Food Safety Talk 163: Grown on Chia Pets

The episode starts with the ongoing history of Canadian cuisine, landing on peameal bacon and how it came to be an Ontario delicacy. The guys go on to talk creamers dropping in hot coffee and contamination potential. The guys put out a request to listeners to send on listener’s food safety in everyday life (send pics). The guys talk date balls, chia and immunocompromised individuals. Ben tells a story about navigating the public health investigation world from a victims perspective and Don provides his insight. They both then go on to chat about risk communication in deception studies with human subjects. The episode ends on rapid listener feedback on double gloving (again), washing onions and cutting boards.

Episode 163 is available on iTunes and here.

Show notes so you can follow along at home:

Shirley Surgeoner — legend

When I first became a prof in 1996, Gord Surgeoner took me aside and said, stick close to the farmers.

He introduced me to the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers and we did some cool work.

I ran the counties of ag meetings, giving my spiel, and always knowing Gord approved.

And behind Gord was Shirley.

Shirley was always gracious, kind to my kids, and would tell me life advice like, Gord goes out and makes the life, I make the life worth living.

From my hometown of Brantford, Ontario (that’s in Canada), Shirley was in the Cockshutt family while I was firmly in the Massey-Ferguson camp.

Gord and I spent a lot of hours on the 401, I watched him practice speeches at 6 am in hotel rooms, and would say, Surgeoner, go back to bed, but Shirley was always on his mind, and he didn’t want to screw up.

Gord’s one of about three people I would drop everything for and fly halfway around the world if I thought I could be of use. The two daughters both worked with me at various times when I was in Kansas, and they each produced some cool science shit.

Here’s the official obit:

Shirley Diane Surgeoner

1948 – 2018

It is with joyful memories and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Shirley Diane Surgeoner (nee Vaughan). Shirley passed away on September 3rd at Norfolk General Hospital surrounded by her family.

Shirley was born in Brantford Ontario on February 20, 1948 to Audrey (nee Waring) and Edwin Vaughan; the oldest sister to Gary (Patsy) and Lary (Carrie). Shirley attended the University of Guelph where she graduated B.A. Sc. in 1972. She was a great advocate of the University of Guelph and the Mac-FACS-FRAN Alumni Association. Shirley received the prestigious Lincoln Alexander Medal of Distinguished Service in 2002 and the Alumni Volunteer Award in 2011.

For 45 years Shirley was the devoted wife and best friend of Gordon Surgeoner. Shirley and Gordon renovated a beautiful historic home in Fergus ON where they raised their three children: Brae (Luke), Drew (Jen) and Jade (Ben). She left behind a poem that brings us all to tears, but highlights the wonderful life she created at 169 Garafraxa St. E, “There’s a home whose rooms I know by heart. Where I tended the garden and read my books. Where dreams were dreamt and memories made. Where children grew up and I grew old. There’s a home where life was lived. A house where I belong” – Author Unknown. A loving and inspirational mother, she was also the proud grandmother of Aspen, Lily and Rilen.

Throughout her life Shirley maintained a sweet and simple demeanor that won the hearts of many. Her signature gift was that of giving. Shirley gave unconditionally to her family, friends and community. More than anything her family is grateful to her selfless years spent raising her children, supporting her husband and devotedly caring for her aging grandparents and parents. Shirley’s mantra in life was that life can provide many unexpected challenges, so enjoy every day and tell those that surround you how much you love them. She will be missed by many. Cremation has taken place at McCleister’s Funeral Home in Brantford. A celebration of Shirley’s life will be held at a later time to be announced. In her memory donations may be made to the Groves Memorial Community Hospital in Fergus. 

130 sick from Salmonella in Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal

Kellogg’s really sucks at this food safety thing.

These are the folks who said, in the aftermath of the Peanut Corporation of America outbreak in 2009 that killed nine and sickened hundreds, how the hell could we have known?

When Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal came under Salmonella-related scrutiny, the company didn’t even know who made the cereal.

They just put their name on it, like a Trump hotel.

How the hell would anyone have known?

People who give a shit about food safety, people barfing, people dying.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reiterated its advice the other day, stating retailers should not sell any Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. It could be contaminated with Salmonella and make people sick.  The Kellogg Company recalled Honey Smacks cereal on June 14, 2018.

CDC continues to recommend consumers not eat any Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. People who recently became ill report eating Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal that they had in their homes.

If you see Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal for sale, do not buy it. The FDA has become aware that recalled Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal is still being offered for sale.

Thirty more ill people from 19 states were added to this outbreak since the last update on July 12, 2018.

Three more states reported ill people: Delaware, Minnesota, and Maine.

Highlights

130 people infected with the outbreak strain have been reported from 36 states.

34 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal is the likely source of this multistate outbreak.

18 sick: E. coli O26 linked to Publix ground chuck products

Publix Super Markets Inc., a Lakeland, Fla., retail grocery store chain is voluntarily recalling an undetermined amount of ground beef products made from chuck that may be contaminated with Escherichia coli O26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The ground chuck items were purchased by consumers from June 25, 2018, through July 31, 2018. The following products are subject to recall: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/330436d0-f5bb-4ee3-a3eb-cca6459bf014/072-2018-List-Products.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&useDefaultText=0&useDefaultDesc=0   

These items were shipped to Publix Super Market retail locations in the following Florida counties: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/68f37b9e-2b95-45c9-8ba7-36500f13a6ac/072-2018-Affected-Counties-Florida.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&useDefaultText=0&useDefaultDesc=0

On Aug. 16, 2018, FSIS was notified of an investigation of E. coli O26 illnesses. FSIS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state public health and agriculture partners determined that raw ground chuck was the probable source of the reported illnesses. The epidemiological investigation identified 18 case-patients, predominantly from Florida, with illness onset dates ranging from July 5 to July 25, 2018. Traceback information indicated that case-patients consumed ground chuck products purchased at various Publix Super Markets that was supplied by a yet-to-be determined source. As this investigation further develops, FSIS will continue to work with the supermarket, suppliers and public health partners, and will provide updated information should it become available.

  1. coli O26, like the more common E. coli O157:H7, is a serovar of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). People can become ill from STECs 2–8 days (average of 3–4 days) after exposure to the organism.

Most people infected with STEC O26 develop diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting. Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe. Infection is usually diagnosed by testing of a stool sample. Vigorous rehydration and other supportive care is the usual treatment; antibiotic treatment is generally not recommended. Most people recover within a week, but rarely, some develop a more severe infection. Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure, is uncommon with STEC O26 infection. HUS can occur in people of any age but is most common in children under 5 years old, older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately

FSIS is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Human poop scattered on Vancouver grass patch

Most people in Brisbane think Canada ends at Vancouver, or maybe Banff.

I always thought Vancouver was a dump, and still do.

So do others.

Kenneth Chan of Daily Hive writes, This is not a sight you would expect immediately across the street from the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel in downtown.

But if you look closely into a narrow patch of overgrown grass between the sidewalk and the bike lane on the south side of Helmcken Street between the laneway south of Burrard Street and Hornby Street, you will see excrement.

To be more precise, you will see hundreds of large pieces of what appears to be human poop.

Daily Hive was tipped off by a health worker at St. Paul’s Hospital who uses the sidewalk next to the grass patch on a regular basis to walk between their office and home.

“Human poop looks different than dog poop,” said the worker who wished to remain anonymous. “I have heard other people talking about the human poop too, mostly people walking in the area. I have also seen human poop in the garden outside my office and on a park bench that is outside the building, which is not something a dog would do.”

“It’s not like I’m counting or keeping track of the quantity, though I have to say this is the most poop-covered stretch of grass I have ever seen, but the accumulation seems to happen overnight.”

