UK tot falls ill with E. coli probably after farm visit

Stourbridge News reports that Harriet Homer suffered kidney failure after contracting E. coli O157 during the school summer holiday and her parents Dave and Laura were left fearing the worst.

But the plucky tot from Norton pulled through after undergoing dialysis at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and her family told the News this week that she has been recovering well since being discharged.

The family believed the youngster may have picked up the infection after visiting a petting farm but Public Health England chiefs have stressed they have found nothing to link the incidence of E. coli with locations visited by the family.

14 sickened in 2016: UK steakhouse fined 50K for serving food on wooden boards

A restaurant has been slapped with an $86,000 fine for serving food on wooden boards after 14 people allegedly suffered food poisoning.

Ibrahim’s Grill and Steakhouse in Birmingham was handed the fine last week.

Birmingham City Council tweeted health inspectors had been called to the outlet in October 2016 amid claims 14 people suffered food poisoning.

Along with disposable gloves being used instead of hand washing, authorities noted that wooden plates “incapable of being cleaned” were used to serve food.

“On a return visit in December 2016…wooden plates were still being used,” the council posted to social media on January 6.

Ibrahim’s Grill and Steakhouse, which maintains a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor, pleaded guilty to the fine at the Birmingham Magistrates Court on January 4.

Along with the 50,000 (A$86,000) fine, the restaurant will be forced to pay A$1158 in costs and A$200 “victim surcharge”.

“It’s completely unacceptable for businesses to put the health of people eating at their restaurant at risk,” Birmingham Head of Environmental Health Mark Croxford said in an official statement.

£60,000 fine: Halal or not, food safety basics are the same

Adam Halal Foods Ltd of Nechelles, Birmingham has been ordered to pay more than £68,000 after being convicted of five charges relating to failures of hygiene controls at their premises.

Following inspections of the company’s cutting plant and cold store in Birmingham by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on 31 May and 8 September 2016, Adam Halal Foods Ltd were summoned to appear before Birmingham Magistrates Court on 2 August 2017 on five charges. These charges related to their failure to ensure that meat was kept at the correct temperature on their premises.

The Court fined the company £60,000, ordered it to pay the FSA’s costs of £8,043.74 plus an additional £120 victim surcharge making a total of £68,163.74.

FSA Chairman, Heather Hancock, said: ‘The FSA takes these breaches of food safety regulations very seriously. We welcome this substantial fine for these totally unacceptable hygiene breaches. This sends a clear message to other plants that fail to uphold the required standards of food safety: we will investigate and we will look to prosecute.’

UK pub fined £100,000 for mouse infestation

Daniel Woolfson of The Morning Advertiser reports that Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) was slapped with a £100,000 fine after environmental health officers uncovered an infestation of mice at one of its Birmingham pubs.

The  Railway Pub, Birmingham UKThe company, which owns the Harvester and Toby Carvery, pleaded guilty to three food safety offences at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday (19 August) after inspectors discovered rodent droppings and unhygienic kitchen conditions at the Railway, Hill Street.

It was ordered to pay £105,000 as well as £9,528 in costs and a £120 victim surcharge.

Councillor Barbara Dring, Birmingham City Council’s licensing and public protection committee chair, said: “People should be able to have confidence in the safety of the food served and cleanliness of any food business in Birmingham – regardless of whether it’s a pub or a posh restaurant.

“We want the city’s food businesses to thrive and, as such, our officers work closely with premises to ensure they achieve the necessary standards required to operate safely.”

The Railway’s kitchen was ordered to close on the spot after the inspection on February 18 last year but was allowed to reopen two days later when inspectors returned and found improvements to have been made.

Since then it has gone on to achieve a five-star food hygiene rating.

Earlier this summer M&B admitted a breach of duty to 280 customers who were stricken with norovirus after visiting an Exeter Toby Carvery pub in April 2015.

The Exeter Arms was closed after instances of the virus, which causes diarrhea and vomiting, were reported to management.

However, it continued to trade after closing for one day and more people fell ill.

Amandeep Dhillon, partner at law firm Irwin Mitchell, which was instructed by the customers to investigate the outbreak, said at the time it hoped by taking legal action important lessons would be learned when it came to dealing with outbreaks of illness in similar premises.

‘It was a horrible, painful death’ UK mum raising funds for E. coli study

The mother of a Birmingham girl who died after contracting E. coli while she was on holiday is funding a cutting-edge study which she hopes will find a cure.

Julie-Ryan-4Julie Ryan, 48, has spearheaded a campaign which will see £24,000 invested into research into the disease, following the death of eight-year-old Heather in 1999.

According to the Birmingham Mail the mum-of-two, of BromsgroveWorcestershire, has waited more than 16 years for the right project to come along.

“Heather didn’t just die,” she said. “She suffered. It was a horrible, painful death.

“The most important thing for me is that there is a cure, or treatment out there, so there will be no more deaths.

“It’s been hard keeping the money for this long but I wanted to make sure it was used for the right project, and that it would make a real difference.”

The family had been on holiday in Dawlish Warren, Devon, when Heather contracted the infection.

She went on to develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which led to brain damage and kidney failure.

After her death, Julie set up the Heather Preen Trust, and raised funds tirelessly in the years that followed.

The money raised will be used to provide a better understanding of why some children develop the disease and how it can be treated.

The funding is being managed by the charity Kidney Research UK.

Julie-Ryan-3Renowned paediatric nephrologist Dr Mark Taylor at Birmingham Children’s Hospital was Julie’s expert adviser and last year alerted her to the work of Dr Aoife Waters and Dr Sally Johnson, researchers who were seeking funds to run a potential randomised clinical trial into HUS.

It was what Julie had been waiting for.

