Raw and local risky: Milk & Honey sued over salmonella outbreak caused from raw egg use

Guess lots of areas got raw-egg-based problems.

Jason Steen of Scoop Nashville reports that newly filed court documents reveal Milk & Honey served salmonella-tainted ‘short rib gnocchi’ to patrons during August of 2018, causing over 20 patrons to fall ill with salmonella poisoning, and the Metro Health Department to deem it an outbreak.

Between August 3rd and August 15th of 2018, more than 20 patrons of Milk & Honey, a restaurant on 11th Ave S in the Gulch, were diagnosed with salmonella poisoning, according to the Metro Health Department, who formally deemed the incident an ‘outbreak’. Environmental, epidemiological, and lab testing linked the outbreak to the raw egg product furnished to Milk & Honey by a vendor, Gravel Ridge Farms. Specifically, they found the gnocchi was were only being cooked to 130 degrees, well below the required 145 degree required cook-kill temperature.

Documents from the lawsuit and Metro Health reveal:

Milk & Honey purchased unpasteurized raw eggs and/or raw egg product from Gravel Ridge Farms to be used in food prep, as part of their desire to source “local foods”

Milk & Honey used the unpasteurized eggs in a featured menu item: ‘Short Rib Gnocchi’. The gnocchi portion of this dish involves fashioning flour and raw egg yolk into dough, cutting it into pieces, and placed on a pan for freezing.

A plaintiff in the lawsuit dined at Milk & Honey in August of 2018, after which he fell sick with symptoms that found him hospitalized at Centennial Medial Center, which was diagnosed as salmonella poisoning.

At least 20 additional patrons were diagnosed with salmonella poisoning after eating the same dish.

An investigation by the Metro Health Department found a ‘lack of management oversight’ into the preparation of the short rib gnocchi. During their initial interview with the restaurant management, boiling of the raw gnocchi was indicated, however, in a reconstruction of events, it was learned that boiling did not take place in the actual kitchen production of the dish. It was being pan-seared upon each order, instead of boiled.

The Metro Health Department also found a lack of training to be a factor. The employee responsible for the final cooking and preparation of the dish was not unfamiliar with Gnocchi and was not trained on measuring or verifying final cooking temperatures of the raw gnocchi.

Taylor Monen, who is the owner of Milk & Honey, wrote a follow-up letter to Metro Health, which reads, in part:

After your visit on Friday, we felt that our past cook that evening probably did not cook the gnocchi long enough to reach a temperature that would have completely killed this bacteria present in the gnocchi…

I am not certain that I will be keeping it on the menu unless I am able to acquire pasteurized egg product that we can use to make these gnocchi noodles.

During the same email, Monen acknowledges the dangers of using small farms for egg sourcing, and acknowledged safer alternatives were readily available from food suppliers.

The newly filed lawsuit claims seeks claims of negligence in the amount of $575,000.00 &  punitive damages  up to $1,000,000.00.

Vanity: Raw egg face masks and risks

Ireland has an egg and a BS problem.

Miranda Larbi of The Irish Sun reports that experts have slammed beauty bloggers who claim that they have the answer to treating wrinkles –  smearing raw egg whites onto their faces.

The DIY hack, they say, is not only is it totally bogus, but it could also spread harmful bacteria.

Putting raw egg on your face has absolutely no benefit for your skin, experts say

Cosmetic surgeon Christopher Inglefield is concerned that raw egg masks will result in Brits getting harrowing bouts of food poisoning due to contamination from the unrefrigerated foodstuff.

Mr Inglefield, founder of the London Bridge Plastic Surgery clinic, warned: “Not only is this ineffective practice, it could potentially spread harmful bacteria, such as Campylobacter and even salmonella if you’re really unlucky.

“You should always wash your hands after handling raw egg.

“If it’s on your face all day then you are potentially contaminating everything and everyone you touch. Just think of the risks.”