Who’s to blame? Australian restaurant fined $13,000 after health inspectors find “pet meat” being processed in kitchen

Akshay Pai of Meaww writes that an Indian restaurant in Perth, Australia, has been fined $13,000 by health inspectors after they found ‘pet meat’ in its kitchen premises.

The Department of Health published a notice online, stating that Kopikaran Krishnasamy and Kalaiamutham Pty Ltd, trading as Cafe Marica was guilty of breaching food regulations this past February.

According to the Daily Mail, when the City of Gosnells food safety inspectors visited the restaurant, located in Perth’s southern suburb of Canning Vale, they found 15 kilos of mutton marked ‘Pet Meat – Not Fit For Human Consumption’ opened and being processed in the kitchen.

Cafe Marica was handed down a hefty fine for failing to comply with food safety regulations —  $12,000 for court costs and an additional $1382.30 in costs for failing to prevent pet meat being handled in premises where food was sold. However, it is unclear whether any of the pet meat was served to a customer in the restaurant. Speaking about the case, City of Gosnells chief executive officer Ian Cowie said, “The breach related to the fact that pet meat was found at premises where food was prepared and sold for human consumption. Some of the meat was being processed by Mr. Krishnasamy, however, the City had no evidence that the pet meat was for consumption by customers.”

In a statement, owner Krishnasamy defended his restaurant and insisted that the mix-up was because of a new supplier. “We believe our mistake was trusting our supplier blindly and going ahead with the purchase back in February 2018,” he wrote on Facebook. “Since then, we have immediately discontinued purchases from the supplier and stepped up our hygiene practices.”

Is that a rat in your meat slicer or you just happy to see me

According to a food safety inspection report, an inspector found a live, large gray rat last week hiding in a meat slicer on a shelf in the back of Laurenzo’s Italian Market in North Miami Beach, Florida.

The inspector ordered a “stop use” on all food processing areas, the receiving area and on the receiving of food items.

Food Safety Talk 162: FST Bolo Ties

The show opens with a bit of discussion about other podcasts, but quickly moves to the main subject at hand: a recent study on the increased isopropanol tolerance of certain bacteria found in hospitals.  The guys weigh in on the strengths and weaknesses of the study, including it’s relevance to food safety, with some help via listener feedback. The next topic is Chipotle’s recent problem with Clostridium perfringens in their beans. The guys introduce a new segment on Canadian foods, before moving to listener feedback on fermented foods, CSPI, and thermometer calibration, times and temperatures, food dehydrators, handwashing, and double gloving. The show ends with a discussion of a recent cookbook recall.

Episode 162 is available on iTunes and here.

Show notes so you can follow along at home:

barfblog notifications are back. Oh and California is looking to allow folks to sell meals from their home kitchens

Notifications are back. Or at least we think they are. For the past few weeks we’ve put some posts up, but they never made it to our subscribers. After a few weeks of trying to figure out what was up, our technical folks think they’ve figured it out.

Here’s the test post:

I spent today making a bunch of food today in a home kitchen, being videoed, for science. We’re piloting a study that we’ll launch next year and wanted to know how the script and technology was going to work. This one involves using eye-tracking hardware to see where folks look. That’s me (right, exactly as shown) trying the mock technology on (we used Google Glass for the pilot).

Below is what I made.

According to Capitol Public Radio, some Californians are lobbying the state government to allow for commercial businesses to operate out of home kitchens.

Home cooks rallied at the state Capitol Wednesday in support of AB 626, a bill that would make California the first state to permit and regulate the small-scale sale of meals from home kitchens.

Oakland farmer Brandi Mac said the bill will provide economic opportunities to women, immigrants, and people of color that live in urban communities.

“We need to figure out what are some of the ways we can be able to get to employ urban farmers,” Mac said. “You can’t make money selling lettuce. But you can [make some money] if you make a Caesar salad.”

As careful as I was, I don’t think the meal, made in a consumer home, is ready for commercial prime time.