Size does not matter: 21 sick from Salmonella linked to pet turtles

I want a new drug, or approach or message, rather than CDC sending out yet another warning about yet another Salmonella outbreak from kids kissing their pet turtles.

(And I can’t believe I’m quoting Huey Lewis and the News, one of my 1982 university room mates’ favorite bands, along with Hall and Oates).

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports:

21 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Oranienburg have been reported from 13 states.

7 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicate that contact with pet turtles is the likely source of this outbreak.

In interviews, 12 (71%) of 17 ill people reported contact with a turtle.

This investigation is ongoing and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

Turtles can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings while appearing healthy and clean. These germs can easily spread to their bodies, tank water, and habitats. People can get sick after they touch a turtle or anything in their habitats.

People who own or come in contact with turtles should take steps to stay healthy around their pet:

Wash your hands.

Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching, feeding, or caring for a turtle or cleaning its habitat.

Adults should supervise handwashing for young children.

Play safely.

Don’t kiss or snuggle turtles, because this can spread Salmonella germs to your face and mouth and make you sick.

Don’t let turtles roam freely in areas where food is prepared or stored, such as kitchens.

Clean habitats, toys, and pet supplies outside the house when possible.

Avoid cleaning these items in the kitchen or any other location where food is prepared, served, or stored.

Pick the right pet for your family.

CDC and public health officials in several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of human Salmonella Oranienburg infections linked to contact with pet turtles.

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA fingerprinting is performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using a standardized laboratory and data analysis method called whole genome sequencing (WGS). CDC PulseNet manages a national database of these sequences that are used to identify possible outbreaks. WGS gives investigators detailed information about the bacteria causing illness. In this investigation, WGS showed that bacteria isolated from ill people were closely related genetically. This means that people in this outbreak are more likely to share a common source of infection.

Ill people reported contact with red-eared sliders and other turtles that were larger than four inches in length. Previous Salmonella outbreaks have been linked to turtles with a shell length less than four inches. Due to the amount of Salmonella illnesses related to these small turtles, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the sale and distributionexternal icon of turtles with shells less than four inches long as pets.

Regardless of where turtles are purchased or their size, turtles can carry Salmonella germs that can make people sick. Pet owners should always follow steps to stay healthy around their pet.

This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information becomes available.

Hydration hype: Fancy bottled drinking water is nonsense, just drink tap

My friend Tim Caulfield, a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy at the University of Alberta, author of “Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: How the Famous Sell Us Elixirs of Health, Beauty & Happiness” (Beacon, 2015) and host of “A User’s Guide to Cheating Death” on Netflix (that’s a long bio) writes for NBC News, humans need water but the marketing of water as a detoxifying, energizing, health-enhancing, miracle beverage has become a lucrative business. Over the past few years the booming wellness industry (aka Big Wellness) has coopted this most basic of biological needs to sell products and promises of miraculous improved health. But is there any evidence to support the hydration hype?

Before I dump on the water business, let’s give a nod to the positives. There is growing recognition that sugary beverages are not a good choice, nutrition wise. Evidence suggests that consumption of sugary beverages, especially soft drinks, is associated with a range of health issues, including obesity and heart disease. As a result, there is a broad consensus among nutrition and public health experts about the value of limiting the consumption of these calorie-dense and relatively nutrition-free beverages.

So, in this context, the shift to water is a very good thing. But that doesn’t mean we have to buy what the “premium” water market is selling.

But before we get to the fancy packaging, we need to talk about volume. Do you actually need to drink eight glasses of water a day? In a word: Nope.

This strange and incredibly durable myth seems to have emerged from a misinterpretation of a 1945 US Food and Nutrition Board recommendation. That document suggested a “suitable allowance of water for adults is 2.5 litres daily” (i.e., roughly eight glasses a day). But what is almost always overlooked is that the recommendation — which was not based on a robust body of research — also noted “[m]ost of this quantity is in prepared foods.” In other words, you already get the bulk of your needed water from the food you eat.