Bloggers like Beauty Vixxen, AKA Lizbeth Eguia, have promoted using raw egg as a face mask, but experts warn it’s not safe

Not just Australia: Poland has an egg problem

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control,  1,412 cases have been found associated with this outbreak: 532 confirmed and 166 probable cases since 1 February 2017 and 343 historical-confirmed and 367 historical-probable cases between 2012 and 31 January 2017. In addition, no dates have been reported for four outbreak-confirmed cases, so they are unclassifiable as current or historical cases (Table 1).

Table 1. Distribution of cases by case classification and country, EU/EEA, February 2012 to November 2018 (n=1 420; 4 cases missing date of onset or sampling or receipt at reference laboratory), as of 12 November 2018

 Reporting country  Confirmed cases       Probable cases          Historical-confirmed cases Probable-confirmed cases   Total number of cases

Belgium          0          46        14        127      187

Croatia           0          0          4          0          4

Czech Republic         0          6          0          3          9

Denmark       16        0          6          2          24

Finland           0          0          0          1          1

France 21        0          8          0          29

Greece            0          0          0          2          2

Hungary        0          29        0          5          34

Ireland           12        0          4          4          20

Ireland           1          0          0          0          1

Italy    0          12        1          19        32

Luxembourg 4          0          5          0          9

Netherlands  8          25        90        164      287

Norway         22        18        11        32        83

Poland            25        0          0          0          25

Slovenia         0          7          3          0          10

Sweden          11        20        12        2          45

United Kingdom      412      3          185      6          606

Total   532      166      343      367      1408

                          698                    710 

Most outbreak cases were reported during the summer months. Due to reporting delays, additional cases are expected to be reported with onset in recent months.

A total of 112 confirmed or historical-confirmed cases were reported with travel history in an EU country during the incubation period and therefore were likely infected there. Countries where infections likely took place were Poland (25 cases identified from 2016 to 2018), Bulgaria (22 cases from 2015 to 2018), Cyprus (14 cases in 2016 and 2018), Portugal (11 cases from 2015 to 2017) and Hungary (10 cases from 2016 to 2018). Additional travel-associated cases were also reported (<10 cases per country) with travel history to Austria, Belgium, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia and Spain.

The 2016 and 2017 European outbreak investigations identified eggs originating from Poland as the vehicle of infection in this outbreak (ECDC/EFSA rapid outbreak assessments published in March and December 2017). Outbreak-confirmed cases belong to four different WGS clusters.

Singapore: 1 dead, 72 sick from Spize restaurant

The Sats officer who fell sick after consuming food from popular restaurant Spize has died on Wednesday (Nov 14).

Mr Fadli Salleh, who was married with two young children, had been in critical condition in the intensive care unit (ICU) of Sengkang General Hospital (SKH) after he was one of 72 people who suffered gastroenteritis, allegedly after eating bento boxes prepared by Spize’s River Valley outlet for an event last Tuesday. (the raw egg looks like a Salmonella factory).

 

The party was for a Deepavali celebration organised by security company Brink’s Singapore and held on its premises at Kaki Bukit.

Mr Fadli attended the gathering as he was deployed to Brink’s Singapore, though the event itself did not involve Sats.

A Sats spokesman said: “We are providing support to the family during this sad and difficult time. Please approach Brinks if you have further questions.”

 

Brinks offered its condolences to Mr Fadli’s family and said it it was “deeply saddened” that an employee of its business partner died.

 

A joint statement by the National Environment Agency (NEA), MOH and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority last Friday said the authorities were notified of the cases last Wednesday and they conducted a joint investigation that day.

Spize’s 409 River Valley Road branch’s licence was suspended at 7pm that evening.

 

The statement added that they were investigating several cases of gastroenteritis traced to the consumption of food prepared at the restaurant.

 

“Several hygiene lapses were observed, including leaving ready-to-eat food uncovered in a chiller, not providing soap for hand washing (soap dispenser was faulty) and slotting knives for preparing ready-to-eat food in the gap between the food preparation tables,” said the statement.

