UK Chinese restaurant had ‘worst standard of cleanliness’ food safety officers had ever seen

The kitchen at a North Wales Chinese restaurant had the worst standard of cleanliness seen by food safety inspectors, a hygiene report reveals.

Lydia Morris of the Daily Post writes that the Sleepy Panda in Wrexhamregained (gotta love the Welsh language) its long-held five star hygiene rating in January after it plummeted to zero following a grim inspection in October 2019 .

Despite requesting the inspector’s official report in November 2019 through the Freedom of Information Act, Wrexham Council denied the information.

However, it has today shared the document with North Wales Live , revealing the “extremely poor standard of cleanliness” that led to the temporary closure of the restaurant last year.

The town centre restaurant considered to be “one of the best in the area” has since reopened, and has held a five star hygiene since January 25 .

However, following the October inspection, food safety officials noted the restaurant had “almost total non-compliance with statutory obligations”.

“The standard of cleaning to the structure was extremely poor to the point where both myself and my colleague not seen a kitchen with such a poor standard of cleanliness,” the report says.

As well as cooked duck and other food items being stored on the floor, cooked rice was also found to have been left out at room temperature.

Cooked chicken, beef and duck were also being stored at room temperature – supporting what the report called “the growth of food poisoning”.

Food safety culture in Brazilian restaurants

Food safety culture may establish the right environment for adequate food handling and management, reducing violations of food safety regulation, especially those related to foodborne disease outbreaks.

This study aimed to evaluate differences among elements of food safety culture in food services at low or high-risk for foodborne diseases. This study was conducted with 63 managers and 333 food handlers from 32 food services located in the metropolitan region of Campinas, State of São Paulo, Brazil. The following elements of food safety culture (considering the technical-managerial and human routes) were evaluated: management systems, style, and process; leadership; organizational commitment; food safety climate (communication; self-commitment; management and coworker support; environment support; risk judgment; normative beliefs and work pressure); and risk perceptions. In the technical-managerial route, restaurants were categorized as low- or high foodborne disease risk restaurants.

For the evaluation of food safety management systems, a validated checklist was used. In the human route, food safety climate analysis was performed by evaluating five elements applied exclusively to food handlers. High-risk restaurants presented a higher percentage of violation in most aspects related to food safety regulation and physical structure. Leadership and knowledge of low-risk restaurants’ managers presented a higher level when compared to high-risk restaurants’ managers, showing that in the first group managers acted as mediators of safe practices. Food handlers from low-risk restaurants presented higher scores in food safety knowledge, organizational commitment, and food safety climate when compared to food handlers from high-risk restaurants. In restaurants with lower risk for foodborne diseases, the elements of food safety culture were better evaluated, indicating fewer violations of food safety regulation. In these restaurants, a consistent food safety climate was perceived within the technical-managerial route.

This result shows that fewer violations of food safety legislation, especially those involving high-risk foodborne disease, were a positive outcome of an improved FS-culture. In this sense, it is possible to improve food safety by applying, evolving and maturing the concepts of FS-culture in restaurants in Brazil.

Food safety culture in food services with different degrees of risk for foodborne diseases in Brazil

Food Control

Marcel Levy de Andrade1, Elke Stedefeldt2, Lais Mariano Zanin3, Diogo Thimoteo da Cunha

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2020.107152

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0956713520300682

Best intentions don’t always help, in relationships or food safety

Evacuees from quake-hit Cotabato, Philippines, were rushed to the hospital in November (can you tell I’m still playing catch up with what I find interesting as my 8 broken ribs and broken collarbone heal) due to suspected food poisoning from donated packed meals.

Acting Vice Governor Shirlyn Macasarte said 30 evacuees were brought to hospitals after vomiting and experiencing diarrhea. The evacuees from Malabuan and Patulangon evacuation centers in Barangay Malasila in Makilala ate packed foods given to them.

Bienvenida Lagumbay, 71, said she vomited and experienced diarrhea after eating rice with dried fish and pork wrapped in banana leaf. She said four other people in the evacuation center ate the food and all of them experienced vomiting and diarrhea.

Distribution of hot meals or packed foods to quake-affected residents is now prohibited after the incident. Macasarte said despite their order to ban donated hot meals in evacuation centers to avoid food poisoning, the public can still help in other ways.

