In Louisiana ‘drop bombs in bathroom’ means poop

TMZ reports a New Orleans man was arrested at a Willie’s Chicken Shack after allegedly claiming he was going to “blow the bathroom up.”

Problem is … the guy claims he was talking about butt bombs — not actual explosives.

The man in the mug shot is 30-year-old Arthur Posey — who hit up the Canal Street restaurant at night on Nov. 13. 

Employees told police Posey made a violent threat against the place — allegedly saying, “Y’all about to close right now because I’m going to get a bomb and blow this place up.”

When cops tracked down Posey, he claimed it was a giant misunderstanding — explaining he told staffers he was going to “blow the bathroom up” … meaning, he was gonna poop his brains out. 

Cops didn’t buy what Posey was selling and arrested him. He’s now facing 2 counts of communicating false information of planned arson.

He’s due back in court later this month — where he’ll try to convince a judge the allegations are just a bunch of crap.  

No Diva jeans required for this dude, as endorsed by new U.S. attorney-general Matt Whitaker.



150 sick: C. perfringens also found in Louisiana jambalaya

Health Officials in Caldwell parish have now identified a second bacteria in a batch of Salmonella tainted chicken and sausage jambalaya that was sold at a fundraiser earlier this month.

Health officials say that the second bacteria, identified as Clostridium perfringens , also played a role in the severe illness that sent 150 people to area hospitals and may have contributed to one death.

Health officials are currently waiting an autopsy to see if the tainted food was a contributing factor in the death of a man who did go to the hospital with gastrointestinal issues.

In all state health officials say that as many as 300 people ate the tainted jambalaya and 149 have tested positive for Salmonella and the second bacteria.

Testing is underway to see which ingredient or ingredients were contaminated.

The results could be back in a couple of weeks.

Restaurant inspection process overhauled in Louisiana

The Times-Picayune reports that a 2012 legislative audit concluded restaurant inspection in Louisiana was ineffective, inefficient, disorganized and dangerous. report scorched the Office of Public Health for its failure to detect or prevent potentially hazardous conditions in thousands of retail food establishments, putting the public’s health at risk.

J.T. Lane, assistant secretary for the Office of Public Health, reorganized the agency, promising that the changes would increase the frequency of inspections and, thereby, better protect consumers wherever food is served.

“The average (restaurant) owner, depending on what they’re operating, could see an increase in when they see an inspector walk through the door unannounced,” Lane said.

More than three years later, has Lane’s promise of a new day held true? Has the restaurant inspection process improved?

Three restaurateurs say they have not noticed much difference. But Tenney Sibley, director of state sanitarian services, said the answer is a resounding, “Yes.”

After the report’s release, the Office of Public Health moved swiftly to address these issues, Sibley said. First, it adopted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recommendations on how frequently establishments should be inspected annually based on risk factor:

Once — Convenience stores and other outlets that mainly serve packaged foods

Twice — Fast food restaurants where products are cooked and served immediately

Three times – Full-service restaurants

Four times — Any establishment serving food to vulnerable populations including hospitals, nursing homes and schools.

Next, the department implemented an electronic scheduling system that tells sanitarians when a restaurant needs to be inspected. Before, the question of which establishment to inspect and when was largely left to the discretion of the sanitarians, with all record keeping and data collection done by hand, Sibley said.

The method by which the state inspects restaurants and other food establishments has also changed. Restaurants are now required, if possible, to fix any critical issues at the time they are discovered, and in the presence of the sanitarian. It used to be that if a restaurant was found to be storing raw chicken above salads, for example, the sanitarian ordered a fix but left the premises without ensuring the problem was addressed, Sibley said.

“I’ve been doing inspections for 26 years. When I started out, as a general rule, everyone got two weeks to fix a problem,” she said. “But as we learned and as the FDA became more active and provided more guidance, the focus changed to immediate correction. If we walked away from someone storing raw chicken over salad, what good is that if we come back in two weeks and you’re doing the same thing? How many people have been exposed to imminent health risks?”

