Marksmen in helicopters cull more than 30,000 feral pigs in north Australia

You call those feral pigs? These are feral pigs.

Everything is bigger, better and weirder in Australia.

Feral pigs were thought to be the vehicle that moved E. coli O157:H7 around spinach fields in California during the 2006 outbreak that killed crocodile_dundeefour and sickened at least 200.

According to the Courier Mail, trained marksmen have shot dead more than 30,000 feral pigs in north Queensland (that’s the state where Brisbane is, in Australia) in the past two years after scientists warned they were wiping out endangered turtles and causing more than $100 million in agricultural losses.

Gunmen shooting from helicopters used high-powered rifles to cull the pigs in several locations north of Cooktown.

The Minister for National Parks, Steve Dickson, said the cull was necessary with pigs tearing the heart out of northern Australia. Of all Queensland’s feral pests, pigs were by far the worst.

Queensland Government rangers were shocked when they examined the stomach contents of one pig and discovered the remains of more than two dozen turtle hatchlings.

Scientists estimate that Queensland has more than six million feral pigs with 75 per cent of them in far north Queensland.

Jamie’s Ministry of Food to run mobile kitchen in Queensland

Anyone who proclaims they have a ministry – especially a ministry of food – is suspect.

UK chef-celebrity Jamie Oliver, who practices terrible food safety on his numerous TV shows, is bringing his ‘pukka tucker’ to the Gold Coast with the help of the Queensland government, running weekly cooking classes teaching locals how to prepare healthy, nutritious and tasty meals.

This is a terrible idea.

If Jamie Oliver wants to promote health cooking, good for him; that doesn’t mean that taxpayers of Queensland, like Amy, should support this shill and his terrible food safety, in any way.

It’s embarrassing.

Queensland’s chief health officer, Dr Jeanette Young, told the Courier Mail the mobile kitchen would help Gold Coasters make healthier eating choices.

She provided no evidence to support such claims.

Pregnant Aussie mom sues airline over listeria in chicken wrap, premature birth

In Aug. 2009, two pregnant women in Australia gave birth prematurely and seven others were confirmed sick with listeriosis after eating contaminated chicken wraps that were sold to thousands on Virgin Blue flights from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, triggering a national public health alert.

From the outset, Virgin Blue has blamed suppliers.

On Friday, one of those pregnant women, Renee Cherry, launched legal action in the Supreme Court on behalf of her son Zayd Fokeera, now aged almost two, seeking compensation from Virgin Australia.

According to a statement of claim, a pregnant Ms Cherry flew from Townsville to Brisbane, then from Brisbane to Melbourne, on May 23, 2009.

During the flight, it is claimed, Ms Cherry bought a chicken roll from flight attendants, and she suffered listeria poisoning as a result.

"The roll was tainted and not fit for human consumption, as it contained listeria bacteria," according to the statement of claim.

"The listeria bacteria poisoned the blood of the plaintiff’s mother and the plaintiff and caused him to suffer injury."

Zayd was born two months after the flight, suffering from listeriosis, gastro-intestinal injury, developmental delay, and anxiety.

There is a claim for medical expenses and loss of prospective income and earning capacity, as well as damages. A trial before a judge and jury is sought.

A Virgin spokesman said the writ had not been served on the airline, and it could not comment because it had not seen the details of the claim.

Tainted plane food linked to listeriosis increase in Australia

Our friends are pregnant and recently returned from Australia; I hope they didn’t fly Virgin Blue.

The Australian reports tomorrow morning
that two pregnant women gave birth prematurely after eating contaminated chicken wraps that were sold in their thousands on Virgin Blue flights from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, triggering a national public health alert.

The airline confirmed yesterday that up to 5000 flights in May and June could have carried the snacks laced with potentially deadly listeria bacteria.

Five Queenslanders are known to have contracted listeriosis food poisoning after consuming the wraps, including the two women who gave birth prematurely, a known complication of the illness.

Both women and their babies survived.

The Brisbane Times reported yesterday that Queensland Health has confirmed nine cases of listeriosis so far this year, compared to 56 cases nationally. Last year, 12 cases were recorded for the whole of 2008 in Queensland, compared to 68 nationally.

Virgin Blue today in a statement an outside contractor may have been to blame, adding,

"It appears the likely source of the contamination was an ingredient supplied to the manufacturers of the wraps and not Virgin Blue or other companies who received the affected products. Virgin Blue has removed the product from service at the end of June."

Brisbane-based solicitor Mark O’Connor stated what any company should know: Virgin Blue served the food, Virgin Blue is responsible.

"The airline in turn would have to make a claim against the supplier of the food but for passengers, it’s the airline that is liable.”

Virgin Blue should check on its suppliers rather than trying to cover their ass with (bad) PR.