Spize had supplied 88 bento sets to Brink’s Singapore and Spize’s co-owner Mr Haresh Sabnani had told The Straits Times on Wednesday before news of Mr Fadli’s death was confirmed that “on that day, 221 bento sets were sent to six different locations, but only that one location was affected”.

44 sick from Salmonella Enteritidis linked to shell eggs from Gravel Ridge Farms

Amy and I helped make breakfast for 120 grade 4 and 5 school kids this morning.

The kids had their annual sleepover Friday night at the school, in tents, with activities and endless gossip until late night or early morning (that’s Hubbell being busy in the background).

We arrived about 5:50 a.m., ready to make breakfast.

The menu was bacon and egg sandwiches on rolls, brown beans, and juice, along with vegan and halal alternatives, reflecting the multi-cultural nature of our neighbourhood and Sorenne’s school.

Amy worked in the kitchen, prepping rolls and keeping things rolling, while me and another dude worked the grill.

We cooked the bacon we had, then cleaned the grill thoroughly out of respect for others, and then the eggs.

There were no runny eggs.

There was no cross-contamination.

There wasn’t going to be some sorta Salmonella outbreak on my watch.

And Australia still has an egg problem.

What you do at home is your own business, but when cooking for 120 children, risk management is a little different.

For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local partners, investigated a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis illnesses linked to shell eggs.

As of October 25, 2018, there were 44 illnesses associated with shell eggs from Gravel Ridge Farms, in Cullman Alabama. The CDC has announced that this outbreak appears to be over.

The FDA advises consumers not to eat recalled shell eggs produced by Gravel Ridge Farms. Consumers who have purchased these products should discard the eggs or return them to the store for a refund. For a complete list of stores, visit the recall notice.

Consumers should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures. Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling raw eggs and raw egg-containing foods. Dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160° F. For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is use either eggs that have been treated to destroy Salmonella, by pasteurization or another approved method, or pasteurized egg products.

On September 5, 2018, the FDA and Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industry began an inspection at Gravel Ridge Farms and collected environmental and egg samples for laboratory testing. The results were used to confirm that Salmonella Enteritidis isolates collected from environmental and egg samples taken at the farm were genetically related to isolates obtained from ill persons.

As a result of the outbreak, Gravel Ridge Farms voluntarily recalled cage-free, large eggs and removed the eggs from the shelves at grocery stores, restaurants, and other retail locations.

Twenty-six of 32 (81%) people interviewed reported eating restaurant dishes made with eggs. These restaurants reported using shell eggs in the dishes eaten by ill people.

The whole restaurant dishes-made-with-raw-eggs-thing, such as mayo and aioli is problematic. My 9-year-old knows to ask how the aioli is made if she gets fish, and the server always comes back and says, chef makes it only with raw eggs, and she knows enough to say no.

But we are the poop family (it’s on the front door).

I had a couple of thermometers in my back pack but were not necessary.

Australia still has an egg problem: 23 sick but Salmonella egg farm says ‘not my fault bro’

This story is a month old, but I thought I’d wait and see if there was any follow-up communication with the mere egg-consuming mortals of the public.

There was none.

On Sept. 8, 2018, the New South Wales Food Authority issued a statement saying it was advising that ‘Eggz on the Run’ is undertaking a voluntary recall of Glendenning Farms eggs as part of an investigation into human illness.

A cluster of human cases of Salmonella Enteritidis, have been detected in the Sydney area. To date there have been 23 confirmed cases.

Eggz On the Run lawyer Raed Rahal the Sunday Telegraph the family which ran the company was “not even certain that the outbreak is in the eggs

“The strain is from overseas.

“There was only a certain batch that was supposed to be removed but the company has voluntarily decided to remove all batches of eggs.”

He said the family was “shell-shocked by the news as it is their livelihood”.

“They would certainly not do anything to risk anyone’s safety,” Mr Rahal said.

Customers who purchased the eggs can return the product for a full cash refund.

The egg farmer linked to the latest Salmonella poisoning outbreak has said “it’s not my fault bro” and blamed foreign birds flying in and defecating on his poultry sheds.

