Flipping burgers is a noble craft and needs to be done with a thermometer, otherwise people get sick

Trash-talking elites are part of the reason Donald Trump is now U.S. President.

In the new book, Shattered, journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes write that Hillary Clinton’s campaign was doomed to fail. “The portrait of the Clinton campaign that emerges from these pages is that of a Titanic-like disaster: an epic fail made up of a series of perverse and often avoidable missteps by an out-of-touch candidate and her strife-ridden staff that turned ‘a winnable race’ into another iceberg-seeking campaign ship.”

Australians are also being drawn to the right, with their own versions of Aussie-first – the aboriginal population may have some thoughts on that – in which skilled 457 visas are being eliminated.

It’s not the political drift that is surprising – Australia is a country that, as John Oliver said, has settled into their intolerance like an old resentful slipper” – it’s the response from the Group of Eight universities who wrote to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Wednesday complaining the new rules could be “extremely damaging” to academic recruitment.

Forgetting for a moment that a Group of Eight unis in a country with 23 million people is self-aggrandizing on a ridiculous scale, University of Sydney vice-chancellor Michael Spence (that’s like a university president, which is self-aggrandizing enough) told Fairfax Media, “They’re really not people flipping burgers. “If you are building world-class expertise in a cutting-edge area of science, you’re probably going to need to draw from a gene pool larger than 23 million.”

Spence, your knowledge of genetics sucks; I have a genetics degree.

In his letter to Mr Turnbull, Go8 chairman Peter Hoj said “the mere suggestion of Australia clamping down on academic mobility into Australia would be extremely damaging to academic recruitment in Australia.”

Here are my perceived limitations to academic recruitment in Australia:

  1. Get an Internet that works and is not dependent on hobbits spinning a hamster wheel. Every time it rains, the Internet goes down, because most of the connections are underground, where water pools.
  2. Offer something of value rather than appealing to money. It’s still not too late to life a life of substance.
  3. Bring Australia into the 21st century by changing laws on same sex marriage, abortion, parental leave and end-of-life.
  4. Stop casting aspersions about fast-food workers – the people who probably make your lunch Dr. vice-chancellors – and save the flipping burgers shit for your fancy club talk. Engineering geniuses still need to eat. Perhaps Australia could make it a priority that food is safe and doesn’t make people barf. The military figured this out centuries ago. Maybe universities can, eventually.

5530 sick 39% of residents: Health board discloses full extent of Campy in NZ water outbreak

Forty-five people, mostly over 70 were admitted to hospital with campylobacter a Hawke’s Bay District Health Board update reveals.

poop-water-nz-nov-16The DHB has conducted four surveys since the event in August, the latest on September 27 and 28, the results of which they collated with the previous findings.

The surveys were conducted by telephone and the latest figures brought the estimated total number of residents affected by gastroenteritis to 5530 or 39 per cent of Havelock North’s population, 1072 of those confirmed cases.

Of those hospitalised, as of October 10, 27 were aged over 70, followed by four in the 60-69 year age group, four in the 40-49 age group and three in the 50-59 age group.

Four people under the age of 20 also ended up in hospital.

The total number of people who had developed the rare complication from campylobacter, Guillan Barre Syndrome, was reported to be three people. As the incubation time was up to four weeks, it was considered that any new cases now would not be linked to the original outbreak.

Of the estimated 5530 residents who were affected, 32 per cent had a recurrence of the bug, and as of September 28 four people were experiencing ongoing symptoms.

At the time an estimated 78 per cent of people who had symptoms took time off work or school.

This paper is so great, it’s the greatest paper ever: Trump invades peer-reviewed publishing

Wang and Cheng from Nanjing Tech University in China (right, not exactly as shown), call their paper on food safety risk modeling in SpringerPlus, “a great reference for food safety management.”

cheech_and_chong-615781Boasting about academic prowess, at least in the public literature, used to be more subtle.

