Food safety topic of upcoming public forum at MSU

Food@MSU and the MSU Online Food Safety Program are partnering for an Our Table discussion on food safety issues, policy, science and practices.

EAST LANSING, Mich. –  The recent E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce has once again pushed food safety to the forefront of the national news. What steps should you take to avoid foodborne illness? What’s the science behind common food safety issues? How are issues of food traceability and recall being handled? What policies exist to regulate the food safety industry?

These are some of the topics that will be addressed at an Our Table panel discussion at Michigan State University (MSU) on Tuesday, May 22.

Our Table is a series of roundtable discussions in which MSU brings together community members and various food experts – scientists, agricultural Our Table panelist and CDC chief of enteric diseases and epidemiology Patricia Griffin, M.D>producers, health professionals, professors, authors and more –to talk about food-related issues. The discussions are a cornerstone of Food@MSU, a campuswide initiative led by the colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Arts and Letters, and Communication Arts and Sciences. Food@MSU is designed to help consumers make more informed decisions about food and its impacts on human health, society, and the planet.

The May 22 panel on food safety is a collaboration between MSU’s Online Food Safety Program and Food@MSU.

The public is invited to attend this free event in the Heritage Room of the University Club of MSU (3435 Forest Rd., Lansing, MI 48910). Appetizers will be served beginning at 5:30 p.m. The discussion will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m., starting with a conversation among the panelists, followed by time for audience questions.

Patricia Griffin, M.D., chief of the enteric diseases and epidemiology branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will be one of the panelists. “Sharing what we know about food safety – and also what we don’t know – helps drive the actions that make food safer for everyone,” Griffin said.

Other panelists include:

Our Table panelists will gather at a wooden table that was made from fallen MSU campus trees. The table was crafted especially for this initiative by artist Nathan Shaver, who works with MSU Shadows (part of the MSU Department of Forestry). The table seats eight and features an inlay of the MSU Spartan helmet logo.

Sheril Kirshenbaum, a science communicator and author of "Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future," is the moderator for the Our Table conversations. Kirshenbaum launched the MSU Food Literacy and Engagement Poll in 2017. She is also the host of WKAR’s “Serving Up Science,” a podcast and digital short series about food.

“When it comes to feeding our families, we want to make sure that the food we’re serving is not just healthy, but also safe,” said Kirshenbaum. “With so many media advisories about outbreaks and foodborne illnesses, the topic of food safety often feels overwhelming. I'm looking forward to exploring what we really need to know, as well as what's being done at the policy and supply side levels to keep us healthy.”

To learn more about Food@MSU and the Our Table events, visit or follow Food@MSU on social media:

For more information on the MSU Online Food Safety Program, visit or follow on social media:

Did you find this article useful?

You Might Also Be Interested In