Salmonella found in prepackaged cut papaya in Hong Kong

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced today (November 2) that a sample of prepackaged cut papaya was found to contain a pathogen, Salmonella. The CFS is following up on the case.

solopapayaProduct details are as follows:

Product name: Thailand solo papaya

Use-by date: October 26, 2016

A spokesman for the CFS said, “The CFS has previously announced that a prepackaged cut papaya sample taken from a supermarket in Diamond Hill was found to contain Salmonella. In its follow-up investigation, the Centre detected a similar irregularity in another sample of the same kind but of a different batch from the same vendor.

The test result showed the presence of Salmonella in a sample size of 25 grams, exceeding the standard of the Microbiological Guidelines for Food which states that Salmonella should not be detected in 25 grams of food.”

The spokesman said that the CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the irregularity. Prosecution will be instituted should there be sufficient evidence. It was noted that the retail outlet concerned had stopped selling the affected product and the above-mentioned unsatisfactory sample was taken before the sale suspension.

The Centre has also provided health education on food safety and hygiene for the person-in-charge and staff of the vendor concerned, and has requested the vendor to carry out thorough cleaning and disinfection.

38 hospitalized in Thailand: Staph in eclairs

The number of people hospitalised after eating eclairs at branches of a big retail store in Nan township rose to 38 as health inspectors began a full inquiry.

eclair-thailandOfficials said that in all 38 people who purchased the cream puffs had sought treatment at several hospitals in 6 districts.

Sakolkrit Sukhawattanakul, manager of the store’s outlets in the North, said a thorough examination would be made of the production process to find out the exact cause of the food poisoning. Production and sale of the eclairs would cease until the matter is cleared up. He would visit the patients and take responsibility for the incident.

Global supermarkets selling shrimp peeled by slaves

An investigation by Associated Press has revealed that:

shrimp.thailand.slavesEvery morning at 2 a.m., they heard a kick on the door and a threat: Get up or get beaten. For the next 16 hours, No. 31 and his wife stood in the factory that owned them with their aching hands in ice water. They ripped the guts, heads, tails and shells off shrimp bound for overseas markets, including grocery stores and all-you-can-eat buffets across the United States.

After being sold to the Gig Peeling Factory, they were at the mercy of their Thai bosses, trapped with nearly 100 other Burmese migrants. Children worked alongside them, including a girl so tiny she had to stand on a stool to reach the peeling table. Some had been there for months, even years, getting little or no pay. Always, someone was watching.

No names were ever used, only numbers given by their boss — Tin Nyo Win was No. 31.

Pervasive human trafficking has helped turn Thailand into one of the world’s biggest shrimp providers. Despite repeated promises by businesses and government to clean up the country’s $7 billion seafood export industry, an Associated Press investigation has found shrimp peeled by modern-day slaves is reaching the U.S., Europe and Asia.

The problem is fueled by corruption and complicity among police and authorities. Arrests and prosecutions are rare. Raids can end up sending migrants without proper paperwork to jail, while owners go unpunished.

More than 2,000 trapped fishermen have been freed this year as a result of an ongoing Associated Press investigative series into slavery in the Thai seafood industry. The reports also have led to a dozen arrests, millions of dollars’ worth of seizures and proposals for new federal laws.

Hundreds of shrimp peeling sheds are hidden in plain sight on residential streets or behind walls with no signs in Samut Sakhon, a port town an hour outside Bangkok. The AP found one factory that was enslaving dozens of workers, and runaway migrants led rights groups to the Gig shed and a third facility. All three sheds held 50 to 100 people each, many locked inside.

shrimp.thailand.2As Tin Nyo Win soon found out for himself, there’s no easy escape. One woman had been working at Gig for eight years. Another man ended up peeling shrimp there after breaking free from an equally brutal factory.

“I was shocked after working there a while, and I realized there was no way out,” said Tin Nyo Win, 22, who has a baby face and teeth stained red from chewing betel nut.

“I told my wife, ‘We’re in real trouble. If something ends up going wrong, we’re going to die.'”

Last month, AP journalists followed and filmed trucks loaded with freshly peeled shrimp from the Gig shed to major Thai exporting companies and then, using U.S. customs records and Thai industry reports, tracked it globally. They also traced similar connections from another factory raided six months earlier, and interviewed more than two dozen workers from both sites.

U.S. customs records show the shrimp made its way into the supply chains of major U.S. food stores and retailers such as Wal-Mart, Kroger, Whole Foods, Dollar General and Petco, along with restaurants such as Red Lobster and Olive Garden.

It also entered the supply chains of some of America’s best-known seafood brands and pet foods, including Chicken of the Sea and Fancy Feast, which are sold in grocery stores from Safeway and Schnucks to Piggly Wiggly and Albertsons. AP reporters went to supermarkets in all 50 states and found shrimp products from supply chains tainted with forced labor.

European and Asian import and export records are confidential, but the Thai companies receiving shrimp tracked by the AP all say they ship to Europe and Asia as well.

The businesses that responded condemned the practices that lead to these conditions. Many said they were launching investigations when told their supply chains were linked to people held against their will in sheds like the Gig factory, which sat behind a gate off a busy street, between railroad tracks and a river.

