Raw camel milk in US

Whenever someone writes, “frozen in Kansas” I think, that could have been me.

Ice storms and stuff.

And being a professor.

Making lots of money, going with the flow, and checking my brain at the door – on the few days I showed up.

So I decided to support my wife – although I’ve been a bit of a dick about it for the last 6 years – and move to Australia, eventually ending my career.

Although I do have a new job with the least amount of responsibility possible.

I’m having my American Beauty moment (but not chasing after younger girls, quite happy, and she noted it’s been 12 years since we first met).

So when raw milk advocate David Gumpert writes about raw camel milk and how the U.S. Food and Drug is asking the federal court to allow it to seize more than $70,000 worth of raw camel milk, some of it frozen, in storage in Kansas, and there’s some government conspiracy, I cast aspersions.

The agency had warned the owner of a small Missouri farm, which accounts for the bulk of raw camel milk production in the U.S., — of course it is in Missouri — to refrain from shipping it outside that state. The owner had reportedly agreed to the FDA’s order.

Now, a number of media are reporting that the FDA is asking a federal court to allow it to seize raw camel milk from the farm, known as Hump-Back Dairys, along with that of a national distributor of camel milk, Desert Farms.

Waste of time. Move on.Keep moving on.

Compassion, Richard Gere, and getting over myself

I spent the last 10 weeks going through a rather intensive investigation of myself.

I can hear my Kansas friend Mary already saying, oh, Dr. Richard Gere. You’ve become a Buddhist.

I’ve revisited a lot of old wounds, tried to make amends, and learned – sorta — to be compassionate to myself.

I’ve always been my biggest critic.

I use barfblog.com to write about food safety, and other stuff, because, I can.

Don’t like it, go start your own thing.

Guess that was drilled into me when I was appointed editor-in-chief of the University of Guelph student newspaper, The Ontarian in 1986, with a weekly circulation of about 20,000.

After one semester, I left, because I had a 6-month-old child, was trying to finish my MSc in genetics, and was really pissed off that the advertising and business managers made about double what I did.

I took it to the Board of Directors, who assured me they would back me, and then bailed once they saw which way the wind was blowing.

Those folks are still employed by the University of Guelph, which says a lot about ethics, and sucking dick.

I’ll just do my thing.

Shigella in Kansas: Proper handwashing requires proper tools

There was this one time, when I was in Kansas, and there was an outbreak of something at the local high school.

Stalker alert: I went to the boys’ bathroom.

No paper towel. No soap.

Proper handwashing requires access to proper tools.

The Shawnee County Health Department and KDHE are checking several shigellosis cases in children.

USD 501 confirms it centers on Highland Park Central Elementary, saying the district sent information to those parents.

Shigellosis is a gastro intestinal illness caused by a bacteria.

It is treatable and most people quickly recover from symptoms including diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps.

Shigella is found in the feces of an infected person. It’s spread by close contact, and by eating and drinking contaminated food or water.

To stop the spread, always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating. Do not share food, drinks, spoons and or straws.

No paper towel. No soap.

Proper handwashing requires access to proper tools.

Those are the kinds of questions that get full professors fired.

Science is my faith; the arena is my church: Hucksters, buskers and Kato Kaelin

It was a visit to the Wizard of Oz museum in Kansas that solidified my belief in the hucksters and buskers ruining the dream of America.

I was willingly living in Kansas with a girl I fell in love with – still am — and two of my Canadian daughters were visiting in 2007, so we decided to travel down the road from Manhattan, Kansas, to Wamego, KS, home of the Wizard of Oz museum.

If there’s genius in David Lynch, it’s predicting things before they happen – the elevated hairdo in Eraserhead made popular by Lyle Lovett, the Dr. Amp personified by radio-talk shrill Alan Jones.

Even John Oliver has had a go at Dr. Group, the unfortunately-named chiropractor and Kato-Kaelin–lookalike who shrills science with the veracity of a Kardashian.

Which reminds me, I gotta tell Chapman to shorten his bio.

In academia, when starting as an assistant professor, most  feel a need to put everything they farted out that passed peer review into their bio, including boy scout leader, and hockey coach.

