If these people are experts, what’s a consumer to do?

I cringe every time I’m called an expert.

I know a little bit about how to coach girl’s hockey, I know how to make graduate students cry, I know a few other things involving chocolate. I’m amazed at what I don’t know about food and food safety.

But we’re all experts cause we all eat.

The Boston Globe asked some alleged experts about their food concerns.

Dr. Anita Barry of Hingham, director of the infectious disease bureau for the Boston Public Health Commission, says she focuses on washing all produce and she only uses plastic-made cutting boards because wooden ones can have germ-trapped cracks.

Washing produce removes little in the way of pathogens – has to be minimized on the farm – and wooden cutting boards are fine.

Zach Conrad of Brighton, a former co-odinator at the nonprofit Center for Food Safety in Washington, D.C., believes that today’s organic farmers take greater care around sanitation and safety issues.

Sorry Zach, absolutely no evidence for that.

Lilian Schaer has a unique theory on why there is an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with a Harvey’s restaurant in North Bay, Ontario.

“At Harvey’s, frozen beef patties are grilled once you place your order – and there is plenty of room for error in that process, especially if the restaurant is busy, there isn’t enough staff, or staff aren’t trained or supervised properly.”

So why aren’t there other outbreaks at Harvey’s across Canada? Lilian also says farmers are great and bad handling is where things go wrong. Today she called E. coli O157:H7 a virus. Lilian is a communications specialist, apparently trained at Guelph.

Gina Mallet reacted to the Michael Schmidt raw milk conviction today by saying

“Michael Schmidt’s raw milk has never been found to have listeria or e coli, none of his customers have turned up in intensive care.  People who buy raw milk know there’s an outside risk of a pathogen in unpasteurized milk.

"But no one who ate the listeria laced deli meat and now, the  e-coli burgers from a North Bay Wendy’s knew they were dicing with death when they ate processed and fast food. … Fact is, and the government knows it, that the dirty human hand is a greater danger to our food than not pasteurizing milk.”

It’s a Harvey’s in North Bay. And Gina, you don’t know if Schmidt’s milk has made someone sick or not. It’s OK to say, I don’t know. The dirty hand? Sure, but I follow the poop, some of which is on the hand, some elsewhere.