A second resident has died of Salmonella at UK care home

An elderly woman who was admitted to Sunderland Royal Hospital after eight cases of Samonella were confirmed at Millum House Care Home in Roker, Sunderland, has died.

A post-mortem examination to establish the cause of her death is to be carried out.

The news follows the death of great-grandmother Myra Robinson, 72, who died in hospital last Saturday following the outbreak.

The remaining patients, who include three members of staff at the three-storey home, have recovered.

Health chiefs are investigating, but the cause of the outbreak still remains unclear.

UK child with E. coli infection dies

The BBC has just reported that a child from Devon has died after being infected with E. coli.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has refused to release any details about the child, thought to be a toddler.

But the agency would say that no clear source for the infection has been found and that no other cases have been linked to the infection.

The HPA has also confirmed that it does not think the child’s death is connected to an outbreak which centred on a petting farm in Surrey.

Maple Leaf listeria vp sucks as comedian

The best Canadian comedians move to the U.S. The worst apparently stay and become Minister of Agriculture or a vp at some $5.5 billion a year corporation that discovers food safety after killing 22 people.

First it was Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry-isn’t-my-moustache-awesome Ritz joking that he was dying by a thousand cold cuts.

Now, a Maple Leaf Foods vp is shown on YouTube, yucking it up for Canadian policy wonks in Ontario cottage country on August 8, 2009.

Every year, the witty and urbane of Canada put on their best Berkenstocks and retreat to the Couchiching conference. A barfblog.com fan e-mailed me at the time, and said via a redirected twitter post, Rory McAlpine of Maple Leaf Foods “suggests an approach to food safety that takes in the accountability of the consumer.”

At the time I thought, what an asshole. Are consumers supposed to be deep-frying their deli meats? But I had no further information, no verification, so didn’t bother blogging the story.

The video has surfaced

I first heard this joke about the Toronto Maple Leafs, listeria and the Leafs inability to win hockey’s coveted Stanley Cup, a futility streak going back to 1967, last year.

I thought it was tasteless and said so at the time.

Guess Rory stayed in Canada, where he still may be considered funny.

So here’s Rory McAlpine, vice-president, Government and Industry Relations, Maple Leaf Foods, and former British Columbia deputy minister of Agriculture, with his rendition of, hey, my own kid got listeria from my products, what’s the big deal?

New food safety infosheet — Harvey’s E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Report Released

The newest food safety infosheet, a graphical one-page food safety-related story directed at food handlers is also now available at foodsafetyinfosheets.ksu.edu. Infosheets are created weekly and are posted in restaurants, retail stores, on farms and used in training throughout the world.

This week’s food safety infosheet focuses on a Fall 2008 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak inked to a Harvey’s restaurant in North Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Food safety infosheet highlights:
– Health authorities point to Spanish red  onions as most likley source of the outbreak
– Poor sanitation of onion dicer may have prolonged the outbreak
– Equipment should be fully disassembled to allow for cleaning and sanitizing of hard to reach areas
Food safety infosheets are created weekly and are posted in restaurants, retail stores, on farms and used in training throughout the world. If you have any infosheet topic requests, or photos, please contact Ben Chapman at benjamin_chapman@ncsu.edu
You can follow food safety infosheets stories and barfblog on twitter @benjaminchapman and @barfblog.

Click here to download a pdf of the food safety infosheet.

Is it hepatitis A day and no one told me?

After posting this week’s infosheet on a Brazilian soccer club’s hep A outbreak possibly linked to dirty water bottles we picked up three more stories on hep A exposures:

Cincinnati, OH:
A food handler at a PF Chang’s restaurant in West Chester, OH was diagnosed with hepatitis A earlier this week, and today there was a report of the vaccination clinic running out vaccine and sending exposed individuals to an urgent care facility as a back up (resulting in wait times upwards of three hours).

Boise, ID:

Nearly 300 people were vaccinated for hepatitis A at Boise’s Central District Health this past week.
The rush came after a health scare at the Red Feather Lounge where an employee confirmed infected with the virus

New Zealand:

An orchard worker was found  to have hepatitis A and was  sent home to the Solomon Islands.
The fruitpicker, who was working at Apollo Pac in Whakatu for the season, was referred to the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s (DHB’s) public health unit with the symptoms of Hepatitis A, including nausea and jaundice. The DHB’s medical officer of health Caroline McElnay was cited as saying  23 people who had been living in close quarters with the person had also been screened for the disease and given an injection of antibodies for temporary protection.

Happy hep A day.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to go green via local food sources

According to the Nation’s Restaurant News, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is the latest hotel and food operation to jump on the locally grown/organic bandwagon. 

North America’s largest luxury hotel company, perhaps best know for its Lake Louise and Banff properties, announced Aug.22 that it would revamp all of its menus by the fall to incorporate locally grown, sustainable or organic ingredients "wherever possible."

Serge Simard, vice president of food and beverage for the chain, was quoted as saying, "Our guests are very savvy, experienced diners, and they also are becoming more conscious of how their consumer choices affect the planet."

Fairmont indicated that it would complement the menu overhaul with the adoption of programs like inviting guests to visit the farms where their hotel’s food was grown, or accompanying chefs on shopping trips to local green markets.

Here’s hoping Fairmont’s savvy diners take this opportunity to ask the hotel’s producers and retailers what practices they’ve adopted not only to reduce their environmental footprint, but also, to reduce the risk of foodborne illness — don’t eat poop.