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Food Security, Food Safety and COVID-19

July 28, 2020 - 3:05pm -- cellar.21@osu.edu

By Ariel Garsow

Individuals in low- and middle income countries experience a disproportionate burden of foodborne disease (Havelaar et al. 2015). In other words, individuals with lack of access to financial or other resources experience more frequent or severe foodborne disease for a longer period of time. With the additional environmental stressors of COVID-19, an increasing amount of individuals will experience food insecurity. Being food secure means having access at all times to safe, nutritious food that is appropriate for one’s culture and lifestyle (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion 2020).

Pre-pandemic, 820 million people worldwide were identified as food insecure (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 2019), 135 million of whom were acutely food insecure in levels of crisis, emergency or famine (Food Security and Information Network, Global Network Against Food Crises 2020).

Food Safety During Outdoor Summer Events

July 21, 2020 - 10:36am -- cellar.21@osu.edu

By: Devon Mendez

Even with COVID limiting the number of summer events going on this year, many individuals are still finding time to meet in small groups to enjoy some sunshine. Whether this means a barbeque in the backyard with friends, or a picnic in the park, good food safety practices are important in preventing foodborne illness. Rates of foodborne illness, often referred to as “food poisoning,” typically are higher in the summer than other times of year. Proper handling and storage of food is of the upmost importance to ensure the health of you and your family at these events.

hamburgers Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Chow Line: Don’t bleach your food to protect against COVID-19

July 14, 2020 - 10:32am -- cellar.21@osu.edu

By: Tracy Turner

I’m really worried about COVID-19 and want to keep my family safe, so lately, I’ve been rinsing my fresh fruits and vegetables with a mixture of bleach and water. That’s safe, right?

No, that is not safe. You should NEVER wash or rinse ANY food product with any form of bleach, disinfectant, or any other household cleaning chemicals.

bleaching food -  photo credit: Getty Image

Chow line: Salad recall prompts questions of parasite

July 6, 2020 - 5:00pm -- cellar.21@osu.edu

By: Tracy Turner

I read something about a salad recall due to cyclospora, but I’ve not really heard about cyclospora before – what is it?

Cyclospora cayetanensis is a microscopic parasite that can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and fatigue. When people eat food or drink water that’s contaminated with cyclospora, they can develop an intestinal illness called cyclosporiasis.

Food Safety spelled out in blocks - photo credit Getty

Chow Line: A tiny worm in your strawberry won’t hurt you

June 30, 2020 - 12:24pm -- cellar.21@osu.edu

By: Tracy Turner

I just saw a viral video that shows little tiny worms coming out of a strawberry soaking in salt water. Is that real or a prank? Can I get sick from eating strawberries if they do have worms?

Many people in recent weeks have been surprised to learn that yes, sometimes fresh produce can contain small pest infestations that, while may sound gross to some, really aren’t harmful for consumers. 

In fact, there is a strong likelihood that you’ve already unknowingly consumed a tiny worm or insect or two during your lifetime. 

Tiny white larvae in a strawberry caused by spotted wing drosophila. Photo courtesy of Hannah Burrack, North Carolina State University, Bugwood.org.

Chow Line: Questions on meat safety and supply amid COVID-19

June 23, 2020 - 3:35pm -- cellar.21@osu.edu

By: Tracy Turner

Is it safe to eat food or meat if it has been handled by someone who has COVID-19? 

According to food safety and meat science experts, the risk of acquiring COVID-19 through the handling of food or meat is extremely low. In fact, there is no evidence at this time that COVID-19 can be transmitted through consumption of contaminated foods, said Lyda G. Garcia, an assistant professor of meat science with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).  

meat packaging, photo credit: Getty Images

Food Safety in the Age of COVID-19

June 8, 2020 - 5:12pm -- cellar.21@osu.edu

By: Dr. Kara Morgan

Within the coronavirus pandemic, we are living through extraordinary times. Even as a decision analyst who is accustomed to bringing tools and experience to the challenge of making decisions under uncertainty, I am finding it challenging to absorb and react to all of the emerging information that we are continuously receiving. It is overwhelming.

Family dinner (photo credit: National Cancer Society)

College Student Food Safety & COVID-19

June 1, 2020 - 6:56pm -- cellar.21@osu.edu

By: Allison Howell

I was home with my family for Spring Break when Ohio State first announced a transition to online learning for the rest of Spring Semester. As a graduating senior, I didn’t know how to feel. I was sad that I wouldn’t get to see my classmates or teachers anymore. I was confused as to how my lab courses would be transitioned into an online format. But as a microbiology major, I understood the threat that COVID-19 posed and why these decisions had been made. Soon, more announcements were made. Spring Break would be extended an extra week for students to move out of university housing, gyms and dining facilities would be shut down, students on study abroad would have to return home, and the Class of 2020’s graduation ceremony would be cancelled. All of these cancellations and postponements put a damper on the last few weeks of my undergraduate experience, but I adapted to the situation and finished my coursework to earn my undergraduate degree.

cafeteria

Is Blockchain the Magic Bullet for Food Safety? An Introduction...

May 19, 2020 - 2:12pm -- cellar.21@osu.edu

By: Zain Bali

Tracking information is important to food safety regulators and businesses because it helps identify when and where products have been. Blockchain technology is a new tool that can track products more efficiently and effectively than bar or QR codes. The potential benefits of blockchain technology for record keeping in food supply chains have been a clear and consistent message for years (Fontanazza, 2019; How Blockchain, 2019; Plaven, 2020). Using blockchain would allow for immediate trace-back when a contaminated product is found. And it can identify the source of the food in hours instead of the weeks it now takes. So, what is blockchain? What are its uses across the food industry? What is a food safety perspective and how could blockchain assist in product tracking and by extension outbreak investigations?

chain by Franck V. unsplash.com

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