My brain hurts: MRI edition

The first time I got an MRI was about four years ago in Tokyo after I passed out in a bowl of soup.

They didn’t find much.

Now that I randomly fall, my Australian doctor said go get a MRI.

So I just finished.

Some say it’s the booze, others say it’s CTE (chronic traumatic encephalapthy from too many pucks to the head, too many years playing linebacker where the coach said go kill the dude with the ball, the car crash, and too many falls as age advances.)

I don’t know what to expect, but remain optimistic for my partner and family.

Peace and love.

 

‘Better think about the consequence of (temperature abuse) actions’ Over 700 sick from C. perfringens at one Chipotle

Chipotle’s head of food safety, Jim Marsden, has been conspicuously silent after at least 647 patrons at a single Chipotle restaurant in Powell (no relation), Ohio, were sickened with Clostridium perfringens.

As one of my colleagues said, Preventing C. perfringens is kind of like food safety 101. They must’ve had a massive temperature abuse situation.

In response, CEO Brian Niccol said Chipotle will start retraining all restaurant employees on food safety and wellness protocols next week.

Uh-huh.

#MeToo

How the hell would I know? 395 sickened by Cyclospora linked to McDonalds salads

There was this one time, in 2010, I got a phone call at 6 a.m. from the esteemed Michael Osterholm of the Minnesota food safety system.

My wife does a better Minnosotan accent, spending her yute in Albert Lea, eh?

He didn’t like the photo, right, made by the creative couple of Heather and Christian, who used to work in my lab, and opened the conversation with, “How could you print that?”

I said it was an accurate description of what had been publically known about the leafy greens folks since the E. coli O157 spinach outbreak of 2006 (I’m old, waiting for news on the birth of my third grandson).

He then told me he was a consultant for Fresh Express and that they had an excellent food safety system.

I said great, make it public, so people can judge on their own.

Fresh Express has now been linked to 395 cases of Cyclospora through their lettuce served at McDonalds.

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., is pressing Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb for specifics about the investigation of the cyclosporaoutbreak linked to product sold by Fresh Express.

In an Aug. 3 letter her office released to the media, DeLauro said she wrote the letter “out of concern about the current outbreak of cyclosporiasis as well as the transparency and timeliness of your agency’s ongoing investigation.”

“Although once rare in the United States, parasitic outbreaks caused by cyclospora have become more common over the last several decades,” she said in the letter. “Many of these outbreaks have continually been found to be associated with imported fruits and vegetables.”

The recent outbreak is currently responsible for 395 infections — including 16 hospitalizations — across 15 states.

The parasite was first found when the FDA conducted testing on an unused package of Fresh Express salad mix, distributed to a McDonald’s restaurant, containing romaine lettuce and carrots.

The FDA states as of July 13, McDonald’s decided to stop selling the salads at restaurants impacted in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan. Ohio, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota. Montana, North Dakota, Kentucky, West Virginia and Missouri.

In a July 20, statement, McDonald’s said the health and safety of their customers is their top priority.

“The health and safety of our customers and the people who work in McDonald’s restaurants is always our top priority. The additional states identified by the FDA and CDC are among the same states where a week ago we proactively decided to remove our lettuce blend in impacted restaurants and replace it through a different supplier. McDonald’s is committed to the highest standards of food safety and quality and we continue to cooperate and support regulatory and public health officials in their investigations. For those seeking additional information about Cyclospora, we encourage them to visit the CDC and FDA websites.”

Uh-huh.

Cyclospora sucks. My aunt, my mom’s sister, got it in Florida from basil, about a decade ago.

(Doesn’t she look amazing at 80, left.)

Cyclospora isn’t one of those things doctors routinely check for. Then you’re sick for about six weeks until some bright doc figures it out.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued an alert to the public on “beef, pork and poultry salad and wrap products potentially contaminated with Cyclospora that were distributed by Caito Foods LLC, of Indianapolis,” Indiana.

USDA also released a public health alert after Indianapolis-based food distributor Caito Foods “received notification from their lettuce supplier, Fresh Express, that the chopped romaine that is used to manufacture some of their salads and wraps was being recalled.”

“Fresh Express follows rigid food safety requirements and preventive controls throughout our supply chain that are carefully designed to mitigate against potential health risks. Working together with public health officials, we are hopeful a definitive source of the outbreak clusters will be identified soon.”

Uh-huh.

Still here, Mike. You can call me in Australia through Google voice 785-532-1925 and tell me what Fresh Express is doing, and why they are importing lettuce in the middle of North American summer.

Young and fearless

We were driving home from Florida – to escape the Canadian winter for a week – and back then we’d do the 24 hours with four kids in one shot in early 1996, and this song came on an American radio station.

I thought it was awesome.