As time goes on, the bio becomes shorter, because you’ve earned that full prof title, and even you don’t give a shit about repeating everything you’ve toiled over for the past 40 years – you also correctly reason that no one else gives a shit either, and if they do, google it.

Check out the degrees behind Dr. Group.

The struggle to confirm who is legitimate and why, continues, and is often laid bare in the fanciest of university-type institutions.

Do these people really care about learning, or are they just there, to make a paycheck, get their retirement and go through the motions.

I won’t go into the latest details about Gwenyth preaching that livers and kidneys can be detoxed by handstands, why Canada’s Dr. Jen Gunter has taken on debunking her Gwenythness, or why a top uni in Spain scraped homeopathy — because it’s nonsense.

Instead I give you the wisdom of John Oliver.

7 sick: Kansas investigating E. coli outbreak linked to Louisburg Cider Mill

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is currently conducting an investigation of an outbreak of E. coli among people who attended the Louisburg Cider Mill Ciderfest, which was held Sept. 24-25 and Oct. 1-2, according to a KDHE news release on Wednesday.

louisburg-ciderTo date, there are seven laboratory-confirmed cases associated with this investigation, KDHE said. However, the investigation is ongoing and information is subject to change. The Kansas Department of Agriculture along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and KDHE performed an on-site assessment on Oct. 27.

Over 100 sickened at Kansas dinner theatre in Jan.

Beginning with the Jan. 17, 2016 performance at the Overland Park New Theatre dinner theatre, people began complaining of illness. Hundreds of people say they got sick after attending a Johnson County dinner theater in January. Now months later, Abby Eden of FOX 4 has obtained the final report detailing the investigation by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment into what happened.

New-Theater-Restaurant-in-Overland-Park-The report shows the norovirus could have been spread by employees who were already sick- and handling food like the bread, salad, and ranch dressing. The C. perfrigens was found to be associated with the poppyseed dressing and burnt ends- improper temperature settings may have led to that bacteria spreading.

However, the report doesn`t rule out the possibility that a patron brought in the norovirus and spread it through going through the buffet line.

Oh Kansas, what is wrong? Downtown Lawrence restaurant reopens day after closing for nearly 100 live roaches

A downtown Lawrence restaurant voluntarily closed its doors earlier this month after a health inspector discovered nearly 100 live roaches on the premises.

Yokohama SushiA day later, Yokohama Sushi, 811 New Hampshire St., reopened. For area diners unfamiliar with the inspection process, it may seem like a fast turnaround, but a Kansas Department of Agriculture spokesperson called it a typical timeline.

On May 2, a restaurant inspection at Yokohama discovered the roaches, explained Heather Lansdowne, a spokesperson for the KDA. The next day, the restaurant voluntarily closed its doors and underwent a follow-up inspection, which found additional live roaches, though fewer in number. A pest control company was called in to treat the restaurant for the insects, caulking and baiting areas around water lines, crevices, cracks and near equipment, according to the inspector’s report. A second follow-up inspection later that day discovered no roaches, and the restaurant was listed back in compliance with health codes, the report says.

The restaurant reopened May 4.

A Yokohama representative did not return phone calls from the Journal-World seeking comment for this story.

When asked whether a single day of work was enough to clear up a significant roach problem and make a restaurant sanitary for its customers, Lansdowne said the restaurant followed a usual pattern based on the department’s standards.

Change the law, name the supplier: Salmonella in seed transfers to sprouts in Kansas and sickens 26

They’re probably still eating sprout-laden sandwiches at science-based faculty meetings at Kansas State University.

jimmy.john's.sproutsFollowing an initial announcement of eight people sick with Salmonella from sprouts in Kansas and Missouri – followed by surveillance silence – the U.S. Centers for Disease Control now reports that 26 people were infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Muenchen (25 people), or Salmonella Kentucky (1 person), as reported from 12 states. Eight people were hospitalized and no deaths were reported.

In February 2016, state and local health and regulatory officials in several states traced back the source of the sprouts from multiple restaurant locations where ill people ate them, and identified Sweetwater Farms of Inman, Kansas, as a supplier of alfalfa sprouts to all of these locations. The FDA collected and tested irrigation water and alfalfa sprout samples from Sweetwater Farms LLC and found Salmonella Kentucky and Salmonella Cubana. Salmonella Muenchen was not isolated.

