55 sick from Salmonella linked to long English cucumbers (the looooonnnnnggg ones)

The stories I have about cucumbers.

Especially the long ones.

But I’ve already been threatened with one lawsuit, and will not indulge further, other than the facts.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella infections involving five provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Quebec. The illness reported in Quebec was related to travel to British Columbia. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that residents in eastern Canada are affected by this outbreak.

Based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to long English cucumbers has been identified as the likely source of the outbreak. Many of the individuals who became sick reported eating long English cucumbers before their illness.

(Those would be the ones grown in greenhouses, but I’m just speculating, rather than inviting a lawsuit from the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers who like to intimidate with threats of lawsuits, but know shit about growing up in Southern Ontario; bring it on).

As of November 27, 2018, there have been 55 laboratory-confirmed cases of Salmonella Infantis illness investigated in the following provinces: British Columbia (47), Alberta (5), Saskatchewan (1), Manitoba (1), and Quebec (1). The individual from Quebec reported traveling to British Columbia before becoming ill. Individuals became sick between mid-June and late-October 2018. Eleven individuals have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Individuals who became ill are between 1 and 92 years of age. The majority of cases (60%) are female.

5 sick raw is risky: Unpasteurized cheese made on Vancouver Island recalled for E. coli concerns

A voluntary recall has been issued for a Vancouver Island-produced cheese linked to an E. coli outbreak that infected five people.

Little Qualicum Cheeseworks’ Qualicum Spice cheese should be discarded or returned to the place of purchase, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control.

The E. coli outbreak occurred between August and October and was traced back to the unpasteurized product, which has a best before date up to and including April 24, 2019.

An investigation is ongoing “to determine the source and extent of contamination,” the BCCDC said.

Everyone’s got a camera: Toronto man complains of ‘unsanitary’ meat storage at real Canadian superstore

Michael Pearl says he goes grocery shopping every Sunday at the Real Canadian Superstore near Dufferin Street and Steeles Avenue West.

But on Oct 5, he says he got a disturbing sneak peek behind the deli counter.

“It just seemed like it was a very unsanitary way of storing meat,” Pearl told CBC Toronto.

Pearl was planning on purchasing some steaks but changed his mind when he saw a pile of raw meat in a shopping cart behind the counter.

“Fifty or 60 steaks in there, sitting in the cart without any wrapping that I had seen,” he said. “It just seemed very, you know, very unhygienic and it looked disgusting, to be honest with you.”

Pearl says he took out his phone and snapped a picture, which he brought to a woman he says claimed to be the store manager.  

“I showed her the picture. She seemed aghast at it all,” Pearl said.

In addition to that, Pearl says he sent the photo to the Toronto Board of Health, and filed a complaint with them.  

“They got back to me and said they were going to be looking into it.”

Loblaw Companies director of public relations Karen Gumbs also saw the picture and gave a statement to CBC Toronto, saying this “absolutely should not have happened” because it does not follow the company’s food safety procedures.

“The store immediately addressed this with the colleague,” Gumbs said. “We’ve reminded all departments of our protocols to ensure nothing like this happens again.”

Pearl says he will continue to shop at the Real Canadian Superstore because it’s close and convenient.

When asked if he plans to buy meat from the deli counter again he simply said, “Yeah, why not?”

Could this be the most Canadian food safety story?

Just cook it doesn’t cut it: 474 sick from Salmonella linked to raw frozen chicken thingies in Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada says 474 people have gotta sick from raw frozen chicken thingies over the past year and a half.

Over a decade ago, when I went to Kansas State, me and Chapman and Phebus came up with a project to see how people cooked these thingies.

Why not cook all these thingies to reduce risk, because it costs about $0.01 a pound too cool these things with electricity.

The American Meat Institute funded it.

Some of these thingies are frozen raw, which means they have to be cooked in an oven and temperature verified with a tip-sensitive digital thermometer, and some of these thingies are pre-cooked, so can be thawed in a microwave.

