Gastro outbreak hits more than 50 day care centres in Brisbane

It’s winter in Brisbane, Australia, with highs in the 90s F (30s C) a couple of weeks ago, and today where I went to the arena for a lunchtime skate with Amy in shorts and the loudest Hawaiian shirt I own (additional layers were added once in the arena), and where what they call gastro outbreaks have increased dramatically.

Seven elderly people have died from gastro at one Brisbane nursing home – vigorously denied by the operator – and more than 50 daycare centres have alerted Queensland Health of gastro outbreaks.

Emergency rooms throughout Brisbane have been overwhelmed, and not just by dumbass Canadians falling off bikes.

But what is a gastro bug?

How can they not name the bug?

Regis aged care facility in the suburb of Yeronga, just down the road from us, has been in lockdown for 26 days.

A Regis spokesperson on Tuesday night reiterated “there have been no deaths confirmed as being as a result of gastro.”

“As advised previously, Regis has experienced an episode of gastroenteritis at the Yeronga facility. It was first identified on 28 July. We are pleased to say that the episode is nearing completion.”

Darren Cartwright of the Courier-Mail reported yesterday there has been a four-fold increase in gastroenteritis outbreaks in Brisbane’s daycare centres, with almost 200 children alone affected on the southside since June.

In total more than 50 daycare centres have alerted Queensland Health of an outbreak of gastroenteritis.

A Queensland Health spokesman acknowledged the outbreaks were “significantly” higher this year than for the same eight week periods in 2016.

“The data indicates a significantly high number of outbreaks during this eight week period in 2017, however, it should be noted that half of these outbreaks involved fewer than 10 unwell children,” the spokesman said.

That will make the parents and kids feel better.

“In general, it has been a big year for viral gastroenteritis outbreaks across the region.”

Oh, it’s a virus.

Does the virus have a name?

 

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.

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.

 

Brisbane’s idea of a water warning

Fucking hopeless at communication.

Walkerton Water Tower

The Courier Mail reports that residents north of Brisbane (we’re southsiders) are being advised to boil all their tap water before drinking it following fears the water supply has been compromised.

Unitywater says the advise applies to 3,500 residents in Petrie and Old Petrie Town.

In a statement, Unitywater said residents should boil water for the next 24 hours, or until the water quality has returned to normal.

Residents have been advised to use cool boiled water or bottled water when brushing their teeth, drinking, washing and preparing food beverages, making ice, bathing infants or preparing baby formula.

“This is a rare event and Unitywater is working closely with Queensland Health to resolve the situation as quickly as possible,” the statement said.

Unitywater is currently flushing the mains in the area and supplying water from an alternative reservoir.

“We are also taking regular samples to monitor the water quality.”

Restaurants, food porn, coke: Brisbane’s Miami Vice

Despite the food porn on TV, the back kitchen of most restaurants seem about the same: bad food safety, a lot of drugs, and an inordinate amount of Pink Floyd.

A high profile Brisbane restaurateur has been charged with cocaine trafficking, following raids on his home and restaurant on Friday.

Daniel Milos, 40, was arrested a little more than two months after a man was acquitted of the violent murder of his brother Peter Milos, also a chef, at a home in the affluent suburb of Morningside, in May 2014.

Daniel Milos was one of several people arrested in 11 simultaneous raids in Brisbane on Friday morning that allegedly netted $750,000 worth of drugs, including cocaine and ice.

Police have described it as one of the largest cocaine busts in Queensland history.

Milos owns the up-market Italian restaurant Mariosarti in the riverside suburb of Toowong and has been a frequent donor to Queensland’s Liberal National Party.

He counts former premier Campbell Newman and former prime minister John Howard among those he has rubbed shoulders with, while, in 2016, a $300 per head LNP fundraiser with Julie Bishop as keynote speaker was abruptly moved, when party supporters raised concerns with the foreign minister’s office over Milos’ alleged drugs links.

Milos has previously been jailed for drug trafficking, in 2000.

He was sentenced to nine years for selling heroin but paroled after just 12 months.

Rain day

In Canada we have snow days.

In Brisbane, we have rain days.

All schools are closed along the coast as cyclone Debbie drifts down to us. These are the first pics from the damage further north.

People in southern Ontario forget how to drive at the first hint of snow.

People in Brisbane forget how to drive when it rains.

Fortunately our house that is sliding down the hill is standing still — for now.

Too much monkey business: Brisbane’s restaurant inspection sucks, city councillor’s parents fined for food safety breaches

The restaurant inspection system in Brisbane is hopeless beyond belief.

For a cow town that wants to profit from tourism rather than coal and cattle, they are beyond stupid about it.

At least we got good folks to coach the little kids in hockey.

The disclosure system is voluntary. If a restaurant gets two-stars-out-of-five, for example, they don’t put up the sign.

How is it that Toronto, LA, NYC and hundreds of other places figured out how to make restaurant inspection disclosure mandatory, yet Brisbane and most of Australia go on a faith-based system – which usually involves someone blowing someone.

