Done that with food safety: NZ toilets provide road safety messages for foreign drivers

About 2003, Chapman and I were drinking beer after hockey, and thought, if entertainment pages were posted above urinals, why can’t we do the same with food safety information.

katie.barf.infosheetSo the manager at the bar above the rink agreed (probably because we were regulars, and used the urinal a lot) and food safety infosheets were born.

We got a unique opportunity to study if they actually worked in a bunch of food service establishments (self-reported surveys suck).

This has been Chapman’s baby all along, and now that he’s a big-shot prof, he don’t do them too much.

That’s fine, we’ve always been more about ideas – a think piece – and others can implement them.

This piece of nostalgia was prompted by a report that South Canterbury’s public toilets have become a novel location for pitching road safety messages to tourist drivers.

Maps in public toilets showing crash sites over the past five years are giving safety warnings in Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Filipino (we did them in English, French, Spanish, some Chinese, some Portugese, depending on what students were around).

The maps, placed above urinals and on the inside of toilet doors, also link readers to websites with road safety messages in 14 languages.

Tourists are being given the safety warnings and driver tips at 60 public toilets around South Canterbury.

South Canterbury Road Safety co-ordinator Daniel Naude said the signs were mostly aimed at foreign tourists, and toilets provided a captive audience.

It was difficult to get people to read road safety information, but he realised signs in toilets could make for good reading for “30 seconds when there’s nothing to do.”


Assessment of Food Safety Practices of Food Service Food Handlers: Testing a Communication Intervention

Chapman, Benjamin; Eversley, Tiffany; Filion, Katie; MacLaurin, Tanya; Powell, Douglas

Journal of Food Protection, Volume 73, Number 6, June 2010 , pp. 1101-1107

Globally, foodborne illness affects an estimated 30% of individuals annually. Meals prepared outside of the home are a risk factor for acquiring foodborne illness and have been implicated in up to 70% of traced outbreaks.

SPANISH infosheet-jan25-10The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called on food safety communicators to design new methods and messages aimed at increasing food safety risk-reduction practices from farm to fork. Food safety infosheets, a novel communication tool designed to appeal to food handlers and compel behavior change, were evaluated. Food safety infosheets were provided weekly to food handlers in working food service operations for 7 weeks. It was hypothesized that through the posting of food safety infosheets in highly visible locations, such as kitchen work areas and hand washing stations, that safe food handling behaviors of food service staff could be positively influenced. Using video observation, food handlers (n = 47) in eight food service operations were observed for a total of 348 h (pre- and postintervention combined). After the food safety infosheets were introduced, food handlers demonstrated a significant increase (6.7%, P < 0.05, 95% confidence interval) in mean hand washing attempts, and a significant reduction in indirect cross-contamination events (19.6%, P < 0.05, 95% confidence interval). Results of the research demonstrate that posting food safety infosheets is an effective intervention tool that positively influences the food safety behaviors of food handlers.

New food safety infosheet: 103 cases of salmonellosis linked to North Carolina church fundraiser meal

When it comes to food safety temporary events can be problematic. Outbreaks have been linked to food festivals, community dinners and church fundraisers. The newest food safety infosheet is based on a September 2013 outbreak linked to a Shelby, North Carolina church fundraiser.Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 10.36.50 AM

Food Safety Infosheet Highlights:

– At least 13 individuals who ate at a barbecue event were hospitalized with symptoms including abdominal cramping, diarrhea and vomiting.
– All preparers should know safe cooking/cooling temperatures and procedures. Hold meals and ingredients requiring temperature control either below 41°F or above 135°F.
– Purchase ingredients from commercial food businesses instead of homemade/donated foods and ask about food safety systems for suppliers.
– Community dinners can be great fundraisers but are often held at temporary sites and staffed by volunteers unfamiliar with safe food handling practices for large meals.

Download the infosheet here.

Cyclospora, bad advice and vasectomies

After walking Sorenne to school this morning – as I do – I dropped by my local fruit and veg monger where we chatted about kids, Screen-Shot-2013-08-05-at-8.53.06-AM-230x300partners and vasectomies.

As I do.

We compared stories.

Then we got into cyclospora.

