Death by bagpipe: Man’s lung illness linked to mold in instrument

There’s not enough bagpipes in rock and roll.

BonScottBagpipesAccording to Liz Szabo of USA Today, British doctors are blaming the death of a 61-year-old Liverpool man on his bagpipes, whose moist, dark interior apparently provided an ideal breeding ground for fungus. Authors of the case report are calling the man’s condition “bagpipe lung.”

The man’s demise appears to be the first documented case of death by bagpipe, experts say.

“It sounds like a Monty Python skit or an Agatha Christie story gone wrong,” said William Schaffner, a professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville.

The technical name for the man’s lung disease is hypersensitivity pneumonitis, which occurs when the immune system tries to fight off a foreign invader, such as mold or yeast. The ensuing inflammation ends up scarring the lung, making it harder for patients to breathe, said study coauthor Jenny King, a pulmonology resident at University Hospital in South Manchester.

68 sick: 3.1 million ‘Sippee’ cups recalled due to mold

Sippy cups, those seemingly indestructible vessels that toddlers use to quench their thirst have a problem: mold can accumulate.

Tommee Tippee Sippee cupsI used to clean ours with toothpics or thin metal skewers, but that was after hundreds of uses.

Mayborn USA is recalling more than 3 million of their spill-proof Tommee Tippee Sippee cups. The recall affects five types of cups: First Sips Transition cup, Trainer Sippee cup, Sippee cup (including Cute Quips), Sportee bottle and Insulated Swiggle/Sippee tumblers.

All of them have a removable valve, which the Consumer Product Safety Commission says can develop mold if not cleaned well. The agency said 68 kids have gotten sick.

Their symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, consistent with drinking from a cup containing mold.

Everyone’s got a camera: Indiana mold high-school edition

nobody's.faultNobody’s fault.

Or so they say.
HACCP is short for, CYA – cover your ass.

A photo of food served at Central High School circulating social media has at least one student thinking about bringing his lunch to school for a while.

The photo, posted on Facebook and Twitter Monday, shows a student pulling back the lid of an individually packaged cream cheese to find the top covered in thick, green mold.

Isaiah York, a senior at Central, said it was his friend who found the cheese at breakfast. They took it to the principal, who then talked to the cafeteria staff.

“I was a bit grossed out about it, it made me a bit uneasy,” York said Tuesday. “When we opened it, I was a bit in shock to be honest. … That’s my first time encountering that.”

Dianna Choate, director of food services at MCS, said her staff called the manufacturer as soon as they saw the package. The cheese arrived at the school in individual, sealed packages and was within the expiration date, she said.

She said they opened several other containers and didn’t find another molded one, but threw them all away as a precaution.

The district is in the process of outsourcing its cafeteria staff to a national food service company, Chartwells. MCS spokesperson Ana Pichardo confirmed “this has nothing to do with Chartwells.” The company is set to fully take over operations after spring break.

Jammie Bane, a Delaware County Health department administrator, said the situation was brought to the department’s attention and is being investigated. Although the investigation is ongoing, Bane said he personally felt that it was not the schools’ fault because the product came prepackaged from the manufacturer.

“I feel it’s a shame that MCS is being made out negatively for something that could occur anywhere, at any time, whether a school, business, or personal home,” Bane said via email. “An incident occurring does not point towards a trend, and does not point towards the schools not caring or not taking actions in an effort to ensure it doesn’t occur again. As a matter of fact, our local schools excel at food safety.”

This isn’t the first time pictures of inedible food at Muncie Community Schools have been on social media. During a school board meeting last month, when the board was considering hiring Chartwells, board member Kathy Carey said she was “appalled” at pictures of rotten food that had been shared with her on social media.

Applesauce processed in Michigan recalled; pouches in our pantry made in France

We won the the recalled product lottery again – almost. My kids eat about 15 foods.

Applesauce is a staple.

We buy all kinds – store brand jars, single-serve cups and no-spoon pouches (a school lunch favorites).IMG_0644

And a mold-induced recall of Materne North America Corp’s GoGo squeeZ pouches sent me to the pantry to check if we had any of the packages linked to the incident with ‘gross and unpleasant’ mold.

We don’t. Our pouches are product of France.

Last year GoGo had Moldy applesauce, which can be more than just gross.

Materne North America Corp. (MNA) is voluntarily recalling specific packages of applesauce pouches due to potential adulteration from food product residue.

An announcement on GoGo squeeZ’s website said “we identified an issue in our recent production that led to the development of some common mold (like what can form on fruit) in a small number of pouches. An independent lab tested the mold, and an expert microbiologist determined that it poses no known health risk. However, we know mold is gross and unpleasant to look at or taste, and this is simply not the kind of experience we want you to have.”

The recalled applesauce pouches have a Best Before Date of 12/4/15-3/4/17 and a 5-digit production code beginning “US” followed by 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07 or 08, which consumers can identify on the back of the pouch or on the bottom of the box, and “Product of USA” displayed under the Nutrition Facts Panel on the box.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this issue. The food product residue was noted during a routine inspection by the Michigan State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), which revealed its presence in two product pumps at the Traverse City, Mich. production facility. It is possible the food product residue may have been incorporated into finished product.

