Don’t take the brown acid: No more diarrhea tablets at Glastonbury 2016

Coldplay is enough to induce diarrhea for me.

Hear’s hoping my Dr. Maths friend from the train in France wasn’t caught up in the gastro outbreak that has hit Glastonbury Festival goers – and there’s some bad news for revelers – the onsite pharmacies have run out of diarrhea relief tablets.

Although hopes are high that medication will be delivered to the site’s pharmacies later today, anyone who is unwell can get help from the festival medical centres.

And regardless of if you’re feeling ill or not, people are being reminded to wash hands carefully with soap and water or anti-bacterial hand gel after using the toilet and before eating or handling food.

Why not: Listeria in walnuts

United Natural Trading LLC, d/b/a Woodstock Farms Manufacturing, Edison, NJ, is voluntarily recalling a limited number of lots of conventional walnuts and walnut-containing products (see attachment for products and lot numbers) that were purchased from Gibson Farms and sold under the Nature’s Promise, Woodstock, Market Basket, and Woodfield Farms brands due to a possible health risk from Listeria monocytogenes

walnuts.sorenne.apr.11The lot numbers are printed on the back of each retail bag. The walnut and walnut-containing products were shipped to retailers and distributors in limited quantities throughout the United States.

The recall was issued as a precaution because a single sample in a finished product yielded a positive result for Listeria monocytogenes. The Company is coordinating closely with regulatory officials and has contacted its customers to ensure that any remaining recalled products are removed.

No illnesses have been reported in association with the recall and no other walnuts or products under the brands are being recalled.

Description                Lot Number  Best By Date 

Nature’s Promise Cranberry Trail Mix Net Wt. 12oz.   16082  Best By 9/17/16



                        16099  Best By 9/17/16


            16117  Best By 9/17/16       8826706612

Woodstock Walnut Halves &Pieces Net Wt. 6oz.          16092  Best By 4/1/17         4256300860

            16106  Best By 4/15/17       4256300860

Woodstock Cape Cod Cranberry Mix Net Wt. 10oz.    16079  Best By 9/17/16       4256300877

            16091  Best By 9/17/16       4256300877

            16098  Best By 9/17/16       4256300877

            16126  Best By 11/30/16     4256300877

Market Basket Walnuts Raw Net Wt. 7oz.          16083  Best By 3/23/17       4970540809

            16105  Best By 4/14/17       4970540809

Market Basket Cape Cod  Cranberry Trail Mix Net Wt. 10oz. 16106  Best By 9/17/16       4970540832

Woodfield Farms Walnuts Halves & Pieces Net Wt. 2.5lbs.     16112  Best By 4/21/17       7523900194

Nature’s Promise Walnuts Halves & Pieces Net Wt. 7oz.         16093  Best By 4/2/17         8826714404

            16110  Best By 4/19/17       8826714404

Ontario town mulls $120 fine for vomiting, other bodily fluids in taxis

Cleaning up vomit is serious business, especially if norovirus is involved because the viral particles can aerosolize.

The City of Woodstock, Ontario, Caanda, is looking into imposing a $120 charge on anyone who vomits or leaves other bodily fluids in taxis.

Taxi companies in the southwestern Ontario city have been complaining about an vomit.don'tincrease in intoxicated passengers on Friday and Saturday nights.

A taxi industry representative recently told council that vomit and other body fluids must be dealt with as a bio hazard and the affected cab must be taken off the road until it is professionally cleaned.

That costs about $120.

The city plans to consult with its solicitor, police and bylaw enforcement officials before coming up with a report on how to deal with the issue.

Communicators bungle the crisis: Tiger Woods, Maple Leaf, it’s not about the talk, it’s the actions

The Wall Street Journal and every armchair analyst out there is saying that Tiger Woods is blowing the communications thing; he’s losing credibility, and fast.

Tiger Woods’s handling of the scandal is a textbook case in poor crisis management, say crisis managers.

Days of near-silence dealt a blow to the golfer’s once squeaky-clean reputation.

