200 sick: Idaho organic co-op could reopen its deli Friday

Again, why wasn’t this done before the outbreak?

preventionThe Boise Co-op’s deli has been linked to 200 cases of Salmonella.

Co-op Marketing Manager Mo Valko says the store has sanitized and revamped its food prep area, adding things like color-coded cutting boards to help deli employees stop any cross-contamination from occurring. They’ve also added another handwashing sink and more training with deli employees. She says they’ve done all they can to let customers know about the outbreak.

Prevention works, just not glamorous: health unit stops chicken dinner sales

The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit (that’s in Ontario, which is in Canada) is standing by its decision to stop chicken sales at the Wallaceburg Knights of Columbus dinner Friday night at WAMBO.

church_supperSupervisor of Environmental Health Rose Marie Arndt says it’s a matter of keeping everybody safe.

“We make sure that all special events vendors are serving safe food in Chatham-Kent,” says Arndt. “We did have an issue with one vendor and we did ask them not to serve a portion of their meal because there were some time/temperature issues with the food.”

Arndt says she believes the issue may stem from a faulty piece of equipment.

FDA: pets deserve safe food too (and it’s a human risk)

Don’t ever underestimate the relationship between people and their pets.

Kids, sure. But pets? Don’t go there.

I had a humbling experience – one of dozens – during a talk I gave about pet food safety years ago in Chicago and was roundly chastised for valuing children more than pets.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is getting the same message and moved this week to propose preventive measures to protect all sadie.dog.powellanimal foods from disease-causing bacteria, chemicals and other contaminants.

This includes the food that pet owners give their dogs, cats and other companion animals, and the feed that farmers give their livestock.

Preventive Controls for Food for Animals is the fifth rule that FDA has proposed this year as part of the food-safety framework envisioned by the 2011 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act that focuses on preventing foodborne illnesses.

Daniel McChesney, director of the Office of Surveillance and Compliance at FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), said, “Unlike safeguards already in place to protect human foods, there are currently no regulations governing the safe production of most animal foods. There is no type of hazard analysis. This rule would change all that.”

McChesney notes that human and animal health are intertwined. People can get sick when pet food is contaminated by disease-causing bacteria like Salmonella. When such food is handled by pet owners and placed on kitchen surfaces, the bacteria can spread to foods consumed by their family.

The move comes amidst an on-going mystery which has led to the death of 580 pets, nearly all dogs, since 2007, connected to chicken, duck and sweet potato jerky treats, nearly all of which were imported from China. According to the N.Y. Times, it is not clear if the new regulations could have prevented the deaths because the F.D.A. is not sure yet what the hazard is.

This proposed rule would create regulations that address the manufacturing, processing, packing and holding of animal food. Good sadie.sorenne.car.10manufacturing practices would be established for buildings, facilities and personnel, and would include cleaning and maintenance, pest control, and the personal hygiene of people who work there.

It would also require facilities to have a food safety plan, perform an analysis of potential hazards, and implement controls to minimize those risks. Those controls would have to be monitored and corrected as needed.

The proposed rule has been published in the Federal Register, with a 120-day public-comment period. The rule is filed in FDA’s official docket at www.regulations.gov and can also be accessed at www.fda.gov/fsma.

In one of the most infamous examples of pet food contamination, dogs and cats across the country were sickened and killed in 2007 when melamine, a chemical used to make plastic, was added to pet food ingredients imported from China. McChesney noted that FDA received about 18,000 calls from anxious pet owners at the time.

The requirements proposed in both the animal and import rules are designed to help prevent that from happening again, he says.

Scottish council cancels cattle show because E. coli fears not taken seriously

This is proactively awesome.

After decades of farm-show-petting-zoo-fair related outbreaks, particularly of E. coli O157, and after four people were sickened last year, this weekend’s Drymen Show has been cancelled because organizers did not take appropriate steps to reduce risk of E. coli infection.

The Scottish Farmer, my favorite bathtime reading, reports the Drymen Show has been cancelled – and Stirling Council officials have laid the blame at the show organizers’ door, saying that they failed to follow steps to reduce the risk to visitors from E.coli O157 in animal dung.

Further, Stirling Council made it clear that the show’s organizers had been given several reminders about the bio-security rules, as concerns had been raised last year, when four people with links to Drymen Show were diagnosed with E. coli O157.

A spokesperson for the Council said the "Scottish Government provide guidance on the recreational use of animal pasture to reduce the risk of E.coli O157, stating that farm animals should be kept off fields for three weeks prior to use with removal of any visible animal droppings. Contact with farm animal feces on farm pasture presents a risk to the public, especially young children, from the spread of E. coli O157.

"Despite having received assurances that the animals had been removed, this was found not to be the case and animals remained on the show ground area as of May 18 – only 8 days before the date of the Show.

"It is particularly disappointing that the Drymen Show’s organizers did not act upon the proper advice given by Council officers. The same advice and licence conditions are adhered to by other agricultural shows in the Stirling area."

Public urged to be ‘vigilant’ as number of E.coli cases linked to Welsh kebab shop expected to rise

Health bosses last night urged the public to remain vigilant as the number of E.coli cases linked to the Adonis Kebab House on City Road in Cardiff rose to a possible nine, with three needing hospital treatment.

Since the E.coli O157 outbreak emerged on Friday, the number of confirmed cases has risen from five to seven – with another two under investigation – but could rise further, warned Dr Gwen Lowe, consultant in communicable disease control at Public Health Wales (PHW).

Maybe health inspectors and food service operators should be vigilant before people start barfing.

Number 1 most idiotic food story of the year; Prevention magazine

I’ve been interviewed and quoted by Prevention magazine a few times about food safety stuff. They didn’t seem any worse or better than anyone else and I always took the time to explain things from my world of microbial food safety and what makes people barf.

But their latest story, which did not include me or any other food safety expert I know, claims to present, The top 7 foods avoided by food safety experts.

Greg Johnson, editor of the Kansas City-based The Packer went twitterlistic, writing that the "7 foods experts won’t eat, from Prevention mag lists conventional apples and potatoes. Too bad "experts" are bunch of leftist hacks.”

Not sure if it’s a left or right thing – the U.S. is big on moral dualism. Maybe it’s a dumb or smart thing.

Liz Vaccariello, editor in chief of Prevention Magazine, recently interviewed several experts on food healthfulness and safety. She asked, “What foods do you avoid”, and was surprised by some of the answers.

1. Canned Tomatoes, Canned Soup, Canned Green Beans

Something to do with BPA. Risk is minimal. Canned tomatoes are a great source of antioxidants. Canned soup and green beans are great comfort food. Food safety is impeccable.

2. Corn-Fed Beef

Something to do with nutrient profiles and blowing Whole Foods. Corn-fed beef rocks.

 3. Microwave Popcorn???

Something about the chemicals. Eat real food, not popcorn.

4. Nonorganic Potatoes and Carrots???
Something about root vegetables absorbing pesticides. I worry more about microorganisms, and eating enough fruits and vegetables.

5. Farmed Salmon???
Something about chemicals in farmed salmon, which are far below acceptable government limits. Farmed salmon preserves the environment.

6. Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones???
Something about rBST and this is the best someone at the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility can come up with, when 30 per cent of all people in all countries get sick from the food and water they consume each year, and none of it has anything to do with genetically engineered hormones.

7. Nonorganic Apples and Pears???
Something about pesticide accumulation. Total BS. Bring on the conventional apples and pears. My kid loves them.