Tourist infected by brain-invading parasite after eating slug on a dare in Hawaii

If people dare you to eat a slug, don’t.

It could turn out quite badly.

I try not to be prescribtive and just tell people about risks and let them make their own decisions, but in this case, don’t eat slugs (those are slugs going after my basil in Kansas, below).

Health officials in Hawaii are warning residents and visitors to avoid slugs, snails, and rats after the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that three travellers visiting the state were recently infected with rat lungworm disease. One visitor got the disease because the individual ate a slug.

The notice, issued late last month, warns people to inspect produce and wash fruit and vegetables that could have small slugs or snails. These gastropods get the rat lungworm parasite (also known as an Angiostrongylus Infection) by eating rat faeces, and rats eat the infected slugs and snails, forming a continuous vile circle. Sometimes, humans get looped in by eating an uncooked snail. Once the parasite has infected a host, it can move to the brain and cause a type of meningitis, and eventually lead to death. There is not a treatment for rat lungworm disease, according to the CDC.

The recent Hawaii health department notice states that it does inform travellers visiting Hawaii about the disease through signage, but acknowledges it needs to do better. “We recognise that there is more work to be done in educating residents and visitors and making sure they know how to prevent the spread of this disease,” the notice reads.

Vietnamese factory workers go home early after refusing worms for lunch

Thousands of workers at a Chinese garment firm in Ho Chi Minh City went without lunch, on Saturday, after some reportedly found worms in their soup.

worm-soupAccording to a story that appeared in Thanh Nien newspaper, on Sunday, a number of workers at the Worldon Company in Cu Chi District vomited at the sight of the worms.

The company sent everyone home early that afternoon after a number of workers fainted and others complained of exhaustion.

This wasn’t the first sign of trouble at Worldon’s canteen.

On October 29, a lunch of ground fish, shrimp, stir-fried vegetables and cabbage soup sent 109 employees to the hospital.

Doctors held seven of the workers overnight to treat them for severe food poisoning.

In May, dozens of workers became ill after another bad lunch.

Worldon Vietnam is owned by Shenzhou International, a Chinese clothing manufacturer based in Zhejiang Province in eastern China. The company employs more than 6,000 workers.

Our parasites and vermin reveal secrets of human history

My ex used to pop these things out of one particular spot on my face.

demodex_wide-3ae0bab529fbd9dbd3b98ff591fdd0542a271c65-s1600-c85Rae Ellen Bichell  of NPR reports they look like tiny tubes with stumpy legs. They can nestle snugly into pores, right at the base of small hairs. And there are probably hundreds on your face.

We’re taking about Demodex folliculorum, the mite that calls your hair follicles home. “Probably if you’ve ever gotten a gross gunky plug out of a nose pore, that’s what it looks like,” says Michelle Trautwein, an evolutionary biologist at the California Academy of Sciences. “When you get to know them, they’re actually pretty adorable.”

Trautwein and her colleagues have peeled the mites off microscope slides that they super-glued to their faces. They’ve scraped the little guys off people’s foreheads with the curved end of a bobby pin. They’ve even ferreted out the insects’ DNA from tiny spatulas of face grease.” They’ve probably been with us since the origin of our species,” she says.

And Trautwein thinks the mites could help answer questions about human migrations through history, perhaps more than genetics

Everything can be recorded, amplified through social media: Worm found in Connecticut school lunch

A worm discovered in a fruit cup served for lunch at Sheehan High School in Wallingford has some parents worrying about food safety. The director of food services confirmed Monday that a fruit worm was found in one fruit cup served for lunch and was sent to a lab for testing.

willywormParents took to Facebook Monday morning expressing concerns after parent Kimberly Davidson posted several cell phone photos taken by students showing worms and a moldy loaf of bread served for lunch at Sheehan. At least three separate pictures appear to depict worms in the school lunches.

Davidson said her daughter sent her a picture of a worm from her fruit cup several weeks ago via Snapchat and last week overheard several other students complaining about finding similar bugs in their food. Davidson said she was contacted by Gini Selvaggi on Friday saying her daughter had also found a worm in her fruit cup that week at Sheehan.

“What are they feeding our kids?” Davidson asked. “It looks like a maggot.”

“It’s kind of gross that this is an ongoing problem,” Selvaggi said.

After seeing the pictures posted on social media, Town Councilor Christine Mansfield reached out to Food Services Director Sharlene Wong, who confirmed that a worm had been discovered, not a maggot.

“It was a fruit worm that was found in the cupped fruit,” Wong wrote. “The distributor was contacted and a QA review started. The company came to pick up the worm and the supposed fruit cup it was in. My understanding is that it is being sent to a lab for testing.”

Wong said she had also received a letter from the company that packs the canned fruit.

“They stated that ‘organic matter’ can appear because it is impossible for fruit to be defect free due to the limited amount of pesticides being used in orchards,” she wrote. “They process thousands of pounds of fruit through the high speed processing line and a fruit worm could be in the middle of a piece of fruit and make it into the can. The canning process cooks the organic material. They stated there was no danger of any foreign matter surviving.”

Kansas, seafood and heat; tongue-eating louse found in supermarket fish freaks out unsuspecting customer

When I think Kansas, I think seafood.

Or not.

Mussels from Prince Edward Island (that’s in Canada) in Kansas. Locavores rejoice.