"At best, it looks like he’s coming clean because he got caught," says Karen Doyne, co-leader of Burson-Marsteller’s crisis practice. "Whether you’re a celebrity or a multinational corporation, you can’t expect credit for doing the right thing as a last resort."

In a crisis, the timing of a statement is as critical as its content, she says. "The ideal in any crisis situation is to get something out within three hours, but certainly within 24 hours," she says.

The rest of the Journal story goes with the usual fare about being fast, factual and trying not to fart in public.

But good communications is never enough. With any risk, or crisis, or problem, what is required is solid assessment, management and communication. Screw up any one, and the brand or person will suffer.

Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief reputation strategist with public relations firm Weber Shandwick … points to Canadian food-maker Maple Leaf Foods Inc.’s handling of a listeria crisis in 2008 as a good model. The same day labs confirmed the listeria strain’s presence in some of its products, CEO Michael McCain shot a television ad apologizing; he also posted the ad on YouTube.

Yeah, McCain and Maple Leaf got the communications part right – but they screwed up the assessment and the management. They should have known listeria would be accumulating in those slicers and they should have managed the problem far faster as the bodies were piling up (22 died).

Maybe Tiger should have kept his 4-wood in his pants.

Why the Internet still needs reporters who ask the right questions

If it wasn’t for my friend and journalist, Jim Romahn (right, exactly as shown), I probably would have stopped the food safety gig 10 years ago and went off to play bad banjo in a bluegrass band, or bad goalie in a 15th tier semi-pro hockey league, or become a greeter at Wal-Mart.

By about 1999, I’d gotten bored of hearing myself talk. There’s lots of prof types who make careers out of recycling, but after publishing a book, Mad Cows and Mother’s Milk, and going on the academic circuit, I was really bored with myself.

Jim, who’s been the premier agriculture and food reporter in Canada for about as long as I’ve been alive and used to write speeches for Canadian Minister of Agriculture, Eugene Whelan (the dude in the green Stetson), gave me some advice:

“’Gene used to tell me, when you’ve been on every radio station, when you’ve talked to every local ag meeting, when you can’t stand to hear yourself say the same thing again, that’s when people are just starting to listen. So get over yourself.”

Or that’s about as close as I remember the tale. And it’s one reason why I still do food safety stuff.

Jim sent me a story that ran yesterday, that beautifully demonstrates why the Internet still needs real investigative journalists to provide analysis, rather than just stick their names on press releases: the later is not journalism, it’s promotion and redistribution using electronic toys.

Jim reported that,

“Canada’s reputation for dairy genetics has taken a huge hit because of the massive fraud perpetrated by trusted veterinarian Dr. Brian Hill and his Maple Hill Embryos Inc. of Woodstock, Ont.

He shipped more than six thousand embryos each to China and Russia under false documentation, and more thousands to the Ukraine and Cyprus.

He took embryos from scores of Ontario’s leading Holstein and Jersey breeders, but the lawyers involved in the case decided they couldn’t easily prove theft.

They could prove massive fraud. In some cases, Hill falsified the breeding slips for artificial insemination, the identity of the dam, the breeding date and the embryo recovery date and health certificates.

Some of these frauds were so blatant that a novice ought to have noticed, such as embryo recoveries from one donor cow two weeks apart and recoveries of 18 embryos per collection when the average is seven.

The Chinese set high standards for what they wanted to buy from Hill. In fact, he identified only six cows that qualified, yet shipped them more than 6,000 embryos all collected within a year.

It’s one thing for Hill to cheat this way.

It’s another for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to be so asleep at the switch that it never noticed.

Its veterinarians signed the paperwork clearing the embryo exports. Its veterinarians failed to notice collection dates two weeks apart for the same donor cow. Its veterinarians failed to notice Hill apparently collected more than 6,000 embryos from six cows within less than a year.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is supposed to audit registered embryo collection centres. Hill had one of those, yet the property owner said he never saw Hill, let alone government inspectors, at the place."

Audits really don’t mean much, for food safety, or cattle sperm. Thanks, Jim, for helping me get over myself, and moving on.