No one here gets out alive: Doors’ food porn

I still get shivers when I listen to Robby Krieger’s solo on L.A. Woman or his pounding lead on Morrison Hotel.

December 1969, Los Angeles, California, USA — The Doors at the Morrison Hotel — Image by © Henry Diltz/CORBIS

I was a huge Doors’ fan when I was a teenager.

It’s a phase most of us embrace and then grow out of.

The Doors’ iconic album, Morrison Hotel, was released exactly 50 years ago, today, on February 9th, 1970.

On the eve of the album’s half-centennial anniversary, rock stars collided at West Hollywood’s Sunset Marquis Hotel where music lovers and legends fêted the 50th anniversary of Morrison Hotel.

Hosted by industry trailblazers John Varvatos and Timothy White and sponsored by Jack Daniels, the homecoming celebration paid homage to the record’s release 50 years ago with poolside performance helmed by The Doors’ guitarist and co-founder, Robby Krieger.

Robby Krieger and Tangiers Blues Band – (a NYC group who have shared the stage with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, Brandi Carlisle, and many more) – along with an impressive roster of acclaimed musicians lent their respective talents to some of The Doors’ time-honored greatest hits. 

There is so much beauty in the world: New Zealand edition

Beautiful, Emma (she of long-time carerrer of Sorenne back to Kansas days).

I’m looking forward to the end of Feb. when Canadian daughters 3 and 4 of 4 arrive for an Australian visit.
And Emma, you and partner are always welcome here.
There is so much beauty in the world.
And too many exclamation marks.

Mercier Kiwi Adventures


Samoa with Maria: Day 3

Posted: 08 Feb 2020 04:28 PM PST

On day three, we intended to hop on and off the bus to visit a variety of landmarks around Upolu. We had both done quite a bit of research on the Samoan buses and understood that they make a constant loop around the (basically circular) island, and there is no predicting when they will come, but if you hang out by the main road long enough, you can flag one down. Alright, simple enough. Well, when we told our Matareva hostess of our plans, she was horrified, saying we’d have to take at least three different buses in order to get to just the first of our several stops. Then she explained the we could sign up for their “Adventure Tour” which went everywhere we wanted to go, plus a lava tube. This was the first of many experiences we had in Samoa when someone seemed extremely helpful and knowledgeable about a system that didn’t made sense to us, but also their suggestions benefited them, so we while we wanted to trust them, it was hard to be certain. (The longer we spent in Samoa the more convinced we were that these people were too nice to mislead us, and I continue to believe/hope that that’s true.) In this case, the price for the tour was very reasonable, and fighting with multitudes of unpredictable buses sounded awful, so we decided to do it. And we’re so glad we did, because the tour was definitely a highlight of our trip, in ways that doing those things on our own, even if the bus plan had worked perfectly, would not have been.
We got in the van in the morning with a group of strangers, who by the end of the day felt like friends. We were accompanied by a man and two boys (perhaps 12 and 16) who were members of the family who owned Matareva Beach Fales. We assumed that the man was our tour guide, but soon found out that he didn’t speak English, and the two boys would be showing us around. They were hilarious and enthusiastic tour guides, with unorthodox but very entertaining methods, and I’m so glad we spent the day with them!

 

First we walked through some amazing native bush, with all kinds of incredible flora…
… to arrive at a lava tube. Our tour guides told us that it’s not on any websites or maps, but they’d like to make it more well-known in conjunction with their fales. It was too dark inside for pictures, but it was amazing in there, although extremely hot and humid (so much so that you could see the water in the air in the flashlight beams). There was also condensation on the walls, and when it beaded up on top of some kinds of lichen it glittered like gold. Our tour guides explained that people would shelter in these tubes (which are miles long) if there was a natural disaster, and showed us a grave deep inside it. They didn’t know the story of who the person was, but you can imagine hard times.

 

Next, we headed to Savaia, where there is a Giant Clam Sanctuary.
Having no underwater photo-taking ability, I am reduced to internet photos, but I can assure you that this is exactly what these clams looked like! Unbelievable, right? They are amazing! The ones that colour were mostly about 120cm (47in or almost 4 feet) long. And we learned that if you drop a rock on it, it will shut on it, then jettison it out with a jet of water! Click here for an underwater video around the sanctuary (apologies for the annoying music) and here for more information about endangered Giant Clams.

 

Also, bonus – sea turtles live there too! Unfortunately Maria and I were not together when another tourist pointed one out to me, so she didn’t get to see it, but I swam near it for several minutes, and it was amazing! There are places in Samoa that specifically advertise swimming with sea turtles, but they had mixed reviews on how happy the turtles were about coming into a confined space with people, so we decided not to go. But meeting this one in its natural habitat was so special!