They have a lot of numerical models about why good people do bad things (to make money) and avoid the simplest solution – market food safety at retail.

But judge for yourself on the quality of so-called scientific scholarship:

In this paper, based on the imbalance of the supply-demand relationship of food, we design a spreading model of food safety risk, which is about from food producers to consumers in the food supply chain. We use theoretical analysis and numerical simulation to describe the supply-demand relationship and government supervision behaviors’ influence on the risk spread of food safety and the behaviors of the food producers and the food retailers.

We also analyze the influence of the awareness of consumer rights protection and the level of legal protection of consumer rights on the risk spread of food safety. This model contributes to the explicit investigation of the influence relationship among supply-demand factors, the regulation behavioral choice of government, the behavioral choice of food supply chain members and food safety risk spread.

And this paper provides a new viewpoint for considering food safety risk spread in the food supply chain, which has a great reference for food safety management.

The conclusion also has some gems:

In this paper, we design a food safety risk spread model from food producer-to-consumer in the food supply chain based on the imbalance of the supply-demand relationship of food. We use theoretical analysis and numerical simulation to describe the

influence and active mechanism of the supply-demand relationship and government supervision behaviors on the risk spread of food safety and the behaviors of the food producers and the food retailers. We also analyze the effect of the awareness of consumer rights protection and the level of legal protection of consumer rights on the risk spread of food safety. The theoretical analysis and numerical simulation result showed that, (1) with the increase in the imbalance of the supply-demand relationship, the risk spread rate of unsafe food appeared the phenomenon of accelerated increasing. Thus stabilize the market supply-demand relationship of food is most important part of government regulatory. (2) the behaviors of government supervision behaviors and strategy choice more significant effect on controlling the risk spread of unsafe food, enhancing the sampling rate of the food retailers, and decreasing the raw material adulteration rate of the food producers. Thus the government should strengthen the many-links supervision of food supply chain. (3) intensifying the awareness of consumer rights protection and enhancing in the level of legal protection of consumer rights effectively decreased the risk spread rate of unsafe food. Thus the government should build effective system of consumer rights protection, and inspire consumer taking legal action to defend their rights and interests when they finding unqualified products. Certainly, this model and numerical simulation also have certain scope of application and limitations, for example the variable design and parameter value selection, and the demand elasticity characteristics of food.

Bubonic plague hung around in Europe

The plague bacterium Yersinia pestis may have lurked in a Medieval European reservoir for at least 300 years, researchers suggest January 13 in PLOS ONE.

thing.that.wouldn't.leave.belushiThe second of two major plague pandemics hit Europe from the 14th to 16th centuries, peaking during the Black Death from 1346 to 1353. The new study weighs in on a longstanding debate over what fed the pandemic, strains of the bacterium traveling on waves of trade from Asia via the Silk Road or a homegrown biological reservoir such as lice.

Researchers analyzed DNA from 30 skeletal remains spanning the 14th to 17th centuries. Eight carried strains of Y. pestis, and all bore genetic similarity to each other and to those found in previously sampled European plague victims. Strains from Asia would have injected more genetic variety. Instead, the results suggest that at least one strain of Y. pestis stuck around in Europe for a long time, researchers write.

The thing that wouldn’t leave from topo morto on Vimeo.

SNL, Who, lab?

Saturday Night Live is like The Who – a greatest hits group (I always preferred Townsend’s solo stuff).

So while the 40th anniversary of SNL provided a lot of laughs, it took 40 years to get to those gems.

And a lot of people had to be deemed not worthy, like running a lab.

But at least they got hand sanitizers.

Thanks to one of our Jersey food safety friends for the link.

NYC cafe shut down by Health Dept. for second time in 2 months

Longtime Irish pub Peter McManus Cafe was shut down by the Health Department this week — its second closure in less than two months.

belushi.snl.after.partyHealth inspectors found evidence of mice, unwashed food preparation surfaces, contaminated food and hot food that was allowed to get cold during a visit to the 78-year-old bar on Monday and ordered it closed, records show.