I can’t wait to get back to Brisbane. Cooler times are on the way, and that means better fish. This was part of the weekly mailer from the local fish brisbane.bostonmonger for what’s available:

• live mudcrabs in Friday – call us to have one cooked

• whole fresh Rainbow Trout in today

• fresh green Tiger Prawns straight from Moreton Bay

• cooked and green Moreton Bay Bugs

• fresh fillet – barramundi, gold band snapper, Tassie & NZ salmon

• ocean trout

• Hervey Bay 1/2 shell scallops

• Coffin Bay oysters

• fresh local squid (apparently delicious stuffed with pork mince, need to try that).

Seafood is cooked in our house, for a variety of reasons, and perhaps should be at the home of Rick Beattie in Belfast, who found a large parasitic louse in the mouth of his sea bass dinner.

Beattie, who had purchased the fish at a Tesco location in Belfast, was promised a refund after he brought the incident to the grocery’s attention. “It was like something from a horror film,” Beattie said, according to “I’m sure other Tesco customers would be interested.”

The parasite, known as the tongue-eating louse or Cymothoa exigua, enters a fish through its gills and attaches itself to the creature’s tongue. Once in place, the louse destroys the fish’s tongue, replacing it. The louse does not fish.worm.tescoappear to hurt the fish in any other way. They’re not believed to be dangerous to humans, although they can bite if picked up alive.

A Tesco spokesman stressed that the company wishes to undertake an “an urgent and thorough investigation” of the fish’s supplier, Yahoo writes. “We have very high standards for food quality,” he said. “[B]oth we and our suppliers have robust checks in place to ensure that our food meets those standards.” It has asked Beattie to provide the fish in question to aid the investigation.

Bugs and band-aids, maggots and worms, all in Labor Day hot dogs

Maggots, worms, metal, plastic and even a razor were just a few of the objects that horrified callers said were in their hot dogs in complaints lodged with the U.S. Department of Agriculture between 2007 and 2009.

Stephen Rex Brown of The Local East Village filed a Freedom of Information Act request in 2009 asking USDA to give up its ‘dirty-dog logs.’ The 64 case files finally came in this week, just in time for the Labor Day holiday.

One report told of a “winged insect that resembled a dragonfly inside the package of hot dogs,” and noted that the insect’s “head, eyes, and wings are visible. Insect is black in color, over 1-inch long.”

In the vast majority of cases, U.S.D.A. investigators determined that the gross-out did not indicate a pattern of neglect at the packing plant, and simply notified the company that handled the hot dog.

But on at least one occasion, even the federal officials in charge of inspecting food became the subjects of an investigation. As one document from June 13, 2008 reveals, a Food Safety Inspection Service employee bit into a rogue hot dog at an “F.S.I.S. Unity Day” cookout in Maryland.

A spokesman for the Hot Dog and Sausage Council, speaking frankly about the matter, said foreign objects in hot dogs were a very rare occurrence, especially given the roughly 20 billion wieners made every year. According to the Council, between Memorial Day and Labor Day — known as “hot dog season” within the industry — roughly 818 hot dogs are consumed every second.

Good use of smartphones: pics of steak served – with worms – at well-known UAE restaurant

Emirates 24/7 reports that a man who wanted a steak went to a famous food chain’s outlet at Sharjah’s Sahara Centre and ordered one.

As the dish was served, his hunger instantly turned into disgust as there were worms in the plate.

Infuriated, Bahaa Hijazi quickly took shots of the plate with his mobile phone, summoned the restaurant manager and protested.

The manager said sorry and offered him another free meal.

“But of course I refused and told him it is not a matter of another meal… it has to do with negligence and unhygienic practices at the restaurant,” Hijazi said, quoted by the Arabic language daily Emirat Alyoum on Saturday.

“I made clear to him that there should be an investigation and those responsible for this must be punished… I then called the Sharjah Municipality.”

Hijazi said a municipal inspector who came to the restaurant later met the manager, talked to him and fined him.

“This is not enough… the inspector did not bother take the normal procedures in such cases and enter the restaurant to check storage and the workers… I feel there the fine was not enough and stricter measures must be taken.”

Never vow to eat a worm if you lose a hockey bet

Watching Vancouver collapse to Chicago yet again last night, I took comfort knowing, at least I didn’t bet anything in the hockey playoff pool – except pride.

Some other guy lost a hockey bet and had to eat a worm.

Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports reports that a Colorado Avalanche fan living in Australia, with the handle, Drizzt1 hangs out on the official fan message boards on the Avs’ website.

On Nov. 6, 2010, the Avalanche were set to play the Dallas Stars when another user on those boards predicted that center Kevin Porter(notes), who had yet to score a goal in the regular season, would have the game-winner that night.

Drizzt1, on 06 November 2010 – 3:08 PM, said:

I’ll go outside, pick up the closest dead worm, and eat it if that is the case, and put up video evidence on these boards!

At 10:02 of the first period, Porter scored. The Avalanche won, 5-0. So, while not exactly dramatic, he had the game-winning goal.

Drizzt1 made good on his wager last Friday. The video is below.

"Firstly, it was disgusting. It fricken squirmed in my mouth. Secondly, again, I apologize because I was pretty drunk. Third, once it finished, I spewed."

Norovirus chef serves worm pizza to sick kids

U.K. chef Heston Blumenthal is attempting to ensure some children in hospital get their required intake of protein, by dishing up pizzas topped with deep fried worms.

Blumenthal’s interest in the children’s diets was sparked by a visit to Liverpool’s Alder Hey hospital where he noticed pizza on the menu.

“Thick dough and a thin layer of dried cheese and tomato on it, with potato waffles and baked beans. Where’s the protein?”

“The kids loved it,” Blumenthal said. “One kid didn’t like it. I’d injected one with ketchup. He said: ‘I don’t like that. It’s not the worm – I don’t like the ketchup’.”

Is there a protein shortage in the U.K.?