Counting STECs in poop: Medium matters

The isolation and quantification of non-O157 Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC) from cattle feces are challenging. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of selected agar media in an attempt to identify an optimal medium for the detection and quantification of non-O157 STEC in cattle feces.

medium.messageComparison studies were performed using CHROMagar STEC, Possé differential agar (Possé), Possé modified by the reduction or addition of antimicrobials, STEC heart infusion washed blood agar with mitomycin C (SHIBAM), and SHIBAM modified by the addition of antimicrobials. Fourteen STEC strains, two each belonging to serogroups O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, O145, and O157, were used to test detection in inoculated fecal suspensions at concentrations of 102 or 103 CFU/g. One STEC strain from each of these seven serogroups was used to estimate the concentration of recovered STEC in feces inoculated at 103, 104, or 105 CFU/g. Significantly more suspensions (P < 0.05) were positive for STEC when plated on Possé containing reduced concentrations of novobiocin and potassium tellurite compared with SHIBAM, but not SHIBAM modified by containing these same antimicrobials at the same concentrations. Numerically, more suspensions were positive for STEC by using this same form of modified Possé compared with Possé, but this difference was not statistically significant. More suspensions were positive for STEC cultured on CHROMagar STEC compared with those on Possé (P < 0.05) and on modified Possé (P = 0.05). Most inoculated fecal suspensions below 104 CFU/g of feces were underestimated or not quantifiable for the concentration of STEC by using CHROMagar STEC or modified Possé.

These results suggest that CHROMagar STEC performs better than Possé or SHIBAM for detection of STEC in bovine feces, but adjustments in the concentrations of novobiocin and potassium tellurite in the latter two media result in significant improvements in their performance.

Comparison of agar media for detection and quantification of Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli in cattle feces

Journal of Food Protection®, Number 6, June 2016, pp. 896-1055, pp. 939-949(11)

Stromberg, Zachary R.; Lewis, Gentry L.; Moxley, Rodney A.

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/iafp/jfp/2016/00000079/00000006/art00006

The medium is the message: Social media use by food and health organizations

Marshall McLuhan famously said in 1967, “The medium is the message” and got to do a walk-on in the movie, Annie Hall, where he told some pompous professor that he doesn’t understand his theories at all and is not qualified to teach.

Marshall-McLuhan-in-Annie-Hall-300x225With food safety recalls today, it’s the medium and the message, if you want to getpeople’s attention.

A paper in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior explores the increasing use of social media by food and health organizations.

Objective: To examine the use and impact of social media on 2-way communication between consumers and public organizations in the food safety and nutrition area.

Methods: In-depth qualitative study conducted between October, 2012 and January, 2013, using semi- structured interviews in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Sixteen professionals worked on the public interface within 5 national organizations with a role in communicating on food safety and nutrition issues in this thematic analysis.

Results: Five main themes were identified: gradual shift toward social media–based queries and complaints; challenges and limitations of social media to deal with queries and complaints; benefits of using social media in query and complaint services; content redesign driven by social media use; and using social media to learn more about consumers.

Conclusion and Implications: Social media penetrated and brought new opportunities to food organizations’ interactions with the public. Given the increasing use of social media by the public, food organizations need to explore such new opportunities for communication and research.

Key Words: social media, 2-way communication, public engagement, online monitoring, food (J Nutr Educ Behav. 2015;47:104-108.)

Interactive communication with the public: qualitative exploration of the use of social media by food and health organizations

25.oct.14

Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Volume 47, Number 1, 2015

Liran Christine Shan, MSc, MSc; Panagiotis Panagiotopoulos, PhD; Aine Regan, PhD; Aoife De Brun, PhD; Julie Barnett, PhD; Patrick Wall, MB BAO BCh, MVB, MBA, MRCVS; Aine McConnon, PhD

http://www.jneb.org/article/S1499-4046(14)00676-9/abstract

Message and medium; bye-bye PR hacks; social media as megaphone to pressure food industry

Marshall McLuhan famously said in 1967, “The medium is the message” and got to do a walk-on in the movie, Annie Hall, where he told some pompous professor that he doesn’t understand his theories at all and is not qualified to teach.

Fitting.

With food safety recalls today, it’s the medium and the message, if you want to get Marshall-McLuhan-in-Annie-Hall-300x225people’s attention.

Stephanie Strom of the NY Times recreates those themes for modern audiences (I’m old).

Matthew Egol, a partner at Booz & Company, a consulting firm, said companies were approaching the negative feedback they get with new tools that help them assess the risks posed by consumer criticism.

“Instead of relying on a P.R. firm, you have analytical tools to quantify how big an issue it is and how rapidly it’s spreading and how influential the people hollering are,” he said. “Then you can make a decision about how to respond. It happens much more quickly.”

Duh.