UK cops say suspect has refused to poop for 3 weeks

I poop about three times a day.

Probably not the image you wanted, but it affects my ability to go for a morning run, and dates back to working construction 40 years ago (corn silks can be versatile).

Essex Police in the UK are on #poowatch and tweeting about it. This after a suspected drug dealer believed to have drugs hidden in his body has now for 21 days refused to poop. The BBC reports the 24-year-old was arrested Jan. 17 and has been under supervision since then, with the department’s Operation Raptor team that arrested him providing updates like this one, tweeted Wednesday: “Day 21/3 weeks for our man on #poowatch still no movements/items to report, he will remain with us until Friday when we are back at court where we will be requesting a further 8 days should he not produce anything before that hearing.”

Last Friday they tweeted that the man is being watched by doctors and was in fine health at the time. Per the BBC, police decided to keep the public informed of the man’s bowel movements in an effort to quash any illusions that drug dealing is “glamorous.”

Fancy food ain’t safe food: UK-steak-house edition (Jamie Oliver is a food-safety idiot) and quinoa ain’t steak

Ruki Sayid of the Mirror writes the meat supplier behind Wetherspoon’s sudden move to axe steak for its Steak Club menu is at the centre of a food hygiene investigation.

The Food Standards Agency revealed Russell Hume’s sites have been inspected and products recalled after allegations it was in “serious non-compliance with food hygiene regulations.”

The firm has previously supplied meat for Jamie Oliver’s restaurants, but bosses today confirmed that they switched suppliers as soon as they became aware of problems.

Following a tip, the FSA carried out a spot check on the firm’s Birmingham site and then sent teams to other locations which also failed to meet regulations.

The FSA said: “There is no indication that people have become ill from eating meat supplied by Russell Hume.

“However, we are concerned about the poor practices in place at their premises so that is why we have taken proportionate action to ensure no meat can leave their sites at present.

“We are continuing to assess the situation.”

Customers were up in arms when Wetherspoon scrapped steak from its menu without warning at its 900 pubs.

The decision meant servings of the Aberdeen Angus rump steak, sirloin steak and gammon were unavailable to order as customers were reportedly offered quinoa and halloumi salad alternatives instead.

One furious diner told how he stormed out of a branch in Scarborough when he learned of the Steak Club shortcomings.

James Jarvis, 27, told The Sun : “One of their suggestions was a quinoa salad with grilled halloumi. I came in for a steak — not a poncey salad!”

While Michael Rousell, 62, who visited a Wetherspoon in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, told the newspaper: “I can’t believe a multi- million pound organisation like Wetherspoon can’t sort this out ­— it beggars belief.”

A notice apparently pictured at one pub read: “Due to a supplier failure, the following meals are unavailable: 8oz and 14oz Aberdeen Angus rump steak, 8oz sirloin steak, 5oz and 10z gammon.”

14 sickened in 2016: UK steakhouse fined 50K for serving food on wooden boards

A restaurant has been slapped with an $86,000 fine for serving food on wooden boards after 14 people allegedly suffered food poisoning.

Ibrahim’s Grill and Steakhouse in Birmingham was handed the fine last week.

Birmingham City Council tweeted health inspectors had been called to the outlet in October 2016 amid claims 14 people suffered food poisoning.

Along with disposable gloves being used instead of hand washing, authorities noted that wooden plates “incapable of being cleaned” were used to serve food.

“On a return visit in December 2016…wooden plates were still being used,” the council posted to social media on January 6.

Ibrahim’s Grill and Steakhouse, which maintains a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor, pleaded guilty to the fine at the Birmingham Magistrates Court on January 4.

Along with the 50,000 (A$86,000) fine, the restaurant will be forced to pay A$1158 in costs and A$200 “victim surcharge”.

“It’s completely unacceptable for businesses to put the health of people eating at their restaurant at risk,” Birmingham Head of Environmental Health Mark Croxford said in an official statement.

