Vaccines work: Disney dinner show worker diagnosed with Hepatitis A

There are so many Hepatitis A outbreaks going on in the U.S., we can’t begin to report them all, and many of the outbreaks have nothing to do with food.

But when it involves at a Disney worker at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue dinner show, it’s sorta tempting.

Hepatitis A vaccinations have now been offered to other workers at the resort

Disney has not closed the resort but insists it has been thoroughly sanitized

A Disney restaurant employee at the Fort Wilderness Resort has been diagnosed with the highly contagious infection Hepatitis A, sparking health fears at the Orlando resort.

The unnamed employee worked at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue where diners can eat while watching a show.

Disney has not closed the facility despite the scare but insists it has been thoroughly sanitized.

The worker has not yet returned to the restaurant and will not be allowed to until they have been cleared of the virus, the company said.

The employee has not worked since they were diagnosed with Hepatitis A and the park remains open

The case was reported to Florida’s Department of Health on January 24.

In a statement, Disney said that all of its employees had been offered vaccinations for the virus but it remains unclear if they all took them.

‘Nothing is more important to us than safety. Upon learning this news, we immediately began working with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.

‘The impacted cast member has not worked since being diagnosed and will not return until officially cleared by the Department of Health.

‘We are not aware of anyone else becoming ill and continue to be engaged with the Department of Health to ensure we have all of the right processes in place to protect our cast members and guests,’ a spokesman told

Disney opens its food-safety secrets on Zebra devices

It was the end of Sept. 2007 when I got an invite to check out behind-the-scenes food safety activities at several Disney World kitchens at the resort in Florida.

ct-zebra-technologies-disney-bsi-photo-20160301I was blown away.

The Chicago Tribune reports that now, a Chicago-area company will help bring the technology that Disney uses to keep its food safe to a variety of food-service providers.

Disney serves more than 81 million meals a year at its American theme parks and resorts, using custom software on a mobile device that can track milk from the point it’s collected from the cow to when it becomes a Mickey-shaped ice cream bar.

Disney and partners including Lincolnshire-based Zebra Technologies announced this week that its tools are available to anyone in the food-service industry.

High-profile food-safety fails like Chipotle’s have forced restaurants to snap to attention.

“I would say there’s definitely a growing demand,” said Pat Glennon, North American vice president of retail and hospitality for Zebra Technologies. “You’re taking it from pen-and-pencil record keeping to online, immediate tracking of food items from farm to fork, which is necessary as we move forward.”

Glennon said clients can use the software-hardware solution to better comply with food safety regulations.

Zebra Technologies provides the hardware, which runs software built by Baltimore-based iCertainty on Zebra’s Android mobile computers. Restaurant workers use temperature probes that connect wirelessly to the mobile devices to track food throughout the preparation process. They also use the installed Disney Chefs app to catalog details such as whether employees wash their hands frequently.

frank.doug.manhattanDisney uses almost 900 Zebra MC40 devices in more than 700 locations across the world, a Zebra spokeswoman said. She said Disney usually uses one device at each of its restaurant locations and is still ordering devices for a worldwide rollout. The Chefs app can run on any Android device, of which the Zebra MC40 is one option.

Disney is for the first time licensing the system it built more than six years ago with iCertainty to outside restaurants and chains, including Bloomin’ Brands, owner of Outback Steakhouse and Bonefish Grill, and Texas Roadhouse. Roy’s Chicago, at 720 N. State St., also is a customer, the Zebra spokeswoman said. Pricing varies based on client needs.

“Whether it’s food safety or ride safety, we’ve long been active in ways to enhance safety,” a Disney spokeswoman said. “We’re happy to share our best practices that can help others improve safety at their organizations.”

People don’t want to eat candy shaped like poop: Disney World stops selling its animal poo sweets because of customer complaints

Two weeks ago, Disney World’s Animal Kingdom opened up a new sweet shop called Zuri’s and, in keeping with the animal theme, they decided to sell hippo, elephant, giraffe and tamarin poo in chocolate form. Because, of course.

disney.poopThey were quite literally selling crap.

