Food terrorism poses eminent danger to US

Food terrorism poses an eminent danger to the United States, according to antiterrorism specialists. While the need for higher quantities of food is only increasing, the standards for food safety have been at a standstill or worse—nonexistent.

The Voice of Russia got to interview three antiterrorism food experts on the rising threats in American society. Not only did they mention the dairy sector of being in danger, but the US’ produce is also in a compromising position.

south.park.terrorist“Many foods can be potential contaminants, especially fresh produce,” Dr. Douglas Powell, a former professor of food safety and publisher of barfblog.com confessed to the Voice of Russia.

A terrorist attack geared toward the food industry is a very real threat to the US and devastating effects would be felt if the dairy section were tainted with an illicit chemical, as babies, children, teens, adults, and seniors all consume milk products on a day-to-day basis. “The entire food industry is vulnerable to the terrorist threat in equal measure to the dairy sector, ” Antiterrorism Consulting, an engineer company specializing in consultancy and assessment of terrorists threats for specific industries, told the Voice of Russia in its opinion.

“It is incumbent on the manufacturers to have validated processes in place; government is just there as an occasional check,” Dr. Powell stressed. Making the world an even more connected entity has more likely than not worsened the situation when it comes to food safety. Regulatory agencies exist however they are not omnipresent organizations, leaving crucial gaps within the system. Pitfalls of this magnitude just make it far easier for terrorists to taint the food supply.

36 hospitalizaed in Russian Salmonella outbreak linked to cream puffs

About 66 pounds of cream puffs were removed from stores in the Russian Urals city of Chelyabinsk on Monday after a salmonella outbreak was reported there.

“The police have found 12 outlets selling these products. About 30 kilograms [about 66 pounds] of cream puffs were removed from sale. A working group cream-puffhas been set up to find other outlets. An investigation is under way,” a spokeswoman for the Chelyabinsk region police department told ITAR-Tass.

ITAR-Tass said 36 people, including eight children, were hospitalized with salmonella poisoning in Chelyabinsk, two in serious condition.

Local news sources said as many as 41 people have been sickened, ITAR-Tass reported.

“All these people ate cream puffs sold in a shop at the Kurchatovsky district bazaar. Measures are taken to find out the manufacturer of these cream puffs,” a spokeswoman for the city’s health department told ITAR-Tass.

An initial investigation into the source of the outbreak found the pastries were made by a company based in Kopeisk. Last year, more than 80 people became ill after eating products from the same company.

The name of the company was not reported.

We all squeezed the stick and we all pulled the trigger; at Summit Series in Moscow, Canadians asked, where’s the beef?

We got to go to the gymnasium to watch the final game of the Canada-Soviet hockey summit, but even though I got out of grade 5 for a few hours and Canada won, I was still gutted that personal hero and goaltending guide, Tony Esposito, didn’t get to play.

Forty years ago Friday, Canada beat the Soviets in Moscow in the final and deciding game of the 1972 Summit Series. It could have gone either way, as the sportscasters say: a last-minute goal by Paul Henderson was the difference.

But as reported in the New York Times,  in the flurry of this month’s 40th anniversary commemorations, was the fiercest of fuels in Team Canada’s Moscow fire forgotten? Perhaps it is time to acknowledge that the greatest of Canadian hockey triumphs boils down to this: they never should have messed with our chow.

In 1972, the Canadians contingent brought their own steaks and lots of beer. But the Soviets pilfered it all.

It’s a tale of woe that has long been woven into the legend of that momentous September, a whodunit that has been revived in several new books this fall, including memoirs by Paul Henderson and Brad Park.

Team Canada was brimming with groceries when it arrived in Moscow on Sept. 20 all those years ago. Henderson said they were packing 300 pounds. Coach Harry Sinden’s ’72 memoir, “Hockey Showdown,” said it was 300 steaks. In his 2003 autobiography, “Thunder and Lightning,” Phil Esposito said Team Canada arrived in Moscow with 350 cases of beer, 350 cases of milk, 350 cases of soda.

That means they had 8,400 beers for nine days in Moscow, for a contingent of, say, 50 guys, players, staff and officials. That is an allowance of 168 bottles for every man, or about 18.6 for each of the nine days they were in Moscow.

