when raw milk sales are illegal (as is the case in some states). Maybe a Raw Milk Hamsterdam is the solution?

Food Safety Talk 32: Zombies and (Bleep)

Added on by Don Schaffner.

This week the guys talked to Andreas Kiermeier (who’s been doing a yeoman’s job the show notes, i.e. the words you are reading right now).  Andreas works at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), not be confused with Sardi's in New York City.  Andreas is into trance music, which led to a discussion of John Lennon, Portishead and Tangerine dream.  Andreas is a photographer, as shown on Flickr.  He’s the official photographer of the Adelaide Zombie Walk, which is similar to the Zombie Run in Raleigh. Andreas has published an article on the microbiology of kangaroo meat, co-authored with John Sumner of Risk Ranger fame.

The discussion then turned to the risks of using Bakelite and raw milk for making double cream; expiration dates, shelf-life and Listeria; and public libraries which Ben loves, for many reasons, among them, creating this picture. Don and Ben then dissected An In-Depth Analysis of a Piece of Shit: Distribution of Schistosoma mansoni and Hookworm Eggs in Human Stool - thanks to Chip Manuel (SeeManual) on Twitter for finding that gem!  This was followed by a brief discussion of the two recently FSMA rules on Preventive Controls and Produce, and the relationship between organic food and autism.  The show finished off with a discussion of XL foods inspections and a call back to Food Safety Talk Episode 1, and the NAS report on releasing FSIS inspected establishment data.

The after dark featured a discussion of the IAFP Annual Meeting, Crashplan - the cause of Andreas’s bad Skype connection, and Daniel Shannon (phyllisstein) on Twitter.

Food Safety Talk 32: Zombies and (bleep)

Food Safety Talk 20: I’m not worried about eating my own poop!

Added on by Don Schaffner.

The guys’ problems with Skype continue, though it’s unclear whether it’s because of Skype not ringing the bell or due to their own fault (e.g. when Don mutes himself).

Ben’s trip to Rochester for the filming of a show of Second Opinion was cool as Ben was able to talk to his heart’s content rather having to limit him to small sound bites. The show’s theme was the E. coli O157 outbreak in 2006 involving spinach and it will screen in Rochester probably sometimes this summer and nationally in fall. Apparently the show stems from a journal club, run by University of Rochester Medical Centre, which aimed at providing a scientific discussion of some of the fictitious causes presented on TV shows, such as ER and House. Ben also managed some significant carb loading thanks to the coffee and donuts he got from Tim Horton’s, while spotting Sarah Palin from his hotel room. Or was that Russia? Or Canada?

Ben’s carb loading is continuing thanks to the delicious cookies that Dani had made thanks to a recipe she found on Pinterest. Though Don’s feeling left out, because he doesn’t know anything about this ‘Tumblr for the non-nerds’.

Michael Batz was mentioned half a dozen times (in a row) to acknowledge him for the wonderful review of the podcast he had left on iTunes. So join Mike Batz and Evan Henke – Don’s star pupil who really gets QMRA – to leave a review on iTunes – whether good or bad – though we obviously prefer good. The guys are always open to feedback, as seen by their efforts after Merlin Mann provided some pointers.

Then the conversation turned to hand washing, which is of interest to some of the CSA (community supported agriculture) organizations that Ben has been working with. But, Don’s rant was set off by an article in The Forecaster entitled “In tepid water: Many fast-food restaurants don't comply with Maine health requirement”, shared by Doug Powell. In particular, Dr. Stephen Sears, Maine State Epidemiologist, assertion that using cool water for hand washing is putting the public at greater risk than using warm water. Don tried to think about the scientific justification, though he couldn’t come up with any. It couldn’t really be because of the soap, as camp suds work well in cold water. So maybe it’s a comfort thing, but that is surely a cultural preference as noted by their friend Bobby Krishna from Dubai. But then Ben remembered the Chili’s Salmonella outbreak where lack of warm water had something to do with the outbreak … or was it a lack of water altogether?  As expected, Ben is opposed to putting someone else’s poop into his mouth, but strangely enough he seemed rather comfortable ingesting his own.

