Bathrooms and barf from around the world — in Instagram

Long before Instagram and YouTube, the barfblog crew — I can’t believe I just wrote that, I never called my lab members the crew but I did call them the kids, even if I was the immature one — we were making food safety videos and taking pictures.

Just didn’t know what to do with them.

We had an entire website devoted to handwashing signs in bathrooms — as you do.

And then when I moved to Kansas in early 2006, it sorta got lost.

Someone in the lab was taking care of it and I was posting pictures of bathrooms from our trip to France, as we sat on the coast of Marseilles, but then the University of Guelph decided the sandbox wasn’t big enough for both of us so kicked me out.

Bullies.

Then the website disappeared.

Or maybe it exists somewhere.

I know my limitations, and computer technology is one of them. Which is why I’ve been using a Mac since 1987.

Now there’s thing called Instagram, which may not be as cool as Snapchat, but whatever, I like pictures.

So Chapman created a barfblogben Instagram account, and I created a barfblogdoug account, because someone already has barfblog and it’s probably me (but linked to a previous e-mail).

I did one post — Amy did it and I immediately forgot how to do it — so I’ll put this picture in here, and maybe some time she’ll show me how to do it again.

This is from the University of Queensland bathroom in the Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation building/centre/whatever it’s called.

(All those people who used to work with me, if you know where that website it, send me a note).

KState changes handwashing recommendations

Twelve years after Chapman and I set out for Prince George, B.C., where Chapman announced his fears of both bears and jello-swim nights at the local college, and then went to Kansas State University, where I met a girl (who’s still my best friend and wife), where I got sexually advanced upon in an unpleasant manner by a professor dude, where I had lunch with the president, got a job offer, and enjoyed a great career, my former boss sent me this:

KState has changed its handwashing recommendations.

They disconnected the blow dryers in those groovy all-in-one handwashing units.

One reason I was offered the job is because I took the prez to the bathroom and showed him how shitty their handwashing recommendations were.

But that story is old.

No one should be recreating their past glory days (and if I ever quote a Bruce Springsteen song again, put me out of my misery).

Change does sometimes happen: usually not as fast as any of us would like.

Duty calls: Tweet when you barf (maybe FSA should tell Heston)

This is what is infuriating about food safety government types: they have the budgets, they have the knowledge, but they don’t have the wherewithal to confront an issue on a public scale.

heston-blumenthalThey can say, oooohhh, we use social media to track when people are barfing but they do no evaluation of their alleged interventions.

Telling people to wash their hands doesn’t mean people will wash their hands.

Elizabeth Cassin of BBC writes if you’re suffering with projectile vomiting and watery diarrhea, reach for your phone and post an update.

While it won’t ease your suffering, a tweet or two could help researchers track the spread of the winter vomiting bug (which the rest of the world calls Norovirus).

The UK Food Standards Agency has been using social media to track levels of norovirus, a highly contagious illness which spreads via food and through person-to-person contact. The symptoms usually last for one to two days, with the person remaining infectious for a further two days.

If you’ve ever had, it you know what it means: vomiting, diarrhea, pain, and the general feeling of having been run over by a car.

In 2013, the Foods Standards Agency started looking at new ways to track the virus. They analysed Google searches but found that social media was a better source of data. “It’s more about the immediacy… what’s happening in their lives right now,” says Dr Sian Thomas.

On the other hand, “if you’re in hospital or a nursing home and you’re sick, then they might take a sample and send it to a laboratory for analysis,” she says.

The FSA compared this official sample data with the volume of relevant tweets and concluded that “there’s a really good correlation between the number of mentions on Twitter of ‘sick’ and a range of search terms, with the incidents of illness as defined by laboratory reports.”

“Our current estimate is that between 70-80% of the time, we are able to accurately predict an increase the next week.”

If the team predict a national outbreak, they plan to run a digital campaign explaining how to look after yourself.

“The intervention is really quite basic,” she notes. “It’s about washing your hands, it’s about looking after yourself, and not coming in to contact with other people while you’re sick.”

Norovirus can be dangerous for children or the elderly. Fortunately for healthy adults though, the illness is usually a minor, if messy, inconvenience.

 

From the duh files: Study suggests handwashing compliance in child care facilities insufficient

Except the authors get it wrong.