124 sick: 4 on-going US outbreaks of Salmonella linked to small turtles

On 20 April 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of the U.S. notified PAHO/WHO of an ongoing investigation of four multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infections linked to exposure to small turtles (with shell length <4 inches/10 centimetres) or their environments (e.g., water from a turtle habitat) in the U.S.

turtle.kiss_A total of 124 cases with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 22 U.S. states. Of these, 33% of patients have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported. Of the total, 51 cases (41%) were aged less than 5 years. The earliest illness associated with the four outbreaks began on 1 January 2015. Initial investigations have identified four turtle farms in Louisiana as potential sources of the turtles linked to these 2015 outbreaks. Pond water testing from the four farms resulted in the identification of additional non-outbreak Salmonella isolates.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating these outbreaks and the identified turtle farms which may have exported turtles with Salmonella internationally. Results of the epidemiologic, laboratory and environmental investigations indicate exposure to turtles or their environments (e.g., water from a turtle habitat) as the sources of these outbreaks.

Since the infection is linked to exposure to small turtles that have been exported internationally, there is a risk to pediatric populations in other countries. The risk of morbidity and mortality is higher in patients with severe immunosuppression. PAHO/WHO continues to monitor the epidemiological situation and conduct risk assessment based on the latest available information.

Countries that import reptile or amphibian pets, including small turtles, should pay attention to potential imports of infected pets, and inform local health authorities to consider exposure to small turtles and other reptile or amphibian pets when investigating cases or potential outbreaks of salmonellosis, especially in the pediatric population.

E. coli outbreak centered on private school in Louisiana

News reports state that as many as 18 students are suffering from diarrhea and vomiting, and are being tested for E. coli and norovirus, but  there is no information about the possible outbreak on the Silliman web site and nothing on the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals web site.

lg-huey-p--long-for-governor-910Ashley Lewis, spokeswoman for Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals, said,

“As the investigation progresses, the Department continues to take all necessary preventive measures to protect public health. Louisiana law prohibits the disclosure of the content of epidemiological investigations except to the institutions concerned. The Department would also clarify that any decisions related to facility closure have been made by the facilities themselves.”

The answer about an apparent outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 appears to come from a Facebook group known to its members as HUS moms.

One journalist wrote, Louisiana’s Napoleonic Code is not about sunshine in government.


Food safety fairytales: children who die from raw milk go straight to heaven in Louisiana

Arguments of choice versus public safety are heated in a fight about whether to let Louisiana farmers sell raw milk to the public.

The full state House will consider a bill that would allow sales of unpasteurized milk, after it was advanced in a 9-6 vote April 23 by the House Agriculture Committee.

colbert.raw.milkdApproval came despite opposition from Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain, who said farmers couldn’t guarantee that unpasteurized milk would be safe because it doesn’t go through the heating process designed to kill harmful bacteria. Louisiana’s state health officer, Jimmy Guidry, told lawmakers he wouldn’t allow his family to drink raw milk.

Supporters of raw milk say pasteurization takes away some of milk’s nutritional benefits.

Ciera Majors spoke to the House Agriculture  Committee in favor of the measure that would allow farmers to sell raw milk to consumers.

“The only argument that the opposition has for this bill is ‘death of a child, death of a child,'” said Majors. “Trust me! I want to protect my children. I wanted to give them a healthy product so much so that I bought two cows.”

One raw milk supporter, Audry Salvador, told Marksville Representative Robert Johnson it would be the responsibility of the consumer to make sure they are purchasing from a reputable farmer.

“I can watch everything they do if I want,” said Salvador.

Johnson said, “What about those who don’t?”

“That is their fault.”

“What about the child that dies that has no one to protect him,” Johnson asked.

Well, before the age of reason they can go to Heaven,” said Salvador.
“That’s your answer?! Mr. Chairman I move that we voluntarily defer this bill,” Johnson said in extreme anger.

