Version II: Don’t eat poop, and if you do, cook it

The link in the previous story was wrong, but now corrected thanks to an eagle-eyed readerer.

french.dont.eat.poopHere’s another version about the latest don’t eat poop paper.

Consumers don’t buy leafy greens and other healthy supermarket produce anticipating the food might make their families sick. Or at least, they didn’t used to.

But high profile recalls of fruits and veggies seem to be a new normal in the American food landscape. The recalls follow outbreaks of foodborne illnesses caused by microbes like E. coli. These outbreaks can send unsuspecting veggiephiles rushing to the nearest toilet or, worse yet, the hospital. Some outbreaks can even result in deaths.

The average American is still unlikely to wind up at the emergency room after eating tainted produce. Still, outbreaks have major consequences for supermarkets and growers. After outbreaks, they must regain public trust or face possible financial ruin.

Of concern is how nearby farming practices can taint produce with bacteria. This can happen when farmers apply animal manure to fields near fresh produce. Tiny particles, including bacteria, may go airborne and drift to nearby fields. But scientists weren’t sure just how likely microbes can travel from manure application sites to downwind produce.

That is, until now. New field research out of Clarkson University in upstate New York is providing an answer. Shane Rogers, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, led a research team that looked into the issue. They measured how far common bacteria, including Salmonella and E. coli, are likely to travel downwind from manure application sites. They hoped to better understand how fresh produce might be contaminated by nearby animal agriculture practices.

“Our goal was to provide a logical framework to study this pathway,” Rogers said. This helped them make science-based recommendations for setback distances that protect human health.

The team used field data to understand how these bacteria travel from manure application sites to produce. The research lasted three years. They took samples at several distances from manure application sites and measured the presence of illness-causing bacteria.

The researchers used computer models to expand their understanding. “It is not possible to obtain measurements for every possible set of circumstances that may exist,” Rogers said. “The models allow us to predict produce contamination over a larger range of probable conditions than our raw measurements would provide.” These include the type of manure, the terrain of the farm, and weather conditions at the time the manure is applied.

The team also evaluated the risk of illness. This gave the team a better understanding of how likely someone is to get sick from produce when a certain amount of bacteria is present.

Combining all that data, the team found that produce fields should be set back from areas of manure application by at least 160 meters. That distance should help lower the risk of foodborne illness to acceptable levels (1 in 10,000).

Rogers emphasized that the advice is for a minimum setback. “(160 meters is) the minimum distance that produce growers should maintain between manure application activities and produce growing areas,” Rogers said. Additional distance and delay between manure application and harvest would provide further protection.

The study appears in Journal of Environmental Quality. This project was supported by National Research Initiative Competitive Grant and the Agricultural Food and Research Initiative (AFRI) from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Air Quality Program.

American Society of Agronomy

Michael A. Jahne, Shane W. Rogers, Thomas M. Holsen, Stefan J. Grimberg, Ivan P. Ramler, Seungo Kim

Journal of Environment Quality, 45 (2): Page 666 DOI:10.2134/jeq2015.04.0187

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160413140124.htm

Don’t eat poop, and if you do, cook it: Manure application research aims to improve food safety

New field research out of Clarkson University in upstate New York is attempting to answer how likely microbes can travel from manure application sites to downwind produce.

lettuce.skull.noroShane Rogers, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, led a research team that looked into the issue. They measured how far common bacteria, including Salmonella and E. coli, are likely to travel downwind from manure application sites. They hoped to better understand how fresh produce might be contaminated by nearby animal agriculture practices.

“Our goal was to provide a logical framework to study this pathway,” Rogers said. This helped them make science-based recommendations for setback distances that protect human health.

The team used field data to understand how these bacteria travel from manure application sites to produce. The research lasted three years. They took samples at several distances from manure application sites and measured the presence of illness-causing bacteria.

The researchers used computer models to expand their understanding. “It is not possible to obtain measurements for every possible set of circumstances that may exist,” Rogers said. “The models allow us to predict produce contamination over a larger range of probable conditions than our raw measurements would provide.” These include the type of manure, the terrain of the farm, and weather conditions at the time the manure is applied.