Labelling has changed over the years, but it’s still necessary to know what you’re buying.

Some of the frozen raw products may appear to be pre-cooked or browned, but they should be handled and prepared with caution

I’d understand Australia, with its massive coal investments, but Canada and the U.S. where nuclear is readily available?

In May 2017, Government of Canada scientists began using a new technology called “whole genome sequencing” to help identify and respond to outbreaks. Over the past year and a half, federal, provincial and territorial health and food safety partners have investigated 14 national outbreaks linked to raw chicken, including frozen raw breaded chicken products. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued food recall warnings for ten products linked to some of these outbreak investigations.

As of November 2, 2018, there have been 474 laboratory-confirmed cases of Salmonella illness investigated as part of the illness outbreaks across the country.

All active and future Salmonella outbreak investigations linked to raw chicken, including frozen raw breaded chicken products, and related food recall warnings will be listed in the next section of the public health notice to remind Canadians of the ongoing risk associated with these types of food products.

Do not eat raw or undercooked frozen breaded chicken products. Cook all frozen raw breaded chicken products to an internal temperature of at least 74°C (165°F) to ensure that they are safe to eat. Use a digital food thermometer to verify the temperature. Insert the digital food thermometer through the side of the product, all the way to the middle. Oven-safe meat thermometers that are designed for testing whole chicken and roasts during cooking are not suitable for testing nuggets, strips or burgers.

Microwave cooking of frozen raw breaded chicken products—including chicken nuggets, strips, burgers, popcorn chicken or chicken fries—is not recommended because of the possibility of uneven heating.

Always follow the cooking instructions on the package, including for products labelled Uncooked, Cook and Serve, Ready to Cook, and Oven Ready.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after handling frozen raw breaded chicken products (the water does not need to be warm).

Always follow the cooking instructions provided on the package. Cook chicken to a safe internal temperature that has been checked using a digital thermometer. Raw chicken pieces should be cooked to an internal temperature of 74°C (165°F). Whole chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 82°C (180°F).

Keep raw chicken away from other food while shopping, storing, repackaging, cooking and serving foods.

A table of raw frozen chicken thingies outbreak is available at https://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Outbreaks-Associated-with-Raw-Frozen-Meals-4-13.xlsx.

Self-reported and observed behavior of primary meal preparers and adolescents during preparation of frozen, uncooked, breaded chicken products
01.nov.09
British Food Journal, Vol 111, Issue 9, p 915-929
Sarah DeDonder, Casey J. Jacob, Brae V. Surgeoner, Benjamin Chapman, Randall Phebus, Douglas A. Powell
http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContentItem.do;jsessionid=6146E6AFABCC349C376B7E55A3866D4A?contentType=Article&contentId=1811820
Abstract:
Purpose – The purpose of the present study was to observe the preparation practices of both adult and young consumers using frozen, uncooked, breaded chicken products, which were previously involved in outbreaks linked to consumer mishandling. The study also sought to observe behaviors of adolescents as home food preparers. Finally, the study aimed to compare food handler behaviors with those prescribed on product labels.
Design/methodology/approach – The study sought, through video observation and self-report surveys, to determine if differences exist between consumers’ intent and actual behavior.
Findings – A survey study of consumer reactions to safe food-handling labels on raw meat and poultry products suggested that instructions for safe handling found on labels had only limited influence on consumer practices. The labels studied by these researchers were found on the packaging of chicken products examined in the current study alongside step-by-step cooking instructions. Observational techniques, as mentioned above, provide a different perception of consumer behaviors.
Originality/value – This paper finds areas that have not been studied in previous observational research and is an excellent addition to existing literature.

51 sick in Canada and U.S. from Salmonella linked to cucumbers

I’ve been waiting for more info on this outbreak but it’s not there.

Cucumbers have been linked to at least 45 Salmonella illnesses in western Canada.

A further six people in Washington state – that’s also in the west – have been stricken by what seems to be the same bacterium linked to cucs, sold at Costco.

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.”