With a renewed abundance of caution, Wash. Applebee’s again closed

Applebee’s restaurant on East Sunset Drive has, according to the Bellingham Herald, closed a second time Tuesday, Feb. 11, because two more employees have been sickened in a suspected norovirus outbreak.

It’s not known when the Whatcom County Health Department will allow applebbe's.ricky.bobbythe restaurant to reopen.

A total of 15 employees have reported becoming ill – most of them on Thursday, Feb. 6, and Friday, Feb. 7.

The health department closed the Applebee’s again Tuesday because it “was no longer confident that transmission of this illness has been interrupted,” said Tom Kunesh, supervisor for the health department’s Food and Living Environment Program.

The restaurant has been cooperating with the health department and will continue to do so to ensure everyone’s safety, Applebee’s spokesman Dan Smith said.

It’s unknown exactly how many restaurant-goers may have been sickened before both closures, although the health department has received 27 calls.

Applebee’s, Ricky Bobby and cleanin up

Whether it’s the adverts in Talladega Nights, The Legend of Ricky Bobby, or the smooth voice of John Colbert, Applebee’s has a way with marketing.

In Phoenix, maybe they should focus on the cleanliness.

Ray Stern of Phoenix New Times writes that health inspection reports show that some Applebee’s facilities are clean, with well-trained employees, but Maricopa County restaurant inspection reports show that 10 of 22 Applebee’s in the Valley received a "no award" on their most recent inspection.

Ten more were rated only "silver," which really isn’t that great, either, (though we noticed a few of the silvers had recent gold ratings.) Only two Applebee’s received a "gold" rating on their most recent inspection: 13756 West Bell Road in Surprise and 2501 West Happy Valley Road in Phoenix. We’re guessing the district manager for Arizona lives in the north Valley area.

Scanning through the most poorly rated locations turns up more than a few of the type of violations we find vomit-inducing, such as mice poop, filthy drink-dispenser nozzles and the failure of employees to wash hands. Seems like a bit of company-wide training is needed.

Kids acting like spider monkeys may have excessive caffeine (and hormones)

“Chip, I’m going to come at you like a spider monkey. … I’m all jacked up on Mountain Dew.”

If your family dinner conversation is similar to that between 10-year-old Texas Ranger, son of Ricky Bobby in the movie Talladega Nights , and grandpa Chip, the problem may be excessive caffeine.

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) is confirming its advice to parents and caregivers that energy drinks and energy shots containing caffeine are not for children and young teenagers, following completion of a risk profile on caffeine.

Public health principal advisor Donald Campbell said,

“The report has not found anything we didn’t already know: children and teenagers get caffeine from tea, kola drinks and coffee, and if they consume too much they could have effects like dizziness, rapid heartbeat, irritability, anxiety, tremors and insomnia. These products are labelled with their caffeine content, and just as you wouldn’t hand a child a double long black, you shouldn’t give them energy shots.

A single shot espresso coffee has around 80 mg of caffeine and a cafe latte 99 mg. Energy shots can have twice this level or more. A cup of tea has about 55 mg. A 50g milk chocolate bar has about 10mg.

NZFSA’s risk profile indicates that the temporary adverse effects can occur in some people when they consume about 3 mg of caffeine per kilogramme of body weight a day, which most adults would exceed if they had two single shot lattes or four cups of tea. There is no evidence of long-term harm in the general healthy adult population from caffeine consumption up to 400 mg per day.