Thanks for the salmonella, Western food services

With the number of confirmed cases of Salmonella food poisoning reaching 77 at the University of Western Ontario Friday — and over 50 more showing symptoms — Erin Haertel, an Astrophysics II student expressed his feelings in the student paper, The Western Gazette:

I would like to thank and congratulate you, Western Food Services. No really, thank you. Finally, you have successfully sent us asshole university students to the hospital with your shitty-ass food.

We certainly appreciate the experience. Yep, thoroughly enjoyable. Although some people may have missed the sign that said: “Today’s Special: Pay $5 for tasteless crap and receive free salmonella poisoning.”

I can’t believe that deal even included ceaseless vomiting and diarrhea — a regular value of your health — only at the cost of your grades! That’s okay — we didn’t have to write that midterm anyway.

It’s unfortunate it was only available for a limited time while contaminated quantities lasted. Or at least until the Middlesex-London health inspectors got on the scene. Oh, by the way, the inspectors are sorry for their absence before the outbreak — they were on vacation in Fiji.

One teensy problem, though — I guess the “general public” prefers to stay healthy (I know, what gives?) and people view a hospital as a place to go when something is “wrong.”

So maybe it’s not a good idea to slack when it comes to health and safety. Just a suggestion. Oh, and apparently people have a problem with expired food. I just thought I’d throw that out there.

But good job on the food variety — now we have healthy food places. I can get Evian water for $3 and a salad for only $6, which is understandable considering the two and a half cherry tomatoes are really expensive.

So, again, thank you so much for realizing people actually live on campus (key word: live), and providing them with some drama over Western’s ass-tastic food. A business with legal issues never bores.

132 now sick with Salmonella at Ontario university

The number of confirmed cases of salmonella food poisoning at the University of Western Ontario climbed by six yesterday, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed cases to 70, with more than 50 others who haven’t been tested, but show symptoms consistent with salmonella infection.

Bryna Warshawsky, associate medical officer of health with the Middlesex-London Health Unit, said it’s hard to tell if the outbreak is starting to slow, adding,

 "You can’t really judge that until you have seen several days of consistent numbers. We would like to get down to zero. We are hoping as we get into next week and more than a week past the thorough cleaning and disinfection that we will get down to zero."

It may require more than cleaning. Check employee practices and the food safety standards of suppliers, especially fresh fruits and vegetables.

97 sick with Salmonella at University of Western Ontario

Bryna Warshawsky, the associate medical officer of health at the Middlesex-London Health Unit, said yesterday that 11 new laboratory-confirmed cases of Salmonella have brought the total of confirmed cases to 53 along with another 44 exhibiting symptoms.

Five people have been hospitalized, mainly to treat dehydration.

Out of the previous laboratory-confirmed cases, 29 individuals ate at the Pita Pit at the University Community Centre food court, the Centre Spot. A dozen others also ate at the Centre Spot, but not the Pita Pit.

Out of the 44 people showing symptoms that haven’t been confirmed by lab tests, 31 reported eating at the Pita Pit.

Health officials theorize the salmonella contamination originated at the Pita Pit, and spread to other food preparation services at the food court.

Or it was a common ingredient like tomatoes.

University of Western Ontario and Salmonella:

The London Free Press is reporting that the total number of Salmonella cases at the University of Western Ontario in London has climbed to 42 — an increase of 10 — and that none of the new cases is related to the Pita Pit, the source of the original cases.

Dr. Bryna Warshawsky of the Middlesex-London Health Unit was cited as saying the new cases involve people who ate food prepared at a central kitchen in the Centre Spot food court and distributed to other outlets on campus, and that the new cases could point to a cross-contamination at the Centre Spot, adding,

"There’s a wide variety of food items, purchased from a wide variety of places. The only common element is that the food was prepared within the Centre Spot."

Or a common ingredient. Maybe something like tomatoes? We await the public results of the health unit’s investigation.

33 Salmonella cases at Ontario Pita Pit

The London Free Press reports that 33 people are now reporting symptoms of Salmonella believed linked to the Pita Pit at the University of Western Ontario Community Centre.

Dr. Bryna Warshawsky, associate medical officer of health with the Middlesex-London health unit, said 15 of the salmonella cases have been lab-confirmed.

The health unit has inspected the restaurant twice since the issue first surfaced, said Warshawsky, and deemed it safe to operate. The task now is to determine if the outlet received contaminated food product, or if something happened there.