CBC News has confirmed the outbreak involves children between the ages of 15 months and 14-years-old at three schools and one daycare.
There are several cases reported at the Tiny Hoppers Daycare in Kanata, and some at Turnbull School on Fisher Avenue and Steve MacLean Public School and École élémentaire catholique Jean-Paul-II in Gloucester.
Tiny Hoppers confirmed to CBC News it had a lunch caterer named "The Lunch Lady" serving for the past couple months, but this is its last week because the daycare has now hired an in-house chef.
The daycare's director also said health officials were targeting one of the caterer's kitchens as the possible source of the outbreak.
I scan celebrity trash news sites like TMZ looking for food safety ledes.
And this is the unacceptable version of doggy dining.
Celebtard Aubrey O'Day's decision to let her dogs rub their butts all over the table at a popular L.A. eatery last week has triggered a Health Dept. investigation, TMZ has learned, because, quite frankly, it's disgusting.
TMZ broke the story, the "Celebrity Apprentice" star let her puppys wag their naked asses all over her table at Toast for several minutes, before finally putting the poochies on the ground.
Now, a rep for the L.A. Public Health Dept. tells TMZ, a health inspector has visited the restaurant to remind employees about pet guidelines, specifically the one that reads, "Pets shall not be allowed on chairs, seats, benches and tables."
The rep adds, "The Health Dept would like people to enjoy eating with their pets, but we also want people to be respectful to other people."
We're told the staff was quite receptive to the official, and no citations or warnings were issued.
A rep for Toast tells us the restaurant will be "extremely vigilant" about future potential anal infractions.
In Aug. 2011, Terry Brady, a spokesperson with Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said that the lake at Cowans Gap State Park remained open, despite links to three cases of E. coli O157. “The beaches are open and actually there was a good turnout today. A link to the park has not been established."
The lake was closed the next day. Eighteen people, primarily kids, were identified with E. coli O157:H7; 10 were hospitalized. An additional 24 people were classified as suspected cases.
On Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) was notified by an infection preventionist at a local hospital of two children with HUS who had both reported recent visits to the same Pennsylvania State Park. One of these patients also tested positive for E. coli O157:H7. By Friday, Aug. 5, there were additional reports of E. coli in persons with exposure to the state park and its beach area.
After initial notification, the Department of Health contacted the Bureau of State Parks in the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). Several hypotheses were initially posed as explanations for this E. coli cluster: coincidence (this is a large lake with many swimmers each year), consumption of contaminated food or water at a nearby establishment, consumption of contaminated food or water from the park, or swimming in the park lake.
Information was gathered about previous inspections of the concession stand, water-testing results from the beach area, and other significant events at the lake.
On the recommendation of DOH, at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 9, DCNR closed the lake to all water activities, including swimming, boating and fishing. On Aug. 10, DOH conducted a site visit to the park along with DCNR and DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) to view the beach, camping sites, dumping stations and other potential opportunities for contamination of water. Small samples were collected from the beach water and sediment and sent to the DOH Bureau of Laboratories for testing. DEP also sent red dye through the sewer system to check for leaks into the lake. On Aug. 11, 100 liters of water were passed through a large-volume filtration system and sent to CDC as an additional attempt to detect organisms.
Eighteen confirmed and probable cases were identified throughout the course of the investigation. Thirteen of these cases were confirmed through a diagnosis of HUS and/or lab-identification of E. coli O157:H7. Ten of the 13 confirmed cases were hospitalized, and one was known to be a secondary case, exposed to another confirmed case but not the lake itself. The majority of the cases (61 percent) were 10 years old or younger. Many of the cases were exposed between July 30 and Aug. 1, although many went to the park and swam on multiple days.
Additionally, 24 persons were classified as suspect cases because they had reported GI symptoms and exposure to the lake; no additional data was available to classify these cases further. All 11 culture-positive cases had matching PFGE patterns with an uncommon two-enzyme combination that had not been seen nationally since December 2010.
The lake had a shallow swimming area along the beach, delineated by buoys. There were recently built, functioning shower and rest-room facilities adjacent to the concession stand, both easily accessible to beach users. There was an on-site water treatment plant down-stream from the lake and no critical deficiencies were found. The red dye which was placed in the sewer system was not subsequently observed in the lake, indicating there were no leaks from the sewer system into the lake water. All water and sediment samples tested failed to grow E. coli O157:H7.