Johnson also tells Salvador he has a major problem with farmers being exempt from liability if someone gets sick from raw milk.
The vote was 9-6 and now heads to the House floor.

Maybe check with health before? Louisiana hunters outraged as officials destroy 1,600 pounds of venison donated to homeless shelter

Louisiana hunters are outraged after health officials forced them to destroy 1,600 pounds of donated venison — about $8,000 worth — that was meant for the state’s homeless shelters.

The Washington Times reported last week the Department of Health and Hospitals ordered the staff at the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission to throw deer.hunterthe deer meat into garbage bins and douse it with chlorine bleach so other animals would not eat it.

“Deer meat is not permitted to be served in a shelter, restaurant or any other public eating establishment in Louisiana,” a health department official told Fox News in an email. “While we applaud the good intentions of the hunters who donated this meat, we must protect the people who eat at the Rescue Mission, and we cannot allow a potentially serious health threat to endanger the public.”

Hunters statewide are furious over the wasted manpower and carnage put into the effort.

“That’s a mild understatement,” Richard Campbell, one of the founders of Hunters for the Hungry, told Fox. “Hunters are going nuts over it. It’s created an outrage across our state and even over into Mississippi.”

State Rep. Jeff Thompson said he is meeting with state lawmakers to make sure the rules are changed.

“As a hunter and somebody who has personally donated deer to this program, I’m outraged and very concerned,” he told Fox. “You hear about these stories anywhere and it’s a concern — but when it happens in your own backyard, it’s insulting.”

New Louisiana restaurant inspection plan unveiled in wake of criticism

Louisiana’s restaurants will be inspected more consistently and diners should feel more confident about going out to eat, a Department of Health and Hospitals official said Thursday, following media reports of a system that sucks.

In the wake of criticism that Louisiana’s restaurant inspections have been sporadic and uneven, J.T. Lane, assistant secretary for the office of public health, held a news conference Thursday to unveil a
new plan for the state’s food inspectors. It includes centralizing and streamlining the department, and holding the department’s staff more accountable for their work, he said.

“The average (restaurant) owner, depending on what they’re operating, could see an increase in when they see an inspector walk through the door unannounced,” Lane said.

For those restaurants that make all of their food from scratch and work with raw meat and produce, “you’re definitely going to see your inspector four times a year,” Lane said. “That’s for sure.”

What Lane’s plan does not include is adding more staff.

A recent|The Times-Picayune report found that with only eight sanitarians or inspectors for all of Orleans Parish, New Orleans had far fewer inspectors per restaurant than many other cities across the country. Until The Times-Picayune started investigating in early October, many of the most high-profile restaurants in New Orleans had not been inspected at all in 2012, including Commander’s Palace, Emeril’s, Gautreau’s and Domenica.

A former manager in Lafourche Parish also said his department was drastically understaffed.

A Nov. 26 report from the Louisiana legislative auditor found that between 2009 and 2011, the Office of Public Health didn’t conduct the required four annual inspections on 81 percent, or 5,849 out of 7,252, high-risk food establishments in the state.

Louisiana’s restaurant inspectors more lenient than counterparts elsewhere

In the on-going angst that is restaurant inspection – or just politics – in Louisiana, The Times-Picayune reports Louisiana’s health inspection process for restaurants is far less punitive than that of many other culinary and tourism capitals.

Just eight food outlets in New Orleans have been ordered closed in New Orleans in two years, compared with more than 100 in Sacramento — and more than 1,000 in Los Angeles in just a single year.

The difference seems to be in how each municipality enforces its safety regulations.

In cities like Las Vegas, restaurants are graded on a 100-point scale, with points taken away for each violation. They are then given a corresponding letter grade, an A, B or C, which is posted in the front window of the establishment.

Louisiana takes a different approach. It does not score restaurants on a 100-point scale, post letter grades or demand that all critical violations are fixed in a set period of time. The system depends on the judgment of the local sanitarians to determine whether a temporary closure or monetary penalty is necessary. It rarely happens.

