At least 96 people were sickened during the Norovirus outbreak at The Cowfish restaurant in early June, according to county health department records obtained by the Observer.
Records show one Norovirus case was confirmed by a state Department of Health and Human Services laboratory. Ninety-five others were deemed “probable” by health officials. Just one person reported visiting a hospital.
The outbreak prompted the restaurant to close twice, once on June 5 and again on June 10. It reopened June 16.
Cowfish owner Alan Springate, responding by email to questions from the Observer, said his staff began to suspect a problem late in the day on Friday, June 5, when a customer reported some members of his party had become ill in the preceding two days.
Wednesday and Thursday of that week, two other guests had reported illnesses, but the restaurant had suspected a problem with a food item, calamari, which both guests had consumed. Cowfish removed the item from its menu and contacted its suppliers.
The person reporting on June 5 had not consumed calamari, though. At that point, “we began to consider the possibility that we were dealing with something other than a food issue,” Springate wrote.
After the Cowfish posted news of its closing on Facebook June 6, others began coming forward to report they’d been sickened. The restaurant contacted each of them and shared details with the health department, Springate said.
By the time the restaurant knew something was amiss on June 5, at least nine of the restaurant’s roughly 140 employees had been sickened, according to a report by state health inspector Nicole Lee. The first fell ill May 31, she wrote.
Springate’s email said that while some employees had called in sick, “nothing raised a red flag.”
“It’s critical to understand that although we now know we were experiencing an uptick in illness, many employees had not yet notified us because they were not scheduled to work,” he said.
A former Iowa egg farm manager will avoid jail time after cooperating with investigators in a criminal prosecution stemming from a 2010 salmonella outbreak.
U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett sentenced Tony Wasmund to four years of probation Tuesday after the government said he provided “substantial assistance” in the salmonella case. Bennett imposed no restitution or fine on Wasmund, of Willmar, Minnesota.
Wasmund worked for egg tycoon Jack DeCoster, whose Iowa operations caused the outbreak that prompted the recall of 550 million eggs and sickened thousands.
Under a plea deal, Wasmund pleaded guilty in 2012 to his role in bribing a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector to allow sales of eggs that didn’t meet federal standards. He cooperated in an investigation that led to convictions of DeCoster and his son Peter.
The pair were sentenced in April 2015 to three-month terms in prison for introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.
A recent surge in reports of illnesses due to the parasite Cyclospora has prompted DSHS to investigate the infections in hopes of determining a common source. DSHS has received reports of 90 Cyclosporiasis cases from around Texas this year, including 78 in the last two weeks.
But what about cross-contamination?
It was about 2002 when someone posted a death threat on the door of my lab.
I wasn’t too frazzled — I’m used to being called an asshole — but I had about 15 people working with me and they were, understandably, frazzled.
So we met with campus security – mall cops? – and they advised us on preventative steps.
According to the Courier Mail, groups campaigning against vital immunization have started going further: harassing, intimidating and smearing the reputations of people who disagree with them.
They have sent their opponents death threats, published their private information online (a practice known as “doxxing”) and sent vicious letters to their employers.
Most disturbing of all, parents have seen their children targeted. A woman belonging to the pro-vaccination group Anti Vax Wall of Shame told Jezebel that her 11-year-old daughter had been sent a threatening Facebook message.
It read: “Your mother is a fat, ugly, lazy piece of s*** who tried to kill you. She is a bully and suffers from mental problems. She is under investigation for the hate groups and illegal computer crimes she’s committing. I hope you like your new home. You can thank me when you’re older.”
The woman said she had also received messages saying her husband had AIDS, her children were ugly and that her kids had rotting teeth.
The administrator of Anti-Vaxxers Wall of Shame, Allison Hagood, has had her address and photo posted in anti-vaxxer Facebook groups, along with comments calling her a “whore.”
Her employer, the University of Colorado, has received emails saying she shouldn’t be allowed to teach psychology. “There’s a core group that are irrational to the point of dangerousness,” said Hagood, who, for her part, insists that no posts on her “mocking” page are threatening or offensive, or identify any of the anti-vaxxers it satirizes.