The team also evaluated the risk of illness. This gave the team a better understanding of how likely someone is to get sick from produce when a certain amount of bacteria is present.

Combining all that data, the team found that produce fields should be set back from areas of manure application by at least 160 meters. That distance should help lower the risk of foodborne illness to acceptable levels (1 in 10,000).

Rogers emphasized that the advice is for a minimum setback. “(160 meteårs is) the minimum distance that produce growers should maintain between manure application activities and produce growing areas,” Rogers said. Additional distance and delay between manure application and harvest would provide further protection.

 

E. coli and Listeria growth in soil varies by cover crops and manure use

Cover crops provide several ecosystem services, but their impact on enteric bacterial survival remains unexplored.

crimson.clover.cover.cropThe influence of cover cropping on foodborne pathogen indicator bacteria was assessed in five cover crop/green manure systems: cereal rye, hairy vetch, crimson clover, hairy vetch-rye and crimson clover-rye mixtures, and bare ground. Cover crop plots were inoculated with Escherichia coli and Listeria innocua in the fall of 2013 and 2014 and tilled into the soil in the spring to form green manure. Soil samples were collected and the bacteria enumerated.

Time was a factor for all bacterial populations studied in all fields (P < 0.001). E. coli levels declined when soil temperatures dipped to <5°C and were detected only sporadically the following spring. L. innocua diminished somewhat but persisted, independently of season.

In an organic field, the cover crop was a factor for E. coli in year 1 (P = 0.004) and for L. innocua in year 2 (P = 0.011). In year 1, E. coli levels were highest in the rye and hairy vetch-rye plots. In year 2, L. innocua levels were higher in hairy vetch-rye (P = 0.01) and hairy vetch (P = 0.03) plots than in the rye plot. Bacterial populations grew (P < 0.05) or remained the same 4 weeks after green manure incorporation, although initial reductions in L. innocua numbers were observed after tilling (P < 0.05). Green manure type was a factor only for L. innocua abundance in a transitional field (P < 0.05).

Overall, the impacts of cover crops/green manures on bacterial population dynamics in soil varied, being influenced by bacterial species, time from inoculation, soil temperature, rainfall, and tillage; this reveals the need for long-term studies.

Effects of cover crop species and season on population dynamics of Escherichia coli and Listeria innocua in soil

Applied and Environmental Microbiology; March 2016; vol. 82; no. 6; 1767-1777

Neiunna L. Reed-Jones, Sasha Cahn Marine, Kathryne L. Everts and Shirley A. Micalle

http://aem.asm.org/content/82/6/1767.abstract?etoc

How many people barf from poop on produce? FDA wants a risk assessment

Here’s one from the barfblog.com archives, and now that we’ve surpassed 70,000 direct subscribers in 70 countries, it’s worth a mention.

powell.kids_.ge_.sweet_.corn_.cider_.001-1024x775Oh, and FDA announced Friday it’s going to take another look at pathogens in produce from manure.

In the fall of 1998, I accompanied one of my then four daughters on a kindergarten trip to the farm. After petting the animals and touring the crops – I questioned the fresh manure on the strawberries that were about to be picked – we were assured that all the food produced was natural. We then returned for unpasteurized apple cider. The host served the cider in a coffee urn, heated, so my concern about it being unpasteurized was abated. I asked: “Did you serve the cider heated because you heard about other outbreaks and were concerned about liability?” She responded, “No. The stuff starts to smell when it’s a few weeks old and heating removes the smell.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is requesting scientific data, information, and comments that would assist the Agency in its plan to develop a risk assessment for produce grown in fields or other growing areas amended with untreated biological soil amendments of animal origin (including raw manure).

The risk assessment will evaluate and, if feasible, quantify the risk of human illness associated with consumption of produce grown in fields or other growing areas amended with untreated biological soil amendments of animal origin that are potentially contaminated with enteric pathogens, such as Escherichia coli O157:H7 or Salmonella. The risk assessment also will evaluate the impact of certain interventions, such as use of a time interval between application of the soil amendment and crop harvest, on the predicted risk. The risk assessment is intended to inform policy decisions with regard to produce safety.

organic-manure1Dates: Submit either electronic or written comments and scientific data and information by May 3, 2016.