Don goes on to note: he would have been more interested in the availability of paper towels and soap, unobstructed hand wash sinks. Or maybe inspectors should be checking more critical things such as burger temperature or cold holding temperature? And just because the tap can give you 110˚F (43.3˚C) doesn’t mean that employees wash their hands with it (if at all). As the Michaels et al. and Todd et al. reviews have showed, water temperature had no impact on the efficacy of hand washing. While the journalist wrote that “There are no statistics that demonstrate how many illnesses are caused by improper hand washing,” the guys were quick to point out that Guzewich and Ross’s article “Evaluation of Risks Related to Microbiological Contamination of Ready-to-eat Food by Food Preparation Workers and the Effectiveness of Interventions to Minimize Those Risks” refutes that point. Don finished his rant by suggesting that a better story would be to write about the lack of resource for public health people to inspect restaurants every year (provided they look for the things that matter).  Let the record show that eventually Don did write a barfblog post on this topic.

The guys then swung around to another liquid – raw milk – which sent Ben off on a tirade on effective, or more precisely ineffective, risk communication. The offending article was “Education needed to show why pasteurization is needed for milk” in Ag Weekly, which epitomizes bad risk communication. The guys agreed that there were many reasons for why people drink raw milk, e.g. “Motivation for Unpasteurized Milk Consumption in Michigan, 2011” and that it was critical to present the risk, but to let the consumer decide whether the potential or perceived benefits outweigh the risk. Ben pointed out a good example of risk communication that was demonstrated by the recent CDC ad campaign, which showed the consequences of smoking but didn’t tell you that smoking is not safe, though Don hadn’t watched any ads since getting TiVo.

Don is still flabbergasted that educated people don’t understand that zero tolerance does not mean zero risk! Don reflected on why a lawyer upset him after he presented at Washington DC meeting “The Future of Performance Standards in Food Safety: Innovation Ahead?” The lawyer was indignant that she had to defend a company that made pig ear dog treats, which had made people sick as she felt that it was the consumer who was to blame for having a pet or for mishandling the dog treat. Don disagrees with blaming consumers, unless they do some really stupid stuff. In fact, pet treats have been associated with human illness on a regular basis, whether they be pig ears or beef pizzles (here’s what a pizzle is), likely due to lack of hand washing after handling the treat. The guys noted the need for producers to understand how people are using their products (irrespective of whether they are pet treats or human food products) and the risk associated with the actual use, rather than just the intended use.

Don had a great time at MaxFunCon, because it made him feel awesome, and possibly because it made Mike Batz jealous. In winding up, a huge shout out went to Dr. Andreas Kiermeier from SARDI who’s volunteered to doing the show notes. He’ll be one of the first ones, right after Mike Batz, to get a T-Shirt once Don gets the T-shirt idea out of Omnifocus.

In the after-dark, the guys work through their difficulties with finding a suitable time for recording the next podcast, which was exacerbated by Don’s plans to see Steven Wright live. Don found a new Safari extension called TabLinks by Brett Terpstra to save many of the links they discuss in the Dropbox shared folder to help Andreas with the show notes. The guys said good-bye and Ben went to the pool with his kids and Don went to do a Friends of Scouting presentation at a Boy Scouts meeting.

Food Safety Talk 20: I’m not worried about eating my own poop!

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

Food Safety Talk 13: I Don't Want Other People's Poo in My Poo Hole

Added on by Ben Chapman.

In this episode Don and Ben talk Valentine's day happenings; chocolate and then being famous on the Internet. The guys eventually get to food safety stuff and chat about raw milk risks, inactivation of Salmonella in peanut butter and the risk of someones dirty hands ending up on their toilet paper.

