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).

Where’s the food safety? Food porn makes bucks for Instagrammers

Like many Instagram users, Natalie Landsberg, Gillian Presto and Emily Morse frequently posted photos of what they were eating.

paris.food.pornBut as their joint account @New_Fork_City took off, they found themselves with nearly 500,000 followers, and soon, free restaurant meals, gigs “curating” food for a music festival and an offer to create their own cookie-dough flavor.

The three 19-year-olds, who started the account in high school, are now in college, and their modest Instagram earnings aren’t footing their tuition bills yet. But their parents spent almost $15,000 to trademark the New_Fork_City name and create a limited liability company, “so down the road, if there is an opportunity to figure out a financial business model, the company is established,” said Ms. Presto’s father, Michael Presto.

Meet the professional food Instagrammers, courted by restaurants for their six-figure followings and stylish, sometimes over-the-top photography. Some have turned their accounts into full- or part-time professions, earning up to $350 for posting a flattering image, while others have parlayed their social-media savvy into free meals or public-relations jobs.

heidi.food.porn.carl's.jr“There are people who decide on where they want to go out to eat by their Instagram feed, and that’s a fact that we in the hospitality industry just cannot ignore,” said Helen Zhang, director of media strategy at LFB Media Group, a public-relations agency that works with such restaurants as the Stanton Social and Casa Nonna.

Olivia Young, brand and communications director for the Altamarea Group, which operates restaurants such as Vaucluse and Osteria Morini, said the company has begun inviting some Instagram users for meals and plans to pay some to post photos.

 

citizen food safety project

In 2005 some keen public health folks in Korea started soliciting food safety-related pictures from diners as they ate and ordered at restaurants. The authorities wanted to enlist citizens to look for violations to place additional pressure on businesses to be decent food safety citizens – and to fine them for bad practices.Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 8.02.00 AM

In 2008 a second group of clever health folks in the UK followed suit and there have been multiple examples of pests-gone-wild in New York and Toronto being caught on smartphones – and shared through the Internet.

As picture and video sharing on Instagram increases, we’ve start a project, citizen food safety, that collectively captures food safety, in the broadest terms through the lens of the camera phone-wielding public. This isn’t just for the food safety nerds; its for the Interweb’s population of eaters: the regular folks who shop, eat at restaurants, visit farmers markets,  cook or eat.

Good stuff (like proper glove use, information on menus, food safety marketed to consumers, thermometer use) and bad stuff (like cross-contamination, nose picking, temperature abuse, baby’s being changed on restaurant tables) are all in play. I’ve included a few examples below and on my Twitter feed (@benjaminchapman) and my Instagram account (barfblogben). When a picture is snapped and uploaded using either app, go ahead and caption it and tag it with #citizenfoodsafety. The pictures will also by collected in a Tumblr site, http://citizenfoodsafety.tumblr.com/.