Macasarte said she instructed her staff to check on the patients’ conditions, including the hospital bills of those admitted in private hospitals.

7News investigates student concerns about food safety at UMass Lowell

Fed up students at UMass Lowell say millions of dollars from taxpayers and their tuition are being wasted on food that they can’t eat — and now that 7NEWS Investigates got involved, the university is threatening to cut ties with its food provider if the issues aren’t addressed.

A 7NEWS investigation of the food being served at the university uncovered mold, worms, and purple-colored undercooked chicken.

Freshman Matt Gorham is among those sounding off, saying, “We just want food that’s edible.”

Freshman Ronan Rogier agreed, saying, “It’s not healthy, it’s not safe.”

These students, and their classmates, are so upset with the food being offered in their dining halls, hey sent 7NEWS videos and pictures taken last semester, that show bugs in their pasta, black substances on their lettuce, and worms in their broccoli.

“It got so bad they had to stop serving broccoli because they always had bugs in them,” said sophomore Nate Polgreen.

University Dining stopped serving the broccoli in November, stressing that “food safety is always a top priority.”

In addition to being grossed out, students say they are paying a lot of money for food they can’t eat.

Meal plans at UMass Lowell range from $4,500 to $5,000 a year. Freshmen are required to get one.

The great university meal plan rip off; was going on when I started as an undergraduate in 1981, still going on today.

“It’s undercooked, it’s moldy, it’s even been soggy a few times when it’s not supposed to be,” Rogier said.

Gorham added, “What we are spending on that meal plan each semester, is unacceptable for this food.”

All the food is purchased and prepared by Aramark Education Services, a national company that UMass Lowell paid $18.5 million for this school year.

Aramark refused our request to talk on-camera, instead of issuing a statement, saying “Our top priority is to ensure a positive, safe, and healthy dining environment for the entire UMass Lowell community and we will continue to give this matter our constant attention. We maintain rigid food safety operating procedures for the entire flow of food production. This includes providing an environment that protects the safety and integrity of food from its delivery, throughout its storage, preparation, transport, and ultimately, to the point of service to the customer. We encourage anyone with a concern about their dining experience to contact any of our Managers on Duty in the dining location so that we can provide immediate attention to any concerns, comments or suggestions on the spot.”

Couldn’t make a point with a pin.

They still suck: Chipotle hit with 13,000 child labour violations

I started working when I was 9-years-old, biking out to the Brantford private golf course on weekends and weekdays during the summer and carrying a heavy bag of clubs around a 5-mile-course.documented my time in the bullpen, where we would wait for our name to be called.

The 1980 movie, Caddyshack, perfectly and accurately captured me in 1973.

By the time I was 13, I had a couple of regular gigs so I didn’t have to wait around, and was caddying for the club pro around Ontario (that’s in Canada) who would give me an extra $10 for every stroke under par.

In high school I often worked the graveyard shift at the gas station, pumping petrol in the middle of the night, trying not to get robbed and then going off to fall asleep in grade 12 math and French.

I’ve always worked and have concluded after years of therapy I need to work.

I started bashing Chipotle about 2006, when driving through Kansas City with a trailer full of stuff as I moved to Manhattan, Kansas, to follow a girl, and cited this billboard.

Any company focused on this stuff usually meant they were somewhat oblivious to basic food safety.

Unfortunately for all the thousands of sick people over the next 14 years, I was right.

I tried to call them out for the food safety amateurs they were.

Now it appears that feel-goody Chipotle don’t know much about child labour laws.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey ordered the largest child labour penalty ever issued by the state against the Mexican restaurant chain after finding an estimated 13,253 child labour violations in its more than 50 locations.

“Chipotle is a major national restaurant chain that employs thousands of young people across the country and it has a duty to ensure minors are safe working in its restaurants,” Healey said in a statement.

“We hope these citations send a message to other fast food chains and restaurants that they cannot violate our child labour laws and put young people at risk.”

The fine detailed that Chipotle had employees under the age of 18 working past midnight and for more than 48 hours a week.

Teenagers told investigators their hours of work were so long that it was preventing them from keeping up with their schoolwork. The company also regularly hired minors without work permits.

