Washington health officials are warning of an outbreak of foodborne illness believed to be connected to the recent Northwest heat wave.
Health officials said 52 cases of vibriosis have already been reported in July, surpassing previous records for the month.
Michael Crowe of King 5 reports Vibrio bacteria are found naturally in the environment but thrive in warm conditions. Officials believe the record heat and low tides at the end of June led to high levels.
That same heat wave, which experts said was made more likely because of human-caused climate change, is believed to have killed as many as a billion sea creatures. People can get vibriosis by eating raw or undercooked shellfish. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) said symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever and chills.
Most people will recover in a few days, though those with compromised immune systems or liver disease are at increased risk of serious illness.
Of the 52 cases, 26 have been from commercial oysters, the DOH said. Four were recreational oysters, and the rest are either unknown or under investigation.
Because of the outbreak, officials are asking people to follow the “Three Cs:”
Cook shellfish to 145 degrees for at least 15 seconds Check the DOH’s shellfish safety map before gathering Cool shellfish immediately for the trip home, whether gathered or bought.
On March 1, ABC7 Detroit reported on what has, according to Red Pilled, been a well-hidden secret in Washington: that National Guard troops stationed in DC have been forced to eat chicken so undercooked and raw it is pink on the inside, with a side of sharp metal shavings hidden inside the rice. Color is a lousy indicator of safety, metal shavings are a good indicator of failure.
The meals have been so poorly cooked that dozens of Michigan’s National Guard troops had to be rushed to the hospital after falling severely ill from eating the clearly undercooked food. At least 74 meals had to be thrown out this Sunday alone after troops were dropping like flies at dinnertime.
To eat for breakfast, all they get to eat is a single ‘Fruit & Nut’ bar, an apple, and a bun.
According to a news report that aired last night on ABC7 Detroit, the source who provided the story to the network said: “Yesterday for instance, there were 74 different meals found with raw beef in them. Just yesterday, the lunches were, soldiers had found metal shavings in their food.”
Speaking on the unreasonably tiny and downright disrespectful breakfast provided to the troops, paid for by Michigan taxpayers, the source commented: “You were getting maybe a danish and some sort of juice. And then we had certain days where it was clearly a dinner roll and Sunny D.”
Melissa Burke of The Detriot News wrote on Mar. 4, the caterer contracted to feed thousands of National Guard troops providing security at the U.S. Capitol defended its food service Thursday, claiming that none of the cases of reported gastrointestinal illness among soldiers have been linked to the company.
“No cases of foodborne illness can be directly tied to this vendor,” said Maria Stagliano, a spokeswoman for Sardi’s Catering in College Park, Maryland.
The response follows a Wednesday announcement by the National Guard that at least 50 service members have been sickened with gastrointestinal issues after complaints that they were served bad food while on duty guarding the Capitol.
A guard spokesman said none of those sickened have been hospitalized due to illness from the food since the Capitol security mission began Jan. 6; however, some have been treated at hospitals.
The Michigan National Guard has nearly 1,000 troops serving in Washington as part of the security mission, the largest state contingent, lawmakers say. Michigan soldiers and airmen have complained since mid-February about bad food they were served, ranging from undercooked meat to poor food quality to a lack of vegetarian options.
“We are proud to serve our food to the National Guard troops who have deployed to Washington from around the U.S., and we stand by the quality and safety of the food we deliver to the National Guard troops,” Sardi’s said in a statement released Thursday.
“As a trusted provider of nutritious and safe meals for the National Guard, Sardi’s Catering adheres to our own rigorous standards for food safety and quality, and we are in full compliance with all standards and requirements in our National Guard Bureau contract as well as state and District requirements.”
Sardi’s in its statement suggested that the Michigan guard had sent up a lopsided number of complaints about the food, compared with other states’ guardsmen.
“It is not clear why or how one particular state unit has recorded so many complaints, while there have been comparatively few complaints from other state units, according to the National Guard,” Sardi’s statement said.
“We are committed to providing exceptional service to all our meal recipients, and we will continue to work closely with the National Guard to address these concerns.”
But Michigan troops aren’t the only ones complaining, with soldiers from New Jersey and Illinois also reporting bad food, according to news reports.
Republican Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey on Thursday asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi to investigate the reports of “tainted” food that sickened at least 30 guard members from his state.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is headed to Washington to visit the troops Friday. She raised concerns about the undercooked food starting in mid-February with the Acting Secretary of the Army John E. Whitley.
National Guard officials said this week they are working with the contractor to fix the issues but stressed the matter is limited to a small number of incidents and is not systemic.
The guard also said it had not pinpointed the problem to a particular food source, so it could not say whether the issues are the fault of one caterer or an outside food source.
