Diner that catered lunch for health types didn’t have permit ‘We expect they would refuse our request’

The restaurant that provided the meal that sickened at least 70 state health department workers in Santa Fe, NM, didn’t have a permit to cater events.

kick-ass-sandwich-shopThe New Mexico Environment Department says the diner — until recently called the Bad Ass Sandwich Shop but now called the Kick Ass Sandwich Shop because of a legal dispute, see the NSFV video below – will be served with a notice of violation for not having a catering permit.

Paul Rhien, a spokesman for the Health Department, said Friday that epidemiology tests confirmed the contamination came from the restaurant’s food.

Shannon Quintana of Kick Ass Sandwich Shop couldn’t be reached for comment Friday. He told the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper that he didn’t cater the Dec. 14 lunch and that the Health Department had ordered food from Kick Ass to be served alongside other dishes brought by employees.

But Rhien told Mark Oswald of the Albuquerque Journal the restaurant set up a buffet line and served food, and there weren’t many food items prepared by Health Department workers.

The Health Department’s holiday lunch, which was held in the department’s offices at the Runnels Building – where employees headquartered there are the same ones who investigate disease outbreaks around the state – resulted in “reports of a number of employees becoming ill with mild gastrointestinal illness,” according to a message sent to employees Monday by Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher.

More than 200 department workers are estimated to have attended and about 71 reported gastrointestinal symptoms that developed within 24 to 48 hours.

Rhien said Friday that the Department of Health was not aware the sandwich shop didn’t have a catering permit. “If a restaurant doesn’t have the appropriate permit, we would expect them to refuse our request to cater an event — just as anyone would expect,” he said in an e-mail.

“The lab results from our epidemiological investigation confirmed that Clostridium perfringens bacteria were the source of the outbreak.”

The holiday lunch was paid for with worker contributions to an employee events committee, not by taxpayers, Rhien said.

Got a reference for that throwaway in-the-home cause? Salmonella and catered meals in Europe

Salmonella spp. is the causative agent of a foodborne disease called salmonellosis, which is the second most commonly reported gastrointestinal infection in the European Union (EU).

Raw_eggAlthough over the years the annual number of cases of foodborne salmonellosis within the EU has decreased markedly, in 2014, a total of 88,715 confirmed cases were still reported by 28 EU Member States.

The European Food Safety Authority reported that, after the household environment, the most frequent settings for the transmission of infection were catering services. As evidenced by the reviewed literature, which was published over the last 15 years (2000–2014), the most frequently reported causative agents were Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium serovars. These studies on outbreaks indicated the involvement of various facilities, including hospital restaurants, takeaways, ethnic restaurants, hotels, in-flight catering, one fast-food outlet and the restaurant of an amusement park. The most commonly reported sources of infection were eggs and/or egg-containing foods, followed by meat- and vegetable-based preparations.

Epidemiological and microbiological studies allowed common risk factors to be identified, including the occurrence of cross-contamination between heat-treated foods and raw materials or improperly cleaned food-contact surfaces.

Salmonellosis associated with mass catering: a survey of European Union cases over a 15-year period

Epidemiology and Infection; Cambridge University Press 2016; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0950268816001540; 13 pages; Published online: 18 July 2016

Osimani, L. Aquilanti And F. Clementi



Family graduation party in Michigan sickens six

A graduation party in the Sturgis area is suspected of being the source of foodborne illness last weekend that affected six people.

diploma-cookiesAccording to Steve Andriaachi, environmental health officer for Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency, a member of the family with food service background catered the party. There has been no laboratory report completed yet regarding what caused the illness. Andriaachi said it is too early to release any details about the investigation.

Bad eggs lead to $23K in fines for Calgary catering company

“You’re not in Kansas anymore … it doesn’t matter if you come from China, or Russia, or some third-world country, if you want to do business in Alberta you comply with the regulations.”

I have no idea why Rob O’Neill is slagging Kansas when prosecuting a case about crappy eggs in Alberta (that’s in Canada, where food safety delusions run high) other than overwhelming creative insight and just saying no to clichés.

As reported by the Calgary Sun, buying rotting eggs linked to a salmonella outbreak has landed a Calgary catering company and two of its principals fines totalling $23,690.

Slobodan Milivojevic, owner of the company that does business as Calgary Food Services, received the bulk of the punishment, fines and surcharges totalling $17,135 on 11 charges under the Public Health Act.

