Egypt says E. coli O157 caused the death of 2 British tourists

Tests showed that E.coli bacteria were behind the death of two British tourists in a hotel in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Hurghada, the country’s chief prosecutor said on Wednesday.

The statement by Prosecutor Nabil Sadek came a week after travel company Thomas Cook said that there was a “high level of e. coli and staphylococcus bacteria” at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel where John and Susan Cooper died Aug. 21 after falling ill in their room in the five-star hotel.

Forensic tests showed that John Cooper, 69, suffered acute intestinal dysentery caused by E.coli, and Susan Cooper, 64, suffered Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), likely because of E .coli, Sadek said.

He said that tests also showed no links between the couples’ death and the spraying of their neighboring room with lambda-cyhalothrin 5 per cent. The insecticide is safe to use, according to the statement.

The couple’s bodies showed “no criminal violence” and other tests showed no toxic or harmful gas emissions or leaks in their room and tests on air and water at the hotel found nothing unusual, the statement said.

There was not an immediate comment from the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel. Thomas Cook meanwhile said it needs time for their own experts to review the prosecutor’s statement.

39 sick from Vibrio in sushi in Japan

They have a video, but this one is better.

The Japan News reports that Totoyamichi, a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant operator affiliated with Japan’s Skylark Holdings Co., — which sounds creepy enough on its own — has been shutting all 24 outlets since Monday after food poisoning occurred at some of them.

At least 39 customers have complained of food poisoning symptoms after eating at Totoyamichi restaurants.

Skylark reported the case only on its website while stopping short of holding a press conference. The restaurant group may thus come under fire for failing to fully explain the incident, analysts said.

According to Skylark, food poisoning symptoms, such as diarrhea and stomachache, were reported from customers who used eight Totoyamichi outlets in Tokyo and neighboring Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures between Aug. 31 and Sept. 3. The affected customers are recovering from their illness.

In a survey by Skylark, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a type of bacteria that causes stomachache and other symptoms, was detected from raw sea urchin at some outlets.
 

 

Everyone has a camera, Crazy Rich Asians edition, roaches in popcorn

Darren Cartwright of The Courier Mail writes in the local paper (local being Brisbane) that the hit comedy Crazy Rich Asians turned out to be a real-life horror film for a young couple who allegedly discovered the movement in their popcorn was a “dirty, great big” cockroach.

Shaun Walsh and his partner Caitlin Rose were in the middle of enjoying the runaway success comedy at Birch Carroll and Coyle’s cinema complex at Morayfield on Saturday night when things went awry.

Mr Walsh said Ms Rose was eating the treat when the movie started and about half an hour later placed the container on the seat next to her.

When she went to retrieve more popcorn, some 20 minutes later, she heard “movement” in the popcorn.

“She jumped up and screamed a little bit and then jumped across me,” Mr Walsh told The Courier-Mail.

“I didn’t believe her at the start, so I turned my light on and here’s this dirty great big cockroach.

10 dead, 1200 sick: Praise the lord and pass the guacamole: Holy water blamed for Ethiopia cholera outbreak

Faith-based food safety just doesn’t cut it.

According to Ooska News, a cholera outbreak in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region has reportedly been blamed on holy water, after at least 10 people died over the past two weeks, while more than 1 200 people have contracted the disease. The authorities have also identified contaminated holy water in some of the region’s monasteries as being behind the outbreak. It was believed that the water is being taken from rivers that carry the disease.

Interfering in religious affairs is a very sensitive matter in the region, but the local government is working with religious leaders to temporarily stop the use of holy water.

Kate Beckinsale travels with butter in her suitcase… is that safe?

From the weird world of celebrities comes word that actress Kate Beckinsale travels with Kerrygold grass-fed butter.

“I find it quite hard to get ahold of,” Beckinsale says. “If I’m going from one city to another, I’ll put some in my suitcase to make sure I have it. I’m the crazy person traveling with butter.”

This raises a major question: Is that safe?

