They said loads: Handwashing and glove use both necessary

Handwashing and glove use are the main methods for reducing bacterial cross-contamination from hands to ready-to-eat food in a food service setting.

amy.sorenne.handwashingHowever, bacterial transfer from hands to gloves is poorly understood, as is the effect of different durations of soap rubbing on bacterial reduction. To assess bacterial transfer from hands to gloves and to compare bacterial transfer rates to food after different soap washing times and glove use, participants’ hands were artificially contaminated with Enterobacter aerogenes B199A at ∼9 log CFU. Different soap rubbing times (0, 3, and 20 s), glove use, and tomato dicing activities followed. The bacterial counts in diced tomatoes and on participants’ hands and gloves were then analyzed. Different soap rubbing times did not significantly change the amount of bacteria recovered from participants’ hands.

Dicing tomatoes with bare hands after 20 s of soap rubbing transferred significantly less bacteria (P < 0.01) to tomatoes than did dicing with bare hands after 0 s of soap rubbing. Wearing gloves while dicing greatly reduced the incidence of contaminated tomato samples compared with dicing with bare hands. Increasing soap washing time decreased the incidence of bacteria recovered from outside glove surfaces (P < 0.05).

These results highlight that both glove use and adequate hand washing are necessary to reduce bacterial cross-contamination in food service environments.

Adequate hand washing and glove use are necessary to reduce cross-contamination from hands with high bacterial loads.

J Food Prot. 2016 Feb; 79(2):304-8. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-15-342.

Robinson AL, Lee HJ, Kwon J, Todd E, Rodriguez FP, Ryu D

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26818993

Crappy bathrooms in NY’s JFK

It was Australia Day, 33 C, so why not coach an exhibition hockey game.

skate.like.a.girlWe travelled to Toowoomba yesterday, about 100 minutes from Brisbane, where one of my fellow coaches lives, and put the younger kids on a makeshift ice surface to drum up local interest in the sport (they’re trying to build an arena). http://www.chrismccooey.photography

Afterwards, many of the families went to a park, where the one grilling had remembered to bring his tip-sensitive digital thermometer, and another asked me about the bathroom.

I explained how 29 years ago, when I was editor of the Ontarion, the University of Guelph student paper, my first story in my new role was to rate the bathrooms at local bars.

It cost the paper thousands in lost advertising revenue because many of the bars didn’t like the results. The story was popular, and we made up the lost revenue in no time.

Christine Negroni writes in The Huffington Post that women arriving on oneworld flights into New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport have one word for the condition of the bathrooms in Terminal 8, “Ewwww.”

hockey.toowoombaKisha Burgos stopped at the bathroom in the baggage claim area and was shocked to see paper-strewn floors, filthy toilets and empty and broken paper dispensers in the stalls. “It’s bad,” she told me comparing it to the airports she visited in in Bangkok, Vietnam and Laos on her recent five week trip.

“Everything was really clean,” she said of the bathrooms in places one might not expect to find them. 

Airport workers know the secret is to use the toilets on the departure level because passengers are better cared for there. Keeping them happy encourages them to shop and dine while waiting to board their flights. Arriving passengers on the other hand, are in a hurry and on their way out.

The most customer-friendly airport is Singapore’s Changi where every bathroom has a touch screen survey enabling users to immediately register their satisfaction (is that before or after washing their hands?).

I reported back to the parent the bathroom had the essentials – running water, soap and paper towel (which isn’t that common in Australia).

As a coach, I like that – we had the basics covered.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/530692596955113/1090594804298220/?notif_t=group_activity

 

Air driers suck; just ask local graffiti artists

I snapped this pic today (below, exactly as shown). IMG_0401-1

I don’t like blow dryers because the literature shows they accumulate microorganisms from toilet aerosols, and can cause contamination of hands as they are dried by the dryer (Coates et al., 1987; Knights, et al., 1993; Redway,et al., 1994). In 2010, Anna Snelling and colleagues at the University of Bradford (UK) also showed that drying with a blow dryer can recontaminate hands and rubbing with paper towel was the most effective method to reduce pathogens.

