Don’t eat poop, Calif man does anyway while on trial

A Paso Robles man on trial for bank robbery put his hand into his pants, took out feces and ate it while testifying on Wednesday.

andrew.gilbertson.poopAndrew Gilbertson, 40, is accused of robbing the Bank of America located at Santa Rosa and Higuera streets in July 2013. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

While on the stand, Gilbertson said the Virgin Mary told him to rob the bank. He then said the Virgin Mary told him to eat feces.

Judge Donald Umhofer called a recess after Gilbertson began eating poop. Later in the day, a mental health expert testified that Gilbertson hears voices in his head.


Good Ebola (and foodborne illness) advice: don’t eat poop

We used to use don’t eat poop as a secondary barfblog tagline. Then it was don’t eat uncooked poop.  New York TV, anchor Errol Louis of NY1 has resurrected the advice in reference to the city’s first Ebola case:

If you came across some strange mucus or feces or something out there on the street, on the subway, or anywhere else, don’t eat it. Don’t let it get into your body, don’t touch it.

Good call.


Don’t eat poop, works for kids

Our two-year old, Sorenne, has been reluctant to wash her hands lately. Today during a particularly messy diaper change, she reached down to see what was going on, got poop on her index finger, and decided to wipe it on my forearm saying, “Blech, poop yucky!”

I decided this was a good time to try the “don’t eat poop” slogan. I explained to Sorenne, “Don’t put your fingers in your mouth. Poop will make you sick. Don’t eat poop, ok?” She repeated, “Don’t eat poop!” enthusiastically. I added a little explanation that included her favorite French iPod app, “Feed me!” and reminded her that the monster gets sick when he eats something bad. “Turn green!” she chimed in. “Yuck. Don’t like it!”

That’s what happens if you eat poop, Sorenne. You’ll get sick. So wash your hands. And for the first time in ages, she very happily washed her hands with soap. 

Poop-free cakes come from sanitary facilities, safety-minded bakers

I once watched a grandmotherly woman dipping her fingers in a big tub of donut icing and spreading them on fresh-baked cinnamon rolls, as she explained to me that her procedure was much quicker than the spatula-method I was using. That may have been so, but we were working in a retail donut shop where bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat products wouldn’t fly with the health inspectors.

You have the right to treat your own food in any manner you please. But when feeding others, you’re obligated to do all you can to make it safe.

A mom of three in Teaneck, New Jersey, wanted to bake and sell "mortgage apple cakes" to forestall the foreclosure on her home. When more than 500 orders for the $40 cakes came in, Angela Logan was ready to get baking.

But, according to the Associated Press, Teaneck’s health officer notified Logan that it was against state law to use her house as a commercial kitchen.

She would have to bake in a kitchen subject to food safety inspections.

The AP reports that, since the notification, "the Hilton Hasbrouck Heights has allowed Logan to cook in the hotel’s kitchen, where she can produce up to 10 cakes at a time."

That’s very generous of the hotel. I wonder if they gave Logan any food safety training, or just the use of inspected facilities? Both are important if Logan’s customers are going to have their cakes and eat them, too.

Nobody wants to eat poop.

Antenna in your mocha latte?

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains a list of Food Action Defect Levels in the Code of Federal Regulations "to establish maximum levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods for human use that present no health hazard."

A local news station in Michigan got hold of this list and started asking people on the street how they felt about the number of bug parts allowed in their coffee and the amount of rodent "excreta" tolerated in their chocolate.

My local news station in Wichita, Kansas, broadcast their story Tuesday while I shook my head and chuckled. There were a lot of interesting faces as people looked from their cup to the list and back again.

In the end, I got the impression that the public is okay with a few bug parts (and laugh about getting the extra protein), but won’t stand for the poop.

We here at continually advocate keeping as much poop out of food as possible, and proudly wear our t-shirts that declare, "don’t eat poop" with a message about handwashing on the back.

But I’m not crazy. I realize, like the FDA (not the USDA, as asserted in the story, which primarily regulates only meat and poultry products), that it’s virtually impossible to keep the entire (non-meat and -poultry) food supply 100% poop-free. Therefore, I’m glad there are regulations in place to reduce the microbial risks associated with that poop. (The poop that got into the peanuts at the Peanut Corp. of America plant violated those regs.)