While the lake water did not test positive for E. coli O157:H7, the epidemiology clearly indicates the lake as the source of transmission. The lake was the only common factor among all of the cases, and 100 percent of the primary cases reported swimming in the lake. The vast majority of the cases in this outbreak were children. The original source of contamination of the lake was unable to be determined, though it is likely from a person who was swimming while ill.
(why? what evidence? thought the origin was unable to be determined?)
The predominance of children is typical for outbreaks of E.coli O157:H7. The shallow, warm water of this beach makes it a popular site for children; children interact with recreational water very differently than adults and are more likely to accidentally swallow water. Children are also more likely to shed the bacteria after symptoms have resolved, putting other children at risk while playing together in the water or while interacting in other settings. This is particularly a problem with diapered children.
Public health messages about healthy swimming need to continue to be communicated, particularly at places with lots of children. The public needs to be reminded not to swim, or allow their children to swim, when they are experiencing diarrhea. Parents should try to keep their children from swallowing swimming water as much as possible. Finally, practicing good hygiene before and after swimming will help prevent contamination of water.
For the past decade fresh produce has consistently been at the top of the list of foods linked to outbreaks. Tomatoes, melons, leafy greens, fresh herbs and berries leading to illnesses all seem to make an appearance just about annually. Even though they aren't really fresh produce, low moisture seeds and have also been in the game.
When it comes to production or minimally-processed linked outbreaks (like this, this and this) water is often fingered as a contamination factor. Either irrigation, wash or rain. barfblog friends and contributors Michelle Danyluk and Linda Harris co-authored some work pointing to wet orchards (from rain, a fairly uncommon event during almond harvest season) as a potential enabler for Salmonella migration through almond hulls and shells and into the kernel (the edible part).
In the most recent issue of Journal of Food Protection, rain enthusiast Michelle is at it again, coauthoring an investigation of the ability of rain to spread Salmonella Typhimurium from plastic mulch to a tomato plant.
Dispersal of Salmonella Typhimurium by rain splash onto tomato plants
Journal of Food Protection, Volume 75, Number 3, March 2012 , pp. 472-479(8)
Cevallos-Cevallos, Juan M.; Danyluk, Michelle D.; Gu, Ganyu; Vallad, Gary E.; van Bruggen, Ariena H.C.
Abstract: Outbreaks of Salmonella enterica have increasingly been associated with tomatoes and traced back to production areas, but the spread of Salmonella from a point source onto plants has not been described. Splash dispersal by rain could be one means of dissemination. Green fluorescent protein-labeled, kanamycin-resistant Salmonella enterica sv. Typhimurium dispensed on the surface of plastic mulch, organic mulch, or soil at 108 CFU/cm2 was used as the point source in the center of a rain simulator. Tomato plants in soil with and without plastic or organic mulch were placed around the point source, and rain intensities of 60 and 110 mm/h were applied for 5, 10, 20, and 30 min. Dispersal of Salmonella followed a negative exponential model with a half distance of 3 cm at 110 mm/h. Dispersed Salmonella survived for 3 days on tomato leaflets, with a total decline of 5 log and an initial decimal reduction time of 10 h. Recovery of dispersed Salmonella from plants at the maximum observed distance ranged from 3 CFU/g of leaflet after a rain episode of 110 mm/h for 10 min on soil to 117 CFU/g of leaflet on plastic mulch. Dispersal of Salmonella on plants with and without mulch was significantly enhanced by increasing rain duration from 0 to 10 min, but dispersal was reduced when rainfall duration increased from 10 to 30 min. Salmonella may be dispersed by rain to contaminate tomato plants in the field, especially during rain events of 10 min and when plastic mulch is used.
I don't read this as "don't eat tomatoes grown on plastic mulch that were rained on for 10 min" but info like this could be important to outbreak investigators trying to link an outbreak to a cadre of causative events.
Using I-own-a-thermometer as an indicator of thermometer use is as useful as I-own-a-sink therefore I wash my hands. Or, I own a toilet, so I always hit the bowl. Or … use your imagination.
