Discovering sympathy within the statistics: Views from Dave Theno Fellow Jaime Ragos

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Statistics by no means account for the trauma or years of struggling that comply with foodborne diseases. Whereas right here, at Meals Security Information, we attempt to maintain you knowledgeable of the numbers, the recollects, and the science, we additionally acknowledge that a very powerful facet of meals security is defending lives.

How can we seize folks’s consideration and make them put money into studying and understanding meals security? By displaying them the non-public tales of those that have been affected.

Jaime Ragos

“You are feeling the influence if you discuss to somebody about these tales, you are feeling the harm and ache,” 2019-2021 Dave Theno Fellow Jaime Ragos informed Meals Security Information. “I do know for me, the most important one is every time I hear a few mom miscarrying a baby from Listeria. It may have occurred 20 years in the past, and so they nonetheless really feel the ache of dropping that youngster.”

Dave Theno knew this. It was a baby sufferer that modified his life and led him to commit his life to meals security.

Dave Theno

Theno was a senior vice chairman and chief meals security officer for Jack-in-the-Field in 1993, employed after the fast-food chain was reeling from an enormous and lethal outbreak of E. coli O157:H7. 4 youngsters died in that outbreak which had greater than 600 victims confirmed contaminated from undercooked hamburgers. A lot of the victims have been younger youngsters. A lot of them have been left with critical, lifelong issues that required ongoing medical remedy.

One of many victims was 9-year-old Lauren Beth Rudolph. She died in her mom’s arms Dec. 28, 1992. Theno carried a photograph of Lauren Beth in his pockets from 1993 till he died in 2017, when a rogue wave hit him whereas swimming in Hawaii.

Lauren Beth Rudolph

Lauren Rudolph’s influence on Dave Theno lives on right now by means of the Theno Meals Security Fellowship. The Fellowship gives a possibility for a younger meals scientist to work with the Cease Foodborne Sickness group’s professionals and to be taught from members of the prolonged STOP group in regards to the real-world well being penalties of failures in meals security. STOP is a public well being non-profit group, which, since 1994, has targeted efforts on telling the “why” of meals security with private tales. 

The fellowship consists of housing, pay and advantages; and it requires that the man work full time for STOP and full a 12-credit On-line Meals Security Certificates program with Michigan State College (MSU).

The 2019-2021 Dave Theno Meals Security Fellow, Jaime Ragos, had a novel multi-disciplined undergraduate expertise that made her a great fellow recipient — working in analysis applications on the College of Tennessee’s Division of Diet, the Division of Meals Science and Know-how, and the Division of Meals Science and Know-how. She additionally participated in analysis on the Smith Worldwide Heart in Guatemala and on the North Carolina State College within the Division of Meals, Bioprocessing, and Diet Science.

Whereas working as a fellow with STOP, Ragos needed to grasp the non-public prices of neglecting meals security. So with MSU, she created a graduate course for MSU’s on-line meals security program targeted particularly on growing a meals security tradition. Throughout the class she introduced in meals poisoning victims to speak about their experiences.

“It places a face to the statistics,” Ragos stated. “It actually places a face to all of the ache and struggling that somebody has gone by means of. In our course, we interviewed one man who received listeria from a frozen dairy product. And now, he sees his life as pre-illness and post-illness. As a result of now he’s self-conscious about his speech, as a result of he struggles with speaking now, and it takes him quite a bit longer to stroll.”

Ragos hopes that sharing these tales will result in an improved meals security tradition, during which people and firms are dedicated to meals security as a result of they know the influence it has on folks’s lives.

Ragos is now heading to Taiwan as a Fulbright Scholar. She is at the moment making use of to medical colleges.

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