 

Next, we headed to Togitogiga Waterfall.
(A note before I continue: In order for Anglophones to pronounce the Samoan ‘g’, it’s helpful to imagine that it has an ‘n’ in front of it, as it sounds much like the end of ‘ing’. So this waterfall is pronounced as if it was spelled Tongitonginga. I find this very cook, because keeping it in mind as I read Samoan made me much more able to find overlap between it and Māori.)
This beautiful waterfall was not only visually stunning but very adventurous (as promised by the tour name). We spent a little while swimming around the freezing water at the bottom (a welcome change from the heat of the day at first, but really too cold for extended enjoyment) and challenging ourselves to swim against the current to get near the bottom of the falls.
Then Walter, the younger of our tour guides, showed us how to climb up the side of the falls and where to jump into the pool. (This is a stock photo, as we were much too busy adventuring to take any.) On the left, you can see people jumping from one place we jumped from, but above them you can also see a little fence – we also climbed up and jumped from there. It was much more exhilarating, because you had to make sure to jump as far out as possible to make sure you cleared the lower ledge. It was not physically challenging to do so, but added an extra sense of adventure.
Our last stop of the day was to To Sua Giant Swimming Hole. Rather than regurgitating the information from this information panel, I thought I’d just include it – if you click on it, it should get big enough that you can read the words.
The whole area surrounding the swimming holes was very beautiful, although we explored very little. If we read the map right, this is the area where the lava tube connected to the swimming hole joins the ocean. Plus, look at that lovely little pool in the middle of the volcanic rock. Stunning.
This is the picture we took of the more open side of the lava tube. It was a bit overcast when we were there, for which we were very thankful, as it kept the temperature at a manageable 30C (86F), but it did mean that the colours of the water were a bit muted. It might also have kept some tourists away, because we were extremely lucky to find it mostly empty and ready for our exploration, whereas I’ve heard it can be quite busy.
Just for comparison’s sake, however, here is a photo of what it looks like under full sun.
This is looking back from the smaller of the two places where the roof of the lava tube collapsed. It was pretty exciting to swim through the tube part – I have a rather irrational fear of dark water, so I did take a deep breath or two before striking out into the tunnel, but it was worth it, and unsurprisingly, no sea monsters attacked me at all! Plus the view was amazing! So that’s a win for adventure.
This is looking down at that smaller pool from on top. I wish I could find a picture of looking up out of it, because seeing the light filtering down through all that lush greenery (and especially the ferns) was really special.
As I mentioned, the lava tube is connected to the ocean by an underwater section, so as the waves/tides roll in/out an enormously powerful suction is created. This causes an intense current within the swimming hole that changes direction rapidly every minute or so. There are ropes strung across the main section, and then one that you can pull yourself along to go through the tunnel. There is just enough of a threat in the idea of getting sucked into the underwater tube to get your adrenaline pumping, and this combined with the acrobatic potential of an underwater rope and a conveniently placed submerged rock results in some amazing playfulness, even in adults. By this time we had bonded with our fellow tourists and were ready to join together in all kinds of shenanigans and comfortable laughing with/at each other. This last bit was important, as we tested the limits of how far we could stray from the rope, how high we could balance on the rock, or which body parts we could link to the rope before the indomitable water inevitably returned us to our tightfisted grip on the lifeline. I think we all felt that we could do it forever and never get bored, but also realized fairly quickly that it was fatigue, not boredom, that would limit our adventures. What a workout! Walter again led the way in jumping from crazy heights (the exhilarating of the jump replaced immediately by the driving need to find the rope as soon as you hit the water), and then after that, we retreated to the car, exhausted but satisfied. Both of our young tour guides collapsed into the front seat in exhaustion, and were fast asleep by the time we got back to the fales. They’d made us laugh all day and shown us a truly amazing adventurous side to Samoa, and they deserved their rest.
The combination of adorable and entertaining guides, incredible sights, fantastic company, and invigorating adventure made this a day we will never forget!

Everyone’ got a camera Red Rooster Australia edition

Nick Hall of Franchise Business reports fast food chain Red Rooster has made the drastic decision to shut two Perth outlets after leaked photos raised concerns over food safety.

Images posted on Facebook appear to show cooked chickens piled into the back of a Red Rooster delivery vehicle; unwrapped, unrefrigerated and in seemingly unsanitary condition.

Furthermore, reports suggest the chickens were being transported on day when the Perth sun was at its deadliest.

Social media users slammed the outlet for its unsanitary practices, with many questioning why the chickens were placed in the back of the car in the first place.

