Food Safety Talk 150: Rambunctious Ramble in the Jungle

The show opens with Ben recounting of his thoughts on Temple Grandin’s talk in North Carolina, and the Humboldt Broncos tragedy.  Don mentions his shout out on Do By Friday.  Ben starts off by the nominal food safety talk regarding sock microwaving and the Cold Pressure Council seal. Don counters with the NJ Panera outbreak which seems to be part of FDA outgoing multistate outbreak of E. coliO157:H7. Next up are blockchain and Canadian food recalls.  Listener feedback covers restaurant grading, killing lobsters, glitter, flour heating, milk spoilage, farmers market and recipe safety.

Episode 150 is available on iTunes and here.

Food Safety Talk 149: Free-range, Grass-fed Raised Unicorns

This episode starts with a discussion on running really long relay races and unplanned home repairs.

Don and Ben then edible cookie dough validation (or lack thereof), sour milk pancakes and backyard chicken eggs. The episode ends on a discussion of moldy, fermented rice used as a meat flavor enhancer, glitter beer and Listeria in frozen corn.

Episode 149 is available on iTunes and here.

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Food Safety Talk 147: Only Robots In The Kitchen

Don and Ben start the episode talking about some notable weather, seeing each other in Atlanta, and food safety stories from the recently retired ranks. The conversation moves to listener feedback about contaminated supplements and spices, Japanese designers, thawing and using time as a public health control. The show ends with a discussion on sampling fresh herbs and Russian trolls’ attempt to cause confusion about a turkey-related non-outbreak.

Episode 146 is available on iTunes and here.

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Food Safety Talk 144: They Look and Taste Like Green Turds

The guys jumped right into the food safety talk this week with a discussion of the Jimmy John’s sprout outbreak. From there the conversation turns to a whole lot of listener questions and feedback: Instant Pot, more on edible gold and silver, the safety of pots left on the stove as well as refrigerator leftovers, fiddleheads, proper spatula use, burger temperatures, and food safety gadgets. There’s a little bit of popular culture talk right at the end. Below are show notes so you can follow along at home.

Episode 144 is available on iTunes and here.

Show notes so you can follow along at home:

 

 

Food Safety Talk 143: I Don’t Want Dead Water

Don and Ben chat about Skype and the weather (as always) but do get eventually to food safety stuff including disco dust, diamond lattes, home chicken slaughter, E. coli O157:H7 in Romaine lettuce (or not, or maybe, yes), raw water and frozen biscuits.

Episode 143 can be found here and on iTunes.

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Food Safety Talk 140: Dr. Linda is a Friend of Mine

In this episode Don and Ben are joined by Gordon Hayburn from Trophy Foods.  Gordon talks about his experiences in food safety, focusing on his time in the food industry, and his expertise in audits.

Episode 140 can be found here and on iTunes.

Show notes below so you can follow along at home.

Food Safety Talk 137: Grandma makes the best pickles

Don and Ben talk High Sierra and bricking a MacBook Air, Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip, State Fair judging, pH test strips, mail order food safety and cold brewed canned coffee. They also do some listener feedback on food safe issues related to brewing beer.

Episode 137 can be found here and on iTunes.

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Food Safety Talk 135: This is a podcast

Don and Ben are on the road, talking to some of the best folks in the food safety world at the NEHA Region 4 conference/FDA Central Region retail food protection seminar in Minneapolis. This recording was an experiment, the first Food Safety Talk recorded in front of a live, non-studio audience. Topics included raw milk, hepatitis A, listener feedback on liquid nitrogen, our favorite Bond movies and least favorite pathogens.

Episode 135 can be found here and on iTunes.

 

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These sponges go to 14

Friend of barfblog, and frequent contributor (and modeler extraordinaire), Don Schaffner writes,

I’m always interested in the way microbiology is perceived in the popular culture. When peer reviewed research articles get wide pick up, I’m especially interested. This happened recently with an article on kitchen sponges. Rob Mancini has already blogged about this right here on barfblog, but I’d like to share my thoughts and perspectives.

The fact the kitchen sponges can be massively contaminated by high levels of microorganisms is not news. This has been shown repeatedly in the peer reviewed literature.

What was apparently new in this latest article was the application of “454–pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes and fluorescence in situ hybridization coupled with confocal laser scanning microscopy (FISH–CLSM)”. And I get it. Molecular-based methods are all the rage, and the ability to visualize the presence of microorganisms is very important.

But we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that experimental design, and proper experimental controls are important no matter what sort of science you’re doing. When I dug a little deeper into the above article I was shocked to learn that all of their conclusions were based on a sample of 14 sponges. That’s right, 14 sponges. Furthermore, the authors make claims that “sponge sanitation methods appear not sufficient to efectively reduce the bacterial load in kitchen sponges”. How did they know this? Well when they were collecting those 14 sponges they asked the sponge owners “to specify whether they regularly apply special measures to clean their sponge. The procedures mentioned were: heating in a microwave and rinsing with hot, soapy water”. Of the 14 sponges collected, in five cases the sponge owners reported applying special measures, although the authors do not which of the five used microwaving and which used rinsing with hot, soapy water.

What’s my take away message from this? By all means, go out there and use the hot new technology. But please don’t forget that sample size is very important, and while surveying people for their opinion about what they do might be convenient, it’s no substitute for actually investigating. And if I had to predict the effect of washing sponges with hot soapy water? Probably no different than washing in cold soapy water.

And if anybody out there has access to “454–pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes and fluorescence in situ hybridization coupled with confocal laser scanning microscopy (FISH–CLSM)“ and wants to collaborate, I am available.

Food Safety Talk 128: It’s the Esters, John

The show begins with a discussion of Ben’s recent travels. From there the discussion moves on to obligatory talk about beverages, Canadian and Philadelphia accents, Apple, and other podcasts. The food safety talk begins in earnest with the discussion about what is meant by the words ‘risk assessment’. From there the discussion turns to ‘food safety programs’, restaurant inspections and what customers might want to know, the humor of David Lloyd, and then back to meat safety and proper thermometer use. The show ends with The Onions humorous take on handwashing water temperature. The After Dark contains the usual nonsense including talk about music videos.

Episode 128 can be found here and on iTunes.

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