Lowering loads: Campylobacter limits in chicken meat chain would reduce illness

A critical limit of 1,000 Campylobacter bacteria per gram of chicken would reduce the number of human disease cases by two-thirds, according to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in the Netherlands.

The Poultry Site reports that Campylobacter illness largely happens via cross-contamination in the kitchen from chicken meat to product that are consumed raw, like salads, and to a lesser extent undercooked meat. Dan Aykroyd Plays Julia ChildResearch by RIVM has shown that a large point of these illnesses can be prevented if the number of bacteria on chicken meat after industrial production is reduced.

Recently, there has been increased attention for hygiene in the farm to fork production check including slaughterhouses. In this context, the Dutch government intends to limit the level of Campylobacter bacteria on chicken meat, a so-called ‘process hygiene’ criterion. If higher levels are repeatedly found, the slaughterhouse needs to improved processing hygiene RIVM has evaluated the impact of different (more or less stringent) criteria, both on public health and on the costs for the poultry industry.

A critical limit of 1,000 Campylobacter bacteria per gram would reduce the number of human disease cases by two-thirds. The costs to the poultry industry to meet this criterion (estimated at €2 million per year) are considerably lower than the averted costs of illness (approximately €9 million per year).

Authors of the report are A.N. Swart, M.J.J. Mangen and A.H. Havelaar.

Michael Pollan — You’re no Julia Child

This will be brief because I have to cook dinner (another week in Venice, Florida, and supper will be permanently moved to 3:30 pm).

With the upcoming release of Julia and Julie, food pornographers everywhere are reminiscing about their love of Julia Child, widely credited with bringing French cooking to mainstream America.

Michael Pollan takes 8,272 words in tomorrow’s N.Y. Times magazine to say The Food Network appeals to eaters not cooks, that people wouldn’t be so fat if they had to make food with basic ingredients at home, and he’s nostalgic for his mother’s cooking.

Salon magazine has already driven a few trucks through the rather gaping holes in Pollan’s arguments and cherry-picked supporting evidence. About word 745, I recognized Pollan’s hypocrisy and wondered why I was reading this trash when I could be cooking?

And Dan Ackroyd at least deserves a cameo in the new movie for best Julia Child impersonation (although John Candy’s Julia on Second City TV, duking it out with Mr. Rogers in a boxing match during a satirical Battle of the PBS stars is a close second).