Should they have animals? 13 sickened including several hospitalized after E. coli outbreak linked to California pumpkin farm last year

Drew Bollea of CBS Sacremento reports a California pumpkin farm south of Marysville is set to open for the season after making changes to its petting zoo following an E. coli outbreak last year.

Roughly 180,000 people will come through the gates of Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm during the seven weeks they’re open this fall.

“We spent a lot of time last winter thinking about whether we should even have animals,” said Wayne Bishop, the Co-Owner of Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm.

Bishop says the decision was difficult after an E. coli outbreak last year was linked to their farm.

“Five to 10 people who were seriously ill,” said Bishop.

According to a report by the California Department of Health, E. coli was detected in fecal matter found in more than a dozen samples from the petting zoo. Thirteen people reported an illness and exposure to the petting zoo. Several children ended up in the hospital for observation.

“With all that rain, it’s very possible that bacteria was washed out of the pens out into areas that people were walking,” said Bishop describing one theory of how people may have contracted the bacteria.

So what changes were made to the petting zoo at Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm this year?

  • The animals are now vaccinated
  • Guests are required to watch a health and safety video
  • The pens are redesigned to keep waste and water away from guests.
  • Bishop added more hand washing stations near the entrance and exit making it nearly impossible to leave the petting zoo without washing your hands.

“If you want to be able to pet animals, this is the safest place in the world to do it,” said Bishop.

Erdozain GKukanich KChapman BPowell D. 2012. Observation of public health risk behaviours, risk communication and hand hygiene at Kansas and Missouri petting zoos – 2010-2011. Zoonoses Public Health. 2012 Jul 30. doi: 10.1111/j.1863-2378.2012.01531.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract below:

Observation of public health risk behaviors, risk communication and hand hygiene at Kansas and Missouri petting zoos – 2010-2011Outbreaks of human illness have been linked to visiting settings with animal contact throughout developed countries. This paper details an observational study of hand hygiene tool availability and recommendations; frequency of risky behavior; and, handwashing attempts by visitors in Kansas (9) and Missouri (4), U.S., petting zoos. Handwashing signs and hand hygiene stations were available at the exit of animal-contact areas in 10/13 and 8/13 petting zoos respectively. Risky behaviors were observed being performed at all petting zoos by at least one visitor. Frequently observed behaviors were: children (10/13 petting zoos) and adults (9/13 petting zoos) touching hands to face within animal-contact areas; animals licking children’s and adults’ hands (7/13 and 4/13 petting zoos, respectively); and children and adults drinking within animal-contact areas (5/13 petting zoos each). Of 574 visitors observed for hand hygiene when exiting animal-contact areas, 37% (n=214) of individuals attempted some type of hand hygiene, with male adults, female adults, and children attempting at similar rates (32%, 40%, and 37% respectively). Visitors were 4.8x more likely to wash their hands when a staff member was present within or at the exit to the animal-contact area (136/231, 59%) than when no staff member was present (78/343, 23%; p<0.001, OR=4.863, 95% C.I.=3.380-6.998). Visitors at zoos with a fence as a partial barrier to human-animal contact were 2.3x more likely to wash their hands (188/460, 40.9%) than visitors allowed to enter the animals’ yard for contact (26/114, 22.8%; p<0.001, OR= 2.339, 95% CI= 1.454-3.763). Inconsistencies existed in tool availability, signage, and supervision of animal-contact. Risk communication was poor, with few petting zoos outlining risks associated with animal-contact, or providing recommendations for precautions to be taken to reduce these risks.

Microbiological failure? UK school forces teachers to shake hands with pupils to help kids feel respected

Trevor Noah of The Daily Show rarely shakes hands with guests or correspondants.

He’s big into the fist-bump.

Maybe Schaffner can design a study to figure out which is microbiologically safer.

It’d be another pop-culture hit.

Maybe someone has done it.

Whatever, the  handshaking policy introduced by a new principal has led to panic among staff and parents.

Some teachers at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, southeast of London, are now arming themselves with hand sanitiser amid fears that shaking hands up to 150 times a day may cause them to pick up germs.

