Thankful for Food Safety!
Over the next month, many of us will be sitting down for family meals and attending holiday parties. On this episode of Faculty 101, we hear about research to fight the deadliest bacteria that threatens our food supply...and consumer advice to guard against food poisoning.
160isgood ›› https://160isgood.com/
Food Safety ›› https://food.unl.edu/food-safety
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[00:00:01.040]This green bean casserole looks pretty good.
[00:00:03.720]At University of Nebraska Lincoln residence halls
[00:00:06.470]students enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with all the favorites.
[00:00:11.150]The turkey's pretty moist,
[00:00:12.750]and the mashed potatoes are really creamy.
[00:00:14.290]Soon, Americans across the country will be sitting down
[00:00:17.380]with family and friends for a holiday meal.
[00:00:20.060]In this episode of Faculty 101,
[00:00:22.410]a look at how university faculty are involved in food safety
[00:00:26.300]and some simple rules for making sure
[00:00:28.880]you set a healthy table.
[00:00:31.687]Okay, you should switch partners now.
[00:00:32.620]To be able to inspire young people.
[00:00:36.000]Today is your final.
[00:00:37.060]It's really rewarding.
[00:00:38.090]I love the students.
[00:00:40.080]Welcome to Faculty 101, life hacks and success stories
[00:00:44.240]from Nebraska faculty.
[00:00:48.000]At least 64 people were infected in 16 states.
[00:00:50.980]Outbreaks of illness associated with E.coli bacteria
[00:00:54.450]make headlines across the country,
[00:00:56.500]from contaminated Romaine lettuce and spinach,
[00:00:59.220]to beef at a chain restaurant.
[00:01:01.254]Dozens of restaurants temporarily close and--
[00:01:04.150]Foodborne bacteria causes illness and even death.
[00:01:07.470]The first death in the nation's growing E.coli outbreak--
[00:01:10.770]Rodney Moxley has been studying E.coli since 1984.
[00:01:14.960]I was in it from the very earliest days
[00:01:18.380]of these organisms.
[00:01:20.633]He's the Charles Bessey Professor of Veterinary Medicine
[00:01:23.820]and Biomedical Sciences.
[00:01:25.681]In his lab, Petri dishes are used to grow cells
[00:01:29.440]and a microscope sitting on his desk is used
[00:01:31.970]to examine tissue samples.
[00:01:34.120]Dr. Moxley studies the most virulent strains of E.coli.
[00:01:38.627]The ones that we work on that are a part of food safety
[00:01:42.890]are extremely infectious.
[00:01:46.440]So it's though to take less than 100 bacterial cells,
[00:01:51.080]some studies have suggested maybe as few as five
[00:01:55.620]bacterial cells, to cause disease,
[00:01:58.010]and so, that's one reason it's highly transmissible
[00:02:01.780]that way and easily acquired through the food.
[00:02:04.440]Most strains of E.coli bacteria are harmless.
[00:02:07.280]E.coli lives inside the intestinal tracts
[00:02:09.890]of humans and animals without causing illness.
[00:02:12.610]But some strains produce shiga toxin,
[00:02:15.310]a poison that attacks other cells.
[00:02:18.050]Victims can be hospitalized and some don't survive.
[00:02:21.330]Annually in the United States approximately
[00:02:25.196]250,000 people per year are thought to get infected
[00:02:30.210]with shiga toxin producing E.coli
[00:02:33.470]and about 3/4 of these are foodborne,
[00:02:37.480]and approximately 20 to 30 cases per year of death.
[00:02:43.000]E.coli is also a problem for farmers
[00:02:45.410]and the food industry.
[00:02:46.600]Recalls are expensive and outbreaks of illness
[00:02:49.360]create a loss of consumer confidence.
[00:02:52.110]The USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture
[00:02:55.420]is dedicated to reducing foodborne illness caused by E.coli,
[00:02:59.460]and UNL is on the front lines of that effort.
