My worlds collide: Eichel misses game vs. Leafs with gastro illness

Buffalo Sabres superstar in the making, number two pick in the 2015 draft, the guy who isn’t Connor McDavid – Jack Eichel – missed his first NHL game in Toronto over the weekend with an illness that was described by Buffalo News as the flu. But was more likely norovirus.norovirus-2

He was back on the ice Tuesday as the Sabres beat my hometown Hurricanes (and Eichel was -2 with no points).

Norovirus isn’t fun.

E. coli strikes in Missouri

Every time I go to Buffalo I want to barf.

Buffalo, Missouri, that is, and it’s next door to where Amy’s father lives and the roads are, um, adventurous.

5yrold-jpgThe Dallas County Health Department is investigating an E. coli outbreak, and the family of the affected children say they want to spread the word about the bacteria’s harmful effects.

“It was heartbreaking, I didn’t think my son to come through it,” says Sierra Sanford.

Sanford says her one-year-old son got sick from E. coli in early September. She says the bacteria led to hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, which is a condition that caused his kidneys to fail. She says he was taken to a hospital in Springfield and then airlifted to a hospital in Saint Louis.

Angela Sanford, the child’s grandmother, says, “When we first saw him, it was horrible, my daughter had to literally set him up, lay him down, he couldn’t move.”

Angela Sanford says her five-year-old granddaughter got sick roughly a week after her grandson was sent to the hospital. She says E. coli made her sick, she contracted HUS, and her kidneys failed as well. The young girl is still in a Saint Louis hospital and Sanford says she has a long road to recovery, but she’s stable. Angela Sanford says her mother, the children’s great grandmother, also got sick from E. coli.

“I think the word needs to be out, people need to take precaution,” she says.

We went to the Dallas County Health Department and spoke with Administrator Cheryl Eversole.

She says, “We believe that this is a closed case, meaning this is a contained incident. We do not believe that this is anything that is going to affect a majority of the public. We feel that this may be just a localized incident within a family unit.”

Buffalo family finds maggots in Chinese take-out

A local family sits down for dinner and finds unwelcomed guests at the table – maggots in their Chinese take-out

chinese-kitchen-buffalo-2158198“Don’t go to Chinese Kitchen because their kitchen is filthy,” said Maria Marti who ordered the food.

Marti and her two daughters are sick to their stomachs after ordering Chinese food delivery Friday night only to discover it was full of maggots and they had already started eating.

“I was like, there’s some kind of worm in this food. What is it? And I had to keep looking at it and I’m like, this is a worm. It kinda looked like a caterpillar and then I look and I’m like, these are maggots! I counted at least a dozen and then I stopped after that,” said Marti.

It was Maria’s 12 year old daughter Marlena who first spotted the critters.

Maria immediately snapped some pictures and called the restaurant to complain.

Seven Eyewitness News went to the restaurant looking for answers on Saturday. Once inside the Chinese Kitchen Restaurant located at 224 Elmwood Avenue, we showed employees the pictures of the maggots and asked them what the tiny objects were.

The workers said they had no idea what it was and said that Maria was the only customer to complain.

However, the restaurant said they gave Maria a refund and one cook seemed to indicate that this has happened before.

“I say that happened before because when we cut the broccoli…they find out some of them there’s things from the vegetables. I can’t do anything,” said Brian Weng.

According to the Erie County Health Department’s restaurant inspection database, The Chinese Kitchen had five health inspection violations in May and one critical violation issued for a 60 pound bowl of raw chicken left out and un-refrigerated.

The other violations were for dirty surfaces and food left un-covered and un-protected.

Listeria-positive Tyson plant in Buffalo shut down by USDA

The Buffalo News reports that a Tyson meat processing plant on Perry Street has been shut down by federal regulators after inspectors found violations during follow-up testing stemming from an August recall of deli meat produced at the Buffalo facility.

The plant suspended operations Tuesday after an inspection by the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, the federal agency said Wednesday.

The shutdown was triggered by the results of sampling that the federal inspectors conducted during a food safety assessment, the agency said. That assessment was linked to the USDA’s activities at the Perry Street plant since the deli meat recall, said Gary Mickelson, a Tyson spokesman.

The plant employs 560 workers. About 480 workers are affected by what Mickelson described as a “temporary suspension of operations.”

In August, about 380,000 pounds of deli meat produced at the plant and sold at Walmart was voluntarily recalled after a sample tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

The plant had two similar recalls in 2004. Tyson first voluntarily recalled 442 pounds of cooked ham in August 2004 after a sample tested positive for Listeria. In November 2004, the company recalled another 50,000 pounds of hot dogs, prompted by an unspecified customer complaint. There were no reports of consumer illnesses in either case.

Buffalo meat can carry dangerous E. coli, just like grass-fed beef

Andrew Stormer (right, pretty much as shown) tells me his parents went to the farmers’ market yesterday and bought some buffalo meat.

Stormer, a student who works with me but is spending the summer as an intern in the 38C (100F) heat of Salina, Kansas, says,

“The person selling the meat said that their buffalos were not fed grain and therefore, E. coli was not a concern in buffalo meat.  The person also said that because E. coli did not appear in the meat that it didn’t matter if people undercooked it.”

A quick look on the Internet found that many purveyors of buffalo meat shared similar views; that somehow is doesn’t need to be sufficiently cooked to control dangerous bugs.

This sounds like a variation on a similar fantasy that shiga-toxin or verotoxin-producing E. coli like E. coli O157:H7 don’t occur in grass fed cattle. They do. And lots of other places.

Hazarika and colleagues at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, Public Health &, Hygiene, CVSc, AAU, in India reported in the Journal of Food Safety in 2005 that,

“The emergence of Verotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) as zoonotic foodborne pathogens in recent years has become a public health concern because of its life threatening human diseases. In the present investigation, out of 87 strains of E. coli, 22 (25%) belonging to 13 different serotypes isolated from raw buffalo meat and its products were found to be verotoxic as tested by Vero cell cytotoxic assay. Serotype 026 followed by O153 and 0157 were the predominant VTEC. …  VTEC in cooked buffalo meat products, namely shami kabab and kabab, appears to be a matter of concern and a potential threat to public health.”

That means handle ground buffalo like ground beef, and cook to 160F.