UK pub kitchen shut after 62 diners report vomiting and diarrhea: Somerset

A day after The Morning Advertiser in Somerset, U.K. said with a straight face that only a few local restaurants had received a zero rating from the U.K. Food Standards Authority, a local pub has closed after at least 62 diners reported vomiting and diarrhea.

The Old Farmhouse in Nailsea, north Somerset, which is operated by Hall & Woodhouse and did not, apparently, receive a zero, will keep its kitchen shut while investigations from North Somerset Council and Public Health England (PHE) continue.


87 now sick from this kratom stuff in the U.S.

The investigation has expanded to include outbreak strains from three additional serotypes of Salmonella: Salmonella Javiana, Salmonella Okatie, and Salmonella Thompson.

The same strains of Salmonella Okatie and Salmonella Thompson were found in samples collected from kratom and from ill people.

47 more ill people from 25 states were added to this investigation since the last update on March 2, 2018.

At this time, CDC recommends that people not consume any brand of kratom in any form because it could be contaminated with Salmonella.

Kratom is also known as Thang, Kakuam, Thom, Ketom, and Biak.

Kratom is a plant consumed for its stimulant effects and as an opioid substitute.

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that kratom is the likely source of this multistate outbreak.

No common brands or suppliers of kratom products have been identified at this time.

Because no common source of Salmonella-contaminated kratom has been identified, CDC is recommending against consuming any kratom.

Since the last update on March 2, 2018, investigators identified ill people infected with other types of Salmonella, including Salmonella Okatie, Salmonella Javiana, and Salmonella Thompson. Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence has linked these additional Salmonella illnesses to consuming kratom.

Health officials continue to collect various leftover and unopened kratom products to test for Salmonella contamination. Investigators in California collected leftover Phytoextractum brand kratom powder from an ill person in that state. The outbreak strain of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:b:- was identified in this sample. As a result of these findings, PDX Aromatics recalled kratom powder sold online between January 18, 2018 and February 18, 2018.

Investigators in Oregon and Utah collected kratom powder from retail locations and online retailers where ill people reported purchasing kratom. Outbreak strains of Salmonella Okatie and Salmonella Thompson were identified in these samples. No brand information was available for the kratom products collected in Oregon. The ill person in Utah purchased kratom powder from the website

State and local health officials continue to interview ill people to ask about the foods they ate and other exposures before they became ill. Forty (73%) of 55 people interviewed reported consuming kratom in pills, powder, or tea. Most people report consuming the powder form of kratom. People who reported consuming kratom purchased it from retail locations in several states and from various online retailers.

Despite the information collected to date about where ill people purchased kratom, a single common brand or supplier of kratom has not been linked to the outbreak. At this time, CDC recommends that people not consume any brand of kratom in any form because it could be contaminated with Salmonella and could make people sick. This investigation is ongoing and we will provide updates as needed.

Canada’s Good Butcher not so good: E. coli O157:H7 found in lean ground beef

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume the products described below due to possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination.

Check to see if you have the products in your home. If the products are in your home, do not consume them.

This warning was triggered by CFIA test results. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of these or other products. If products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through a Food Recall Warning.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

Toilets’ water tanks confirmed to have caused norovirus in Pyeongchang

South Korea’s public health authorities have confirmed that the “water tanks of portable toilets” were the reason behind an outbreak of norovirus at the host city of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics that affected around 300 security personnel for the event last month. 

The authorities announced Sunday that the water tanks of mobile toilets were what caused the norovirus infection as a result of its epidemiological investigation of Horeb Youth Camp Center and other related facilities. According to the investigation, the genotype of the virus detected in water tanks was matched with those of patients. There had been around 570 portable lavatories set up during the Olympic period and ironically, water used to wash hands or brush teeth before leaving a toilet for the sake of hygiene was the culprit of infection.

In Indonesia, an elementary school teacher in Cempedak Lobang village, North Sumatra, appears to have escaped severe punishment, despite forcing one of her students to engage in a revolting punishment that could have easily endangered his health.

Last week, the parents of a student, identified by his initials MB, complained about their kid’s teacher, a woman with the initials RM, who subjected their son to needlessly vile corporal punishment simply because he didn’t bring his homework to school.

“My son was told to lick the toilet 12 times. But after four licks, he vomited,” said SH, MB’s mother, as quoted by Kompas yesterday.

(Considering the state of the toilet as shown in the picture below, it’s surprising that MB managed to get in any licks before throwing up…)

30 sick from Salmonella linked to raw frozen chicken thingies in Canada

In an outbreak that begin May 2017 and continues, the Public Health Agency of Canada is reporting 30 cases of Salmonella Enteriditis between May 2017 and February 2018.

The news release came out last Thursday, two days, one day after the feds reminded Canadians on the importance of properly cooking such this.

Use a thermometer.

Currently, there are 30 cases of Salmonella Enteritidis illness in four provinces: Alberta (2), Ontario (17), Quebec (7), and New Brunswick (4). Four individuals have been hospitalized. Individuals became sick between May 2017 and February 2018. The average age of cases is 32 years, with ages ranging from 1 to 73 years. The majority of cases (57%) are male.