[00:03:02.660]With a grant from the USDA, Dr. Moxley and his team
[00:03:05.910]lead the coordinated agricultural project
[00:03:08.460]on E.coli known as CAP.
[00:03:10.670]The project involves 53 scientists and 18 institutions.
[00:03:15.340]Their long term goal is to reduce the number of cases
[00:03:19.060]and the risk to shiga toxin producing E.coli in beef.
[00:03:23.900]Contamination in the food supply can often
[00:03:25.990]be traced to cattle.
[00:03:28.640]For example, contaminated Romaine lettuce
[00:03:30.780]from Arizona was blamed on water from a canal
[00:03:33.870]near a cattle feed lot.
[00:03:37.000]Or possibly dust blowing from the feed lot
[00:03:39.460]to the lettuce field.
[00:03:40.950]Shiga toxin producing E.coli in the digestive tract
[00:03:44.040]of cattle or on the animals' hides
[00:03:46.360]can contaminate the beef during slaughter and processing
[00:03:49.240]and end up in ground beef.
[00:03:50.970]Dr. Moxley says CAP has helped improve
[00:03:53.610]understanding and detection.
[00:03:55.530]We now have a much better understanding
[00:03:58.760]about the prevalence and the concentration of it,
[00:04:01.310]which we had attempted, or that was one of our objectives.
[00:04:06.550]Another thing is we have developed new detection methods.
[00:04:10.930]Some of these are molecular methods, so they're DNA based.
[00:04:14.380]We have other methods that are based on antibodies.
[00:04:19.150]We've been developing highly specific
[00:04:23.650]highly sensitive antibodies called monoclonal antibodies
[00:04:27.820]to try to target the bacteria and we're still in the process
[00:04:31.600]of developing more of these and validating them
[00:04:35.810]and we also are attempting to develop
[00:04:38.730]new immunological tests for that.
[00:04:41.550]In addition to research, the USDA funded project
[00:04:44.400]led to outreach and education,
[00:04:46.610]like the website 160isgood.com.
[00:04:49.960]Let food safety be your guide--
[00:04:52.630]A cartoon on the site encourages consumers
[00:04:55.340]to use a meat thermometer.
[00:04:57.250]Chowing down on a juicy burger is so good,
[00:05:00.500]if it's cooked to 160 degrees.
[00:05:03.110]Courses and online modules bring best practices
[00:05:06.410]to the consumers.
[00:05:07.540]CAP is also training a new generation
[00:05:09.890]of food safety experts.
[00:05:11.880]We will have had 70 graduate students
[00:05:15.560]complete masters and PhDs.
[00:05:17.740]Many of these have gone onto post-doctoral fellowships.
[00:05:21.670]They're faculty, new faculty at different institutions.
[00:05:27.280]We had a, an internship program
[00:05:31.140]which was primarily undergraduate students
[00:05:33.050]where the students worked in our laboratories.
[00:05:35.910]In the future, Dr. Moxley hopes to see
[00:05:38.130]the development of a test that makes it even easier
[00:05:40.840]to detect the most dangerous strains of E.coli.
[00:05:44.010]It's a challenge because not all shiga toxin producing
[00:05:46.720]E.coli causes disease in humans.
[00:05:49.370]What I hope would be that we do find
[00:05:52.570]the quote unquote holy grail in terms of one individual
[00:05:56.310]specific marker that detects these organisms.
[00:06:00.550]Another would be to come up with
[00:06:03.177]good pre-harvest interventions.
[00:06:05.879]In the mean time, consumers can take action
[00:06:08.670]to protect themselves.
[00:06:10.540]This is food lab.
[00:06:11.770]This is where students come.
[00:06:13.570]Georgia Jones has advice on how
[00:06:15.320]to avoid foodborne illness.
[00:06:17.810]Today we'll be making tuna casserole,
[00:06:19.210]which is why we have potato chips today.
