43 sick, 22 hospitalized, 1 dead in Rhode Island salmonella-in-pastry outbreak

The number of suspected cases of salmonella linked to a Rhode Island bakery has increased to 43 people, the Health Department reported Wednesday.

Health officials said 22 of those people have been hospitalized.

Health officials said many of the people that were sickened ate doughnut-like pastries called zeppoles made by DeFusco’s Bakery in Johnston. The pastries were sold at other stores around the state and have been recalled.

State Sen. John Tassoni has launched a new push to hire more state food inspectors, adding, “The safety of every person who visits a restaurant or other food establishment in Rhode Island is at stake.”

There are seven food inspectors responsible for inspecting 8,000 food establishment across the Ocean State – yet being short staffed only allows them to inspect half that number.

The most recent salmonella-in-pastry outbreak happened in Adelaide, South Australia earlier this year, when at least 107 people were sickened with Salmonella Typhimurium phage type 9 after eating custard eclairs and cannolis from two bakeries.

Careful with that cannoli; Australian salmonella sick now at 73; custard at retail tests positive

Thirteen more people have tested positive for a strain of salmonella linked to custard-filled cakes.

Health authorities will interview each of them to determine whether they had consumed any of the products linked to the current outbreak.

Vili’s custard berliners and St George Cakes & Gelati custard eclairs and cannolis were withdrawn from sale last Friday, after SA Health established they were the common denominator in 60 salmonella cases.

At least 29 of those cases had required hospital treatment.

The 13 new cases would have been sick before the public health warning was issued on Friday but test results were completed today.

SA Health also has confirmed that two custard-filled product samples from St George Cakes & Gelati, purchased at retail stores, have tested positive for Salmonella Typhimurium phage type 9, which is the strain found in the current outbreak.

More mice, now in a Toronto pastry tray

Here’s one from east-end Toronto that I missed last week but Coldmud picked up from the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation – hockey and state-sponsored jazz).

Amateur photographer Borys Machinkowski’s photo (right, exactly as shown) shows a mouse popping out of a space between two trays of pastries sitting in the display case of Bakery On the Go at the Warden Toronto

Machinkowski. a 20-year-old Centennial College student, said in a blog post that he noticed the rodent while he and some friends were sitting in the coffee shop waiting for another friend to arrive.

Machinkowski said he pointed out the mouse to the employee working at the coffee shop, but the employee continued to sell food.

Machinkowski and his friends started telling customers about the mouse and showing them the photo they had taken.

"Being thoroughly disgusted, we decided to warn everyone who would listen that we just saw a mouse in plain sight and showed them the picture each time. They were grateful they hadn’t eaten what they had bought yet."

Their warnings stopped after a man arrived, and he turned out to be the eatery’s manager.

"Finally, another man came in and we continued our mission to warn people. We told him about the mouse and he said, ‘Huh? This is subway station. You see mice sometime. So what?’ in an irritated tone. Then we showed him the picture and his face froze. It turned out he was the manager and he promptly told us to get out, but we didn’t until they turned off the lights and closed the store for fear they’d continue selling food to people."

During an inspection by Toronto Public Health on Aug. 27, the bakery was given a conditional pass. Inspectors cited it for failure to protect food from contamination and inadequate temperature controls.