Happy Thanksgiving and a sheep riding on a truck

To my Canadian brethren, who have consumed the 165F minimum temped bird and are now plopped on the couch watching hockey, including reruns of last night’s barnburner of a hockey game where our beloved but hapless (sorta like me) Toronto Maple Leafs pulled out a 7-6 overtime win against Chicago, I can say we did nothing to celebrate this year.

For every day is … never mind.

The house renovations just got finished, the bank account is empty, maybe we’ll pull something off for American Thanksgiving.

And now, a sheep riding on a truck in New Zealand.

“This is a highly unusual incident and not representative of how sheep are transported in New Zealand,” Ministry for Primary Industries spokesman Peter Hyde said.

Ellerslie resident Ada Rangiwai captured the sight on a cellphone while travelling along the city’s southern motorway. The sheep didn’t seem nervous and it was just standing there, unfazed by the attention.

“It was surfing,” she said.

And if you get a facebook request from me to be friends, ignore it. I, like millions of others, have been hacked.

‘He would be dead right now’ Canadian family warns parents after 2-year-old contracts E. coli infection

There is so much I want to write about, to get the daily buzz of the blog, but blogs don’t last, and don’t pay the bills.

What’s important to me is the pic, below, and everything I can do to help them succeed.

I’ll work on books (which also don’t pay the bills, but may last longer).

Julian Kolsut of Chek reports that a Parksville family is at the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver this weekend after their two-year-old toddler contracted an E. coli Infection — that his father Aaron Hughes says was not diagnosed until it was almost too late.

“Be persistent… if we didn’t stick to our guns and react, he would be dead right now,” said Hughes.

It all started when 2-year-old Jaxon starting to act “off” on Tuesday, both of his parents thought he may have had heatstroke and made sure to take him out of the sun and keep him hydrated.

“He was out in the sun and he became really lethargic really fast, didn’t have an appetite, a fever kicked in quickly and then the diarrhea started,” said Aarons wife Jolene Secord.

After contacting the nurse’s line, they were given the same advice, but eventually Jaxon started vomiting. A visit to the walk-in clinic resulted in a different diagnosis, a possible bacterial infection, but while at the clinic they noticed blood in his diaper.

“They did take a swab of his green bowl movements but sent us home,” said Secord.

They were told to continue keeping an eye on him and taking care of him.

The parents say on Wednesday the vomiting and bleeding got worse, and after rushing Jaxon to the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital they were told again it may be a bacterial infection, and that he may have had a torn fissure. After speaking to a nutritionist they were sent home.

Aaron says he couldn’t see the fissure, and was confused the mucus coming out of his toddler’s behind was also bloody.

When his 18-year-old daughter called him when he was shopping for vaseline for his son in Nanaimo on Thursday and was told Jackson’s symptoms were worse, he told them to call and ambulance at that he would meet them at the hospital.

“We weren’t wasting any time… but they couldn’t find his stools [that were sent in for testing]” said Hughes.

“The doctor then came into the room [the next day] and said, “I think we found the source” and he didn’t look too happy, [the doctor] tracked down the stools and said the test came back positive for E. coli O157:H7.”

He was immediately airlifted to the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver and currently, among many other issues with his health, does not have any functioning kidneys and has a damaged pancreas.

Jaxon is undergoing dialysis, transfusion and other treatments, and his mom says his state changes by the hour.

“At this point, they don’t see the kidneys waking up… it could be a long-term thing… every hour seems to change for Jaxon,” said Secord. “We will see a positive, we will see a negative, we will see a positive.”

The exact cause is unknown, but the family says they suspect it came from deer feces, as the animal can carry the O157:H7 strain. They think Jackson may have come in contact with it outside.  Contaminated food is also a possibility.

“We almost have a family of deer living [on our property]” said Hughes. “We have apple trees on our property and they [the deers] live off that stuff, and that can transport diseases.”

Both parents also say the unfortunate incident is a reminder to always listen to your gut.

“If we would have stuck to what they were telling us then we would have lost him… and if we waited he could have had brain damage, heart failure,” said Hughes.

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59 sick with Salmonella in Canada linked to raw frozen breaded chicken thingies

Monique Scotti of Global News is reporting that Health Canada is issuing a widespread recall of frozen No Name brand chicken burgers as part of a broader effort to reduce the number of salmonella-related illnesses across the country.

The specific product affected by the recall is No Name brand Chicken Burgers (1kg), with a best before date of Feb. 6, 2019. Any individual or restaurant with this product in their freezer is being told not to consume or serve the burgers.

The recall comes three months after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a press release warning of a rise in Salmonella Enteritidis infections over the past several years.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it is now dealing with an outbreak of salmonella infections linked to poultry, including frozen raw breaded chicken products.