That’s how Canadians roll.

Piecing together accounts from Henderson, Park and Rod Gilbert over the years, about 100 cases of beer disappeared after the fifth game.

As for the steaks, Mahovlich was on to the hotel’s chefs. “They cut them in half, so we only had half a steak,” he recalled, most recently in this fall’s “Team Canada 1972: The Official 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Summit Series.” “So we complained. Before the third game, they cut the thickness in half. We complained again. It wasn’t until the last game that we finally got a whole steak.”

“The Russian cooks sold the steaks to others in search of a decent meal, many of whom turned out to be our zany Canadian fans,” Henderson wrote. “For about ten dollars U.S. you could get just about anything you wanted, including those precious steaks. The only two Russian dishes that were acceptable to me were borscht and chicken Kiev. The rest was just terrible.”

For all their suffering, the players’ lot was better than what their wives had to endure.

According to Park, this was where the Soviets really screwed up: by angering the wives with disrespect and disgusting food.

Australian animal rights group uses food safety to combat kangaroo consumption

There was this one time, Chapman and I went to Australia and New Zealand, and at a dinner in Melbourne, he thought it would be adventurous to order kangaroo.

Tasted like deer.

Now that I live in Brisbane, kangaroo meat is fairly easy to find; I just have no interest in it.

And like any other food, kangaroo is prone to contamination.

ABC reports that three years after Russia banned kangaroo meat after finding high levels of bacterial contamination, animal rights groups say there are still problems with hygiene in supermarket meat.

Some of the tests show high levels of E. coli.

The kangaroo industry says the tests are not scientific and it claims animal rights groups are extremists.

Animal rights groups are using the hygiene issue as a weapon to try and close down the industry, worth $75 million a year.

As part of their campaign, the animal rights groups purchased kangaroo meat for human consumption from Coles, Woolworths and IGA supermarkets in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and had the samples tested in an independent laboratory.

Eight of the 26 kangaroo samples tested positive for the bacteria salmonella and 11 samples showed relatively high levels of E. coli bacteria.

The Kangaroo Industry Association says the laboratory results are not scientific because there is no way of knowing how the meat was transported from the supermarkets to the laboratory or how long it took to get there, and no independent scrutiny of the process.

Associate Professor Vitali Sintchenko says that illness from eating kangaroo meat is extremely rare, adding, “We haven’t seen any cases of food poisoning from – that we know of in New South Wales in the last five or six years coming from kangaroo meat.”

The kangaroo industry also claims there has never been a recorded case of food poisoning from kangaroo meat in Australia. Now the industry is lobbying the Russians to reopen the meat trade. But last month, Animal Liberation took their lab results to Russia to try to persuade authorities there to continue the ban.

37 kids sick in Russian outbreak: E. coli found in butter

The Moscow Times reports that E. coli bacteria has been found in butter at four kindergartens in the city of Samara, following the hospitalization this week of almost 30 children in the neighboring city of Tolyatti from food poisoning, Itar-Tass reported Friday.

The bacteria was discovered during a food safety check initiated after a raft of food-poisoning cases in Tolyatti, which were apparently caused by dairy products, including tvorog and kefir. In total, 37 children under the age of two fell ill, with 28 of them being hospitalized.

A criminal investigation has been opened in connection with the Tolyatti poisonings, with the charge of failing to meet safety standards in work with young children.

Cats shouldn’t hang out in supermarket meat cases

Cats like meat.

Even though we live in central Manhattan (Kansas), there’s a small greenbelt behind the house and we’ve had visitors such as deer, turkeys, and yesterday, a fox.

The raccoons, squirrels, birds and rabbits are everywhere.

My two black cats have had happy hunting since our 2006 arrival, and left me a pair of lucky rabbits feet the other day (the two black ones, as kittens in this pic, from 2003; the other one, named Lucky, wasn’t so lucky).

Because cats like meat, it’s a good idea to keep them out of supermarkets, especially those with a butcher shop, or a meat case with open doors.

A colleague sent along this video of a cat in a meat case in a supermarket, apparently, according to readers’ comments, in St. Petersburgh, Russia. Not good supermarket food safety practices.