Acid is still important

Simplot Australia Pty Ltd announced in June it is conducting a recall of Leggo’s Tuna Bake with Spinach & Garlic 500g.  The product has been available for sale at Coles, Woolworths, IGA and independent supermarkets in Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and online.

Only products with Best Before 1 05 22 and with a specific batch code of 12164:

The recall is due to the incorrect pH level being detected in the sauce which has the potential for microbial growth.

Food products with the potential for microbial contamination and may cause illness if consumed.

Country of origin: Australia.

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.

Warm water followed by acid spray reduces STECs on veal carcasses

Effective antimicrobial intervention strategies to reduce Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC) risks associated with veal are needed.

bob.veal.carcassThis study evaluated the efficacy of lactic acid (4.5%, pH 2.0), Citrilow (pH 1.2), and Beefxide (2.25%, pH 2.3) for reducing STEC surrogates on prerigor and chilled bob veal carcasses and monitored the effects of these interventions on chilled carcass color.

Dehided bob veal carcasses were inoculated with a five-strain cocktail of rifampin-resistant, surrogate E. coli bacteria. E. coli surrogates were enumerated after inoculation, after water wash, after prechill carcass antimicrobial spray application, after chilling for 24 h, and after postchill carcass antimicrobial spray application; carcass color was measured throughout the process. A standard carcass water wash (∼50°C) reduced the STEC surrogate population by 0.9 log CFU/cm2 (P ≤ 0.05). All three antimicrobial sprays applied to prerigor carcasses delivered an additional ∼0.5-log reduction (P ≤ 0.05) of the surrogates. Chilling of carcasses for 24 h reduced (P ≤ 0.05) the surrogate population by an additional ∼0.4 log cycles. The postchill application of the antimicrobial sprays provided no further reductions. Carcass L*, a*, and b* color values were not different (P > 0.05) among carcass treatments. Generally, the types and concentrations of the antimicrobial sprays evaluated herein did not negatively impact visual or instrumental color of chilled veal carcasses.

This study demonstrates that warm water washing, followed by a prechill spray treatment with a low-pH chemical intervention, can effectively reduce STEC risks associated with veal carcasses; this provides processors a validated control point in slaughter operations.

Evaluating the efficacy of three U.S. Department of Agriculture–approved antimicrobial sprays for reducing Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli surrogate populations on bob veal carcasses

Journal of Food Protection®, Number 6, June 2016, pp. 896-1055, pp. 956-962(7)

J. Sevart; N. Baumann; H.Thippareddi; T. A. Houser; J. B. Luchansky; A. C. S. Porto-Fett; D. B. Marx; G. R. Acuff; R. K. Phebus


Low salt suspect; 7 dead, 110 sick from E. coli O157 in pickled cabbage in Japan

Five people, including a 4-year-old girl, have been confirmed dead of food poisoning from pickled Chinese cabbage produced by a Sapporo food company. Another two deaths are believed to be related to E. coli O157 found in the cabbage.

The Daily Yomiuri Online reported today that the Sapporo-based food company that processed the cabbage is suspected of failing to properly sterilize the cabbage by heating.

Many details regarding how the E. coli O157 infections reached epidemic proportions have yet to be clarified. One possible factor behind the mass food poisoning is a method of using less salt when pickling vegetables to suit consumer tastes.

The pickled Chinese cabbage in question was produced by the food company Iwai Shokuhin in Sapporo.

The company said it produced the pickled cabbage by first washing the vegetables with water before soaking them in an antiseptic solution for 10 minutes. The vegetables were then washed a second time.

The products were shipped after the cabbage was pickled for 24 hours in brine mixed with acidic ingredients, company officials said.

The contaminated pickled cabbage was made Saturday. The amount produced on that day was double that of weekdays, the officials said.

Each of the firm’s 12 employees in charge of pickling wore masks and gloves. No E. coli bacillus were found in groundwater used for washing purposes in a checkup conducted after the incident, the officials said.

Officials at the Sapporo municipal health center said they will investigate whether the bacteria came from mud attached to cabbage that was not fully sterilized.

E. coli O157 from livestock roaming – and pooping on — cabbage fields has been the suggested etiology of several outbreaks in the past 25 years. It is difficult to wash off, but proper preservation – salt, acid – should take care of things.

Health center officials also noted that Iwai Shokuhin failed to record the concentration of the antiseptic solution, raising suspicions that the sterilization process may have been insufficient.

The Hokkaido prefectural government and the Sapporo municipal government have launched on-the-spot investigations of about 590 pickling facilities in Hokkaido under the Food Sanitation Law.

Mass poisoning caused by lightly pickled vegetables occurred in Saitama Prefecture in 2000, resulting in a single death, and in 2005 in Kagawa Prefecture, which resulted in five deaths. All fatalities were elderly residents of nursing care facilities.

In 2002, more than 100 boys and girls at a nursery in Fukuoka were infected with O-157. The incident was traced back to lightly pickled cucumbers.

"It’s possible that O-157 could get mixed with vegetables through fertilizers such as cattle dung," said Prof. Shinichi Yoshida of Kyushu University, a bacteriology expert who participated in probes regarding the poisonings.

"The E. coli O-157 bacteria wouldn’t be killed it if were soaked in brine with a salt concentration similar to seawater, or about 3 percent," he added.

Vegetables pickled in a fermented mixture of rice bran and brine have relatively high pH readings of about 3.5, which indicates a considerably high acidity that is conducive to killing bacteria, Yoshida said.

In recent years, however, many consumers prefer low-sodium processed foods and they tend to shy away from highly acidic pickles, Yoshida explained.

A new way to clean the greens

The New York Times is reporting tonight that the produce industry — rocked by several major recalls in recent years linked to outbreaks of salmonella, E. coli and other bacteria — has been searching for a better way to wash the lettuce, spinach and other greens it bags and sells in grocery stores and to restaurants.

Now, the nation’s leading producer of bagged salad greens, Fresh Express, says that washing them in a mild acid solution accomplishes the task.

The company plans to announce on Friday that it is abandoning the standard industry practice of washing leafy greens with chlorine and has begun using the acid mixture, which it claims is many times more effective in killing bacteria. The new wash solution, called FreshRinse, contains organic acids commonly used in the food industry, including lactic acid, a compound found in milk.

Mike Burness, vice president of global quality and food safety at Chiquita Brands International, which owns Fresh Express, said,

“We do believe it provides a much higher level of effectiveness versus the chlorine sanitizers in use today. This technology was developed to raise the bar.”

Mr. Burness said the breakthrough came when researchers at the company combined lactic acid with another organic acid, peracetic acid. The two together, he said, worked much better than either one separately and also achieved markedly better results than chlorine.

Fresh Express issued three separate recalls this year of packaged salad greens after random testing found salmonella, E. coli and listeria in bags of its products.
Fresh Express said that its new cleaning mixture was 750 times as effective as chlorine in killing bacteria suspended in wash water. It is also at least nine times as effective as chlorine in killing bacteria that has become attached to the leaves of produce.

Mr. Burness said that lettuce and other greens were cut up in the company’s plants, washed in water containing the acid mixture, typically for 20 to 40 seconds, then rinsed, dried and bagged. He said another advantage is that the acid wash did not bleach the greens, making them pale in color, as chlorine can.
The company said that it planned to license the mixture for use by other producers.

Fresh Express has not published its research, so food safety experts said on Thursday that they were unable to adequately evaluate the company’s claims.
Fresh Express said that it had informed the F.D.A. about its use of the acid wash mixture, but that it was not required to get approval for the switch because the ingredients were already approved for use in the food industry.