Woman’s Day: Top-10 foods on a stick

While ironic that a magazine called Woman’s Day would feature the top-10 surprising foods on a stick – there’s probably an app for that – here they are:

Deep-Fried Spam (right)

Deep-Fried Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Octopus Tempura

Deep-Fried Tootsie Roll

Deep-Fried Mac-n-Cheese


Deep-Fried Bacon and Fries

Deep-Fried Chocolate Cake (left)


Deep-Fried Cheese

Top 10 food safety issues 2008 – the PR version

Researchers at Kansas State University’s International Food Safety Network use blogs, YouTube videos, food safety info sheets and other means to remind people about food safety hazards. The researchers are among more than 150 K-State faculty and staff active in the food safety and animal health arenas. Since 1999, K-State has dedicated more than $70 million to related research.

"During an outbreak, food safety is at the top of many people’s minds," said Doug Powell, scientific director of the International Food Safety Network at K-State, where he is an associate professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology. "The real challenge is to compel everyone, from farm to fork, to practice safe food habits before an outbreak occurs. It’s sort of boring, but it reduces the number of sick people."

Casey Jacob is a research assistant working with Powell. A May 2008 K-State bachelor’s graduate in food science and industry, Jacob compiled a list of the top 10 food safety issues of 2008 available at http://tinyurl.com/4q4efw

Salmonella-laden tomatoes and/or peppers topped Jacob’s list, highlighting the importance of being able to trace fresh produce to its source.

"Companies that can provide efficient traceability systems for their products provide an advantage to the retail food service sector during recall and outbreak situations," Jacob said.

Other top food safety issues on the list were melamine in Chinese infant formula, listeria in deli meats and soft cheeses, and E. coli O157:H7 linked to negligent butchers in the United Kingdom. Jacob said that these incidents demonstrated the importance of knowing one’s food suppliers, warning vulnerable populations of food safety hazards associated with certain foods, and establishing a culture of food safety among food handlers.

The list includes signs that restaurant inspection disclosure systems are on the rise.

"The food service sector should recognize that certain diners are interested in the information provided by inspection reports and summaries," Jacob said. "This increase in transparency highlights the importance of maintaining — or improving — compliance with food safety regulations during inspections."

The list also recalls how patrons are using cell phone cameras to document food safety issues. In Toronto, a passerby took a photo of rats on a countertop at one of the most prominent restaurants in the city’s Chinatown. Public health authorities shut the restaurant down.

"Everyone eats, and in a networked world, consumer experiences can really impact what people know about food safety," Powell said. "At the International Food Safety Network, we try to develop tools to help consumers share their wisdom with everyone in the farm-to-fork food chain and hope that leads to fewer people getting sick."

More information about the International Food Safety Network is available at http://www.foodsafety.ksu.edu/en/

Top Five Records presents Top 10 food safety issues – 2008

Casey Jacob’s been working full-time with me for the past six months. We got  a bunch of papers coming out and she’s developing into a fairly decent writer. So here’s Casey’s version of the Top 10 food safety stories of 2008.

1. Salmonella in tomatoes/peppers – problems with tracing sources of produce
Companies that can provide efficient traceability systems for their products provide an advantage to the retail food service sector during recall and outbreak situations.

2. Melamine in Chinese infant formula – know your suppliers
Buyers need to know their suppliers, the risks that might be associated with their products, and how they should be managed. Suppliers should be able to demonstrate the safety of their products and processes, and have programs in place to manage risks.

3. Listeria in deli meats and soft cheeses — should vulnerable populations be warned?
Beginning in July, 20 Canadians were killed and dozens were sickened by an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes in deli meats produced by Maple Leaf Foods.
Most of the deaths were related to the consumption of deli meats in places like nursing homes that were unaware of the recommendation that immunocompromised individuals avoid deli meats to reduce the risk of Listeria, unless they are thoroughly heated. Pregnant women are also advised to avoid unheated deli meats, soft cheeses, and other refrigerated ready-to-eat foods that can foster the growth of Listeria. Warnings for vulnerable young, elderly, ill, or pregnant. people on product labels or menus may provide information for those populations to make informed choices.

4. Restaurant inspection disclosure systems on the rise
The food service sector should recognize that certain diners are interested in the information provided by inspection reports and summaries. This increase in transparency highlights the importance of maintaining or improving. compliance with food safety regulations during inspections.

5. Downer abuse in California –poor animal welfare can impact business
It’s not enough for a producer or processor to say they are doing the right thing; they will have to be able to prove it using techniques like video surveillance. It is expected that proof of actions will become increasingly demanded and adopted over the next year.

6. Patrons use cell phone cameras to document food safety issues
Public health authorities in Toronto, Canada, shut down one of Chinatown’s most prominent restaurants after a passerby took a photo of rats on a countertop in February.

7. E. coli O157:H7 linked to UK butchers – no food safety culture and lax inspection
Creating a culture of food safety within an organization where all members from executives to front-line staff. have a set of shared values around risks will be come increasingly important for the foodservice sector.

8. Pot pies and chicken thingies – the danger of microwave use and the difficulties of consumer communication
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a public health alert in March advising the public of a salmonellosis outbreak associated with frozen, stuffed raw chicken products in Minnesota—the sixth of its kind since 1998.
 It may be prudent to blatantly inform consumers through product package labeling that if products contained are raw and should, therefore, not be prepared in the microwave.

9. Outbreaks at several universities — outbreak communication strategies

Several outbreaks of illness occurred at university campuses where communication departments were slow to take responsibility.

10. Sourcing locally – don’t make assumptions about safety

Organizations and individuals are making commitments to utilize local food sources. However, there is little discussion surrounding the microbiological safety of such food.  All foods, regardless of the location, should be sourced from trusted sources that provide evidence of safe practices, and claims regarding the safety of food should made in conjunction with sound data.

Top 10 beer slogans: nothing to do with food safety, but the marketing slogans could be used

Everyone knows that beer is great. But sometimes the slogans used to sell it are even better.

10. Blatz – How Mother and Baby "Picked Up"
This advertisement actually says, "A case of Blatz Beer in your home means much to the young mother, and obviously baby participates in its benefits

9. Schlitz – The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous
Being famous for Schlitz is up there with being famous for dandruff

8. Red Stripe – Hooray Beer!
After three or four brewskis the little man in your brain isn’t thinking about problems at work, your mortgage payment or the fact that your wife doesn’t find you attractive anymore. He’s just dancing around in his boxers and yelling, "Hooray Beer!"

 7. Mackeson Milk Stout – It looks good, it tastes good, and by golly it does you good.

6. Carlsberg – Probably the Best Beer in the World.
Hey, this beer might be the best one in the world. Or maybe it’s not.

5. Courage Beer – It’s What Your Right Arm Is For
God gave you two arms for a reason. Your right one is for shoveling Courage Beer into your face. And your left one is for everything else. (I’m pretty sure that’s somewhere in the Bible.)

4. Miller High Life – The Champagne of Beers
Does it make sense to use another type of alcohol to try and sell your own brand of alcohol?

3. Pabst Blue Ribbon – This One Has The Touch!
I have an uncle who got a case of "the touch" after a case of Pabst. He’s not allowed to come over for Thanksgiving anymore.

2. Colt 45 – It Works Every Time
Colt 45 wants to make it very clear. It will get you laid EVERY TIME you drink it. Not 1/3 of the time. Not 74% of the time. EVERY SINGLE TIME. Just ask Billy Dee Williams.

1.    Schaefer – It’s The One Beer To Have When You’re Having More Than One