When academics or politicians or pretty much anybody is lost on an issue, they usually say, we need to educate people about this very important issue.
We’ve done research and found the education model don’t work so well. More importantly is how to inform people so they actually give a shit (instead of putting shit, on food).
Some German researchers investigated a cluster of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O104:H4 infections after a family party during a large STEC O104:H4 outbreak in Germany and report their findings in Epidemiology and Infection.
To identify the vehicle we conducted a retrospective cohort study. Stool samples of party guests, and food and environmental samples from the catering company were tested for STEC. We defined cases as party guests with gastrointestinal symptoms and laboratory-confirmed STEC infection. We found 23 cases among 71 guests. By multivariable analysis consumption of salmon [odds ratio (OR) 15, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·3–97], herb cream (OR 6·5, 95% CI 1·3–33) and bean salad (OR 6·1, 95% CI 1·4–26) were associated with STEC infection. STEC O104:H4 was detected in samples of bell pepper and salmon. The food handler developed STEC infection. Our results point towards transmission via several food items contaminated by a food handler. We recommend regular education of food handlers emphasizing their role in transmitting infectious diseases.
There’s some fast-food workers strike in the U.S., so, according to The Braiser, Umami Burger decided to serve a ‘money’s no object’ burger.
The New York City outpost of LA’s burger chain Umami Burger announced on Facebook a new burger on the menu, called “M.N.O. (Money’s No Object).” It costs $75. Its Facebook description:
Imagine all that dry-aged Bryan Flannery wagyu beef, vintage wine port reduction, freshly shaved white Alba truffles and oh yeah, that Grade A Hudson Valley foie gras.
What I care about is the heaping helping of vomit-inducing sprouts on the burger.
“When you tell them they can’t do it, they think you’re talking about life, when all you’re talking about is second base.”
I’ve had to cut, or let go, little girls from a travel hockey team, I’ve had to deal with disappointment, but it doesn’t mean I failed at life. Maybe I just sucked at skating.
And maybe I just sucked at being a vice-president.
As Sparky says, “When you run a team you have to make decisions … I got my team and you got your team … if there’s anything I can ever do for you, just let me know.” (the relevant bit is about 20:30).
Christmas can be exhausting in Australia. There’s no Thanksgiving, little Halloween, and summer’s here, so everyone’s ready to party.
Tonight, to relieve some pressure, we ate at the pool after the swimming lessons, because every Aussie child must swim (and play hockey – the ice kind – but that’s my addition).
I got a burger and fries for me and Amy, and chicken thingies with fries for the kid.
No aioli or mayonnaise.
But I did ask the person who took two frozen patties and fried them up, how do you know when the hamburger is done.
She said she cuts the patty in half and looks at the color.
Color is a lousy indicator of safety, and my burger was not cut – not that it would matter.
Use a tip-sensitive digital thermometer and stick it in. That’s what I’ll be doing at the kid’s birthday party at the barbie in the park tomorrow.
Food Safety Talk, a bi-weekly podcast for food safety nerds, by food safety nerds. The podcast is hosted by Ben Chapman and barfblog contributor Don Schaffner, Extension Specialist in Food Science and Professor at Rutgers University. Every two weeks or so, Ben and Don get together virtually and talk for about an hour. They talk about what’s on their minds or in the news regarding food safety, and popular culture. They strive to be relevant, funny and informative — sometimes they succeed. You can download the audio recordings right from the website, or subscribe using iTunes.
After congratulating Don on his birthday, the guys talked about their recent travels, including 10 slaca, the 3rd Asia Pacific International Conference on Food Safety, the China International Food Safety & Quality Conference & Expo, and then they compared their favorite David Tharp stories.
In follow up to FST 49: Less Risky Bathroom Event, Don shared some information about the microbiome of urine though he couldn’t comment on which way to wipe. Ben also asked Don about the hygiene of hockey locker rooms, which was prompted by Pekka Rinne’s E. coli infection. The discussion about locker rooms then reminded Ben about a big Norovirus outbreak of basketball players and Don that his student Hanna will be visiting some public bathrooms as part of the NoroCore project. And somehow the conversation turned to North America’s most photogenic Major Rob Ford, aka Major McCrack.
In the Food Safety History segment, Don returned to the 1940′s of IAFP’s history, where advances in food safety were largely due to the requirements for supplying troops in World War II. This was not the first time that great advances in food safety were made in response to military needs, see for example the invention of canning.
Ben then wanted to talk about road kill, which has earned him the title of Dr Roadkill. This discussion originated from this recent article about a planned Montana permit system for salvaging road kill. The guys didn’t agree with Fred Pritzker’s arguments against the system.
