Jackass dumps toilet paper on students from plane

Never was a fan of the Jackass movies, even though Weezer did the theme to Jackass 3-D which opens Friday.

In an apparent outtake of the new movie, Couriermail reports that an unidentified pilot is believed to have flown over Westwood Regional Middle School in New Jersey, three separate times, releasing the soggy toilet paper onto an athletic field, trees, a school building and the ground nearby ,

There were no injuries reported, and the only evidence left of the incident was a few pieces of paper stuck high in the trees on the property, the report said.

Listeria in BC smoked salmon product; Kevin Allen speaks again

Hockey goon and University of British Columbia by food microbiologist Kevin Allen found some listeria in samples of smoked salmon and said,

"A healthy adult … likely could consume it with no consequence. However, if I was going to feed that to my daughter or son, the answer is no, I wouldn’t."

And yes, kids eat smoked salmon. Almost-2-year-old daughter Sorenne especially likes brie cheese and smoked turkey breast, along with pickles and olives. Goofy kid (that’s in a loving way; she’s also apparently fascinated with money).

CBC News reports that traces of the bacteria Listeria have been detected in samples of smoked salmon bought at a Vancouver retailer.

Two contaminated samples — including one containing the potentially fatal strain Listeria monocytogenes — were found in chunks of smoked salmon, called salmon nuggets, purchased at Longliner Seafoods at the Granville Island Public Market.

A total of 53 samples of delicatessen meat and ready-to-eat seafood from nine stores around Vancouver were tested by Dr. Allen.

No Listeria bacteria were found in the deli meat .

The sample containing Listeria monocytogenes contained a concentration of bacteria that was below the federal threshold that would have necessitated a recall, but it is still a cause for concern, said Allen.

"It should definitely be ringing some alarm bells for these processors.”

People with compromised immune systems, including pregnant women and the elderly, are especially vulnerable to listeriosis.

Norovirus sickens camp kids in Colorado

My 15-year-old daughter is off to camp for a month on Sunday in Ontario, an annual ritual.

And, like every other year, there are outbreaks of foodborne illness at summer camps.

More than 50 campers, mostly children, have become ill from the norovirus at La Foret Conference Center and Retreat Center in the Black Forest, (Colorado, not Germany).

Ralph Townsend, the General Manager of La Foret, blamed others, saying two different groups became ill after staying at the conference center, but that the spread of the virus could have been prevented if the facility was notified in time, adding,

“We are a leasing facility and the first group did not follow the protocol, so when we were notified late about the illnesses, we were never notified immediately, and that made the situation worse.”

Susan Wheelan, a spokeswoman for the El Paso County Health Department, said it appears all safety procedures have been followed successfully, and the source of the illness has not been determined.

Further case of E coli confirmed at UK Feltham Hill Infant and Nursery School

Your Local Guardian reports that 13 people from Feltham Hill Infant and Nursery School, in Bedfont Road, Feltham, have been confirmed to have E. coli O157, along with one pupil from nearby Feltham Hill Junior School.

Environmental health officers completed a “deep clean” of the site to eliminate traces of infection and only children who have had the all-clear from the Health Protection Agency are being allowed back into class.

Books, toys, plants and equipment were thrown out as part of the clean-up.

Taking toddlers to fancy restaurants

Italian restaurants are best when dining with little kids. Maybe it’s a cultural stereotype, but I always found Italian eateries were more welcoming to the screaming, barfing and flirting that toddlers bring to the dining experience.

French restaurants? The worst.

Proponents of doggie dining often state that restaurants allow germ-spewing little kids inside so why not dogs?

Richard Vines of Bloomberg decided to check on the acceptability of children at London’s fancy foodie restaurants. Vines called 30 establishments, asking if a pair of kids aged 2 and 7 would be admitted, whether there were high chairs and about the availability of special menus. With few exceptions, each was child friendly.

