28 sick with E. coli O121 in Japan, because they like their burgers rare

The Mainichi – great newspaper name – reports a total of 28 people have suffered food poisoning after dining at MOS Burger restaurants in Tokyo and other locations in Japan, the operator and other sources said.

Twelve of the 28 were infected with the same O-121 strain of E. coli bacteria, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said Friday.

Those affected had dined at 19 restaurants in eight prefectures in eastern and central Japan between Aug. 10 and 23, the operator, MOS Food Services Inc., said.

One of the restaurants in Ueda, Nagano Prefecture, suspended operations for three days through last Wednesday following an order from a local public health office, the company said.

“It is highly likely that (the illness) was caused by foodstuffs supplied (to the restaurants) by the headquarters of the chain,” it said.

Egypt says E. coli O157 caused the death of 2 British tourists

Tests showed that E.coli bacteria were behind the death of two British tourists in a hotel in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Hurghada, the country’s chief prosecutor said on Wednesday.

The statement by Prosecutor Nabil Sadek came a week after travel company Thomas Cook said that there was a “high level of e. coli and staphylococcus bacteria” at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel where John and Susan Cooper died Aug. 21 after falling ill in their room in the five-star hotel.

Forensic tests showed that John Cooper, 69, suffered acute intestinal dysentery caused by E.coli, and Susan Cooper, 64, suffered Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), likely because of E .coli, Sadek said.

He said that tests also showed no links between the couples’ death and the spraying of their neighboring room with lambda-cyhalothrin 5 per cent. The insecticide is safe to use, according to the statement.

The couple’s bodies showed “no criminal violence” and other tests showed no toxic or harmful gas emissions or leaks in their room and tests on air and water at the hotel found nothing unusual, the statement said.

There was not an immediate comment from the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel. Thomas Cook meanwhile said it needs time for their own experts to review the prosecutor’s statement.

39 sick from Vibrio in sushi in Japan

They have a video, but this one is better.

The Japan News reports that Totoyamichi, a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant operator affiliated with Japan’s Skylark Holdings Co., — which sounds creepy enough on its own — has been shutting all 24 outlets since Monday after food poisoning occurred at some of them.

At least 39 customers have complained of food poisoning symptoms after eating at Totoyamichi restaurants.

Skylark reported the case only on its website while stopping short of holding a press conference. The restaurant group may thus come under fire for failing to fully explain the incident, analysts said.

According to Skylark, food poisoning symptoms, such as diarrhea and stomachache, were reported from customers who used eight Totoyamichi outlets in Tokyo and neighboring Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures between Aug. 31 and Sept. 3. The affected customers are recovering from their illness.

In a survey by Skylark, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a type of bacteria that causes stomachache and other symptoms, was detected from raw sea urchin at some outlets.
 

 

Everyone has a camera, Crazy Rich Asians edition, roaches in popcorn

Darren Cartwright of The Courier Mail writes in the local paper (local being Brisbane) that the hit comedy Crazy Rich Asians turned out to be a real-life horror film for a young couple who allegedly discovered the movement in their popcorn was a “dirty, great big” cockroach.

Shaun Walsh and his partner Caitlin Rose were in the middle of enjoying the runaway success comedy at Birch Carroll and Coyle’s cinema complex at Morayfield on Saturday night when things went awry.

Mr Walsh said Ms Rose was eating the treat when the movie started and about half an hour later placed the container on the seat next to her.

When she went to retrieve more popcorn, some 20 minutes later, she heard “movement” in the popcorn.

“She jumped up and screamed a little bit and then jumped across me,” Mr Walsh told The Courier-Mail.

“I didn’t believe her at the start, so I turned my light on and here’s this dirty great big cockroach.

10 dead, 1200 sick: Praise the lord and pass the guacamole: Holy water blamed for Ethiopia cholera outbreak

Faith-based food safety just doesn’t cut it.

According to Ooska News, a cholera outbreak in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region has reportedly been blamed on holy water, after at least 10 people died over the past two weeks, while more than 1 200 people have contracted the disease. The authorities have also identified contaminated holy water in some of the region’s monasteries as being behind the outbreak. It was believed that the water is being taken from rivers that carry the disease.

