35 now sick, 9 hosiptalized in South Australian Salmonella outbreak; bakery reopens

Confirmed cases of salmonella, linked to a South Australian bakery, have climbed to 35 with more expected as tests continue.

SA Health says nine people, including two children, have been hospitalised after eating products from the Gawler South bakery, which has two outlets in Gawler, about 40km north of central Adelaide.

The link to the bakery was first revealed late last month.

“We’ve now seen cases in people aged two years to 70 years old and we are anticipating more cases as further test results come through,” SA Health’s director of public health Kevin Buckett said.

The source of the contamination had been linked to sandwiches, wraps, rolls and focaccias with chicken and other fillings.’’

In a statement posted on social media the bakery’s management said it was no longer cooking chicken on the premises and SA Health officials were happy with its food handling processes.

Management also apologised to anyone who had become sick. “We hope this apology is received to be genuine and in good faith,” the statement said.

According to the ABC, the bakery was also struck by a salmonella outbreak in October 2016 which affected eight people.

Australia still has an egg problem: Over 200 with Salmonella across NSW as temps rise

Providing food safety advice without preaching is tricky.

Matching the advice with what happens in reality is damn hard.

Amy, Sorenne and I are hanging out in Canberra – Australia’s capital — for the next couple of days while Amy goes to a French conference and Sorenne teaches me how to play Minecraft.

Dinner last night, including chicken wings and potato-somethings, were both served with aioli.

I asked the server, how was the aioli prepared, is it a commercial product or is it made with raw eggs?

Oh, we make our own aioli. We would never buy the commercial product.

No thanks.

Amy said, serve it on the side, I’ll take the risk.

So did Sorenne, although we did have a chat about microbiology (seize those learning moments).

This in context of health authorities warning people to take precautions to prevent salmonella poisonings, with 201 cases already reported in late November as temperatures start to climb.

Of the 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year around a third of reported outbreaks are linked to raw or lightly cooked eggs.

Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Directors of Communicable Diseases at NSW Health said the best defence against salmonellosis was careful food preparation and food storage.

“Products containing undercooked eggs, and the spread of germs in the kitchen, are the most common source of salmonellosis outbreaks in NSW.”

NSW Food Authority CEO Dr Lisa Szabo said using commercially produced products instead of handmade mayonnaise and sauces when preparing food also reduced the risk of Salmonella poisoning.

“It is also much safer to use commercially pasteurised eggs rather than raw eggs in ready-to-eat products such as desserts and dressings,” DrSzabo said.

Good luck with that.

 

Australian bakery that sickened 203 with Salmonella in 1996 fined $130K

In late Jan. 2016, a bakery in Sydney’s south was closed as customers started reporting Salmonella illness.

On Monday, the owners of the Box Village Bakery, Thi Thu Ngo and Hung Son Le, were fined a total of $122,000 and ordered to pay $7,199 professional costs after each was convicted of ten breaches of the Food Act 2003.

The owners the Sylvania bakery at the centre of a Salmonella outbreak that affected more than 200 people, each pleaded guilty to five breaches of selling unsafe food, and five breaches of failing to meet food safety standards and were fined $61,000 each.

There were 203 documented cases of people who had presented to hospitals and other health care providers with symptoms of gastroenteritis including vomiting, diarrhea and fever after consuming bakery items such as chicken rolls and salads that were linked back to the bakery.

During its investigation the NSW Food Authority issued a Prohibition Order requiring the business to cease operations.

The business was only permitted to reopen and trade after it completed extensive work to ensure the bakery had been thoroughly cleaned and fully compliant with food safety laws.

The NSW Food Authority also conducted skills and knowledge testing with staff and management of the business to improve their food safety knowledge and conducted a number of inspections of the premises subsequent to its reopening to ensure it continued to be fit to trade.

CEO of the NSW Food Authority Dr Lisa Szabo said the court result served as a reminder to all food businesses and individuals as to why food safety systems are crucial.

Australia: still has an egg problem: 17 major salmonella outbreaks for Adelaide in 2016/17 linked to pork and eggs

The almost southern most state of Australia, South Australia has a population of 1.7 million people, and yet almost 1,200 South Australians were stricken by food poisoning in the past 12-months.

