Isle of Wight, known to most Western kids as the home of a groovy rock and jazz festival, is now home to three people have a potentially fatal kidney condition following an outbreak of E. coli which has been linked to unpasteurised milk from a farm.
No longer tied to any sponsorship, academic or anyone.
(Chapman is, but he needs his job; I don’t).
I’m Canadian. Get used to the fucking swearing or get the fuck off.
A few years ago at the International Association for Food Protection annual meeting, I told the audience, after revealing my wife’s breast size because she asked me to shop for bras – which I did — that the audience of food safety geeks now knew more about my wife’s breast size than they knew about the food they were about to eat for dinner, where it came from, and how it was prepared.
A government-type said she couldn’t read me anymore.
Or the way 1.5 million attended my farewell blog.
But a few thousand have written in so:
After 25 years of food safety risk communication, nothing has changed.
A self-congratulating-largely-taxpayer-funded crowd to tell people food safety is their fault is not a movement.
Cut-and-paste press releases do not make a publication, regardless of medium – and I’ll take on anyone who wants to talk the medium is the message by University of Toronto prof Marshall McLuhan.
In an intensifying climate of scrutiny over food safety, the food industry is turning to “food safety culture” as a one-size-fits-all solution to protect both consumers and companies. This strategy focuses on changing employee behavior from farm to fork to fit a universal model of bureaucratic control; the goal is system-wide cultural transformation in the name of combatting foodborne illness. Through grounded fieldwork centered on the case of a regional wholesale produce market in California, we examine the consequences of this bureaucratization of food safety power on the everyday routines and lived experiences of people working to grow, pack, and deliver fresh produce. We find that despite rhetoric promising a rational and universal answer to food safety, fear and frustration over pervasive uncertainty and legal threats can produce cynicism, distrust, and fragmentation among agrifood actors. Furthermore, under the cover of its public health mission to prevent foodborne illness, food safety culture exerts a new moral economy that sorts companies and employees into categories of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ according to an abstracted calculation of ‘riskiness’ along a scale from safe to dangerous. We raise the concern that ‘safety’ is usurping other deeply held values and excluding cultural forms and experiential knowledges associated with long-standing food-ways. The long-term danger, we conclude, is that this uniform and myopic response to real risks of foodborne illness will not lead to a holistically healthy or sustainable agrifood system, but rather perpetuate a spiralling cycle of crisis and reform that carries a very real human toll.
I’ve been to my share of open-air music festivals or, as we called them, concerts, outside: The Who, Toronto, 1980; Rolling Stones, Buffalo, 1981; Grateful Dead, Toronto, 1987; Tragically Hip, Toronto, a few times; Jimmy Buffet, Toronto, a few times; Blue Rodeo, Guelph, 2000; Lyle Lovett, 2002, Toronto, John Prine, Toronto, a few times, Jerry Reid, Barrie, 1986, Neil Young, Toronto, many times, and Neil Young, Brisbane, 2013, oops not, stuck in an airport, and many more I can’t remember.
Sometimes we got wet.
Researchers in Marseille, writing in Eurosurveillance, state that in the minds of many, large scale open air festivals have become associated with spring and summer, attracting many people, and in the case of music festivals, thousands of music fans. These festivals share the usual health risks
associated with large mass gatherings, including transmission of communicable diseases and risk of outbreaks. Large scale open air festivals have however specific characteristics, including outdoor settings, on-site housing and food supply and the generally young age of the participants. Outbreaks at large scale open air festivals have been caused by Cryptosporium parvum, Campylobacter spp., Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Shigella sonnei, Staphylococcus aureus, hepatitis A virus, influenza virus, measles virus, mumps virus and norovirus. Faecal-oral and respiratory transmissions of pathogens result from non-compliance with hygiene rules, inadequate sanitation and insufficient vaccination coverage. Sexual transmission of infectious diseases may also occur and is likely to be underestimated and underreported. Enhanced surveillance during and after festivals is essential. Preventive measures such as immunisations of participants and advice on-site and via social networks should be considered to reduce outbreaks at these large scale open air festivals.
Holidays are all about tradition. After five years in Kansas, Amy and Sorenne and I have settled into a routine of lamb (that was last night), fish, cognac and champagne and no barfing, except 2006, when Amy was so sick we got married.
There’s the television shows: It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Scrooged, endless children’s specials. TBS runs a 24-hour marathon of nothing but the quirky 1983 holiday entry, A Christmas Story. But for us, nothing captures the true meaning of Christmas better than the 2004 Trailer Park Boys Christmas Special.
In this scene (language warning), Ricky extols to the congregation in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (that’s in Canada), about the true meaning of Christmas.
“Sorry to interrupt, but I just had one of those brain-learning things pop into my head. … What is Christmas? I just got out of jail, which was awesome, you know, they don’t have presents and lights and tress, we just get stoned and drunk, it’s the best time. And I get out here and I’m all stressed out.
“… That’s not what Christmas should be, you should be getting drunk and stoned with your friends and family, people that you love. … That’s Christmas. … Getting drunk and stoned with your families and the people that you love. And if you don’t smoke or drink, just spend time with your families. It’s awesome. Merry Christmas.”
Or as Sorenne says, don’t make your friends and family barf with bad food safety.