This is the most telling quote from the PR, and I’m not sure who reviewed this shit:

handwashing-loads“The guidelines outline sequential handwashing steps that need to be followed, including use of warm water, soap, paper towels, and continuing for 20 seconds. This study confirms the results of previous studies in this area that there is a need for funding of education and training about proper hand hygiene.”

Water temp doesn’t matter. 20 seconds doesn’t matter. And give us more money to ingratiate ourselves with future funders.

Anyone who has worked in a daycare or restaurant, for lousy pay, knows that time constraints and screaming babies sometimes interfere with best practice. Did anyone follow the guidelines? Acknowledge the realities of the world we’re in, and offer practical advice. But you’ll probably get funded in the next round.

Child care personnel properly clean their hands less than a quarter of the times they are supposed to, according to a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official journal of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC, http://www.apic.org).

A new study from the University of Arkansas used video cameras to record handwashing habits and compliance among child care workers at an early childhood center in northwest Arkansas. The researchers found that personnel and parents at the facility on average followed proper handwashing procedures only 22 percent of the time before and/or after tasks such as wiping noses, emptying garbage cans, preparing food, changing diapers, or using their cell phones. Caregivers washed 30 percent of the time it was called for, with paraprofessional aides at 11 percent, and parents at 4 percent.

“Handwashing is an important component of reducing illness transmission among children in early childhood centers, especially for the adults in charge of their care,” said lead study author Jennifer Henk, PhD. “As we seek to improve overall quality in early childhood settings, our study shows the need to adopt creative strategies to increase handwashing compliance and efficacy.”

amy-sorenne-handwashingSurveillance cameras were used to randomly record 25 hours of handwashing compliance in ten different classrooms. The center was aware of the cameras, but not alerted to the primary purpose of the study. There were a total of 349 handwashing opportunities in the 25 hours; 78 corresponding handwashing events took place for an overall compliance rate of 22 percent. Handwashing opportunities and events were based on guidelines for early child care established by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The guidelines outline sequential handwashing steps that need to be followed, including use of warm water, soap, paper towels, and continuing for 20 seconds. This study confirms the results of previous studies in this area that there is a need for funding of education and training about proper hand hygiene.

“Hand hygiene in early childhood centers is especially important because children under five years of age have only partially developed immune systems, increasing their susceptibility to communicable diseases,” said Susan Dolan, RN, MS, CIC, FAPIC, president of APIC. “Studies have shown that children who spend time in an early childhood care center are two to three times more likely to acquire infections than children cared for in the home, with respiratory and gastrointestinal infections posing the highest risks.”

Handwashing can prevent about 30 percent of diarrhea-related sicknesses and about 20 percent of respiratory infection in children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So what are the creative strategies to increase handwashing compliance? Waste of time.

DC bartender and artist Chantal Tseng makes poop murals in bathrooms

According to bizjournals.com the murals are about poop. Not made out of poop (sadly).screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-5-20-30-pm

Regular Washington imbibers may notice something if they take an extra minute in the restrooms at the new REI flagship store in NoMa: the name of one of D.C.’s favorite bartenders, Chantal Tseng, inscribed on a roll of toilet paper held by a cartoon bear on the wall.

Washington City Paper even included her in a piece it did on D.C.’s mixologists turned chalk artists — which is how the folks at REI found her when they were looking for artists for murals at the new store.

After the call, Tseng enlisted D.C.’s go-to chalk artist, Patrick Owens, for help on the project.

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-5-20-47-pmTseng and Owens drew extra animals in addition to the bear, and added leaves, animal tracks and, yes, piles of poop to the mural, which is titled “Poop in the Woods: Droppin’ Deuces Wild.” Tseng likes to incorporate haiku into her drawings, so she added a thematic one written backward that can only be read in the bathroom mirrors: “Last chance to soap up/ before heading back out there/ think of the children.”

Yes. Think about the children. And all the other folks who might get poop from your hands onto their hands or in their food.

Check if there’s paper towels in the kids’ bathrooms: Evidence-based interventions of Norovirus outbreaks in China

In resource-limited settings where laboratory capacity is limited and response strategy is non-specific, delayed or inappropriate intervention against outbreaks of Norovirus (NoV) are common. Here we report interventions of two norovirus outbreaks, which highlight the importance of evidence-based modeling and assessment to identify infection sources and formulate effective response strategies.

norovirus-bathroomMethods

Spatiotemporal scanning, mathematical and random walk modeling predicted the modes of transmission in the two incidents, which were supported by laboratory results and intervention outcomes.

