Straight, no chaser; because some food companies are better

Amy says she’s my filter, and I say dumb things when she’s not around (IAFP?).

But that’s not quite true: I say dumb things whether she’s around or not.

It must have been March when I got interviewed for the Meatingplace magazine bit that appeared today.

powell.meatingplace.aug.13Apparently I give bracing interview.

I was in Kansas, miserable because I was once again away from my family for U.S. citizenship requirements, and had found out I was going to be fired from my professoring job for bad attendance (ironic, since I spent about four of the first five months of 2013 in the U.S.

I’ve got this fog of academia slowly clearing from my brain – not as fast as a San Diego or Brisbane morning, but getting there – and again reinventing.

But, for a journey through the past, have a giggle.

A friend said I looked like a cross between Harrison Ford and Guy Fieri; far too complimentary.

No one could accuse Douglas Powell of pulling his punches. This is the guy, after all, who named his popular online food safety journal, barfblog. In a bracing conversation with Meatingplace, Powell, a professor of microbiology, food safety consultant and an “OK goaltender in pickup hockey,” discussed consumers’ concerns in meat processors’ language.

Meatingplace: Your research encompasses food safety throughout the supply chain. Where do you think the weakest links are in the meat supply chain?

Powell: The meat supply chain has done a fabulous job over the last 10 years at improving itself. That being said, when little kids get sick, it’s devastating, and when you get outbreaks of E. coli … [meat companies amy.the.look.2007have] got to step up. I think the industry has been really innovative in some [ways]. Companies like Cargill started using video surveillance for animal welfare … [a]nd pretty soon they started doing it for food safety.

Meatingplace: Where would you personally, as a microbiologist in this area, like to see more effort made by the meat industry?

Powell: What I’d like to see is for the best companies to be able to go public and brag about it. You and I both know that there are a lot of companies out there that are really good at this stuff. I want them to brag about it at retail because as a parent of five daughters, I want to buy their product. If you’re going to invest in food safety, you should get rewarded for it.

The rest of the interview is available at