Among the responses:

L’Anima: “Yes, we allow children. We have high chairs. When you come here we can arrange something with the chef.”

What if your kid hates high chairs for anything more than 3 minute stretches?

Bob Ricard: “We’re not allowing children under 10 years old. There are no special menus.”

The Ivy: “It’s fine. Any age. We have high chairs. We can adapt dishes for children.”

Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley: “Children are welcome but if kids get a bit restless and unhappy you might be asked to take them outside for a while. We can arrange a high chair if you let us know in advance. Our team can adjust the dishes for children.”

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay: “Children are welcome but babies are not recommended because the restaurant is quite small so we don’t have space for high chairs or push chairs.” What age would be OK? “I would say maybe seven or 10 years onwards. We don’t have kids’ menus but we will be able to offer something suitable.”

I find so-called fancy food is lost on little kids. They’d rather eat the crayons at Chuck-E-Cheese, although those places seem prone to violence.

The most mentioned simple food for kids was something around $7 for a bowl of pasta; who can afford that? That’s Sorenne (above, right)  in a gratuitious food porn shot with a simple bowl of rotini and a homemade tomato-veggie sauce during the U.S.-Canada hockey debacle Sunday night. Tonight, we’re going upscale with grilled tuna loins, although Sorenne will be again wearing her Ovechkin jersey (left) as Russia takes on Canada in the Olympic quarter-finals.

Camp and cheeseburgers shouldn’t kill – mother and son describe effects of E. coli O157 illness linked to Rhode Island camp; ‘I want it to be Ponderosa night again’

Stephen Smith of the Boston Globe writes this morning,

The signs of trouble arrived deep in the night: first, bloody diarrhea, then nausea

Austin Richmond nor his mother knew it at the time, but he had been infected with a potentially lethal germ known as E. coli O157:H7. And, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday, the 11-year-old from Lincoln, R.I., caught it doing what many children do when they are away at camp, by eating a cheeseburger.

There were trips to the emergency room, trips to the doctor’s office, and initial confusion over what was causing him to be so sick. For more than two weeks, Austin, a sixth-grader, has been banished from school and not just because of his own illness. There is also concern that, because his immune system has been so ravaged battling the E. coli infection, he might prove especially susceptible to swine flu, which killed another student at Lincoln Middle School over the weekend.

Austin’s mother, Jaimee Richmond, said,

“He just wants to go back to being him. He wants to be able to play soccer. He wants to go to Boy Scouts. He wants to go back to church, which are words I never thought I would hear coming out of his mouth. … “I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m confused, I’m overwhelmed. I just want to go back to normal life. Tuesday night, it used to be Ponderosa night because it’s cheap, it’s family, the kids loved it. I just want it to be Ponderosa night again.’’

Tiny turtles still making kids sick

Growing up in late-1960s suburbia, I had a turtle.

Turtles were inexpensive, popular, and low maintenance, with an array of groovy pre-molded plastic housing designs to choose from. Invariably they would escape, only to be found days later behind the couch along with the skeleton of the class bunny my younger sister brought home from kindergarten one weekend.

But eventually, replacement turtles became harder to come by. Reports started surfacing that people with pet turtles were getting sick. In 1975, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned commercial distribution of turtles less than 4 inches in length, and it has been estimated that the FDA ban prevents some 100,000 cases of salmonellosis among children each year.

Maybe I got sick from my turtle.

Maybe I picked up my turtle, rolled around on the carpet with it, pet it a bit, and then stuck my finger in my mouth. Maybe in my emotionally vacant adolescence I kissed my turtle. Who can remember?

A report that will be published tomorrow in the journal Pediatrics documents how 107 people in 34 states became sick with Salmonella from the small turtles between 2007 and 2008 – including two girls who swam with pet turtles in a backyard pool.

The paper notes that one-third of all patients had to be hospitalized, and in many cases, parents didn’t know turtles could carry salmonella.