Researchers at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration report in the Journal of Food Protection that the use of a food thermometer is the best way to ensure that meat, poultry, and other foods reach an internal temperature sufficient to destroy foodborne pathogens.
The 1998, 2001, 2006, and 2010 Food Safety Surveys were used to analyze changes in food thermometer ownership and usage for roasts, chicken parts, and hamburgers in the United States.
But surveys still suck.
The paper notes that when E. coli O157:H7 was first associated with ground beef in the 1980s, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommended that consumers cook hamburgers until the meat was ‘‘brown or pinkish brown in the center. However, as a result of research that showed that one out of four hamburgers may be brown in the center before reaching a safe internal temperature, the USDA changed its advice to consumers— instead of using color as an indicator of doneness in hamburgers, consumers should use a food thermometer to ensure that a safe temperature has been reached. In May 2000, the USDA launched the Thermy educational campaign to encourage consumers to use a food thermometer when cooking small cuts of meat, such as hamburgers and chicken parts. The USDA also provided guidance to consumers about the safe temperature for various cuts of meat and poultry.
Ho Phang and Christine Bruhn reported earlier in JFP that in video observation of 199 California consumers making hamburgers and salad in their own kitchens, handwashing was poor, only 4% used a thermometer to check if the burger was safely cooked, and there were an average of 43 cross-contamination events per household. They concluded Thermy had not been successful.
We did our own survey with 40 people brought in to cook a chicken meal in a Kansas State kitchen and videotaped their behaviors. Many participants reported owning a food thermometer (73%) and nearly half (42.5%) of participants reported knowing the suggested end temperature for cooking poultry to ensure doneness. When asked the final recommended internal temperature for chicken, the mean response was 214°F with a range of responses from 140°F to 450°F. (The correct answer is 165F)
Of those participants observed measuring the internal temperature of the product, only three used the thermometer correctly. During observation, two individuals who used the thermometers failed to remove protective casings prior to taking internal temperature readings, and therefore used the instruments incorrectly.
Surveys do not measure behaviors: they give an indication of what people think their behavior is, or what the survey person wants to hear, but that isn’t going to get people to use a thermometer (tip-sensitive, digital).
Blame the media is a routine strategy for politicians and scientists (no difference when speaking on the public stage) but one that is rarely valid.
Except most media these days opts for puppy-eyed compliance rather than critical questions.
Dr. Rainer Wessel, director of the CI3 excellence cluster of the German Rhein-Mainz region, managed to keep a straight face as he told an audience in Berlin last week that the death toll in the E. coli O104 outbreak in sprouts last year that killed 53 was “minimal” and paled in comparison to the daily death toll of car accidents.
Risk comparisons are risky.
Because only 53 people died, Wessel viewed the reaction of the public health surveillance system as a success, adding, “Biological threats are complicated. The machine was working pretty well, even if some reactions were slow.” But this can be improved, it depends how much society wants to invest in it.
Maybe something was lost in translation.
According to the Future Challenges website, Wessel argued the media played a big role in frightening the population and creating a unnecessary outburst in society.
“The media are also enterprises, they have to sell too.”
Wessel didn’t mention that during two weeks the public received contradictory information, which wasn’t invented by journalists, but given by government officials.
On the 22th of May 2011, German health authorities said: “Clearly, we are faced with an unusual situation“ and didn’t deliver further information on the origin of the outbreak.
On the 25th, the Health Minister of Hamburg Cornelia Storck declared that the disease was carried by Spanish cucumbers. The German federal government withdrew them from the market causing €51 million in losses to Spanish agriculture, according to the Spanish environment minister. After some tests, the cucumbers were invalidated as the source of the epidemic.
On the 4th of June, German officials alleged that a restaurant in Lübeck, North Germany, was the starting point of the outbreak.
On the 5th, officials pointed to a farm in Lower Saxony being the source of the epidemic, an information that was invalidated and then finally confirmed again on the 10th of the same month.
Wessel maintains that the press should be better informed, which is always good. In case of risk, the Robert-Koch-Institut, the German official health surveillance agency, should receive funding for a small press room in order to give correct information and respond to the questions of journalists, “to avoid that a second or third grade scientist gets interviewed on a local level.”