Results

Simulation results indicated that contaminated water was 14 to 500 fold more infectious than infected individuals. Asymptomatic individuals were not effective transmitters. School closure for up to a week still could not contain the outbreak unless the duration was extended to 10 or more days. The total attack rates (TARs) for waterborne NoV outbreaks reported in China (n = 3, median = 4.37) were significantly (p < 0.05) lower than worldwide (n = 14, median = 41.34). The low TARs are likely due to the high number of the affected population.

Conclusions

We found that school closure alone could not contain Norovirus outbreaks. Overlooked personal hygiene may serve as a hotbed for infectious disease transmission. Our results reveal that evidence-based investigations can facilitate timely interventions of Norovirus transmission.

BioMed Central Public Health

Tianmu Chen, Haogao Gu, Ross Ka-Kit Leung, Ruchun Liu, Qiuping Chen, Ying Wu and Yaman Li

DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3716-3

https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-016-3716-3

Is there anybody out there? Physicians and handwashing

Our objectives were to evaluate the utility of electronic hand hygiene counting devices in outpatient settings and the impact of results feedback on physicians’ hand hygiene behaviors.

big-brother-1984We installed 130 electronic hand hygiene counting devices in our redesigned outpatient department. We remotely monitored physicians’ hand hygiene practices during outpatient examinations and calculated the adherence rate as follows: number of hand hygiene counts divided by the number of outpatients examined multiplied by 100. Physician individual adherence rates were also classified into 4 categories.

Results

Two hundred and eighty physicians from 28 clinical departments were monitored for 3 months. The overall hand hygiene adherence rate was 10.7% at baseline, which improved significantly after feedback to 18.2% in the third month. Of the clinical departments, 78.6% demonstrated significant improvement in hand hygiene compliance. The change in the percentage of physicians in each category before and after feedback were as follows: very low (84.3% to 72.1%), low (8.6% to 14.3%), moderate (2.9% to 8.9%), and high (4.3% to 4.6%), from the first to third month, respectively. Based on category assessment, 17.1% of physicians were classified as responders.

Conclusions

Physicians’ adherence to hand hygiene practices during outpatient examinations was successfully monitored remotely using electronic counting devices. Audit and feedback of adherence data may have a positive impact on physicians’ hand hygiene compliance.

Utility of electronic hand hygiene counting devices for measuring physicians’ handwashing

American Journal of Infection Control, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2016.08.002

A Arai, M Tanabe, A Nakamura, D Yamasaki, Y Muraki, T Kaneko, A Kadowaki, M Ito

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196655316307532

 

Inevitability of reproduction – TV cooking show edition

In 2004, my laboratory reported (and by reported I mean published in a peer-reviewed journal) that, based on 60 hours of detailed viewing of television cooking shows, an unsafe food handling practice occurred about every four minutes, and that for every safe food handling practice observed, we observed 13 unsafe practices. The most common errors were inadequate hand washing and cross-contamination between raw and ready-to-eat foods.celebrity_chefs4

The abstract is below.

Once the paper was published, it made headlines around the globe.

And then it started getting replicated. Texas, Europe, a few other places, and now Massachusetts.

Compliance With Recommended Food Safety Practices in Television Cooking Shows

Nancy Cohen, Rita Olsen

Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2016 Aug 28. pii: S1499-4046(16)30715-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2016.08.002. [Epub ahead of print]

Objective

Examine compliance with recommended food safety practices in television cooking shows.

Methods

Using a tool based on the Massachusetts Food Establishment Inspection Report, raters examined 39 episodes from 10 television cooking shows.

Results

Chefs demonstrated conformance with good retail practices for proper use and storage of utensils in 78% of episodes; preventing contamination (62%), and fingernail care (82%). However, 50% to 88% of episodes were found to be out of compliance with other personal hygiene practices, proper use of gloves and barriers (85% to 100%), and maintaining proper time and temperature controls (93%). Over 90% failed to conform to recommendations regarding preventing contamination through wiping cloths and washing produce. In only 13% of episodes were food safety practices mentioned.

Conclusions and Implications

There appears to be little attention to food safety during most cooking shows. Celebrity and competing chefs have the opportunity to model and teach good food safety practices for millions of viewers.