It’s a little tricky, Darin Detwiler, PhD, director of the Regulatory Affairs of Food and Food Industries program at Northeastern University, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Butter is interesting because there is dairy in it, but it’s mostly fat,” he says. “And fat doesn’t exactly help bacterial growth.”

But there are a few things that can happen if you don’t refrigerate your butter, especially if you keep it out for a long period of time or don’t refrigerate it at all, Detwiler says. One is that it can go rancid. “You’ll know right away,” he says. Another is that you can get foodborne bacteria like E. coli or salmonella, which can grow on the butter and infect you. Finally, if you leave your butter out, there’s more of a chance for cross contamination with other foods and bacteria that may be in your kitchen. “The more you leave it out, the more you’re leaving it open to cross-contamination or the bacterial growth,” Detwiler says. “You really have to take that into consideration.”

Man swallows needle in strawberry bought from Woolworths Australia

Queensland, with its sub-tropical climate, has fabulous produce and seafood.

Even if regulators are a bit dopey about food safety.

Jill Poulson and Tanya Westthorp of the Courier-Mail report health authorities are warning people who have bought strawberries in Queensland, NSW and Victoria to throw the punnets out after several incidents of needles being found in strawberries sold at Woolworths.

Queensland Health and Queensland Police today took the extraordinary step to urge people who bought strawberries across the eastern seaboard in the past week to throw them out after three separate incidents in Queensland and Victoria.

Police suspect the ground-down needles were deliberately planted in the punnets with the culprit intending to cause ‘grievous bodily harm or other objectives’.

The needle allegedly found in strawberries purchased from Woolworths at northside Brisbane. Pic: Supplied.

The contaminated strawberries come from one farm and are sold under the brands ‘Berry Obsession’ and ‘Berry Licious’. They are sold from Woolworths and it’s believed they may also be sold at other stores. A product recall is underway.

It comes as a 21-year-old Burpengary man ended up in hospital after he swallowed part of a needle when he bit into a strawberry bought from Strathpine in Brisbane’s north on Sunday.

Two more incidents in Victoria were confirmed yesterday.

Shirley Surgeoner — legend

When I first became a prof in 1996, Gord Surgeoner took me aside and said, stick close to the farmers.

He introduced me to the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers and we did some cool work.

I ran the counties of ag meetings, giving my spiel, and always knowing Gord approved.

And behind Gord was Shirley.

Shirley was always gracious, kind to my kids, and would tell me life advice like, Gord goes out and makes the life, I make the life worth living.

From my hometown of Brantford, Ontario (that’s in Canada), Shirley was in the Cockshutt family while I was firmly in the Massey-Ferguson camp.

Gord and I spent a lot of hours on the 401, I watched him practice speeches at 6 am in hotel rooms, and would say, Surgeoner, go back to bed, but Shirley was always on his mind, and he didn’t want to screw up.

Gord’s one of about three people I would drop everything for and fly halfway around the world if I thought I could be of use. The two daughters both worked with me at various times when I was in Kansas, and they each produced some cool science shit.

Here’s the official obit:

Shirley Diane Surgeoner

1948 – 2018

It is with joyful memories and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Shirley Diane Surgeoner (nee Vaughan). Shirley passed away on September 3rd at Norfolk General Hospital surrounded by her family.

Shirley was born in Brantford Ontario on February 20, 1948 to Audrey (nee Waring) and Edwin Vaughan; the oldest sister to Gary (Patsy) and Lary (Carrie). Shirley attended the University of Guelph where she graduated B.A. Sc. in 1972. She was a great advocate of the University of Guelph and the Mac-FACS-FRAN Alumni Association. Shirley received the prestigious Lincoln Alexander Medal of Distinguished Service in 2002 and the Alumni Volunteer Award in 2011.

