In an interview with Phyllis Jacobs Griekspoor from the McClatchkey News Service, Dr. Douglas Powell of the International Food Safety Network said, "[Food safety] all boils down to three words.  Don’t eat poop."  The interview was for an article that appeared at on Wednesday. 

In the article, which focuses on the International Food Safety Network’s research, Ms. Jacobs Griekspoor points out that keeping foodborne pathogens out of the food supply is not easy and that most consumers aren’t aware of proper food handling practices that are necessary for ensuring any pathogens present in food are killed.

Microbial contamination — such as E. coli or salmonella — is not visible, and has no taste and no smell. It can come from any number of sources along a chain of growing, harvesting, processing, packaging and selling.

It can come from water that drains from a livestock operation and runs through a field after a rain. It can come from irrigation water drawn from a contaminated pond.

It can come from processing vats, storage bags, tools, or workers’ hair, skin or saliva.

While food scientists agree that proper cooking will kill most kinds of harmful bacteria, nobody is convinced that the bulk of consumers know what proper cooking is.