‘I’m kind of tired after 28 years, here’s my resignation’ Michigan food supervisor forced to resign

I get it.

Burdened with never-ending bureaucracy, who wouldn’t resign.

I did (KState said I resigned, but really, they fired my ass).

And followed a girl to Brisbane.

But the only thing wrong about my resignation was I never got any severance from Kansas State University, and still cringe every time I hear about the parachutes — golden or not — bureaucrats get upon departure.

I was dumb about that.

I was also hopelessly naive about my belief that universities were places of higher learning and that effort and achievement would be honored.

Nope

Cody Combs of WWMT reports a former employee of a West Michigan county health department once in charge of overseeing restaurant inspections is now coming under criticism after the I-Team learned the employee was forced to resign.

This comes as the Newschannel 3 I-Team uncovers how some say the restaurant inspector neglected to keep up with inspections, potentially putting the safety of many in and around West Michigan at risk.

The I-Team started asking questions about the health inspections after portions of a Van Buren/Cass District Health Department document were anonymously sent to Newschannel 3.

“Inspect the 40 restaurants which have not been inspected since 2015,” reads the document.

That rate of inspections falls far below state regulations, according to staffers at several West Michigan county health departments.

The I-Team then pored over Van Buren/Cass Health Department meeting minutes, and found a brief mention during a meeting in March of a resignation from a worker named Cary Hindley, now the former food service supervisor.

Over at the Van Buren/Cass Health Department, we asked Director Jeff Elliott about the inspections or lack thereof, and Elliott explained Hindley’s departure.

“He said, you know what Jeff, all the regulations we have to follow and everything, he said, I’m kind of tired after 28 years, here’s my resignation,” Elliott said.

But Elliott disagreed with the internal document saying 40 restaurants were last inspected in 2015.

“I don’t think that’s gospel,” he said.

Elliott says the files may need to be located.

Other staffers, speaking on the condition of anonymity, say finding the documents, if they exist, may prove impossible.

At Wednesday’s Board of Health meeting, more concerns about the restaurant inspection discrepancies were voiced from board members, as well as other county health officials.

 

 

 

It was raw egg based Hollandaise sauce: Marquette County in Michigan frontrunner for 2017 least informative press release

Raw egg-based dished – the purvey of every food porn chef – are not just a problem in Australia.

America too.

Marquette County in Michigan has recently experienced a small Salmonella outbreak among residents.

But that’s all that is being reported.

Coral Beach of Food Safety News called Patrick L. Jacuzzo, Marquette County director of environmental health, who described the outbreak as “restaurant associated” and said the assumption as of Friday afternoon was that raw, unpasteurized eggs served in Hollandaise sauce with eggs Benedict were the source.

So far, 8 people had been sickened.

A table of raw egg-based outbreaks in Australia  is available at:

http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/raw-egg-related-outbreaks-australia-5-1-17.xlsx

Toddler showed ‘butthole’ during meal: Tennessee vegan

Dave Urbanski of The Blaze reports a customer named Chelsea Bartley wrote in 2-star review last week that she had a decidedly unappetizing experience at Imagine Vegan Cafe in Memphis, Tennessee — specifically that a “bare butt naked baby” with dirty feet “was running around, stood up on a table … and bent over to show me [her] butthole” during her meal.

That didn’t sit well with the cafe’s owner, who happens to be the mother of the 22-month-old girl in question. But not for the reason some might expect.

Kristie Jeffrey hopped on Imagine Vegan Cafe’s Facebook page, called out the customer by name and sent a warning to any other detractors.

“I’m about to start calling out names and pictures of people who leave us bad reviews, especially when it deals with our children,” Jeffrey wrote. “You will no longer be allowed to come and dine at Imagine. We do not need or want your business. … This is going to be fun!!!! You’ve throughly [sic] irritated mama bear!!!!!!!!!!!! We’re starting with Chelsea Bartley.”

Jeffrey added: “For anyone who reads this and instantly is scared this might affect our business, I cannot begin to tell you how much we do not care. Haters are not welcome at Imagine!!!!”

The post generated thousands of reactions, WMC-TV reported — but the station added that a few hours after its story ran about the dust-up, the post was deleted.

As of Friday afternoon, the cafe’s Facebook page appears to be down as well.

But Jeffrey did speak on camera to the station and didn’t back down from her position, noting that Imagine Vegan Cafe “has been a very family-oriented restaurant from day one. We’ve had crayons, kid menus, toys.”

And apparently poop.

