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Marijke Schwarz Smith

Marijke Schwarz Smith

Marijke Schwarz Smith graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Individualized Studies – Public Health and a B.A. in Geography. She is currently a candidate for a Master’s in Public Health in Epidemiology at the University of Minnesota. She has a specific interest in how the geography of a location can influence the health of the location’s inhabitants. Along with a keen interest in food and cooking, Marijke has a passion for bikes and has raced at the collegiate level.

Articles Written by Marijke Schwarz Smith

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Friday Recall Announcements Revisited

In a story last summer for Food Safety News, I looked to see if the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recalls were biased toward any one day of the week. This inquiry followed what seemed to be several late Friday recall announcements, including a nationwide recall of contaminated ground turkey implicated… Continue Reading

E. Coli O157 Increases Risk of Diabetes

E. coli O157:H7, the culprit in foodborne illness outbreaks linked to everything from ground beef to cookie dough, produces a Shiga-like toxin that damages the filtering part of the kidney and leads to a life-threatening complication, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), in 2-7 percent of all infections. The pathogen is particularly hard on children; 90 percent… Continue Reading

Is There a Pattern to FSIS Recalls?

Last year, after a particularly large recall of tainted meat was announced late one Friday night, marlerblog.com analyzed the recall patterns for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The question then was whether there were a preponderance of late Friday or weekend announcements and, if so, whether that timing might decrease public awareness… Continue Reading

Cargill Has a History of Meat Recalls

Cargill’s massive recall of ground turkey products last week was not the first time the industry giant had to call back potentially contaminated meat from the marketplace. Here is a brief list of some of the past recalls and associated outbreaks of foodborne illness involving Cargill, a company that sells food and agriculture products around… Continue Reading

Why Are There More E. coli Infections in Summer?

The number of E. coli O157:H7 infections increases during the summer months in Great Britain and elsewhere, and a paper published this year in the British journal “Environmental Microbiology”  examined the links between that summertime spike, the physiology of infection, and geography. The paper reviewed about 100 published works related to this concept to develop… Continue Reading

Relating Refrigeration to Climate Change

Along with the many environmental problems posed by global climate change, an increase in ambient temperature could have negative effects on food safety everywhere, but particularly in developing countries. That’s the message of a 2010 study in “Food Research International,”  which investigates the varied effects of climate change on the “cold-chain”–a term that refers to… Continue Reading

Assessing the Risk of Intentional Contamination

In what was the latest reminder that any nation’s food supply can be vulnerable to intentional contamination, CBS News recently reported the sketchy details of a supposed terrorist plot to slip poisons into restaurant and hotel salad bars and buffets. Such an attack has long been considered a remote but theoretical possibility, especially in a… Continue Reading