There were 59 cases of salmonella-linked illness across eight provinces between March and May, the agency reported on Monday, and 10 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. The majority of patients (61 per cent) are male, with an average age of 34.

“Several of the ill individuals involved in the outbreak reported having eaten No Name brand chicken burgers before their illness occurred,” said a press release.

“A food sample of No Name brand Chicken Burgers (1kg), with a best before date of February 6, 2019, tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis.”

The risk to Canadians is low, the agency added.

Unless you get sick. Then the risk is really fucking high.

1 dead, 42 sick: E. coli outbreak linked to pork products in Alberta declared over

On Friday, Alberta Health Services said the E. coli outbreak linked to certain pork products in the province was officially over.

AHS started investigating a number of confirmed cases on March 29.

The outbreak was connected to some pork products sold and distributed by The Meat Shop at Pine Haven. Several other businesses were impacted since they used the affected pork products and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a food recall.

In total, there were 42 lab-confirmed cases of E. coli linked to this outbreak.

Thirteen patients needed medical treatment at the hospital and one person “died likely due to infection with E. coli,” AHS said.

“Our thoughts remain with the family of the patient who died and all of those affected by this,” said Dr. Jasmine Hasselback, medical officer of health for the Edmonton zone. “We would like to thank our federal and provincial partners for their collaboration on this investigation.”

Using observation to evaluate training: Canadian High School edition

A couple of old friends Shannon Majowicz and Ken Diplock and colleagues from Waterloo, (that’s in Canada) are doing good work looking at food safety stuff with high school students- evaluating training efficacy using observation. They published their work demonstrating some sustained food safety behaviors following a training program, this month in the Journal of Food Protection.

Kenneth J. Diplock, Joel A. Dubin, Scott T. Leatherdale, David Hammond, Andria Jones-Bitton, and Shannon E. Majowicz. 2018. Observation of High School Students’ Food Handling Behaviors: Do They Improve following a Food Safety Education Intervention?

Greenbank High School Birkdale Merseyside.

Journal of Food Protection: June 2018, Vol. 81, No. 6, pp. 917-925

Youth are a key audience for food safety education. They often engage in risky food handling behaviors, prepare food for others, and have limited experience and knowledge of safe food handling practices. Our goal was to investigate the effectiveness of an existing food handler training program for improving safe food handling behaviors among high school students in Ontario, Canada. However, because no schools agreed to provide control groups, we evaluated whether behaviors changed following delivery of the intervention program and whether changes were sustained over the school term. We measured 32 food safety behaviors, before the intervention and at 2-week and 3-month follow-up evaluations by in-person observations of students (n = 119) enrolled in grade 10 and 12 Food and Nutrition classes (n = 8) and who individually prepared recipes. We examined within-student changes in behaviors across the three time points, using mixed effects regression models to model trends in the total food handling score (of a possible 32 behaviors) and subscores for “clean” (17 behaviors), “separate” (14 behaviors), and “cook” (1 behavior), adjusting for student characteristics. At baseline, students (n = 108) averaged 49.1% (15.7 of 32 behaviors; standard deviation = 5.8) correct food handling behaviors, and only 5.5% (6) of the 108 students used a food thermometer to check the doneness of the chicken (the “cook” behavior). All four behavior score types increased significantly ∼2 weeks postintervention and remained unchanged ∼3 months later. Student characteristics (e.g., having taken a prior food handling course) were not significant predictors of the total number of correctly performed food handling behaviors or of the “clean” or “separate” behaviors, and frequency of cooking and self-described cooking ability were the only characteristics significantly associated with food thermometer use (i.e., “cook”). Despite the significant increase in correct behaviors, students continued to use risky practices postintervention, suggesting that the risk of foodborne disease remained.

Who throws poop? This Canadian woman at a Tim Hortons

To those not familiar with The Guess Who, Neil Young or Drake, you may not know the name Tim Hortons, a coffee and doughnut mega-chain started by the late Toronto Maple Leafs’ defenceman and his business partner, a cop.

You may also not understand the phrase, double-double (Chapman’s favorite).

When I had those daughters in Guelph, I would take them to the local Tims after a 6-7 a.m. practice.

I always refused to buy the coffee because I could make better stuff at home.

Sure the grad student helped coach, but he could get his own Tims.

I got whatever daughter was involved that morning a doughnut, and sometimes a hot chocolate, so they wouldn’t feel too nauseous by 11 a.m. and could make it through the school day (of course I made their lunches too, but ya gotta get over that morning hump).

Now Tims has a different kind of notoriety.

According to KRON in Oakville, Ontario, Canada (KRON) a Canadian woman was caught on camera pulling down her pants, doing her business, and throwing the end result at a Tim Horton’s employee who denied her access to the restroom. 

A spokesperson for Tim Horton’s told BuzzFeed that some of its restaurants have a “restricted access policy for restrooms to ensure the well-being of our guests.” 