In late-in-the-day matches Sunday, third-seeded Petra Kvitova, last year's Wimbledon champion, was ousted by fast-rising American Christina McHale, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3, and said afterward that she had been ill, had taken antibiotics and had "lost a bit of my fitness."
Roger Federer went through his opponent, Denis Kudla of the U.S., 6-4, 6-1, and then, looking pale and sounding hoarse, admitted afterward in his news conference that he wasn't feeling well, nor were members of his family.
"I'm the best off in the family," he said.
At least eight players have defaulted since the tournament began, most of them complaining of a stomach virus.
Fire Chief Bob Tompos said about 20-25 high-school-age hockey players got sick simultaneously with apparent flu-like symptoms, causing several players to vomit on benches and inside the locker room.
The sudden occurrance prompted a call to the fire department to investigate the building as the sick players began heading to nearby hospitals with families. Some went by ambulance if parents weren't yet on the scene. "Rather than make them wait, we wanted to err on the side of caution," Tompos said, "so they were transported [by ambulance] with implied consent." An official evacuation was called about 10:30 p.m.
Firefighters first checked the building's air quality to rule out issues like unsafe levels of carbon monoxide. "The oxygen level was fine, so we weren't too concerned about that," Tompos said, adding that other samples from the Sportsplex — including the water supply — will immediately be sent to an independent lab in the morning for analysis. Unseasonably warm temperatures and possibly the crowd's size caused the air conditioning system to unexpectantly kick on, so air duct samples also will get tested, Tompos said.
It’s one thing to sprout seed on a Mr. T head; it’s another to put it in a shake. Are there food grade standards for edible chia? If it’s anything like sprouts, the seeds are the problem, originating who-knows-where, and with a potential to wreak microbiological havoc.
J.M. Hirsch, the national food editor for The Associated Press, writes for the Food Network blog that, “chia seeds — which are a relative of sage — resemble poppy seeds, but have a nuttier, less assertive flavor. They have gobs of fiber and a fair amount of protein.
"The seeds were a staple of the Aztecs, who roasted and ground the seeds, then mixed them with water to form a porridge or a meal for making cakes.
"Chia seeds’ reputation for providing sustained energy — as well as plenty of nutrients — more recently have turned them into the darling of the fitness world.
"They also have shown up in a growing number of products in natural foods shops, from protein bars and baked goods to drinks such as kombucha.”
And so on. It’s up to proponents to provide the microbiological data to support safety.
Basketball player and armchair health inspector DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings managed to score 15 points, five assists, three steals and two blocks in Friday’s victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
Cowbell Kingdom reports Cousins became ill early Wednesday and missed Kings’ shootaround as a result. He was a last minute lineup scratch before the Kings won 99-98 over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday.
“I don’t want to call out the restaurant,” responded Cousins when asked what caused the ordeal. “I don’t want them to lose business. But I had some food that morning and my stomach was hurting and I was throwing up.”
Some food that morning ain’t real specific. Did Mr. Basketball star provide a stool sample to the local health unit so they could possibly match with other instances of foodborne illness? And if there’s evidence food at a restaurant caused illness, don’t you have a responsibility to go public to help prevent others from getting ill?
Basketball is almost as boring as baseball and cricket – combined.
“When asked whether someone is more likely to get sick from foodborne bacteria eating at home or at a restaurant, 65 percent of consumers answered “at a restaurant.” However, 72 percent of the experts attending the summit answered “at home.”
“In fact, statistics back up the experts’ opinion showing between 60 percent and 70 percent of foodborne illnesses occur at home.”
Got a reference for that? Or were the press release authors too busy inserting “dick fingers” and statements of nonsense like, “In fact.”
“In fact, it isn’t beef safety consumers are concerned about. When asked which fresh food they might buy in the supermarket was their biggest safety concern, 48 percent of consumers answered “Fish and Seafood.” Only 10 percent said beef was their biggest safety concern.”
Beef safety may have improved, but industry types can’t help but continue to cast stones. Beef types have lots to concern themselves with – non-O157 shiga-toxin producing E. coli, pink slime, cross-contamination, welfare and workplace issues -- instead of wasting rhetorical energy about who’s to blame for foodborne illness.
