Farm machinery eating peoples’ arms and legs: Machinery still biggest cause of UK farm deaths

My grandfather, the one who ran the Massey-Ferguson dealership in Cookstown, Ontario, Canada, lost two-or-three of his fingers from the knuckle up due to farm machinery (that’s me and sis).

But when I was about 10, he would send me inside a combine to put pliers on a nut while the others loosened a bolt – from the outside.

I only remember how damn hot it was.

In the UK – gramps was from Newport, Wales — machinery and transport continue to be the main causes of life-changing and life-ending injuries on farm.

Four in 10 of all farmworkers who have lost their lives over the past decade were related to workplace machinery or transport, said NFU vice-president Guy Smith.

Mr Smith, who is also chair of England’s Farm Safety Partnership, said that while the most recent figures from the Health and Safety Executive showed a reduction in the number of deaths through machinery and transport, one death was one too many.

Helen Banham, a dairy farmer from Skegness, Lincolnshire, lost two fingers on her right hand in a life-changing accident with a bottling machine four years ago.

She was going about her daily routine when a bottle dropped through the machine. Instinctively, and without thinking of turning off the bottling line, she reached into the machine to grab it.

Her hand became trapped in the machine and her thumb was severed, while a spike penetrated the palm of her hand.

While pulling her hand free she ripped it open, severely and irrevocably damaging the tendons in her third finger.

Mrs Banham said: “It was our wake-up call. The milk business was taking so much of our time and we were really up against it. We couldn’t afford to take on any more staff, costs were rising and the prices we could charge just weren’t covering our costs.”

Empathy is lost on some: Australian mum forced to explain how her baby dies after anti-vaxxers attack her heartbreaking post

Freedom of speech is fundamental to western values.

Freedom of speech does not include idiocracy, and must be protected.

Nina Young writes that just a few days ago, Jordan DeRosier and her husband Justin found themselves in a living nightmare when their seven-month-old baby boy, Sloan, died suddenly in his cot.

Jordan announced Sloan’s death on her Facebook in a heartbreaking post, writing: “Our sweet rainbow warrior, your short time on this earth blessed so many. You were a gift to all who knew you, and an inspiration to all who didn’t. Your death has impacted this world, it has left an emptiness felt by so many.”

“Proof that you held with you so much light and grace. You were not able to live out our dreams for you, yet our dreams are where we will find you forever. We will forever be caught in this space between worlds, the space you now exist for us. Our longing for you is eternal, if only your life had been.”

Incredibly, although Jordan did not initially share the circumstances of her young son’s death, a number of anti-vaxxers were quick to comment online suggesting that vaccines had played a part in the tragedy. Some even went so far as to message Jordan directly to make the unfounded accusations.

The grieving mother was forced to go online and defend herself and her son’s memory writing on Facebook about the day the tragedy occurred.

“To those who keep commenting and messaging trying to blame vaccines for our sons death — stop,” she begged.

“Initially I had not wanted to explain the detailed circumstances of his death because of my guilt and the fear of condemnation from others. But I will not allow anyone to try and place blame where it does not belong.”

Jordan went on to explain that she had put her baby down to sleep with a blanket.

“He had pulled it through the crib rails somehow and gotten himself stuck in it,” she explained.

“You never think it will happen to you. You never think it will be your baby. Please do not put your babies to bed with a blanket. Please. He was seven months old, I thought because he was crawling, standing on his own, and climbing, that he would be fine with a blanket.

“This is the face of immense, unfathomable grief, the face of longing, of heartbreak, of self-inflicted GUILT. I will NEVER stop feeling responsible.”

Jordan hopes that people will learn from her experience rather than try to use it to push their own agendas.

I know all about grief and guilt.

And assholes with agendas.

I take great pride in my Friday sessions, where we share stories, struggles, and successes.

It’s making me a better person (maybe).

It’s a much better use of my time rather than sitting in yet another fucking faculty meeting, with the nerds from grade school who made it through to prof-land and feel entitled to inflict their previous abuse on grad students.

And have no intention of admitting weaknesses or self-examination.

Just part of the system

It’s a big old goofy world.

 

All the news just repeats itself: Restaurant disclosure proposed for France

France’s Contrôle Sanitaire writes the publication of the results of health checks in the food sector (restaurants, canteens, slaughterhouses, etc.) is a legitimate expectation of citizens that contributes to the improvement of consumer confidence. Foreseen in the Future for Agriculture, Food and Forest Act of 13 October 2014, this measure is part of a move towards greater transparency of State action.

alimconfiance2To which a Brit tweeted @foodgov have been doing this for years, France is now copying the successful “Food Hygiene Rating” scheme.

Oh fuck it.

This is a good point to pause.

Restaurant inspection disclosure goes back to 1924, at which time letter grades were introduced to classify milk in the United States.

Toronto has been doing it since 2000.

So for a Brit to brag to a French about stuff that happened decades ago seems a bit silly, and time for barfblog.com to take a pause.