Based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to poultry, including frozen raw breaded chicken products has been identified as a source of illness. Several individuals who became ill reported consuming a mix of poultry and frozen raw breaded chicken products. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is conducting a food safety investigation into a source of the outbreak. At this time, there is no food recall warning associated with this outbreak. The outbreak investigation is ongoing.

Frozen raw breaded chicken products may appear to be pre-cooked or browned but they contain raw chicken and should be handled and prepared no differently from other raw poultry products.

The safety of these products rests with the consumer who is expected to cook it, according to the directions on the package.

In 2015, industry voluntarily developed additional labelling on frozen raw breaded chicken products that included more prominent and consistent messaging, such as “raw,” “uncooked” or “must be cooked” as well as explicit instructions not to microwave the product and they voluntarily introduced adding cooking instructions on the inner-packaging bags.

Microwave cooking of frozen raw breaded poultry products including chicken nuggets, strips or burgers is not recommended because of uneven heating.

Use a digital food thermometer to verify that frozen raw breaded chicken products have reached at least 74°C (165°F). Insert the digital food thermometer through the side of the product, all the way to the middle. Oven-safe meat thermometers that are designed for testing whole poultry and roasts during cooking are not suitable for testing nuggets, strips or burgers.

Fifth person dies in Australia’s rockmelon listeria outbreak

An elderly man has died and a woman has miscarried as a result of the nationwide listeria outbreak, which has been linked to contaminated rockmelon.

Amy McNeilage of The Guardian reports the Victorian man in his 80s was the fifth person to die as a result of the outbreak.

The source of the outbreak has been traced to Rombola Family Farms in the Riverina region of NSW, according to authorities.

There have been at least 17 confirmed cases of listeria linked to the contaminated rockmelon, including two deaths in NSW and three in Victoria.

Victoria’s deputy chief health officer, Dr Brett Sutton, said all people affected so far ate the rockmelon before the national recall on 28 February. The latest cases have been linked to the outbreak through microbiological testing.

A miscarriage in Victoria was also linked to the outbreak, and a total 19 people – including those who died – had been affected across the country.

Hockey, facebook and years past

For all its flaws, facebook works.

I’ve apologized to my university sweet heart, I’ve unfriended a stalker, and I’ve caught up with childhood friends I never thought I would talk to again.

Yes, this is a Stand By Me moment.

When I was a pee wee AAA goalie in Brantford (that would have been about 12-years-old, in Ontario, Canada) this other kid appeared.

His name was Mike.

Mike Souliere.

(He’s bottom left, at the Leafs game in Buffalo, with what looks like his son, but how happy is the Sabres fan behind him?)

Mike was a better goalie than I was.

He’s also one of the few who still call me Boog.

I was so traumatized by reduced ice time that I calculated saves per minute for my father, who thought I had lost it.

Of course I had, I was 12.

I am reminded of such silliness when I coach.

Mike has gone on to have what seems to be a successful policing career, although I’m the one with the record.

I write this for nothing other than practice early in the morning – 6 a.m. ice times do that – and to say that facebook can be a useful tool to reach out to those in the weird and confusing times of adolescence.

Oh, and, damn you, Souliere. Damn you.


Compelling food safety messaging

I am always fascinated with the garbage hygiene/food safety messaging that I come across during my travels. The same boring food safety posters over and over again and yet there they are, plastered on the wall doing absolutely nothing. Have we lost complete creativity or are some organizations convinced these actually work?  They don’t, they are not compelling and people are not going to pay attention.  The intention is admirable but we need to do better.

Ben and Doug devised infosheets as a means to grasp people’s attention and these were tested for validity and work. We are striving to develop Barfblog TV using comedy and behavioral science to convey messaging which could also potentially be used for corrective action plans or monthly food safety messaging at the retail level. The possibilities are endless, let’s be creative.


Kids stricken with food poisoning at a school camp

Nothing is worse than when your child is ill. My son was recently sick with norovirus resulting in a plethora of explosions from both ends. My wife and I took the necessary precautions to avoid getting sick-frequent handwashing and sanitizing cause I realize how contagious this virus can be. Thankfully it worked.

A number of kids were ill at a school camp from food poisoning and one child was prescribed antibiotics. Let’s hope that tests were undertaken first to determine that the cause was bacterial and not viral…..

Riaan van Zyl reports

At least two Fairlands parents are upset with the way a primary school dealt with a food poisoning incident that occurred when their son went on a school camp.
The children were supposed to go on the camp from 5 until 9 March. But on 8 March, the school informed the father that his son and approximately seven other children were on their way home because “they were sick”. When the father went to fetch his son, he immediately took him to the doctor who informed him that the boy had food poisoning. Not only was the boy prescribed strong antibiotics but as a precautionary measure he was also treated for listeriosis.
What upset him and his wife is the delay in informing the parents that their children were ill. “If the children already started getting sick on Tuesday, why were we not informed and why were the children not taken to a doctor and only sent home on the Thursday?” His son also told him that about 30 children became ill, but then he found out that it allegedly was closer to 60 plus two adults.
He is now demanding answers but said the principal is giving him the runaround.
The school declined to comment and referred the Record to the Gauteng Department of Education.