[00:06:21.010]Dr. Jones spends time in the classroom
[00:06:23.220]as an associate professor and extension food specialist.
[00:06:26.530]She says holidays are good times to get together, but--
[00:06:30.320]Thanksgiving, 4th of July, when there are big
[00:06:32.880]family gatherings, church gatherings, those are great times
[00:06:37.433]for food, for foodborne illnesses, because we tend
[00:06:40.190]to leave food out longer for more guests to come in
[00:06:42.520]and that type of thing.
[00:06:43.690]So it's a good time for the pathogens.
[00:06:46.600]A few rules of the kitchen can help prevent illness.
[00:06:50.410]Use a thermometer to make sure meat is cooked
[00:06:52.440]to the correct temperature needed to kill bacteria.
[00:06:55.030]You can't go by color.
[00:06:57.060]If you're roasting a turkey for a holiday meal,
[00:06:59.330]bake the stuffing separately.
[00:07:01.490]That is not recommended by USDA to stuff your turkey.
[00:07:04.500]Wild poultry potentially could contain salmonella.
[00:07:07.900]So that stuffing then could, if it drips (mumbles)
[00:07:10.380]then it could potentially contain salmonella.
[00:07:13.230]So, you have to also get that stuffing up to 165.
[00:07:17.720]The same as the turkey, and it's probably
[00:07:19.100]gonna be over cooked if you do that.
[00:07:22.700]Having a party?
[00:07:24.560]On the buffet line keep cold foods cold
[00:07:26.630]and hot foods hot, and don't let it sit out
[00:07:29.230]for longer than two hours.
[00:07:30.870]And those leftovers?
[00:07:32.789]If they've been in the refrigerator for more than three days
[00:07:35.190]throw them out.
[00:07:37.420]watch out for cross-contamination.
[00:07:39.506]You don't wanna cut raw poultry
[00:07:41.077]and then cut cooked poultry on the same cutting board.
[00:07:44.130]You also don't wanna cut cooked poultry then a salad
[00:07:48.490]that's not going to be cooked.
[00:07:50.540]So, you always wanna make sure you clean
[00:07:53.210]your cutting boards, as well as your knives,
[00:07:55.200]any type of cutlery.
[00:07:58.440]And while you're at it, wash your hands, a lot.
[00:08:03.070]Dr. Jones enjoys passing along a lifetime
[00:08:05.640]of information about food, food safety, and cooking
[00:08:08.290]to her students.
[00:08:09.660]Well, I think I've always had that interest.
[00:08:11.080]It's just a natural interest of mine.
[00:08:13.086]I probably learned a lot from my mother.
[00:08:16.390]I don't think I realized it at the time,
[00:08:18.055]and I'm also a food science major.
[00:08:20.651]For Dr. Moxley it's the joy
[00:08:22.860]of learning something new every day.
[00:08:25.320]So teaching and research helps me to do that
[00:08:28.270]and it's very exciting to make a discovery.
[00:08:30.990]You know, when you make that discovery you realize
[00:08:33.700]no one else knows about this yet.
[00:08:35.860]You know, it's, you've got something that
[00:08:39.330]you're gonna be able to share with the world
[00:08:41.890]and it's a huge secret that only you know right now.
[00:08:45.190]Deep down it's really a love to learn.
[00:08:50.800]That's it for this edition of Faculty 101.
[00:08:53.330]Thanks to Rodney Moxley and Georgia Jones.
[00:08:56.900]In our show notes, we link to the 160isgood.com website
[00:09:00.490]and to the UNL Food website that includes
[00:09:03.100]a lot of information about resources to keep you
[00:09:06.050]and your family safe and healthy.
[00:09:09.620]Next time on the podcast.
[00:09:11.560]But sometimes it's just as important
[00:09:13.070]to know what not to say as what to say.
[00:09:15.180]How to keep the peace at the holiday dinner table.
[00:09:19.500]Faculty 101 is produced by
[00:09:21.270]the University of Nebraska Lincoln.
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