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Microbeworld Video

Food Safety 101 (MWV33)

Whether you are making lunch for work, school or a summer picnic, knowing what food to pack and how to prepare it can be the difference between enjoying your day or going home sick. From recent peanut butter and pistachio nut recalls to E. coli outbreaks associated with hamburger patties, people are increasingly concerned about the safety of the food they eat. Many illnesses can be prevented with proper food preparation and a clean kitchen.

On this episode of MicrobeWorld Video, Chef Jim Ringler from the National Academy of Sciences explains some of the best practices for food safety both in and out of the home.

Dr. Keith Lampel, a microbiologist from the Food and Drug Administration, also joins the discussion and offers up some statistics regarding foodborne illness and provides the viewer with some tips for maintaining a clean kitchen.

In additional you'll hear from Natalia Mikha from the Partnership for Food Safety Education as she explains the organization's website and their basic guidelines for keeping the food you eat safe.

You can find out more information about food safety by visiting,, and

This episode of MicrobeWorld Video was filmed at the Marian Koshland Science Museum in Washington, D.C., during one of their popular public science events. For more information about the Koshland Museum, upcoming events and online resources visit them online at

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Comments (3)

  1. I'm a recent microbiologist undergrad from OSU. I have worked in the Food Industry for almost 3 years. I watched this video and felt it was teaching people to be overly cautions with food. They guy who said he throws food away after one day is crazy. I always tell my friends its OK to eat pizza that was left out over night. When you are considering food safety, you have to keep in mind what you are trying to avoid. There are only a small handful of microbes that will cause food-poisoning. And the only way for that pathogen to get in your food is if it's there in the first place. If you drop raw chicken on your pizza and leave it out overnight.....then yes you will probably get sick. Pathogens don't appear out of thin air, they have to be present in the first place, and depending on the conditions (temp, moisture, competing bacteria, etc..), variable time to grow to a high population. I don't want anyone to become a "germ-a-phoebe" after watching something that should be educational.
  2. Thanks for the great feedback David. I agree that throwing food out after one day in the fridge is a little extreme, but I feel it's better to be cautious when it comes to foodborne illness. Please note that there is a disclaimer in the credits that points out all statements and opinions are not to be considered official statements of the Society. In the next food-related video we do, we'll make sure to consider your well thought out observations. As far as eating pizza that's been left out all night, I wouldn't touch it. But hey, that's me. I myself have had a serious bout of foodborne illness that required hospitalization, so I am probably a little more wary than most folks. The golden rule is that you shouldn't consume food that has been left out for more than two hours.
  3. I'm a not so recent graduate student in microbiology at ISU and I am going to have to side with Chris on this. Depending on the ingredients and conditions that pizza is stored under it could potentially become unsafe to eat and I would not be willing to risk my reputation on that one. I am not sure if your statement about being a microbiology undergrad means that you are a freshman or if it means you are a recent graduate but you really should be more careful throwing around advice, remember that with great education comes great responsibility. When I give food safety advice I tend to lean on the side of caution. I worked in the food industry for 4 years and our motto was the classic, "When in doubt throw it out." That said the Chef in this video goes to an extreme, most food microbiologists would never suggest throwing food out if it is properly stored after only one day. When I discuss microbiology with people I try to emphasize that most bacteria are harmless but at the same time give them tips and strategies on how they can protect themselves and their families from the ones that can cause illness. I always try and determine the situation that person and their family is in when I do this and balance the information I give people because I do not want them to be scared but safe and informed.

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