The discussion then turned to the FDA Risk Profile Pathogen and Filth in Spices. The guys were disappointed by the spice producers response. It reminded them about the importance of good risk communication. Foster Farms provided another example of ‘not to get it quite right’, who added to their recent woes by showing that they can’t count. Don wondered about their social media strategy and why so many media managers are dipsh*ts.
To finish off the guys prepared for Thanksgiving with a Lifehacker article on leftovers. While the article was OK, the comments made their stomachs turn. Clearly they need to continue their battle to fix the internet one comment at a time.
In the after dark the guys discussed the latest OS X Mavericks upgrade, the TV show Veep, rejecting journal articles, Ben becoming a grumpy old man, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, End of the World, Adventure Time (Season 3), Bronies and the Pulling the String podcast.
Ben Raymond is an MS student at North Carolina State Universit yand self-proclaimed beer aficionado, focusing on food safety through social media, barf banter, and creating new foods.
As I wait impatiently for my girlfriend to come back from work in Boston, I’m hoping the freezing rain and sleet will hold off until later tonight. We have a three-hour drive this afternoon to Vermont, to visit my family for Thanksgiving.
Ben Chapman forwarded me a piece from the L.A. Times blog (thanks Michele -ben) on cooking a Thanksgiving dinner in the dishwasher (because I’ve become the dishwasher-cooking-food-safety guru of our group).
If you can’t seem to keep your Thanksgiving turkey moist in the oven, you may want to try your dishwasher. Yes, people have been using the kitchen washing machine to cook proteins and fish since the 1970s, but famed chef David Burke insists you can also use it to cook the star of your Thanksgiving meal.
But before you start shoving your entire turkey in the dishwasher, Burke’s recipe calls for two boneless turkey breasts, not the entire bird. The meat and herbs are packed tightly in plastic wrap then sealed in Tupperware containers before hitting the top shelf of the dishwasher for three cycles or about 3 hours and 25 minutes.
This cooking technique is getting some play in the social mediaverse as a way to make moist, tender chicken, fish, or even beef –sort of a sous vide for the suburbs (without the thermal immersion circulator).
Earlier this fall I did a quick and dirty test of this technique in my own dishwasher. With some nifty water-proof stainless data-loggers, I’ve run few cycles in the dishwasher to see if you can safely cook various proteins. Is it a safe method? The data I’ve generated points to, unsurprisingly, sort of.
Salmon cooks nicely and reaches a safe (and tender) time and temperature combination as suggested 145° F. Even poultry may be cooked safely in the dishwasher (at least in my home, no promises for any other setup), but only if you have expensive tools to monitor the cooking process. The data shows the proteins were held at temperatures below 165° F, but still hot enough and for sufficient time to effectively be cooked (as per FSIS’ appendix A. As a home cook, armed with a tip sensitive digital thermometer, the meat is unlikely to ever register the recommended 165° F internal temperature.
All of this effort the chicken I cooked in my dishwasher was gross. It never got hot enough for the proteins to really cook and move past the rubberyish texture of raw of chicken. I like my steaks medium rare, but poultry? No thanks. In my house we will be sticking with our traditional, yet boring, oven to roast our Thanksgiving bird.
A walk through the farmers market, grocery store or restaurant will provide a glance into a not-so-new but increasingly prevalent subculture: cataloging food porn through smartphone cameras. This is spilling over into homes this week as my Facebook and Twitter feeds are already being populated with pics of turkeys brining and thawing.
There’s an abundance of tips and strategies for a safe and tasty Thanksgiving circulating on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and news websites. There’s not a plethora of pictures of the safety in action.
Started to increase the dialogue around food safety through Twitter and Instagram, the #citizenfoodsafety project has generated over 200 pictures of handwashing signs, dirty toilets, thermometers and cross-contamination since September.
Snap a pic of your food safety practices this Thanksgiving and tag with #citizenfoodsafety and/or an additional special hashtag for this weekend: #citizenturkey. Jump in, share pictures of your meal and food safety in action with the online food safety nerds.
The best farmers, processors and retailers will go far above and beyond what is required by minimal standards.
Coral Beach of The Packer reports that following a meeting with some family members of victims of the 2011 listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupe from their farm, Eric and Ryan Jensen signed over a lawsuit they filed against Primus Labs to the victims.
Attorney Bill Marler, who represents 46 of the 64 victims and their families who have filed civil suits against the Jensen brothers, said Nov. 21 that he would soon file a notice of appearance in Colorado state court in the case against the Santa Maria, Calif., auditing firm.
