A former professor of food safety and the publisher of barfblog.com, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Download C.V. »
As I gracefully age, I realize a few truths: my brain can’t take any more hits to the head, my childhood buddy Wayne will always be a better hockey player than me, and the Eagles suck.
I had one of those grade 10 English teachers who made us analyze contemporary music lyrics as poetry so he and his beard could sleep while students offered daft analysis (and lesbian seagull played while we meditated).
Some kid did Hotel California and got an A. I did Led Zeppelin’s Kasmir because it went on forever and meant nothing.
A lawsuit filed last week claims nearly 90 people got sick after attending a dining event at the hotel.
According to the suit, several of the attendees were confirmed to have been infected with norovirus.
The suit claims “an investigation by the California Department of Public Health confirmed that the source of the norovirus outbreak was a dessert table containing food items that were prepared, served, and monitored by defendants in accordance with the contract between Defendants and Healthgrades.”
The dining event was part of a three-day symposium sponsored by Healthgrades, an online site for information about physicians and hospitals.
Jane Bradley of the Scotsman reports an artisan cheesemaker which is embroiled in a court case with food hygiene authorities after being forced to withdraw its products amid an outbreak of E.coli which killed a three year old girl, has been named one of Britain’s top cheese producers in an industry awards ceremony.
Errington Cheeses, which is awaiting a court date against South Lanarkshire Council, which ordered the manufacturer to stop production of its raw milk cheeses amid an investigation following the outbreak of the food poisoning bug last summer, was given runner up in the Best Artisan Producer category at the Great British Cheese Awards. The Lanarkshire-based business also came runner up in the category of Best Blue Cheese for its Lanark Blue cheese, at the awards at Marcus Wareing’s Gilbert Scott restaurant in London, hosted by food website Great British Chefs.
The company is currently only making one type of cheese – made from ewe’s milk – pending its court case against South Lanarkshire Council. Owner Humphrey Errington, who launched the firm in 1985, has insisted that his cheese is not the source of the food poisoning outbreak – which saw 19 people hospitalised – and has claimed that the authorities, including Food Standards Scotland, are trying to curb production of raw milk cheese. A Just Giving campaign launched to help Errington cover its legal costs, raised £34,000 from supporters. Twitter user Artisan Food wrote: “Chefs vote of confidence @ErringtonCheese Resilience in face of harassment/bias/ignorance.” In March, an official report from Health Protection Scotland into the E.coli outbreak claimed that Errington’s Dunsyre Blue was the source of the bacteria.
The ground beef was produced on July 24 and 25, 2017. The following products are subject to recall:
* 1-lb. vacuum sealed packages containing “Bread & Butter Farm Ground Beef” with lot codes #072517BNB and #072417BNB.
The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 9558” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were sold at Bread & Butter farm in Shelburne, Vt. (I could write a book about the BS in the pic, above; maybe I will).
On September 30, 2017, FSIS was notified of an investigation of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses. Working in conjunction with the Vermont Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FSIS determined the cooked beef burgers that were served at an event at Bread & Butter Farm was the probable source of the reported illnesses. Based on the epidemiological investigation, two case-patients were identified in Vermont with illness onset dates ranging from September 18, 2017, to September 23, 2017. Traceback information indicated that both case-patients consumed ground beef products at Bread & Butter Farm which was supplied by Vermont Livestock Slaughter & Processing. Vermont Livestock Slaughter and Processing, LLC is recalling the products out of an abundance of caution. FSIS continues to work with public health partners on this investigation and will provide updated information as it becomes available.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health was informed in mid-August 2017 of a child with E. coli O157: H7 infection that developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and was a resident of Møre og Romsdal. In addition, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health has detected the same bacterial strain in 3 adults with diarrhea symptoms living in Hedmark, Buskerud and Hordaland.
“We have good procedures on how we monitor infection with EHEC infection,” says Director General Line Vold at the Institute of Public Health. We collaborate with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, the municipal authorities and the Veterinary Institute. Depending on the need, interviews are conducted by the sick, as well as possible sampling in relevant foods and close contacts. Since the patients reside in different counties, the investigation of the outbreak is coordinated by the National Institute of Public Health.
“None of the investigations around these cases have so far revealed any common source of infection. This work takes time and is complicated. It is not always possible to find the source of infection, ” says Line Vold.
Sam Truelove of Get Surrey writes that Jax, in South Street, was inspected on May 24 by a Mole Valley District Councilofficer on behalf of the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
The café and takeaway, which sells a variety of sandwiches, rolls and baguettes, received a food hygiene rating of one – the second lowest possible – which means “major improvement” is necessary.
The damning details of the report have been released following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request and show that major concerns were raised over the potential cross contamination and cleanliness of the eatery.
The hygiene officer even sent staff to buy chemical disinfectant during her visit.
The report said: “[Staff] handle a lot of raw meat in a small area – no sanitiser or understanding of cross contamination.”
It adds: “No hand washing seen after handling raw meat or shell eggs even after being told to wash hands.”
According to the latest information on the FSA’s website, Jax, which is open between 8am and 3pm, is still judged to have a rating of one for its food hygiene, and is still failing to meet two of the key areas assessed by the inspector.
The Wallsend branch on High Street West was quickly closed temporarily as the fast-food giant scrambled on the “rat issue” the council have confirmed.