Moldy bun on airport burger: Australian man wants apology

A Melbourne Airport traveler is in a bun fight with a fast food franchise after claiming he chowed down on a moldy burger.

burger.mold.melbourneCameron Baker said he’s still looking for an apology from Oporto after biting into what he claims was a mold-ridden burger at its Melbourne Airport store in October last year.

He said he had eaten most of the burger before realizing there was an extra condiment and took it to the manager, who had promised he would be contacted by someone.

But according to Mr Baker, he was contacted by Delaware North, which manages and delivers catering and service at various retail outlets at Melbourne Airport.

He claimed they had “accepted no responsibility for the moldy burger” and had informed him not to discuss it with anyone.

“Everybody just tried to sweep it under the rug,” he said.

“(They told me) ‘we consider this matter closed’.”

Mr Baker had been on a stopover in Melbourne on his way back to Queensland following a short stint in Hobart.

He said he’d been immediately unwell as a result and had, until recently, been unable to eat meat.

He said he was slowly starting to eat meats again.

Claims that 200 sickened by moldy biscuits sent to Syria

As if Syria wasn’t confusing enough, it is now claimed that hundreds of boxes of moldy biscuits sent to Syria by the United Nations have caused widespread food poisoning.

mideast_lebanon_syrian_refugeesThe high-energy snacks were past their sell-by date when they were given out as humanitarian aid, a watchdog said today.

The UN, which has gone to great lengths to get aid and supplies to 4.6 million Syrians living in hard-to-reach areas, helped trucks loaded with humanitarian aid to reach the towns of Madaya and Zabadani near the Lebanese border earlier this month.

According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, consignments of biscuits that were delivered had passed their sell-by date in September and could be the only cause of an outbreak of food poisoning among almost 200 residents who came to makeshift hospitals.

The biscuits were “moldy and rotten” and had been poorly stored, the watchdog said in an online report.

In a statement, the UN said 320 out of 650 boxes of the biscuits sent to Zabadani and Madaya as part of a relief convoy on October 18 had expired in September but denied that eating them posed a threat to health.

“We can confirm that this was the result of an unfortunate human error during the loading process,” said Yacoub El Hillo, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria.

He added that workers and humanitarian partners in Syria were “taking the issue very seriously and working to immediately rectify the situation.”

Everyone has a camera: Krispy Kreme donuts edition

Ashh Nicole, a doughnut fan visiting a Krispy Kreme shop in High Point, North Carolina, was shocked and disgusted to realize that some Krispy Kreme donuts in the shop (the ones visible through a glass counter) had bugs crawling all over the glaze, posing a major food safety risk – one that left the store manager quite unfazed.

krispy-kreme-doughnuts-inc-faces-shareholder-lawsuits“The machine had freaking mold on the catcher and the employees were touching the floor with the same hands they handled the doughnuts with! One employee even dropped a spatula, picked it up and proceeded to scrape the belt the doughnuts were coming off!” wrote Nicole on her YouTube clip about Krispy Kreme Donuts, Consumerist reports. “After expressing my concern with the supervisor he shrugged me off.”

To document her experience, Ms. Nicole posted a video on YouTube of what seem to be bugs crawling around donut glaze in the shop, and of course the clip went viral online.

Metro reports that it was the very company that launched the investigation on Krispy Kreme’s donuts, though they’re doing it “through a third party” to keep lack of objectivity become an issue when it’s time to face facts.

The company’s Facebook page officially apologized to Ms. Nicole over her unpleasant experience visiting Krispy Kreme, adding that they were looking further into this.

Over 300 sickened: State knew Chobani yogurt was tainted months before recall, FDA says

Whether it’s food, automobiles, consumer goods, whatever – selling deficient product and trying to cover it up usually backfires.

chobani.yogurtPeople and corporations are found out over time: so suck it up and go public early and often.

In response to continual mold problems, Chobani, the Greek yogurt people, made staff changes at its Twin Falls plant and corporate headquarters in New York, hired one new public relations firm and one advertising firm during the recall, and fired Nicki Briggs and “other in-house PR staffers” in November after “a broad refocusing of its resources.”

Chobani official said those PR changes had nothing to do with the mold outbreak and resulting recall.

Chobani may have been focusing on the wrong problem. reports the Idaho Department of Agriculture saw moldy yogurt during a routine inspection at Chobani two months before the company issued a voluntary recall, says a U.S. Food and Drug Administration report obtained by the Times-News under a Freedom of Information Act request.

The state denies the FDA claim.

More than 300 people got sick after consuming the moldy Greek yogurt from Twin Falls.

The state inspection was conducted in July. But not until September did Chobani issue a voluntary recall of 35 varieties of its tainted yogurt, advising the public it was contaminated with Mucor circinelloides, a mold commonly associated with yogurt production.