Handwashing and food service food safety guru Pete Snyder at the St. Paul-based Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management summarized key aspects of handwashing and drying . Pete says that after hands are washed and rinsed, they must be thoroughly dried and cites data that shows 1-2 log reduction of pathogens from drying. Water and soap loosen the attachment of pathogen to hands. A rinse step dilutes what has been loosened but drying (and the friction associated) is the next step that matters – and the bugs have to go somewhere; I’d rather have paper towel instead of shit bacteria blown all over my pants.

Coates, D., D. N. Hutchinson, and F. J. Bolton. 1987. Survival of thermophilic campylobacter on fingertips and their elimination by washing and disinfection. Epidem. Inf. 99:265-274.

Knights, B., C. Evans, S. Barrass, and B. McHardy. 1993. Hand drying – A survey of efficiency and hygiene. The Applied Ecology Research Group, University of Westminster. London, UK.

Redway, K., B. Knights, Z. Bozoky, A. Theobald, and S.Hardcastle. 1994. Hand drying: A study of bacterial types associated with different hand drying methods and with hot air dryers. Applied Ecology Research Group, University of Westminster. London, UK. 14. Brodie, J. 1965. Hand hygiene. Scot. Med. J. 10:1:115-125.

‘Blah, blah, blah’ if Michael Pollan says it’s his favorite, be close to a toilet: Inside Chipotle’s ‘diarrhea burrito’ crisis

Susan Berfield of Bloomberg Business writes in Business Week that Chris Collins is a 32-year-old Web developer and photographer who lives in Oregon, just outside Portland.

diarrhea.toiletHe and his wife are conscientious about their food: They eat organic, local produce and ethically raised animals. Collins liked to have a meal at Chipotle once a week. On Friday evening, Oct. 23, he ordered his regular chicken bowl at his usual Chipotle in Lake Oswego. His dinner was made of 21 ingredients, including toasted cumin, sautéed garlic, fresh organic cilantro, finely diced tomatoes, two kinds of onion, romaine lettuce, and kosher salt. It tasted as good as always.

By the next night, Collins’s body was aching and his stomach was upset. Then he began experiencing cramping and diarrhea. His stomach bloated. “Moving gave me excruciating pain,” he says, “and anytime I ate or drank it got worse.” His diarrhea turned bloody. “All I was doing was pooping blood. It was incredibly scary.” After five days, he went to an urgent-care clinic near his home; the nurse sent him to an emergency room. He feared he might have colon cancer.

On Halloween, the ER doctor called him at home: Collins had Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli 026, and he’d likely gotten it from one of those 21 ingredients in his meal at Chipotle. (This was later confirmed by public-health officials.) The doctor warned him that kidney failure was possible; intensive treatment, including dialysis, could be necessary. His kidneys held up, but it took an additional five days for the worst of Collins’s symptoms to ease and nearly six weeks for him to recover. He still doesn’t have as much physical strength as he used to, and he feels emotionally shaky, too. “Before, I was doing the P90X workouts. For a long time after, I couldn’t even walk a few blocks,” he says. “It made me feel old and weak and anxious.” On Nov. 6, Collins sued Chipotle, seeking unspecified damages.

Collins was among 53 people in nine states who were sickened with the same strain of E. coli. “I trusted they were providing me with ‘food with integrity,’ ” Collins says, sarcastically repeating the company motto. “We fell for their branding.” Chipotle’s public stance during the outbreak irritated him, too. The company closed all 43 of its restaurants in Oregon and Washington in early November to try to identify the source of the E. coli and sanitize the spaces. Notices on restaurant doors generally referred to problems with the supply chain or equipment. But local media reported that at least one restaurant in Portland put up a note that said, “Don’t panic … order should be restored to the universe in the very near future.” “That felt so snarky,” Collins says. “People could die from this, and they were so smug.”

chipotle_ad_2For a long time, smug worked pretty well for Chipotle Mexican Grill. It’s grown into a chain of more than 1,900 locations, thanks in part to marketing—including short animated films about the evils of industrial agriculture—that reminds customers that its fresh ingredients and naturally raised meat are better than rivals’ and better for the world. The implication: If you eat Chipotle, you’re doing the right thing, and maybe you’re better, too. It helped the company, charging about $7 for a burrito, reach a market valuation of nearly $24 billion. Its executives seemed to have done the impossible and made a national fast-food chain feel healthy.

