My worlds collide: Eichel misses game vs. Leafs with gastro illness

Buffalo Sabres superstar in the making, number two pick in the 2015 draft, the guy who isn’t Connor McDavid – Jack Eichel – missed his first NHL game in Toronto over the weekend with an illness that was described by Buffalo News as the flu. But was more likely norovirus.norovirus-2

He was back on the ice Tuesday as the Sabres beat my hometown Hurricanes (and Eichel was -2 with no points).

Norovirus isn’t fun.

Fancy food ain’t safe food: Los Angeles sushi edition

Food safety isn’t linked to how much or little a restaurant charges for a meal or whether it’s on Rodeo Drive or a rural gravel road – what matters is whether the operator and staff reduce risks. And not increase them.

An operator forcing staff to handle food while sick or piss in a kitchen sink, Bieber-style, increases the likelihood of patron illnesses – and it’s dumb. I don’t want to eat in a place like that for food safety and labor reasons. According to a New York Times piece, a hot Los Angeles sushi place sounds like it belongs in an SNL Weekend Update Stefon bit.

stefanOne of the country’s most renowned sushi restaurants, Urasawa, sits in a small alcove above Rodeo Drive here. A typical bill for two people easily tops $1,000. Over an evening that can stretch to three hours, diners are served dishes dotted with caviar and 24-karat gold flakes (for the iron, the chef notes).

But workers in the back kitchen are routinely denied overtime pay and forbidden from taking breaks, according to former employees and a California Labor Department investigation. Now, the chef and owner, Hiroyuki Urasawa, is battling state and civil claims that he withheld tens of thousands of dollars in wages and overtime from workers. One former employee who left the restaurant last year said he resorted to urinating in the sink meant for cleaning mops after being told the men’s restroom was for customers only during business hours.

Each night, Mr. Urasawa stands behind a pristine sushi bar serving more than a dozen dishes, each with an elaborate description of the provenance of the ingredients, mostly imported from Japan. With an affable smile, he happily accepts sake from diners, who can spend hundreds of dollars on a bottle.

“It was always about the customers, making sure that they were happy,” said Heriberto Zamora, 26, who worked at the restaurant for more than five years and has filed a civil suit for back pay. “None of the employees were treated very well. We knew people were paying a lot to eat there, but for us it was no different.”

One day last June, nine hours into his shift, Mr. Zamora was coughing and asked to go home, complaining of a fever, he said. Mr. Urasawa fired him on the spot, he said.

Making staff work while ill and use a kitchen sink as a urinal is no way to go through life, son.

Lab results confirm norovirus in Florida restaurant outbreak

Over 100 people who ate at an unnamed restaurant north of Tampa a couple of weeks ago have been confirmed to have been part of a norovirus outbreak.

But now they’ve named the restaurant.

(What are public disclosure procedures? When does public health have a responsibility to go public with information about an outbreak, especially if it will prevent additional people from barfing?)

Hernando Today reports local health-types have confirmed norovirus in at least three of those 100 sickies, who dined at Kally K’s Restaurant between March 6-11.

Among the positive results was at least one of the employees of the restaurant.


The owner of Kally K’s is complying with Health Department recommendations that no employees who tested positive for this virus will be involved in food handling or preparation until follow up tests are negative. The restaurant continues to cooperate in this ongoing investigation.

Salmonella outbreak in Oklahoma students

The Oklahoma state health department has confirmed 10 children at four different Mustang elementary schools have contracted the same strain of Salmonella. The first case was spotted Sept. 2 and the last case was reported Sept. 13. The Health Department has teams in Mustang trying to determine the cause of the outbreak. No children have been hospitalized.

In a letter to parents and guardians, Mustang Public Schools said, and I’m not making this up,

“Mustang Public Schools’ Child Nutrition Department has a stellar record, and we want to assure our parents salmonellosis is not necessarily related to food preparation. Salmonella begins with a contaminated product, and we are working diligently with the State Department of Health officials to determine the origin of the cases.

OK, what’s it related too?

Salmonella not just for humans; 2 tigers in India critically ill

DH News Service: reports that an 11-year-old white tiger Arya and four-year-old Minchu have shown no improvement after suffering from severe bout of diarrhea following salmonella infection after eating meat.

This has forced veterinary doctors to change the course of antibiotics on Friday. Since the time they fell ill, both the tigers have not eaten anything.

M N Jayakumar, IFS officer and Member-Secretary of Zoo Authority of Karnataka, said eight tigers were unwell. But 41 tigers, which are in the safari area have no health problems. There are 22 lions and none have health complications although they were fed with chicken supplied by a particular contractor for Shivajinagar.

On the affected tigers, he said, E. coli and Salmonella bacteria present in chicken were the culprits.

The blood samples of nine tigers sent by BBP to the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinarian Biologicals (IVHVB) on Thursday reported salmonella bacteria for few samples, few samples had E. coli and in the rest had both bacteria in them.

If your kid gets sick with E. coli O157, it’s your fault – Hong Kong edition

A three-year-old girl living in North Point, Hong Kong, was diagnosed with E. coli O157:H7, the first case of the year, so the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health decided, without providing any details of the how the infection may have happened, that if people cook their food, they could avoid the bug. And they should wash their hands.

That’s all good, but does little to address cross-contamination issues once the bacterium gets into a residence – if that’s where she contracted the bacterium – and once again sends the message that foodborne illness of the nastiest kind can simply be prevented by consumers.

It’s a lot more complicated than that, and why everyone should be seeking to reduce pathogen loads from farm-to-fork.

Is prosciutto making Canadians sick with listeria?

It’s a mystery, how various health agencies decide when to issue public warnings about particular food products.

On Wednesday, Ontario health officials announced they were investigating two cases of listeriosis that appear to be linked to salami recalled from stores in Ontario and Quebec about three months ago.

The salami was sold by Siena Foods based in Toronto and was voluntarily recalled by the manufacturer on Dec. 21, 2009, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Wednesday. The best before date on the packaged meat is May 4, 2010.

Last night, CFIA and Siena Foods Ltd. warned the public not to consume certain Siena brand Prosciutto Cotto Cooked Ham below because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The affected product Siena brand Prosciutto Cotto Cooked Ham, was sold to delicatessens, grocery and speciality food stores in large wholesale packages for further slicing bearing Best Before dates of March 8 and March 22, 2010.

The affected product would have been sold to consumers after January 11, 2010. However, the original brand and/or best before dates may not have been transferred at the deli counters to consumer packages. Persons who may have purchased cooked ham after January 11, 2010 and do not know original brand and code are advised to check with their retailer or supplier to determine if they have the affected product.

So much for traceability.

This recall is based on positive test results for Listeria monocytogenes in product samples and CFIA’s investigation of these findings.

The CFIA is aware of reported listeriosis illness in Ontario and is collaborating with the Province of Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada to investigate these illnesses. At this time, no confirmed linkage has been made between the subject recalled products and the reported illnesses.

That’s CFIA-speak for ‘we haven’t found the same Listeria in an unopened package. But we found enough links to go public and cover ourselves.’

I hate myself for being able to interpret CFIA-speak.