Michigan lawmakers in Washington and Lansing have called on the National Guard to fire the contractor, which was awarded an $11.4 million contract on Jan. 25 to provide meals to troops activated to help with security following the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
Pelosi, who has registered her concerns three times with the National Guard about the issue, also agrees with ending the contract, spokesman Drew Hammill said.
“Obviously, this vendor should be discontinued. This is unacceptable,” Hammill said. “There is no room for this sort of behavior from a vendor of any federally contracted agency.”
Hammill noted that the Capitol police have offered their assistance to the National Guard by using their vendors for providing hot meals to the troops, but the guard declined that offer.
Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township, called the situation “indefensible.” “There is no excuse for treating these brave people who are putting their lives aside and their lives at risk to protect us, treating them like this is completely inexcusable,” Kildee told Fox News.
Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Holland, and 38 other lawmakers wrote to military leaders Thursday asking the guard to provide the service members with per diem for meals for the rest of their mission and retroactively.
“Although these conditions have been widely reported and acknowledged by leadership at the National Guard, the situation does not appear to have been rectified and immediate action must be taken,” the lawmakers wrote.
Once the troops are home, Huizenga said he hopes the National Guard’s inspector general will investigate the matter.
Because when I think love and romance, I think chicken liver mousse.
On February 25, 2020, the Grays Harbor County Environmental Health Division learned that a Grays Harbor County resident tested positive for Campylobacter jejuni. The individual reported a meal at Rediviva Restaurant in Aberdeen, WA on February 14, 2020 as part of their food history. During the subsequent investigation, Environmental Health learned of at least fourteen more individuals who became ill after eating the Valentine’s Day dinner meal.
Environmental Health believes that the illness was caused by chicken liver mousse.
A site inspection of the facility was conducted on February 26th that revealed multiple risk factors that could have contributed to illness. Rediviva Restaurant was closed by Environmental Health on February 27th because the inspection resulted in the assignment of 75 or more “red point” violations. Further information regarding the inspection may be viewed on the Grays Harbor County Environmental Health website at https://healthspace.com/Clients/Washington/GraysHarbor/Web.nsf/home.xsp
Rediviva is cooperating with the outbreak investigation and remains closed at this time.
The Valentine’s Day dinner menu continued to be served at Rediviva Restaurant from February 13th through February 21st.
Ismael Baeza Soto, 9, died Feb. 11 at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, apparently of kidney failure brought about by E. coli.
The Benton-Franklin Health District is investigating the source of what sickened the boy. So far, it appears to be an isolated case that hasn’t been linked to other investigations, though future testing could change that.
“We have not identified any ongoing public health threats,” said Dr. Amy Person, the public health officer for the Mid-Columbia.
Last Friday, the state’s Department of Health issued a press release that said: “Lab results recently confirmed a child under 5-years-old from Island County and (a) resident in their 70s of Clallam County became ill with an E. coli infection after drinking Dungeness Valley Creamery raw milk.”
However, representatives of the state’s Department of Agriculture said that results the following day showed E. coli was not found in random product samples from the farm. Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria normally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals.
Chris McGann, spokesman for the state’s Department of Agriculture who regulates raw milk producers, said the agency tested 21 samples of raw milk, with 15 randomly selected from retail locations and six directly from the dairy, and all were deemed “not found” to have E. coli.
Liz Coleman, communication lead for environmental public health, said investigators found unique strands of E. coli in the consumers and the common link was they both drank raw milk roughly around the same time from the creamery.
State health officials said the milk batch that allegedly held E. coli and infected the two patients was unavailable for testing.
Ryan McCarthey, Dungeness Valley Creamery co-owner, said, “They haven’t found any contamination, so I don’t have any reasons to believe our product is contaminated. I guess it’s going to be one of those unsolved mysteries.”
McCarthey said he disagrees with the Department of Health’s wording that the infection came from the creamery.
“We want to know if there was a pathogen,” he said. “We definitely want to do our best to control and mitigate any problem with product.”
Brad Schmidt of The Oregonian reports that 18 people in Washington and Oregon have been diagnosed with Salmonella after eating pre-cut fruit purchased from local grocery stores, prompting a review by state and federal health authorities.
Officials in both states have traced the outbreak to pre-cut watermelon, cantaloupe and fruit mixes containing those fruits. The products were purchased from Fred Meyer, QFC, Rosauers and Central Market.
Anyone who bought those products from those stores between Oct. 25 and Dec. 1 is urged to throw out the fruit.
“They should not eat it,” said Jonathan Modie, a spokesman for the Oregon Health Authority.
Just two of the 18 confirmed cases happened in Oregon, Modie said, with one in Multnomah County and one in Wasco County. Both people ate fruit purchased from Fred Meyer, he said, and the products carried Fred Meyer labels.