In reality, there is no magical amount of water. We do need to stay appropriately hydrated, of course. And as our climate and activities change, so does the amount of water we lose through sweating etc. But our bodies are good at telling us how much and when we should drink. (Thanks, evolution.) And all liquids — coffee, tea, that weird fluid inside hotdogs — count toward your daily consumption of water. My body can’t tell if an H20 molecule came from a fresh-water spring on the side of a remote Himalayan mountain or from a cup of gas station java (which isn’t, despite conventional wisdom to the contrary, dehydrating).

But even if water is found in a lot of foods and beverages, pure bottled water is still better for us, right? Wrong again.

Yes, drinking plain water is almost always a better choice than some other, sugar-infused, beverage. But the water you drink doesn’t need to come out of a plastic, glass, or 24-karat gold (yes, that is a thing) bottle.

The twisted logic behind wellness gadgets like Fitbit isn’t making us healthier

Studies have shown that some people believe bottled water is healthier than tap water. That perception is wrong. In fact, tap water in the U.S. and Canada is almost always the best, cheapest and most environmentally friendly choice. Bottled water can be essential during emergencies that disrupt the supply of clean water. And there have been scary examples of contaminated public water — the Flint, Michigan water crisis being only one recent example.

We also need to be vigilant to ensure our public water supply remains clean. But in most places in the United States and Canada, tap water is tightly regulated and safe. Not only that, but tap water can have less contaminants than bottled waterA study from Canada, for example, found that 70 percent of the tested bottled water brands contained high levels of bacteria and generally had more bacteria than tap water. A 2019 Consumer Report investigation concluded “that in some cases bottled water on store shelves contains more potentially harmful arsenic than tap water.”

But bottled water tastes better, you say! Actually, blind taste tests have consistently found that to be untrue too. To cite just one example, only one-third of the participants in a Boston University study, were able to correctly identify tap water. One third thought it was bottled water and one third couldn’t tell the difference.

But bottled water tastes better, you say! Actually, blind taste tests have consistently found that to be untrue too.

And now we get to what is probably the biggest scam. Wellness wonks have been pushing absurd diets, supplements and potions for decades. Now that same thinking has come to water, with alkaline, hydrogen, gluten and GMO-free water brands hitting the supermarket and health food store shelves near you.

Nope, nope and — sigh — nope.

Alkaline water is part of the larger multimillion-dollar alkaline diet fad embraced by celebrities like New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Proponents claim that humans can become too acidic and, as such, we need to consume foods and beverages that will lower the pH of our bodies. By doing so, we will improve our health and reduce the incidence of disease and cancer, the theory goes.

Problem one: There is little evidence to support the entire premise that adjusting the pH of your food will have an impact on our health. And the studies that have explored the claim have found little benefit to this dietary approach, outside of the diet’s push to eat more fruits and vegetables. (Eating more fruits and vegetables is of course good for you hand can help you stay healthier for longer.)

Problem two: You can’t change the pH of your body through food and beverages. So the entire premise is scientifically absurd. Your body tightly regulated the pH of your blood. It doesn’t need the help of overpriced bottled water.

 

The Crown:: Queen Elizabeth’s staff follows serious (not so much) food poisoning protocol

Queen Elizabeth has a crafty way to avoid getting poisoned at the dinner table. A new documentary called Secrets of the Royal Kitchen explores the ins and outs of Buckingham Palace’s kitchens, including the lengths royal staffers go to keep Elizabeth safe. Here’s a quick look at all the interesting elements that go into a state banquet with the Queen.

During state banquets, Her Majesty’s staff are required to follow a serious protocol to keep her safe – and the lengths they go for her safety might surprise you.

A personal chef at the palace prepares the dishes for all of the guests. According to the New York Post, Elizabeth’s staff members then chose a random plate for her in an effort to prevent someone from poisoning her food.

The only way someone would be able to poison Queen Elizabeth is if they contaminated all of the dishes. This tactic has paid off so far, though we couldn’t imagine why someone would want to poison the Queen.

“After everything is plated up, a page chooses at random one of the plates to be served to her majesty,” Emily Andrews, a correspondent for the royals, shared. “So if anyone did want to poison the monarch they’d have to poison the whole lot.”

The documentary also revealed that banquet guests are required to follow some strict rules while dining with  Elizabeth Queen.