According to the Courier Mail, the parents of a Brisbane city councillor have admitted breaking food safety laws enforced by the council, with inspectors finding cockroaches “happily living” in the carvery they run in a city foodcourt.

Paddington councillor Peter Matic’s parents Milovan and Milena Matic were slapped with fines after a council health inspector unearthed issues with cleanliness, maintenance and cockroaches at their Carvey and Seafood in the Myer Centre in January last year.

The couple were fined $3000 each after pleading guilty to failing to ensure the business complied with the food Act.

The company, Nano Investments Pty Ltd, also copped a $29,000 fine for five counts of failing to comply with the food standards code.

Kevin Cartledge, for Brisbane City Council, said officers inspected the eatery on January 19, 2016, and issued an improvement notice.

So a whole bunch of people ate at that shitshow after the Jan. 19, 2016 inspection, but no one bothered to tell customers.

It’s some perverse British legal system thing, that potentially puts consumers at risk for months after the failings are discovered.

When they returned two days later, the officers discovered the business was still breaching food safety laws, triggering a suspension the following day.

He said the most concerning element was the presence of a large number of cockroaches.

“You have, essentially, the perfect circumstances for cockroaches to live and breed,” he said.

“Given that there were adult and juvenile cockroaches in the premises, it clearly suggests that there was a life cycle and these cockroaches were happily living and feeding.”

He pointed out the company has had compliance issues in the past, and infringements notices had been served.

“This is a company that has been put well and truly on notice yet has still failed to comply with their requirements under the Act,” he said.

So why the fuck wouldn’t you make it public to warn unsuspecting consumers that the place was a shithole?

Too much monkey business.

Going public: Early disclosure of food risks for the benefit of public health

NEHA, Volume 79.7, Pages 8-14

Benjamin Chapman, Maria Sol Erdozaim, Douglas Powell

http://www.neha.org/node/58904

Often during an outbreak of foodborne illness, there are health officials who have data indicating that there is a risk prior to notifying the public. During the lag period between the first public health signal and some release of public information, there are decision makers who are weighing evidence with the impacts of going public. Multiple agencies and analysts have lamented that there is not a common playbook or decision tree for how public health agencies determine what information to release and when. Regularly, health authorities suggest that how and when public information is released is evaluated on a case-by-case basis without sharing the steps and criteria used to make decisions. Information provision on its own is not enough. Risk communication, to be effective and grounded in behavior theory, should provide control measure options for risk management decisions. There is no indication in the literature that consumers benefit from paternalistic protection decisions to guard against information overload. A review of the risk communication literature related to outbreaks, as well as case studies of actual incidents, are explored and a blueprint for health authorities to follow is provided.

Never there: No comment as Salmonella outbreaks close two Canberra cafes and no word in Brisbane

There’s an outbreak of Salmonella in Canberra (that’s Australia’s capital, on a swamp, like Washington, DC), and there’s an outbreak in Brisbane.

They are not related, other than no one will say something in public.

The whole idea of risk communication is to let people know when there is a problem, what they can do to avoid the problem, and stop making things worse by refusing to ID the source or the food implicated.

It’s OK, social media will fix that for the bureaucrats, but why spend taxpayer money on agencies that won’t tell the public shit?

I called Queensland Health a week ago, to ask them about the Chinese New Year Salmonella outbreak in Brisbane, and the media thingy said, e-mail your question, which I did, and still, no answer.

Government-types are never there.

Which is why I always tell private sector types to expect nothing from the government.

If there’s an outbreak, the government types will still have their job and super: you won’t.

According to ABC News two weeks ago – and there’s been nothing public since — an outbreak of salmonella has forced two popular Canberra cafes to close their doors while they are investigated by health inspectors.

The ACT Government Health Protection Services (HPS) has served prohibition orders on the two cafes linked to the outbreak, located in Belconnen and Gungahlin.

The cafes are Ricardo’s in Jamison and the Central Cafe in Gungahlin.

In a statement, HPS said health inspectors had uncovered problems “related with food handling processes and procedures” at both stores.

“The cafes will be closed until such time as the identified issues have been rectified,” the statement said.

“This action means that there is no ongoing risk to the health of the ACT population from these events”.

The health directorate refused to comment on how many people had been affected by the outbreak while the investigation was in process.

Though there were a number of posts on social media from those claiming to have eaten at Ricardo’s before falling ill.

“I know someone who was in hospital last week, for four days, with a truly awesome bout of salmonella after eating there,” one person wrote on Facebook.

“My partner and I are both in hospital,” wrote another.

“Bought cake from there Monday last week, was shivering in bed with fever and food poisoning with girlfriend until Friday, she’s fine I’m still not over it,” a user said on Reddit.

“Ugh ate there Wednesday last week. Friday, got sick/gastro for 5 days. Guess I have an idea where it came from now…”