In addition she told the station her four children are often in the restaurant during business hours. Jeffrey told WMC that while her daughter didn’t have a diaper on at the time of the incident noted in the 2-star review, she believes much of it is exaggerated.

“It was summer and it’s hot,” Jeffrey told the station about her daughter. “She does what a baby does, and she ripped it and she ran.”

Here’s the full text of Bartley’s review:

On the real, I eat here all the time. I still probably will bc I like to go out and there are few options available to me BUT y’all listen During my visit, a bare butt naked baby was running around, stood up on a table with its black theyre so dirty feet, and bent over to show me it’s butthole. I wish I was exaggerating. This is like while I’m eating, and it’s the owners kids? An older kid came over and started like yodeling and staring at me during my meal. I was SO uncomfortable. Like I get it’s a family establishment and kids do weird things but naked baby was running around for like 15 minutes while all the workers started are just standing to the side talking and laughing over it.

And for my food, I can heat up a tofurky sausage just as well and in under half the time.

Jeffrey told WMC it would have been better if Bartley made her complaints known in person so it could have been handled, but the vegan cafe owner isn’t sorry about what the establishment stands for.

“I would actually rather not have their business, because it states it very clearly on our menus — on our website — this is what we are about,” she told the station. “If you can’t do vegan, then don’t come here. If you can’t do children, don’t come here.”

And if you can’t do basic microbiology and sanitation, expet customers to stay away.

Tennessee is a special place. And I’m still a bad bluegrass banjo player.

Popular sandwich shop in Bradenton cited for roach activity

I spoke with my friend Gary this a.m., and told him once again how much I appreciated him throwing a few bucks my way while I actually tried to think about food safety issues.

He asked if I was going to the International Association for Food Protection meeting in Tampa this year.

I said, nah, I’m not a prof, no funding, although it would be fun to catch up with everyone, and stay at Anna Maria Island once again, about 90 minutes from Tampa.

We live in Brisbane, we’re used to Florida in the summer.

But the surrounding restaurants sorta suck.

The Wicked Taco Cantina, 101 7th St. N., Bradenton Beach, was cited on May 24 for holding cold food at temperatures above 41 degrees, including pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream. The establishment also was cited for improper hand washing procedures. Per the report: “Server handled soiled dishes or utensils and then picked up plated food, served food, or prepared a beverage without washing hands. Observed employee handle dirty dishes from customers table, then prepare a personal beverage at soda machine. Observed employee use ice scoop. No hand washing observed. Observed server handle dirty dishes from customers table, sweep floor then make a customer’s beverage. No hand washing observed.”

The hand-washing violation was again noted on an inspection two days later. In the May 26 inspection report, the inspector said corrective action was taken.

On Thursday, inspectors visited The Beach House, 200 N. Gulf Drive, Bradenton Beach, to check on a violation they cited the restaurant for during a May 19 inspection: “Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit,” per the report. Items in the cooler included dairy mix, raw shrimp and tomato sauce. Similar issues were observed with other coolers in the restaurant. The inspectors noted that corrective action was taken on the same day.

To search for restaurants and inspections, visit dine.bradenton.com.

Bradenton, you can do better.

Especially if you’re going to have a few thousand food safety folks hanging around.

 

But do they have the same suppliers? Salmonella strikes 8 at 2 Boston restaurants

Restaurants that run a clean business and take pride in food safety should brag about it.

But food safety extends to suppliers.

(And I love the Chipotle ref in the clip: “Sure it happens, but I’ll go back.”)

Michael Rosenfield of NBC Boston reports that testing is taking place on all employees at two Boston restaurants as health officials try to figure out if one of the workers may be the cause of the salmonella outbreak that has sickened eight people.

Health officials say the common link in each of the eight cases is two restaurants that are both in the same office building in the Back Bay, Café Med and Back Bay Sandwich.

Four people got sick after eating at Café Med, two after eating at Back Bay Sandwich, and two other customers ate at both, according to the Boston Public Health Commission.

Inspectors found numerous code violations at both eateries, prompting the city to shut down the businesses temporarily.

“We have always addressed primary inspection violations, and always passed the follow-up inspection,” the owner of Back Bay Sandwich said in a statement. “We have always prided ourselves on the cleanliness of the business, and I look forward to working with the city to improve on all aspects.”

Despite being in the same building, both restaurants have separate staffs and kitchens.

Do the two restaurants have common suppliers? And what are those ingredients that may harbor Salmonella?

Food inspector in the house: Petting zoo, sushi and school fete

Grey nomading is a term I never heard until I came to Australia.