The settlement total is closer to $US2 million, including penalties for earned sick time violations in which managers granted employees paid time off only for certain illnesses.

I’m sure those tired kids have Chipotle food safety at the top of their priority list.

Fancy food ain’t safe food, Yelp California edition

The popular review site Yelp started warning Southern Californians about restaurants that get low health inspection grades Wednesday, and some of those places are famous, fancy eateries.

Joel Grover and Amy Corral of NBC Los Angeles report that starting Wednesday, if you try to read Yelp reviews of any LA County restaurant that has a C rating or worse, you’ll first see a big, bold warning that says “Consumer Alert: Low Food Safety Score.”

”The goal of the ‘health score alerts’ that we’re placing today is to both warn consumers, but also provide further incentive for businesses to improve their cleanliness and their hygiene at their establishment,” said Yelp senior VP Vince Sollitto.

Here’s what the new alert will look like on Yelp.

Among the dozens of restaurants that now have Consumer Alerts on Yelp is the upscale Rosaline in West Hollywood. Rosaline was honored as a “favourite for good value” by the prestigious Michelin Guide last year, but also received C grades on its last two inspections.

On Nov. 5, the health inspector cited Rosaline for 13 violations, three of them major,  including vermin. In his report, the inspector observed “at least a dozen live adult and nymph cockroaches” and “at least a dozen soft, fresh rat droppings.”

…at least a dozen live adult and nymph cockroaches” and “…at least a dozen soft, fresh rat droppings.

But customers might not know Rosaline got a “C” –70 out of 100 — because the letter grade is not prominently placed at eye level at the entrance.

Rosaline told the I-Team it has fixed the vermin problem and is waiting for a re-inspection.

“After the Health Department found vermin in a wall cavity, Rosaliné closed for 10 days to repair damage found in two of our walls we believe was caused by neighboring construction. The health department thoroughly inspected and approved our reopening on November 15th. Over the past two and a half months, we have made multiple requests to the Health Department provide a current grade,” the Rosaliné team said in a follow-up email.

The LA County Health Department began giving restaurants letter grades in 1998, after the I-Team’s Joel Grover went undercover and exposed LA restaurants with filthy conditions and practices, like workers picking their noses while preparing food, and sneezing right into food that was about to be served to customers.

Before 1998, the health department kept restaurant inspection scores secret. Until then, if a restaurant failed an inspection, consumers remained unaware.

For the last 21 years, restaurant inspection information and scores have been made available on the LA County Public Health Department’s website, but finding information about specific restaurants requires several steps of digging.

The county’s online information is also sometimes inaccurate or incomplete; the I-Team noticed that one prominent Beverly Hills restaurant got a C rating last October, but then paid a fee for a reinspection and got an A. The C no longer appears on the county’s site. A restaurant inspection history is supposed to be publicly posted.

Yelp says its new Consumer Alerts will make information about low scoring restaurants easily accessible to consumers.

“The goal of the Yelp program is to make health hygiene scores for restaurants both more accessible to consumers and more easily understandable for them,” Yelp’s Vince Sollitto said.

But the I-Team found errors in Yelp’s Consumer Alert program too. As of this morning, more than 70 LA county businesses had Health Score Alerts –meaning their grades were C or below. But the I-Team found at least five of those businesses actually had As or Bs, on their most recent inspections listed on the county’s website.

When the I-Team asked Yelp about the discrepancies, a spokesperson said they “get an updated data feed from the Los Angeles County Health department on approximately a weekly basis,” and were factoring the most recent information into their consumer alerts.

‘Everyone who ate fish on this flight will get sick’ Improving airplane food safety

Food contamination during air travel presents unique risks to those affected. Foodborne pathogens can cause serious illness among all on board, and potentially jeopardize flight safety. These risks are likely to increase with current trends of “densification” and a predicted massive expansion of air travel. While aircraft are being equipped with ever newer designs with a focus on efficiency and comfort, regulations remained largely unmodified in terms of basic hygiene requirements.