This includes finishing their plates before Her Majesty is done eating. This is an old tradition that used to be more of an issue in the past as guests would race to finish their food. It is unclear if the palace requires visitors to follow this protocol or if they have gotten more flexible in recent years.

There are, of course, plenty of other traditions guests are required to follow whenever they are eating with the Queen.

For starters, nobody sits down until Elizabeth has been seated. You also cannot start eating until she has taken her first bite.

Elizabeth also has a personal menu that has been crafted to her liking. She schedules her meals three days in advance to give the palace chef plenty of time to gather ingredients.

When picking her dining options, Elizabeth crosses out dishes she doesn’t like. She also crosses out entire pages whenever she has a royal event that evening and will not be dining in the palace.

Sounds like me being in psyche jail.

And not a mention of microbiology.

Dumbasses.

Texas meat company execs plead guilty to selling $1 million worth of uninspected, adulterated beef to federal prisons

Prisons are not pleasant places, neither are psych wards.

They’re really just boring, and involve dealing with controlling types – police, prison guards, parole officers, customs officials, psych-types – who expend major effort in defending the small piece of turf they control.

In prison, we’d have road apples at every meal – huge plums or something the size of horse testicles (road apples refers to the frozen version of horse turds, popular for pond hockey).

Jessica Fu of New Food Economy reports that two executives of a now-defunct meatpacking company pleaded guilty to selling more than $1 million worth of adulterated and uninspected beef to the federal prison system, the Department of Justice announced this week.

Jeffrey Neal Smith and Derrick Martinez, president and operations manager of West Texas Provisions, respectively, admitted to contaminating and mislabeling approximately 775,000 pounds of meat that were then distributed to 32 prisons in 18 states. Specifically, Smith and Martinez sold products that they falsely claimed had been inspected by the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) between October 2016 and August 2017. They also cut ground beef with whole cow hearts, thereby violating USDA food standards.

Though this is one individual case, it falls within a broad spectrum of issues relating to food safety in the prison system.

Smith and Martinez apparently went to great and, sometimes, bizarre lengths to obscure their scheme. Federal law requires all slaughterhouses to undergo FSIS inspection. To that end, after meatpacking facilities report their hours of operation to the agency, they are prohibited from working outside those hours.

According to former employees, Smith and Martinez ordered workers to come in on nights and weekends and process meat without inspectors present. To avoid arousing suspicion, workers were instructed to park off-site and work with the lights off, according to court documents. They were also discouraged from leaving the building to take meal breaks, in order to keep activity around the facility to a minimum. Additionally, Smith and Martinez admitted to hiding uninspected meat in freezers, and distracting inspectors from noticing said meat.

Though this is one individual case, it falls within a broad spectrum of issues relating to food safety in the prison system. In 2014, another Texas meat processor paid nearly $392,000 as part of a settlement with the USDA for mislabeling beef meant for pet food, which was then sold to the Bureau of Prisons. In Arizona, former inmates say they were served chicken from boxes labeled “not for human consumption.” Last year, The New Food Economy reported on the hidden public health crisis in America’s prisons—where incarcerated people were more than six times as likely to get a foodborne illness than the general population.

There are often economic incentives for food service providers to turn a blind eye to quality, such as the right to pocket any money leftover after fulfilling a contract. Infamously, an Alabama prison sheriff bought a beach house partially using “excess” funds meant to feed inmates. Smith and Martinez were also likely financially motivated to shirk federal beef standards.

Attorneys for the executives did not respond to requests for comment. Both defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on February 13, 2020.

Owner of food company responsible for Spain’s worst ever listeriosis outbreak arrested for manslaughter

Eva Saiz of El Pais reports the owners of the food company responsible for the worst-ever listeriosis outbreak in Spain were arrested on Wednesday for manslaughter.

Since August, the outbreak has killed three people, caused seven miscarriages, and infected more than 200 people. The source of the bacterial infection was traced to a Seville-based company called Magrudis, which sold a contaminated pork loin product called carne mechada under the brand name La Mechá. Three more products produced by the company also tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

The owners of Magrudis, José Antonio Marín Pince and his two children Sandro and Mario, have been accused, to different degrees, of involuntary manslaughter, crimes against health and causing injury to a fetus.

