Denmark says; Give us your poop

They could have just gone to France. This is Sorenne beside a doodie at a subway stop yesterday.

sorenne.france.poop.jun.16Hvidovre Hospital near Copenhagen is looking for healthy faeces donors that can help build a stockpile of stools to be used to fight bacteria.

Faeces from healthy people has proven to be a good weapon against recalcitrant bacteria when typical antibiotics fail. Since 2014, over 60 patients at the hospital have been treated with faeces donated by family members to combat clostridium bacterium that often do not respond to common antibiotics.

Demand is increasing, so Andreas Munk Petersen, the chief physician at Hvidovre Hospital thinks it is a good time to get some poop on the shelves.

“There are some age limits, but if you are otherwise healthy and have no diseases and are not severely overweight, you be a donor,” Petersen told DR Nyheder.

The hospital hopes to develop a ‘faeces bank’ similar to today’s blood banks so that a regular stream of contributors are available to help spread the treatment method further.


How do you poop? And could the way Americans wipe their asses be ready for a change

We’re about to go to France, so will once again experience the different toilet regimes.

27-toilet-paper-baby.nocrop.w536.h2147483647.2xDrake Baer writes in New York Magazine that at the turn of the 20th century, the way America pooped went through a revolution when the at-home flushing toilet became a standard part of people’s homes. But you needed a way to wipe that wouldn’t clog up plumbing like catalogues or corn cobs would. Enter the entrepreneurial brothers Clarence and Irvin Scott, who in 1890 gave the world toilet paper on a roll, wrapped individually for sale.

It was huge: Without TP, says New York University microbiologist and pathologist Philip Tierno, there’s “no standardization of hygiene.” You name it and it was used to wipe the anus. One review of toilet technology notes that lots of places use water, grass, animal fur, corn cobs, seashells, snow, or hands.

Now it appears another revolution is afoot. In the reaches of the Upper East Side, the bidet is coming in a big way. As detailed in breathless New York Times trend pieces like “The Cult of the Toto Toilet,” the next big Japanese import is looking to be a class of high-end toilet seats — the kinds with heated seats, deodorizers, and “tornado dual flush technology.” (Owners are evangelists. After his wife bought him an automatic toilet, NBA star Steph Curry said “that toilet just makes me happy in life. I bet if I did a case study on my performance since I got that toilet, you’d see the difference.”) In the words of Times reporter Steven Kurutz, the “need for toilet paper is virtually eliminated” thanks to an air dryer.

As soon as the price tag falls (substantially — they’re currently priced from $499 to $9,800), toilet paper could become much less of a necessity.

After all, as Poop Culture: How America Is Shaped by Its Grossest National Product author David Praeger tells Science of Us, toilet paper isn’t even the most hygienic approach to cleanup. If a bird poops on your arm while you’re walking down the street, you don’t smear it with a paper towel — you go to the bathroom and use soap and water.

There’s the sustainability critique, too. According to one analysis, Americans use 36 billion (!) rolls — or 15 million trees’ worth — of toilet paper a year, not to mention all the energy spent shipping the sheets around the world. That’s a lot of paper and energy literally being flushed down the toilet.

Toilet paper is more “a psychological comfort, not a true measure of cleanliness,” Praeger says. It’s a way of keeping our bodies separate from the waste they produce. But “sometimes the paper rips and you’re confronted with your own mortality,” he says, “right on your fingers.”

Poop in the restaurant: Nick’s Riverside Grill in DC now says poop-slinging Yelp response was ‘honest error’

Yet another twist in a saga that has captivated the District: Nick’s Riverside Grill is issuing an apology for accusing a Yelp critic of losing control of her bowels in what they’re now saying is a case of mistaken identity. City Paper reported earlier this week that Nick’s Riverside Grill responded to a one-star Yelp review with accusations that the writer in question, Emma C., pooped her pants at the Georgetown establishment.

“The fact of the matter is you lost control of your bowels in the middle of our restaurant, and you proceeded to sit in it for the remainder of the evening, making more of a mess. We had to reroute our other patrons so they didn’t walk through your mess, causing quite a scene,” Liz, a manager at Nick’s, posted in part.

Owner Greg Casten told WCP he allowed the response after vetting the claims through security footage and interviewing staffers. “While an unfortunate incident in general, the woman and her friends left a real mess, included numerous towels we had provided discarded in the restaurant, dirty clothing thrown away in the bathrooms, a ugly, smelly mess just outside our front door and some very distraught employees,” he wrote.

Or did she? Emma C. contacted WCP to tell them that Nick’s must have confused her with another patron. “I’m just a dissatisfied customer who is now being accused by this establishment of being someone that I’m not, saying some very nasty things about me and also insulting this other girl who could potentially have serious health issues,” she wrote.