The instructions for how to submit comments are available in the Federal Register notice as is additional supplementary information:

Biological soil amendments of animal origin (BSAAO) can be a source of contamination of produce with pathogens that can cause human illness. Human pathogens in BSAAO, once introduced to the growing environment, may be inactivated at a rate that is dependent upon a number of environmental, regional, and other agricultural and ecological factors. The rate of pathogen population decline over time is also influenced by the types of BSAAO and application methods. Furthermore, the types of produce and whether or not BSAAO may come into contact with a harvestable portion of the crop influences the likelihood of pathogen transfer from the amended soil to produce (Ref. 1).

Some produce farms use untreated BSAAO for various reasons, including that they are inexpensive, readily available, and rich nutrient sources for growing crops. Whether it is feasible for a farm to use untreated BSAAO as a principal nutrient source depends on numerous factors, including whether there is a required time interval between application and harvest and the length of such an interval (which may affect the nutrients retained or available from BSAAO), and crop nutrient demand (i.e., the nutrients needed to support crop growth). Typical examples of untreated BSAAO are raw cattle manure, poultry litter, swine slurry, and horse manure. FDA acknowledges that required application intervals for certain uses of untreated BSAAO could influence the number of crop cycles a farm is able to undertake each year and/or the choices farms make regarding which type of amendment to apply (e.g., raw manure, composted manure, or other nutrient sources).

In January 2013, based in part upon authority provided by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, we published a proposed Produce Safety Rule entitled “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption” (78 FR 3504, January 16, 2013). Among other provisions related to BSAAO, the proposed rule included at § 112.56(a)(1)(i) (21 CFR 112.56(a)(1)(i)) a 9-month minimum application interval for untreated BSAAO applied in a manner that does not contact covered produce during application and minimizes the potential for contact with covered produce after application (78 FR 3504 at 3637). In response to public comments, we withdrew this proposed 9-month minimum application interval in a supplemental proposed rulemaking that we published on September 29, 2014 (79 FR 58434 at 58457 through 58461). In the supplemental proposed rule, we acknowledged the limited body of currently available scientific evidence relating to the proposed 9-month interval and the need for additional research in this area, and described our planned risk assessment and research agenda (79 FR 58434 at 58460 through 58461). Accordingly, we deferred our decision on an appropriate minimum application interval.

dont.eat.poopOn November 27, 2015, we published a final Produce Safety Rule entitled “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption,” (80 FR 74354). The final rule is now codified at 21 CFR part 112. In the preamble to the final rule, we restated our decision with respect to the appropriate minimum BSAAO application interval (80 FR 74354 at 74463). We reserved one of the provisions in the final rule’s Subpart F (Biological Soil Amendments of Animal Origin and Human Waste) because we continue to believe that a quantitative application interval standard is necessary and anticipate locating such a future standard in that provision. As finalized, the Produce Safety Rule establishes that there is no minimum application interval required when untreated BSAAO are applied in a manner that does not contact covered produce during or after application (§ 112.56(a)(1)(ii)), and the minimum application interval is [reserved] when applied in a manner that does not contact produce during application and minimizes the potential for contact with produce after application (§ 112.56(a)(1)(i))

FDA, in consultation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is conducting a risk assessment to evaluate the risk of human illness associated with the consumption of produce grown in growing areas amended with untreated BSAAO that are potentially contaminated with enteric pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7 or Salmonella. The risk assessment will evaluate the impact of different agricultural and ecological conditions and certain interventions, such as use of a time interval or intervals between application of untreated BSAAO and crop harvest, on the predicted risk. The risk assessment will take into account available data and information on relevant steps in the produce food safety continuum including: The initial prevalence and levels of pathogens in untreated BSAAO; the methods used to apply untreated BSAAO to soils; pathogen survival (and growth) in untreated BSAAO and soils amended with untreated BSAAO; pathogen transfer to produce grown in amended soils; pathogen survival and growth on produce; and pathogen survival, growth, and cross-contamination during storage and other steps in the supply chain (e.g., washing). The risk assessment will include characterization of the variability and uncertainty of pathogen survival and growth under different agricultural and ecological conditions (e.g., soil types, application methods, or geographic locations/climatic factors) and time intervals between application of untreated BSAAO and crop harvest. The risk assessment is intended to inform policy decisions with regard to produce safety.