In an epidemiologically outrageous claim following the 23 illnesses, the Glendenning Farms worker at Cobbitty in southwestern Sydney has denied any blame.

The farmer, who has been producing eggs for 20 years, told The Sunday Telegraph the salmonella outbreak came from “something to do with the birds.

“Some birds have been flying in from overseas, landed on the shed and chucked a s**t,” he said.

“Even the Food Authority said it wasn’t my fault,” the man said from the farm run by EggzOn the Run.

Back to you, defenders of public health.

A table of Australian egg-related outbreaks is available at https://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/raw-egg-related-outbreaks-australia-5-1-17.xlsx.

Salmonella in German eggs

According to information on a German Government-run site, a batch of organic eggs has been found to have been infected with Salmonella enteritidis.

The recall affects 11 German states and comes after thousands of Dutch eggs were recalled in Germany because of renewed fipronil contamination.

Some 73,000 Dutch eggs were withdrawn from sale in Germany after more fipronil contamination was found in eggs from the Netherlands – a year after the original scandal.

Fipronil has been found on two Dutch farms in the latest scare and the authorities expect that it will be confirmed on a third.

According to the German Government site, the salmonella contamination has affected the states of Baden-Wurttemburg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein. The infections were reportedly discovered during a routine testing procedure.

The infected organic eggs were stocked by several major German retailers, including Penny, Kaufland, Aldi Nord, Aldi Sued, Real, Lidl and Netto.

45 sick from Salmonella in eggs linked to Rose Acre Farms

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports this outbreak appears to be over. Consumers and restaurants should always handle and cook eggs safely to avoid foodborne illness from raw eggs. Wash hands and items that came into contact with raw eggs with soap and water.

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup infections linked to Rose Acre Farms shell eggs.

Forty-five people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Braenderup were reported from 10 states.

Eleven people were hospitalized, and no deaths were reported.

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback evidence indicated that shell eggs produced by Rose Acre Farms’ Hyde County, North Carolina farm were the likely source of this multistate outbreak.

On April 13, 2018, Rose Acre Farms of Seymour, Indiana, voluntarily recalled 206,749,248 shell eggs because they could have been contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. Visit the FDA website for a list of recalled products.

On April 16, 2018, Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. voluntarily recalled 23,400 dozen eggs purchased from Rose Acre Farms.

Consumers and restaurants should handle and cook eggs safely to avoid foodborne illness from raw eggs. It is important to handle and prepare all fresh eggs and egg products carefully.

Eggs should be cooked until both the yolk and white are firm. Scrambled eggs should not be runny.

Wash hands and items that came into contact with raw eggs—including countertops, utensils, dishes, and cutting boards—with soap and water.

Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where recalled eggs were stored. Follow these five steps to clean your refrigerator.

Why quarterbacks should stick to football: New Oregon QB commit Cale Millen celebrates by chugging raw eggs with head coach Mario Cristobal

There’s nothing worse than athletes trying to speak.

Bull Durham captured it (below).

This ain’t Rocky, this is Salmonella.

Apparently, it was representative of Cale Millen’s dedication to the University of Oregon. The newest Ducks commit, a Mount Si (Wash.) three-star junior, announced his college decision on Sunday and celebrated by chugging a glass of three raw eggs with his future head coach, Mario Cristobal, as captured by The Oregonian Oregon beat writer Andrew Nemec.

If that sounds unhealthy, well, it is. Sure, raw eggs pack plenty of protein, but they also pack a risk of salmonella. Not a huge risk of salmonella, mind you (there’s actually a greater risk of salmonella on contaminated egg shells than eggs), but the risk is there.

Egg perfect protein (except when they have Salmonella) and inspections suck

Emily Hopkins of the Indy Star writes that at Indiana-based Rose Acre’s North Carolina farm, 3 million chickens produce about 2.3 million eggs every day, apparently under the watchful eye of a U.S. Department of Agriculture grader.

That grader is supposed to be at the farm every day. Which raises a question: Why did it take an outbreak of Salmonella, one that sickened 23 people in nine states, to alert officials to problems at the farm?

