Cigarette butt in chips and rats spotted on premises among FSAI findings

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) report for 2016 reveals that they handled over 10,000 queries in 2016, as well as outlining some of the more gruesome finds made by their inspectors.

The report outlines the wide scope of the Authority, who now supervise almost 50,000 food businesses (49,404 to be exact) and their Advice Line took 10,497 queries from consumers, manufacturers and retailers in 2016.

According to the report, contamination of food with foreign objects was frequently reported to them by consumers.

Last year these reports included:

  • allegations of food contaminated with insects and glass,
  • a live insect found in a packaged dessert
  • a long black hair in garlic sauce
  • a human nail in a takeaway meal
  • glass in a dessert
  • plastic rope in a takeaway meal
  • a cigarette butt in a bag of chips.

Other complaints regarding poor hygiene standards included:

  • dirty customer toilets
  • rats seen on the premises
  • dirty tables and floors
  • and one case of a staff member at a deli sneezing into their hands and then preparing sandwiches without washing their hands.

All complaints received were followed up and investigated.

In total, 106 Enforcement Orders were served on food businesses last year by the Authority.

That broke down to 94 Closure Orders, three Improvement orders and nine Prohibition Orders.

The annual report also reveals the FSAI sampled and tested 56,588 samples, while 2,625 food supplements were assessed.

And the highest number of food alerts were issued in a decade, 39 in total.

These alerts resulted in product recalls or withdrawals.

‘It’d be better for me if you don’t understand’ Dorking sandwich shop has ‘no understanding’ of food contamination

A sandwich shop in Dorking has been criticised for having “no understanding” of food contamination after staff failed to wash their hands after touching raw meat on multiple occasions.

Sam Truelove of Get Surrey writes that Jax, in South Street, was inspected on May 24 by a Mole Valley District Councilofficer on behalf of the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

The café and takeaway, which sells a variety of sandwiches, rolls and baguettes, received a food hygiene rating of one – the second lowest possible – which means “major improvement” is necessary.

The damning details of the report have been released following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request and show that major concerns were raised over the potential cross contamination and cleanliness of the eatery.

The hygiene officer even sent staff to buy chemical disinfectant during her visit.

The report said: “[Staff] handle a lot of raw meat in a small area – no sanitiser or understanding of cross contamination.”

It adds: “No hand washing seen after handling raw meat or shell eggs even after being told to wash hands.”

According to the latest information on the FSA’s website, Jax, which is open between 8am and 3pm, is still judged to have a rating of one for its food hygiene, and is still failing to meet two of the key areas assessed by the inspector.

Fancy food ain’t safe food, crab edition

The Crab in the Park Central Hotel restaurant, Exeter Road, Bournemouth, UK, which boasts two AA Rosettes and its chefs are ‘Michelin-star trained’ has been given a zero food hygiene rating after food inspectors launched an investigation.

‘Urgent improvement is necessary’ at after an impromptu inspection earlier this year.

Alex Winter of the Daily Echo writes inspectors raised concerns under the category ‘management of food safety’, which includes assessment of the system or checks in place to ensure that food sold or served is safe to eat and evidence that staff know about food safety.

However, the inspectors also found improvements are also needed in categories ‘hygienic food handling’, which includes preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage, as well as ‘cleanliness and condition of facilities and building to enable good food hygiene’.

Seafood mains on the à la carte menu begin at £18.95 for ‘The Crab’s posh fish and chips’, while lobster linguine is £26.95.

The restaurant also offers delicacies including sashimi tuna tartar, scallops and octopus.

The manager of the Park Central Hotel had not returned calls from the Daily Echo at the time of going to press.

Fancy food ain’t safe food, Mark Sergeant’s Rocksalt edition

An award-winning Folkestone, UK, restaurant run by celebrity chef Mark Sergeant has been given a low food hygiene rating.

Inspectors discovered ‘unsafe’ cooking procedures at Rocksalt, in Folkestone Harbour and the top eatery was told ‘improvement is necessary’.

Callum Wilson of Kent Live reports the damning Environmental Health report, inspectors said diners were at risk of food poisoning.

The restaurant, which has previously received rave reviews, has now had its five star rating taken away and replaced with the much lower rating ‘requires improvement’.