The spokesperson said their current understanding of the situation is that the woman was denied access to the restroom due to “past behavior.” 

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (if you’re the RCMP where’s your horse?) told BuzzFeed the woman was “briefly detained after the incident” and prosecutors will determine if the woman will face charges when she appears in court at a later date.

Just last week, Starbucks told employees to let anyone use the restroom, even if they haven’t bought anything, as it reviews its policies and tries to restore its reputation after the arrest of two black men at a coffee shop in Philadelphia.

40 sick, 1 dead: Alberta meat retailers struggling on the E. coli chain gang

Supply chain? Blockchain? Chain gang?

In food safety, anyone is only as good as their weakest link.

The fall-out can be devastating.

Several businesses have been impacted, positively and negatively, by the current E. coli outbreak. CTV Edmonton’s Dan Grummett reports.

As the number of Alberta residents sickened by pork tainted with E. coli rises, many of the butcher shops caught up in the ensuing recall say their businesses’ reputations have been damaged.

Since the outbreak began in late March, 40 cases of E. coli infection have been confirmed; 12 people have been hospitalized and one person has died.

The outbreak began when several people who visited the same restaurant in Edmonton become ill. Alberta Health Services soon traced the illnesses to pork products distributed by The Meat Shop in Pine Haven, Alb.

Edmonton’s Real Deal Meats says her family-run business has had to throw away thousands of dollars worth of meat.

That prompted a recall that has since expanded to include raw and frozen meat, ground pork, sausages and more. The products have only been distributed in Alberta.

An Edmonton law firm has already begun a $15-million lawsuit against The Meat Shop, on behalf of those who have become ill. But more than half a dozen businesses whose names have been caught up in the recall say their reputations are taking a hit too.

Alicia Boisvert of Edmonton’s Real Deal Meats says her family-run business has had to throw away thousands of dollars worth of meat — much of it returned by customers.

“We have to remove all the packaging… before the truck picks it up,” she told CTV Edmonton. “And then we have to pay for that (removal). Obviously, we’re going to have to figure that out as well.”

Another business whose reputation has taken a hit in this outbreak is Mama Nita’s Filipino Cuisine in southeast Edmonton – the restaurant where the outbreak began.

A full 21 of the 40 lab-confirmed cases have been linked to Mama Nita’s. The restaurant is still open but would not speak to CTV Edmonton about how their business is doing.

The other 19 illnesses — including the one involving the patient who died — have been linked to pork sold by Pine Haven’s retail partners.

The names of each business have been listed on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website, their store fronts splashed on the news even if they didn’t sell any contaminated pork.

Real Deal Meats’ Boisvert says, just being associated with an E. coli outbreak has led to many sleepless night for her and her family.

At K&K Foodliner — another food retailer caught up in the recall — business is slower. Even though Pine Haven pork is no longer sold at the store, general manager Kevin Krause says some customers are avoiding pork altogether.

“This is our first recall in 62 years,” he told CTV Edmonton. “Regardless if it’s Pine Haven’s fault, it’s still our reputation on the line as well.”

Pins found in pepperoni sticks, sausage sold in B.C.

Nanaimo, British Columbia (that’s in Canada) may be famous for its Nanaimo bars, but now police are investigating after pins were found in meat products sold throughout Nanaimo, B.C.

RCMP (that’s the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, where’s your horse?) say they’ve had three reports about food tampering at separate stores in the Vancouver Island city since December 2017, but no injuries have been reported.

In each case, a pin — similar to one used for sewing — was found in a pepperoni stick or Ukrainian sausage made by Grimm’s Fine Foods.

Police say they haven’t received any reports involving other Grimm’s products, or any other meat products in Nanaimo or elsewhere.

Investigators believe the products were tampered with while on display.

Const. Gary O’Brien says the public needs to be especially vigilant and inspect meat products before eating them.

People barfing: Listeria in Deli Classic brand Seasoned Cooked Roast Beef Round in Canada

There was this one time, about 5 years ago, and I had to go to emergency to get 13 stiches after falling while trying to teach Sorenne to ride a bicycle, and Dr. Monty Python said, “merely a flesh wound.”

I was back 8 hours later for an additional 10 stiches cause it was still bleeding.

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency there have been reported illnesses associated with a product similar to Erie Meat Products Ltd. Deli Classic brand Seasoned Cooked Roast Beef Round however, at this time, there have been no confirmed illnesses associated with the product identified in this Food Recall Warning.

Uh-huh.

The Canadians are like their Commonwealth breathen, the Australians, in that the food regulators leave it up to the heath regulators to say if someone is sick from food.

At least in Canada the food types will say if someone is sick, whereas the Australian food types say, nothing to see here, move along.

But, Canadian regulatory types refuse to say how many are sick, leaving that to the health folks: shouldn’t a government be able to deliver a clear, consistent message?