A USDA spokeswoman acknowledged to IndyStar that a typical day for a grader involves checking a facility’s equipment prior to that day’s operation. It’s at this point that any observed issues are addressed. After that, the grader will enter the grading booth to inspect eggs during the processing day.

“In this instance, our grader(s) did not observe issues that would have triggered a report to FDA inspectors,” the spokeswoman said via email.

But the USDA didn’t specifically address IndyStar’s question about whether a grader should have observed those issues.

According to an egg grading manual published by the USDA, graders must “continually monitor product handling and general condition of equipment, and housekeeping throughout the (egg processing) facility” and ‘identify sanitation problems requiring corrective action.”

That might have applied to the Rose Acre Farm, where many of the FDA violations were made in the egg processing building.

For example, FDA inspectors who visited the farm after the Salmonella outbreak foundthat the procedure for cleaning the egg “orientor” was not being implemented, and employees were observed cutting corners while washing the eggs. Water from the “ceilings, pipes and down walls” was found dripping onto production equipment, and dried egg and shells were seen to have accumulated on the same areas over multiple days.

There were other violations, including excessive rodent activity, that were noted, but those were observed in the farm’s hen houses, which graders typically do not have access to.

After eggs are washed in the processing facility, graders check the eggs for cracks or other outside imperfections. They’ll also take a look inside the egg using a process called candling. Once the eggs are deemed up to USDA standards of quality, they receive a USDA seal.

The value of the program, which is voluntary, is that it communicates to consumers that they are buying a product held to higher standards, according to Darrin Karcher, an extension poultry specialist at Purdue University. 

“It gives another layer of credibility to the consumer,” Karcher said.

Karcher, however, could not say whether in this particular case the USDA grader missed an opporutnity. 

A grader’s day starts with a visual check of the processing plant before work begins, the USDA spokeswoman told IndyStar. If issues are observed, the grader is supposed to work with facility management to correct them before operations start. 

“This is not a substitute for FDA’s more in-depth food safety regulatory examinations of an entire operation,” the spokeswoman said. “We take our responsibility very seriously and any time a significant issue is identified, USDA graders flag it for FDA through a formal process to ensure their regulatory inspectors are informed in a timely manner.”

This is one of the largest egg recalls since 2010, when 500 million eggs from an Iowa producer were recalled, and nearly 2,000 illnesses caused by Salmonella were reported. That outbreak spurred the FDA and USDA to issue a memorandum of understanding outlining information sharing priorities. The MOU authorizes USDA graders to withhold the seal if they believe that a facility is in violation of food safety rules or if the product poses a risk. 

After the FDA linked the pathogen back to Rose Acres’s North Carolina farm, the company issued a voluntary recall of more than 206 million eggs, out of “an abundance of caution.”

Audits and inspections are never enough: A critique to enhance food safety

30.aug.12

Food Control

D.A. Powell, S. Erdozain, C. Dodd, R. Costa, K. Morley, B.J. Chapman

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956713512004409?v=s5

Internal and external food safety audits are conducted to assess the safety and quality of food including on-farm production, manufacturing practices, sanitation, and hygiene. Some auditors are direct stakeholders that are employed by food establishments to conduct internal audits, while other auditors may represent the interests of a second-party purchaser or a third-party auditing agency. Some buyers conduct their own audits or additional testing, while some buyers trust the results of third-party audits or inspections. Third-party auditors, however, use various food safety audit standards and most do not have a vested interest in the products being sold. Audits are conducted under a proprietary standard, while food safety inspections are generally conducted within a legal framework. There have been many foodborne illness outbreaks linked to food processors that have passed third-party audits and inspections, raising questions about the utility of both. Supporters argue third-party audits are a way to ensure food safety in an era of dwindling economic resources. Critics contend that while external audits and inspections can be a valuable tool to help ensure safe food, such activities represent only a snapshot in time. This paper identifies limitations of food safety inspections and audits and provides recommendations for strengthening the system, based on developing a strong food safety culture, including risk-based verification steps, throughout the food safety system.