Food safety issues from E. coli to home cooking the topic of URI web chat Nov. 21

KINGSTON, R.I. – November 8, 2006 – While it was spinach growers that made the news this fall for contaminating their crops with E. coli, everyone who cooks at home should also be aware of how to avoid food-borne illnesses. With that in mind – and the holiday feast season upon us – the University of Rhode Island is hosting an online chat with food safety expert Martha Patnoad on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 1 p.m.

Patnoad, who has been affiliated with the URI Cooperative Extension for three decaedes, has developed food safety education programs for farmers, cafeteria workers, outdoor festival volunteers and many others. She is a member of the National Environmental Health Association and is a Certified Food Professional. In 2003, she received the University’s Outstanding Outreach Award.

A service of the URI Division of University Advancement’s electronic communications program, online chats are free and open to the public and are accessible through the URI website.

To enter the chat, go to for instructions. Participants may submit questions in advance, but the chat will not begin until the scheduled date and time. Thirty minutes is the total time allotted for the chat. A full transcript will be posted to the University’s website once the chat has been completed. Questions about web chats should be directed to the URI Publications Office at 401-874-2075.

URI’s online chats, which began in September 2004, have featured question and answer sessions with such alumni as Tom Mulligan, Los Angeles Times senior correspondent discussing the Iraq war, and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ross Kaufman talking about the making of Born into Brothels, as well as with URI administrators, faculty and coaches.

The chats are made possible through the cooperation of the URI Athletics Department and College Sports Online, hosts of the web site.