Principal Amanda Simpson is standing by her decision, which sees teachers shaking hands with every member of their class before each lesson.

One parent told local news website Kent Live that she was worried about the consequences of the mandatory handshaking.

“It will be interesting to see what happens if there’s an outbreak of Norovirus,” she said.

“I assume it was introduced because the new head wanted to introduce some element of respect – but I wouldn’t think that sort of thing would make any difference.”

Ms Simpson believes that starting every lesson “with a handshake and a smile” makes children feel welcome and appreciated.

She confirmed that hand sanitiser was available throughout the school for anyone worried about the spread of germs.

But, but mom, I don’t like beets

I called my mother the other day and she cut me short because she was jarring beets.

“You know your father likes his pickled beets.”

OK.

It was one of our go-to phrases growing up, and I have no idea why.

Probably because beets were a staple of 1970s funky glassware along with pickles and pickled onions.

But to do beets right, you may need advice from North Carolina canning queen, Ben Chapman, who produced this infosheet five years ago.

It’s 87 degrees and humid in Jacksonville, and Jaguars fans are swimming in mayonnaise

Chris Thompson of Deadspin writes the Jacksonville Jaguars, at 1-0, are off to their best start since the 2011 NFL season, when they opened up with a narrow win over the Tennessee Titans.

Jaguars fans, in their euphoria, have rocketed all the way to the Belly-Flopping-Into-A-Vat-Of-Mayonnaise stage of celebration.

You just don’t want to be, like, the fourth person to belly flop into a vat of mayonnaise. It’s bad enough to be coated in mayo; imagine being covered in mayo and stray body hair and various other effluvia. The worst. The Jaguars host the Titans today—you hate to even imagine the kind of shit those fans might get up to if they find themselves at 2-0 next Sunday.

260 sickened last year: Closed and broke, Golden Ponds restaurant to hold auction

On Tuesday, September 19, the owner of the Greece restaurant, Golden Ponds, will sell everything at auction – from the freezer to the flatware.

The Monroe County Health Department says last year 260 people got sick after eating at his Thanksgiving Buffet. Health inspectors shut him down. When he finally reopened, patrons did not come back. Now he’s facing lawsuits, deep debt, and the end of his career. On Friday, he opened his doors and ended his silence for this week’s Restaurants Exposed report.

Ralph Rinaudo hasn’t changed a thing since that January day when he closed the doors for good at Golden Ponds. When News10NBC toured the restaurant, tables were still set, plates were stacked, and linens covered long tables were buffets were served.

“I left everything just the way it was, and it’s tough to just take things out,” said Rinaudo. “All the parties we had booked they just canceled because people were telling me that their friends or people don’t want to come here because they were afraid,” he admitted.

In fact, in the party room, tables are still set for a party that canceled eight months ago. Warmers await food for the buffet – an eerie reminder of the event that forced Rinaudo to close his doors. Asked if he felt guilty about the 260 people who the health department has determined were sickened at his restaurant he answered. “That’s what they said, ‘They got sick here.’ I can’t dispute that what they say.

But the patrons aren’t the only ones saying it. So are scientists at the Monroe County Department of Health who investigate the source of foodborne illness. They say at last year’s Thanksgiving buffet Golden Ponds served up turkey with a side dish of Clostridium perfringens – a dangerous bacteria that inspectors say was likely in gravy held at unsafe temperatures. Two hundred and sixty people suffered serious symptoms from bloody diarrhea to cramping resulting in hospitalizations for some.

“The most difficult case we had a woman who had her colon removed and is going to spend the rest of her life with a colostomy bag,” said Paul Nunes, an attorney for dozens of plaintiffs suing the restaurant.

In his lawsuits, Nunes points to the Monroe County Health Department’s inspection reports which lists mold on the floor of the walk-in refrigerator, heavily rusted shelving in that same refrigerator, a walk-in freezer that didn’t close tightly, mouse droppings, and a kitchen area that inspectors said was quote “in very poor sanitary condition.”

“If you’re sloppy in one thing, you’re sloppy in another thing,” said Nunes. “It’s a modus operandi. This is how they ran the restaurant.”

