Kentucky woman claiming to be nurse threatens to put Clostridium botulinum in deputy’s IV

A woman who claimed to be a nurse made an unusual threat before she was arrested at 4th Street early Sunday morning, according to an arrest report.

C.bot.IVAuthorities say 24-year-old Shenite R. Joseph was causing a disturbance in the entertainment district — screaming obscenities at an employee — when a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office deputy asked her to leave.

According to the arrest report, the deputy asked her to leave four times, but she refused.

At that point, authorities say she told the sheriff’s deputy that she is a nurse, and that if the sheriff’s deputy ever came to her hospital, she would put “Clostridium botulinum” in the deputy’s IV.

Joseph was arrested and charged with third degree criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct. Both are misdemeanor charges.

China arrests six from OSI unit in food scandal

Chinese authorities have formally arrested six employees from a unit of US food supplier OSI Group, the parent company over a scandal involving expired meat sold to fast food giants.

transparency-300x199Authorities have previously announced the detention by police of six officials of Shanghai Husi Food Co, a subsidiary of OSI which operated a factory shut down by the city in July for mixing out-of-date meat with fresh products. OSI’s clients in China previously included McDonald’s and KFC.

“OSI Group confirms that 6 employees of Shanghai Husi have now been arrested following detention by authorities,” the company said in a statement provided to media. “OSI Group will continue to cooperate fully and in good faith with the authorities,” it said, but did not identify the six. 

33 died in Listeria outbreak; Colorado cantaloupe farmers charged by federal officials

Two Colorado brothers who grew listeria-contaminated cantaloupe linked to a 2011 outbreak that killed 33 people nationwide and sickened hundreds more were criminally charged Thursday by federal authorities.

The Denver Post reports that Eric and Ryan Jensen, charged with four counts of introducing aldulterated food into the food supply, turned themselves in to federal Cantaloupe-listeria-outbreakmarshals. They are scheduled to appear in court Thursday afternoon.

The outbreak two years ago this month was linked to Jensen Farms in Granada, Colo., after an investigation that traced half-eaten cantaloupe taken from patients’ refrigerators to grocery stores and then to the farm. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially has linked 33 deaths to the outbreak, although 10 other people who had been infected with listeria bacteria after eating Jensen cantaloupe also have died since the outbreak.

The federal charges, announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver, each carry up to one year in jail and a $250,000 fine.

“The charges against Eric and Ryan Jensen do not imply that they knew, or even should have known, that the cantaloupes had been contaminated,” said a statement issued by their lawyer. “As they were from the first day of this tragedy, the Jensens remain shocked, saddened, and in prayerful remembrance of the victims and their families.”

“This is an unprecedented thing, it’s not the norm,” said Amanda Hitt , an attorney with the Government Accountability Project, a whistleblower-supporting group in Washington, D.C. Hitt’s group favors more prosecutions in consumer cases when the evidence supports it.

Civil lawsuits by victims are not enough to persuade food companies to clean up, Hitt said. They build those costs into their plans with insurance and other measures. Prosecutions, she said, “could increase the security of the system and make a healthier system, and ultimately protect consumers.”

Food safety attorney Bill Marler of Seattle, who represents most of the victims of the listeria outbreak, praised the news but said prosecutors should consider going after the grocery stores and others.

“We will never have safe food from ‘farm to fork’ until the entire chain of distribution is held accountable for the food that they make a profit from.”

No public information had surfaced that Ryan or Eric Jensen knew they had any safety problems before cantaloupe was shipped to stores in the summer of 2011. Experts who have watched past food safety outbreaks said federal prosecutors do not usually pursue a case unless there is clear evidence that owners knew of or ignored obvious signs of contamination.

Mozzarella King arrested over ceramic in cheese

Giuseppe Mandara, whose mozzarella is sold by British supermarkets and UK-based online food suppliers, was also accused of producing batches contaminated with ceramic shards from a faulty machine.

The Telegraph reports investigators said his Mandara Group had received significant injections of cash from the Camorra mafia, the organized crime group based in Campania, the region where mozzarella is produced.

Police seized assets worth more than £78 million, including the company.

They said the 56 year-old, who once described himself as the “Armani of mozzarella”, had struck up a secret commercial relationship with the Casalesi clan of the Camorra in the 1980s after he ran into financial difficulties.

The clan is based in and around the town of Casal di Principe, at the heart of a region famous for its mozzarella, which is produced from the milk of domesticated buffalo.

Police said Mr Mandara, who was photographed chomping on a cigar as he was led away by officers, was arrested on suspicion of mafia association and endangering public health. They said two tons of the company’s mozzarella may have been contaminated with minute ceramic fragments from a broken machine.

The company was also accused of passing off ordinary provolone cheese as being of a more superior quality with false labelling. Following news of his arrest, Mr Mandara was expelled from the Consortium for the Promotion of Buffalo Mozzarella after an emergency meeting of its council, which described the allegations as “very serious.”

248 arrested in China for food safety in 2010

The Xinhua News Agency reports a total of 248 people were arrested in China last year for involvement in food safety cases.

The country dealt with 130,000 cases involving food safety last year, including 115 criminal cases, according to a statement of the National Food Safety Regulating Work Office.

The cases touched upon such areas as production of edible agricultural produce, food production, food circulation, catering services and food exports and imports.

"No major incident occurred last year, and the overall food safety situation maintained stable," said the statement.

Last year also saw a nationwide crackdown on "gutter oil", usually made from discarded kitchen waste that has been refined, after media reports that it was commonly used by small restaurants.

A total of 191 officials were punished for failing to do their duty in food safety enforcement, with 26 of them fired, it said.