Australian barfgate: Who chundered in a ministerial car?

Linda Silmalis of the Courier Mail writes it has been dubbed Barf-gate — who chundered in a ministerial car, leaving the driver gagging and resulting in a clean-up bill costing hundreds of dollars?

The car was driven by a ministerial driver who transported NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro and Liberal MP Eleni Petinos (right, with Blues coach) from ANZ Stadium, where they had been watching the State of Origin match on Wednesday night.

The pair had watched the game with Mr Barilaro’s young daughter and one of his staffers.

Mr Barilaro was in a celebratory mode after a successful state Budget, tweeting from the game: “I spent today backing #NSW in small business AND State of #Origin! UP THE BLUES!!!!!”

By Friday, word was going around Parliament House of a driver fuming over what he had discovered in the car upon starting his shift hours — possible a day — later.

 “The word is one vomited, and that set off the others,” a source close to the driver said.

Mr Barilaro, a married ­father of two, declined to ­answer any questions about the cost of the clean-up bill, nor who left the car in a mess.

A statement from his ­office confirmed Mr Barilaro and Ms Petinos were at Origin, but declined to confirm the figure to be repaid.

 “The taxpayer will not have to bear any costs,” the statement said.

 “Costs incurred will be privately managed.”

‘Rockmelon nearly killed my unborn son’ (that’s Australian for cantaloupe)

Jane Hansen of The Northern Star reports that when Amelia Liddy-­Sudbury was pregnant with her third child, she was extra careful with her diet, never eating raw fish or soft cheese.

But she didn’t think twice when she bought some pre-cut rockmelon.

“I bought it, cut up and I think that was the source,” the 35-year-old Mosman mum said.

Thirty three weeks into her pregnancy, Mrs Liddy-Sudbury picked up a Listeria infection – one that could have killed her and her baby.

A fortnight later baby Theodore was delivered – five weeks premature – and would need weeks of intravenous antibiotics to stem meningitis.

“It is a deadset miracle he is alive, once you are diagnosed with listeriosis, that’s usually it, the baby is dead,” Mrs Liddy-Sudbury said.

Listeriosis, caused by the food-borne listeria bacteria, kills one out of every five ­unborn babies it infects.

Two weeks ago another pregnant mother tragically lost her baby to listeriosis.

The woman arrived at hospital with abdominal pain, headache and mild fever. Her baby was ­delivered by caesarean section but was stillborn as a result of the ­infection.

Including Mrs Liddy-Sudbury, it was the third ­pregnancy­-­related case this year in NSW, three times the usual rate.

NSW Health director Dr Vicky Sheppeard said the three cases represented a concerning spike.

“Around the country there have been more cases in the past six months as well,” she said.

Health authorities are now urgently reminding pregnant woman to be extra careful with their food choices.

Listeria bacteria is found in a variety of foods, including cold meats, cold cooked chicken, raw fish, soft-serve ice cream, soft cheeses and unpasteurised milk.

Most pregnant women know to avoid these foods, but the bacteria is also found in pre-cut fruit and pre-bagged salads, products that are highly popular in supermarkets and convenience stores.

“Those products are becoming more common and anything that has been cut and left is a risk, you have to wash and peel fruit and salad yourself if pregnant,” Dr Sheppeard said.

Uh, maybe.

There are benefits to having an abundant supply of fresh fruits and vegetables.

However, the evidence does lean toward pre-cut anything being a heightened risk.

So if cutting up a whole rockmelon at home, refrigerate immediately.

This makes a mockery of the supermarket chains and fresh produce venders who sell half-sliced melons or cut up produce, usually at room temperature, which in Brisbane, is warmer than most places.

Aussie farmers reduce waste with carrot vodka

As a former occupant of jail and a budding microbiologist, I know that booze can be made from anything that contains sugar or their carbohydrate predecessors.

According to Australian Food News, two Australian women on a mission to reduce food waste have launched a new vodka made using carrots.

The pair behind the drink, Gen Windley and Alice Gorman, came up with the idea knowing that carrots grown by their husbands were going to waste when they did not meet supermarket cosmetic standards.

Wanting to stop waste, the women joined with a wine maker, Jason Hannary of Flinders Park Winery, to create a vodka made from carrots.

The resulting drink has been described as a clear, slightly-sweet vodka that has a subtle hint of carrot.

“Not having done anything with vegetables before was a bit daunting, but after a few experiments we got a great result,” said distiller Jason Hannary.

It is not the first time the women and their families have found unique ways to use leftover carrots from their farms. In 2015, one of the women’s husband created carrot beer sold at a Queensland brewery.

“Alice and I have four loud and energetic sons so we decided this was the year to create an alcoholic vegetable drink for ourselves!” Gen Windley said.

Carrot Vodka will be launched at the Winter Harvest Festival which is part of the Scenic Rim Eat Local Week. The week is dedicated to promoting food and wine from the Scenic Rim region in South East Queensland.

Barf’s Up: Brisbane seafood restaurant fined $37,000 after raw-egg aioli sickens 29

For casual-corporate barf, nothing beats the South Bank Surf Club.

