Salmonella outbreak in New Jersey

MyFox is reporting that dozens of people got sick after a party at Iberia Peninsula in the Ironbound section of Newark Sunday night.

At least one person who was there has been hospitalized at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick. Angelo Afonso’s family says he is in the intensive care unit after suffering from severe gastrointestinal distress consistent with food poisoning.

Local health inspectors were expected to examine the restaurant and its employees on Wednesday.

Michele Samarya-Timm Health Educator of the Year

Jersey represent.

Barfblogger and Franklin Township Health Department health officer Michele Samarya-Timm (right, not exactly as shown) has been crowned handwashing queen and Health Educator of the Year by the New Jersey Society for Public Health Education.

Patti Elliot, acting director for the Franklin Township Health Department said,

"Michele’s enthusiasm for the field of public health is surpassed by no one.”

Samarya-Timm is the only health educator to receive the professional distinction of Diplomate in the American Academy of Sanitarians and has been recognized as an emerging public health leader by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

In Franklin, Samarya-Timm established a model of the CDC’s "It’s a SNAP!" handwashing program, created a youth-based pandemic preparedness/handwashing program, and a handwashing/hygiene and illness reporting program for food handlers.

On a national level, Samarya-Timm works with the Food and Drug Administration, United States Department of Agriculture, the CDC and other agencies on establishing timely food safety and food outbreak information to consumers.


Junk food banned from Gatineau hockey arenas; what’s next, a ban on fighting?

As a kid, my pre-game hockey ritual was to buy a Jersey Milk chocolate bar at the arena before going into the dressing room to get ready. I didn’t really know about sugar and caffeine, but it seemed to wake me up before the game. In drastic situations, a Dairy Milk would suffice.

So I was horrified to read that hockey arenas in Gatineau, Quebec, will no longer be allowed to stock pop, chips, chocolate bars or poutine (actually, I don’t care about the poutine; it’s gross).

The city of 242,000 has voted to cut junk food from hockey arena food stands within three years in an attempt by to reduce the trans fats in the diet of the Gatineau hockey fan.

Canteens will replace the snacks with spaghetti, sandwiches, muffins and sports drinks, but not pop.

Can I get some red wine to go with the spaghetti as I’m strolling into the dressing room? In Quebec, the answer is probably yes.

The beefsteak ritual survives — without silverware

"You’ve got the tender beef, butter, salt, French fries, beer — all your major food groups. But it’s very unique to North Jersey. I go to other places and nobody’s heard of it."

He’s talking about a beefsteak, described by Paul Lukas of the N.Y. Times as a
"raucous all-you-can-eat-and-drink banquet."

The story says that back in the days before cholesterol testing, beefsteaks — boisterous mass feeds featuring unlimited servings of steak, lamb chops, bacon-wrapped lamb kidneys, crabmeat, shrimp and beer, all consumed without such niceties as silverware, napkins or women — held sway in New York for the better part of a century.

The ritual was documented by the writer Joseph Mitchell for the New Yorker magazine in his 1939 article “All You Can Hold for Five Bucks.” As Mr. Mitchell told it, the beefsteak came into being in the mid-1800s, became popular as a political fund-raiser and vote-buyer, and began a slow decline when women started taking part after being granted suffrage in 1920.

Today the beefsteak features slices of beef tenderloin washed down with pitchers of beer, and has migrated from its New York roots to New Jersey.

The events, which typically attract crowds of 150 or more, with a ticket price of about $40, are popular as political meet-and-greets, annual dinners for businesses and civic groups, and charity fundraisers. Caterers said they put on about 1,000 of them in the region last year.

The story says that in 1938  a Clifton butcher and grocer named Garret Nightingale, known as Hap, began catering parties with a set formula.
He grilled tenderloins (the muscle used for filet mignon) over charcoal, sliced them, dipped the slices in melted butter, served them on slices of white sandwich bread, added French fries on the side, and let everyone eat as much as they wanted. This he called a beefsteak. Within a decade, it had become an entrenched local phenomenon.

Hap Nightingale died in 1982. By that time he had passed the business on to his son, Bob, who turned it over to his son, Rob, in 1995. The second- and third-generation Nightingales continue to run the operation today out of an unassuming Clifton house where Bob Nightingale was raised and still lives. Their business office is the house’s cramped basement, and the tenderloins are grilled over hardwood charcoal in the driveway before being taken to the beefsteak venues. From this unlikely command center, the Nightingales catered over 600 beefsteaks last year, going through 88,000 pounds of tenderloin in the process.