Then I said, is that Sloan?

We didn’t have Google or phone tethering back then, so just argued, as you do.

This youthful enthusiasm encapsulates everything I miss about universities and why I hate  the smothering bureaucracy they have become.

E. coli O157 outbreak at Marine base in San Diego and chest thumping

The leading cause of immobilizing U.S. troops?

Foodborne illness.

My former dean was known as Dr. Clorox while serving in Vietnam.

I used to give training sessions to food types headed for Iraq and Afghanistan from Fort Riley (in Manhattan, Kansas) and would sheepishly say, I have no idea what you’re going to face in terms of potable water, but bleach is your friend.

I reported in Nov. 2017 that a bunch of Marines training in San Diego got sick from Shiga-toxin producing E. coli.

The eventual number would be about 220.

Food safety lawyer Bill Marler wrote the other day that the outbreak “seemed to fall a bit below the radar.”

That means below his litigation radar, not the public awareness radar. Yesterday he filed a lawsuit in the Southern District Court of California against Sodexo Inc. on behalf of Illinois resident, Vincent Grano who developed an E. coli O157:H7 infection from food served at the cafeteria and mess hall at a Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego.

Sodexo, a Delaware company, provides food and facility management services for the United States Marine Corps Depot in San Diego. Mr. Grano is represented by Marler Clark, the food safety law firm, and Gordon and Holmes, a local San Diego firm.

Marler also wrote the other day that two of his blogs made the Top 30 Food Safety Blogs, Websites & Newsletters to Follow in 2018 by Feedspot.com.

I don’t pay attention to this kind of shit and wouldn’t unless Marler’s chest-thumping could be heard across the Pacific Ocean.

Maybe he’s like Sarah Palin and looks out and sees me.

It’s nice to be included in some BS list of top-30 food safety bloggers, but it’s better to be #1.

That would be barfblog.com.

And we’re not trying.

Don’t get shot in America. Live in Australia


Building on what John Oliver, then of the Daily Show, started five years ago, Damien Power writes in The New York Times there are more than 393 million civilian-owned firearms in the United States, which means there are more guns than people. If that makes you feel unsafe, visit Australia.

In Australia, it took one mass shooting in Port Arthur in 1996, where 35 people were killed, for the country to do something concrete about gun reform. The government adopted tighter gun control, banned semiautomatic weapons and started a mandatory gun buyback program.

The United States, meanwhile, has an average of nine mass shootings every 10 days, and 13,000 gun homicides a year. Gun violence is so rampant that China has warned its citizens about traveling here.

So if you’re interested in not getting shot to death and adorable koalas, Australia might be the place for you. Not being the target of snipers adds to the magic of visiting Down Under.

I’d add don’t barf and visit Aus, but food safety controls aren’t as good as gun controls.

‘He would be dead right now’ Canadian family warns parents after 2-year-old contracts E. coli infection

There is so much I want to write about, to get the daily buzz of the blog, but blogs don’t last, and don’t pay the bills.

What’s important to me is the pic, below, and everything I can do to help them succeed.

I’ll work on books (which also don’t pay the bills, but may last longer).

Julian Kolsut of Chek reports that a Parksville family is at the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver this weekend after their two-year-old toddler contracted an E. coli Infection — that his father Aaron Hughes says was not diagnosed until it was almost too late.

“Be persistent… if we didn’t stick to our guns and react, he would be dead right now,” said Hughes.

It all started when 2-year-old Jaxon starting to act “off” on Tuesday, both of his parents thought he may have had heatstroke and made sure to take him out of the sun and keep him hydrated.

“He was out in the sun and he became really lethargic really fast, didn’t have an appetite, a fever kicked in quickly and then the diarrhea started,” said Aarons wife Jolene Secord.

After contacting the nurse’s line, they were given the same advice, but eventually Jaxon started vomiting. A visit to the walk-in clinic resulted in a different diagnosis, a possible bacterial infection, but while at the clinic they noticed blood in his diaper.

“They did take a swab of his green bowl movements but sent us home,” said Secord.

They were told to continue keeping an eye on him and taking care of him.

The parents say on Wednesday the vomiting and bleeding got worse, and after rushing Jaxon to the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital they were told again it may be a bacterial infection, and that he may have had a torn fissure. After speaking to a nutritionist they were sent home.

Aaron says he couldn’t see the fissure, and was confused the mucus coming out of his toddler’s behind was also bloody.

When his 18-year-old daughter called him when he was shopping for vaseline for his son in Nanaimo on Thursday and was told Jackson’s symptoms were worse, he told them to call and ambulance at that he would meet them at the hospital.

“We weren’t wasting any time… but they couldn’t find his stools [that were sent in for testing]” said Hughes.

