Canada’s public health silliness

Dr. David Butler-Jones (right, exactly as shown), the chief public health thingy for Canada who hasn’t been heard from since his embarrassing statements about how listeria in deli meats that killed 20 Canadians last fall was due to poor handwashing , has apparently spent the past 7 months devising a game for school kids.

Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, today launched an educational program designed to help students learn about food borne illnesses, how they’re caused and how to prevent the risk of infection.

It’s foodborne, not food borne. Butler-Jones insists repeatedly the bulk of foodborne illness happens at home, and says the game is innovative but provides no assessment by the targert audience.

“Creating healthy habits and practicing safe food handling starts at an early age. These students are learning an important lesson about the causes of food contamination and how to protect themselves and their families against infectious disease. This initiative shows how collaboration between the federal and provincial governments, health experts and educators can lead to the creation of innovative public health tools and resources that contribute to better health for Canadians and for our communities.”

This initiative shows nothing except how tax dollars can be wasted.

Oh, and Health Canada came out today with so-called fact sheets on how to safely handle fresh produce, and emphasize repeatedly that “fresh fruits and vegetables do not naturally contain microorganisms … that can make you sick.”

No idea where that statement came from. Other than pressure from the fresh fruit and vegetable growers in Canada. That’s how government and public pronouncements roll north of the 49th parallel.

Salmonella Poona outbreak in Canada and U.S.

The Public Health Agency of Canada, still smarting from criticism over its absence  in the listeria outbreak, decided to show up Sunday night and advise Canadians about melamine, and a North American-wide Salmonella Poona outbreak

In Canada to date, there have been 6 cases spread across Manitoba, Quebec and Nova Scotia with the same genetic fingerprint, and 14 other suspected cases in Ontario.  No one has been hospitalized so far.  There have been 48 cases reported in the U.S.

The cause of the potential outbreak is not known at this time.  Provincial laboratories and the Agency’s National Microbiology Laboratory are conducting ongoing analyses to determine if other Salmonella Poona cases share the same genetic fingerprint as those identified thus far.  The number of cases associated with this outbreak may increase as the investigation continues. … The Agency will keep Canadians informed as new information becomes available.

Salmonella Poona has been associated with outbreaks in cantaloupes and turtles. Given the outbreak of Salmonella – strain not yet identified in U.S. reports — involving pet turtles and up to 100 Americans announced last week, it’s probably the same outbreak.

But with the Public Health Agency of Canada who knows.

Don’t kiss turtles.