The frightening trend has ramped up following Thursday’s passing of a Senate Bill called SB 277 by the California assembly, which will end vaccination exemptions on personal or religious grounds.
How about a Canadian angle on Canada Day.
When actor and fellow Canadian Jim Carrey gives advice on medical issues, my response is, stick to acting.
“California Gov says yes to poisoning more children with mercury and aluminum in manditory vaccines. This corporate fascist must be stopped.”
Sometimes people with a megaphone go outside their fields of expertise – I’m thinking Linus Pauling and vitamin C.
Coles is one of the two major supermarkets in Australia.
The new sales go on sale on Wednesday, just like it was 1978.
The Coles electronic flyer has this: No hormones, no thermometers, total BS.
Although Amy did find this at a local Coles, MasterChef branded food-porn crap thermometers reduced to clear.
Health officials now say 216 people have reported becoming ill after eating at Tarheel Q in Lexington, which was linked last week to a Salmonella outbreak.
Tarheel Q voluntarily closed last week and said it would reopen Sunday, after customers who had eaten there got sick with symptoms consistent with Salmonella infection, most between June 16 and June 21. The restaurant, on U.S. 64, was still closed Monday morning.
Calls to the restaurant were not answered Monday.
A barbecue sample and a sample from a patient both tested positive for Salmonella, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
According to a health inspections website linked to the county health department site, Tarheel Q was last inspected June 3 and received a score of 98, an A grade.
The Tennessee departments of Health and Agriculture have partnered to develop a mobile app that allows users to check any Tennessee restaurant inspection score no matter where they are located.
The free app, available for both iOS and Android, lets users view health inspection scores from Tennessee restaurants and retail stores that prepare food, including grocery stores and convenience markets. The first screen of the app displays a map showing restaurants near the user and the most recent score for each location. It also includes scores for hotels, hospitals, schools and food trucks’ central kitchens. Users will have access to the last three inspection scores for each business and if any violations were cited, the app provides information about what was not in compliance with the Tennessee Retail Food Safety Act.
Updated daily, the feature that makes the app different from Web-based inspection scores is the ability for users to personalize it to see what is most important to them. Locations can be saved to a Favorites list for quick access to scores, and search results can be filtered to show only locations that have scores within a certain range. The Restaurant Inspection Scores app was developed by NIC, Inc., Tennessee’s eGovernment Partner since 2000. To obtain the app, go to http://tn.gov/main/article/mobile-apps.
The recipient of the package, David Beard, the lawyer of Tucker’s former employer Custom Residential, tendered a victim impact statement that detailed the impact on staff and the financial loss he had suffered because of the offending.
Judge Claire Ryan said Tucker posted the noxious substance on March 6, 2014, an offence carrying a maximum penalty of a $5000 fine.
The judge said the offending occurred after Tucker fell out with his former employer, John Wills, the director of Custom Residential.
Handwashing is important in preventing microbial cross-contamination. The US FDA Model Food Code requires that handwashing sinks have a sign or poster nearby that is visible to employees washing their hands.
This research collects and reviews existing handwashing signs and subjects them to quantitative analysis. An Internet search produced a database of handwashing signs. Lather time, rinse time, overall wash time, water temperature, water use, drying method, technique, and total number of steps were recorded.
Eighty-one unique handwashing signs were identified. Each sign had between one and thirteen steps. Thirty-seven signs indicated a specific lather time, with average time ~18 s. No sign suggested > 20 s lather, and none suggested < 10 s lather. Twenty-four signs recommended use of warm water. Two signs recommended 100°F (37.8°C) water and one recommended hot water. Sixty-two signs made a recommendation on drying hands, and fifty-three suggested using a paper towel.
Our analysis reveals that handwashing sign instructions can vary quite widely. Lack of consistent hand wash guidance on signage may contribute in part to a lack of handwashing consistency and compliance. Our study serves as a foundation for future research on handwash signage.
Quantitative analysis of recommendations made in handwashing signs
Food Protection Trends, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 270-279, July 2015
Dane A. Jensen, Donald W. Schaffner