A Shepway District Council environmental health officer took the perfect score away after finding a ‘high risk’ chicken liver was undercooked.

The officer said: “I noted some cooking procedures that could lead to an unsafe product. For example: chicken livers maybe cooked “medium”.

“Chicken liver pate is cooked in the combi-oven. Core temperature is monitored using a probe and the product is considered cooked when it reaches 70 C.

“The time temperature combination for thorough cooking is 70C held for 2 minutes.”

In a warning to the restaurant, the officer said: “Please ensure chicken products are thoroughly cooked (as per your HACCP procedure for high risk products)”.

Rocksalt is co-owned by celebrity chef Mark Sargeant and Josh DeHaan and opened in 2011.

No one at the restaurant was available for comment.

However, a post appeared on the Rocksalt website saying: “We have requested a revisit and have addressed the single cooking technique deemed incorrect.

“We have urgently retrained all staff to our correct procedure.”

260 sickened last year: Closed and broke, Golden Ponds restaurant to hold auction

On Tuesday, September 19, the owner of the Greece restaurant, Golden Ponds, will sell everything at auction – from the freezer to the flatware.

The Monroe County Health Department says last year 260 people got sick after eating at his Thanksgiving Buffet. Health inspectors shut him down. When he finally reopened, patrons did not come back. Now he’s facing lawsuits, deep debt, and the end of his career. On Friday, he opened his doors and ended his silence for this week’s Restaurants Exposed report.

Ralph Rinaudo hasn’t changed a thing since that January day when he closed the doors for good at Golden Ponds. When News10NBC toured the restaurant, tables were still set, plates were stacked, and linens covered long tables were buffets were served.

“I left everything just the way it was, and it’s tough to just take things out,” said Rinaudo. “All the parties we had booked they just canceled because people were telling me that their friends or people don’t want to come here because they were afraid,” he admitted.

In fact, in the party room, tables are still set for a party that canceled eight months ago. Warmers await food for the buffet – an eerie reminder of the event that forced Rinaudo to close his doors. Asked if he felt guilty about the 260 people who the health department has determined were sickened at his restaurant he answered. “That’s what they said, ‘They got sick here.’ I can’t dispute that what they say.

But the patrons aren’t the only ones saying it. So are scientists at the Monroe County Department of Health who investigate the source of foodborne illness. They say at last year’s Thanksgiving buffet Golden Ponds served up turkey with a side dish of Clostridium perfringens – a dangerous bacteria that inspectors say was likely in gravy held at unsafe temperatures. Two hundred and sixty people suffered serious symptoms from bloody diarrhea to cramping resulting in hospitalizations for some.

“The most difficult case we had a woman who had her colon removed and is going to spend the rest of her life with a colostomy bag,” said Paul Nunes, an attorney for dozens of plaintiffs suing the restaurant.

In his lawsuits, Nunes points to the Monroe County Health Department’s inspection reports which lists mold on the floor of the walk-in refrigerator, heavily rusted shelving in that same refrigerator, a walk-in freezer that didn’t close tightly, mouse droppings, and a kitchen area that inspectors said was quote “in very poor sanitary condition.”

“If you’re sloppy in one thing, you’re sloppy in another thing,” said Nunes. “It’s a modus operandi. This is how they ran the restaurant.”

That’s an allegation Rinaudo denied during News10NBC’s tour of the now closed Golden Ponds. Everything is now for sale from the stove to the ovens still marked with the signs of heavy use. Asked if the auction would get him out of debt he said, “No, no, nothing. Selling this building wouldn’t get me out of debt.”

Everyone’s got a camera: Carl’s Jr. in Alberta outed by former manager

The co-franchisee of a Carl’s Jr. in central Alberta was, according to Carolyn Dunn of CBC News, temporarily barred from his own restaurant’s kitchen after a host of unhygienic behaviours that even “shocked” a public health inspector. 

Jack Webb was captured on in-store security video at the Red Deer restaurant without gloves, forearm deep in a large container, mixing a batch of barbecue sauce for Carl’s Jr. burgers. 

That was the first of no fewer than 10 food safety violations caught on video, which was exclusively obtained by CBC News. 

Andrew Minnes, the former manager of the restaurant, blew the whistle on Webb to health authorities and CBC. 

