‘I dodged a bullet’ E. coli O26 Chipotle victim says he may go vegetarian; that may not help

As the number of E. coli O26 victims creeped to 40, Chris Collins says he has always been selective about where he goes out for a meal. He said he respected Chipotle for its food integrity and animal-welfare policies.

chipotleBut a week after being treated at a hospital for severe intestinal distress, the Lake Oswego, Ore., resident no longer considers the casual Mexican restaurant a safe choice.

Collins was one of at least 39 (now 40) people in Oregon and Washington state to be sickened with E. coli in an outbreak linked to the popular chain.

“The reality is there was waste in my food. Something I can never be able to tell unless I got sick,” he said. “For me, it doesn’t seem to make sense to take that risk again.”

Collins decided to speak out about his experience after reading comments in the press and social media and concluding that people didn’t understand the severity of E. coli.

He also wanted people to understand how many things could go wrong in a restaurant and result in customers getting sick.

“I feel like I dodged a bullet. I’m lucky that I’m in as good health as I am,” said Collins, who works out five to six times a week and loves to hike.

Collins went to urgent care first. They took one look at him and sent him to an emergency room. That’s when it started to get really scary. He didn’t connect his illness to Chipotle until the emergency-room doctor called him the next day.

Now, he’s not willing to eat out at all and he and his wife are seriously considering becoming vegetarians.

Except E. coli, especially the Shiga-toxin producing kind, are everywhere. And investigators are focusing on produce.

It’s not just a meat issue. I’ve seen E. coli infections in very strict vegetarians,” says Niket Sonpal, M.D., assistant clinical professor of gastroenterology at Touro College of Medicine.

Since E. coli is an intestinal bacteria found in humans and animals, it gets spread by poop. If contaminated waste gets into manure or the irrigation water used for crops, the bacteria spreads to the produce. Infected animals can even contaminate a crop by leaving droppings in a field of normally healthy tomatoes and lettuce leaves.

Australian restaurant owner ignored cockroach issue because of vegetarianism

Dani was a vegetarian for a while; but she was pretty good at killing pests in the basement apartment we had in college. We collectively addressed a mouse problem with a mix of bait and traps and saved our pantry.

According to the Canberra Times, a vegetarian restaurant owner cited moral issues with “killing little insects” as a reason for a cockroach infestation.

Kingsland Vegetarian Restaurant was on Thursday fined $16,000 for eight food safety breaches.7372_10152201579715906_8614767365661662283_n

Kingsland Vegetarian Restaurant owner Khanh Hoang was originally charged with 12 breaches of the Food Act. He pleaded guilty to eight offences and appeared for sentence in the ACT

Court documents said the northside eatery – which specialises in vegetarian cuisine – had been granted an operation certificate in December 2012. Inspectors raided the restaurant four months later after a public tip-off to discover the breaches, which included a cockroach infestation, incorrect food storage, a dirty kitchen and equipment and obstructed and faulty handwashing facilities.

Court documents said: “The presence of insects is a key indicator that surfaces are unclean and food is left unattended.”

The toilet did not have an air-lock or self-closing door, which meant it opened directly into the kitchen.

Food had been stored in uncovered containers inside the dishwasher and freezer.

Surfaces and equipment – such as stove top and dirty pots, pans and trays – had been left uncleansed, and covered in dirt, food waste and debris.

Mr Hoang attended an interview with the Health Protection Service in June 2013, where he admitted he had been aware of the cockroach infestation but did not carry out pest control measures as it involved “killing”.

The lawyer said his client had passionate vegan values but accepted, in hindsight, that his morals had been misguided.

Mr Hoang now brought in a pest control team on a regular basis, has since won awards, and appointed a food safety supervisor.

I wonder what part of vegetarian morals storing food in a dishwasher and failing to clean and sanitize food contact surfaces falls into.

Why food preparers should wash hands: Frenzal Rhomb singer Jay Whalley has pig tapeworm removed from brain after eating contaminated vegetarian burrito

The lead singer of Australian punk band Frenzel Rhomb has revealed he has had surgery to remove a pig tapeworm from his brain.

Huffington Post reports that Jay Whalley is a vegetarian – something which has prompted a horrified chorus of WTFs from around the world.

Thoughtful Whalley took to Facebook to explain all – and supplied a tapeworm.gruesome picture of the scar too.

It all began in January with the 40-year-old singer experiencing a series of seizures which led to the discovery of what doctors thought was a potentially cancerous brain tumour.

Later tests revealed it was neurocysticercosis – an infection caused by a pork tapeworm (cysticercosis) which had found its way into his brain.

Whalley recounted the subsequent conversation with his doctor: “A what tapeworm?”

“A pig “

“A pig?!? I’m f—ing vegetarian! How did I get the egg from a f—ing pig worm in my brain?!?”

It appears the parasite ended up in Whalley’s head after the eggs were transferred to him from the feces of an infected person via ingestion – in this Jay-small-piccase en route a vegetarian burrito prepared by an infected chef who didn’t wash his hands properly.

The parasite is most commonly found in Mexico and large parts of Central America – and Whalley’s infection was traced back to a visit to the region four years ago.

My diet (has not been good for my breath) by Demetri Martin

Comedian Demetri Martin has a new book out, This is a Book, and a food-related except was published in Esquire today.

A few bits are below, check out Esquire for the full piece.

“I used to eat meat. I ate fruits and vegetables too, and a lot of other things people handed to me. I guess you could say I was an "Omnivore." Like a lot of people, I didn’t know any better. Then I read a couple of books. One of them was called How Chickens Are Raped Before You Eat Them. Another was called Hotdogs and Fingertips. I also read The Cow Feces Dilemma as well as Barf, STDs, and Veal. These books, and my girlfriend who made me read them, really motivated me to become a "Vegetarian."

"I started out as a "Regular Vegetarian" (someone who does not eat meat), and then I became what is called a "Constipated Vegetarian" (someone who eats too many bananas). After that, I became what they call a "Strict Vegetarian." That’s someone who eats only fruits and vegetables that have been disciplined in some way — like, for example, corn that was grown in a perfect row, or grapes that were stomped by someone in uniform. …

“Of course, none of this has been good for my breath.”

Demetri also sketches the best charts, as those familiar with his Comedy Central show know.