The South Bank Parklands, which were established on the former site of World Expo 88, are one of Brisbane’s most popular tourist attractions.

Approximately 11,000,000 people visit the South Bank Parklands each year.

On Sept. 23, 2015, Brisbane’s South Bank Surf Club allegedly made up a large batch of raw-egg-based aioli sauce and served it for seven days.

At least 29 diners were sickened.

At the time, the manager of the club said the cause was “a bad batch of eggs’’ provided by a supplier. They said the eggs had been used in sauces served with seafood platters.

“We’ve been caught out, unfortunately. Our customers’ wellbeing is our priority and anyone with concerns can get in touch with us,” they said. “To rectify the problem, we are not making sauces in-house.’’

Guess they were too busy courting biz-cas types to worry about microbiology.

The South Bank Surf Club was fined $37,000 this week for its food-porn mistake in making aioli dip with raw eggs, then leaving the dip out on a warm counter for hours.

Lawyers for the restaurant on Thursday entered guilty pleas to 22 charges of serving unsafe food over eight days.

The charges did not arise from unhygienic practices and the company had no knowledge the food was unsafe, the court heard.

Really?

Western Australian hockey player Kelli Reilly had snacked on buffalo wings with aioli sauce with her team at the restaurant the day before they were due to play in the final of a masters competition in Brisbane.

They won gold at the tournament but soon after, Ms Reilly was hospitalised for three days and still suffers from the salmonella poisoning.

She has not been able to play hockey since and has sworn off aioli.

‘I’ve been through a lot, I’d probably not like to comment on it all because it has impacted me a lot and my family,’ she said outside court.

‘I would not wish this on anybody.’

A table of Australian egg outbreaks is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/raw-egg-related-outbreaks-australia-10-9-15.xlsx.

713 sick in WA; Blame food porn Salmonella cases ‘at record level’

I just read an interview about Bill Maher, who likes unpasteurized goat’s yoghurt and a raw egg shake.

Rocky was a movie, not real life.

For someone who comes off as somewhat intelligent (and a lot smirky) he knows shit about microbiology.

With his seed diet, he’s no better than the swarmy folks he skewers.

Western Australian health types have confirmed a surge in salmonella cases has now peaked, and have urged locals to manage their risk of infection.

The WA Health Department said there had been 713 cases of the infection by the end of April- nearly four-and-a-half times the level expected by officials at this time of year.

The confirmation follows three confirmed cases in Busselton over recent weeks linked with uncooked egg products including chocolate mousse, aioli and hollandaise sauce.

A department spokesperson said there had been a large spike in the number of cases, and health officials have advised WA residents how to manage their risk.

“Notifications of Salmonella gastroenteritis are currently at record levels in WA… two molecular subtypes, PFGE1 and PEGE43 are currently causing most of this increase.

These subtypes are most commonly found in uncooked eggs, and the department said investigations into a number of localised outbreaks found a strong correlation between the infection and eating raw or runny eggs.

The department also confirmed the increase wasn’t just in WA, with a number of states around the nation also experiencing localised outbreaks.

If you experience severe or prolonged symptoms you should visit a doctor.

A selection of egg-related outbreaks in Australia can be found here.

Australian raw milk conviction success for food safety

The NSW Food Authority (that’s in Australia) reports a woman has been fined a total of $28,000 and ordered to pay professional costs of $25,000 after she pleaded guilty to four charges relating to the sale of unpasteurised or ‘raw’ milk in Goulburn Local Court.

On Thursday 8 June 2017, Julia Ruth McKay from Bungonia on the southern tablelands was fined under section 104 of the Food Act 2003 for selling milk which was not pasteurised in contravention of Food Regulation 2010, and for conducting a food business without a licence as required by the Regulation.

She also pleaded guilty to two charges under section 21 of the Act for selling unpasteurised milk that exceeded acceptable microbiological limits for standard plate counts and Listeria.

NSW Food Authority CEO Dr Lisa Szabo said Food Authority officers found that Ms McKay was operating a ‘herd sharing’ business whereby a person enters into a contract and purchase shares in a herd or individual cow and consequently receives raw milk produced by that herd.

“Claims that this doesn’t constitute the sale of food are false, the operation of a herd share arrangement can constitute food for sale under the Food Act,” Dr Szabo said.

“Milk for sale in NSW needs to be licensed with the NSW Food Authority to ensure it is subject to the stringent safety requirements of the Dairy Food Safety Scheme.”

Dr Szabo said statistics show that raw milk is a high food safety risk.

“Nationally and internationally raw milk products account for a small proportion of sales but a very large proportion of outbreaks,” she said.

“Unpasteurised milk could contain harmful bacteria such as E.coli, Salmonella and Listeria that can result in illness or even death.

The prosecution resulted from an investigation of Ms McKay by the NSW Food Authority in 2015 where samples of raw milk taken from an animal that was part of her herd share arrangement returned positive for the presence of Listeria.

The operation was immediately shut down by the NSW Food Authority and the Prohibition Order remains in place.