FDA is requesting comments and scientific data and other information relevant to this risk assessment. We are particularly interested in scientific data and information concerning, but not limited to, the following factors that may affect the risk of human illness associated with the consumption of produce grown in fields or other growing areas amended with untreated BSAAO (including raw manure):

  1. Data on the prevalence and levels of pathogens.
  2. The frequency of detecting the presence of pathogens in untreated BSAAO and soil amended with BSAAO, such as Salmonella in poultry litter, and E. coli O157:H7 and other pathogenic Shiga-toxin producing E. coli in cattle manure. Samples may be obtained at different stages of untreated BSAAO storage prior to application, or after application. If available, for each data point, we also invite information regarding the following:

The type of untreated BSAAO (e.g., animal origin and content);

how the untreated BSAAO, including raw manure, was sampled and handled prior to analysis;

the size of the analytical unit (i.e., detection limit) and test method;

the number of positives, the total number of samples, and the time period in which the testing was conducted; and sampling protocol (e.g., simple random, stratified random, targeted).

  1. The pathogen concentration, i.e., the number of pathogen cells per amount (unit volume or weight), in contaminated untreated BSAAO or soil amended with untreated BSAAO, especially cattle manure and poultry litter. If available, for each data point, we ask that the data be provided in unaggregated form and that Most Probable Number (MPN) patterns as well as raw data (e.g., number of positive and negative tubes per serial dilution) be provided.
  2. Data and information on survival of pathogens (e.g., Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7), and pathogen transfer to produce.
  3. Kinetic data that describe the survival (or inactivation) or growth of pathogens in untreated BSAAO, especially cattle manure and poultry litter;
  4. Kinetic data that describe the survival (or inactivation) or growth of pathogens in soil amended with untreated BSAAO, especially cattle manure and poultry litter, as influenced by soil type, untreated BSAAO type, application method, geographic locations/climatic factors (e.g., temperature, days of sunlight, intensity of solar irradiation, moisture, rainfall) and other factors;
  5. The mechanisms for pathogen transfer from soils to specific types or categories of produce, such as leafy greens, or to produce generally, and associated transfer coefficients, including irrigation and rain water splash, direct contact between produce and soil, machinery or people or animals contaminated by soil and directly contacting produce during growth and harvest of produce;
  6. Pathogen transfer rates (i.e., transfer coefficients) from amended soils to specific types or categories of produce, such as leafy greens, or to produce generally, as influenced by soil type, untreated BSAAO type, application method, climate factors, commodity type or any other pertinent factors not listed here;
  7. The survival of pathogens on produce in the field or other growing area before harvest; and
  8. The variability in the survival of different Salmonella serotypes, different subtypes of E. coli O157:H7, or other pathogens of public health significance in amended soils under field, greenhouse, or laboratory conditions.
  9. On-farm practices with regard to the use of untreated BSAAO, including, but not limited to, the following aspects.
  10. The extent to which untreated BSAAO are used in different regions in the United States, as well outside the United States in regions that export produce to the United States;
  11. The types of untreated BSAAO and the soil type, and associated physical and chemical parameters (including but not exclusive to nutrient content, moisture and pH); and the crops typically grown in each BSAAO-amended soil type;
  12. Characterization of the proportion of produce farms that have one or more soil types per geographical location;
  13. The amount of untreated BSAAO applied per unit surface (e.g., per acre) or the ratio of untreated BSAAO/soil, including typical ratio and variability by commodity type, including, for example, row crops such as leafy greens;
  14. The time of year, number of applications, and amount of untreated BSAAO that are applied;
  15. The method of application (e.g., surface, incorporated), and whether or not the amended soil is covered (e.g., with plastic mulch);
  16. Produce commodity type and cropping cycles;
  17. Climate conditions and irrigation practices after soil is amended, before and after planting; and
  18. The crop density (e.g., the number of rows per bed, and the distance between adjacent rows in a bed), distance between two crop beds (furrow width), and the influence of such factors on pathogen transfer.
  19. Harvesting, handling, and storage conditions that may affect pathogen detection and levels, survival, growth, or inactivation between harvest and retail sale along the farm-to-fork continuum.
  20. cow.poop2The harvesting practices and the average conditions as well as the range of climactic conditions prior to harvesting (e.g., time and temperature, rain events) under which produce is handled in the field and in packing operations;
  21. The survival, growth, or inactivation of pathogens on produce (including, for example, specific commodities or categories such as leafy greens, or produce generally) during transportation and storage;
  22. Typical storage conditions (e.g., time, temperature) for produce (including, for example, specific commodities or categories, such as leafy greens, or produce generally), from harvest until consumer purchase and whether and how those storage conditions affect pathogen levels; and
  23. The types and concentration of antimicrobial chemicals or other treatments, if any, applied to the water used for wash or transport of produce during farm or other distribution operations prior to retail, and the efficacy of these treatments in reducing pathogen levels, as well as the likelihood of cross-contamination during wash or transport.
  24. Storage conditions such as times and temperatures that may affect pathogen growth and/or survival during transportation and storage of produce in the consumer’s home, and consumer handling practices with respect to produce after purchase, including data and information on consumer washing practices.

