Campy on the risin’ risin’

Lyrics to the Doors’ song below are sorta dumb, but a great guitar solo that still sends shivers up and down my spine. And Campy, it keeps on risin.’

Campylobacter is the most frequently occurring cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in Europe. Unlike other zoonotic diseases, European-wide incidences of Campylobacter infections have increased during the past decade, resulting in a significant disease burden. In Denmark, campylobacteriosis is notifiable by laboratory and a unique registration system of electronic transfer and storage of notified Campylobacter cases linked to the national person register of age, gender and geographical location allows collection of comprehensive case data.

Using national surveillance data, we describe Campylobacter infections in Denmark from 2000 to 2015, focusing on age-specific incidences, geography, seasonality and outbreaks. During the observed period, a total of 60,725 Campylobacter infections were registered with a mean annual incidence of 69.3 cases/100,000 population. From 2000 to 2014, the incidence of campylobacteriosis decreased by 20%, followed by an apparent increase of 20% from 2014 to 2015. Approximately one-third of cases were travel-related. Incidences were highest in males, young adults aged 20–29 years and children under 5 years of age. Generally, children under 10 years of age living in rural areas were at higher risk of infection. Infection patterns were seasonal with an increase from May to October, peaking in August. Outbreaks were identified each year, including four large waterborne outbreaks which all occurred following heavy rainfall events. For the most part, patterns of Campylobacter infection in Denmark during 2000 to 2015 remained remarkably constant and followed what is known about the disease with respect to demographic, temporal and spatial characteristics.

To establish better targeted prevention and control measures, the current knowledge gaps regarding both Campylobacter microbiology (degree of clonal diversity and clustering) and the importance of different risk factors (food versus environment/climate) need to be filled.

Epidemiology of campylobacteriosis in Denmark 2000–2015

Zoonoses and Public Health

G. Kuhn, E. M. Nielsen, K. Mølbak, S. Ethelberg

DOI: 10.1111/zph.12367

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zph.12367/abstract;jsessionid=B1876B46881FE2313CB2972DF3AA7AD3.f04t01

Food safety improvements in Aussie (NSW) restaurants

Restaurants and food outlets in New South Wales (that’s the Australian state where Sydney is) have improved their food safety standards, at least according to the state government.

More retail food businesses are complying with laws that protect consumers from foodborne illnesses, Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson said on Monday.

The annual local government activity report for 2010/11 put the overall compliance rate at 94.2 per cent, an increase of two percent on last year.

It means the rate of non-compliance has decreased from 10 per cent in 2008/09 to 5.8 per cent in 2010/11, Ms Hodgkinson said.

"It’s clear that food businesses are trying harder to comply with food safety standards but there is a small group that aren’t taking their responsibility to diners seriously. Enforcement penalties such as penalties, seizures and prosecutions are still necessary.

"We’re expecting that the introduction of the Food Safety Supervisors initiative will further encourage businesses to comply. To date 28,720 Food Safety Supervisors have been trained, dramatically improving food safety knowledge and awareness in food businesses across NSW. In addition, our Scores on Doors scheme will help to reward businesses that meet the food safety standards by giving them a way to show their customers how well they have performed.”

The 2010-11 Local Government Activity Report showed that:

Councils undertook a total of 61,046 inspections of the 38,475 high and medium risk retail food businesses across NSW that required inspection.

5.8 per cent of businesses inspected required ongoing intervention from their council – a decrease from 7.8 per cent in the previous year.

Councils issued 6,914 warning letters and 1,455 improvements notices during 2010-11.

Councils issued 1,374 penalty notices, a decrease of 32 per cent on the previous year.

Councils investigated 98.8 per cent of the 4,341 food complaints received by consumers.

The full Local Government Activity Report is available on the NSW Food Authority website – http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/industry/audits-inspectionscompliance/ localgovernment/activity-reports/

Top Chef would be mildly entertaining with Charlie Sheen

I have no idea why those morons on Top Chef don’t use a thermometer.

During last night’s episode, Carla (right, exactly as shown) serves raw pork.

Judge Gail says, the center of my pork loin was pretty much completely raw.

Carla goes home

Thermometers would make them better cooks.

