Filion graduates, more contributions to food safety culture

In just three short years, Katie Filion has transformed herself from infosheet model (right) into an unemployed graduate with a Master’s degree (exactly as shown, this morning, left).

That’s right. Filion successfully defended her MS thesis, Designing A National Restaurant Inspection Disclosure System For New Zealand, and, will be a graduate of biomedical sciences in the veterinary college at Kansas State University. As soon as we turn in the paperwork.

K-State also highlighted the work of my lab through this morning where I said,

“Awareness is the best asset for enhancing the food safety culture. The best approaches come through incentives and the punishment of bad behavior. A prominent example is restaurant disclosure. This is based on giving letter grades for inspections. The greatest benefit is that it establishes a dialogue, but the information has to be posted.

"Publishing the information in the newspaper every couple of weeks doesn’t help when you’re walking through the restaurant’s door. It needs to be right there."

Powell said he’s encouraged by the level of dialogue on improving food safety, but acknowledges there’s plenty of work to do.

"For every step forward there always seems to be a few steps back. When you look at the billions of meals served in the country each year, food safety is pretty good. But when someone screws up, it’s pretty bad."

Powell said he is respectful of food when he cooks. But he cautions against being too paranoid.

"I think of any raw food as containing microorganisms that could be dangerous. I don’t treat it like nuclear waste, but I treat it with respect."

And way to go, Katie. Respect.