“I’ve never seen anything like this. If he wasn’t an owner, he would have been fired instantly. There wouldn’t even have been a debate,” Minnes told CBC News from his home in Airdrie, Alta.

Minnes says it was conscientious kitchen staff who initially alerted him to the “gross” infractions. 

He says he approached Webb about the complaints.

“His reaction was, ‘I’m the owner’ and then ‘Too bad.’  He made it clear to the staff as well that they don’t say anything, ‘Don’t talk about what I’m doing, I do what I feel like doing.'”

So Minnes began playing undercover detective in the restaurant he managed until May 2017, recording the screen of the CCTV that overlooked the kitchen. 

Minnes says he never planned to take the footage public — he just wanted to show it to the other co-franchisee so the issue would be addressed.

“He just ignored me. He didn’t want to deal with it. ‘Complicit,’ I guess is the word.”

Minnes had surreptitiously captured 10 videos of serious food safety regulation infractions on his cellphone. 

During the barbecue sauce mixing video, a staffer goes as far as offering Webb a spoon — which his boss refuses and continues mixing with his hand and forearm, before scraping the accumulated barbecue sauce off his arm back into the container.

Domenic Pedulla, the CEO at the Canada Food Safety Group, shook his head while watching the video clips. “Bare hand contact with ready to eat food is not OK. This is where we want to use tongs, gloves.”

Webb didn’t use tongs or gloves in any of the videos. 

CBC News approached Webb for comment at his Red Deer restaurant. He asked us to wait for an interview for several hours.

“We’re going to give a response,” Webb assured the CBC.

In the end, the response came via a statement from Carl’s Jr. Canada, which said it found out about the infractions in April and the video earlier this month. 

The popular U.S. fast food restaurant, which has been trying to expand its franchise footprint in Canada since 2011 called the “improper food handling behaviour … unacceptable and (that it) in no way, represents Carl’s Jr.’s commitment to safe food handling.” 

Carly McKinnon, who owns the Press’d The Sandwich Company franchise next to Carl’s Jr., told Paul Cowley of the Red Deer Advocate she used the CBC-obtained video showing food safety violations at Carl’s as a training exercise.

“I showed it. (I said) this is what happens. People are always watching,” said McKinnon, who also owns a Press’d franchise in Leduc.

“I’m sharing it with my staff. I just want to make sure they’re stepping it up.”

McKinnon said new employees are always given extensive training in food safety before they begin their jobs.

 

21 sickened with Salmonella from duck prosciutto at Australian restaurant, 2015

In June 2015, an outbreak of salmonellosis occurred among people who had eaten at a restaurant in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia over 2 consecutive nights.

We conducted a retrospective cohort study of diners who ate at the restaurant on 19 and 20 June 2015. Diners were telephoned and a questionnaire recorded symptoms and menu items consumed. An outbreak case was defined as anyone with laboratory confirmed Salmonella Typhimurium PT9 (STm9) or a clinically compatible illness after eating at the restaurant.

Environmental health officers inspected the premises and collected food samples. We contacted 79/83 of the cohort (response rate 95%); 21 were cases (attack rate 27%), and 9 had laboratory confirmed STm9 infection. The most commonly reported symptoms were diarrhoea (100%), abdominal pain (95%), fever (95%) and nausea (95%). Fifteen people sought medical attention and 7 presented to hospital.

The outbreak was most likely caused by consumption of duck prosciutto, which was consumed by all cases (OR 18.6, CI 3.0–∞, P<0.01) and was prepared on site.

Salmonella was not detected in any food samples but a standard plate count of 2×107 col- ony forming units per gram on samples of duck prosciutto demonstrated bacterial contamination. The restaurant used inappropriate methodology for curing the duck prosciutto. Restaurants should consider purchasing pre-made cured meats, or if preparing them on site, ensure that they adhere to safe methods of production.

An outbreak of salmonellosis associated with duck prosciutto at a Northern Territory restaurant

CDI, vol 41, no 1, 2017, Anthony DK Draper, Claire N Morton, Joshua NI Heath, Justin A Lim, Anninka I Schiek, Stephanie Davis, Vicki L Krause, Peter G Markey

https://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cda-cdi4101-pdf-cnt.htm/$FILE/cdi4101d.pdf

Commun Dis Intell 2017;41(1):E16 – E20.