Chapman put out an infosheet, but what strikes me, and my fruit and veg monger, is the amount of terrible advice: you’re not going to wash this stuff off, and if you succeed, you’re going to cross-contaminate your food service or home kitchen (cyclospora is a parasite, not a virus, news outlets).

Food safety starts on the farm.

Investigators and regulators – take us to the farm.

Plus de 50 cas de maladies à norovirus ont été liés à des manipulateurs de denrées alimentaires malades

Translated by Albert Amgar

Une société de restauration commerciale du centre administratif de Mankato, Minnesota, est liée à une éclosion virale au cours de deux évènements distincts.

Ce que vous devez savoir a propos de norovirus

• Ne manipulez pas d’aliments lorsque vous êtes malade, spécialement si vous avez des symptômes comme de la diarrhée (car la transmission est probable) ou des vomissements (car les particules de virus peuvent se répandre aux mains, aux vêtements et aux autres surfaces)

• Des infections à norovirus peuvent avoir lieu sans symptômes

• Les personnes infectées peuvent répandre de grandes quantités de norovirus dans leur selles et leurs vomissements

• Norovirus peut persister sur des surfaces usuelles de cuisine pendant plus de 6 semaines

• Quelques désinfectants pour les mains ne sont pas efficaces pour réduire la présence de norovirus sur les mains

Les enquêteurs retracent l’éclosion à plusieurs manipulateurs d’aliments qui étaient malades

Les responsables de la santé du Minnesota ont dit que des employés malades de la restauration commerciale étaient à l’origine de l’éclosion à norovirus qui a rendu malades plus de 50 personnes qui ont mangé à l’occasion d’évènements au centre administratif de Mankato. L’éclosion a été liée à une seule société de restauration commerciale extérieure au centre administratif.

La majorité des personnes malades ont été en relation avec un évènement, le banquet du Greater Mankato Growth auquel plus 460 personnes ont assisté. Il y a eu aussi des rapports d’autres cas ultérieurs de maladies liés à un second évènement le jour suivant.
Les responsables de la santé ont procédé à une intervention auprès du fournisseur de la restauration commerciale qui comprenait un rappel des protocoles à suivre lorsque des employés tombent malades suite à une éclosion.

Click here to download.

New Food Safety Infosheet: Over 50 norovirus illnesses linked to ill food handlers

The newest food safety infosheet, a graphical one-page food safety-related story directed at food businesses, is now available.

Food Safety Infosheet Highlights:

– Mankato, MN civic center catering company linked to virus outbreak at two separate events

– Investigators trace outbreak to multiple food handlers who were ill

– Don’t handle food while ill; especially if you have symptoms like diarrhea (when transmission is likely) or vomiting (as virus particles may be spread to hands, clothes and other surfaces).

Click here to download.

Norovirus: you don’t want it

After tag teaming with Amy through the night and morning, Sorenne finally went back to sleep for a couple of hours.

And then she barfed again.

I contacted the school and they told me several kids started barfing yesterday afternoon, they put up the Warning Gastro Cases Reported on the classroom doors and went into a deep clean after the kids went home yesterday.

So maybe it wasn’t my cooking or food selections. Maybe it was norovirus.

There are dozens of norovirus outbreaks going on right now in the Northern Hemisphere as winter approaches: schools, day cares, hospitals, extended care facilities, and oil rigs.

They can happen in the Southern Hemisphere too.

I only comment on the ones that seem to involve a food vehicle (or one of my kids), like the one at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, Minnesota last week.

Health types say the outbreak appears to be a norovirus, but it’s too soon to determine if the illness was spread through food at the civic center.

More than 50 people were sickened after a Greater Mankato Growth event a week ago, attended by more than 460 people. The health department also has received reports of people who contracted the illness after attending a civic center event for veterans last Wednesday.

Whatever the cause, it’s important to isolate the sick people and clean quickly and thoroughly. That’s why oil workers have been evacuated from a North Sea platform and workforce numbers reduced to a bare minimum.

Three victims have been quarantined in designated rooms in an effort to prevent the virus from spreading and infecting others on the Enquest-owned rig.

A Petrofac spokesman said, “All reasonable steps have been taken to contain the spread of the virus and support and guidance is being provided by onshore doctors and occupational health professionals including NHS Grampian’s Health Protection Team.

