Food Safety Talk, a bi-weekly podcast for food safety nerds, by food safety nerds. The podcast is hosted by Ben Chapman and barfblog contributor Don Schaffner, Extension Specialist in Food Science and Professor at Rutgers University. Every two weeks or so, Ben and Don get together virtually and talk for about an hour. They talk about what’s on their minds or in the news regarding food safety, and popular culture. They strive to be relevant, funny and informative — sometimes they succeed. You can download the audio recordings right from the website, or subscribe using iTunes.
They dove in to follow-up with additional information they received from Cheryl Deem from the American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) on the spice story in FST 52. Cheryl explained why ASTA didn’t have a response to the FDA risk assessment as reported in this NYT article and shared a guidance document ASTA had prepared in 2011.
The discussion then turned to yet another pruno-related botulism outbreak in a Utah prison. Pruno has been discussed in FST 27 and the investigation of that outbreak has just been published in this paper, including the experimental Pruno recipe.
In the IAFP History segment, Don shared Manan Sharma‘s article on the 1970’s, which marked changes to food consumption, food safety and environmental trends, including HACCP and microwaves. After a short 1970’s detour to Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus Vol 1, Ben marveled about the advances in microwave technology, including the magnetron. While Ben’s new microwave exceeded his cooking expectation, Trader Joe’s cooking instructions for Mac & Cheese fell short. In contrast to Trader Joe’s, who don’t have a social media presence, Don did like Publix who asked for a haiku on Twitter.
Don then shared his latest irritation with Fightbac.org. It was prompted by their latest campaign called Bac Down and their lack of understanding that Listeria monocytogenes can grow at temperatures as low 32 °F. The guys challenged listeners to send in their creative Bac-themed puns for great prices!
Ben then wanted to talk about Jeffery Arthur Feehan who tried to shoplift meat in his pants. But Ben wasn’t quite so worried simply because store employees put the meat back on the shelf (a big yuck factor!), but that Jeffrey took the meat to the restroom for his pants stuffing misdemeanor. Jeffrey’s comment to the judges reminded Ben of a famous Animal House quote.
The discussion then turned to a recent paper on raw milk consumption and illness. While the underreporting aspect got some publicity, Ben suggested that all the information wasn’t going to change minds. This had been highlighted in this article on Michigan consumers of raw milk and that’s got to do with raw milk proponents not trusting health officials. Ben discussed the “The Abuela project“, an example of an innovative approach to overcoming the difficulty of developing successful education campaigns. The challenge of course is how to develop a campaign when raw milk sales are illegal (as is the case in some states). Maybe a Raw Milk Hamsterdam is the solution?