 Mathiasen, L.A., Chapman, B.J., Lacroix, B.J. and Powell, D.A. 2004. Spot the mistake: Television cooking shows as a source of food safety information, Food Protection Trends 24(5): 328-334.

Consumers receive information on food preparation from a variety of sources. Numerous studies conducted over the past six years demonstrate that television is one of the primary sources for North Americans. This research reports on an examination and categorization of messages that television food and cooking programs provide to viewers about preparing food safely. During June 2002 and 2003, television food and cooking programs were recorded and reviewed, using a defined list of food safety practices based on criteria established by Food Safety Network researchers. Most surveyed programs were shown on Food Network Canada, a specialty cable channel. On average, 30 percent of the programs viewed were produced in Canada, with the remainder produced in the United States or United Kingdom. Sixty hours of content analysis revealed that the programs contained a total of 916 poor food-handling incidents. When negative food handling behaviors were compared to positive food handling behaviors, it was found that for each positive food handling behavior observed, 13 negative behaviors were observed. Common food safety errors included a lack of hand washing, cross-contamination and time-temperature violations. While television food and cooking programs are an entertainment source, there is an opportunity to improve their content so as to promote safe food handling.

Pools or animal farms: 223 sick UK crypto could be anywhere

Janet Hughes of Gloucestershire Live writes that scientists are checking to see if summer holiday visits to animal attractions are behind a massive spike in the number of toddlers with cryptosporidium.

crypto.petting.farmPublic health chiefs are asking affected families to fill in questionnaires about where they have been and what they have eaten in an effort to trace the source of the outbreak which is particularly bad in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

Children aged between one and five years are most at risk from the parasite cryptosporidium which is three or four times more prevalent than normal this summer.

Doctors believe a small number of cases could be linked Oasis leisure centre in Swindon, which has been closed as a precautionary measure, and say swimming in contaminated lakes, rivers or swimming pools can cause the disease to strike.

But many of those struck down are young toddlers so other possible theories include the prospect that children might not have washed their hands after petting animals at attractions during the summer holidays.

Hand washing is never enough.

 

Nosestretcher alert: Australian food safety type talks shit

Food poisoning and gastroenteritis affect 4.1 million Australians a year.

y a t il un pilote dans l'avion ? airplane flying high 1980 réal : Jim Abrahams David et Jerry Zucker Leslie Nielsen Collection Christophel Collection Christophel

If you do find yourself stricken with something nasty, it might be tempting to put a big, black mark against the last restaurant you ate in. But, according to Dr Vincent Ho, clinical gastroenterologist and lecturer in medicine at the University of Western Sydney, eating out isn’t always to blame. “It’s more common to get food poisoning with home meals, and that’s because people eat at home more often than they go out,” he tells Time Out. “Generally speaking, in Australia, and other developed countries where we have good sanitation, the vast majority of the time when we go out, there isn’t any food poisoning or gastroenteritis.”

Another so-called expert talking shit.

For instance there was an outbreak caused by contaminated lettuce in NSW recently. They were able to trace that back by looking at the people affected, asking about what they were eating and looking for common elements.”

Some would call it epidemiology.

Poultry products and meat are the most common sources of food poisoning, but most cases of gastroenteritis can be traced back to inadequate hand washing.

Nosestretcher alert.

Can’t image a more factually incorrect and condescending statement.

Fresh produce is the leading source of foodborne illness in Western countries and has been for over a decade.

But it’s still 1978 here in Australia.

jon.stewart.handwashing.2002In Australia and other developed countries, “we’ve taken special preparations to reduce the incidences of food-borne infections.” We have health inspections, food safety laws and signs everywhere that say “all staff must wash hands” when we’re eating out.

Seriously, you think those signs work?

How did you get to be a professor of anything?

At home, we have to rely on ourselves, and it turns out, many people are not that reliable. It only takes 10 seconds of washing your hands with soap and water to seriously reduce your chance of passing around a stomach bug, and yet, most people aren’t doing it properly.

That’s the reason you’re more likely to pick up an illness at home, or in a closed-off environment like a cruise ship, day care or nursing home, where you’re exposed to lots of people’s germs, than you are from a restaurant. At a restaurant, “although there are always occasions where food isn’t prepared optimally” there are structures in place to ensure caution. At home, you’re on your own.

Dr. Ho, I’ll gladly go to your home and watch you prepare a meal.

Most people don’t invite me to dinner because they know who I am.

But I’ll give you a tip-sensitive digital thermometer.