Interfering in religious affairs is a very sensitive matter in the region, but the local government is working with religious leaders to temporarily stop the use of holy water.

Kate Beckinsale travels with butter in her suitcase… is that safe?

From the weird world of celebrities comes word that actress Kate Beckinsale travels with Kerrygold grass-fed butter.

“I find it quite hard to get ahold of,” Beckinsale says. “If I’m going from one city to another, I’ll put some in my suitcase to make sure I have it. I’m the crazy person traveling with butter.”

This raises a major question: Is that safe?

It’s a little tricky, Darin Detwiler, PhD, director of the Regulatory Affairs of Food and Food Industries program at Northeastern University, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Butter is interesting because there is dairy in it, but it’s mostly fat,” he says. “And fat doesn’t exactly help bacterial growth.”

But there are a few things that can happen if you don’t refrigerate your butter, especially if you keep it out for a long period of time or don’t refrigerate it at all, Detwiler says. One is that it can go rancid. “You’ll know right away,” he says. Another is that you can get foodborne bacteria like E. coli or salmonella, which can grow on the butter and infect you. Finally, if you leave your butter out, there’s more of a chance for cross contamination with other foods and bacteria that may be in your kitchen. “The more you leave it out, the more you’re leaving it open to cross-contamination or the bacterial growth,” Detwiler says. “You really have to take that into consideration.”

Man swallows needle in strawberry bought from Woolworths Australia

Queensland, with its sub-tropical climate, has fabulous produce and seafood.

Even if regulators are a bit dopey about food safety.

Jill Poulson and Tanya Westthorp of the Courier-Mail report health authorities are warning people who have bought strawberries in Queensland, NSW and Victoria to throw the punnets out after several incidents of needles being found in strawberries sold at Woolworths.

Queensland Health and Queensland Police today took the extraordinary step to urge people who bought strawberries across the eastern seaboard in the past week to throw them out after three separate incidents in Queensland and Victoria.

Police suspect the ground-down needles were deliberately planted in the punnets with the culprit intending to cause ‘grievous bodily harm or other objectives’.

The needle allegedly found in strawberries purchased from Woolworths at northside Brisbane. Pic: Supplied.

The contaminated strawberries come from one farm and are sold under the brands ‘Berry Obsession’ and ‘Berry Licious’. They are sold from Woolworths and it’s believed they may also be sold at other stores. A product recall is underway.

It comes as a 21-year-old Burpengary man ended up in hospital after he swallowed part of a needle when he bit into a strawberry bought from Strathpine in Brisbane’s north on Sunday.

Two more incidents in Victoria were confirmed yesterday.

Hurricane preparation from a Canadian

I grew up more that 400 miles away from an ocean. The biggest weather events I had to prepare for were snow and cold.

I’ve lived in NC for almost 10 years, have not been through much more than power outages for a few hours due to storms. Getting ready for #Florence though. Updating prep and recovery stuff at go.ncsu.edu/florencefoodsafety and here over the next few days.

 

I only remove my hat for one thing: Burt Reynolds

Missing in the wave of nostalgia following Burt Reynolds death was his turn as the judge in Mystery, Alaska, the second best hockey movie ever, following Slap Shot.

 

It’s become a Christmas Day tradition to watch Trailer Park Boys Christmas, and Mystery, Alaska, starring Australian Russell Crowe who learned to skate at the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, where the Brisbane Stars host a tournament every year, and my wife has become the fundraising guru.

 

“Smokey and the Bandit” was — and remains — a hell of a lot of fun. It was also a protest movie, both widely popular and unabashedly populist, a word that meant something a little different back then. Cledus and Bandit are southern working-class white men in revolt against, to put it bluntly, state power and capitalist greed.

 

I’m not saying Burt Reynolds (or Hal Needham, the director of “Smokey,” its sequels and others of its ilk) was a Hollywood Marxist. But more than any other movie star he embodied the stance that permeated much of the country-and-western and southern rock of the Carter era, in which regional pride and defiant hell-raising were accompanied — and sometimes drowned out — by class resentment directed against the bosses and their minions.