“Some people say that letter grades give the public something that’s easily identifiable, but as our secretary said, ‘If a restaurant is not OK, it’s not going to be open, and if it is OK, it will be open,'” said Tenney Sibley, Louisiana’s chief sanitarian.

I heard that argument a lot in Toronto as it implemented its red-yellow-green system of inspection disclosure. Didn’t work then, doesn’t work now.

Ken Pastorick, spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, said his department prefers to work with restaurateurs to fix potential problems instead of threatening them with harsh punishments. Tourism is the lifeblood of New Orleans, so it would be counterproductive to shut down a restaurant unless it is absolutely necessary, he said.

Follow the cruise ships: having tourists barf is not good for business.

During the past two years, New Orleans inspectors have closed just eight establishments — five restaurants, two grocery stores and the deli counter in a supermarket — but three of those closures were because of fire damage as opposed to health violations. The remaining five closed because of sewage backup.

Of those eight establishments, five reopened the day after inspectors discovered the violations, and one reopened the same day.

Kenneth Jeffus, the former longtime sanitarian manager for Lafourche Parish, said red tape makes it very hard to close a restaurant in Louisiana. If field inspectors determine an establishment is a public-safety threat, they don’t have the power to shut it down. Instead, they have to slowly work their request up a long chain of command and administrative procedures, which can take between 30 days and a year. In the meantime, the restaurant remains open.

“The process was set up by the Legislature to be cumbersome because they don’t want businesses closed down,” Jeffus said. “The upper level is scared to give any authority to the sanitarians in the field who actually know what’s going on.”

The Office of Public Health, a subset of the state Department of Health and Hospitals, employs eight sanitarians in New Orleans who are tasked with inspecting every food outlet, whether a restaurant, gas station or hospital. They are looking for more than just foreign objects that might have fallen in the bisque. They have a comprehensive list of potential violations, separated into two categories based on the public health threat: critical and non-critical.

Diners can look up their favorite restaurants at and see the most recent inspection reports from January 2008 to September 2012 — as well as which restaurants have drawn the most flags.

As of early October, when The Times-Picayune began investigating the inspection process, some of the biggest names in the local culinary scene had not been inspected once in 2012, including Commander’s PalaceEmeril’sDelmonico, NOLA,HerbsaintArnaud’sGautreau’s, Acme Oyster House on Iberville Street and Domenica.

These restaurants, most of which were included in The Times-Picayune’s top 10 restaurants of 2012, were subsequently inspected after the newspaper asked Sibley why the sanitarians had failed to pay them at least one visit, much less the four required. But that still leaves dozens of high-profile restaurants that have yet to be inspected at all, including Brennan’s — even though it chalked up 33 violations in 2011. 

Audit says Louisiana restaurant inspections and disclosure are a mess

Louisiana’s regulators of food safety fail to ensure restaurants and other retail food establishments are complying with health standards and allow violators of safety requirements to continue operations, according to a new audit released Monday.

The Office of Public Health issued permits to restaurants that didn’t correct past violations, rarely assesses penalties to violators of safety regulations and doesn’t meet its own inspection standards, the review by Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera‘s office says.

Of nearly 450,000 violations over three years reviewed by auditors, the Office of Public Health levied penalties on two establishments — and didn’t collect any of the $1,300 in penalties assessed.

The agency also doesn’t have standardized criteria for determining when fines should be issued and hasn’t routinely hit repeat violators with penalties or other consequences, according to the audit.

“Overall, OPH’s permitting, inspection and enforcement processes need improvement to ensure the safety of food served in retailed food establishments,” the audit from Purpera’s office says.

The audit says more than 5,800 “high-risk establishments,” 81 percent of the mostly full-service restaurants, weren’t inspected four times a year as the model requires. On average, instead they were visited twice a year during the three-year period reviewed.

Meanwhile, a state-run website that’s supposed to give people an idea of how restaurants are performing in their sanitary inspections doesn’t have complete results available to the public, the review says.

The audit is available at:$FILE/0002DA0A.pdf