Sam, 21, from Wallsend, said: “The rat literally ran across where they put the chips in a bag.
“The woman behind the counter started screaming, and everyone started shouting ‘there’s a rat’.
“Everyone behind the counter was just shocked as we all were.
“They were just stood there scared.
“The floor was absolutely filthy – there would not be a rat if it was clear area, it was absolutely disgusting.
“I’m just happy I didn’t get given my food before, I would have ended up being sick.”
Refunds were issued to customers before all guests including Sam, partner James Butcher and newborn son Tommy, were ushered out as the restaurant closed its doors at about 6pm on October 4, Chronicle Live reports.
Mum-of-one Sam said: “I heard six hours later it was re-opened, which I think is really bad.
“You hear about rats carrying diseases, so why would you re-open that day?
“Even if it came from outside, you should not have a rat in a food restaurant.
“Now this has happened, I will never go back.”
A North Tyneside Council spokesman confirmed KFC contacted Environmental Health and called in pest control before re-opening that evening.
The spokesman said: “KFC proactively informed Environmental Health on October 4 of the appropriate and timely actions they had taken to resolve the rat issue.
“The company closed the premise immediately, disposed of all food on display and called in a pest control contractor.
“A food safety officer visited the premise to confirm that there was no rat activity and that appropriate preventative measures had been taken.”
Something is probably lost in translation. But as reported by Repubblica Milano and translated in ProMed, a batch of Bonduelle brand frozen spinach was removed from the market.
The decision of the company, which produces the food in question at a Spanish plant in Navarre, came after a warning from the Ministry of Health. “The product should not be consumed — reads in the recall — due to a suspected presence of mandrake leaves.”
The withdrawal concerns production batch 15986504-7222 45M63 08:29 whose 750g bags have an expiration date of August 2019.
On 30 Sep 2017, an entire family was admitted to the Fatebenefratelli hospital in Milan after eating a pack of frozen spinach bought at the supermarket. A 60-year-old man, a 55-year-old woman, and their children, 18 and 16 years old, ended up at the first aid unit because they showed mental confusion and amnesia of various degrees of severity.
The AST [local health authority] analyses have determined that the clinical picture is compatible with contamination of the original product with mandrake, a grass that can invade fields of edible vegetable crops. The leaves of mandrake, thought to be magical in antiquity, are actually poisonous.
The company issued a clarification in the evening. “There is no information — the statement reads — that permits the attribution of mandrake leaf contamination of our products.” Bonduelle — adds the note — is issuing the recall of some of the product ‘Spinaci Millefoglie Bonduelle’ as a precautionary measure.”
Isle of Wight, known to most Western kids as the home of a groovy rock and jazz festival, is now home to three people have a potentially fatal kidney condition following an outbreak of E. coli which has been linked to unpasteurised milk from a farm.
On the same day that Australia celebrated national egg day with vid-clips of schoolchildren pronouncing their love of eggs, the UK Food Standards Authority says it’s OK for pregnant women to eat raw eggs.
These are both so wrong on so many levels.
The UK’s contribution to international cuisine has been mushy peas and mad cow disease.
The UK Food Standards Authority’s contribution to food policy has been cook your food until it is piping hot, and now, it’s OK for pregnant women to eat raw eggs.
With five daughters, I’ve spent a lot of time around pregnant women, they may feel like Rocky Balboa, but biology don’t work that way.
The Food Standards Agency has announced a change to its advice about eating eggs – infants, children, pregnant women and elderly people can now safely eat raw or lightly cooked eggs that are produced under the British Lion Code of Practice.
The revised advice, based on the latest scientific evidence, means that people vulnerable to infection or who are likely to suffer serious symptoms from food poisoning (such as infants, children, pregnant women and elderly people) can now safely eat raw or lightly cooked hen eggs or foods containing them.
We had previously advised that vulnerable groups should not consume raw or lightly cooked eggs, because eggs may contain salmonella bacteria which can cause serious illness.
The decision to change the advice is a result of the findings from an expert group that was set up by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) in February 2015 to look at egg safety. Its report, published in July 2016, highlighted that the presence of salmonella in UK eggs has been dramatically reduced in recent years, and the risks are very low for eggs which have been produced according to food safety controls applied by the British Lion Code of Practice. More than 90% of UK eggs are produced under this scheme.
Heather Hancock, Chairman of the Food Standards Agency, said: “It’s good news that now even vulnerable groups can safely eat UK eggs without needing to hardboil them, so long as they bear the British Lion mark. The FSA has thoroughly reviewed the scientific evidence about the safety of these eggs, and we’re confident that we can now change our advice to consumers.
“The major reduction in the risk of salmonella in Lion eggs is testament to the work carried out by egg producers. The measures they’ve taken, from vaccination of hens through to improving hygiene on farms and better transportation, have dramatically reduced salmonella levels in UK hens.”
A range of interventions have been put in place across the food chain as part of the Lion scheme including: vaccinating hens, enhanced testing for salmonella, improved farm hygiene, effective rodent control, independent auditing and traceability, and keeping the eggs cool while transporting them from farm to shop.
Great. Show us mere mortals the numbers.
And any science-based body that recommends cooking food until it is piping hot is seriously suspect.