Evidence and perception aren’t often congruent in the food safety world. There are lots of examples from the pages of the Internet: Dirty bathrooms are an indicator of sanitation in the kitchen; pathogens won’t transfer in less than five seconds when f…
CSI UV Goggles? How to Tell If An Egg is Bad
Friend of the barfblog and current Welsh tourist, Don Schaffner of Rutgers University, has a few things to say about egg safety, especially: most of those so-called tests are BS… The theory behind the float test? Egg shells are porous, and as time goes on the egg’s liquid evaporates through the porous shell and air enters. That makes the eggs more buoyant, so some say the older an egg, the more it floats… Forget this test, says Don Schaffner, PhD, a food scientist at Rutgers the State University of New Jersey. “Eggs do take in air as they age, but the size of the air cell in the egg varies from egg to egg. So a freshly laid egg and an older egg may react similarly.” There is too much variability in air cell size from egg to egg to make this a valid test, he says… “Salmonella is the organism we are most worried about,” Schaffner says. It could be inside the egg if it was infected before it was laid, or it could be on the shell.
The Hands Have it: Food Safety Through Handwashing
Handwashing is simple. Science says otherwise. Despite endless statements to just wash hands to be safe — in the kitchen, in food service, at the petting zoo- little research has been done to quantify what actually works when it comes to hand washing… Dr. Donald Schaffner, a professor of food safety at Rutgers University, and colleagues, have attempted to add some science to the discussion… “Many people seem to have strongly held opinions about handwashing, says Schaffner, “but the research base for those opinions is lacking. Our research begins to dispels some popular beliefs about hand washing.”… The researchers showed that even a minimal handwash (5 seconds, no soap) can remove about 90 per cent of bacteria on hands.