French farmer kept ducks stoned to prevent worms; court says no

A 60-year-old duck farmer in France received a one-month suspended sentence and a 500 Euro fine after providing cannabis to his waterfowl.

During the hearing the farmer admitted that he also smoked "a little" marijuana and he justified giving it to his 150 ducks as a "purge." He said there is no better way to deworm the birds. He said was advised to do so, but would not name the specialist who gave the advice.

The farmer was caught after he reported a theft at his home in October. Police arrived to discover 12 marijuana plants and a 5 kilo bag of weed.

The police said this was the first time they have seen anything like this even though they are quite accustomed to hearing silly excuses when it comes to narcotics (or that’s how Amy translated that sentence; thanks to Albert for the story tip).

Salmonella in sprouts sickens 73, separate salmonella in duck eggs sicken 63; UK bureaucrats blame consumers

The U.K. Food Standards Agency had a busy day reminding consumers they are the critical control point when it comes to food safety and everything would be fine as long as they cooked things.

Just cook it don’t cut it.

“The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has today reminded people of the importance of good hygiene practice when handling and cooking raw bean sprouts.”

“The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has today reminded consumers and caterers of the importance of good hygiene practice when cooking with and consuming duck eggs.”

There’s some innovation going on in crafting those food safety messages.

The real news is later.

An investigation into an outbreak of salmonella by the Health Protection Agency and Health Protection Scotland has identified possible links to raw bean sprouts. There have been 58 cases reported in England since the start of August and 15 cases in Scotland.

An investigation by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) into an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium DT8 indicates that from 1 January 2010 to date, 63 cases of Salmonella Typhimurium DT8 infection have been reported in the UK. Two cases are known to have resulted in people being hospitalised and one death has been reported (although at present it is uncertain whether the death is directly related to the Salmonella infection). Evidence from investigations carried out by the HPA and FSA supports a link between the consumption of duck eggs and this outbreak.

How do British taxpayers feel funding a government agency that seems to spend most of its communications efforts telling taxpayers to do more in a piping-hot-sorta manner?

Consumers have a role; so do the producers, processors and distributors not mentioned in these taxpayer-funded reminders.

3 Irish children sick with Salmonella after licking the spoon

I have fond memories of licking the beaters while mom was making cake and frosting.

But, then I learned about salmonella in raw eggs, and became more cautious around my own kids – but not completely. Admittedly, the risk is low; the risk is much greater when eggs are pooled to make large batches of cakes or sauces.

(In that pic, right, which I lifted from the Internet, I’d be more concerned about the kid’s dirty diaper on the food preparation surface). reported this morning that three children in Ireland have contracted Salmonella Typhimurium DT8 after licking the spoon used in baking or cooking with duck eggs.

They are among seven people who have been diagnosed with one of the more severe strains of the bug in an outbreak linked to contaminated duck eggs.

Dr Paul McKeown of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, said yesterday,

"Many children love to lick the cake or food mixture from the spoon during baking and unfortunately in this outbreak it has probably resulted in some falling ill."

Pasteurized eggs are widely available for home cooks now and always an option.

Gratuitous food porn shot of the day: duck egg omelet

My friend and colleague, Kate, has a dozen ducks out at her Kansas compound.

Better than my Guelph friend Steve who at one point had 17 horses and still has four kids living at home even though the oldest is 22.

Kate brought some duck eggs over the other day and I made an omelet with them this fine and sunny Sunday morning.