They are undertaking a controlled trial of the drug Eculizumab, to include a genetic screening programme looking at DNA samples from patients who have developed HUS caused by E. coli.

The study will attempt to identify changes in genes that make certain proteins involved in the development of HUS so that they can better understand why some people react to E. coli by developing the disease.


From the duh files, Birmingham UK edition: Restaurant inspection grade should be mandatory

Neil Elkes of The Birmingham Mail writes that all restaurants, take aways, pubs and cafes should be forced by law to display their food hygiene ratings according to Birmingham’s licensing chief.

powell_tipton_slasher_10_0_storyAnd if you don’t like it, the ghost of my great-great-great grandfather, William Perry, also known as the Tipton Slasher, will come and fight for mandatory display, just like he fought on the canals outside Birmingham for passage.

Currently food outlets can choose whether or not to display their ratings to customer and generally only those with four or five stars do.

But Barbara Dring, chairman of the council’s licensing and public protection committee, is urging the Government to make it compulsory for food sellers to display their rating.

She believes that by forcing venue to highlight their ratings will encourage the minority who are unsafe to raise their game.

The ratings of every outlet serving prepared food can be found on the Food Standards Agency website and last autumn they revealed that 127 places had been rated zero – the lowest score available meaning they are often filthy, have pest infestations or unsafe food.

Those venues are often closed and can only re-open once cleared by council inspectors. Repeat offenders are prosecuted .

Coun Dring (Lab, Oscott) said: “There are more than 7,500 food businesses in Birmingham and we want to them not only to be compliant with food law, but we want to encourage them to be better.

“One way to do this would be if it were a legal requirement to display their food business rating on their front door as they do in Wales.

“Currently the Food Standards Agency’s scores on the doors system is voluntary – there’s no incentive or compulsion for premises rated 0 or 1 to display their latest rating, so I want to see the Government make this a legal requirement for all food businesses.”


Going public: Restaurant inspection disclosure makes Birmingham politician ‘sad’

Birmingham’s food safety chief has attacked the Birmingham Mail for highlighting takeaways which could be at risk of giving customers food poisoning.

barbara.dring.birminghamChairman of the council’s licensing and public protection committee Barbara Dring told colleagues she was ‘saddened’ that the list of 127 takeaways and restaurants with zero-ratings for food hygiene on October 28, 2015 was published by the Birmingham Mail.

The food hygiene ratings are given by council inspectors so that customers are aware which kitchens are clean and well run and which have been found to be dirty, selling out of date food, have cockroaches or rats or other problems.

The council then publishes the results online via the Food Standards Agency website after an undetermined period for any appeals to be lodged.

The principle is that bad takeaways and restaurants are named and shamed.

But Coun Dring (Oscott) said: “I find it sad that the newspaper wants to knock Birmingham in this fashion.

She said that a prosecution followed and the club was fined £1,200 and made to pay £800 costs.

Conservative councillor Gary Sambrook (Kingstanding) said: “Birmingham residents deserve to know what the outcome of food hygiene inspections are.

“It’s shocking to think that the city council wants to try and muzzle the press, so that residents aren’t clear on the hygiene ratings of their local takeaway.

Just cook it doesn’t cut it: Egg factory owner in Germany arrested over man’s death from Salmonella

A poultry farmer whose contaminated eggs caused a Salmonella outbreak at a Birmingham, UK hospital has been arrested over the death of a man in Austria.

salm.eanygg.germFive patients died at Heartlands Hospital in Bordesley Green and the bacteria was traced back to eggs from factory Bayern Ei in Bavaria, Germany.

The same source of Salmonella is blamed for the death of a 75-year-old man.

Factory owner Stefan Pohlman is in custody accused of grievous bodily harm causing death, said a German lawyer.

The salmonella outbreak at Heartlands Hospital between 25 May and 18 June 2014, saw 32 staff and patients infected.

A report found it directly caused the death of one patient.

It played a part in other deaths because inadequately equipped wards, unmonitored food preparation and poor cleaning helped it spread, the report stated.

UK chip shop owners ordered to pay £4,540

The owners of a city chippy, who pleaded guilty to seven offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013, were both ordered to pay £2,270 each at Birmingham Magistrates Court today (12 August 2015).

chipsArshad Zaman, 42, and Shafqat Zaman, 30, of Kingswood Road, Moseley, who run Quick Fry Chippy, at 153 Anderton Road, Small Heath, were both fined £1,650 and ordered to pay £500 costs plus a victim surcharge of £120 each.

Birmingham City Council prosecuted the business after environmental health officers found poor cross-contamination practices on 14 April 2014. This was a planned follow-up visit to a previous inspection, in between which the defendants had taken over the chip shop.

An officer revisited the premises – which also sells takeaway Indian curries – on 27 May 2014, when she found there were still poor conditions and practices, plus no documented food safety management system in place.  A schedule of works was left with Arshad Zaman.

However when the officer returned on 4 August 2014, she saw no evidence of improvement and a food safety management system was not in place.

20 sick from Salmonella at Birmingham hospital

A Birmingham hospital has been hit by an outbreak of Salmonella, affecting 20 patients including staff – with experts concerned it could spread further into the community.

vomit_here_by_seedpix_at_flickrHeartlands Hospital, in Bordesley Green, is investigating how the bug spread to patients staying in eight different wards.

One of the units, Beech Ward is currently closed to visitors, while patients in the remaining seven have been isolated so that relatives can still see their sick loved-ones.

The bug has not been found in hospital food or water and a deep cleaning of all areas is being carried out until patients are no longer being tested for the bacteria.

However, microbiological experts are concerned that this could be the start of a potential community outbreak.

Of the 20 infected, three are members of staff. Eight of the patients remain in hospital whilst the rest have been sent home.