I will survive, even hockey

I survived 90 minutes of pickup hockey today, first time I’ve played goal in a year.

If the pavement is going to rise up and bash me on a bicycle, I might as well let people shoot a hard rubber disk at me and get told by a 15-year-old that my technique sucks (paraphrased).

It ain’t Guelph, I was the oldest on the ice, but it doesn’t suck to go to the arena in shorts year round, at noon.

Will you really survive? Lunch Lady again on food inspection hot seat

The last public musing about Ottawa’s Lunch Lady was April 1, 2012, when it was announced the provider of school meals would reopen after making over 50 kids sick with salmonella.

It’s Canada; lowered expectations are normal.

Back on April Fool’s day, Jonathan Morris, the owner of two Lunch Lady franchises, said the caterer has undergone new testing procedures at their kitchens and redistributed some of the staff duties. He said the kitchens have been thoroughly sterilized and much of the food has been thrown out.

"This problem was rooted in an individual who made a mistake," said Morris, adding that the staff member has since been let go. He said the fired employee made a "mistake" in the preparation that led to the contamination of the food.

There was never a full accounting of what the alleged mistake was. Were the kitchens using meat thermometers to ensure safe temperatures had been reached? What kind of meat storage and prep procedures were followed to minimize cross-contamination? What handwashing procedures were in place and was there any verification such procedures are followed? Basic questions that the Lunch Lady and franchisee Morris seem unwilling to answer.

"My business will survive, but it’s not about me, it’s about those kids."

Maybe. But I’d want a lot more information before my kids ate there.

Local food folks at least appear to be awake; and yesterday, it was revealed Ottawa Public Health cited the same outfit for failing to store food at 4 C or below.

Jonathan-I-will-survive Morris said, “It wasn’t a failed inspection. It concerned our walk-in fridge which was a little warm since we’re in and out of it all day.”

Ottawa public health types said the Lunch Lady is now in compliance.”

In all, the three Lunch Lady franchises in the city serve about 5,000 children at 55 locations including more than 15 schools throughout Ottawa.

I prefer the CAKE version of ‘I Will Survive’ over the E. coli O157 version

Best award for original song remake has to go to Cake’s 1996 version of the Gloria Gaynor disco classic, I Will Survive. Searing guitar solos, an infectious bass line, and the spoken word singing of John McCrea combine to make this an iPod workout favorite. And CAKE was the first concert Amy and I went to in Kansas City and was unexpectedly good.

Dr Karin Heurlier and colleagues at the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham in conjunction with Biolog Inc of California told the Society for General Microbiology’s meeting at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, today that pathogenic strains of E. coli could survive in different conditions compared to the standard laboratory, non-pathogenic strain.

Contamination by foodborne E. coli occurs in processed foods such as ready prepared salads, fermented sausages (e.g. salami), dairy products and fruit juices as well as more usually in raw and partly cooked meat products, indicating that the bacteria are able to survive modern food processing techniques. The researchers found differences between strains in how they responded to antimicrobial compounds, and in their reactions to oxygen availability, acidity and chemical stresses. They could also use different constituents in foods for their nutrition compared to standard laboratory E. coli strains.

"The laboratory E. coli strain K-12 is one of the best understood organisms on Earth," said Dr Heurlier, "But because it has become so used to being grown in laboratory conditions, it may not react to stresses in the same way as pathogenic strains – such as E. coli O157:H7 can. Our research shows that there are definite growth and nutrition differences between E. coli strains and therefore results obtained with laboratory strains may not be typical of what happens in the ‘real’ world."