 

I Don't Want Other People's Poo in My Poo Hole

Food Safety Talk 12: Dueling Experts

Added on by Don Schaffner.

Ben has McDonalds for lunch, which starts the guys talking about the golden arches, food safety and comfort foods, with brief digressions into banjo music, which is a Deliverance reference. Apparently they have rednecks in Canada too.

From there the guys talk about Don's Extension Stakeholder Review and the trials and tribulations of a life in academe. Food Safety Talk is not a productivity podcast, despite the fact that the guys talked about Getting Things Done by David Allen, and a survey on how people fall off the GTD wagon. Don also mentions The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande that he is listening to as an Audible audiobook.

Ben brings the discussion back to food safety by talking about his food safety infosheets and building a Food safety culture as per Yiannis, Griffiths, Ben and Doug). Ben also brings up Malcolm Gladwell. Don holds his tongue and doesn't mention what others have said about Mr. Gladwell.

Don starts the food safety talk in earnest with a mention of the outbreak linked to Your Family Cow, with an aside to Abbott and Costello. Don also mentions his talk on sampling raw milk for pathogens and the early history of HACCP. This evolves into a discussion of sampling and the uncertainties of epidemiology, and the dangers of possibly getting it wrong.

Ben notes that he thinks that Edwin Shank from Your Family Cow guy, does get some aspects of his message correct, noting that Mr. Shank said:

... we are concerned. We do not take even a suspicion of food-borne illness lightly. We took action accordingly.

After a quick digression on Ben's microbe ornaments (not actual size), Ben moves the discussion to labeling, including meat and the USDA cook to a safe internal temperature label, unpasteurized juice labeling, Pillsbury's polite message, and more terse advice from Betty Crocker, regarding Bisquick. Don chimes in with concerns about the profusion of food allergy labels.

The guys get sidetracked into a discussion of dough and flour related food safety including the E. coli outbreak linked to refrigerated cookie dough, the Aunt Jemima Salmonella in flour mix recall, and the Listeria in Eggo frozen waffle recall.

Ben brings things back to consumers and labeling by mentioning research by Kansas State scientists on consumer preparation of frozen, uncooked, breaded chicken products. Not to be outdone, Don mentions research from his lab on the risk of salmonellosis associated with consumption of raw, frozen chicken products cooked in low-wattage microwave ovens.

Food labels seem to be getting longer and more complicated, but even with increased complexity, managing risks of things like hydrolyzed vegetable protein recall may be problematic give the different ways people eat Ramen Noodles, for example. Clearly the safety of microwaved foods is complicated, as microwaved containers also pose non-microbial risks, like tipping over and burning you.

Finally, no discussion of labeling snafu's would be complete without a mention of those kosher "broiled" chicken livers, which made a bunch or people sick, including one reported case in Minnesota. Why do more people seem to get in Minnesota? Here is a hint, it has a lot to do with the Minnesota's commitment to public health including efforts like Team Diarrhea.

Ben concludes by noting that he is a fan of Canadian Marshall McLuhan, even if he gets the quote wrong.

The guys wrap up with a discussion of ideas that they will put in the parking lot for future shows:

Dueling Experts

Food Safety Talk 10: Fake clams, Sam and Ella

Added on by Ben Chapman.

Episode 10 starts out with a discussion of Christmas gifts for the food safety nerd. Neither Don or Ben actually recieved any. The guys move on to discussion temperature abuse (surprise), data loggers and the nuances of infectious dose. Raw milk and home food preservation also make an appearance. Creative Don ends things with a food safety haiku.

 

Fake Clams, Sam and Ella

Food Safety Talk 6: Animal Neuroses and Guilty Pleasures

Added on by Ben Chapman.

In Episode 6 Don and Ben talk petting zoos and risk management strategies. Ben rants about his neuroses with animal contact while Don analyzes these fears (for free).

 

Animal Neuroses and Guilty Pleasures