Listeria found in NZ parsley

I’m wary of the herbs.

italian.parsleyThey’re natural and groovy, but also microbiologically messy.

I grow them, but rarely eat them raw, and am considerate about crosss-contamination.

People are being urged to throw out bags of Italian parsley from a Nelson, New Zealand,  company after tests showed traces of listeria.

Traces of Listeria Monocytogenes, which can cause listeriosis, were found in 50-gram bags of Italian parsley sold by Riwaka-based Tasman Bay Herbs. The affected bags have a use-by date of up to June 27 and were sold to nine retail outlets in Auckland, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch.

The stores were among those which recalled all Tasman Bay Herbs stock on Monday afternoon after a test revealed potential contamination.

Further testing showed the 50 gram bags of Italian parsley had traces of listeria contamination. All other products tested negative for listeria.

E. coli in parsley: 141 sickened at Flicks in Ireland, shuttered and fined £110,000

More than 140 people fell ill after dining at Flicks Restaurant in Belfast during a three-month period in 2012.

flicks.belfastAn investigation by the Public Health Agency (PHA) found chopped parsley, used to garnish dishes, had not been adequately washed or refrigerated to kill bacteria.

The disclosure comes as the owners of the restaurant, which is now closed, were fined £110,000 after admitting a series of hygiene breaches.

The PHA report said: “Staff assumed the parsley, which originated in the eastern and western Mediterranean, was supplied to the restaurant as a ready to eat product but this was not the case.

“Washing of the parsley to remove contamination was therefore not identified as a critical control point.

“There was evidence of failure to comply with the legal requirement to keep the prepared parsley refrigerated and this could have facilitated the growth of micro-organisms.”

Not sure what washing would do.

There were 141 clinically confirmed cases of E.coli during the outbreak; 19 people were admitted to hospital and a further 159 presented symptoms.

parsleyThe PHA said poor practices within the restaurant contributed to the spread of the bacteria and that some meals may have been garnished by a food handler who had contracted E.coli.

Staff toilet facilities were found to be inadequate with no soap or drying facilities.

The restaurant closed voluntarily on October 11, 2012, following advice from the Belfast City Council’s environmental health staff.

In a statement, Belfast City Council said the case highlighted the dangerous consequences of hygiene failures.

Flicks owner Michael McAdam told the BBC he was “devastated” that people had become sick.

He said: “I am personally devastated that any business of mine could have caused people to become ill.

“I would just like to take this opportunity, once again, to say how deeply sorry I am to anyone who fell ill as a result of eating at Flicks restaurant.”

The restaurant is not expected to re-open.

Florette withdraws salmonella parsley from sale in France

French group Florette (ready to use salads and vegetables) announced on Sunday that they had to withdraw sachets of flat parsley and parsley-chives from sale due to a presence of salmonella.  The sachets were put on sale between the 4th-11th July 2014 all over France in large supermarkets and specialised stores. 

Florette”The first investigations carried out have not allowed us, at this stage, to explain the contamination, but Florette is currently continuing their internal inquiry” stated Florette. 

You eat my parsley, I eat you; gruesome rabbit pics spark online attack

Author Jeanette Winterson has caused a Twitter row after she ate the rabbit who ate her parsley.

bunny1_620x310The author – who was a vegetarian for nine years – posted a somewhat graphic picture of a carcass on her kitchen counter, with the caption: “Rabbit ate my parsley. I am eating the rabbit.”

She proceeded to share pictures of the rabbit being “washed and jointed for the pot,” before being cooked on the AGA with rosemary and thyme.

Next came two shots of her cat eating the entrails.

1The images shocked followers, one of whom wrote: “Before I unfollow you, you make me sick. I will never again read a word you write. Rest in peace, little rabbit.”

My father liked  rabbit when he was growing up in Wales.

Why I don’t eat fresh cilantro and parsley: prevalence and diversity of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli strains in fresh produce

Analysis of fresh produce showed that enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) strains are most often found in cilantro and parsley, with prevalence rates of approximately 0.3%. Some ETEC strains also carried Shiga cilantro.slugs.powell.10toxigenic E. coli (STEC) genes but had no STEC adherence factors, which are essential to cause severe human illness. Most ETEC strains in produce carried stable toxin and/or labile toxin genes but belonged to unremarkable serotypes that have not been reported to have caused human illnesses.

Journal of Food Protection®, Number 5, May 2014, pp. 696-863 , pp. 820-823(4)

Feng, Peter C. H.; Reddy, Shanker P.

Florida producer recalls curly parsley due to Salmonella; suggests FDA mandated recall

Parsley (the flat leaf kind) is the herb I most often mistake for cilantro while shopping the produce aisle. I’m not sure if I’ve ever purchased curly parsley, a fresh herb often used in Mediterranean and Lebanese salads (and as a plate garnish).  Parsley_Curled

According to the Packer, Roth Farms says that FDA required them to conduct a recall after a sample of their curly parsley tested positive for Salmonella.

A Florida grower says the Food and Drug Administration is mandating a recall of curly parsley five weeks after it was harvested — and long after its shelf life had expired — after a positive test for Salmonella.

However, FDA spokeswoman Theresa Eisenman said the recall is voluntary.

Rick Roth, owner of Roth Farms Inc., Belle Glade, Fla., said he is cooperating with the agency, but the recall was not voluntary. No illnesses have been reported in connection with the Roth Farms parsley.

“We were told it was required,” Roth said Feb. 13.

Roth Farms harvested the parsley Jan. 7. The company’s agent said FDA notified Roth Farms of the positive test result on Feb. 11.

Managing and recovering from a recall is tough enough without the added he said/she said rhetoric. A better message would be that Roth Farms recalled product to protect the folks who eat parsley, and, that they are investigating the source of contamination while evaluating their systems.

Runs in Saskatoon? Cryptosporidium found in parsley

I don’t like parsley. Can’t stand using it in cooking, hate it as a garnish and, like many herbs, is prone to microbial contamination.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume Boskovich brand fresh Parsley described below. The affected product may contain Cryptosporidium.

The affected product was sold only on March 19, 2012 from one store, Canada Safeway, 124 Primrose Dr., Lawson Heights Mall, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The product was sold in bunches enclosed with a band indicating the Boskovich brand and Product of USA.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

As usual, CFIA provided no details about how the contaminated parsley was discovered, or why the advisory only applies to one day’s worth of product at one store.

Speaking of Saskatoon, I was rocking out to this a couple of days ago after my friend Roy sent along his latest rock and roll band photo and I commented he was channeling Randy Bachman.