It was probably the kitchen sink: 82 sick with Salmonella from UK restaurant 2015-16

From Eurosurveillance:

It is estimated that over 38,000 community cases of salmonellosis occur annually within the United Kingdom (UK) [1,2]. Salmonellosis often results from consumption of contaminated food or water [3], however, transmission via asymptomatic shedding by food handlers and exposure to contaminated environments where conditions are favourable for pathogen survival have also been implicated [3,4]. Here we report the findings of an investigation of an outbreak of salmonellosis where the environment was pivotal in continued transmission.

On 7 March 2015, Public Health England (PHE) East Midlands was alerted by the clinical microbiology laboratory of a local hospital to 21 cases of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium gastroenteritis, with onset in February 2015. Seven cases in this initial phase of the outbreak required hospitalisation. Following this notification we suspected there was a community outbreak of S. Typhimurium; investigations and attempts to control the outbreak followed.

Hypothesis-generating interviews at the outset of the investigation identified that several cases had eaten at the same restaurant during the incubation period for their illness. Descriptive epidemiological analyses including subsequent cases pointed to the restaurant being the likely source. This popular, purpose (newly) built restaurant had opened only 18 months before the outbreak. The restaurant offered a full table-service menu, self-service salad bar and hot self-service carvery buffet serving roasted meats (turkey, beef, gammon and pork at weekends) and vegetables and condiments. Despite interventions to control the initial outbreak, cases continued to emerge followed by a prolonged period of transmission until 2016. The evolution of the investigation into this community outbreak and subsequent control measures is described, with specific reference to the use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) to link isolates and the role of the drains in continued pathogen transmission.

Mapping and visual inspection of the drainage systems identified significant issues. Water filled traps (u-bends) designed to prevent foul air flow from the drainage system into the building had failed and smoke testing revealed some ineffective drain seals, potentially allowing contaminated bio-aerosol to be disseminated into the kitchen. One sink drain was not connected to any drainage system with waste water pooling under the floor. Other larger drains had failed after leaking waste-water washed away the supporting substrate forming a cavity under the kitchen area. It transpired at that point that drainage water had, on occasion, risen into the kitchen area, although this had not been previously reported. Substantial remedial works were undertaken, however, these were found to have failed on re-inspection and so these drains were later decommissioned.

Biofilm [15] and flooded areas in underfloor cavities may have sustained this outbreak, after repeated environmental cleaning failed. Drainage problems in one area of the kitchen led to liquid from the drains seeping into the kitchen suggesting a contamination pathway. We found isolates matching the outbreak strain on kitchen cloths, swabs from kitchen sinks, and pot wash areas suggesting contact with sinks may have provided a second contamination pathway. We also identified ineffective drain water-traps potentially allowing the movement of contaminated bio-aerosols [13]. Smoke tests demonstrated the potential for dissemination of foul air into the kitchen.

Investigation using whole genome sequencing of a prolonged restaurant outbreak of salmonella typhimurium linked to the building drainage system, England, February 2015 to March 2016

Eurosurveillance, John Mair-JenkinsRoberta Borges-StewartCaroline HarbourJudith Cox-RogersTim Dallman, Philip AshtonRobert JohnstonDeborah ModhaPhilip MonkRichard Puleston,  https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2017.22.49.17-00037

http://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2017.22.49.17-00037

 

12 stricken with E. coli O157 in UK burgers linked to Sainsbury’s

A supermarket’s own brand of beef burgers have been recalled in fears that customers might be struck down with the E.coli bug, just before Christmas.

Sainsbury’s issued an urgent product recall after customers apparently fell ill after eating the Aberdeen British Beef burgers.

Public Health England (PHE) has linked a dozen cases of E.coli to the range and Sainsbury’s have cleared the product from their shelves. All the people that fell ill have all recovered, PHE have said.

The bug has been linked to Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference ­Aberdeen Angus quarter-pounder burgers, 454g packets, which are sold in the frozen section.

The Food Standards Agency warned shoppers: “If you have bought any of the batches, do not eat them.”