And while the $3.99 (£2.50) ‘poop platter’ doesn’t look particularly appetising, it does sound pretty delicious.

The giraffe dung is actually a rolled fudge brownie with fresh caramel, while the elephant poo is in fact chocolate peanut butter fudge with rolled oats and yellow coconut flakes on top.

The tamarin poop, meanwhile, is made up of pretzel pearls coated in peanut butter fudge, and the hippo version is chocolate fudge brownie with peanut butter.

Food blogger Kim Button, who was lucky enough to sample a giraffe poo truffle ahead of its launch, wrote of the production process: ‘The animal handlers of Disney’s Animal Kingdom worked in conjunction with pastry chefs so that they perfected the look of the animal poop exactly.’

Of the taste, she added: ‘I can’t say they are the best treats I’ve ever eaten at Disney, but they are a conversation piece.’

So, yeah, not an overwhelming endorsement.

And it seems the world wasn’t ready for faux-poo sweets, with some dubbing them ‘classless’ and ‘trashy’ online. Inquisitr reports that the ‘treats’ were withdrawn from sale at the weekend because of guest complaints, although no official comment has been made by Disney.

Don’t eat poop and if you do, make sure it’s cooked — Disney style

A new shop at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is serving up desserts that look like varieties of animal droppings.

Four kinds of poo are now in the case amid the caramel apples and marshmallow treats at Zuri’s Sweets Shop.

The news of the new “poop” treats became known to the public through the official Twitter page of Mickey Updates.

Illness cluster linked to Disney tour baffles officials

Orange County, Florida, health officials are investigating a cluster of illnesses linked to Walt Disney World’s "Wild Africa Trek" experience, a boutique tour in which small groups of people get up-close access to some of the wildlife in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and a catered meal served on the theme park’s manmade savannah.

The Orlando Sentinel reports investigators have documented "several dozens of cases" of illnesses among guests who took the Disney tour in June and July, said Dain Weister, a spokesman for the Orange County Health Department.

The source of the illness remains a mystery.

"It appears to be some kind of stomach bug," Weister said. "It could be foodborne, it could be waterborne, it could be something that’s passed on person-to-person, it could be something that’s picked up by surface."

Disney has taken several precautionary steps, including "deep cleaning" various surfaces that guests touch, distributing more hand sanitizers, and re-emphasizing hand-washing policies to guests and employees.

"We are working closely with the Orange County Health Department to review the situation," Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger said.

The year-and-a-half-old Wild Africa Trek is one of the most-exclusive experiences at Disney World. Guests pay from $139 to $249 a person — on top of basic park admission — for the three-hour tour, during which they pick their way through wooded overgrowth, peer over a cliff at a pool of hippos, cross a rickety bridge above Nile crocodiles, and dine in a safari-style camp.

Davy Jones: a food safety believer

Michele Samarya-Timm, one of our Jersey food safety friends, writes about another side of Davy Jones, who passed away last night at the age of 66.

I had just submitted my Master’s Degree thesis…A Study of Foodhandler Education Programs Offered by Local Health Departments in New Jersey. The paper was a long time coming, and I decided to celebrate at Walt Disney World.

While walking around Epcot with a graduation cap on my head, I turned a corner and came face-to-face with Davy Jones. Not an audio-animatronics replica, but the real Davy Jones of the Monkees. He asked me about my obviously impending degree, and became keenly interested in food safety as I discussed my research. We walked alone and uninterrupted for about 20 minutes as he peppered me with intelligent questions about handwashing, time and temperature controls, and the role of public health. That impressed me more than anything he had ever done on TV.

His concert that night was kitschy, full of 1960’s and Brady Bunch references. And a nod to “the girl graduating next week.”

I was saddened to hear of his death. At least we had time for a bit of conversation.

Not a trace of doubt in my mind…Davy Jones was a food safety believer. Too bad it’s a side the rest of his fans never got to see.

Disney Cruise built-in hand sanitizer stations

The enterprising sanitarians at Disney have come up with built-in hand sanitizer stations incorporated into the Art Deco design of Disney Cruise Line’s new ship, the Disney Dream.