The Charlie factor is best summarized by music critic Lester Bangs in the film, Almost Famous:

Lester Bangs: The Doors? Jim Morrison? He’s a drunken buffoon posing as a poet.

Alice Wisdom: I like the Doors.

Lester Bangs: Give me the Guess Who. They got the courage to be drunken buffoons, which makes them poetic.
 

Scores on Doors will have to wait for Welsh

There’s always a difference between saying there are food safety standards and actually being able to prove such standards are followed.

Which leads into that food safety culture thing.

Consumer Focus Wales said today the public has been misled by promises a new food hygiene ratings system would be up and running this year, and that it could now be another 12 months before people were able to find out how clean their local takeaway, restaurant, pub or supermarket is.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) announced last month that a new website designed to carry the hygiene ratings of every food business would be up and running by October 1.

But the agency has admitted existing environmental health inspection reports will not be uploaded to the site.

Instead, information will only be added as and when councils carry out inspections of premises after launch day.

An FSA spokesman, who was apparently previously employed at the Ministry of Silly Walks, said data would be added “at a fairly substantial rate of progress” once the process used to gather information is standardised.

“The Food Standards Agency agrees that information on the hygiene rating of a food business should be made available to the public at the earliest opportunity. However, to be meaningful, this information needs to be accurate and understandable and based on judgements that are consistent from one business to another. This will provide the data to enable the public to make an informed choice about where they eat and buy food from. … The agency and local authorities seek to ensure that the scheme is introduced in a sustainable way, but are mindful of the practicalities it involves and have accepted that it is not feasible to launch a scheme in the autumn with all Welsh food businesses listed from the outset.”

Sharon Mills, who led calls for the scheme following the E.coli O157 outbreak in 2005 that claimed the life of her son Mason Jones, said the agency appeared to be putting the rights of businesses before the public’s right to know, adding,

“I agree that the information has got to be correct, but I think their argument is complete and utter nonsense.”

She’s right. Bureau-types could fritter for years trying to get everything right. Get it up, get it out, then make it better.

The agency said it was undertaking public consultation to help it decide how to express the ratings on the new website.

But although the scores will be available on the Internet, businesses will not be forced to display them on their premises.

I’d rather insert pencils into my eyeballs than listen to this drivel.

About scores on doors in Asian restaurants in France

This is a blog post from our friend in France, Albert Amgar, translated by Kansas State French professor Amy Hubbell and the students in FREN 530: French Translation.

Labels, logos, and scores on doors have come up several times on this blog.

According to leParisien.fr on February 24, 2010 in "Asian restaurants are asked to take more care with their cooking," the Asian restaurant union is asking 12,000 caterers and restaurateurs to improve their food safety and quality. Their goal is to improve their ratings and it is not being met.

The “Quality Asia” label was created in October 2005 and it is given to Asian, Chinese, Japanese or Vietnamese restaurants and caterers whose cleanliness is certified. Five years later, only 12 addresses in the Parisian region and 5 in the rest of France (primarily in the North – AA) have been awarded this label. That’s a small number considering there are 12,000 food professionals in France and 8,000 in the Parisian region alone.

According to the website of the Asian Restaurant and Catering Union, the first audit is performed by an independent agency that checks the establishments’ performance and gives certification.

What is included in the Quality Asia Label?
– Welcoming guests according to traditions
– Offering and cooking Asian flavors from different regions according to European regulations
– Following the guidelines on the Quality Charter
– Submitting to a quality control every two years
– Making comment cards available to clients

What are the criteria for quality?

The first audit checks 142 control points of which 30 are reserved for the kitchen. These points are aimed at the welcome, the quality of management, service, delivery, proportion of quality to price, general cleanliness, general ambiance, facilities, materials, equipment, storage, preparation, expiration dates, traceability, safety and many other elements that ensure quality to the clients.

To be given the label, the food professional must receive 85% on the evaluation.

A new test is given every two years to check changes in the establishment and to ascertain whether the service is consistent with the label requirements and the demands of Quality Charter.

Restaurants with the label are recognized in several ways that attest to their quality:
How can you spot them? There are several ways: the logo, the Quality Charter, the certificate, and the customer satisfaction cards. You can find the restaurants
here.