According to investigators, the three men knew in February that some of their products had been contaminated but did nothing to eliminate the bacteria from their facilities. Instead they continued producing and distributing their products.

“When the crisis broke, we reminded the business by email that one of their samples had been contaminated much earlier. Given that they did nothing, we passed on this information to the courts,” José Antonio Borrás, the owner of the Microal Group laboratory, told EL PAÍS.

The laboratory handed a report to the court in early September, and according to sources close to the investigation, the contents prompted Judge Pilar Ordóñez, who is overseeing the case, to take action on Tuesday.

Neither laboratories nor companies are legally obliged to warn the authorities if a product is found to test positive, but a company does have a duty to adopt measures to correct the problem. Investigators want to find out why the owners of Magrudis did not do this, and why, more importantly they hid the positive test results from health inspectors who visited the factory after the alert was raised. In public appearances, both Marín and his son Sandro claimed that the company had successfully passed all sanitary controls.

Traces of listeria were found in tests carried out on the Magrudis production line, including the oven carts used to transport the meat during the preparation process, and the larding needles used to inject the pork with fat before cooking. The crisis was complicated by the fact that the company’s products had been sold on to another firm and prepared for sale as an own-brand product in a supermarket chain without the proper labelling.

FDA Frank: Digital prompts key to changing food safety behavior

Tom Karst of The Packer writes that teasing the details of a new era of smarter food safety, Food and Drug Administration deputy commissioner for food policy and response Frank Yiannas spoke Sept. 18 at the United Fresh Washington Conference.

Before coming to FDA last December, Yiannas was vice president of food safety at Walmart from 2008 to 2018.

And Disney in Orlando before that.

Yiannas said the FDA’s work on produce safety has been front and central to his work since he joined the agency.

He praised the industry for its contribution to food safety and said the public-private partnership on food safety efforts must strengthen even more in what he called a new era of smarter food safety that is set to begin in 2020.

“I was asked by the Commissioner to continue to lead our efforts on modernization,” Yiannas said. “We’ve come a long way since 2011, but there’s still work to be done.”

Tech-enabled traceability and tech-enabled outbreak response will be one area of focus for the new era of smarter food safety, Yiannas said.

While produce has an impressive safety record overall, he said there are weak points in the supply chain.

“What I have learned over the years, and especially from my vantage point with the world’s largest company, is that I do believe the food system’s Achilles heel is traceability and transparency,” he said.

He noted that in both the spinach-related foodborne illness outbreak in 2006 and the romaine-related outbreak in 2018, traceability was an issue.

“It seems eerily similar almost a decade later,” he said. “And we still are having to do these overly broad consumer advisories.”

Distributed ledger or blockchain technology can be part of the solution, he said, but that isn’t the focus.

“It is not about the technology— it is about solving some of our many public health challenges,” he said.

Helping efforts to create a culture of food safety among growers, food marketers, and consumers is another element of the new era plan, he said.

“What I’ve learned over the years, is that it’s impossible to make progress without changing and influencing behavior,” he said, noting the importance of “digital prompts” to encourage right behavior.

I agree.

Shurley not: Food safety education of employees and the public

Food safety training is like psychotherapy: Sure, I understand the theory, the neural pathways, the addictive brain, but will that change my behavior (shurley not).

But there’s always hope – in place of well-designed studies that measure success, failure, and actual experiments with novel approaches. Most studies get tossed on the rhetorical pile of we-need-more-education crap.

Here’s the abstracts for two recent papers:

Effectiveness of food handler training and education interventions: A systematic review and analysis

Journal of Food Protection vol. 82 no. 10

Ian Young, Judy Greig, Barbara J. Wilhelm, and Lisa A. Waddell

https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-19-108

https://jfoodprotection.org/doi/abs/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-19-108

Improper food handling among those working in retail and food service settings is a frequent contributor to foodborne illness outbreaks. Food safety training and education interventions are important strategies to improve the behaviors and behavioral precursors (e.g., knowledge and attitudes) of food handlers in these settings.

We conducted a comprehensive systematic review to identify, characterize, and synthesize global studies in this area to determine the overall effectiveness of these interventions. The review focused on experimental studies with an independent control group. Review methods included structured search strategy, relevance screening of identified abstracts, characterization of relevant articles, risk of bias assessment, data extraction, meta-analysis of intervention effectiveness for four outcome categories (attitudes, knowledge, behavior, and food premise inspection scores), and a quality of evidence assessment.