Katrina Stokes of The Advertiser writes that according to the 2016/17 Health Department report, 17 food poisoning investigations conducted by officials revealed that dairy, poultry and meat products were responsible for the salmonella outbreaks.

New figures from SA Health reveal there have been a total of 1182 salmonella cases so far this year, compared to a total of 1561 in 2016.

Alarmingly, of this year’s cases, 17 per cent have been in children aged five or younger.

The biggest outbreak was at the InterContinental Hotel on July 31 last year after guests ate the buffet breakfast — and the cause was linked to cross contamination from eggs.

Of 140 people who reported feeling unwell, 85 were confirmed cases of salmonella and 20 were admitted to hospital.

Patients were treated for vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and headaches.

Other food poisoning cases in 2016/17 included:

CHILDREN at an out-of-hours care facility were struck down with gastroenteritis and an investigation identified one source was inadequate sanitation procedures in the kitchen. Some of the children also reported consuming eggs in an uncooked cupcake mixture. A total of 24 children were sick and 12 cases confirmed.

WEDDING guests fell ill after eating food, including chicken liver parfait and chicken galantine, at a restaurant. One food poisoning case was confirmed and a total of 12 people were sick.

DODGY egg sandwiches and wraps from a bakery caused a total of eight people to get sick. The source was the egg supplier.

Earlier this year, at least 14 people got sick after eating pork pies from the Pork Pie Shop at Victor Harbor.

An inspection of the bakery identified problems including possible contamination from raw egg wash used on the pies, inadequate storage temperature and cleaning of sanitising of equipment.

A total of 33 people got sick from a rare form of salmonella after eating rockmelon from an interstate producer in July 2016.

SA Health director of food and controlled drugs Dr Fay Jenkins said the exact cause of salmonella was often hard to pinpoint — but eggs, and egg handling, were often the culprit.

“To reduce the risk of sickness, do not use eggs if they are cracked or dirty, wash your hands after handling eggs and keep raw egg products like aioli, mayonnaise and mousse refrigerated,” she said.

How about, cook eggs.

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

Same-sex marriage and thermometers promoted in Australia: Welcome to the naught years

Australian politicians decided to be good politicians, not leaders – because pioneers get arrows in their back – and threw the issue of same-sex marriage to a public mail-in vote. The yes side won by a 2:1 margin, thereby undermining the foundation of Western society (or so some say).

I say, who cares, let same sex people enjoy the benefits and grief of marriage like the rest of us.

Australian food safety week is Nov. 11-18, 2017.

The organizers have been to my church, and the theme is not hockey, but, “Is it done yet? Use a thermometer for great food, cooked safely every time.”

Stick it in.

The theme last year was“Raw and risky.”

Uh-huh.

These PR thingies are increasingly meaningless.

Chapman is coming over in Jan. or so, once our renovations are done.

Bring another batch of thermometers, buddy.

If a group wants to promote thermometer use, give them away.

According to a self-reported bullshit survey, 70% of Australians don’t know that 75°C is the safe cooking temperature for high-risk foods such as hamburgers, sausages and poultry. 75% of Australians surveyed also reported that there wasn’t a meat thermometer in their household and only 44% of those with a thermometer reported using is over the previous month.

Check out our media release Australians clueless about safe cooking temperatures – Use a thermometer for great food, cooked safely every time.

Ready-to-eat meals may be popular but have risks

Eugene Boisvert of Au News writes that more than 40 per cent of ready-to-eat meals tested by South Australian health types contained an unsatisfactory level of bacteria, according to survey results published in the Eastern Health Authority’s annual report this month.

The SA Health survey said one of the tested meals contained 310 times the safe level of Bacillus cereus, and another had almost 13 times the safe level of E. coli, which comes from feces.

Out of 98 meals bought at local supermarkets and shops with a shelf life of 10 or more days, 42 had an unsatisfactory microorganism count.

Eastern Health Authority chief executive Michael Livori said more small businesses were trying to capitalise on the growing popularity of ready-to-eat meals without understanding the health risks involved.

“Most manufacturers who are normally in this business will (understand the risks) but there’s an increase in small businesses or retailers getting into this realm but not without risk,” Mr Livori said.

The SA Health survey and subsequent report, published in June, was sparked by Eastern Health Authority concerns about the standard of manufacturing processes of ready-to-eat meals.