On February 19, 2016, FDA and other federal, state, and local agencies briefed Sweetwater Farms LLC on their findings, and the firm voluntarily recalled alfalfa sprouts grown from a specific seed lot.

On February 26, 2016, Sweetwater Farms informed the FDA that it would recall all of its sprout products from the market.

After the recalls by Sweetwater Farms were completed, Salmonella Muenchen illnesses were still reported by people who reported eating alfalfa sprouts before they got sick. FDA traceback investigations indicated that several sprouters other than Sweetwater Farms produced the alfalfa sprouts these ill people ate. All of these sprouters, as well as Sweetwater Farms, used the same seed lot.

FDA tested samples of seeds from this lot and isolated Salmonella Cubana with the same DNA fingerprint of the Salmonella Cubana isolated in irrigation water from Sweetwater Farms. FDA contacted the seed supplier, who then called for the return of the contaminated seed lot from growers. The seed supplier is not named here because FDA is prohibited by law from releasing certain information about supply chains, which may constitute confidential commercial information. However, FDA has been able to confirm that all domestic sprouters who received contaminated seeds either returned or destroyed the seeds, and the shelf life of all sprouts grown from this seed lot has expired. Therefore, no sprouts from the contaminated seed lot are expected to be on the market.

sprout.santa.barf.xmasOn May 13, 2016, CDC reports that this outbreak appears to be over. FDA has provided the sprouters with information on reducing microbial food safety hazards for sprouted seeds and complying with new standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce for human consumption under the Produce Safety Rule, which beings to go into effect for sprouters in January 2017 with additional time for small and very small operations. In particular, covered sprouters will now be required to comply with sprout-specific requirements such as treating seeds to reduce the presence of microorganisms of public health significance, testing the growing environment for Listeria as well as testing each production batch of spent sprout irrigation water or sprouts for E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella species and, under certain conditions, other pathogens. In addition, sprouters would be expected to comply with all other applicable requirements of the Produce Safety Rule, such as requirements related to worker health and hygiene, agricultural water and buildings, tools and equipment.

An updated table of raw sprout related outbreaks is available at: http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Sprout-associated-outbreaks-4-27-16.xlsx

10 pounds of bat poop found above Florida official’s desk

We’re selling the house in Kansas. Hitting the market this weekend.

house.kansasIt fit for a while, and those were good times but, a rolling stone gathers no moss.

And Kansas is weird.

Potential buyers will not find bat guano in the ceiling because we had them all redone.

Not so in Florida, where 10 pounds bat feces was found above the desk of Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Ken Lawson.

The find comes amid a surprise effort by the Florida Legislature to move 1,500 state employees out of the building this summer after reports of mold and other environmental problems. Pending Gov. Rick Scott’s signing of the budget, employees will begin moving out in the coming weeks and months.

“Please let the secretary know his office is off limits until the 10 pounds of bat guano is safely removed from the area directly above his desk,” said toxicologist David Krause in a Thursday night email obtained by the Tallahassee Democrat. “This poses an unsafe condition and he is advised that no one should enter the room or go above the ceiling tiles without respiratory protection.”

I’ll miss my kitchen.

litchen.pierre

Sprouts strike again: 8 sick in KS, OK with Salmonella

Five people in Kansas and three in Oklahoma became ill after eating sprouts between early December and late January from Sweetwater Farms, Inman, Kan., according to a Kansas Department of Health and Environment news release.

kevin_allen_sprout(13)Five people in Kansas have become ill as part of this outbreak after consuming sprouts from Sweetwater Farms, Inman, KS. The last date of illness was January 21 in a Kansas resident. In addition, three residents from Oklahoma also have Salmonella infections that match the outbreak strain.

Sweetwater Farms was inspected and samples collected of irrigation water and product have tested positive for Salmonella bacteria although the strain has not yet been identified.

Sweetwater Farms has decided to voluntarily recall sprouts in lot 042016. Kansas Department of Health and Environment recommends that people not consume any sprout product from Sweetwater Farms at this time.

A table of sprout-related outbreaks can be found at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Sprout-associated-outbreaks-2-23-16.xlsx