We identified 18 relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and 29 nonrandomized trials. Among RCTs, 25 (64%) unique outcomes were rated as high risk of bias, primarily owing to concerns about outcome measurement methods, while 45 (98%) nonrandomized trial outcomes were rated as serious risk of bias, primarily because of concerns about confounding bias. High confidence was identified for the effect of training and education interventions to improve food handler knowledge outcomes in eight RCT studies (standardized mean difference = 0.92; 95% confidence interval: 0.03, 1.81; I2 = 86%). For all other outcomes, no significant effect was identified. In contrast, nonrandomized trials identified a statistically significant positive intervention effect for all outcome types, but confidence in these findings was very low due to possible confounding and other biases.

Results indicate that food safety training and education interventions are effective to improve food handler knowledge, but more evidence is needed on strategies to improve behavior change.

Gaps and common misconceptions in public’s food safety knowledge

British Columbia Institute of Technology

Kathy Kim, Helen Heacock

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/b78e/7eb080d0fe5a95f95e0b140ca183277c81cb.pdf

Background: Incidence rates of some foodborne illnesses (FBIs) in BC still remain on the rise despite numerous initiatives to prevent FBIs. This rise over the years has been attributed to gaps in the public’s food-safety knowledge and practices. In order to decrease incidence rates and prevent future FBIs, efforts should be made to identify common misconceptions in the public’s food safety knowledge. With a focus on the Metro Vancouver population, common misconceptions in food safety were found and their knowledge level towards the misconceptions was analyzed.

Methods: An in-person survey was conducted in three locations in Metro Vancouver. The survey asked for demographics information, perceived food safety knowledge and food safety misconceptions. ANOVA and Independent Sample T-test were administered to analyze results.

Results: No statistically significant difference in food safety knowledge was found between groups by gender, age, and geographic region. The majority of participants rated their food safety knowledge as moderate but they demonstrated a poor knowledge level in food safety.

Conclusion: The public’s knowledge level should be improved to prevent further rises of FBIs. Initiatives involving the provincial Foodsafe certification program, secondary school curriculums and health authority websites can be utilized to educate the public.

Most sushi producers in Ireland fail to meet food safety standards

I don’t like sushi and don’t eat it, especially the real kind with raw fish.

Andrew Lowth of Spin 1038 reports that checks have found almost every sushi maker and seller in Ireland has failed to meet food safety standards.

Of eleven manufacturers, restaurants and takeaways inspected, just one hadn’t broken food hygiene laws.

The Food Safety Authority found 76 breaches of food law, including poor parasite control and incorrect defrosting of raw fish.

The audit findings also include:

90% of food businesses audited did not have adequate controls in place relating to sushi production and processing activities

75% of food businesses did not meet the requirements of the legislation for  freezing fish for parasite control

Over 90% of the food businesses did not have adequate operational controls for sushi rice production

“Our audit sought to establish if food safety controls were being followed and the findings are very concerning,” says FSAI CEO Pamela Byrne.

“It showed that over three quarters of the food businesses did not have adequate food safety controls in place for this.”

84 raspberry pickers stricken with leptospirosis in Australia, 2018

In 2018, an outbreak of leptospirosis was identified among raspberry workers from a mixed‐berry farm in New South Wales, Australia. Initial testing had not revealed a cause, but eventually leptospirosis was detected via polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Further serological testing detected Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Arborea, of which rodents are the predominant reservoir. Leptospirosis is rare in Australia, with outbreaks usually related to flooding. We conducted an investigation to identify risk factors for infection, to inform control measures.

Cases were detected through laboratory notifications, hospital‐based syndromic surveillance, awareness‐raising among farm employees and clinician alerts. Confirmed cases had a four‐fold rise in antibody titre or single titre ≥400 on microscopic agglutination test, and a positive IgM. Probable cases had a positive Leptospira PCR or IgM, and possible cases had a clinically compatible illness. We conducted a case–control study among raspberry workers on the farm and compared reported exposures between cases and seronegative controls. We assessed environmental risks on‐site and tested rodents for leptospirosis.