It’s called playing to your constituency
Jacob, C.J. and Powell, D.A. 2009. Where does foodborne illness happen—in the home, at foodservice, or elsewhere—and does it matter? Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, 6(9): 1121-1123. http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/fpd.2008.0256
Foodservice professionals, politicians, and the media are often cited making claims as to which locations most often expose consumers to foodborne pathogens. Many times, it is implied that most foodborne illnesses originate from food consumed where dishes are prepared to order, such as restaurants or in private homes. The manner in which the question is posed and answered frequently reveals a speculative bias that either favors homemade or foodservice meals as the most common source of foodborne pathogens. Many answers have little or no scientific grounding, while others use data compiled by passive surveillance systems. Current surveillance systems focus on the place where food is consumed rather than the point where food is contaminated. Rather than focusing on the location of consumption—and blaming consumers and others—analysis of the steps leading to foodborne illness should center on the causes of contamination in a complex farm-to-fork food safety system.
Comforting or not, we eat poop in a variety of forms. Dogs seem to enjoy it.
D.C. Innes of World Magazine reports Japanese scientist Mitsuyuki Ikeda has developed a way to turn human feces into simulated beef. He takes “sewage mud,” which is high in protein on account of its bacteria content, adds soy proteins and food coloring, puts it through his machine, and out comes chuck.
Now, there is reason to believe that this story might be a hoax, but Douglas Powell, a food safety expert at Kansas State University, views it as technologically plausible. So it’s worth considering the idea.
Innes asked me if I would eat a burger made out of poop.
Maybe, but it would have to be safely cooked.
Innes cites a bunch of philosophy I thought was cool about the same time I thought The Doors were musical and poetic genius -- everyone experiments in college – and concludes that even if “harvesting scat for food would be efficient, there is this problem: It’s beneath human dignity. Dignity is not a “scientific” concept. You can’t isolate dignity in a Petri dish, but empirical science is not our only window onto reality.
Is what we leave behind after evacuating only so much protein, carbohydrates, lipids, and minerals? Are we? If we are, then God is dead and all is permitted. But no one lives that way. That summary of life does not account for life as we know it. In that respect, it’s bad science. C.S. Lewis argues that seeing man through only this lens means “the abolition of man.”
Powell, the food safety professor, is fine with this new fare, so long as we cook it thoroughly. We eat plants that grow in soil fertilized with dung, don’t we? But we don’t eat the dung.
Revelations that industrial salt was sold to food producers has prompted authorities to open a criminal investigation and arrest five people. More than 600 tests have also been carried out on food samples. The industrial salt was intended for deicing roads in winter.
With much of its territory devoted to agriculture, Poland produces everything from apples and beets to eggs and meat that gets sold to Germany and other neighboring countries.
Laboratory tests so far have found that the amounts of dioxins and heavy metals in the salt are minimal and unlikely to harm human health. Nonetheless, the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate ordered the withdrawal of suspect food as a precaution, its spokesman, Jan Bondar, said Friday.
The foods include vegetables that are preserved in salts, likes pickles and sauerkraut and beets, but also sausages and breads and other baked goods.
Even if the salt used does not contain anything harmful, it still is not enriched with iodine, as the law requires for food, said the inspectorate, which is a state body responsible for food safety and other public health matters.
The food producers that used the questionable salt have been told not to let the foods leave their warehouses.
Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki said he was worried that the scandal — which has received a lot of media coverage in Poland — is unfairly hurting the image of Poland's food.
A new report concludes the federal government should provide more specific public guidance on the license approval requirements of vaccines that could reduce the incidence of E. coli O157:H7 and friends in cattle.
Because right now, it’s bureaucratic, and no one can offer a clear explanation.
The U.S Government Accountability Project in report GAO-12-257 (for sticklers) also concluded the Secretary of Agriculture should explore practices employed by other countries that are not currently used in the U.S. for reducing shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) in cattle and consider whether the identified practices can inform U.S. efforts.
From the report:
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and university researchers identified several treatments administered before cattle are slaughtered, or preslaughter interventions, that could reduce Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in cattle. Such preslaughter interventions include bacteriophages (viruses that infect and kill bacteria), probiotics (live bacteria that can benefit the digestive system), vaccines (biological preparations that alter the immune system), and sodium chlorate (chemical that kills the STEC O157:H7 strain). However, few manufacturers have submitted applications for preslaughter intervention products to target STEC according to officials from USDA and the Food and Drug Administration. One exception is for vaccines to reduce STEC O157:H7.