Product: Taste the Difference 4 pack Aberdeen Angus British Beef Quarter Pounders (Frozen)

Pack size: 454g

Batches with ‘Best Before’ dates: July 2018, September 2018 and October 2018

From the duh files: UK chief scientific adviser’s report confirms that mandatory display of FHRS drives up food safety compliance

You really didn’t need to do a study.

Toronto proved as much in 2004ish, but I’ve been binge-watching The Crown to try and understand my predecessor’s inkling for things British.

The UK Food Standards Agency has published a new Science Report by its Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Guy Poppy. In his seventh Report, Professor Poppy looks at the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS), and its impact on food safety especially where the scheme is mandatory.

Been there. Done that.

Professor Poppy said: ‘The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme has been a significant development for food safety and one which has delivered tangible benefits for consumers across the country. The scheme has empowered people, helping them to choose to eat in places with higher ratings. This in turn has pushed restaurants and other food businesses to drive up hygiene standards to attract more customers. I’ve also been encouraged that our research has linked higher ratings to lower levels of microbes found in food businesses, ultimately lowering the risk to consumers from foodborne illness.

Mandatory display of hygiene ratings has been successful in Wales and Northern Ireland and I am pleased that the FSA remains committed to seeing these benefits also realised in England.’

Since the introduction of FHRS in 2010 there has been continued improvement in standards of food hygiene at places people choose to eat out or buy food. There are now over 430,000 food hygiene ratings published at food.gov.uk/ratings.

Of those food businesses, 67% achieved the top rating of ‘5 – very good’ and 95% were rated ‘3 – generally satisfactory’ or better.  In Wales and Northern Ireland, food businesses are legally required to display their food hygiene rating. This mandatory requirement has been in place in Wales since 2013 and in Northern Ireland since 2016. Evidence so far has shown that mandatory display has driven improved and sustained food safety compliance by the businesses.

The FSA is committed to introducing similar mandatory display of ratings at food outlets in England. There is an increasing call for this, and latest research indicates that 84% of consumers think that businesses should have to display their food hygiene rating at their premises.

Looking to the future the FSA is improving the way food businesses are regulated, with the aim of developing a sustainable system fit for the 21st century. This includes building on the success of FHRS by strengthening its robustness and resilience and introducing mandatory display.

You’re not royalty. Stop writing like one.

And as long as FSA keeps publishing BS advice, like it did, yet again this year in its annual Let’s Talk Turkey briefing, that stated, “Check that: the meat is steaming hot throughout; there is no pink meat visible when you cut into the thickest part and meat juices run clear” I will continue to make fun of your country and customs.

FSA is neither science nor evidence-based.

 

Filion, K. and Powell, D.A. 2009. The use of restaurant inspection disclosure systems as a means of communicating food safety information. Journal of Foodservice 20: 287-297.

The World Health Organization estimates that up to 30% of individuals in developed countries become ill from food or water each year. Up to 70% of these illnesses are estimated to be linked to food prepared at foodservice establishments. Consumer confidence in the safety of food prepared in restaurants is fragile, varying significantly from year to year, with many consumers attributing foodborne illness to foodservice. One of the key drivers of restaurant choice is consumer perception of the hygiene of a restaurant. Restaurant hygiene information is something consumers desire, and when available, may use to make dining decisions.

 

Filion, K. and Powell, D.A. 2011. Designing a national restaurant inspection disclosure system for New Zealand. Journal of Food Protection 74(11): 1869-1874