Strict guidelines for food hygiene exist for on-ground food settings and catering kitchens. There is uncertainty about hygiene standards on board commercial aircraft, and little regulatory oversight of what happens to food in-flight. In two hypothetical scenarios we indicate the potential risks associated with poor food handling practice onboard aircraft, with the ultimate aim of bringing aviation food safety in line with on-ground regulations. Changes in cabin design alongside adequate training in safe food handling have the potential to increase public health protection. We urge a review of existing in-flight hygiene protocols to better direct the development of regulation, prevention, and intervention measures for aviation food safety.

In-flight transmission of foodborne disease: How can airlines improve?

Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease

Andrea Grout, Elizabeth Speakman

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tmaid.2020.101558

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1477893920300089

Faith-based food safety: Unlicensed California food service fined after illnesses

AP News reports an unlicensed food delivery service in the Sacramento area has been fined more than $100,000 after several customers were sickened.

The owner of Anna’s Kitchen “repeatedly delivered hundreds of meals that had not been kept properly hot or cold for extended periods of time, increasing the likelihood of foodborne illness,” the Yolo County district attorney’s office said in a statement Monday.

The business used the popular Chinese app WeChat to market its homemade Chinese food to Chinese foreign exchange students at the University of California, Davis, authorities said.

A health investigation began after several students reported becoming sick.

The business owner, Xin Jiang, agreed to settle a civil enforcement action by paying nearly $107,000 in costs and penalties. The agreement was approved by a judge last month.

Jiang admitted wrongdoing and is no longer operating Anna’s Kitchen but he could face another $90,000 in penalties if he reopens it or is found selling any type of food without a valid county permit, the DA’s office said.

Australia’s food safety system falls well short

Adele Ferguson of The Age writes that food safety is again in the headlines following an investigation into the Grill’d burger chain.

The long list of food safety transgressions at hamburger chain Grill’d outlined in a series of leaked internal food and safety audit reports, internal documents, a council report, and dozens of photos from staff, triggered a social media backlash.

In an attempt to dilute the public’s disgust Grill’d announced it would hire a global food auditor to review its food safety and work practices.

But in the process of exposing the worker exploitation and uncleanliness scandal it became clear there was another scandal that has been festering away: an overall lack of enforcement by the relevant authorities of food hygiene regulations and fines that are so low they fail to act as a deterrent.

Take for instance, Grill’d in Windsor, Victoria, the local council, Stonnington, issued an inspection notice of “major non-compliance” in October 2018. It said it didn’t have effective cleaning systems in place, which is the basic requirement of any restaurant.

What was even more disturbing was the council admitting that the same non-compliances were happening every year and that “infringement notices may be issued if this continues”.

In other words, the council’s inspection notice and wishy-washy threats were ineffectual.

This was no better demonstrated in early December when a photo was taken and posted on The Age and Sydney Morning Herald websites of a mouse inside a tray of hamburger buns sitting on the floor at Grill’d in Windsor.

The council’s reaction was to keep the public in the dark. It refused to say how many years of non-compliance it had recorded at the Grill’d Windsor restaurant and its only reaction to the buns stored on the floor, which attracted a mouse in the pest infested restaurant, was that it would act if someone lodged a complaint.

On a broader level, it illustrates shortcomings in the food safety system in Australia. It seems the public only get to know what’s going on when it is too late.

The Victorian Health register of convictions of food safety is an eye-opener. In 2019 only a few cases went to court and received a conviction, which attracted a minuscule fine.

The laws may be strict but if they aren’t properly monitored and enforced then things fall apart.

Everyone’s got a camera: Boston Dunkin’ edition

Dunkin’ is no Tim Hortons.

The Boston Inspectional Services Department said an East Boston Dunkin’ location has closed after video captured what appears to be mice running around inside.

The video shows the rodents scurrying around the floor of the Maverick Square Dunkin’ while the store was closed late Monday night.

“[Tuesday], the Inspectional Services Department launched an investigation into the complaints and video of rodent infestation at the Dunkin’ located at 13 Maverick St. in East Boston,” the city agency said in a statement. “After reviewing the video, an inspector was immediately dispatched to the location to conduct a full compliance inspection of the establishment.”

“The health and safety of customers is our top priority,” Dunkin’ said in a statement. “We take this matter very seriously, and upon learning of the issue, the restaurant was immediately closed.”

Uh-huh.