Everyone’s got a camera: NY Just Salad mouse edition

NBC New York reports a salad bar blamed its building after up to eight mice were seen running rampant in its midtown location Sunday night, and said the store was closing permanently next month.

“We closed this store for several days to give our team the Thanksgiving holiday off and did not notice the issue in a timely matter. Rodent activity has been a struggle for the concourse area in general,” Just Salad CEO and founder Nick Kenner said in a statement of the Rockefeller Center location.

Kenner added that the brand would moving out of the underground location entirely at the end of December.

Rockefeller Center owner Tishman Speyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The mice were caught on camera by Eli Colon, who had just finished having dinner at a nearby restaurant about 7:30 p.m. when he saw something moving in the Just Salad.

He said he spotted about six to eight mice running and jumping inside the store, which is closed Sundays, and started to film. “When you see this kind of stuff you get very concerned for the health of the people who work there and the people who have lunch there every day,” he said.

In the video, the mice can be seen scampering around behind the counter in the kitchen. Colon has a 3-year-old with allergies so he was particularly concerned about the level of hygiene. sanitary grade of “A” displays mice like that and we were just passing by not searching for mice and those are noticeable. I’m sure there have to be more. Also questions about the standards and processes used by the sanitary organizations that rates these places and how reliable those are.”

Everyone’s got a camera: Detroit sports park employee brags about spitting in food

A Comerica Park employee has been fired and arrested after he was filmed spitting in pizzas.

The employee, who has not been named, told coworker Quinell May that he was going to spit in the food and that he filmed the act so he would be able to show it to management. He said when he left his position to contact management, however, he was fired for not working.

In a statement, Detroit Sportservice, which caters at Comerica Park, said   the food station was closed as soon as they learned about the food tampering.

“As soon as we became aware through social media of potential food tampering, we immediately closed that food stand, disposed of all the product and contacted the Detroit Police Department. We have been told by police that the worker has been arrested and is in custody, pending charges,” Detroit Sportservice wrote.

Everyone’s got a camera: Burger King edition

Tiffany Wong of Fox 8 reports a video of rats dashing around a French Quarter restaurant is getting a lot of attention online.

Pest control experts say it’s a common sight this time of year, and businesses can take preventative measures.

The Facebook video shows several rats scurrying over counter tops, a cutting board and plates after-hours in the eatery. Some seeing the video for the first time say it’s no big deal.

“I would take that with a pinch of salt. I mean, it is what it is. I wouldn’t worry about that. I would just go somewhere else, I’d walk by,” Sylvia Currie said.

“I mean, we live by the river. There’s river rats, and I’ve been to a restaurant that has like, you see a rat running back every now and then,” Stephen Medina said.

Others, however, say there’s no way they’d eat there.

“We’re spending our good hard-earned money and actually bringing our families here to eat, and that type of distraction I think would be a real big turn off to people,” John Haluska said.

The State Health Department said they would address the issue if they knew which restaurant it was. 

“Showing us the video of the rodents, yes, that can be shocking, that can be oh my goodness. It’s a shock value, but you’re not being helpful. You need to tell us where it is and then we can go in and do what we do,” said Tenney Sibley with the State Health Department. 

The department said it regularly inspects restaurants, depending on their risk factors.

“If we’re doing a regular, a routine inspection and we come across rodents or rodent droppings, or some kind of indications there are rodents, absolutely. That’s what we would call a critical violation,” Sibley said.

Patricia Talorico and Meredith Newman of Delaware Online report a video of rats scurrying among among hamburger buns at a Brandywine Hundred Burger King led to the eatery’s closure Friday and over the weekend “due to gross unsanitary conditions.” 

The video was posted at 7:53 p.m. May 31 by Wilmington resident Shantel Johnson on her Facebook page. It’s unclear how Johnson obtained the video at the store at 2802 Concord Pike. 

Her post said: “Don’t go to Burger King on 202 (rats are) running all over their buns … (at) Wilmington Delaware Concord Pike.”

The state Division of Public Health Office of Food Protection received a complaint on June 1 and video footage appeared to show rodents in bags of rolls at the Burger King at 2802 Concord Pike, according to Andrea Wojcik, spokeswoman for the Division of Public Health.

State health inspectors went to the restaurant at 11:45 a.m. June 1 to conduct a visual inspection of the premises and the complaint was founded, according to a report.

