Up to 40 ill; possible foodborne illness associated with South Carolina church fundraiser

South Carolina health types advised people who purchased barbeque at a fundraiser at York’s Grace Covenant Church fundraiser on Sept. 16 and 17 to throw the food away.

“The food from this event shouldn’t be eaten by any people or animals,” said Gil Potter, M.D., medical director of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Region 3 public health office, which includes York County. “We’ve received reports of more than 40 people who became ill after eating food purchased at the church. More than 300 plates of food were sold, and many people bought barbeque in bulk for freezing and later use.”

According to Potter, all of the people who became ill are reporting the same symptoms, mainly vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps.

“Tests are under way to identify the cause of the illness and we’ll continue to investigate this situation,” Potter said. “While not conclusive, this fundraiser is one thing in common among the people who got sick. As a precaution, we are advising everyone to immediately discard any food purchased at this fundraiser.”

Slime in the icemaker makes me gag

Or it makes Larry Hicks of Pennsylvania’s York Dispatch gag.

Hicks says there are numerous restaurants in York County he wouldn’t patronize if he was starving to death because they’ve done poorly on their food inspections, and that in reading recent restaurant inspection reports, "slime inside the icemaker or ice bin is enough to make me gag. No excuse for that. Same for food prep personnel not frequently washing their hands. …

“Having food storage refrigerators that don’t maintain the proper temperatures or failing to keep food preparation areas clean does not cut it with me.

"One failing restaurant had bottles of liquor with dead insects inside the bottles. How can that happen? The same place stored raw chicken over ready-to-eat foods in the refrigerated walk-in. C’mon, we know better than that if we’re in the food business, don’t we?

"I understand it’s practically impossible for any and all restaurants not to occasionally have a mouse find its way into the kitchen. The occasional bug (even a cockroach) is to be expected, as well. But an infestation of those critters is not acceptable under any circumstances. If I know there’s been an infestation, I cross the place off my list. I just don’t go there.

"Because it indicates to me that there’s a lack of attention to detail in that particular restaurant. It’s not focused on what is important.

"I’m not only glad food safety regulations are enforced but that the results of the inspections are made a matter of public record. I read those stories every time.

"Otherwise, we’d have no clue what’s going on in the back of the restaurant.
Unless … restaurants start telling us when they score well on their food safety inspections.

"Maybe that could be the next trend in the food service industry."

Sounds like marketing food safety. Bring it on.

UK woman killed by campylobacter

A woman from York has died from food poisoning after doctors battled in vain to save her life.

Retired bank clerk Lynn Welsh, 57, fell ill with sickness and diarrhea over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Her husband Mike said today they thought at first it was just a run-of-the-mill stomach upset and waited for it to run its course.

But over the following few days, Lynn felt no better and went to see her doctor, who arranged for tests to be carried out.

The results came back showing she was suffering from food poisoning, probably caused by chicken, and she was prescribed antibiotics.

But a fortnight ago, her condition worsened. Mr Welsh called 999 and she was taken by ambulance to A&E at York Hospital.

Doctors there said her kidneys had failed because of the bug, and she was placed in intensive care and given dialysis.

However, over subsequent days, her other organs began to fail, and she died on Thursday, September 16.

An inquest into her death opened yesterday and was adjourned.

Moose head falls on woman in restaurant, woman sues

Moose, like other ruminants, are the natural reservoirs of E. coli O157:H7 and other verotoxigenic E. coli.

A moose head, hanging on a wall, probably lacks the water activity to support E.c oli sustinence or growth.

Raina Kumra is suing a Lower East Side bar, the White Slab Palace on Delancey Street near Allen Street
, claiming she got a concussion and other injuries after a 150-pound decorative moose head fell off the wall and slammed into her head on Oct. 4.

Should cats be allowed to control rats in N.Y. deli’s?

Across New York City, the owners of delis and bodegas say, in this morning’s N.Y. Times, they cannot do without their cats, tireless and enthusiastic hunters of unwanted vermin, that typically do a far better job than exterminators and poisons.

Urszula Jawor, 49, the manager of a corner store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, said of her cat that,

“In the morning she is lazy, it is her nap time. But in the afternoon she is busy. She spends hours stalking the mice and the rats.”

The story says that to store owners, the services of cats are indispensable in a city where the rodent problem is serious enough to be documented in a still popular two-minute video clip on YouTube from late February (youtube.com/watch?v=su0U37w2tws) of rats running amok in a KFC/Taco Bell in Greenwich Village.

Store-dwelling cats are so common that there is a Web site, workingclasscats.com, dedicated to telling their tales.

But, the story notes that the city’s health code and state law forbid animals in places where food or beverages are sold for human consumption. Fines range from $300 for a first offense to $2,000 or higher for subsequent offenses.

Robert M. Corrigan, a rodentologist and research scientist for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said,

"Any animal around food presents a food contamination threat. And so that means anything from animal pieces and parts to hair and excrement could end up in food, and that alone, of course, is a violation of the health code."

Mr. Corrigan was cited as conceding that some studies have shown that the smell of cats in an enclosed area will keep mice away, but he does not endorse cats as a form of pest control because, he explained, the bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and nematodes carried by rats may infect humans by secondary transfer through a cat.

Still, many store owners keep cats despite the law, mainly because other options have failed and the fine for rodent feces is also $300.

José Fernández, the president of the Bodega Association of the United States, said,

"It’s hard for bodega owners because they’re not supposed to have a cat, but they’re also not supposed to have rats."

Cheese pornographers don’t know poop

Murray’s Cheese in New York City perpetuates poop.

At Murray’s, we take pride in the quality of our products and strive to provide our customers not only with exceptional food but also the knowledge to become a happy, healthy eater.

The latest blog post from Murray’s — and some past ones would be hilarious except that their BS has serious public health consequences — regurgitates crap about E. coli O157:H7 not being found in grass-fed cattle.

Cows poop E. coli O157:H7 — regardless of diet.