“The doctor then came into the room [the next day] and said, “I think we found the source” and he didn’t look too happy, [the doctor] tracked down the stools and said the test came back positive for E. coli O157:H7.”

He was immediately airlifted to the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver and currently, among many other issues with his health, does not have any functioning kidneys and has a damaged pancreas.

Jaxon is undergoing dialysis, transfusion and other treatments, and his mom says his state changes by the hour.

“At this point, they don’t see the kidneys waking up… it could be a long-term thing… every hour seems to change for Jaxon,” said Secord. “We will see a positive, we will see a negative, we will see a positive.”

The exact cause is unknown, but the family says they suspect it came from deer feces, as the animal can carry the O157:H7 strain. They think Jackson may have come in contact with it outside.  Contaminated food is also a possibility.

“We almost have a family of deer living [on our property]” said Hughes. “We have apple trees on our property and they [the deers] live off that stuff, and that can transport diseases.”

Both parents also say the unfortunate incident is a reminder to always listen to your gut.

“If we would have stuck to what they were telling us then we would have lost him… and if we waited he could have had brain damage, heart failure,” said Hughes.

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Shazam to let Chiquita reach shoppers via stickers

We – meaning my former lab – advocated that if Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers were going to undertake all those food safety steps back in 2000, they should brag about it.

Specifically through urls on product (youtube didn’t exist back then, but we still took lots of video and didn’t know what to do with it; fortunately, when the family and I tried to drive to Georgia for IAFP 2000 where I was to give the Ivan Parkin lecture – nice job, this year, Gary – we had the camera so was able to dial it in) we wanted to see all the efforts greenhouse growers were taking to enhance microbial food safety.

They eventually went with third-party auditors, because, like politicians and those in biz, they don’t lead, they see which way the wind is blowing and follow.

I’m old, awaiting the birth of my third grandson.

Almost 20 years later, for four weeks this summer, Chiquita stickers will be co-branded with a Shazam code that shoppers can scan to see videos of how bananas move through the supply chain from Latin American farms to U.S. grocery stores.

The program will start in mid-July and aims to draw attention to the company’s sustainability efforts.

“Fifty million Chiquita blue stickers will feature the Shazam code on a weekly basis, with five different experiences where consumers can follow the journey of a banana from the farms in Latin America, to the port facility, right across the Atlantic and all the way to the consumer’s kitchen table, without having to leave the grocery store,” said Jamie Postell, director of sales for North America. “This new partnership with Shazam and the latest technology in immersion allows consumers to learn about Chiquita’s commitment to sustainability and discover what Chiquita does, day after day, in order to deliver the promise that stands behind the blue sticker.”

Could you include some food safety instead of following trends?

 

 

People pooping

We have one bathroom for the three of us, and my wife always says close the door, tightly, because I fart a lot when I pee.

That’s nothing compared to what other people are doing with poop.

A Florida man is currently facing charges after smearing human poop on food in the supermarket.

According to Click Orlando, Edwin Pierce — the Florida man in question — is a 31-year-old resident of Melbourne, Florida. Identified as homeless in his most recent booking, Pierce previously lived in a home in the area, according to Florida Sheriff’s Office, who make such information public upon a suspect’s arrest.

He was charged with petit theft and criminal mischief after he smeared human poop on food in the Family Dollar on 2200 Sarno Road in Melbourne.

It is unclear what the origin of said human poop was — whether it was Pierce’s, or it belonged to another Florida man, and the arresting officer didn’t bother to ask that pertinent question.

A mystery woman walked into a store in Washington, pooped, bought baby wipes and left.

It’s a disgusting story of a woman who went No. 2 in aisle one.
Employees at the Prospector Liquidation Store in Longview, Washington, said the woman walked into the business on Tuesday around noon, reports KATU-TV.
“I saw her come in. She said, ‘Hi,’ and went off shopping, and then I really didn’t see her again until she came up to check out,” said an employee.
The woman paid cash for some rubber gloves and, ironically, baby wipes. She then left the store – and she also left something behind — poop.

“It was just weird. After we’ve seen the video, we were like…and then she bought stuff,” said another worker. “I went over there by the tarps and you couldn’t miss it.”

When the workers reviewed surveillance video, they saw the woman, who was wearing medical scrubs, make her way to aisle one, squat and defecate. The employees said the woman didn’t even ask to use the bathroom.

And in Canada, a  24-year-old Belleville resident is waiting on a bail hearing Thursday after an overnight argument with his neighbour about cat feces, Belleville police say.

According to a press release, police were called to a Coleman Street address because a neighbour’s cat had defecated in another neighbour’s flower bed.

Police say the affected neighbour then shovelled up dog poop and flung it at the cat-owners.

The 24-year-old man is facing charges of mischief and breach of recognizance.

It’s a big old goofy world.