According to the inspection report, rodent droppings were found on and inside of the hamburger and chicken sandwich rolls. The plastic covering and the rolls themselves were chewed by the rodents. Wooden pallets that the rolls were stored on had droppings on them, the report said.  

Droppings also were found in the floor near the ice machine, the water heater, under dry storage, near syrup storage boxes and behind fryers, the report said.

Seven pallets of buns and rolls were discarded due to the contamination, the report said. The inspector noted that during her visit, chicken sandwich rolls were being used. They were then discarded. 

In addition to the rodent droppings, the restaurant’s ceiling was leaking in the kitchen near the storage and food line, the report said. Flies were coming from a drain close to where the rolls and buns are stored. 

Everyone’s got a camera: Guam restaurant inspection edition

The Guam Daily Post reports that local dining favorite Old Town Chinese Restaurant, usually packed for dinner on a Friday night for its “homestyle” Shanghai cuisine, went silent yesterday. The dining crowd was locked out.

Old Town became the latest casualty in the public’s ever-increasing vigilance on food safety at restaurants, stores and even in one hotel.

Tips from concerned citizens, often accompanied by photos taken on their smartphones and widely circulated on social media – and also provided to the Department of Public Health and Social Services – have increased the temporary closures of food businesses.

In Old Town’s case, a customer complained to the public health agency of finding ants inside roast duck.

“Some evidence to support the complaint was observed,” states the inspection report, released upon request yesterday following a Thursday inspection.

The ants complaint led to numerous findings of food-handling and sanitation issues, the report shows.

Everyone has a camera: Sow and piglet edition

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and collaborators are using 3-D imaging to protect newborn piglets by monitoring adult female pigs’ behavior.

Nearly 15 percent of pre-weaned piglets die each year. According to U.S. pork producers, many are crushed by sows (adult female pigs). Modifying the sows’ stalls or crates may help reduce piglet deaths. The first step, according to ARS agricultural engineer Tami Brown-Brandl, is to evaluate sow and piglet behavior in their stalls. Animal behavior contains vital clues about health and well-being that producers can use to better manage their livestock.

Brown-Brandl and a team of scientists from China, Iowa Select Farms and Iowa State University developed a system to automatically process and analyze 3-D images of sows. A camera mounted over birthing crates captures images to determine a sow’s behavior and posture: if she’s eating, drinking, standing, sitting, or lying down.

The system, which accurately classifies behavior, could potentially help prevent sows from crushing their piglets, according to Brown-Brandl, who works at ARS’s Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska.

This technology allows swine producers to better monitor their pigs and determine whether management adjustments, such as changes in crate size or pen arrangement, are needed, Brown-Brandl adds. The data could also help producers locate sick animals more quickly.

Everyone has a camera: UK Subway-manager-taking-bread-from-bin-to-serve-customers edition

Charlie Bayliss of the Daily Mail writes that horrific footage has surfaced of a Subway manager taking bread from a bin to serve to customers. 

Not sure it is horrific, but another reminder that everyone has a camera.

A concerned employee who had reservations about the food hygiene practices at the Central Park Subway in Rugby, Warwickshire, filmed the video earlier this year.

In the undercover footage, the unnamed manager reaches into the bin to pull out some bread after telling an employee: ‘We are already short of bread.’ 

The manager then places the binned bread onto a trolley before rolling it out of a back room.

Following the release of the video, Rugby Council sent an environmental health officer to the store where a number of food hygiene concerns were found. 

A spokesperson for Subway said: ‘Subway stores have very strict food safety and hygiene procedures to ensure that customers are served products to a high standard.

‘This video relates to a historic incident, which has been fully investigated. We are disappointed with the updated rating received by EHO and the store is challenging this.

‘The local store owner is looking forward to a follow up inspection.’ 

Uh-huh.

Everyone’s got a camera Arkansas, edition: Clinton students say school served them raw chicken

Color is still a lousy indicator of whether food is safe, but if Clinton High School wanted to make a case, they would provide internal temperature logs.

For two days a Clinton mother says her children sent her pictures of the food being served in the school cafeteria at lunch.  She says it appears to be undercooked chicken.

“I don’t want my child sick from food poisoning,” says Kathleen Page, mother of two teens at Clinton High School.

” It was so obviously raw,” says her son, Jonathan Carter, a junior at the school.  “You could see pink in it.  I’d cut it open with my fork and it’d be more red on the inside.”