A spokesman for Fred Meyer, Jeffrey Temple, said the grocer pulled pre-cut watermelon and cantaloupe from store shelves in response to Friday’s advisory by the state of Washington.
Customers can return items to local stores for a full refund.
“Our highest priority is our customer’s safety and the safety of our food,” Temple said in a statement. “We will continue to work closely with state and federal health officials on their investigation to determine the source of this outbreak.”
Marissa Harshman of the Spokesman-Review writes Clark County Public Health officials in Washington state were among the first to identify a nationwide salmonella outbreak linked to tuna loins and tuna steaks.
Locally, the case began with five reports of illness to Clark County Public Health in late August. Since then, the outbreak has grown to 30 cases in seven states and led to a recall of a California-based company’s tuna products.
The outbreak includes six confirmed and two presumed cases in Clark County, said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer.
The investigation is continuing at the national level by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The fact that little, old Clark County was able to be one of the first people to pick up on this ongoing outbreak really highlights the strengths of this system we’ve developed,” said Madison Riethman, an applied epidemiology fellow at Clark County Public Health, during a county health board meeting Wednesday.
And what did little old Clark County do to publicize the outbreak, go public to try and prevent others getting sick.
The first rule of public health is, as encapsulated by Riethman, make public health look good.
Local health officials first learned of a possible outbreak on Aug. 29, when local laboratories reported five cases of salmonella, a bacteria that causes illness with symptoms such as diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Typically, the department gets three to eight reports each month, Riethman said.
“The fact that we got five in one day was a big red flag,” she said.
Cathy Siegner of Food Dive reports that the owners of Pride & Joy Creamery in Granger, Washington declined to voluntarily recall products produced between September 13-28, despite the Washington State Department of Agriculture finding salmonella bacteria in a raw milk sample from Sept. 18.
On Sept. 28, the department issued a public health notice advising people not to consume the dairy’s products.
The owners wrote in their Facebook post that they had contacted distribution points and asked them to pull any milk with an Oct. 4 date for a full credit. They also said they would be producing their organic, grass-fed milk as usual while continuing to investigate the situation.
Pride and Joy shut down for three months this past spring after issuing a voluntary recall. The state said two people who reported drinking the dairy’s products had contracted salmonellosis, although no definite link was established. The state also reported finding E. coli in samples from the dairy, which the owners disputed. During the shutdown, the owners said remediation measures were implemented at the facility to reduce the chance of contamination.
I wonder why Marler’s FSN hasn’t reported this one.
Rob Hotakainen of the Miami Herald quotes John Hansen as saying there’s an easy explanation for why he can no longer sell his shellfish: There’s just too much poop in the waters of Puget Sound.
Oyster-Vancouver, B.C.- 07/05/07- Joe Fortes Oyster Specialist Oyster Bob Skinner samples a Fanny Bay oyster at the restuarant. Vancouver Coastal Health now requires restaurants to inform their patrons of the dangers of eating raw shellfish. (Richard Lam/Vancouver Sun) [PNG Merlin Archive]
“I’m losing $10,000 a month,” said Hansen, 51, of Shelton, Washington. “I’d say the average farm is losing somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000 a month — and that’s not a stretch when they’re shut down.”
Shellfish farming is big business in Washington state, which ranks first in the nation in production and where 3,200 jobs are tied to the Puget Sound. And from Washington state to Washington, D.C., shellfish farmers and their allies want the government to clean up the nation’s second largest estuary and keep their operations running.
While Hansen wants local officials to do a better job of treating the water, the shellfish industry and its allies are taking their case to Congress, hoping to convince members to kill President Donald Trump’s plan to cut cleanup funding next year for the nation’s major bodies of water, including Puget Sound, the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay.
Congress’ 2018 budget remains very much in doubt, but Puget Sound advocates won a reprieve last week when lawmakers struck a deal on a $1 trillion spending bill that will keep the government running through September. The bill, which passed the House on Wednesday and the Senate on Thursday, includes $28 million to continue cleaning up the Sound.
Super-short workouts are all the rave in media space.
Me, I want to go back to working out 3 hours a day, and being mindful of it.
Gretchen Reynolds of The New York Times wrote in Feb. 2007, in an exaggerated example of exercise porn, that she had written about seven-minute, six-minute, four-minute, and even one-minute workouts. They are appealing because they require so little time, but they also demand straining effort.
Martin Gibala is the scientist we most have to thank for the popularity of very brief, very hard exercise. All of these workouts are built around the concept of high-intensity interval training, in which you push yourself almost to exhaustion for a brief spurt of minutes or seconds, and then rest and recover for a few minutes before repeating the intense interval.