Teaching Microbiology -An Adventure in Identifying Microbes

Hi All,

For all who did not attend Maryland Day this year, the Micallef Food Safety lab had hand washing exhibits,  bacteria viewing under the microscope, and adventures to find out what microbe you most identify with! Below is an example of a quick interactive game our lab came up with to get kids (6- 12) interested about microbiology and food safety ! It is a choose your own adventure based pamphlet full of fun questions and valuable information on the top food safety microbes. Please feel free to use this as an instructional tool in your educational setting!




Fermented Hot Sauce








3.5 lb hot peppers (whatever looks fun at the international market), stems removed
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 head garlic, peeled
1/2 C sea or kosher salt (some people found it a little salty – you may want to add less)
1/2 C starter (whey* or liquid from sauerkraut)
1/2 C lime juice
1/4 C honey
1/4 tsp xanthan gum


1. Blend peppers, carrots, garlic, salt, and starter
2. Cover and ferment at room temperature 1-2 weeks, stirring or shaking daily
3. Blend and strain through cheesecloth
4. Add lime juice, honey, and xanthan gum
5. Refrigerate and enjoy!


Jalapeno (added more lime and garlic)
Jamaican red (super spicy)
Long red (solidly delicious)
Mystery green (international store bargain bin)
Fresno (for sriracha clone)

*We strained whey from a quart of whole milk yogurt with live cultures and got enough whey for about 2-3 lbs of peppers


Crock Pot Pulled Chicken Sangwich Recipe!

Good Day All,

By popular request, attached below is the pulled chicken sandwich recipe I followed for Liz K and Cesar’s potluck. This is a pseudo-barbeque recipe because there is Worcestershire sauce involved, but that was outweighed by the fact the Beeroness also uses balsamic vinegar and porter beer.

Recipe site: http://thebeeroness.com/2013/11/01/slow-cooker-beer-brown-sugar-pulled-chicken-sliders/

I added one julienned onion, red bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper to the starting mix. I  used both chicken breasts and thighs, and I let it cook on “low” for about 7 hours before shredding and letting it soak in the juices. Suggested serving: Havarti cheese and homemade kraut on a fresh bun!

Happy eating lovely bubs,


Interesting Podcast for Interested Microbiologists!

If you’re looking to learn while you drive — look no further!


My inaugural episode was #99 “Careers in Biodefense,” so it wasn’t a hardcore science information episode, but very interesting nonetheless.  It profiled three professional scientists in Washington DC who left bench work for the world of public policy with careers in Environmental and Biological Disaster Emergency Preparedness and Bioterrorism Defense.

Professionals Featured: Maria Julia Marinissen, Edward H. You, and David R. Howell.

This podcast just goes to show you that it doesn’t matter what you study, what matters is what you do with it (Which is anything. You can literally do anything you set your mind to– naysayers be damned!!!!!). One of these guys was going for his PhD in Physics and then switched to International Relations.

Happy Listening bubs,