Blame the consumer – Health Canada style

I don’t know who writes these press releases, but stating, “Health Canada would like to remind Canadians of the importance of safe handling of fresh produce to reduce the risk of foodborne illness,” gives the organization, Health Canada, a level of creepiness that could be easily replaced by quoting individual humans, not bureaucratic organizations.

Health Canada (is that a she or a he?) then recites the messages of separate, clean and chill, which is fine, but says nothing about what is done in the fields and facilities before fresh produce reaches consumers.

There’s probably an outbreak going on that no one wants to talk about.

71 now confirmed sick in Subway Salmonella outbreak; produce suspected

An Illinois health spokesperson told The Packer today that fresh produce was the likely culprit sickening at least 71 people with Salmonella who ate at Subway restaurants in 22 different counties.

But no one’s really talking. That Spongebob cone of silence is working a lot better for the produce industry that it is for BP.

As of this morning, there were 71 confirmed cases of Salmonella serotype Hvittingfoss affecting people from 2- to 88-years-old.

Melaney Arnold, communications manager for the Illinois Department of Public Health told The Packer 26 people have been hospitalized, and seven were still in the hospital as of today.

Subway restaurants in 22 Illinois counties removed lettuce, green peppers, red onions and tomatoes from restaurants during the period in which people who got sick reported eating at a Subway — May 11 to May 25, according to the department — and replaced them with new product, according to a Subway news release.

Norovirus suspected after 41 mourners at funeral get sick

Getting sick and dying while eating food in a hospital sorta sucks. So does going to a funeral and picking up norovirus.

New Zealand health authorities are investigating an outbreak of suspected norovirus linked to food after more than 40 people fell ill following an April 28 funeral and reception for a leading Auckland musician.

A spokeswoman for the Auckland Regional Public Health Service said yesterday that it was notified on May 3 that some people who had attended the function had become sick with gastro-intestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.

The public health service spokeswoman said the food supplied at the post-funeral function, which included sandwiches and deli items, was suspected to be the source of the infection.

The caterer, who did not wish to be named, said she supplied around three funerals a week.

She said food poisoning had not been established yet in the case of the funeral, and the woman who made the sandwiches that day has a certificate in food handling.

"Everything was bought fresh on the day."

Fresh does not mean safe.