For preslaughter interventions, USDA exercises responsibilities for licensing and regulating STEC vaccines. However, USDA’s approval requirements for these vaccines are unclear, according to some industry representatives. Specifically, USDA’s general guidance does not address some of the unique challenges faced by manufacturers of animal health products seeking STEC vaccine approval. For example, the guidance does not explain that, if studies conducted in the laboratory are insufficient to demonstrate efficacy, the manufacturer would also need to demonstrate that the vaccine is effective in a field setting such as a feedlot. In contrast, the Canadian Centre for Veterinary Biologics provides more specific guidance about when it requires the use of laboratory or field studies to demonstrate efficacy for vaccine license applications. Without guidance that gives manufacturers clear and more specific information they need to submit for an acceptable application, the approval process for STEC vaccines could face potential delays.
In addition to STEC O157:H7, which it stated in 1994 was an adulterant—a substance that renders food injurious to human health—in September 2011, USDA determined that six other STEC strains were adulterants in raw ground beef and beef trim (meat left after steaks and roasts are cut from beef). USDA has tests for these six strains and plans to use them in slaughter plants starting in June 2012. However, it may be difficult and time-consuming to confirm positive test results because certain test components are either not commercially available for all strains or do not always provide clear results. USDA is working to improve the tests and to find a commercial supplier for one key test component. Also, a few companies voluntarily test for these strains.
Some foreign governments have practices that could be relevant to U.S. efforts to reduce STEC in cattle such as the following:
The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union require certain measures, such as verification of cleanliness by an inspector, to ensure that the cattle going to slaughter are clean. In contrast, USDA assesses the health of cattle but does not inspect for cleanliness.
At least 12 European Union member countries collected and reported data on STEC in live cattle in 2009. USDA has conducted STEC testing in live cattle, but has not tested since 1999.
When a person becomes ill from E. coli in Sweden, government officials try to determine the specific farm that sold the contaminated cattle so that other carcasses from the farm can be tested for STEC. USDA does not trace the STEC source back to the farm.
Shopping for food is competitive sport in Brisbane.
There are bargains to be had, but limited by geography – I’m on a bicycle – time and seasonality.
And the prices change almost daily for no apparent reason other than supply and demand.
The majority of Australians hate the megalomart duopoly of Coles and Woolworths but within a 2-mile radius, I can choose amongst five fruit and veg places, three butchers, three bakeries, the ubiquitous Coles and Woolworths, and my favorite, the Dutton Park Fish Market.
Dutton Park is a suburb adjacent to the University of Queensland and the fish market is literally a non-descript hole in the wall down and around from a semi-popular restaurant on the way to the uni. They don’t advertise because they have trouble meeting demand. But they do send e-mails saying what’s in and what’s on special.
That gets back to the competitive sport of shopping.
Two days ago the price of oysters went from $15 a dozen to $20 for two dozen. I told Amy we were having oysters, and she invited over a colleague for dinner last night.
We went through 48 oysters, two blue swimmer crabs and some homemade Napoletana leek pizza.
As a man of large appetites, I wanted more. So after early morning swimming lessons for the daughter, Sorenne and I biked off again to visit with Paul the fishmonger (Sorenne likes the live mud crabs, and the fishheads).
Saturday lunch was more oysters, more blue swimmers, and some Hervey Bay scallops, served with a grated, marinated carrot and beet salad.
Health officials interviewed the man's wife and determined that he had eaten shrimp from a 16-ounce bag of frozen, raw, peeled and cleaned shrimp sold under the Harvest of the Sea brand. Testing on a second bag of the same brand of shrimp found in the man's freezer determined that it contained the bacteria afflicting the man.
Felger said that bag of shrimp came from a Martin's Super Markets store in South Bend. The supermarket chain voluntarily pulled the shrimp from its freezers in during the weekend of Feb. 17-18 after learning that it could possibly be contaminated. But the store didn't issue a voluntary recall to customers until March 3 because they didn't have all of the information they needed until then, the company's advertising manager, Dave Mayfield, told WSBT.
He said that once they got the facts, they issued the recall.