By “assigning” the case to the victims, the Jensens have basically taken themselves out of the lawsuit against Primus Labs, Marler said. Now he and the other lawyers representing victims in civil cases against the Jensens will prosecute the Colorado case against Primus Labs.
Any settlement in the Primus Labs case will be divided among the victims, Marler said. He said he could not estimate how long it would take to resolve the case. Marler will continue to represent 46 clients who have filed civil suits against the Jensens.
In the suit against Primus Labs, the Jensen brothers contend the auditing firm should be liable for damages related to the 2011 listeria outbreak that killed at least 33 people.
The Jensens hired Primus Labs to do a food safety audit of their operation, but the company paid a third-party contractor to do the job.
Bio Food Safety, a Texas company, sent auditor James Dilorio to Jensen Farms, Holly, Colo., on July 25, 2011, according to the Jensens’ complaint.
Dilorio gave the Jensens’ operation a score of 96 out of 100. He did not raise questions about numerous issues that the Food and Drug Administration cited in its inspection report on the Jensens’ farm and packing facility after the deadly outbreak.
• food safety audits and inspections are a key component of the nation’s food safety system and their use will expand in the future, for both domestic and imported foodstuffs, but recent failures can be emotionally, physically and financially devastating to the victims and the businesses involved;
• many outbreaks involve firms that have had their food production systems verified and received acceptable ratings from food safety auditors or government inspectors;
• while inspectors and auditors play an active role in overseeing compliance, the burden for food safety lies primarily with food producers;
• there are lots of limitations with audits and inspections, just like with restaurants inspections, but with an estimated 48 million sick each year in the U.S., the question should be, how best to improve food safety?
• audit reports are only useful if the purchaser or food producer reviews the results, understands the risks addressed by the standards and makes risk-reduction decisions based on the results;
• third-party audits are only one performance indicator and need to be supplemented with microbial testing, second-party audits of suppliers and the in-house capacity to meaningfully assess the results of audits and inspections;
• companies who blame the auditor or inspector for outbreaks of foodborne illness should also blame themselves;
• assessing food-handling practices of staff through internal observations, externally-led evaluations, and audit and inspection results can provide indicators of a food safety culture; and,
• the use of audits to help create, improve, and maintain a genuine food safety culture holds the most promise in preventing foodborne illness and safeguarding public health.
Audits and inspections are never enough: A critique to enhance food safety
D.A. Powell, S. Erdozain, C. Dodd, R. Costa, K. Morley, B.J. Chapman
Internal and external food safety audits are conducted to assess the safety and quality of food including on-farm production, manufacturing practices, sanitation, and hygiene. Some auditors are direct stakeholders that are employed by food establishments to conduct internal audits, while other auditors may represent the interests of a second-party purchaser or a third-party auditing agency. Some buyers conduct their own audits or additional testing, while some buyers trust the results of third-party audits or inspections. Third-party auditors, however, use various food safety audit standards and most do not have a vested interest in the products being sold. Audits are conducted under a proprietary standard, while food safety inspections are generally conducted within a legal framework. There have been many foodborne illness outbreaks linked to food processors that have passed third-party audits and inspections, raising questions about the utility of both. Supporters argue third-party audits are a way to ensure food safety in an era of dwindling economic resources. Critics contend that while external audits and inspections can be a valuable tool to help ensure safe food, such activities represent only a snapshot in time. This paper identifies limitations of food safety inspections and audits and provides recommendations for strengthening the system, based on developing a strong food safety culture, including risk-based verification steps, throughout the food safety system.
If food is the new sex, and food is the new drugs, and the eating of anything and everything is the new social rebellion of this still young-and-dripping new century, then Dana Goodyear is a fair guide to the underbelly in her new book, Anything That Moves.
Or so writes ex-chef Jason Sheehan in a review.
To her credit, she doesn’t judge. She seems to move through this world in a slick bubble of anti-bias, putting those who cook tarantulas competitively on the same footing as a guy like Craig Thornton who runs Wolvesmouth in Los Angeles — a private, invite-only (from an email list that runs in the thousands) recurring dinner party in his apartment — while flaunting all rules and laws about who gets to cook what for whom. She shows us the out-and-out insanity of those who will eat raw chicken meat of dubious provenance, gotten from questionable sources, but never points her finger, jumps up and down and shouts, “Holy crap, look at these nut jobs over here!”
And while that might appear noble, it’s also the book’s major weakness. There are moments … for an educated, embedded voice to step back … and say, simply, that this, then, is too much. That some people, in their quest for the new, the rare, the strange and the slimy, take their obsession too far.
But Goodyear does not. She goes in with her eyes wide and her mouth open and leaves it to us to decide what, on this extreme edge of cooking and eating, is food and what is not.