We don’t want to become recall.net and most of you 100K+ subscribers can figure out how to aggregate news on your own.

Chapman and I started barfblog on a plane trip to Prince George, B.C, where Chapman thought he would be eaten by bears and we saw advertisements for a college student jello thing, but decided we were too old to go.

We went to Vancouver to see our hockey goon friend Kevin Allen, and then to Seattle to see Marler.

Eventually we made our way to Manhattan, Kansas, where I was running away from an ex-wife, a stalking girlfriend and a whole lot of history.

I met a girl and Kansas State University hired me.

barf-o-meter_-dec_-12-216x300-216x3001-216x300-1-216x300-216x300-216x300This is all the messy stuff in how science gets done but not really reported.

After 45 years of working continuously – I started as a golf caddy at nine-years-old, and the movie Caddyshack is historically accurate — I’m going to give it a break

No retirement, no pension, just want to see what else is out there, and see what other ideas I can come up with for others to claim as their own.

Rock, or the barfblog, will never die.

But we need to get back ahead of the curve.

Indulge me some appropriate rock.

Filion, K. and Powell, D.A. 2009. The use of restaurant inspection disclosure systems as a means of communicating food safety information. Journal of Foodservice 20: 287-297.

The World Health Organization estimates that up to 30% of individuals in developed countries become ill from food or water each year. Up to 70% of these illnesses are estimated to be linked to food prepared at foodservice establishments. Consumer confidence in the safety of food prepared in restaurants is fragile, varying significantly from year to year, with many consumers attributing foodborne illness to foodservice. One of the key drivers of restaurant choice is consumer perception of the hygiene of a restaurant. Restaurant hygiene information is something consumers desire, and when available, may use to make dining decisions.

Filion, K. and Powell, D.A. 2011. Designing a national restaurant inspection disclosure system for New Zealand. Journal of Food Protection 74(11): 1869-1874
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The World Health Organization estimates that up to 30% of individuals in developed countries become ill from contaminated food or water each year, and up to 70% of these illnesses are estimated to be linked to food service facilities. The aim of restaurant inspections is to reduce foodborne outbreaks and enhance consumer confidence in food service. Inspection disclosure systems have been developed as tools for consumers and incentives for food service operators. Disclosure systems are common in developed countries but are inconsistently used, possibly because previous research has not determined the best format for disclosing inspection results. This study was conducted to develop a consistent, compelling, and trusted inspection disclosure system for New Zealand. Existing international and national disclosure systems were evaluated. Two cards, a letter grade (A, B, C, or F) and a gauge (speedometer style), were designed to represent a restaurant’s inspection result and were provided to 371 premises in six districts for 3 months. Operators (n = 269) and consumers (n = 991) were interviewed to determine which card design best communicated inspection results. Less than half of the consumers noticed cards before entering the premises; these data indicated that the letter attracted more initial attention (78%) than the gauge (45%). Fifty-eight percent (38) of the operators with the gauge preferred the letter; and 79% (47) of the operators with letter preferred the letter. Eighty-eight percent (133) of the consumers in gauge districts preferred the letter, and 72% (161) of those in letter districts preferring the letter. Based on these data, the letter method was recommended for a national disclosure system for New Zealand.

‘I hear that lonesome whistle, hang my head and cry’ What New Zealand inmates will eat on Dec. 25

What I remember from prison 35 years ago was, it was lonely.

There were fights, dramas, scandals, but that was nothing to the continual loneliness.

johnny_cash_at_folsom_prisonAccording to the New Zealand Heraldthere will be no trimmings, treats or trifle for the 10,000-odd prisoners behind bars this Christmas.

The Department of Corrections has today released details of the Christmas Day menu for the inmates at its 18 prisons across the country.

Inmates will man the kitchens on the day, preparing 10,000 meals of roast chicken, gravy, roast potatoes, carrots, green peas, two slices of bread and apple pie with custard.

All prison meals are designed and prepared in line with nutrition guidelines recommended by the Ministry of Health.

The main Christmas meal will be provided at lunchtime, with sandwiches given in the evening, Corrections said today.

As with any other day, vegetarian and other special dietary requirements will also be catered for.

Jesus: the missing years, and baby poop is the worst; the ideal poop is a ‘continuous log’

I did an interview with Mother Jones magazine yesterday about relatively safe beef cuts.

I got to use my line, Don’t eat poop, and if you do, make sure it’s cooked.

Robynne Chutkan, a gastroenterologist at Georgetown Hospital and the author of Gutbliss and the forthcoming The Microbiome Solution: a pair of books about the gastrointestinal tract, the microbes that live in it, and the stool that comes out of it says:

• poop is mostly bacteria — not old food;

• poop is brown because of dead red blood cells and bile;

• men and women poop differently;

• the ideal poop is a “continuous log” — and sinks to the bottom of the toilet;

• gut bacteria and plant fiber are essential for good poop;

• you can see corn in your poop because of cellulose;

• people living in different parts of the world have different poop;

• baby poop is really, really weird;

• poop transplants can be an effective medical treatment.