Test results confirming the bacteria were in the shrimp were received last Friday, and the next day Martin's Supermarket emailed its recall notice to South Bend-area media.
Felger said he believes Martin's Super Markets acted appropriately by pulling the product once they were notified.
I buy the crabs cooked. The oysters and scallops I grill for about 90 seconds, along with a (small) dollop of garlic butter loaded with homegrown basil and rosemary, and a dab of hot sauce. I temped a scallop today because I’d never grilled fresh ones before – 140F. Probably a bit high but tasted great.
Paul can talk lovingly about his product, I can write food porn about the preparation, but neither of us – nor anyone else – knows which raw seafood might be carrying a dangerous bacterium, virus or parasite. I pay attention to cross-contamination. And I cook seafood, verified using a tip-sensitive digital thermometer.
According to the Monterey Herald and KION a bunch of students at Los Arboles Middle School spent a bunch of time barfing yesterday. 110 kids had symptoms including nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea. Enough kids got sick that school nurses called in the health department and fire department as back-up.
To say Los Arboles Middle School student Paradise Williams had a rough morning is an understatement.
"It didn't feel good, it didn't feel good at all," says Williams.
The sixth grader was in math class Thursday morning when she felt dizzy, got cramps and started throwing up. The school got so many other students with the same symptoms, it set up a makeshift clinic with nurses in the school's gym. When Paradise rushed there, 30 other students were already there.
"At the time it was bad," says Williams. "Everyone was around trash cans throwing up holding their stomachs, crying, throwing up, drinking water, throwing up the water."
The amateur epidemiologists cited in the story are guessing that a bad batch of out of date rice is to blame (not so sure on that one -ben).
By the afternoon, that number grew to 110 students. The Monterey County Health Department is investigating what caused the stomach flu. But, several students including Paradise suspect bad rice was served for breakfast at the nearby teen center. That angers Paradise's mother.
"Are they looking on the dates of their food? Are they taking inventory on the dates? I don't want this to happen again," says Williams.
But, the school district isn't confirming that and called today's sickness "rare."
Rare probably isn't the right word to use here - acute and messy is probably better - and likely provides little comfort to the barfing tweens and their families. The school folks should be talking about their food safety risk-reduction systems (USDA requires a HACCP-based program for school meals provided under their nutrition program) and the type of stuff they have in place to limit spread (like hand soap in the restrooms).
Thanks to a sharp-eyed barfblog contributor for the tip.
The National Post in Canada thought my thoughts on society, individuals and their raw meat was fit to run as a letter to the editor. From this morning’s paper:
I don't care what adults choose to eat, smoke, drink or derive pleasure from; I do care when it affects kids, and that's why many such activities are regulated based on age. For public health, it's about reducing societal risk. For individuals, it's balancing risk with choice. But choice should be based on credible evidence.
Medium-rare hamburger is not the same as a medium-rare steak.
The difference is that meat, no matter how lovingly it is cared for and slaughtered, is prone to poop, somewhere, and when grinding steaks or other cuts, the outside becomes the inside.
Meat is just one offshoot of the Church of Raw, which sees nature as benign and good. I see nature as awesome and a great teacher, but also as an entity that is too busy to worry solely about the welfare of humans. Me say, fire is good.
The term "pink burger" is used throughout this article to denote a medium-rare burger, yet it has been known for almost 20 years that the colour of meat has little to do with its actual temperature (and bacteria-wasting capabilities). Food safety types are concerned about hamburger because people, especially kids, routinely get sick from undercooked hamburger and raw milk. Some die.
What individuals do with their raw meat in the privacy of their own homes is their own business - until it involves children. Or fairytales.
Doug Powell, professor, food safety, Kansas State University,
A total of 25 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC) O26 have been reported from 8 states.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says results of the epidemiologic and traceback investigations indicate eating raw clover sprouts at Jimmy John's restaurants is the likely cause of this outbreak.
March 8, 2012
The 11 new ill persons have been reported from Alabama, Michigan, and Ohio. Of the 24 ill persons with available information, 21 (87%) reported consuming sprouts at Jimmy John's restaurants in the 7 days preceding illness.
Vincent Kluska, a 24-year-old car body worker, found a mouse head in a can of Carrefour brand green beans, while preparing his lunch in Annemasse in the Haute-Savoie, France, reported RTL.