The photo (right) shows three of the built-in stations awaiting installation at the entrance to Animator’s Palate, one of the Dream’s three main restaurants.

Disney designers tell USA Today the built-in hand sanitizer stations will be incorporated into all the major eatery areas around the vessel as an alternative to the clunky plastic dispensers.

Hand sanitizer stands have become common on cruise ships over the past decade as the industry has increased efforts to reduce the number of shipboard outbreaks of communicable gastro-intestinal illnesses such as norovirus.

Don’t kiss frogs or turtles, whether it’s in a Disney film or not

On Jan. 7, 2010, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a summary report regarding on a Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Typhimurium Infections Associated with Aquatic Frogs — United States, 2009.

During April–July 2009, the Utah Department of Health identified five cases of Salmonella Typhimurium infection with indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns, predominantly among children. In August,
CDC began a multistate outbreak investigation to determine the source of the infections. This report summarizes the results of this ongoing investigation, which, as of December 30, had identified 85 S. Typhimurium human isolates with the outbreak strain from 31 states. In a multistate case-control study, exposure to frogs was found to be significantly associated with illness (63% of cases versus 3% of controls; matched odds ratio [mOR] = 24.4). Among 14 case-patients who knew the type of frog, all had exposure to an exclusively aquatic frog species, the African dwarf frog.

On Feb. 1, 2010, the U.K. Daily Express published its version of the story, saying kids were getting sick kissing frogs by copying the Disney movie, The Princess and the Frog. I knew it was far-fetched, but sorta fun and published an edited version as a barfblog post.

A couple of readers took me to task, but the original CDC report was solid. Leave it to Bill Keene, senior epidemiologist with the Oregon state Public Health Division, to wrap things up.

The outbreak has spread like the plague across the U.S. since the release of Disney’s film, "The Princess and the Frog," according to news reports and bloggers from Britain to Japan.

Problem is the story, which was fabricated from a whimsical quote in The Oregonian and on in December, is not true.

But the basic facts in that Oregonian story — 50 sickened, including many young girls, by salmonella traced to frogs — were just too good not to spin into a Internet sensation based on a quote by William Keene.

Keene said, cracking a verbal smile, that it’s not a good idea to kiss frogs, which carry salmonella.

But there is no evidence that girls are smooching the amphibians after seeing the movie.

"This is a totally mythical story," Keene said. "But it’s funny so it’s being picked up."

From the sensationalist Daily Express in Britain, which appears to have spun out the first story, the warning has fired up news sites, chat rooms and bloggers from Europe to Asia.

Tasty Time with ZeFronk on the Disney Channel pushes handwashing

Sorenne’s glad to be home after Snowmageddon in D.C. and back into her regular routine – which includes Tasty Time with ZeFronk on the Disney Channel, which runs just before Imagination Movers at 8:30 a.m. (Central U.S. time)

We wash our hands to make them neat
Before we fix our tasty treat

Today was peanut butter and jam on a banana on a hot dog bun (make mine whole wheat)

Open, peel and spread
Open, peel and spread

Yesterday I took Sorenne to the office, picked up a top-secret envelope for me, and then left it at my next stop. Baby brain. But remember,

We wash our hands to make them neat
Before we fix our tasty treat

Don’t kiss frogs or turtles: Disney film Princess and the Frog leads to 50 sick kids

The U.K. Daily Express reports that 50 U.S. children have become sick with Salmonella after emulating the heroine in Disney’s latest film, The Princess And The Frog.

Doctors blamed the cases in 25 US states on youngsters kissing frogs after seeing the film. Most were under 10, with half being girls.

Experts in the US and UK urged parents not to allow their youngsters to copy Princess Tiana after seeing the animated film, which is out on Friday. Trevor Beebee, president of the British Herpetological Society, said: “Kissing frogs is not hygienic and they also have various toxic things on their skin, which are unpleasant.”

The Health Protection Agency advises against kissing any reptiles, saying: “All should be presumed to carry salmonella in their gut, even if they do not show any signs of infection.”