Same with fete.

A grey nomad is “a retired person who travels independently and for an extended period within their own country, particularly in a caravan or motor home.”

My retired friend Rod, previously with the New South Wales Food Authority, and his wife Alison were grey nomading by BrisVegas on Sunday, so I took them to Sorenne’s school fete, featuring a petting zoo, homemade foods and a host of microbiological hazards.

As we passed the sushi stall, we looked at each other and silently shook our heads, no.

Darcy Spears of KTNV in Nevada reports, the annual River Run, which brings tens of thousands of people to Laughlin from Las Vegas and elsewhere, a Laughlin sushi bar will be recovering from a 33-demerit C grade.

The sushi bar at Minato Japanese and Korean restaurant on South Casino Drive in Laughlin is back on Dirty Dining for the second time.

Darcy: And we’d just like to get your side of the story from whoever is in charge.

Person in charge: Um, sorry, right now we’re not available for that.

Darcy: You’re not available? But you’re standing right in front of me. You look available.

Person in charge: I mean, you say you need a person in charge, right?

Darcy: Yes. And so of course if the restaurant’s open there has to be someone in charge on property.

Person in charge: Well, I’m in charge but you need someone probably a little higher than me for this kind of thing.

Darcy: If you need to call someone you can. We just want to make sure we give you guys the chance to tell customers why you guys happened to get the most demerits of all the inspected restaurants last week, and, a lot of stuff in here seems to indicate with temperature issues that the sushi could be potentially unsafe and we like to make sure you have the chance to comment on that.

Person in charge: Um, no thanks. I’ll decline.

Inspectors found sushi rice and shredded crab left out on the counter at unsafe temperatures. 

Ground mixed tuna and shrimp were also in the temperature danger zone.

There weren’t roaches running around or expired food, but there was a lot of issues with temperatures and handwashing and things that could spread foodborne illness.

Food safety is what happens when people pay attention.

 

These 675 people make your meals: Illinois man gets 18 months for food safety bribes

A Lynwood, Illinois man has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for accepting bribes in exchange for allowing students in his food safety training classes to bypass sanitation certification testing, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago.

Ernest Griffin, 71, was sentenced Wednesday and also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, according to the office.

Griffin had pleaded guilty in March 2016 to one count of federal program bribery, according to court records.

His business, Food Safety Awareness, contracted with the Illinois Department of Public Health to offer food handling courses. Students needed to complete a 15-hour course and take an exam in order to receive sanitation certificates from the health department.

In exchange for bribes, Griffin submitted false certifications and false test results to the department, although prosecutors and Griffin’s lawyer disagreed on the total amount of bribes the man received, court documents show.

Prosecutors said that starting in at least 2008 and continuing through January 2015 Griffin received bribes from students, taking in a total of almost $152,000. His lawyer, in a filing, said that Griffin admitted to receiving more than $5,000 a year in bribes from 2010 through 2014.

The government said that Griffin’s bribery scheme ended only after he was confronted by FBI agents in January 2015.

The government contended that during that four-year period, about 675 students who hadn’t taken the required class or exam were given sanitation certificates.

Fancy food ain’t safe food: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago kitchen edition

While U.S. President Trump was describing the sensorial orgasm he shared with Chinese President Xi as he authorized missile strikes on a temporarily abandoned piece of concrete in Syria – “we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen” – the Miami Herald was unearthing food safety breaches at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s Palm Beach private club.

Inspectors found 13 violations at the fancy club’s kitchen, according to recently published reports — a record for an institution that charges $200,000 in initiation fees.

Three of the violations were deemed “high priority,” meaning that they could allow the presence of illness-causing bacteria on plates served in the dining room.

According to their latest visit to the club Jan. 26, state inspectors decided Mar-a-Lago’s kitchen did meet the minimum standards.

But they had a field day with elements that could give members of the high-class club and foreign dignitaries some pause:

▪ Fish designed to be served raw or undercooked, the inspection report reads, had not undergone proper parasite destruction. Kitchen staffers were ordered to cook the fish immediately or throw it out.

▪ In two of the club’s coolers, inspectors found that raw meats that should be stored at 41 degrees were much too warm and potentially dangerous: chicken was 49 degrees, duck clocked in a 50 degrees and raw beef was 50 degrees. The winner? Ham at 57 degrees.

▪ The club was cited for not maintaining the coolers in proper working order and was ordered to have them emptied immediately and repaired.

Mar-a-Lago General Manager Bernd Lembcke did not return calls for comment.

