From the Salmonella-in-low-moisture foods files: gummie vitamins edition

An ongoing challenge in my home is getting my kids to eat healthy foods. We’ve tried all the strategies (introduction, hiding, urging, yelling – okay, maybe that one isn’t so good) and we’ve made some progress.

As we work on nutrition, we supplement with vitamins, of the gummie kind.

At least the kids get some essential compounds everyday if all they eat is pasta covered in parmesan cheese.B008HF3RWS_2

According to a press release, some Nature Made gummies may be contaminated with Salmonella and Staph aureus because of a testing issue.

Pharmavite LLC is recalling specific lots of Nature Made® products detailed in the chart below due to possible Salmonella or Staphylococcus aureus contamination.

We are initiating this recall out of an abundance of caution to protect public health. Pharmavite is working closely with the FDA to implement this recall and we are notifying all retail customers and distributors to remove the product from store shelves immediately. No other products are impacted by this recall. The recalled products were distributed nationwide to various major retailers.

The recall was initiated after it was discovered that Salmonella and/or Staphylococcus aureus testing were not completed properly on these specific batch lots. Pharmavite has identified the cause of the error, is taking the matter very seriously and has implemented corrective actions to rectify the issue. Pharmavite cares deeply about the health and safety of consumers and we apologize for any inconvenience.

It’s a temperature thing: Woman sickened by bacteria-tainted food at Florida office party sues caterer

A holiday party gone wrong has sparked a lawsuit in Orange County Circuit Court with a food-poisoning victim suing the caterer for more than $15,000, records show.

vomit.diarrhea-300x286Gina Ervin, one of 55 people sickened by bacteria in the food at a December lunch buffet in the Maitland Colonnades office building, has filed a lawsuit against Kitchen Divas.

In the complaint, Ervin accuses the Seminole County-based food service of negligently preparing the food and failing to follow industry-wide standards of reheating and storing the food at proper temperatures.

As a result, Ervin fell “violently ill” and experienced symptoms of food poisoning including cramps, headache and vomiting, the lawsuit states.

Ervin is seeking expenses related to hospitalization and medical care for her condition, the lawsuit states.

The owner of Kitchen Divas did not respond to a request for comment.

The business is now closed, according to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

After the Dec. 10 outbreak, in which 200 people were evaluated, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County identified two bacteria found in the food – staphylococcus aureus (Staph) and Bacillus cereus (B.cereus).

Staph toxin in French Roquefort cheeses leads to recall in Canada 

I like Roquefort cheese, probably too much. My favorite weekend lunch combination is Roquefort on crackers with honey, proscuitto and a Malbec. I prefer my cheese without staph toxin though.

According to a press release, Saputo Inc is recalling a couple of French Roqueforts under the Papillon brand.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products. 

The affected products have been distributed across Canada. This voluntary recall represents approximately 900 kg of Papillon brand Roquefort cheese products in 100 g and approximately 1.375 kg random weight half wheels.

The Brand, Product Name, Product Size, UPC, and Codes that appear on packages of the affected products can assist consumers in identifying the recalled products

Staph in hummus

Loblaw Companies Limited is recalling President’s Choice brand Moroccan-Style Hummus from the marketplace because it may contain the toxin produced by Staphylococcus bacteria. Consumers should not consume the recalled product described below.

staph.hummusRecalled products

Brand Name: President’s Choice

Common Name: Moroccan-Style Hummus

Size: 280 g

Code(s) on Product: Best before 2015 JN 14

UPC: 0 60383 13387 0

What you should do

Check to see if you have recalled product in your home. Recalled product should be thrown out or returned to the store where it was purchased.

Food contaminated with Staphylococcus toxin may not look or smell spoiled. The toxin produced by Staphylococcus bacteria is not easily destroyed at normal cooking temperatures. Common symptoms of Staphylococcus poisoning are nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping and fever. In severe cases of illness, headache, muscle cramping and changes in blood pressure and pulse rate may occur.

-Learn more about the health risks

-Sign up for recall notifications by email or follow us on Twitter

-View our detailed explanation of the food safety investigation and recall process


This recall was triggered by Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) test results. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing recalled product from the marketplace.


There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Baker’s Oven Choc Lamingtons recalled for Staph in Australia

I have no idea what a Lamington is, but I do know about Staphylococcus aureus.

IGA 4 Pack Choc LamingtonsMetcash Food & Grocery Ltd has recalled Baker’s Oven Choc Lamingtons 4 Pack from IGA and Independent stores in QLD, Northern NSW and WA due to Staphylococcus aureus contamination.

As usual, no information on how this contamination was detected, and no information if anyone is sick. Way to go, Australian public health beurotypes.

Why I never eat eggs benedict: staph in hollandaise sauce sickened 7 in Portland

Bill Stanley, an 83-year-old six-term county commissioner from North Carolina, had breakfast at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Northeast Portland last July.

As reported by Lynne Terry of The Oregonian, Stanley was in town for a nationwide meeting of county commissioners but become violently ill several hours after breakfast.

According to a state outbreak investigation, was one of seven people sickened after breakfast that morning at. All of them ate eggs benedict. An eighth person, who ordered eggs benedict but had the hollandaise sauce on the side and didn’t consume it, felt fine.

No one else got sick, pointing to the hollandaise sauce as the culprit.

Oregon heath officials couldn’t test it for pathogens, however. The hotel threw it away after breakfast service.

But lab tests confirmed that Stanley — and another person hospitalized in the outbreak — were sickened by a strain of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium commonly found on the skin and in the noses of healthy people. Certain strains produce toxins that can spark quick and acute gastrointestinal symptoms.

