Sheep farts forced plane to make emergency landing

This story couldn’t be any more Australian unless Mr. G was dancing with the sheep (thanks Courtlynn for the link).

 sheep.fartA Singapore airlines Boeing 747 from Sydney was forced to make an unexpected stopover after methane gas set off the fire alarm .

The Aviation Herald reports the cargo flight from Australia to Kuala Lumpur, with 4 crew and 2,186 sheep on-board, was flying just to the south of Indonesia when the smoke alarms sounded on October 26.

Crew on-board SQ-7108 descended the aircraft immediately and diverted to Bali where they landed about 45 minutes later.

Emergency services didn’t find any trace of fire or smoke and identified the cause to be the result of exhaust gasses and manure produced by the sheep. 

Summer Heights High and an Australian boarding school campylobacter outbreak

When someone says Australian boarding school, all I can think of is the highlarious television show, Summer Heights High.

Some researchers from Canberra report in the current issue of Foodborne Pathogens and Disease about an outbreak of Campylobacter jejuni gastroenteritis at an Australian boarding school.

Thirty-five cases of gastroenteritis were recorded among 58 questionnaire respondents, with 14 of 18 persons submitting fecal samples having confirmed C. jejuni infections. Attendance at one evening meal was statistically associated with illness (ratio of proportions of 3.09; 95% confidence intervals: 1.21, 14.09; p = 0.02). There was no statistically significant association between any single food provided at the implicated evening meal and illness, suggesting that the potential cause of the outbreak was a cross-contamination event.

The study highlights the potential of cross-contamination as a cause of epidemic campylobacteriosis. The application of molecular techniques to aid epidemiological investigation of recognized C. jejuni outbreaks is illustrated.

Australia: Restaurant owner sues food critic for bad review

This Christmas I will be venturing to Australia for the first time. My flatmate graciously invited me to spend the holidays with her, and the chance to potentially bump into Mr. G (Summer Heights High) was something I couldn’t pass up.

While I search for the famous mockumentry star, a Sydney restaurateur will likely be continuing her ugly legal battle against a food critic reports

In evidence in the NSW Supreme Court on Wednesday, Ljiljana Gacic sobbed as she launched a diatribe against the critic, Matthew Evans, whom she described as "low life".

She said the review had been "done for a purpose", and told Justice Ian Harrison she had put on 57 kilos in the six years since its publication because of the stress.

In September 2003, Fairfax’s The Sydney Morning Herald published a review referring to "unpalatable" dishes, describing the restaurant’s overall value as "a shocker" and scoring it 9/20 – in the "stay home" category. The restaurant went into administration in March 2004.

The article has been found to convey defamatory meanings, including that the trio "incompetent" as restaurant owners because they sold unpalatable food and employed a chef who made poor quality dishes.

Mr [Tom] Blackburn [ SC, for Fairfax – the newspaper] then suggested that either Ms Gacic was "malevolently and maliciously fabricating it or you are deluded".

The judge is now holding a hearing relating to defences – including truth – put forward by Fairfax, and on the amount of damages, if any, which should be awarded.

Producing unsafe food will cost you in Australia

During my year of study in New Zealand I plan on hopping across the ditch to Australia. Although my main goal is to bump into Mr. G (from Summer Heights High, see right), I will most inevitably have a meal out. Australian Food News reports that Australian courts have handed dirty restaurants hefty consequences for preparing food under unsafe conditions.

The courts have dished out heavy fines of over $37,000 to two North Shore restaurants and three Hills District eateries for breaches of food safety regulations, Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald has advised.

Macdonald stated,

“I commend councils for being vigilant and proactive in ensuring that food sold in their areas is as safe as possible. It’s simply unacceptable for food retailers to ignore safety laws that protect consumers.”

North Sydney Council successfully prosecuted two restaurants for a total of 14 offences. Dai’s Golden Crown Restaurant in Military Road, Cremorne received a $15,333 fine for five offences ranging from chronic build up of waste and dirt to vermin in equipment and shelving. While Neutral Bay Seafood in Wycombe Road, will be forced to pay a $3,287 fine for nine hygiene-related offences.

Hills Shire Council successfully prosecuted the following three eateries for a total of 31 hygiene-related offences. Simply Irresistible Bakery, Windsor Road, Rouse Hill received a $5492 fine for four offences including storing food on the floor of a coolroom. Mountain View Chinese Restaurant, Old Northern Road, Dural was fined $7095 for 15 offences including presence of pests and dirty fittings and equipment.
Beijing Duck Restaurant, North Rocks Road, North Rocks copped a $5976 fine for 12 offences including storing meat in a sink and unsanitary cooking equipment and utensils.

Macdonald continued,

“Prosecutions are a last resort, but in some cases when critical failures have occurred or when proprietors have ignored prior warnings, that’s when they’ll end up in court.”