A report summarizing five separate inspections by the FDA in September gives this account of the state’s inspection:

“In July the routine Grade A sampling and testing samples taken by the Idaho Department of Agriculture (ISDA) from the Chobani Idaho Inc. production were visually noted, by the laboratory technician, that surface defects were present and additional testing was conducted noting a yeast like growth developing in the yogurt samples.”

chobani-recall-2013-updateThe FDA inspections also prompted Chobani to clean various pieces of equipment at the Twin Falls facility. After some “minor deficiencies” were reported, the FDA did not issue a mandatory recall or take further action.

ISDA spokeswoman Pamela Juker said state regulators never took note of any mold during the July inspections, and she’s unsure where the FDA got its information.

“All of the raw and finished product-testing results met the requirements of the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance,” Juker said. “All of the tests we’ve done met the requirements.”

Chobani repeatedly has declined to provide details on the issue. But Weber Shandwick, a third-party public relations firm, emailed a company response Wednesday.

“Our goal is to ensure our Idaho facility is not just a leader in size, but also in cleanliness, quality and safety,” a Chobani official wrote. “To accomplish this, we have brought in significant resources and are working with internal as well as outside experts to put together one of the most advanced food safety and quality systems in our industry.”


And I prefer science as an enhancement of nature.

Mold this: Conn. students boycott cafeteria

Students at Farmington High School in Connecticut are boycotting their school lunch program this week, accusing the campus food service provider of serving low-quality meals and embarrassing students who can’t afford them.

food.moldOver 500 people have joined a student Facebook group calling for a boycott of Chartwells, the food-service company that replaced the district’s in-house meal program in 2012. The page is full of photos of moldy food allegedly served in the cafeteria, along with some other fairly gross testimonials.

“Freshman are coming in thinking that the garbage they serve and the way they treat us is the norm, but it shouldn’t be,” students wrote in the group’s description. “We can work together and end this now.”

The students drafted a list of demands, including:

• Lower costs per meal for both students and teachers OR larger portions relative to the cost.

• Higher quality food and ingredients.

• Safe and healthy food that is free of mold or hair and is not left out and exposed to cold.

• Limit the reheating and re-serving of leftovers for consecutive days.

• Greater variety to accommodate alternative dietary needs or preferences, such as vegetarian, gluten-free, or others.

Senior Christy Rosario told her friends have been frustrated with Chartwells since the company first started working for the district, though the group only recently sprang up to organize the boycott after administrators clamped down on students overcharging their meal accounts.

According to a student handbook available online, students were entitled to charge one meal a day—anywhere from $3 to $3.50—“when lunch money is lost, forgotten or inadvertently overlooked.” That policy was amended to two meals last month without notice to students, though enforcement was lax. After “specific cases of excessive overcharging,” Principal Bill Silva said the school decided to start cracking down.

“A lot of the students were really caught off-guard, really frustrated, and going home hungry,” Rosario said. “The company loses money and the student doesn’t get any food, so no one wins.”

Making matters worse? Hungry kids who couldn’t afford their meals had to watch their food get thrown in the trash. School policy dictates that students with insufficient funds should be provided with an “alternative meal”—a cheese sandwich with milk and a piece of fruit—though Rosario said she knew many who did not receive one.

Superintendent Kathleen Greider said those charges, if true, were “unacceptable.”

Federal inspectors told to ignore moldy food at Washington plant

KING 5 Investigators have learned that federal inspectors complained for years about significant food safety violations at a Yakima plant but their superiors didn’t put a stop to it.

"I thought it was terrible because I have never seen anything like that in my life," said Jerry Pierce, a recently retired U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector who was assigned to the Snokist Growers plant in 2008. He said he watched Snokist employees “reprocess” and sell applesauce that belonged in the garbage bin.

“It’s appalling that the company would take those measures just to make a few dollars," said Wendy Alguard, the USDA inspector who worked at Snokist from 2009 until the summer of last year.

Snokist Growers is a century-old cannery that processes and packages 50,000 tons of cherries, apples, pears and plums each year. The inspectors say that leaks in the packaging would cause 300 gallon bags of applesauce to spoil. Snokist would scrape thick mold off the top of the spoiled applesauce, heat-treat the remaining product and then send it down the production line for sale to the public.

The KING 5 Investigators obtained public records showing Snokist reprocessed more than 23,000 gallons of moldy applesauce in the year 2010 alone. Other records show Snokist’s own consultant concluded in 2009 that the mold in applesauce "would not be eliminated by your firm’s thermal process." Records show the company continued selling it to customers.

The inspectors say they repeatedly told their boss about the moldy applesauce.
"I guess they promised my boss they wouldn’t do it again and within a week they were doing it again,” said Pierce.

"I had contact with my boss many times and he basically told me to mind my own business," said Alguard.

It was another government agency that finally put a stop to Snokist’s recycling of fruit products. Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came to the Yakima plant after 18 North Carolina school children got sick from eating Snokist applesauce. The FDA determined that packaging defects caused the applesauce to spoil, not reprocessing of moldy applesauce.