We are also interested in other comments concerning, but not limited to, the types of untreated BSAAO, produce commodities, relevant agricultural and ecological conditions, and appropriate mitigation strategies that the Agency should consider in the risk assessment.

Reference

Food and Drug Administration, 2015. “Final Qualitative Assessment of Risk to Public Health from On-Farm Contamination of Produce.” Available at: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/FoodScienceResearch/RiskSafetyAssessment/UCM470780.pdf. Accessed January 20, 2016.

Give the gift of poop

Shitexpress will deliver a steamy pile of horse crap with a personalized message to your enemies — or twisted friends.

organic-manure1The Hong Kong-based service launched in November 2014 as a marketing experiment and has stuck around like dog doo on a sneaker tread.

“Yes, it’s legit,” CEO Peter (no last name) told The Huffington Post. 

Peter says his firm earned $10,000 in its first month and has made more than 2,500 shipments. Take note, scatological Santas: Orders cost $16.95 for shipping to many places around the world, and can be done anonymously.

Poop in the field

Two new studies assess the risk of various manures in broccoli and spinach respectively.

cow.poop2In 2011 and 2012, trials consisting of experimental plots were carried out to evaluate the presence of pathogenic (Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella) and prevalence of indicator (Escherichia coli) microorganisms in broccoli fertilized with liquid hog manure or mineral fertilizers and irrigated zero, one, or two times with E. coli–contaminated water.

In 2011, results showed that E. coli contamination in broccoli heads was affected by the interval between irrigation and sampling (P = 0.0236), with a significant decrease between the first and third day following irrigation (P = 0.0064). In 2012, irrigation frequency significantly increased E. coli prevalence in broccoli samples (P = 0.0499). In 2012, E. coli counts in the soil were significantly influenced by the type of fertilizer applied, as plots receiving liquid hog manure showed higher bacterial counts (P = 0.0006). L. monocytogenes was recovered in one broccoli sample, but geno-serogrouping differentiated the isolate from those recovered in manure and irrigation water. The L. monocytogenes serogroup IIA, pulsotype 188 strain was found in six soil samples and in irrigation water applied 5 days before soil sampling.

This study highlights the link between E. coli levels in irrigation water, irrigation frequency, and interval between irrigation and harvest on produce contamination. It also demonstrates that L. monocytogenes introduced into the soil following irrigation can persist for up to 5 days.