Julie Harris, a scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the report’s lead author said other cases turned up elsewhere, many involving direct contact with turtles, including children kissing turtles or putting them in their mouths.

I’m familiar with that.

David Bergmire-Sweat, a North Carolina epidemiologist who investigated the Union County case, said he’s heard of families letting turtles walk on kitchen surfaces where food is prepared, and babies being bathed in sinks where turtle cages are washed.

Veterinarian Mark Mitchell, a University of Illinois zoological medicine professor, has been working with Louisiana turtle farmers in research aimed at raising salmonella-free turtles, says the industry has been unfairly saddled with harsher restrictions than producers of human foods also blamed for recent salmonella outbreaks.

Maybe, but people need to eat.  They don’t need to kiss turtles.

Sick kids from petting zoo climbs to 79; parent vows never to visit farm again

Gemma Weaver, 24, of Bramley Close, has vowed to "never forgive the farm" after her three-year-old son, Alfie (right), suffered kidney failure following a visit to Godstone Farm.

“We are taking legal advice at the moment. I will never, ever be setting foot in a farm with my children again. Not just Godstone Farm but any farm."

Mrs Weaver said she still hadn’t heard from (farm manager) Mr Oatway, who added,
“We will definitely be opening again. There are still ongoing investigations but we are sure we will open again."

Three more cases of E.coli linked to a children’s petting farm have been confirmed – taking the number of people affected to 79.

UK child’s face smeared with fox poop after playing in sandbox at garden center

I have some great memories of my kids growing up, playing in the sandbox, covered in runny snot and saying, Dad, is this cat poop?

Cats view sandboxes as giant litterboxes.

Foxes too.

This Is Gloucestershire reports,

Two-year-old Jasmine Westgate was playing in the sandpit at Highfield Garden World in Whitminster when she put her hands in a pile of fox mess.

Jasmine’s father Bruce said,

"It was absolutely vile. Jasmine didn’t know what she was doing and ended up with fox mess all over her face. She ingested some of it too which could have had harmful consequences. There are potentially life-ruining diseases linked with coming into contact with animal faeces. The sandpit shouldn’t have been left in such a state. It obviously hadn’t been cleaned properly by staff.”

Staff at Highfield Garden World, which offers a range of activities for children, said the sandpit was now out of use until further notice.

Managing director Joan Greenway said,

"We would like to apologise to the Westgates for what happened.”

UK petting zoo E. coli O157 outbreak: 36 confirmed sick; 12 in hospital all under age of 10; four in serious condition; this won’t turn out well

It’s like people in the U.K. had never heard of E. coli O157. Despite outbreak after outbreak – often involving children at nurseries — public inquiries and a single food safety agency, the Brits just seem oblivious when it comes to dangerous pathogens that send kids to the hospital.

This morning, the
London Times reported that

“Thousands of children across the South of England may be at risk from the E. coli bug in what looks to be the largest UK outbreak linked to transmission from farm animals."

Godstone Farm in Surrey, a popular family attraction where children are encouraged to stroke and touch animals, is closed while the Health Protection Agency (HPA) conducts tests to find out the cause of the outbreak which has left 12 children in hospital, four of them in a serious condition.

About 1,000 children, mainly from South London, Surrey, Kent and Sussex, visit the farm every day during the school holidays and at weekends. It is feared that 30,000 children could be at risk of infection.

It has emerged health officials knew about the outbreak among people who visited the farm days before it was closed to the public.

The Health Protection Agency became aware of the outbreak in late August after cases were traced to the farm.

One parent has expressed her anger, saying the decision for the farm to remain open was an "absolute disgrace".

But farm manager Richard Oatway said the farm had acted responsibly and was co-operating with the investigation.

Richard, please share with us your knowledge of natural reservoirs of E. coli O157, and the steps you’ve taken to control such dangerous pathogens from infecting children who visit your farm. Handwashing isn’t enough.