I like the train. Some of my most memorable conversations happen on the train.
The shaggy-haired dude sitting beside me finally spoke up in perfect London English, and said, I couldn’t help but overhearing, but yes, you should move your knapsack, let me help you.
You speak English?
Turns out Dr. Mark has a PhD in the maths, and is post-docing in Montpellier on the maths.
He was off to the Glastonbury music festival, worried about trenchfoot, I told him to watch out for Campylobacter and E. coli O157, and Amy told him that one of this years’ headliners, Muse, has complaints about Salmonella and bird shit. Something about Sorenne being a product of science also came up.
When we needed a conversational hiatus, I returned to watching John Oliver skewer his native UK for wanting to leave the European Union (warning, video hilarious but extremely not suitable for family viewing).
And even the Brits don’t want to stay together, what with Scotland doing its own thing, including a Food Standards Scotland agency.
Scottish independence was supposed to be something about Celtic pride, or pride in Sean Connery impersonations on mock Jeopardy, but if Food Standards Scotland attempt at independent food safety communications – if it’s not Scottish, it’s craaaaaaap – are an indicator, bring on the whiskey and go back to sleep.
In my best John Oliver voice, the new FSS mascot is a pink chicken.
A f*cking pink chicken.
Read this, if you can.
Foodborne illness remains an important public health problem for Scotland, resulting in disruption to the workforce and burdens on health services which have consequences for the Scottish economy.
Prior to the establishment of Food Standards Scotland (FSS), we worked as part of the Food Standards Agency to develop, implement and evaluate interventions for improving the safety of the food chain and help consumers to understand the steps that they need to take to protect themselves and their families from foodborne illness.
We’re now consulting on a draft of our proposal for a new Foodborne Illness Strategy for Scotland which sets out the approach we think we will need to take over the next five years to protect the safety of foods produced and sold in Scotland and reduce the risks of foodborne illness to the people of Scotland. … It will take a targeted approach by developing interventions for containing and eradicating contaminants at the key foodborne transmission pathways that have the potential to lead to illness in humans. Workstreams will be developed to evaluate the impact of interventions at all stages, based on uptake and evidence for efficacy.
It’s still a f*cking pink chicken.
Did the PR team get loaded and watched Dumbo and woke inspired by pink elephants?
These food safety geniuses know color is a lousy indicator of food safety, yet issued a companion press release which said, “Food poisoning can wreck your summer barbecue. Keep pink chicken – and nasty food bugs – off the menu. …The bigger the piece of chicken, the more time it needs.
“Check chicken is steaming hot right through before dishing up.
“Looks can deceive. Charred chicken on the outside may still be pink inside. Check it’s cooked right through.
“Turning chicken regularly helps it cook evenly. And you’ll impress your guests with your fancy tongs action.
“You’re good to go when the chicken is steaming hot in the middle, there’s no pink chicken to be seen and the juices run clear.
“To make sure, use a meat thermometer. Chicken should be a minimum of 75 °C in the centre.”
The thermometer is an after thought to tong juggling and piping hot, but is the only way to determine if that bird is safe to eat (75C).
FSS also threw in this line, apparently written by a Scot who migrated to the Ozarks and returned home with the word “reckon” in his or her vocabulary.
At least 6000 people in Scotland suffer Campylobacter poisoning every year. Some reckon the number could be 9 times that. It’s the most common cause of food poisoning.
And it’s still a f*cking pink chicken.
Best wishes at Glastonbury, Dr. Mark, and figuring out what you’ll do if Britain does leave the EU.