The same strain was found in a nasal swab of one of the food workers at Crowne Plaza.

Dr. Mathieu Tourdjman, lead Oregon epidemiologist investigating the outbreak, said the sauce became toxic because it was not kept hot enough.

Unlike many other pathogens, the toxins produced by Staph cannot be killed by cooking. The only way to prevent foodborne Staph infections is by thorough hand washing and proper cooking. Food safety advocates recommend keeping cooked food warm at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or more.

The temperature of the hollandaise sauce was not monitored by kitchen staff at Crowne Plaza, Tourdjman found.

The outbreak shocked the hotel, according to general manager Ziggy Lopuszynski, who said the hotel has taken the hollandaise sauce off the menu.

Stanley is suing for medical expenses of nearly $14,000 and $26,000 in noneconomic damages. The hotel has balked at the settlement.

Près de 100 personnes malades dans quatre foyers dus à des pâtisseries vendues dans l’Illinois

Translated by Albert Amgar

Les produits de pâtisseries tels que les gâteaux à la crème comme les tartes à la crème et les éclairs au chocolat sont souvent impliqués dans des intoxications alimentaires à Staphylococcus aureus.

Une analyse a révélé la présence de Staphylococcus aureus dans des produits de la pâtisserie Rolf

Une pâtisserie de Lincolnwood dans l’Illinois a été à l’origine de quatre foyers d’intoxications alimentaires à staphylocoque en novembre et décembre 2010. Ces foyers liés au travail du traiteur, ont rendu au moins 100 personnes malades. La pâtisserie Rolf, l’entreprise en cause, a fermé ses portes et a rappelé un certain nombre de produits vendus au détail pour limiter de nouvelles maladies.

Les cas ont été liés à la consommation de pâtisseries dans un restaurant ou autre. Des prélèvements d’aliments analysés par les autorités sanitaires locales ont confirmé la présence de Staphylococcus aureus. La pâtisserie a réouvert après avoir écarté tous les ingrédients alimentaires, un nettoyage et désinfection intensif de l’installation, et, une nouvelle formation des personnels aux bonnes pratiques d’hygiène.

Staphylococcus aureus peut se développer dans des aliments riches en protéines, à faible teneur acide (comme les pâtisseries fourrées à la crème) et conservés à température ambiante. Lorsque les bactéries croissent, elles créent des toxines entraînant diarrhée, nausée, vomissements et crampes abdominales lorsqu’elles sont consommées. L’apparition des symptômes peut être très rapide, près d’une heure après consommation des aliments contaminés.

Staphylococcus aureus est souvent retrouvé sur la peau humaine. Les épidémies dans les pâtisseries sont souvent liées à une mauvaise hygiène personnelle, des équipements contaminés et des températures insuffisantes.


Sushi + bacteria = barf

I was always skeptical when it came to sushi because of hands constantly touching the rice, fish, and other ingredients that go in the roll. Rice is notorious for harbouring bacteria such as Bacillus cereus, a nasty little germ that is capable of forming a spore and can cause one to seriously embark on a journey of barfing. One of the critical control points in controlling the growth of this bacterium is to acidify the rice, that is, attain a pH of <4.6. Synder1 reports that a pH of less than 4.6 will retard the growth of this bacterium and others such as Clostridium botulinum. I remember when I attempted to make sushi at home, I added enough vinegar to the rice that one bite would have given you an instant gastric ulcer, so I stopped. But are food operators’ testing their product to ensure the rice is at a pH of <4.6?

The Arizona Daily Star reports that Sushi Ten was reported in having 11 critical health violations.

Sushi Ten, a midtown eatery specializing in raw seafood, failed its first health inspection with a new owner, Pima County reported Monday.

The restaurant, which for several years held the top spot for sushi in the Tucson Weekly’s annual "Best of Tucson" survey, amassed 11 critical food-safety violations during an inspection last Wednesday. Critical violations are those that carry the risk of spreading food-borne illness, and an eatery receives a provisional rating if a county sanitarian notices five or more of them.

Sushi Ten, 4500 E. Speedway, will be reinspected within 10 days, said Sharon Browning, manager of the county Consumer Health and Food Safety unit.

Sushi Ten’s owner, David Lam, who took over the restaurant in May, said many of the violations stemmed from his employees not being fully aware of Pima County’s health code. He said he plans to attend a county class to learn more about safe food preparation and to educate his employees.

Most of the violations were corrected during the course of the inspection, Lam said.

The violations included employees failing to wash their hands after handling raw food or dirty dishes, food not being kept at the proper temperature, and potentially hazardous food not being properly date-marked.


1. Synder, O.P. (2000A). Sushi rice HACCP. Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management.

Students clean own school to control staph

Students at one Putnam County high school in West Virginia walked out of school Monday morning and then came back to school after hours — to clean.

One student was cited as telling 13 News Monday morning about 100 students refused to enter Buffalo High School after several confirmed cases of staph infection, including rumors that one student willfully contaminated areas in the building.

Senior Priscilla Blankenship said,

"It irritates me, and I’m outraged that I am a high school student. I come here to learn and I have to come and clean my own school to come into it — to make it safe enough."

Assistant Schools Superintendent Robert Hull was cited as saying the school board has done all it can to keep students safe and the school clean, adding,

"We’ll take whatever precautions are necessary, and we are following at this point every recommended precaution, which is routine cleaning and having children wash their hands and doing any cleaning of special areas if we know of an infected area."

Hull said a letter has been issued to all parents detailing the facts and that he hopes educating the community will calm people’s nerves.

When someone says they are going to educate the public, things have really gone of the rails. People can be informed and compelled, but they educate themselves.