In the second study, the authors write that concerns about the microbiological safety of fresh produce have attracted attention in the past three decades due to multiple foodborne outbreaks. Animal manure contaminated with enteric pathogens has been identified as an important preharvest pathogen source.

This study investigated the survival of Salmonella enterica in dust particles of dehydrated turkey manure and how association with manure dust may enhance the survival of salmonellae on leafy greens in the field. The survival of a cocktail of multiple Salmonella serotypes in the dried fecal material of various particle sizes (125 to 500 μm) was examined at varying moisture contents (5, 10, and 15%). Survival times of the pathogen were inversely related to moisture content and particle size of manure dust, with viable Salmonella still detectable for up to 291 days in the smallest particle size (125 μm) with 5% moisture. Association with manure dust particles increased the survival of Salmonella when subjected to UV light both under laboratory conditions and on the surface of spinach leaves in a greenhouse setting.

poop ice creamThe results of this study suggest that aerosolized manure particles could be a potential vehicle for Salmonella dispersal to leafy greens if the microorganism is present in the dry manure.

 

 

Persistence of indicator and pathogenic microorganisms in broccoli following manure spreading and irrigation with fecally contaminated water: field experiment

Journal of Food Protection®, Number 10, October 2015, pp. 1776-1924, pp. 1776-1784(9)

Généreux, Mylène; Breton, Marie Jo; Fairbrother, John Morris; Fravalo, Philippe; Côté, Caroline

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iafp/jfp/2015/00000078/00000010/art00001

 

Survival of Salmonella Enterica in dried turkey manure and persistence on spinach leaves

Journal of Food Protection®, Number 10, October 2015, pp. 1776-1924, pp. 1791-1799(9)

Oni, Ruth A.; Sharma, Manan; Buchanan, Robert L

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iafp/jfp/2015/00000078/00000010/art00003

 

It’s what consumers do and why food safety should be marketed at retail: China goes organic amid food scandals

An organic food craze is emerging among China’s urbanites as food safety scandals spur the younger generation toward alternative ways to buy fresh produce and meat.

organic-manure1So far, organic foods’ penetration into China appears small, accounting for 1.01 percent of total food consumption, but that’s nearly triple 2007’s 0.36 percent, according to data from organic trade fair Biofach.

A series of high-profile food scandals over the past seven years has been a primary catalyst for growth in the organic food market. Biofach expects the segment’s share of China’s overall food market to hit 2 percent this year.

China was ranked as one of the world’s worst safety-violation offenders by American food consulting firm Food Sentry this year. In 2013, 3,000 pig carcasses were seen floating in Shanghai’s Huangpu river, one of the city’s key sources of drinking water. A few months later, reports that a Beijing crime ring was selling rat and fox meat as lamb sparked international outrage, resulting in the arrest of more than 900 people.

The trouble continued in 2014, with the Chinese affiliate of U.S. meat supplier OSI Group accused of using expired meat. OSI caters to major fast-food chains such as McDonald’s and Yum Group’s KFC operating on the mainland. Wal-Mart was also dragged into the limelight this year following revelations that its donkey meat product contained fox meat. Most recently, Subway also came under scrutiny after Chinese media reported in late December that workers at a Beijing franchise changed expiry dates on meat and vegetables to extend their use.

The rise of organic food is also expected to draw support from government officials prioritizing nutrition and environment to spur domestic consumption in a country where focus has traditionally always been on industrial growth.

Food safety remains priority in age of organic food

Even in an age when the consumption of organic food is booming, strict global food safety standards are needed to protect the consumers, a leading expert at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.

organic-manure1Mary Kenny, officer of FAO’s Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview that the safety of all foodstuffs, including organic food, remains a global priority.

“It means that food should be safe and free from chemical and microbiological contaminants. And the nature of food supplies these days means that it’s an international issue,” she said.

organic-manure1

 

With this in mind, major food producers and exporters, including China, are constantly raising food safety standards, Kenny said, adding that, however, it is unclear to what extent the emergence of organic food is impacting food safety in China or elsewhere.