Dr Szabo said consumers need to be aware of claims that raw milk has superior nutritional value are unfounded.

 

barfblog.com on Brisbane TV (maybe)

I used to talk about food safety on TV.

Now I talk about real estate.

This is supposed to be on Channel 9 tonight at 6 p.m., about how Annerley, a suburb of Brisbane, is one of the top-5 places to buy.

I know a lot more about food safety.

We love our neighborhood, with its diversity, and great view, so it was as easy gig.

My stand-by soundbite is: When we moved here six-years ago, my wife picked the suburb – a 12-minute bike ride to the University of Queensland, and a 12-minute drive to the (ice) arena at Acacia Ridge.

Who knows if it’ll make the cut.

Yes, I know I’m fat. Working on that.

 

Blame bandicoot poop: 2 kids sick from Salmonella-in-sand in Sydney’s northern beaches

Bandicoots have a bifurcated penis.

And are Salmonella factories.

In 2014, at least 19 people were sickened after coming into contact with bandicoot poop while playing in the sand in Sydney’s northern beaches.

It’s happened again.

Julie Cross of The Daily Telegraph reports a playground on the northern beaches has been closed after two children became sick with salmonella after playing in the sandpit.

The children caught the infection, believed to be spread through contact with bandicoot droppings, after playing at Warriewood Valley Rocket Park in Casuarina Drive.

Now Northern Beaches Council says it is considering replacing the sand with rubber to prevent the problem recurring.

The former Pittwater Council spent $285,000 replacing playground sand contaminated by the nasty bug with a soft rubber surface.

As well as spreading salmonella java, the protected bandicoot is a known tick host, which can cause mammalian meat and tick allergies and other diseases.

Northern Sydney Local Health District public health director Michael Staff said as the peninsula was a stronghold of the bandicoot, most cases of the salmonella java bug was linked to the area.

There have been 12 reported cases linked to the peninsula this year.

“We hope that the closure of the park will prevent further cases,” Dr Staff said.

The health district said a sand sample taken from the playground was tested after two confirmed salmonella java cases were reported to the public health unit, one in April and another in May.

Northern Sydney Local Health District director of public health Dr Michael Staff said parents of young children should try and stop them putting their hands in their mouths when they’re playing outside and get them to wash their hands after they have been outside.

Uh-huh.

Australian masterchef (I just threw up a bit in my mouth) Calombaris sued for Norovirus outbreak; sought solace from Heston-Norovirus-Blumenthal

The problem with celebrity chefs is they tend to be morons.

Food safety morons.

Their practices make people sick.

The only skill they have is describing cooking in prose equivalent to some soft-core porn Harold Robbins novel.

Avert your eyes, because the more attention they get, the more stupid their pronouncements.

(And yes, others have recently published about the food safety failings of celebrity chefs, but me and my gang did it first, 13 years ago, so all you posers, go find some authenticity, and go fuck yourselves.)

According to the Canberra Times, MasterChef star George Calombaris is facing legal action over food poisoning at his Hellenic Republic restaurant in Kew (some suburb in Australia).

 According to a writ filed in the County Court earlier this month, Mr Schreuder claims to have become seriously ill with norovirus encephalitis after dining at the Cotham Road restaurant on Mothers Day in 2014.

At the time, Hellenic Republic was forced to close its doors for 24 hours when dozens of patrons who’d eaten from a set menu complained of vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps.

An investigation by the Victorian Department of Health subsequently found that a staff member was most likely responsible for the infection of norovirus – a common, highly contagious cause of gastroenteritis.

“Of the 300-plus diners we interviewed, around 90 reported illness, which could have been associated with eating at Hellenic Republic Kew,” a department spokesperson said in 2014.

Mr Schreuder is seeking damages for the injuries which he claims were suffered due to negligence and breach of contract by the restaurant in “causing or permitting the infected food to be served to him”. 

Salmonella some serious shit for St Kilda midfielder Koby Stevens

St Kilda midfielder Koby Stevens says his recent bout of salmonella poisoning left him feeling the sickest he has been in his life.

Daniel Cherny of the Sydney Morning Herald reports that Stevens, 25, made a belated debut for the Saints in Launceston on Saturday, starring with 28 disposals and two goals as St Kilda thumped Hawthorn by 75 points.

Traded from the Western Bulldogs at the end of last season, Stevens’ first game for his third AFL club was delayed after a dodgy meal rudely interrupted his pre-season. “I got a bit of salmonella when we were away for the last JLT series game [in Albury],” Stevens said.

“I’m not sure where or what I ate, still trying to figure that one out! I ended up in hospital for about a week and lost about eight kilos so it took me a good three weeks to get over that.”

The midfielder – who also previously played for West Coast – said the illness had taken a significant toll on his body. “I’ve never been so sick in my life,” he said.

Did Stevens have any seafood with raw egg aioli or mayo?

And if a fit Aussie rules footballer can be felled for three weeks with Salmonella, what will it do to the rest of us?

A table of Australian raw-egg-related outbreaks is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/raw-egg-related-outbreaks-australia-5-1-17.xlsx