People often ask me, “Doug, how do you choose the information that goes in bites.ksu.edu? Do you have a basis for any of your food safety rants on barfblog? Why are you such a jerk?
People often ask Ben, “Why do you write so much about vomit?”
People often ask Amy, “Why are you with Doug?”
When we ran the food safety information centre back in Canada, we had detailed procedures for how to answer questions, what information was provided and why. We don’t answer questions so much anymore, but we do provide a lot of information so I figured we better clearly understand what we do and why. This is more for us and all the students that come through my lab than it is for you. Really, it’s me, not you.
bites.ksu.edu is a unique comprehensive resource for all those with a personal or professional interest in food safety. Dr. Powell of Kansas State University, and associates, search out credible, current, evidence-based information on food safety and make it accessible to domestic and international audiences through multiple media. Sources of food safety information include government regulatory agencies, international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), peer-reviewed scientific publications, academia, recognized experts in the field and other sources as appropriate.
Throughout all bites activities, the emphasis is on engaging people in dialogue about food-related risks, controls and benefits, from farm-to-fork. bites strives to provide reliable, relevant information in culturally and linguistically appropriate formats to assist people in identifying, understanding and mitigating the causes of foodborne illness.
The bites.ksu.edu 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 1995 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, Dr. Powell, 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.
barfblog.com is where Drs. Powell, Chapman, Hubbell and assorted food safety friends offer evidence-based opinions on current food safety issues. Opinions must be evidence-based – with references – reliable, rapid and relevant. The barfblog authors edit each other – viciously.
Breaking food safety news items that eventually appear in bites or barfblog are often posted on Twitter for faster public notification.
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 sourced from the bites listserv. 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. And now, available in French, Spanish and Portuguese.
bites bistro videos
A nod to the youtube generation, but we don’t really know what we’re doing.