Food Recalls in the United States: Examining the Data

The U.S. food supply is among the safest in the world, thanks to a multitude of protective measures all along the path from “the farm to the fork.” Many of these measures are illustrated in the Food Safety Pyramid in Figure 1. One of these, food recalls, helps warn consumers when contaminated food has made


Celebrating World Water Day 2019: Water for All

As we have done for the past several years, the WQ&HC highlights the United Nations’ (UN) World Water Day, which is held annually on March 22nd and affirms the importance of safe water in our lives. This year’s theme, “Water for All: Leaving No One Behind” is fundamentally tied to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” by 2030.


Are Drinking Water and Ice on U.S. Airlines Safe?

Flying while thirsty? Every year, millions of Americans travel on thousands of commercial airplanes visiting friends and family, taking well-deserved vacations, or conducting business. While many travelers are concerned about their checked baggage arriving, chances are few think about the quality and safety of the drinking water or ice on their flight. But according to


How to Clean and Sanitize Your Laundry to Help Prevent the Spread of Pathogens at Home

Laundry chores are a fact of life. From emptying the clothes hamper to sorting, washing, drying, (maybe ironing), and storing clothes and linens for later use, these chores comprise a seemingly endless cycle of mind-numbing activities. But researchers tell us there is good reason to give laundry some careful thought. Why Sanitize Laundry? Did you


3 Top Thanksgiving Safety Tips to Help Prevent Foodborne Illness

I love Thanksgiving because it brings together good people and good food. Keeping my guests smiling all the way through Black Friday is important to me too. By that I don’t mean tracking my guests’ amazing savings on sale merchandise at the mall. I mean making sure that folks who joined me for the holiday


Hepatitis A Prevention: Free Cleanup and Disinfection Posters

Recent multistate outbreaks of hepatitis A among homeless populations and their contacts prompted the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue an official Health Advisory in June 2018. The advisory provides guidance on hepatitis A infection to employees in health departments, healthcare facilities, and programs providing services to vulnerable populations. Several months before the advisory was issued, I was part of a collaborative group to develop a set of “pictogram posters” that communicate how to use chlorine bleach solutions to disinfect surfaces against the hepatitis A virus.


Understanding Boil Water Advisories and Notices

Every day new boil water advisories or notices are issued in the United States for various reasons and affect thousands.1 Perhaps you have experienced one and wondered what it is, why it was given, and whether it could be ignored? (DON’T ignore it!) Fortunately, the vast majority of almost 300 million Americans served by more


Spreading Viruses in the Grocery Store via Reusable Grocery Bags

Reusable grocery bags (let’s call them “RGBs”) are a common commodity these days. I use them regularly and machine-wash them periodically with bleach, when possible, to keep them clean and sanitized. Using RGBs involves a degree of extra effort, not the least of which is remembering to take them to the grocery store, but I


Household Disinfection 101

Spring cleaning time is here again and many penny-wise consumers are choosing to mix their own cleaning and disinfecting solutions to help stretch the household budget. The Water Quality & Health Council would like to help consumers make good choices as they tackle their disinfecting chores. Cleaning Is Not the Same as Disinfection Cleaning and


Blind Taste Test: Recycled Wastewater, Bottled Water, and Tap Water

Last year, the members of the WQ&HC had the pleasure of touring Orange County’s world-renowned Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) in southern California. It was a memorable trip, concluding, naturally, with a taste test of the finished water. The high-tech water treatment facility includes microfiltration, reverse osmosis (RO), and ultraviolet (UV) light with hydrogen peroxide. But