Don Schaffner, guest barfblogger: Perhaps it will help keep poop out of food?

When worlds collide…..

I’ve always found it interesting when disparate objects or ideas come together.  

One such collision was the subject of an earlier barfblog contribution when I wrote about a norovirus at a boy scout camp, integrating my interest in food safety and the the volunteer work I do with the boy scouts.

It also happened twice this week.  The first example has nothing to do with food safety, but hey, if Doug can write about Blacky the donkey, all’s fair.  I just can’t resist plugging this amazing YouTube video, where the band Phish covers the Lou Reed classic "Sweet Jane".  Hippy culture meets New York grit.  Cool stuff.

Anyway, on with the food safety story, sort of.  I need to explain: I’m a productivity pr0n addict.  For more on this addiction look here.  I think that one of the most entertaining and useful productivity gurus out there is Merlin Mann (yes,  that’s his real name), the editor and founder of productivity website  Anyway, when Merlin is not blogging about productivity, talking at The Google or Macworld, he’s  scouring the interweb looking for cool stuff.

And… now we get to the point of this article… and the second collision, where productivity guru meets food safety: Bottom Toilet Tissue Aid Self-wipe Cleaning: Health & Personal Care.  As Merlin quips, "Why is all the cool stuff for "disabled" people?  I could totally use this".  And maybe he right.  This might be something we could all use, and as Amazon notes "After use the tissue is discarded by  pressing an easy-to-use release button on the end of the handle.

This might be the solution to fecal cross contamination, and allow us all to avoid what O. Pete Snyder calls "toilet paper slips", helping us all to eat less poop.

Don Schaffner is an Extension Specialist in Food Science at Rutgers University, the newly appointed director of the Center for Advanced Food Technology, and a self-confessed productivity pr0n addict.

Riding in Cars

Doug and I just returned from a 10-day road trip to Florida and back to Kansas with three of his teenage girls. The journey to Florida was reasonably broken up into segments and we chose towns, hotels, and restaurants that would accommodate our diverse interests and needs. On the trip back we started talking about the next time we do this trip, when it’s just the two of us, we can drive down with our two dogs and rent a house near a beach on the Gulf somewhere.

When I read yesterday’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch story, “City aldermen loosen leash on dogs dining at restaurants” in FSnet, I added St. Louis to the list of places we can stop on that next trip. Taking a road trip with dogs, like kids, means special consideration about where and how long to stop, and what kinds of towns, hotels, and restaurants we patronize – especially in the summer when it is dangerous to leave the puppies in the car. Cities committed to rules for safe doggy dining make it easier for us to keep our dogs safe while we dine on the road.