“To me this looks like a store has ran out of chicken and someone has transferred these from one store to another,” one user speculated.

In response to the alleged food safety breaches, Red Rooster quickly moved to close Forrestfield store, along with another in Waypoint also under the same franchisee’s direction.

In a statement, Red Rooster confirmed that the stores would remained closed until investigations were finalised.

“These stores will remain closed while detailed investigations are conducted, required actions are taken and we are satisfied that the operating standards of these locations meet the high expectations of our strict brand standards,” the brand said.

“We have alerted the relevant authorities and are working with them closely while our local staff on the ground undertake the investigation and actions required to meet our brand standards.”

Chipotle: The food safety gift that keeps on giving

In a previous life I was the scientific advisor for the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors.

We would meet a couple of times a year, and I would provide my food safety thoughts on what was going on at retail, but what struck me was that the first three hours of every meeting were like a self-help therapy session.

These heads of food safety at major Canadian retailers would bemoan their diminishing status at the corporate level: No one cares about food safety until there’s an outbreak. Twenty years later, the song remains the same.

Alexis Morillo of Delish writes that Chipotle workers claim that food safety practices are at risk at the fast casual restaurant due to managerial procedures that cause workers to “cut corners.”

A total of 47 current and former Chipotle workers from New York City locations came forward about the malpractice in a report to Business Insider. This news follows recent allegations that the company has been violating child labor laws.

In the report obtained by Business Insider, workers outlined concerns about the way things are done behind the scenes at Chipotle. It said that many incentives like pay bonuses let other responsibilities like cleanliness audits and food safety fall to the wayside.

Workers said in the report that working at Chipotle is “highly pressurized environment” with goals that include “minimizing labor costs.”

It was also said that managers are often told in advance when a restaurant will be inspected for cleanliness so they can be prepared. Meanwhile, when an inspection isn’t taking place the cleanliness standard is much more laid back. In the past, people have questioned Chipotle’s safety standards because of the E. Coli outbreak a couple years back. The chain also has an interesting sick day policy, where there are on call nurses for workers to check if they’re actually sick.

Chipotle said in a statement to Delish that the company is committed to safe food and a safe work environment and that the pay bonuses actually incentivize workers to be even more precise when following company policies.

The song remains the same.

Recommend using a thermometer instead of piping hot: FSA food safety culture

Jose Bolanos of the UK Food Standards Agency writes in Organizations, culture and food safety, 2020that FSA has a longstanding interest in organisational culture and its impact on the capability of a food business to provide food that is safe and what it says it is.

However, while there has been some work carried out on assessing organisational culture in some regulatory areas, there has been limited progress in the development of a regulatory approach specifically for food safety culture.

And on it goes in bureau-speak.

Can’t take an agency seriously when they still recommend that meat be cooked until piping hot.

13 sick: Salmonella outbreak in France linked to raw milk cheese

Outbreak News Today reports that since November 2019, Public Health France reports investigating 13 cases of salmonellosis caused by Salmonella enterica serotype Dublin (S. Dublin) reported by the National Reference Center (CNR) of Salmonella (Institut Pasteur) due to the fact that the strains belong to the same genomic cluster.

The outbreak has been linked to the consumption of raw milk Morbier (cheese), purchased from different brands, health officials note.

The cases are spread over 7 regions of the country. Three cases died, though its not clear if the salmonellosis attributed to the deaths.

The analysis by the Directorate General of Food (DGAL) of cheese purchases from case loyalty cards made it possible to identify that the Morbiers bought by the cases came from the same supplier.

49 sick: Glazed eclairs cause mass poisoning in two Armenian provinces

News Az reports the poisoning cases were reported in the town of Sisian in the southern province of Syunik and in Vanadzor and Stepanavan in the northern province of Lori.
According to the ministry, all the patients had symptoms of diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. A preliminary diagnosis said the cause of poisoning was an intestinal infection.

The National Center for Disease Control and Prevention said 41 patients were traced in Lori, and 8 in Syunik. Currently, 33 patients are still being treated in Lori and 8 in Syunik. Doctors assess the patients’ condition as satisfactory. According to the press service of the Food Safety Inspectorate, laboratory studies found salmonella in éclairs.

It said the Zeytun Sweet company was inspected but no violations of sanitary standards were found, but it turned out that the éclairs did not have a conformity assessment and did not have a safety certificate. Zeytun Sweet Company was ordered to ban the sale of the product and recall éclairs from the market and destroy them.

In addition, samples of eggs, oil, spread, as well as finished products used for the production of éclairs were taken for further examination.