According to Kenny, even organic food may present certain safety risks. Therefore, it is vital to make sure that the right systems are in place and that food production and distribution is as risk-free as possible.

She noted for example that although organically sourced fruit and vegetables might have a lower risk of chemical contamination, the correct procedures to prevent microbiological contamination still have to be followed. As for meat and dairy products produced from organically-fed animals, they still carry the inherent risk of bacteria or parasites, which occur naturally in livestock.

“So we need to adopt the same food safety perspective to organic food that we adopt to other foods,” she said.

The conventional wisdom is that organic food is healthier and more eco-friendly than other food. However, Kenny said this does not mean that conventional foods should automatically be dismissed as having a higher risk.

“Conventional food production certainly uses more chemicals, such as pesticides,” she said. “But there are very strong and robust national and international systems to ensure the safe use of these chemicals and these are followed around the world.”

Cards Against Humanity offers poop for Black (or brown?) Friday

My Black Friday experience consisted of a quick trip to Best Buy (for a gift for my dad) and some browsing of Amazon.

I’m not into lineups, traffic or parking rage.

While my Email inbox has been littered with television, iPad and FitBit deals, the best  Black Friday bargain might be that offered by the gaming folks behind the mostly inappropriate Cards Against Humanity.

According to LAist, the game company offered up some poop in a box on Facebook as a thanks to their fans.MUDD13

[F]or Black Friday, they had an odd deal for their fans that popped up today on CAH’s Facebook. The post said that “to help you experience the ultimate savings on Cards Against Humanity this Black Friday, “we’ve removed the game from our store, making it impossible to purchase. Instead, we’re offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy some new bullshit.”

The bargain could be ordered online for the price of only $6, but could only be mailed to recipients in the U.S. On the outside, it looked like a simple black box labeled ‘Bullshit.’ But on the inside, it was promised to be “literal feces from an actual bull.” It was suggested the feces could be used to fertilize a garden, decorate a “festive tree,” or “surprised a loved one with the gift of poop.”

Many commenters on the Facebook post seemed to believe that ordering the box would result in receiving something other than poop, like perhaps new game cards. According to FAQ—or as CAH calls it, ‘your dumb questions’—people who ordered the special were just getting poop. Another question posed was, “Is it also something that is not poop?” to which the answer was no. It also clarified that the poop was not dangerous as it had been sterilized. And the answer to the question of whether it is legal to mail poop or not was, “Only one way to be sure.”

By sterilized I hope they mean it was properly composted to reduce the risk of pathogens.

‘Kids run across arena of cow and horse poop’ something for everyone at Goshen Rodeo

Line up lawyers, the Goshen Fairgrounds near Hartford, Connecticut, is promoting kids wallowing in cow poop.

Clowns collect one boot from every kid, takes them down to the other end of the arena and throws them in a pile. Kids have to run across the arena full of horse and cow poop. Sometimes it’s muddy, so the kids are dodging that, too.”

doc51ffd5e3c167b0687901071Sean O’Neill of Goshen Stampede, Inc. says they see about 25,000 people come through the fairgrounds, and they come from all over.

So what’s the most popular kids event at the stampede?

“Kids rodeo,” said O’Neill. “Mutton Busting is the main attraction of the kids rodeo; they all want to ride the sheep. The rodeo clowns will be out there, too. And Hula Hoop roping: They rope a dummy steer with a hula hoop.

Best practices for planning events encouraging human-animal interactions

Zoonoses and Public Health

G. Erdozain , K. KuKanich , B. Chapman  and D. Powell

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zph.12117/abstract?deniedAccess

Educational events encouraging human–animal interaction include the risk of zoonotic disease transmission. It is estimated that 14% of all disease in the US caused by Campylobacter spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, non-O157 STECs, Listeria monocytogenes, nontyphoidal Salmonella enterica and Yersinia enterocolitica were attributable to animal contact. This article reviews best practices for organizing events where human–animal interactions are encouraged, with the objective of lowering the risk of zoonotic disease transmission.