Doug Powell

About Doug Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of barfblog.com, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Download C.V. »

Worry about it: 1 dead, 7 sick from Listeria linked to deli-sliced products: Is steaming hot the same as piping hot?

I do not buy stuff from the deli-counter. I buy stuff that is pre-packaged and may contain antimicrobials, depending on what country you are in.

It’s all about the slicers, whether it’s the little ones at the deli counter or the huge industrial ones in food facilities – I’m looking at you Maple Leaf, source of 23 dead in 2008 in Canada – and how hard they are to properly clean.

Should deli meats be served in hospitals or aged care facilities where the immunocompromised abound?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports a total of 8 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 4 states.

All 8 people have been hospitalized, and one death has been reported from Michigan.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that meats and cheeses sliced at deli counters might be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and could make people sick.

In interviews, ill people report eating different types and brands of products, including meats and cheeses, purchased from and sliced at deli counters in many different retail locations.

The outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from meat sliced at a deli and from deli counters in multiple stores.

A single, common supplier of deli products has not been identified.

CDC is not advising that consumers avoid eating products prepared at delis, or that retailers stop selling deli-sliced products.

Retailers should clean and sanitize deli slicers.d

This outbreak is a reminder that people at higher risk for severe Listeria infection should handle deli-sliced meats and cheeses carefully to prevent illness. Pregnant women and their newborns, adults age 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get sick with listeriosis.

People who are at higher risk for Listeria infection should avoid eating lunch meats, cold cuts, or other deli meats, unless they are heated to an internal temperature of 165°F or until steaming hot just before serving.

If you develop symptoms of a Listeria infection after eating deli-sliced products, contact a healthcare provider and tell them you ate deli-sliced products. This is especially important if you are pregnant, age 65 or older, or have a weakened immune system.

If you have eaten deli-sliced products and do not have any symptoms of a Listeria infection, most experts believe that tests or treatment are not needed, even for people who have a higher chance of Listeria infection.

Listeria bacteria can survive at very low temperatures and can spread easily to other foods and surfaces. Consumers should clean refrigerators, kitchen countertops, utensils, and other surfaces that touch deli-sliced products.

You can take steps to prevent Listeria infection:

Don’t let juice from lunch meat and hot dog packages get on other foods, utensils, and food preparation surfaces.

Wash hands after handling deli meats, lunch meats, deli cheeses, and hot dogs.

Store opened packages of meat sliced at a local deli no longer than 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.

My brain hurts

I had to stop hockey because I started falling over in my skates after 50 years.

I had to stop cycling because I started falling off my bike.

Now I fall when I’m walking.

Another day, another 12 super-sized stitches at the top of my skull, another night in emergency, another ambulance ride that I have no memory of.

But when I awoke, Amy was there.

On the verge: Pennsylvania man chokes Giant cashier over smashed chips, police say

Ted Czech of USA Today reports that a Pennsylvania man told police he grabbed a Giant employee by the throat after the cashier smashed his chips during bagging, according to charging documents.

Fairview Township Police said Bradley Alan Bower of New Cumberland told them he was “having a bad day and this issue with the chips just sent him over the edge,” documents state.

Bower, 55, faces one count of simple assault.

Reached at home on Monday, Bower said the smashed chips “absolutely wasn’t any part of it,” but he would not elaborate. He directed any questions to his attorney.

Video footage of the incident shows Bower grabbing/striking the cashier in the throat area and pushing him against the register, according to documents.

Tony O in Chicago with bro Phil and CTE

Tony’s still wearing the same shitty equipment I was wearing playing pick-up in Guelph in the early 2000s.

And that mask. I try to describe what goalie masks were like when I started playing in 1967, and the best description I can come up with is, they were plastic Halloween masks; at least Tony’s had some wire on it.

He also used to cover his body in Vaseline so the pucks would hurt less.

He still holds the record for single season shutouts, set in 1970.

I have an autographed picture of Tony tucked away somewhere.

Not bad for a couple of boys from the Sault (Ste. Marie).

Tony’s taken a lot of pucks to the head; so have I.

Tony seems fine, me not so much.

Today I (almost) finalized the paperwork to donate my brain to the Sports Brain Bank in Sydney upon my death. They’re affiliated with the U.S. branch and do research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (see the movie Concussion). They’ve asked us to post a picture with our brain donor card.

Awareness of concussions and how special our brains are has come a long way since 1967, but there is still much that is unknown.

#MyLegacyPledge

dougsdeadflowers.com: Roses by your grave

I’m an ideas guy, not a details guy, but Amy sorted it out and things are now at dougsdeadflowers.com.

I started this post two days ago and forgot what I was writing about.

Brain.

When I was a kid, our family would drive every other weekend two hours north to Cookstown, Ontario (that’s in Canada).

I usually barfed and still do today.

I have lots of memories of me and gramps driving from Cookstown to Toronto to get parts for his Massey-Ferguson dealership, but I can feel those memories fading away, every time I have to pause and rethink what I was writing.

Missouri is a special place: Rent-A-Car Employee accused of spiking co-workers’ water with LSD

I did acid twice, in my teens.

It wasn’t good.

Mushrooms are a much better psychedelic, but I only did them once.,

I had a colleague in the early 1990s who would tell me when he retired, he would sit at a cottage with a couple of Marshall amps, his electric guitar and do a bunch of hallucinogens.