The World Health Organization estimates that up to 30% of individuals in developed countries become ill from contaminated food or water each year, and up to 70% of these illnesses are estimated to be linked to food service facilities. The aim of restaurant inspections is to reduce foodborne outbreaks and enhance consumer confidence in food service. Inspection disclosure systems have been developed as tools for consumers and incentives for food service operators. Disclosure systems are common in developed countries but are inconsistently used, possibly because previous research has not determined the best format for disclosing inspection results. This study was conducted to develop a consistent, compelling, and trusted inspection disclosure system for New Zealand. Existing international and national disclosure systems were evaluated. Two cards, a letter grade (A, B, C, or F) and a gauge (speedometer style), were designed to represent a restaurant’s inspection result and were provided to 371 premises in six districts for 3 months. Operators (n = 269) and consumers (n = 991) were interviewed to determine which card design best communicated inspection results. Less than half of the consumers noticed cards before entering the premises; these data indicated that the letter attracted more initial attention (78%) than the gauge (45%). Fifty-eight percent (38) of the operators with the gauge preferred the letter; and 79% (47) of the operators with letter preferred the letter. Eighty-eight percent (133) of the consumers in gauge districts preferred the letter, and 72% (161) of those in letter districts preferring the letter. Based on these data, the letter method was recommended for a national disclosure system for New Zealand.

Merry Xmas: Video of UK McDonald’s worker wearing antlers and headbutting a customer goes viral

A McDonald’s employee in the UK was reportedly suspended for headbutting a customer after an argument broke out over Chicken McNuggets.

The altercation was caught on video early Tuesday morning at the Liverpool One location of the fast-food restaurant, the Liverpool Echo reports.

The customer allegedly became upset after being told he couldn’t order nuggets because the menu had already changed over to breakfast, according to the Echo.

The incident occurred at around 4:50am.

Fancy food ain’t safe food: UK ‘excellent’ restaurant given one out of five food hygiene rating

A Lincolnshire restaurant has been given a one out of five for its food hygiene rating.

When environmental services visited the restaurant on October 20 officials found major improvement was necessary.

The main concerns with Portuguese themed Nikita Bar Restaurant, Boston, was the management of food safety – where major improvement was necessary.

The report said the restaurant needed to improve the systems and checks in place that make sure the food sold is safe to eat and evidence the staff know about food safety.

The food safety officer may also have lacked confidence that the standards would be maintained in the future.

The restaurant was also told that improvement was necessary for hygienic food handling.

This can refer to anything from preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage.

But it was rated as generally satisfactory for cleanliness and condition of the facilities and building.

The restaurant is popular on trip adviser as it has been rated as a five out of five.

One reviewer wrote: “Warm welcome and great food. Dish of the day, carafe of wine, olives, bread and coffee £20 for 2 of us. We will be going back.”

Another reviewer said: “I visit this restaurant frequently. The staff are friendly and the food is delicious and the price is pretty cheap I paid £5.50 for a francesinha which is a Portuguese dish and a pint. I am very satisfied and I highly recommend.”

And another added: “Great staff, good food, cold beer, I pop in her to eat when am passing and I am never disappointed.”

Nikita Bar and Restaurant has been approached for a comment.

London bakery fined $200k for using tennis racket to mash potatoes

Elizabeth Licata of the Daily Meal writes a London bakery was fined over $200,000 for failing to meet hygiene

Credit: Enfield Council

Between the tennis racket and the host of other health and hygiene violations, the Enfield Council fined the directors of the two bakeries £152,823, or $201,970.

Everyone has a camera: UK Subway-manager-taking-bread-from-bin-to-serve-customers edition

Charlie Bayliss of the Daily Mail writes that horrific footage has surfaced of a Subway manager taking bread from a bin to serve to customers. 

Not sure it is horrific, but another reminder that everyone has a camera.

A concerned employee who had reservations about the food hygiene practices at the Central Park Subway in Rugby, Warwickshire, filmed the video earlier this year.

In the undercover footage, the unnamed manager reaches into the bin to pull out some bread after telling an employee: ‘We are already short of bread.’ 

The manager then places the binned bread onto a trolley before rolling it out of a back room.

Following the release of the video, Rugby Council sent an environmental health officer to the store where a number of food hygiene concerns were found. 

A spokesperson for Subway said: ‘Subway stores have very strict food safety and hygiene procedures to ensure that customers are served products to a high standard.

‘This video relates to a historic incident, which has been fully investigated. We are disappointed with the updated rating received by EHO and the store is challenging this.

‘The local store owner is looking forward to a follow up inspection.’ 

Uh-huh.