5 sick: Salmonella outbreak in Adelaide linked to pies

After five years I’m slowly starting to learn Australian.

But really, I can’t understand most of what the locals say.

I smile and wave.

Meat pies produced by a single manufacturer, the Pork Pie Shop in Victor Harbor, south of Adelaide has sickened at least 5 people with Salmonella.

Just cook it doesn’t cut it.

The business has stopped production of the pies and is working on a recall.

The pies are currently stocked by about 30 retailers, including independent supermarkets, delis and butchers across metropolitan Adelaide.

The five salmonella cases have involved people aged 54 to 80. Four of those people have been hospitalised.

The pies — which contain pork, aspic jelly and sometimes veal — were made by the Pork Pie Shop at Victor Harbor and distributed to dozens of supermarkets, delis and butchers across Adelaide, have so far been linked to five cases of salmonella food poisoning.

The five people affected are aged 54 to 80 years of age and of those, four have been hospitalised.

SA Health director of food and controlled drugs Dr Fay Jenkins confirmed five cases of salmonella have been linked to the products from the manufacturer so far.

“The business has since ceased the manufacturing of both products until further notice and is working to recall the pies,” she said.

“Both the pork pies and Ascot pies are stocked at around 30 businesses including independent supermarkets, delis and butchers across metropolitan Adelaide.

“We are working with the manufacturer to ensure the pies will be removed from supply from all stockists as soon as possible.”

Dr Jenkins said people should not consume either products.

“As a precaution, SA Health recommends anyone who has pork or Ascot pies in their home to contact the place of purchase to confirm if the product is from The Pork Pie Shop,” she said.

“If so, people should either discard the pie immediately or return it to the place of purchase.

“Products from other manufacturers will be safe to consume and there is no reason for people to be concerned.” 

Who has UK football’s dirtiest pies?

The half-time pie is one of football’s time-honoured traditions but some stadium kitchens preparing fans’ food have been criticised by inspectors for dirty conditions and pest problems – Mirror Online can reveal.

rest.inspec.stadium.uk.pie.sep.15Our investigation has examined food hygiene reports of all 92 Premier League and Football League clubs to reveal which pie stands fans may want to avoid.

The majority of grounds passed with flying colours but others clubs were warned over the state of the kitchens at kiosks at their stadiums.

One club was even warned over the potential safety of the food it was allegedly serving to players on away trips.

The reports were obtained through Freedom of Information requests made to councils a week before the start of the new season – although some ratings have changed since then.

Live … From the Safe Food Caf?: Cooking the poop out of pot pies

ConAgra announced Nov. 14, 2007, that it was starting to manufacture Banquet pot pies again, and by early December they were available for purchase.

On Oct. 11, 2007, ConAgra announced it was recalling all of its frozen pot pies to fix some label discrepancies. This was two days after an outbreak of Salmonella was linked to Banquet pot pies and the company reassuringly told consumers that getting sick was their own fault and they should be more careful and cook pot pies thoroughly.

In the end, at least 272 people in 35 states had trouble simply cooking the pot pies and got sick with salmonella.

As I documented before, the instructions on the pot pies weren’t so great.

The old labels had statements about how easy it was to cook in the microwave. The new labels are much more explicit, saying the pot pies need to be cooked in at least a 1100 Watt microwave and that a meat thermometer should be used in several places to ensure that an endpoint temperature of 165 F has been reached.

I bought some of the new and improved pot pies and did the same cooking experiment, following what ConAgra called " redesigned easy-to-follow cooking instructions … to help eliminate any potential confusion regarding cooking times."

After four minutes in a 1150 Watt microwave, the interior of the pot pie registered at about 50F. After letting it sit for an additional three minutes — as per label instructions – the temperature varied anywhere from 75 – 190 F.

I decided to cook an additional two minutes.

After six minutes of cooking, and the previous three minutes of resting, the pot pie had tremendous variation in temperature: anywhere from 200F down to 100F.  165 F is required to kill Salmonella.
I wouldn’t want my kids popping these in the microwave after school.

ConAgra has never come clean on which various ingredients may have been the source of the Salmonella. Was it the poultry? How about the vegetables? The pie crust? ConAgra won’t say.

Further, were the new labels tested with consumers? There is a lack of research examining whether safe food handling labels perceived as effective translate into actual safe food handling behavior, including the use of proper thawing and cooking techniques, the use of measures to minimize cross-contamination, and the use of meat thermometers to confirm doneness.

If I was a multi-million dollar corporation like ConAgra headed to a dance with food safety lawyer Bill Marler cause my product made people barf, I’d want some evidence that pot pie fans where actually following the instructions on the labels. I would have tested the new labels with at least 100 teenagers — those afflicted with hormones and horniness — before introducing it to the mass market.
Maybe they did. But that’s up to ConAgra to prove.

And until they do, all products that claim to be safe in the microwave should contain nothing but fully cooked ingredients.

That’s the only way to get the poop out.

ConAgra pot pies are back after Salmonella otbreak sickens 272

Much rejoicing for Eric Cartmen this evening. ConAgra pot pies are coming back.

The company says environmental tests of its Marshall, Missouri, plant have not shown any trace of salmonella since the Oct. 11 recall, and that lab tests showed that the tainted pot pies were produced between July 13 and July 31.

The pot pies made by ConAgra have been linked to at least 272 cases of salmonella in 35 states. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at least 65 people were hospitalized as part of the outbreak, but no deaths have been linked to the pot pies.

ConAgra Foods also said on Wednesday said a recent recall of pot pies due to salmonella contamination would cost about $30 million — or 4 cents per share, and that earnings in its trading and merchandising group would be stronger than expected and would offset the recall costs.

A company statement today notes,

redesigned easy-to-follow cooking instructions are now in place to help eliminate any potential confusion regarding cooking times.

I look forward to checking these out for myself. The directions on the previous pot pies really sucked. And didn’t work.

Seattle attorney William Marler, who as of today had filed five lawsuits related to the outbreak, told the Tri City Herald in Washington State today that he would continue to file lawsuits against ConAgra until it begins compensating clients for damages.