 

$19K fine for dirty restaurant in Canberra

Canberra, the former sheep farm that is now the capital of Australia, has fined a restaurant owner $19,000 after he admitted he had neglected the shop and not cleaned it for about a month.

Alexandra Back of The Canberra Times reports the Hawker business was inspected in May last year when authorities found evidence of food build-up and debris around the food preparation areas.

They also found live and dead cockroaches and uncovered food stored on the floor. The equipment used to transport pie meat was unclean and on one container a plastic bag was being used as a lid.

Prosecutors said the level of uncleanliness was “disturbing”.

The 54-year-old owner, Vinh Quoc Vinh, pleaded guilty to five food safety offences relating to storage, hand washing facilities, maintenance, cleanliness and pests.

The offences happened more than a year ago and the Oriental Hot Bake shop has been compliant since. There was evidence pest controllers had been called to the shop every couple of months.

The ACT Magistrates Court heard the owner usually cleaned the shop once a week. But in what his lawyer described as “exceptional” circumstances the shop had been neglected because a member of his family was very ill.

He had been running the business for 12 years.

 

Everyone has a camera Toronto bakery edition: ‘Disgusting’ video shows mice feeding on pastry

CTV News reports the pastries in the window of a downtown Toronto confection shop were supposed to lure hungry humans, but they ended up attracting mice.

Mohammad Valipour captured the ravenous rodents on video as they nibbled on a tray of baklava visible through a window inside Meli Baklava & Chocolate Bar.

He told CTV Toronto he believes he could also see feces around the trays. “It was disgusting,” Valipour said.

Co-owner Julie Kyriakaki says the building has a rodent problem but is adamant that none of the pastries that sit out for display are served to the public.

Kyriakaki showed off drawers full of desserts under the countertop that she says she and her staff use to keep the food safe from pests.

“Even if I didn’t have food here, the mice could still be on the window, because they go everywhere” she said. She also showed off mousetraps inside the store.

Meli Baklava & Chocolate Bar displays a green DineSafe sign in its window, indicating that it has met food safety standards outlined in the Ontario Food Premises Regulation and municipal by-laws. The sign shows the business was last inspected on Feb. 6, 2017.

The bakery has passed four inspections, the first in November 2015, according to online DineSafe records. It received two infractions in that time, one for failing to ensure the presence of someone who holds a valid food handler’s certificate and another for not having a test substance for ensuring utensils are properly sterilized.

The sweet shop, which is rated 4.5 out of five on the website TripAdvisor, is one of several food kiosks housed inside the Queen Live Fresh Food Market on Queen Street West.

Only a government type could write ‘agents of transformation’ Restaurant inspections in Brazil

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the profile of foodservices’ in Curitiba, in southern Brazil and the results of health inspections performed at these establishments, with the goal of contributing to improvements in sanitary inspection processes and to the sanitary conditions in foodservices.

The study was based on data from sanitary inspections conducted at foodservice establishments from January 2005 to July 2015 found in the Municipal Sanitary Inspection and Environmental Information System.

Most of the establishments inspected were restaurants and similar establishments: snack bars, cafes; as well as grocery store, supermarkets and hypermarkets, and most irregularities were found in these sectors.

Health inspections in the city are carried out in emergency criteria, and most performed at the request of foodservices that are quest a license or because of a customer complaint. Inspections led to more educational than punitive measures. Even 10 years after passage of a national law governing food handling procedures, when 70% of the foodservices presented improper sanitary conditions. The main irregularities found were related to work procedures and processes, sanitary conditions, and physical structure. These result reinforces the importance that legislators and inspection teams reevaluate their goals, strategies and work processes to prioritize food safety.

Practical applications:

This study is important because it offers a diagnosis and a discussion of foodservices and evaluates actions of Sanitary Inspection Agency, to assist in the development of tools and strategies to strengthen the work of sanitary inspectors so that they can be recognized as agents of transformation in public health.

A profile of foodservices in Curitiba and a critical analysis of the results of sanitary inspections at these establishments

Journal of Food Safety

Patricia Vitorio Olmedo, Lize Stangarlin-Fiori, et al.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jfs.12377/full