Green Day postpones Australian gig; frontman Billie-Joe has foodborne illness

Rock band Green Day has postponed tpnight’s concert in Melbourne after lead singer Billie-Joe Armstrong came down with a case of suspected food poisoning.

A spokesthing for Frontier Touring Company said,

"Although Billie-Joe was determined to perform tonight it became apparent at 4.30pm (AEDT) today that he would be unable to take to the stage – particularly in light of the lengthy 2.5-3 hour show the band traditionally perform.”

The concert has been rescheduled to tomorrow night (December 16).

Kentucky father says his three children caught salmonella from class lizard

Taking classroom pets home for the weekend was a kindergarten ritual 40 years ago, along with the scurrying to find the bunny corpse behind the couch and returning it to class Monday morning.

It’s not dead. It’s sleeping. Tuckered out.

Jerry Curtsinger of Louisville, Kentucky, thought it would be a good idea if his kids could bring home the green anoles, a type of small, green lizard, that are apparently science class favorites.

Curtsinger said the problems began two weeks after his kids took home two lizards from school.

"Caden, our youngest, he got sick, and he had a fever of between 101 and 102.”

In the weeks that followed, Curtsinger and his two other children also became violently ill. And he said the doctor’s diagnosis was salmonella.

Curtsinger learned about three out of four lizards carry salmonella. So he brought his concerns to the Jefferson County Public School District.

Lee Ann Nickerson, a science specialist with JCPS, said JCPS has a standard letter that is sent to all parents when their children want to adopt any kind of class pet, which outline the guidelines of each adoption and give some caretaking tips. After the Curtsinger family’s salmonella episode, a new warning was inserted into that letter in bold italics.

Those classroom pets are now on double secret probation.

Nickerson said JCPS has been using lizards to demonstrate habitats in science class for several years, and this is the first time anyone has contracted salmonella from them. She also noted that other common pets, such as dogs, can also carry salmonella. Like lizards, they’re perfectly safe as long as you practice proper handwashing when you handle them.

I’m sure that’s tremendously comforting to the Curtsinger’s of Kentucky.

Green bean rat casserole

Green bean casserole is one of my favorite dishes.  Lots of people serve it as a side dish, but it always ends up being the main course for me.  It’s a typical staple at our family Thanksgiving dinners, so much so that I decided to bring my own GB casserole to Doug’s Canadian Thanksgiving.  I’ve never had any food safety problems (that I know of) with my casseroles, but unfortunately a woman in Utah had quite a nasty surprise when she went to make her GB casserole.  A dead rat head in the green beans ruined a Super Bowl green bean casserole in Texas.  Even more disturbingly, the company that produced the green beans is a repeat offender.  A can of Allen’s Italian Green Beans was found to contain a rat head back in June, along with another report in 2007 from Utah.

But don’t worry about the rat head.  It’s “commercially sterile.”  Though high temperatures for cooking (265 degrees) ensure that the product is free from bacteria, the appearance of rat heads in a vegetable product is unsettling for most consumers.  The fact that there have been three reports of rat heads in this particular brand of green beans should cause a big blip to appear in anyone’s food safety radar.

Unless Allen’s Canned Vegetables wants to start listing “dead rat” on it’s ingredient list, a thorough cleaning and inspection of the packing facility is in order.