Page called the school and was transferred to the cafeteria.  “I started to ask her questions and she told me it was none of my business and hung up.”

She also called the Health Department and they told her this wasn’t the first complaint they’d gotten about the school lunches.

Clinton School District Superintendent, Andrew Vining, released a statement regarding the issue.

“The Clinton School District strives to serve our students and staff a variety of meals that are healthy, nutritious, and appealing.  The photos that have been circulated do not appear that way.  This concerns us and we have taken steps to resolve the matter to ensure our students are provided with the best meals possible.

“There were also photos that were circulated regarding apparent raw pork; to clarify, no pork was served.

“The chicken fajita meat which was pictured was Tyson, fully cooked and prepackaged.  None of our staff or students have reported becoming ill after eating chicken from our cafeteria.  In the event someone does get sick, they need to notify my office and go to their doctor to see if symptoms were due to food-borne illness.

“We regret this has happened and we will continue to put the health of our students first in all things.”

Everyone has a camera, India restaurant edition

Tanu Kulkarni writes in The Hindu, the next time you spot a pani puri wala using unhygienic water or find that the food in your school canteen is not fresh, take a photograph or a video of the food safety violation and send it on WhatsApp to the Department of Health and Family Welfare and your complaint is as good as registered.

The department has decided to work with resident welfare associations (RWAs) in the city to spread awareness about safe and unsafe food and also look into complaints pertaining to food safety. Subodh Yadav, Commissioner of the department, said active volunteers will also be given an identity card so that they are taken seriously. The department’s local officials will be given a three day deadline to attend to the complaint. Apart from flagging off the department about these complaints, citizens can also raise awareness about food safety practices among others.

RWAs have welcomed the move. Nitya Reddy, vice-president, Richmond and Langford Town Residents’ Welfare Association, termed it a much needed one. “It will be great if the Health Department ropes in RWAs as we will be able to point out to unhygienic neighbourhood eateries, restaurants, and roadside vendors. We can be in constant touch with them and help them monitor food quality.”

More throwing poop: Drunk man in UK police cell hurled poop at CCTV camera

A disgruntled man pooped on the floor of a police cell after his request for toilet roll was said to have been ignored.

pay-shoplifter-poops-on-supermarket-floorIan Brock, 31, was caught on CCTV pulling his trousers down and defecating in a corner.

He then smeared his own excrement on the walls and threw a lump of it at the camera.

Brock, of Rectory Road, Llangwm, pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage when he appeared before Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on Tuesday (October 4).

Prosecutor Vaughan Pritchard-Jones said Brock had been arrested for an unrelated matter and was “highly intoxicated” when he carried out the dirty protest.

“In interview, he admitted what he had done and said he was disgusted with himself,” said Mr Pritchard-Jones.

Clever: Inexpensive camera system detects foodborne Shiga toxins

Reuven Rasooly, a chemist at the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service Western Regional Research Center in Albany, California (nice tagline) has developed a simple and inexpensive system for detecting Shiga toxin, a product of pathogenic Escherichia coli O157:H7.

shiga.toxin.cameraThis particular pathogen causes about 73,000 cases of food poisoning and more than 60 deaths in the United States each year.

The new system uses a camera and a light-emitting source to detect active toxins. Tests used today cannot distinguish between the active and inactive form of Shiga toxin, Rasooly says. It’s important to tell the difference between the two, because the toxin’s active form poses a threat to humans while the inactive form does not.

“We need devices that are affordable and sensitive to reduce the sources and incidence of foodborne illness,” Rasooly says. “Equipment such as a commercial fluorometer, typically used to detect Shiga toxin and other pathogens, is too expensive for developing countries, where the risk of foodborne illness and outbreaks is greatest.”

In a study, Rasooly and his colleagues showed that the camera system was as effective in measuring Shiga toxin activity as a fluorometer. Both instruments had the same toxin detection levels. The difference is that a fluorometer costs about $35,000 while the camera only costs $300, making it an affordable alternative for diagnostic labs.

In addition, the new system can easily be adapted for detecting other foodborne toxins. Rasooly recently demonstrated that the camera system can be used to detect Aflatoxin B1, a toxin produced byAspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus.

“The toxin contaminates crops and foodstuffs worldwide, affecting 4.5 billion people,” Rasooly says.