About 15 years ago, I was a goofy grad student without a lot of ambition.
I had an interest in infectious diseases, genetics and how people talked about risk. Not necessarily in that order.
I found Doug and he set me up with a project working with a bunch of greenhouse tomato and cucumber producers.
His advice was watch everything, ask questions and write it down or you will forget it.
Being on farms and in processing plants I learned about the real challenges that folks encounter when they try to manage risks and ended up finding a passion for food safety. I saw food safety in action daily.
Over the past few weeks I’ve spent a bunch of time out of my office doing food safety stuff in the real world like working with chefs on HACCP plans, visiting storage facilities, providing risk communication messages for an outbreak.
But the most food safety fun I’ve had recently was talking to a friend’s Brownie troop about micobiology and handwashing. Grad students Natalie Seymour, Nicole Arnold and Katie Overbey did the heavy lifting, showed the girls what science is and were excellent scientist role models. I just showed up.
But I guess my handwashing prowess blew a mind or two (above, exactly as shown).