“As an additional precautionary measure we are reducing the number of non-essential personnel on the installation to limit further spread of the virus.”

Nuevo Folleto Informativo: Melones relacionados a un brote de Salmonella

Traducido por Gonzalo Erdozain

Resumen del folleto informativo mas reciente:
– 2 muertes y 178 enfermos asociados con melones distribuidos por un granjero de Indiana.
– Refrigere el melón luego de cortarlo. Bacterias como la Salmonella y Listeria pueden proliferar rápidamente en temperaturas mayores a los 41°F (5ºC).
– La piel áspera del melón dificilita la eliminación de bacterias a través del lavado.
– Un cepillo debe ser utilizado durante el lavado para disminuir el riesgo de introducción de patógenos durante el corte.

Los folletos informativos son creados semanalmente y puestos en restaurantes, tiendas y granjas, y son usados para entrenar y educar a través del mundo. Si usted quiere proponer un tema o mandar fotos para los folletos, contacte a Ben Chapman a

Puede seguir las historias de los folletos informativos y barfblog en twitter
@benjaminchapman y @barfblog.

New Food Safety Infosheet: Cantaloupes linked to Salmonella outbreak

The newest food safety infosheet, a graphical one-page food safety-related story directed at food businesses, is now available

Food Safety Infosheet Highlights:

– 2 deaths and 141 illnesses are associated with cantaloupes grown in Indiana.

– Refrigerate cantaloupes quickly after slicing. Bacteria such as Salmonella and Listeria can grow quickly on the orange flesh of the fruit when held above 41°F.

– Due to the roughness of the rind, it is difficult to wash away much of the bacteria.

– Using a scrub brush under running water (especially at the cut point) can reduce the risk of pathogen introduction.

Food safety infosheets are created on a regular basis and are posted in restaurants, retail stores, on farms and used in training throughout the world. If you have any infosheet topic requests, or photos, please contact Ben Chapman at

Click here to download.

Nuevo Folleto Informativo: Conservas de remolachas caceras relacionadas con tres hospitalizaciones a causa de botulismo en Oregon

Traducido por Gonzalo Erdozain

Resumen del folleto informativo mas reciente:

– Almacenamiento de alimentos de poca acidez en frascos, sin ser acidificados o procesados a presión, crea las condiciones ideales para la formación de toxinas.
– Recetas probadas, y direcciones para enlatar de forma segura se encuentran en el “National Center for Home Food:”
– En 1977, 59 comensales de un restaurante Mejicano en Detroit enfermaron de botulismo luego de ingerir pimentones que fueron enlatados inapropiadamente (estos fueron ligeramente cocidos y enlatados con agua).
– Alimentos de baja acidez (pH mayor a 4.6) como la remolacha, no pueden ser enlatados de forma segura usando baño de agua hirviente, al no ser que se los acidifique de acuerdo a alguna receta probada.

Los folletos informativos son creados semanalmente y puestos en restaurantes, tiendas y granjas, y son usados para entrenar y educar a través del mundo. Si usted quiere proponer un tema o mandar fotos para los folletos, contacte a Ben Chapman a

Puede seguir las historias de los folletos informativos y barfblog en twitter
@benjaminchapman y @barfblog.

Brote de norovirus 
en California Pizza Kitchen, relacionado 
con empleados enfermos

 Traducido por Gonzalo Erdozain

Resumen del folleto informativo mas reciente:
– Mas de 20 clientes de un restaurant de la cadena California Pizza Kitchen reportaron vomito, diarrea, dolor de estomago y nausea.
– Tres empleados también fueron afectados por dicho brote.
– No prepare alimentos si esta enfermo, sobre todo si los síntomas incluyen diarrea (durante la cual la transmisión es mas común) o vomito (ya que partículas del virus pueden esparcirse a otras superficies, ropa y manos).
Los folletos informativos son creados semanalmente y puestos en restaurantes, tiendas y granjas, y son usados para entrenar y educar a través del mundo. Si usted quiere proponer un tema o mandar fotos para los folletos, contacte a Ben Chapman a

Puede seguir las historias de los folletos informativos y barfblog en twitter
@benjaminchapman y @barfblog.