UK coroner blasts health bosses for ‘inexcusable delays’ in reporting listeria outbreak after grandmother, 81, died from eating infected chicken mayonnaise sandwich in NHS hospital

The headline sorta sums things up.

A coroner has slammed health officials for ‘inexcusable delays’ in reporting a nationwide listeria outbreak after a ‘much-loved’ grandmother died from eating an infected chicken mayonnaise sandwich while in hospital.

Alexander Robertson of the Daily Mail reports that Brenda Elmer’s family thought the 81-year-old was simply recovering from a recent operation, rather than battling the potentially life-threatening bacteria.

A coroner branded delays in reporting some listeria cases as ‘inexcusable’ and said it hindered the national response to last year’s outbreak of the infection.

An information ‘black hole’ also meant that warnings over the outbreak were delayed in reaching Mrs Elmer’s family, senior coroner Penelope Schofield said.

Mrs Elmer is one of five people thought to have died in last year’s national listeria scandal, linked to sandwiches that had been supplied to 43 NHS trusts.

It prompted a ‘root and branch’ review of hospital food in the UK by Public Health England.

But was the suspect mayo made from from eggs – a chef’s favorite but a public health nightmare – the story doesn’t say. And it was just as likely to be the meat rather than the mayo if the mayo was commercially prepared.

UK jurnos, I’ve given you some ledes, go find out.

Always question authority.

Kansas veterinary medicine researchers develop new method to improve food safety

From a press release, as if you couldn’t tell:

Faculty members from the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine have developed a faster, more efficient method of detecting “Shiga toxin-producing E. coli,” or STEC, in ground beef, which often causes recalls of ground beef and vegetables.

“The traditional gold standard STEC detection, which requires bacterial isolation and characterization, is not amenable to high-throughput settings and often requires a week to obtain a definitive result,” said Jianfa Bai, section head of molecular research and development in the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

The new method developed by Bai and colleagues requires only a day to obtain confirmatory results using a Kansas State University-patented method with the partition-based multichannel digital polymerase chain reaction system.

“We believe the new digital polymerase chain reaction detection method developed in this study will be widely used in food safety and inspection services for the rapid detection and confirmation of STEC and other foodborne pathogens,” said Jamie Henningson, director of the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

When ingested through foods such as ground beef and vegetables, STEC can cause illnesses with symptoms including abdominal pain and diarrhea. Some illnesses caused by STEC may lead to kidney failure and can be life-threatening.

“Some E. coli strains do not produce Shiga toxins and thus do not affect human health as much,” said Xuming Liu, research assistant professor. “Because cattle feces and ground beef can contain harmless or less pathogenic E. coli along with STEC, the most commonly used polymerase chain reaction cannot identify pathogenic E. coli strains in a complex sample matrix.”

The new digital polymerase chain reaction test was developed for research and food safety inspections that require shorter turnaround and high throughput, without sacrificing detection accuracy.

“While the current, commonly used testing method is considered to be the gold standard, it is tedious and requires many days to obtain results that adequately differentiate the bacteria,” said Gary Anderson, director of the International Animal Health and Food Safety Institute at the K-State Olathe campus.

The study, “Single cell-based digital PCR detection and association of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli serogroups and major virulence genes,” which describes the test design and results, was published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

Nestle invests $200 million more in Aimmune after peanut allergy drug approval

Saumya Joseph of Reuters reports Aimmune Therapeutics Inc said on Wednesday the health science arm of Nestle SA will invest an additional $200 million, days after the drugmaker won U.S. approval for its peanut allergy therapy, touted as a potential blockbuster.

The funding brings Nestle’s total investment to $473 million, increasing the Swiss company’s stake to 19.9% of Aimmune’s outstanding stock and voting power.

Aimmune shares rose 5.7% in early morning trading, after falling 11% on Tuesday. Its therapy, Palforzia, was approved on Friday after markets close.

Nestle’s investment is an incremental positive for Aimmune’s shares, which have seen some weakness due to investor worries over financing, Piper Sandler analyst Christopher Raymond wrote in a note.

“With this additional investment, we think the prospect of an outright take out by Nestle (or anyone else for that matter) has to be factored in more than before,” Raymond said.

Nestle has been trying to become a “nutrition, health and wellness” company, with its Nestle Health Science unit playing a pivotal role, as packaged food sales slow amid changing tastes.

The unit invested $145 million in Aimmune in 2016, followed by $30 million as part of the drugmaker’s public offering in February 2018, and another $98 million in November 2018.

Aimmune would use the latest Nestle investment to fund the launch of Palforzia, which is the first approved therapy for reducing and potentially eliminating allergic reactions to peanuts in children.