Bite Me ’09: First gig, Raleigh, North Carolina

It was like Spinal Tap goes to the airforce base (below).

But Ben’s dad enjoyed the talk, New messages, media, to reduce incidence of foodborne disease.

The global incidence of foodborne illness continues to rise. The World Health Organization estimates that up to 30 per cent of individuals in developed countries suffer from foodborne illness each year . Current strategies for compelling individuals and organizations to practice food safety appear inadequate and are rarely evaluated. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported in April 2008 that efforts to reduce foodborne illness have stalled. New messages using new media are required to create a culture that values microbiologically safe food.

Culture encompasses the shared values, mores, customary practices, inherited traditions, and prevailing habits of communities. The culture of today’s food system (including its farms, food processing facilities, domestic and international distribution channels, retail outlets, restaurants, and domestic kitchens) is saturated with information but short on behavioral-change insights. Creating a culture of food safety requires application of the best science with the best management and communication systems, including compelling, rapid, relevant, reliable and repeated, multi-linguistic and culturally-sensitive messages.

The effectiveness of multilingual, convergent and distinctive food safety communications must be evaluated by direct observation – people lie a lot on surveys. A novel video capture system will be discussed.

The talk went well. We captured everything on video so the material will get used in about 30 places.

And after doing my usual, why are animal activists the only ones who know how to use a video camera spiel, Cargill Beef announced today it had implemented a third-party video-auditing system that will operate 24 hours a day at its U.S. beef harvesting plants to enhance the company’s animal welfare protection systems. All of Cargill’s U.S. plants are expected to have the program in place by the end of 2009.

We’ve now traveled to North Myrtle Beach for a few days of golf with a bunch of other Canadians.

And Amy appears to have some sort of foodborne illness.

Food safety on the road: Bite Me ’09 tour

Amy, Sorenne and I (right, not exactly as shown) started out this morning on our Spring Food Safety Speaking Tour – Bite Me ’09.

First stop is North Carolina State in Raleigh, but it’s 1,200 miles from an apparently snow-covered Manhattan (Kansas) and, with a three-month-old in tow, the stops are frequent.

One of those stops was at a Panera Bread in Columbia, Missouri. The restaurant rated an A according to the sign in the window (below, left) but when I went to the bathroom, the toilet handle was broken and wouldn’t flush. And I really should have flushed.