We identified 84 cases over a 5‐month period (50 confirmed, 19 probable and 15 possible). Compared with controls, cases were less likely to wear gloves and more recently employed. Cases also more commonly reported always having scratched hands, likely from the thorns on raspberry plants. We observed evidence of rodent activity around raspberry plants and three of thirteen trapped mice tested positive for Leptospira Arborea. Control measures included enhanced glove use, doxycycline prophylaxis and rodent control.

This is the largest known outbreak of leptospirosis in Australia. Workers were likely exposed through scratches inflicted during harvesting, which became contaminated with environmental leptospires from mice. Leptospirosis should be considered an occupational risk for raspberry workers, requiring protective measures. Chemoprophylaxis may assist in controlling outbreaks. PCR assists in the early diagnosis and detection of leptospirosis and should be included in surveillance case definitions.

Investigation and response to an outbreak of leptospirosis among raspberry workers in Australia, 2018

Zoonoses and Public Health

Anthea L. Katelaris, Keira Glasgow, Kerryn Lawrence, Paul Corben, Anthony Zheng, Suhasini Sumithra, John Turahui, Janet Terry, Debra van den Berg, Daneeta Hennessy, Stacey Kane, Scott B. Craig, Ellena Heading, Mary‐Anne Burns, Hanisah L. Corner, Vicky Sheppeard, Jeremy McAnulty

 https://doi.org/10.1111/zph.12652

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/zph.12652

UK factory put uncooked sausage in pre-packed sandwiches posing ‘danger to health’

James Cain of The Mirror reports a factory has been ordered to stop making food after it put uncooked sausages into pre-packed sandwiches.

The Middlesbrough-based factory has been told by health authorities it risked causing a listeria outbreak.

Café Class Ltd has been served with a hygiene emergency prohibition order for food safety practices that posed an “immediate danger to human health”.

A court this week heard how the company extended the use-by dates of boiled eggs, cheddar cheese and streaky bacon, putting consumers’ health at risk.

The risk to the public was so severe that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued an immediate product recall on sandwiches, wraps and salads made by the company.

Listeria has been in the spotlight this year after six people died after getting listeria from prepackaged sandwiches and salads served in UK hospitals.

In the unrelated case the company, which traded with stores including Londis, Nisa and North East Convenience Stores, faced court as Middlesbrough Council sought an emergency hygiene order to prevent it from making food, reports the Local Demoracy Reporting service for Teesside Live .

Company directors Shahid Nawaz and Mohammed Haris Abdullah arrived at Teesside Magistrates’ Court yesterday to hear Middlesbrough Council lay out the case against their company.

Andrew Perriman, prosecuting for the council , told magistrates that Café Class, based in Riverside Park, was visited by environmental health officers on September 9.

The inspection was arranged “to assess compliance with a hygiene improvement notice served earlier in the year as a result of allergy management concerns”.

But Mr Perriman said the officers were shocked to discover the factory was routinely placing ingredients on their use-by date in sandwiches, wraps and salads which would then be labelled with a four-day use-by date.

“In respect of cooked ham aspect used in the final product, it is specified by the manufacturer to be used within three days once opened,” said Mr Perriman.

But the officers found that once opened, the ham had been placed in a plastic container on September 8 and labelled with a use-by date of September 11.

Mr Perriman said it could be argued that if September 8 is counted as day one, this actually meant the ham was being used for four days.

In any case, the factory would continue to use the ham as an ingredient right up until the final use-by day.

But Mr Perriman added: “It was then placed into a sandwich and given a further four-day use by date.

“Not only that, the packaging on the final product stated ‘once opened consume within 24 hours’.

He said this practice meant cooked ham with a use-by date of September 10 or 11 was actually being used in a product labelled with a use-by date of September 15 or 16.

“As a result, the three-day shelf life is exceeded by a further six days,” he said adding that this was “way past” safe limits.The company’s website says: “We here at Café Class carefully ensure that the standards of Food Agency are met at all times and any waste is disposed of appropriately.

“All our products are fully cooked but we do not send the food waste to landfill sites, thus helping the environment and fulfilling our responsibility towards the society.”

Uh huh.