Now, after further investigation, Casten says the restaurant screwed up, and is issuing Emma a formal apology. “I have very little question that the woman who wrote the review was in fact not the same person to whom the described incident occurred. We are wrong and we have reached out to apologize,” he wrote to WCP. He calls the situation an “honest error.”

Emma told WCP she is considering pressing charges, and she deleted her initial review on Yelp. Nick’s Riverside Grill currently has two-and-a-half stars on Yelp.

Man in Ohio allegedly pooped on Kroger U-Scan machine

USA Today reports a Cincinnati man was jailed after he allegedly stripped naked in front of an employee at the Kroger store in Hyde Park and defecated on a U-Scan machine.

poop.kroger.may.16Colin Murphy, 23, was charged with public indecency and disorderly conduct for his actions, which took place on Sunday, according to police.

According to a court affidavit, Murphy smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and staggered walk.

Murphy was scheduled for an arraignment Monday morning.


‘You don’t poop where you eat’ so no Real Housewives of St. Louis

Andy Cohen had lots of reasons to look forward to a trip home to St. Louis over the weekend., a Clayton High School alum who named his dog Wacha, threw out the first pitch at the St. Louis Cardinals game on Friday with his parents by his side. He visited his cousin Josh Allen, owner of Companion bakery and cafe, at the bakery’s new Westport location. He even went to a fundraiser for Missouri senate candidate Jason Kander.

One thing Cohen didn’t have to do: hobnob with the brash and bold personalities of the Real Housewives of St. Louis.

That’s because there are no “Real Housewives of St. Louis,” which may seem odd once you realize that Cohen is the man behind the hit Real Housewives franchise. The closest St. Louis comes to having a RHOSTL is seeing Jim Edmonds and his wife Meghan bringing some St. Louis flavor to season ten of the Real Housewives of Orange County.

Cohen has said before he doesn’t want to start a franchise of his most famous creation in St. Louis. As the Bravo executive told the New York Times in 2010: “I’m from St. Louis. I know the real housewives of St. Louis. I don’t necessarily want to see them on TV. Please don’t let that be a slam on my hometown because it’s my favorite place.”

“You don’t poop where you eat,” Cohen said when asked why there’s no RHOSTL in an interview broadcast on the jumbotron for the whole stadium. “I don’t want to come back to St. Louis and have to deal with the Real Housewives of St. Louis.”

Go Blues.

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.’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

Dookie on show: Museum devoted to poo opens in the UK

The Isle of Wight Zoo is opening a museum on Friday devoted to poo.

poo@thezooA spokeswoman said, “It’s stinky, unpleasant and sometimes dangerous stuff — but it’s all around us and inside us too — and perhaps surprisingly our planet would be a much poorer place without it.”

The National Poo Museum “is set to be the place to immerse oneself in the wonder of excrement while finding out lots of extraordinary nuggets of information about all things poo-y, kids will love it,” the spokeswoman said.

The museum features relics such as freeze-dried poo, poop hanging from the ceiling and poop from various different species like meerkats, foxes, cows, owls and even human babies, says Mashable. There is also a 38 million-year-old fecal specimen.

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

Here’s one from the 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. 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.


Food and Drug Administration, 2015. “Final Qualitative Assessment of Risk to Public Health from On-Farm Contamination of Produce.” Available at: Accessed January 20, 2016.

Everyone’s got a camera — #2 in a supermarket cooler edition

Footage has surfaced of a woman walking through the aisles of a supermarket before doing a poo in a fridge.

The unnamed woman can be seen taking a leisurely stroll through the shop as she looks at products, before checking to see whether anyone is looking so she can do the deed.

She proceeds to lift her dress up, squat over a fully stocked chilling cabinet and calmly take care of her business, The Sun reports.

Perhaps even more worrying is the fact that another woman can be seen pushing a buggy just metres away while she looks at products on the opposite shelves.

Upon realisation of what the woman is up to, she brusquely walks away.

Though it is not clear precisely where and when the gross act occurred, some viewers believe the footage may have come from Russia.

Does that mean fewer sick people? Foodservice embraces big data

Tim York, CEO of Salinas, Calif.-based Markon Cooperative writes in The Packer that we have all been hearing for some time about “big data” and the value — and risk — it may pose. 

lsjpgI prefer to call it data.

York says New York-based restaurant Fig & Olive has used software to track more than 500,000 guests and $17.5 million in checks. 

But data, big or small, didn’t prevent Fig & Olive from sickening at least 150 people with Salmonella last year.

That’s not mentioned in the column.