Inside the large warehouse, toilets overflowed with feces, and the putrid smell of raw sewage wafted from an open gutter just outside the work area. Young children ran barefoot through suffocating dorm rooms. Entire families labored side-by-side at rows of stainless steel counters piled high with tubs of shrimp.

And much, much more.

7 dead, 28 sick: Listeria tainted apples appear in Thailand, no ban

Thai authorities have confirmed the existence of listeriosis-associated apples imported from the U.S. to Thailand, advising the public to thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before consumption.

caramel.appleThe Director-General of the Department of Medical Science (DMSC) Apichai Mongkol have addressed the warning issued from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about the recall of the apples from Bidart Bros. as the FDA have confirmed a contamination of Listeria in the apples.

Produce contaminated by Listeriosis have been confirmed in Thailand at the Laem Chabang port in Rayong province through a cargo vessel, as warned in the FDA’s document.

Two strains of Listeria monocytogenes were confirmed in the Bidart Bros apple processing plant near Bakersfield, California, the FDA said.

“Those same strains were also found in Bidart Bros. apples collected from a retailer,” the FDA said in a statement on Friday.

Rot, corruption at Thai rice warehouses

Inspectors found rotten and weevil-infested grain, along with evidence that large stocks were replaced with old or inferior grades.

thai-rice-warehouseCorruption under the previous government’s rice-pledging scheme was one of the main reasons for the May 22 coup d’etat.

The chairman of a sub-committee reviewing the inventory, ML Panadda Diskul, said a large quantity of rice was discovered to be missing in just the first two days of the inspection, the Bangkok Post reported.

He said military and police teams will visit about 1800 warehouses nationwide to inspect registered stocks of 10 million tons.

Panadda said some rice sacks bore code numbers that did not match documents provided by the warehouse owners, raising suspicions that pledged rice had been replaced with old or inferior rice bought from mills at lower prices.

UK couple distraught as honeymoon turns into a disaster

A couple from Northamptonshire are taking legal action against a travel company after their honeymoon was blighted by illness.

airplane.vomitXanta and Paul Watts from Kettering were staying at a resort on Koh Yao Noi Island in Thailand when Xanta became seriously ill with food poisoning and was hospitalised for a week.

She contracted Paratyphoid which is a disease caused by the Salmonella bacteria.

“I’ve never actually felt that ill in my life,” Xanta Watts told ITV News Anglia.

“Some days I would just cry because I felt so disappointed that this had happened. I felt trapped because I was on a deserted island.”

Beware three-day old boiled eggs: 460 sick in Salmonella outbreak in Thailand school

The number of students who have fallen ill from salmonella poisoning at a Chiang Mai school has risen to 460.

Health authorities told the Bangkok Post the students fell ill after eating three-day-old boiled eggs.

Dr Pornthep Siriwanarangsan, director-general of the Disease Control Department, said Chiang Mai Welfare School students became sick after eating donated eggs that were boiled three days previously and not reheated before they were consumed, allowing the bacteria to develop.

Of the 460 sick,, 290 are recovering at home, 123 are still in nine hospitals, and eight students are critically ill.

Another 47 students are being treated at the school’s gym, which has been turned into a field hospital as there are not enough hospital beds available to accommodate all the sick students.

Man tries to smuggle live baby bear, panthers, leopards and monkeys in suitcase at Thailand airport

Students travelling home to live in your parent’s basement after graduation today – don’t try this.

Noor Mahmoodr, a 36-year-old citizen of the United Arab Emirates, was detained soon after midnight by undercover officers at a Bangkok airport with a baby bear, a pair of panthers, two leopards and some monkeys – all aged under two months – in his cases.

The man, who was trying to get the creatures onto a first-class flight to Dubai from Suvarnabhumi airport, was charged with smuggling endangered species out of Thailand, according to Colonel Kiattipong Khawsamang of the Nature Crime Police.

He said one of the bags had been abandoned in an airport lounge because the animals were being too noisy.

The animals were taken into the care of local veterinarians.

NZ food poisoning survivor to farewell friend

Emma Langlands will farewell Sarah Carter who died while they and a third friend, Amanda Eliason, were holidaying in Chiang Mai.

The university friends, all aged 23, suffered food poisoning after eating from a market near their hotel.

Just two days later – on Waitangi Day – Ms Carter was dead.

Ms Langlands, who was the least affected of the group, is now back home in Hamilton.

Her father, Richard Langlands, yesterday told the Herald that his daughter would pay her respects at Ms Carter’s funeral.

Ms Eliason, however, will not be able to attend. She is still in Thailand and is not yet well enough to fly.

The three women, who travelled to Thailand for a short holiday, were admitted to Chiang Mai Ram Hospital last week.

It was first reported that they had become sick after eating toxic seaweed but their families later said they had ordered curry.

Ms Carter and Ms Eliason required emergency heart procedures but Ms Carter lost her battle.

A spokesman from the Chiang Mai public health office told the Herald that results sent to a laboratory for testing were not expected for another two weeks.