That’s an allegation Rinaudo denied during News10NBC’s tour of the now closed Golden Ponds. Everything is now for sale from the stove to the ovens still marked with the signs of heavy use. Asked if the auction would get him out of debt he said, “No, no, nothing. Selling this building wouldn’t get me out of debt.”

Compassion, Richard Gere, and getting over myself

I spent the last 10 weeks going through a rather intensive investigation of myself.

I can hear my Kansas friend Mary already saying, oh, Dr. Richard Gere. You’ve become a Buddhist.

I’ve revisited a lot of old wounds, tried to make amends, and learned – sorta — to be compassionate to myself.

I’ve always been my biggest critic.

I use barfblog.com to write about food safety, and other stuff, because, I can.

Don’t like it, go start your own thing.

Guess that was drilled into me when I was appointed editor-in-chief of the University of Guelph student newspaper, The Ontarian in 1986, with a weekly circulation of about 20,000.

After one semester, I left, because I had a 6-month-old child, was trying to finish my MSc in genetics, and was really pissed off that the advertising and business managers made about double what I did.

I took it to the Board of Directors, who assured me they would back me, and then bailed once they saw which way the wind was blowing.

Those folks are still employed by the University of Guelph, which says a lot about ethics, and sucking dick.

I’ll just do my thing.

Diversity is beauty: Harry Dean Stanton, an appreciation

I knew my first 16-year marriage that yielded four beautiful daughters was doomed when we watched Paris, Texas, on a VHS, the day she agreed to marry me.

Not a rom-com.

Still love the evocative music of Ry Cooder (who should sing my eulogy when I die).

The movie, written by the recently deceased Sam Sherphard, was difficult to watch, but had the angst of the Midwest U.S. all over it.

I didn’t know I’d eventually live in Kansas and experience that angst firsthand.

Harry Dean Stanton, the iconic character actor with a distinctive face and hundreds of credits marking collaborations with many of America’s best filmmakers, has died at age 91.

Amy remembers Harry as the dad in Pretty in Pink.

I always have Paris, Texas, which Amy and I drove through about nine years ago.

Stanton was born and raised in Kentucky, the son of a tobacco farmer. He served in the Navy during World War II, where he was a ship’s cook during the Battle of Okinawa, then returned to Kentucky and began studying journalism before quitting to work with the Pasadena Playhouse in 1949.

Stanton’s acting career spanned more than a half-century, beginning with small and often uncredited parts in films and on television. His breakout role came three decades after he began working, in the 1984 movie Paris, Texas, directed by Wim Wenders and written by Sam Shepard, who died this July. Stanton had been playing mostly bit parts until that point, but Shepard spotted him in a Santa Fe bar while they were both in town for a film festival and offered him the role of the protagonist, Travis, a silent loner with an estranged family. It made Stanton a star.

Stanton went on to work steadily in both film and television, making him one of the most recognizable actors in the business: You might not know his name, but you definitely know his face. He appeared in many famous movies, including The Last Temptation of Christ, Alien, Cool Hand Luke, The Godfather Part II, Twister, Repo Man, and The Green Mile. And on TV, he had a recurring part as a fringe polygamist leader named Roman Grant in the first three seasons of the HBO drama Big Love.In 2012, the documentary Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction was released in theaters and garnered strong reviews from critics.

Stanton also frequently worked with filmmaker and Twin Peaks creator David Lynch, appearing in such Lynch movies as Wild at Heart and Inland Empire. But he’s particularly memorable as the Twin Peaks character Carl Rodd. Rodd first appeared as a character in the film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me in 1992 and returned for five episodes of the recent Showtime revival Twin Peaks: The Return, which concluded on September 3. The character of Rodd went to school in Twin Peaks with the “log lady,” Maggie Coulson, and owned the Fat Trout Trailer Park, where Stephen and Becky Burnett lived.And Stanton’s filmography is not yet complete. In the upcoming John Carroll Lynch film Lucky, slated for theatrical release on September 29, the actor plays a 90-year-old atheist experiencing a sort of crisis of faith. He also completed filming on Frank and Ava, a film currently slated for late 2017 release.Fans, friends, and collaborators paid tribute to Stanton on Twitter, testifying to how beloved he was to everyone who worked with him and watched him act throughout his long, varied career.


http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/lists/harry-dean-stanton-10-essential-movies-w503557/lucky-2017-w503562

Hockey and asparagus

My cousin Tim and I would play road hockey up in the upper level of the barn, during the two weeks I would spend at their farm while my parents goofed around.