The SA Health report recommended measures to prevent bacteria growing in ready-to-eat meals, including that they be heated to at least 90C for 10 minutes when being cooked.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Health Authority issued 10 businesses with prohibition orders in 2016/17, banning them from preparing, selling or transporting food until they cleaned up their act, compared with three in the previous two financial years.

$150,000 fines for Australia noodle bizes

Three Sydney noodle manufacturing businesses have been collectively fined more than $150,000 in relation to various food safety and hygiene failures under the Food Act 2003 and the Food Standards Code following a targeted project by the NSW Food Authority designed to address a high-risk food sector where compliance was less than satisfactory.

The “Fresh Noodle Manufacturers Project” was designed to improve standards in the fresh noodle industry after the Food Authority became aware of compliance issues within the sector.

Over a period of four months NSW Food Authority officers conducted 25 inspections where they considered the use of preservatives, process and hygiene control, product labelling and temperature control.

The resulting enforcement activity included three prosecutions where one company was fined $11,000 and its director fined $2,800, a second company was fined $27,000 and the most recent result saw a Sydney manufacturer plead guilty to 19 charges and fined $113,000.

Dr Lisa Szabo, NSW Food Authority CEO, said while the wider community may not recognise noodles as a high-risk food, the intrinsic properties of fresh noodles mean that if they’re not kept within careful temperature control they become a breeding ground for the growth of microorganisms that can cause food poisoning.

“The NSW Food Authority is committed to ensuring people buying and eating food in NSW can do so with confidence and certainty that what they’re eating is safe,” Dr Szabo said.

“We target our efforts of investigation and risk management to where they are most needed in order to best protect the public and also reduce regulatory burden on those industry sectors who have a proven record of doing the right thing.”

The NSW Government’s Food Safety Strategy 2015-2021 has a goal of reducing foodborne illness by 30% by 2021 and a compliance target of 95% for all food businesses with food safety requirements.

 

Rats? We got no stinking rats: Australia restaurant reassures community it’s rat-free

A Chinese restaurant has exterminated a large rat after a video of the rodent in the shopfront window went viral yesterday.

The family business in Minto, NSW, has reassured the community the rat’s appearance was a freak incident after a resident’s video was shared hundreds of times in the space of hours, reported the Macarthur Chronicle.

Restaurant owner Emily Tang said the rat likely rushed through the door from the street at the start of the day.

“I opened the door and it maybe came from the streets, trying to get into the kitchen,” she said.

“Every night we close the door, put down material at the door to stop the rats. We have never ever had any rats like this before.

“We called the pest control man straight away and got rid of the rat. We have always had a good record with the health inspector.”

 

Vaccines work: Fancy food ain’t safe food, Australia hep A edition

Get vaccinated.

The NSW Food Authority has issued an alert for diners of a top Sydney restaurant after a food handler employed there contracted Hepatitis A.

Any diners who ate at Sokyo restaurant in the Star Casino complex during September and October are being advised to contact their GP if they have any concerns.

The food handler, who works in the ‘hot food area’ in the restaurant’s kitchen, contracted the virus whilst travelling overseas. After being admitted to hospital with symptoms, hospital staff contacted the NSW Food Authority to advise of the issue after learning where the food handler worked.

NSW Food Authority performed a review the next day and concluded that processes and hygiene at the Sokyo restaurant are robust and that there there was a low risk of anyone being infected with no ongoing risk to other diners.

This Hepatitis A warning is unrelated to the current Hepatitis A outbreak occurring throughout Sydney.

Hip, hockey and concrete

Like any good Canadian, I spent my Australian day watching hockey (Detroit at Toronto) with the volume off and the Tragically Hip blaring in the background, applying to renew my Canadian passport along with one for Sorenne, and watching concrete being poured as we stop our house from sliding down the hill.

(Should make to a good shooting gallery for Sorenne and Amy to improve their puck skills.)

Excited to have Canadian daughter 4-of-4 arrive with her boyfriend on Tuesday.

Leafs won, 6-3, to go to 5-1-1.

My friend Steve is already planning the June parade, and I said I would return to Canada for that, since the Leafs last won the Cup in 1967, when I was 5-years-old, and started receiving pucks to head.