For 45 years Shirley was the devoted wife and best friend of Gordon Surgeoner. Shirley and Gordon renovated a beautiful historic home in Fergus ON where they raised their three children: Brae (Luke), Drew (Jen) and Jade (Ben). She left behind a poem that brings us all to tears, but highlights the wonderful life she created at 169 Garafraxa St. E, “There’s a home whose rooms I know by heart. Where I tended the garden and read my books. Where dreams were dreamt and memories made. Where children grew up and I grew old. There’s a home where life was lived. A house where I belong” – Author Unknown. A loving and inspirational mother, she was also the proud grandmother of Aspen, Lily and Rilen.

Throughout her life Shirley maintained a sweet and simple demeanor that won the hearts of many. Her signature gift was that of giving. Shirley gave unconditionally to her family, friends and community. More than anything her family is grateful to her selfless years spent raising her children, supporting her husband and devotedly caring for her aging grandparents and parents. Shirley’s mantra in life was that life can provide many unexpected challenges, so enjoy every day and tell those that surround you how much you love them. She will be missed by many. Cremation has taken place at McCleister’s Funeral Home in Brantford. A celebration of Shirley’s life will be held at a later time to be announced. In her memory donations may be made to the Groves Memorial Community Hospital in Fergus. 

130 sick from Salmonella in Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal

Kellogg’s really sucks at this food safety thing.

These are the folks who said, in the aftermath of the Peanut Corporation of America outbreak in 2009 that killed nine and sickened hundreds, how the hell could we have known?

When Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal came under Salmonella-related scrutiny, the company didn’t even know who made the cereal.

They just put their name on it, like a Trump hotel.

How the hell would anyone have known?

People who give a shit about food safety, people barfing, people dying.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reiterated its advice the other day, stating retailers should not sell any Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. It could be contaminated with Salmonella and make people sick.  The Kellogg Company recalled Honey Smacks cereal on June 14, 2018.

CDC continues to recommend consumers not eat any Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. People who recently became ill report eating Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal that they had in their homes.

If you see Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal for sale, do not buy it. The FDA has become aware that recalled Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal is still being offered for sale.

Thirty more ill people from 19 states were added to this outbreak since the last update on July 12, 2018.

Three more states reported ill people: Delaware, Minnesota, and Maine.

Highlights

130 people infected with the outbreak strain have been reported from 36 states.

34 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal is the likely source of this multistate outbreak.

18 sick: E. coli O26 linked to Publix ground chuck products

Publix Super Markets Inc., a Lakeland, Fla., retail grocery store chain is voluntarily recalling an undetermined amount of ground beef products made from chuck that may be contaminated with Escherichia coli O26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The ground chuck items were purchased by consumers from June 25, 2018, through July 31, 2018. The following products are subject to recall: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/330436d0-f5bb-4ee3-a3eb-cca6459bf014/072-2018-List-Products.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&useDefaultText=0&useDefaultDesc=0   

These items were shipped to Publix Super Market retail locations in the following Florida counties: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/68f37b9e-2b95-45c9-8ba7-36500f13a6ac/072-2018-Affected-Counties-Florida.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&useDefaultText=0&useDefaultDesc=0

On Aug. 16, 2018, FSIS was notified of an investigation of E. coli O26 illnesses. FSIS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state public health and agriculture partners determined that raw ground chuck was the probable source of the reported illnesses. The epidemiological investigation identified 18 case-patients, predominantly from Florida, with illness onset dates ranging from July 5 to July 25, 2018. Traceback information indicated that case-patients consumed ground chuck products purchased at various Publix Super Markets that was supplied by a yet-to-be determined source. As this investigation further develops, FSIS will continue to work with the supermarket, suppliers and public health partners, and will provide updated information should it become available.

  1. coli O26, like the more common E. coli O157:H7, is a serovar of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). People can become ill from STECs 2–8 days (average of 3–4 days) after exposure to the organism.

Most people infected with STEC O26 develop diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting. Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe. Infection is usually diagnosed by testing of a stool sample. Vigorous rehydration and other supportive care is the usual treatment; antibiotic treatment is generally not recommended. Most people recover within a week, but rarely, some develop a more severe infection. Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure, is uncommon with STEC O26 infection. HUS can occur in people of any age but is most common in children under 5 years old, older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately

FSIS is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.