Norovirus suspected in Michigan hockey rink illnesses

Before personal hockey idol and goaltending great, Tony Espositio, there was Glenn Hall backstopping the Chicago Blackhawks for a bit.

Being a goaltender in hockey is just weird, and attracts psychologically, uh, different people.

Hall was famous for vomiting before every game.

Someone started barfing during a Detroit-area high-school hockey game Sunday night, and others soon followed: at least 30 others. Up to 80 people are believed to have been sickened.

Norovirus is suspected in the outbreak.

Some were taken for treatment by ambulance and others were taken by private vehicles to area hospitals. The city-owned complex was shut down so air and water tests could be performed.

Carol Austerberry of the Wayne County Health Department said yesterday afternoon that about 80 reports have come in of people suffering gastrointestinal problems that include diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramping. The number might grow as reports continue to come in.

County workers are contacting health care officials to collect stool samples for the investigation, to be sent to a state lab for testing. Surveys also will be sent to the people who attended the hockey tournament.

Fire Chief Robert Tompos said water samples were shipped to an independent lab in Monroe for testing and came back clean, ruling out contamination.

Tompos said people got sick simultaneously, causing several players to vomit on benches and in locker rooms.

Tompos said some hockey players share equipment and water bottles, which could be considered mini-petri dishes.

Austerberry said good prevention starts with parents.

“If your child is sick, don’t let them go to school,” she said. “Don’t let them participate in sports where they are around a lot of people.”

Toronto is officially worst original 6 hockey team; Chicago wins Cup

There’s no food safety here – other than the Stan Mikita Donuts used in the movie Wayne’s World, written by and starring Mike Myers of Toronto (Canada), riffing on Tim Hortons donuts.

With Chicago winning Lord Stanley’s Cup this evening for the first time since 1961, Toronto officially becomes the worst hockey franchise, probably ever. They haven’t won the Cup since 1967, and have gone the longest of the original six hockey teams that have not won the Cup.

But good for Tony Esposito, Chicago Blackhawks goodwill ambassador and best NHL goalie ever.

Hospitality horrors in Hamilton, New Zealand

barfblogger, graduate student and salad sous chef Katie is on her way from New Zealand (below, left, exactly as shown) to her hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, famous for being cold, where Wayne Gretzky played junior hockey for a bit, and home to the greatest NHL goaltender ever and my teenage-idol, Tony Esposito (and his brother, Phil, who scored a few goals over the years for the Boston Bruins).

Katie will attend Kansas State University for the summer semester and finish up those pesky MS details, like writing a thesis.

She leaves behind New Zealand, for now, and I don’t know if she ever traveled to Hamilton, N.Z., but the Waikato Times reports that more than 320 Hamilton restaurants, takeaways, eateries and caterers have failed food safety inspections in the past year and one was so dirty the council closed it down straight away.

Hamilton City Council’s environment health team inspects the city’s 800 food businesses each year and just over half pass on the first inspection.

Horror stories include filthy kitchens and surfaces covered with cockroaches.

Of the businesses inspected since July 2009, 64 had critical food safety issues which include dirtiness and food being stored either at wrong temperatures or risking cross contamination with raw food.

Carolina defeats Jersey with two goals in last minute shocker

I was a Carolina Hurricanes hockey fan even before Chapman moved to NC State in Raleigh.

The team is run by former goalie, Detroit Red Wings executive and Beeton, Ontario, native, Jim Rutherford, who’s a few years younger than my parents but went to the same high school in Alliston, Ontario.

When Carolina unexpectedly won the Stanley Cup in 2006, I was hooked. Rutherford brought the Cup back to Beeton; Amy bought me a Carolina Hurricanes coffee mug at the Charlotte airport. I still use it every morning.

Chapman and family went to one of the playoff games this year – we could never do that in Toronto, even if they did magically make the playoffs (and that’s the future of their son, Jack, right, at a ‘Canes game).

So tonight, with 1:20 left and Carolina trailing 3-2, facing who many call the best goaltender in the game or ever – I’ll always defer to Tony Esposito of the Chicago Black Hawks — the ‘Canes pop in two goals to take the series.

I’ll miss film director Kevin Smith’s twitters of his beloved New Jersey Devils, and Kevin, don’t kill yourself.

Oh, and this has nothing to do with food safety. I just miss playing hockey.