Officials also found that the 152 Seventh Ave. spot’s supervisor lacked a city-mandated Food Protection Certificate. In all, the restaurant racked up 61 violation points, records show.

The family-owned bar opened in 1936 and has appeared in many movies and TV shows, including “Keeping the Faith,” “Seinfeld” and “Saturday Night Live.”

The bar is also a favorite of “SNL” cast members and alumni for the show’s afterparties.

A steady trickle of passersby were bewildered by the bar’s closure Wednesday.

“That’s so f—ing sad,” shouted one woman after seeing the Health Department’s closure sign. “This place is an institution.”

Forget Veganville: Seattle tofu company loses food processing license, fined $17,800

Tofu should be made fun of, as Justin Timberlake did on Saturday (Night Live).

But not when tofu has the potential to make people barf.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has revoked the food processing license of Chu Minh Corp., which produces tofu and other soy products, after several inspections found on-going sanitation problems with the Seattle business.

In addition to revoking the company’s license to process food, WSDA also assessed a civil penalty of $17,800 against the company and required all product at the facility to be destroyed.

Notices about the license revocation have been sent to all retail outlets and restaurants that have purchased or carry Chu Minh products. 

As a result of these actions, the company cannot process any food at this location. Chu Minh has 10 days to appeal and request agency reconsideration of the order, but it cannot operate as a food processing operation during that appeal period.

Sweet Julia Child O’ Mine; mash-up honors America’s first top chef; SCTV, SNL did it better

Guns ‘N Roses was a terrible band.

Misogynistic lyrics, riffs from a corporate boardroom, and really, really boring.

But PBS somehow thinks GNR is appropriate way to honor the matron of French cooking in the U.S., Julia Child, who would have turned 100-years-old on August 15.

New York inspections reveal new A-list for restaurants

Charlie Sheen may have texted a porn star that, “I’m an A-lister” but that don’t mean much when it comes to food safety.

Glenn Collins writes in the New York Times tomorrow that after six months of restaurant inspection grading in New York City, nearly 60 per cent of some 24,000 restaurants in the city have inspection scores that rate an A, from a liberal sprinkling in Chinatown to a true sanito-palooza of nine blue A placards in the food court at Grand Central Terminal.

Meanwhile, some of the city’s most highly regarded restaurants have struggled to get on the A list. In December an inspector disturbed the hushed precincts of Corton, which The New York Times gave three stars, to dispense 48 points for a possible C grade. Similarly, restaurant Daniel, the winner of four stars, received an initial B score of 19 in November. Even the haute Bernardin, another four-star winner, received a B score of 22 in August. Each endured derision from food bloggers for a few weeks before earning A grades on later inspections.

Fancy food don’t mean safe food.

Two other three-star restaurants — Le Cirque, with a score of 30, and Gramercy Tavern, with a score of 35 — were assessed enough violation points to earn C grades. On Dec. 7, Esca, another three-star restaurant, received 25 points on its first inspection and 18 points on a reinspection three weeks later. (The scores would earn the restaurant a B.)

If there is an apparent preponderance of A’s, it is not because the city is trying to be generous, said Daniel Kass, a deputy health commissioner. “There are more A’s at this point,” he said, “because the A’s get issued immediately.”

The mayor is expected to address the issue of letter grading today in his annual State of the City address.

But the Web site, nyc.gov/health/restaurants, shows that, as of Tuesday, 12,469 restaurants had scores that would give them an A; 7,892 earned scores that would rate a B; and 1,665 have scores that would qualify as a C.

Mr. Mazzone of Chicken Masters is expecting an inspection “any day,” he said, and is looking forward to it “like root canal.” What would he tell restaurants with a more complex menu array than his inventory of chicken, ribs and burgers?

“That’s simple,” he said. “They should move to Jersey.”