Not sure that worked out.

According to Tom Ozimek of The Epoch Times, authorities are investigating the case of an Enterprise Rent-A-Car employee accused of slipping LSD into his co-workers’ water bottles.

A 19-year-old man is in custody in connection with the incident, which allegedly took place at an Enterprise Rent-A-Car location in Arnold, Missouri, last Thursday, March 21, according to KMOV.

Arnold Police received a call from the Enterprise manager, who reported that two employees, a 24-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man, had both been hospitalized after they began to feel “weird and dizzy,” according to the Jefferson County Leader.

 Police say the man told them his coworkers at Enterprise Rent-A-Car had “negative energy,” and he wanted them to mellow out. So the 19-year-old put LSD in three people’s water bottles and coffee cups.

Messing around with people’s food or beverages is never OK.

Croatia’s prime oyster farmers in alarm after norovirus discovered

I’m not sure who decided raw oysters were a food, because that gelatinous slime is gross.

Oysters are also vulnerable to norovirus.

Authorities have detected norovirus, which causes diarrhea and vomiting, in parts of the Mali Ston bay in Croatia—triggering shock and alarm among the breeders.

The traditional oyster-tasting feast in March has been canceled and fears are mounting of huge financial losses to the local community that harvests about 3 million oysters each year.

Experts are pointing their fingers at the outdated sewage system in the area that has seen a rise in the numbers of tourists flocking to Croatia’s stunning Adriatic coast.

“I am really sorry but people themselves are to blame that something like this happened,” explained Vlado Onofri from the Institute for Marine and Coastal Research in nearby Dubrovnik. “It’s something that has to be solved in the future.”

While some stomach bugs can be eliminated with cooking, norovirus survives at relatively high temperatures.

Navigating the oyster fields in their small boats, the farmers proudly show visitors rows and rows of oyster-filled underwater farm beds spreading through the bay.

Top municipal official Vedran Antunica questioned the assumption that the local sewage system was to blame for the outbreak.

“Viruses are everywhere, now as we speak, the air is full of viruses,” Antunica said. “We had the same sewage system in the past, so why wasn’t it (norovirus) recorded? What has changed?”

Some would call it knowledge.

And we’re all hosts on a viral planet.

Raw is risky: Noro sickens 180 at UK hospital because someone thought bringing raw mussels in was a good idea

This story is from Dec. 2017, but instructive.

Do not bring raw anything into a hospital full of immunocompromised people (those NZ mussels are cooked).

And I’m still looking at you, Brisbane Private Hospital, for continuing to serve raw sprouts on everything.

The Bailiwick Express reports that an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug (we call it Norovirus) which forced hospital bosses to ban visitors from wards was caused by someone bringing mussels in for a patient, it has emerged.

Over Christmas, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust will partially lift the restriction on visitors, introduced after norovirus spread across a number of sites.

Officials have traced its spread to a visitor bringing in mussels for an inpatient at Wansbeck General Hospital in Ashington, Northumberland.

It is thought to have affected at least 180 people.

Shellfish can harbour the norovirus infection.

3 dead, 92 hospitalized, 555 sick from raw chicken thingies in Canada

In 2005, after Chapman was afraid he’d be eaten by bears in Prince George, BC (that’s in Canada) we met with Phebus at a pub in beautiful Manhattan, Kansas, and crafted a research project idea to see how people actually cooked raw chicken thingies (maybe it was 2006, my memory is shit).

The American Meat Institute funded it, we wrote a paper (which was not our best writing), but seems sort of apt now that 555 Canadians have been laboratory confirmed with Salmonella from raw frozen chicken thingies.

Jordyn Posluns of Narcity reports:

The Public Health Agency of Canada indicated that of those affected by the salmonella outbreaks, 92 individuals were hospitalized.  Three people have also died in connection to the outbreaks.

Like many infections, salmonella doesn’t discriminate those infected by the contaminated chicken products were Canadians of a wide range of ages and of different genders.

Direct video observation of adults and tweens cooking raw frozen chicken thingies

01.nov.09

British Food Journal, Vol 111, Issue 9, p 915-929

Sarah DeDonder, Casey J. Jacob, Brae V. Surgeoner, Benjamin Chapman, Randall Phebus, Douglas A. Powell

http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContentItem.do;jsessionid=6146E6AFABCC349C376B7E55A3866D4A?contentType=Article&contentId=1811820

The purpose of the present study was to observe the preparation practices of both adult and young consumers using frozen, uncooked, breaded chicken products, which were previously involved in outbreaks linked to consumer mishandling. The study also sought to observe behaviors of adolescents as home food preparers. Finally, the study aimed to compare food handler behaviors with those prescribed on product labels.

Design/methodology/approach – The study sought, through video observation and self-report surveys, to determine if differences exist between consumers’ intent and actual behavior.

Findings – A survey study of consumer reactions to safe food-handling labels on raw meat and poultry products suggested that instructions for safe handling found on labels had only limited influence on consumer practices. The labels studied by these researchers were found on the packaging of chicken products examined in the current study alongside step-by-step cooking instructions. Observational techniques, as mentioned above, provide a different perception of consumer behaviors. Originality/value – This paper finds areas that have not been studied in previous observational research and is an excellent addition to existing literature.