I’m just saying… some poop happens. Risks that cannot be eliminated can, and should, be controlled. Responsible, informed producers and consumers do this every day with tools like the FDA Defect Action Level Handbook and tip-sensitive digital meat thermometers.

Do your part: wash your hands and stick it in.

Couple didn’t know what they were eating

A 47-year-old Israeli woman crawled feebly to the front door to call for help from a neighbor before passing out. Her partner, also 47, had already fallen unconscious.

FOX News reports that the couple began to feel dizzy after eating a meal of fried blowfish, and could barely breathe when the ambulance arrived.

“From what they have been able to tell us,” Rambam Hospital spokesman David Ratner said, “a neighbor gave them the fish as a gift. They didn’t know what it was; they fried it up for dinner and ate it.“

The couple was unaware of the neurotoxins contained in the skin and certain internal organs of blowfish that are highly toxic to humans. Contacting or ingesting these toxins leads to muscle paralysis and can result in an excruciatingly slow and painful death.

Marine biologist Dr. Nadav Shashar said, though the fish is the second most poisonous vertebrae in the world, it is considered a delicacy in Japan and Korea, "but they know how to prepare it."

Dr. Shashar concluded by saying, “The basic rule of thumb is simple: Don’t stick things in your mouth if you don’t know what they are.”

Don’t eat poop or blowfish poison.

Memories of Guelph: Don’t kiss toilets

Guest barfblogger Don Schaffner sent Doug and I the below picture from one of his favorite blogs,  blame it on the voices. The picture, likely staged, reminded me of something similar I had seen before my food safety geekdom. 

During my first couple of years of university, I used to go to Retro Wednesdays at the Trasheteria, an-aptly named bar next to Sun-Sun’s in downtown Guelph. There wasn’t any Journey or Foreigner played — it was early nineties retro with the Beastie Boys and Rob Base, with some Nine Inch Nails mixed in.  Pretty much the same stuff I still listen too.

One of those Wednesday nights, I hit the restroom and saw what I think was a lipstick mark, akin to the Rolling Stones logo, on the lip of the toilet. I returned to my table and sent a couple of my friends in to confirm.  I hadn’t really thought of it until Don sent the pic, but maybe we need a "Don’t kiss toilets" website.

Man smears poop in lawyer’s face

A man in San Diego who was upset with his trial smeared human feces in his lawyer’s face, and proceeded to throw the remainder of poop at the jury, reports 10 News.

Weusi McGowan, 37, was upset because San Diego Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Fraser refused to remove Deputy Alternate Public Defender Jeffrey Martin from the case, prosecutor Christopher Lawson said.

At the mid-morning break, McGowan produced a plastic baggie filled with fecal matter and spread it on Martin’s hair and face, then flung the excrement toward the jury box, hitting the briefcase of juror No. 9 but missing the juror himself.

The prosecutor said the defendant was compliant after the outburst, and was taken into custody without further incident.

Hopefully the lawyer and juror No. 9 washed their hands, and didn’t get any poop in their mouths. Don’t eat poop.

Poop in the Field, circa January 2007

This video is a product of the Food Safety Family Swingers and it exemplifies our attempts at getting the message out using our creative resources. Doug and I wrote the song together while thinking about the spinach E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in the fall of 2006 and what caused it. It really boils down to our favorite message: Don’t eat poop.

Poop in the Field Lyrics

A convenient product is what you sell
you promise me freshness then put me through hell
diarrhea’s got a hold on me
when my washroom’s a prison I can’t break free

Whoa — the bag’s the smoking gun, yeah
Whoa — now I’ve got the runs
No one can save me the damage is done!

Poop in the field, manure’s to blame
You give spinach a bad name
I ate it fresh and it gave me pain
You give spinach… a bad name.

Leafy greens touched my lips
Blood black stool on my fingertips
Pre-washed marketing is just a lie
‘Cause ready to eat means ready to die!

Whoa — the bag’s the smoking gun, yeah
Whoa — now I’ve got the runs
No one can save me, the damage is done!

Poop in the field, manure’s to blame
You give spinach a bad name
I ate it fresh, it gave me pain
You give spinach a bad name…