The young man noticed something strange in the pan where he was cooking his beans. "I thought something had fallen into the pan," he said, "I looked closer: it was a mouse head with a mustache and hair and a mutilated body. "
Vincent, very surprised, admits he retched. "I couldn’t believe it, it's crazy. Sometimes you hear things like that but when it happens to you it’s unbelievable." The young man was still in shock from the strange discovery and couldn’t understand how this mouse head made its way into the can. The surprise was all the more unpleasant because Vincent had already started eating the can of beans the night before. "The worst part is that I didn’t notice anything different. I went at it head down," he said disgusted.
The Carrefour Market in Annemasse (Haute-Savoie) opened an investigation to determine the origin of this foreign body. "Customer service contacted the client to apologize and to thank him for the alert," said the store, adding "Despite the exceptional nature of this situation, to avoid any inconvenience to another client, Carrefour has decided to recall the remaining lot on the market."
Bigger stage, bigger scrutiny; more exposure, more criticism (unless you’re Tom Hanks).
As seen in the ABC news clip, Gerald Zirnstein grinds his own hamburger these days. Why? Because this former United States Department of Agriculture scientist and, now, whistleblower, knows that 70 percent of the ground beef we buy at the supermarket contains something he calls “pink slime.”
“Pink slime” is beef trimmings. Once only used in dog food and cooking oil, the trimmings are now sprayed with ammonia so they are safe to eat and added to most ground beef as a cheaper filler.
It was Zirnstein who, in an USDA memo, first coined the term “pink slime” and is now coming forward to say he won’t buy it (shurley shome mistake; wasn't it the Jamie Oliver ministry? No).
“It’s economic fraud,” he told ABC News. “It’s not fresh ground beef. … It’s a cheap substitute being added in.”
Zirnstein and his fellow USDA scientist, Carl Custer, both warned against using what the industry calls “lean finely textured beef,” widely known now as “pink slime,” but their government bosses overruled them.
According to Custer, the product is not really beef, but “a salvage product … fat that had been heated at a low temperature and the excess fat spun out.”
The “pink slime” does not have to appear on the label because, over objections of its own scientists, USDA officials with links to the beef industry labeled it meat.
“The under secretary said, ‘it’s pink, therefore it’s meat,’” Custer told ABC News.
ABC News has learned the woman who made the decision to OK the mix is a former undersecretary of agriculture, Joann Smith. It was a call that led to hundred of millions of dollars for Beef Products Inc., the makers of pink slime.
Today, the meat types fought back.
Meatingplace.com disputed Custer’s claims that the product isn’t muscle but connective tissue. “But connective tissue isn't red. Any redness (or pink, in this case) is associated with myoglobin — meaning it's of muscle origin.”
It’s pink so it’s meat.
“We actually have equipment in place specifically designed to remove any sinew, cartilage, or connective tissue that may come in with raw materials, just like the companies that take trim and produce ground beef,” Rich Jochum, BPI’s corporate administrator told Meatingplace. “Our finished product is typically 94 percent lean.”
Ammonium hydroxide isn’t the only intervention. Cargill uses citric acid, just one of several alternatives to treat what it calls finely textured beef (FTB) to reduce the pathogen load.
The product is included in approximately 70 percent of all ground beef products, Cargill spokesman Mike Martin told Meatingplace.
Food-grade ammonium hydroxide is also commonly used as a direct food additive in baked goods, cheeses and chocolates.
Carl doesn’t have much to worry about if the best proponents can come up with is the tired but continually tested, change-the-language-change-the-mind strategy: lean, finely textured beef (LFTB) just isn't as catchy as pink slime.
Industry types, if you’re proud of your product for its bacterial-reducing capabilities, promote it, reclaim and own the term pink slime; market it.
Instead it’ll be like the genetic engineering types who spent a fortune in the 1990s learning that the term genetic engineering scares people, so it’s better to call it biotechnology. The spokethingies will go to risk communication seminars, learn to express empathy, but still wear $1,000 Italian leather loafers (the douchebags don’t wear socks) and have sweaters tied around their neck for that common-man look (on sale now at J.C. Penny), all while trying to convince the masses of the virtues of lean finely textured ground beef.
That cull dairy cow has gone through the pink slime barn door.