barfblog, bites and food safety

There’s no shortage of food safety press releases, repeated and regurgitated using funky new media tools; there is a shortage of evidence-based, incisive approaches that challenge food safety norms and may eventually lead to fewer sick people. is the fastest way to stay current on food safety issues. Powell, Chapman and assorted food safety friends offer evidence-based opinions on current food safety issues. Opinions must be reliable – with references — rapid and relevant.

Anyone can subscribe directly to and receive an e-mail immediately when something new is posted. Go to and click on the ‘subscribe’ button on the right side of the page.

Food safety infosheets are designed to influence food handler practices by utilizing four attributes culled from education, behavioral science and communication literature:
• surprising and compelling messages;
• putting actions and their consequence in context;
• generating discussion within the target audiences’ environments; and
• using verbal narrative, or storytelling, as a message delivery device.

Food safety infosheets are based on stories about outbreaks of foodborne illness. Four criteria are used to select the story: discussion of a foodborne illness outbreak; discussion of background knowledge of a pathogen (including symptoms, etiology and transmission); food handler control practices; and emerging food safety issues. Food safety infosheets also contain evidence-based prescriptive information to prevent or mitigate foodborne illness related to food handling. They are available in several languages.

The listserv is a free web-based mailing list where information about current and emerging food safety issues is provided, gathered from journalistic and scientific sources around the world and condensed into short items or stories that make up the daily postings. The listserv has been issued continuously since 1994 and is distributed daily via e-mail to thousands of individuals worldwide from academia, industry, government, the farm community, journalists and the public at large.

The listserv is designed to:
• convey timely and current information for direction of research, diagnostic or investigative activities;
• identify food risk trends and issues for risk management and communication activities; and
• promote awareness of public concerns in scientific and regulatory circles.

The bites listserv functions as a food safety news aggregator, summarizing available information that can be can be useful for risk managers in proactively anticipating trends and reactively address issues. The bites editor (me – dp) does not say whether a story is right or wrong or somewhere in between, but rather that a specific story is available today for public discussion.

If you only want to receive specific news, use RSS feeds.

RSS (Rich Site Summary, or Really Simple Syndication) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites, weblogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it.

If you only want stories about food safety policy, or norovirus, go to and click on that section. Then click on the RSS symbol, and add to your reader. is also available as a RSS feed.

Breaking food safety news items that eventually appear in bites-l or are often posted on Twitter (under barfblog or benjaminchapman) for faster public notification.

These are the various information products we deliver daily, in addition to research, training and outreach. Sponsorship opportunities are available for,, and the bites-l listserv.

Any money is used to support the on-going expenses of the news-gathering and distribution activities, and to develop the next generation of high school, undergraduate and graduate students who will integrate science and communication skills to deliver compelling food safety messages using a variety of media. Research, training and outreach are all connected in our food safety world.