Editor’s note: One of our regular contributors, Carl Custer, has been closely watching the investigations into E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks associated with romaine lettuce in the past year. Here he discusses some of the
Carl Custer is an independent consultant for food safety microbiology. He retired from USDA FSIS in 2007 after over 34 years as a bench and a desk scientist. The food safety issues he worked on include:
Inhibition of Clostridium botulinum,
Inhibiting nitrosamine formation,
Analysis and inactivation of Trichinella spiralis,
Physics and microbiology of cooling heated foods,
Thermal and non-thermal inactivation of bacterial pathogens in traditional and ethnic foods,
The microbiology and safety of fermented and dry-cured meat products,
HACCP development and implementation for both processing and slaughter
These issues included developing the scientific basis for regulatory policy development and rule promulgation.
Carl also served as a trainer for FSIS inspectors, the FSIS Hotline, retail processors and inspectors, small farm processors, and country ham processors.
Carl is a lifetime member of the International Food Protection Association (IAFP) and the American Society for Microbiology. He was also a member of the Food Microbiology Research Conference executive board for twelve years and the Chair for two years.
Carl started his Food Microbiology career in 1966 as a technician then as graduate student for Dr. Carl Vanderzant at Texas A&M. Projects included dairy, meat, and seafood microbiology.
Carl’s hobbies included cooking, gardening, woodworking, and motorcycle touring on one of his four vintage Honda motorcycles.
Editor’s note: One of our regular contributors, Carl Custer, has been closely watching the investigations into E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks associated with romaine lettuce in the past year. Here he discusses some of the …
Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part opinion piece.
In recent days the CDC and FSIS updated information on a continuing salmonellosis outbreak connected to raw and live turkeys. Since July 19…
The most recent outbreak from Escherichia coli O157:H7 in romaine lettuce spurred me to pull up an old draft, trim it and post it in an attempt to promote public health. Enjoy.
In the Spring…
Editor’s note: This opinion column offers a differing view from that presented by guest columnist Brian Ronholm in “Eschewing obfuscation on poultry slaughter line speed.”
Poultry slaughter would flunk HACCP 101. The primary…
Controlling Salmonella or other pathogens would cost producers, and the cost would be expected to be transferred to processors and consumers. For animal pathogens, the USDA’s APHIS bears some of the burden and indemnifies producers…
One of the arguments against attempts to control Salmonella is that it is naturally occurring and impossible to eradicate. According to several scientific studies, that is not true. During 1978-1981, B.S. Pomeroy at the University…
Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) labels are not always informative. The warning label prescribed in 9 C.F.R. 317.2(l) and 381.125(b) has faded into the background of consumer’s awareness by overuse. Other terms such as…
When Michael Taylor declared Escherichia coli O157:H7 an adulterant in ground beef, there were howls of, “Just cook it,” from the industry and from within FSIS. For example, two members of FSIS’ Microbiology Division were…
The genus Salmonella is diverse. Currently there are three recognized species: S. enterica, S. bongori and S. subterranean, with S. enterica the most important specie affecting human and food animal health. However, even the species…