People are getting sick E. coli O157 outbreak at Boston’s Chicken & Rice Guys

Megan Woolhouse of the Boston Globe reports an E. coli O157 outbreak shuttered three locations of the Chicken & Rice Guys, as well as its fleet of Middle Eastern food trucks, Boston health inspectors said Tuesday.

The department confirmed seven cases of E. coli stemming from the Chicken & Rice Guys Allston location, which supplies food to the chain’s other outposts. The problems led to the temporary suspension of its operating license, Boston Inspectional Services Commissioner William Christopher Jr. said.

“We’re taking this very seriously,” Christopher said. “People are getting sick.”

He added that he did not know the condition of any of the people who were affected.

The company’s four food trucks, which rotate locations around Greater Boston, were taken off the road Tuesday afternoon, said Phanna Ky, general manager of the chain’s Medford restaurant, the only location that remained open Tuesday evening.

Christopher said Boston does not have jurisdiction over the Medford location.

Chicken & Rice Guys officials could not be reached.

According to Boston Inspectional Services, the city received an anonymous complaint and opened an investigation Tuesday. Public health officials remained at the Allston site throughout the afternoon trying to determine a specific source of the outbreak, Christopher said.

He added that the department will meet with the chain’s owner on Wednesday morning to discuss a course of action.

24-hour rule: Works in hockey and restaurant complaints

I often go off and prematurely hit send.

But through the contributions of more experienced coaches, I’ve come to appreciate the value of the 24-hour rule.

It means think about it, and is it really so important?

I had my first parents’ meeting of the new ice hockey season (because I have to say ice hockey in Australia) and stressed the 24-hour rule: Don’t talk to me during practice or games, don’t talk to me afterwards, give it 24 hours.

In turn, I will wait 24 hours until I say something.

Sure, this sounds like trivial maturity, but when adults and kids go to arenas, and put all that gear on, crazy things happen.

I’m the coach – and have put in the 40 hours of training, just like the 7 years of PhD training — and I am to be calm, like supervising PhD students who are freaking out.

According to Elizabeth Henson of The Advertiser, a top Adelaide restaurateur, embroiled in a fiery keyboard stoush with a customer he called “dimwitted”, says it’s time eateries “give as good as they get” when the butt of scathing online criticism.

Victory Hotel and Star of Greece owner Doug Govan let rip on Facebook after patron Jodie Clarke described the hotel as “rude and obnoxious” and “so unaccommodating” — and another, Emma-Jade Fowler, described “terrible customer service” after a booking mishap at the weekend.

Mr Govan branded Ms Fowler “dimwitted” and argued that businesses should be able to defend themselves on social media.

But disgruntled Ms Fowler described the attack as bullying behaviour and said the Sellicks Hill hotel’s response was shameful and “disgusting.”

Let’s just accept that we’re all dimwitted to varying degrees.

The Victory Hotel’s Facebook page was forced to temporarily shut down after Ms Clarke wrote about her experience at the hotel on Saturday night after the eatery was unable to accommodate her and her friends.

“You are rude, obnoxious and so unaccommodating,” she wrote on Facebook.

“We had a group booking of 17 people, yes 17 people, and every single one … has walked away disgusted.

 “And every single one of us will tell every person we know our story of your terrible service and unhelpful, rude staff. We will never be back.”

Ms Fowler wrote “terrible customer service, you should be ashamed Victory Hotel” in reference to the booking problem.

This comment elicited an outburst from Mr Govan, which he says he now regrets.

“Terribly dim-witted Emma-Jade not-sure-what-my-first-name-should-be Emma or Jade, don’t get involved in something you don’t know anything about,” he wrote.

“Imagine one of your friends told you the sun wasn’t going to come up tomorrow. Would you agree just because they were a stupid, dim-witted friend? No, you wouldn’t. If one of your friends said I went to a restaurant with 17 people and they couldn’t find my booking? Yes, if you were a dim-witted imbecile, yes, possibly.

“But if they told you the truth and said that they had screwed up their booking, maybe you wouldn’t be wasting your time writing crap. But maybe you just love seeing your name on social media.”

Ms Fowler fired back. “At the end of the day, this is bullying and it will be taken further,” she wrote.

“You should be ashamed of the way you have responded, it’s disgusting.”

The hotel shut down its Facebook page on Monday night after a barrage of comments from those involved, as well as others, were posted about the incident. It came back online yesterday and offered an apology “for any offensive comments made on Facebook”.

A link to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission complaints portal was included in the post.