O’Neill said the company was purchasing eggs, which were not from approved sources.

The off-colored and oddly shapes eggs were linked to a salmonella outbreak, he said.

“In November, 2010, there was a foodborne illness investigation which found 91 lab-confirmed cases of salmonella,” O’Neill said.

“Several of the individuals suffered bloody diarrhea and six people were hospitalized,” he said.

Pat’s Schoolhouse won’t be buying from Mum’s Kitchen; Malaysian caterer fired, 346 kids 7 teachers had food poisoning

A total of 346 children as well as seven teachers from Pat’s Schoolhouse centers have now been reported to have fallen ill with food poisoning, up from the 218 previously reported (right, photo from Asia One).

The incident occurred on Tuesday and the affected were from eight out of the chain’s 14 centres, reported the Straits Times.

Pat’s Schoolhouse has also terminated the services of the caterer, Mum’s Kitchen.

In a statement to the media yesterday, the chain said: ‘Since May 12, all the meals for Pat’s Schoolhouse centres have been prepared by their in-house cooks.

Safely prepared and handled food keeps students safe

Veterinary student, masters of public health student, newspuller and occasional blogger Gonzalo Erdozain writes:

As a veterinary student at Kansas State, I get a lot of free food – pizza, BBQ, even fully catered meals. This past Tuesday, at our Bovine Club meeting, we had our food catered by Hy-Vee here in Manhattan, KS. To my surprise, and delight, I observed the delivery chef test each one of the lasagna platters with a digital thermometer, and write down each temperature on a temp. sheet. Our club’s president then signed the sheet and we went about our business. Today, I called Hy-Vee to ask a few questions. Here’s the scoop.

Everything they cook is up to par with the recommendations made by the Kansas Department of Health. I specifically asked about poultry, and the manager quickly answered, “we cook all our poultry to 165 ºF.” He explained that all hot foods must be over 141 ºF at the time of delivery, while cold foods must be bellow 41 ºF. If they are out of that range, they ask the customer whether to reheat it or make a new batch. They fill in the temp. sheet, have it signed by the customer and leave printed instructions to discard any leftover food within 4 hours due to food safety risks past that timeframe. Now that I don’t have to worry about food poisoning from these events, I can focus on not contaminating my food with formalin.

Anyone can prepare food and make people barf in North Dakota

For the past week, people in Kansas have been asking me, did you love the Canadian men’s Olympic hockey victory?

I say, just glad it was a good game, great for hockey.

And then I say, the women’s hockey team really rocked.

Most people look at me and say, women play hockey?

The Canadian women defeated the U.S. for Olympic gold, 2-0, and then showed the men how to party.

I coached girls’ hockey for a number of years while my kids were growing up. To coach little girls playing ice hockey in Canada requires 16 hours of training. To coach kids on a travel team requires an additional 24 hours of training.

It seems reasonable to have some minimal training for those who prepare food for public consumption.

Not so in North Dakota, where the State Health Department says it will not seek charges against a rural Washburn woman for operating an unlicensed catering business linked to sickening 180 people last summer.

Aggie Jennings catered three separate events in June — two wedding receptions and a family reunion — that resulted in 76 people seeking medical attention with 10 hospitalized for salmonella Montevideo food poisoning.

A subsequent report found a total of 180 people met the case definition for Salmonella Montevideo.

The Bismark Tribune explains enforcement of regulations governing caterers falls under the jurisdiction of local health units.

Lisa Clute, executive officer for the First District Health Unit, said that board met Feb. 18 and voted not to recommend charges against Jennings, which would be Class B misdemeanors.

The strain of salmonella is one commonly associated with baby chickens, which Jennings raised on her rural residence.

The health department issued an order to Jennings to stop catering June 17, three days prior to the McClusky event, the report said.

The report also found there were four dishes that tested positive for salmonella and all had some type of preparation, storage or handling at Jennings’ residence.

It said several people assisting in food preparation at her home may have provided a source of cross contamination.

Clute said the First District Health Unit wants to be consistent in how it deals with such cases and in this instance, she thinks it has.

"We are confident she will never do this again. We stopped it quickly and efficiently and at this point there is no public health threat.”

These people wouldn’t be allowed to sit on the bench and open the door at a little girls’ hockey game. I don’t want them to make food either.