Tim is about 6 months older than me, he grows asparagus, I write about asparagus, and we both ended up coaching hockey.

Tim wrote on his facebook page tonight that, hockey season starts for our Ayr Cens and is about to start for my son Will’s Midget Flames. For some reason (other than i am obsessed with #4) i started thinking about the time i met my hero Bobby Orr at a camp Will won an invitation for. We had a pre-camp reception for the kids and parents and there was a question/answer period with Bobby. Obviously i was 1st to raise my hand for questions LOL. My question to Bobby was “when you were a kid and were so much better than everyone else what did you do on the ice?” Bobby’s answer was simple…”My Dad always told me to make sure i passed the puck to a player that hadn’t scored a goal”. Hope this makes all of us think as we head into hockey season. Best of luck to all kids of all skill levels for an enjoyable and most importantly FUN season

My cousin embraces the values that I and anyone else who coaches should embrace.

I’m proud to call him my cousin (except when we talk about genetic engineering or he does his Bob and Doug SCTV impersonation).

Deep clean is more than adjectives: it means deep clean

We investigated 543 Listeria monocytogenes isolates from food having a temporal and spatial distribution compatible with that of the invasive listeriosis outbreak occurring 2012–2016 in southern Germany. Using forensic microbiology, we identified several products from 1 manufacturer contaminated with the outbreak genotype. Continuous molecular surveillance of food isolates could prevent such outbreaks.

Molecular tracing to find source of protracted invasive listeriosis outbreak, Southern Germany, 2012-2016

Emerging Infectious Disease, vol 23, no 10, October 2017, Sylvia Kleta, Jens Andre Hammerl, Ralf Dieckmann, Burkhard Malorny, Maria Borowiak, Sven Halbedel, Rita Prager, Eva Trost, Antje Flieger, Hendrik Wilking, Sabine Vygen-Bonnet, Ulrich Busch, Ute Messelhäußer, Sabine Horlacher, Katharina Schönberger, Dorothee Lohr, Elisabeth Aichinger, Petra Luber, Andreas Hensel, and Sascha Al Dahouk

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/23/10/16-1623_article

Always tragic: 3-year-old dead in Japan E. coli O157 outbreak; 23 sickened

Tokyo Daily News reports a 3-year-old girl is the first confirmed death in an outbreak of food poisoning linked to potato salad and other dishes from the Delicious self-service chain of stores.

The Tokyo toddler died after eating food from the Delicious Rokku outlet in Maebashi, capital of Gunma Prefecture, said the Maebashi Health Center.

The girl experienced diarrhea and stomach pains several days later, and was hospitalized in Tokyo. She died in early September. A female relative from Maebashi who shared the food also came down with diarrhea and other problems, but recovered.

The O157 E. coli bacteria detected in the girl was of the same type as that found in 20 other people in Gunma and Saitama prefectures since late August.

While many of those fell ill after consuming potato salad, the toddler instead ate fried food that included shrimp and bamboo shoots.

The fried dishes the girl ate were produced by Fresh Corp. in Ota, also Gunma Prefecture, which operates the Delicious chain stores.

The Maebashi Health Center concluded that the girl’s death resulted from the dishes sold in the Delicious Rokku outlet where 11 people in total ate food contaminated with the E. coli bacteria.

The food poisoning case involving the Delicious chain stores first emerged Aug. 21 when the Saitama prefectural government announced that eight men and women who had eaten potato salad from the Delicious Kagohara outlet in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture, on Aug. 7 or 8 had suffered diarrhea or stomach pains. They included a 5-year-old girl who fell unconscious, but recovered.