Fewer people associate Chipotle with “healthy” now. Three months before Collins was infected with E. coli, five people fell ill eating at a Seattle-area restaurant. By the time local health officials had confirmed a link, the outbreak was over, so no one said anything. In August, 234 customers and employees contracted norovirus at a Chipotle in Simi Valley, Calif., where another worker was infected. Salmonella-tainted tomatoes at 22 outlets in Minnesota sickened 64 people in August and September; nine had to be hospitalized. Norovirus struck again in late November: More than 140 Boston College students picked up the highly contagious virus from a nearby Chipotle, including half of the men’s basketball team. An additional 16 students and three health-care staff picked it up from the victims. The source? A sick worker who wasn’t sent home although Chipotle began offering paid sick leave in June. In the second week of December, when Chipotle should have been on highest alert, a Seattle restaurant had to be briefly shut down after a health inspection found that cooked meat on the takeout line wasn’t being kept at a high enough temperature. And in the most recent case, on Dec. 21, the CDC announced it was investigating an outbreak of what seems to be a different and rare version of E. coli 026 that’s sickened five people in two states who ate at Chipotle in mid-November. The company says it had expected to see additional cases. It still doesn’t know which ingredients made people ill.

Almost 500 people around the country have become sick from Chipotle food since July, according to public-health officials. And those are just the ones who went to a doctor, gave a stool sample, and were properly diagnosed. Food-safety experts say they believe with any outbreak the total number of people affected is at least 10 times the reported number. The CDC estimates that 48 million Americans get sick from contaminated food every year.

south.park.dead.celebrities.chipotleAt Chipotle, three different pathogens caused the five known outbreaks. That wasn’t inevitable or coincidental. “There’s a problem within the company,” says Michael Doyle, the director of the center for food safety at the University of Georgia. Chipotle has gotten big selling food that’s unprocessed, free of antibiotics and GMOs, sometimes organic, sometimes local. “Blah, blah, blah,” says Doug Powell, a retired (I’m not dead yet) food-safety professor and the publisher of barfblog.com. “They were paying attention to all that stuff, but they weren’t paying attention to microbial safety.” Whatever its provenance, if food is contaminated it can still make us sick—or even kill. Millennials may discriminate when they eat, but bacteria are agnostic.

“Food with integrity,” a promise to Chipotle’s customers and a rebuke to its competitors, has become the source of much schadenfreude among both. Chipotle’s stock has lost about 30 percent of its value since August. Sales at established stores dropped 16 percent in November, and executives expect a decline of 8 percent to 11 percent in comparable-store sales for the last three months of the year. That would be the first quarterly decline for Chipotle as a public company.

Steve Ells, Chipotle’s founder and co-chief executive, went on the Today show on Dec. 10, apologized to everyone who’d fallen ill, and announced a comprehensive food-safety program that he said would far exceed industry norms. He didn’t address why a company that had challenged quality standards with such gusto hadn’t taken on safety standards as well.

On Dec. 17, speaking by phone in New York, he’s still on message, describing the Seattle restaurants he visited as clean and organized. “I ate delicious food there,” he says. “Traffic was slow, but we’re ready for people to come back. There is no E. coli in Chipotle. ” To hear Ells tell it, the company is witnessing an outbreak of excitement. He says the chain’s suppliers are excited to participate in the new safety programs; employees at headquarters in Denver are excited to contribute however they can; it’s “a very, very exciting time for us to be pushing the boundaries” on food safety. “We’re embracing this as an opportunity.”

Ells studied art history in college, trained as a chef at the Culinary Institute of America, and opened the first Chipotle in Denver in 1993 with a loan from his father. He set up a model—open kitchen, fresh ingredients, real cooking in the back, and an assembly line in front, allowing customization and speed—that’s become its own industry standard. Chipotle grew from 489 restaurants and revenue of $628 million in 2006, when it went public, to about 1,800 restaurants and $4.1 billion in revenue in 2014. Net profit increased 60 percent from 2012 to 2014. Ells and his co-CEO, Montgomery Moran, together earned more than $140 million in total compensation during that time. And Michael Pollan, the good-food arbiter, said that Chipotle was his favorite fast-food chain and that he didn’t have a second.

The company was influenced in ways it doesn’t always admit by the biggest, most industrialized chain of them all: McDonald’s. The company invested about $340 million in Chipotle from 1998, when it had 13 restaurants in Colorado, until 2006, when the two parted ways. McDonald’s taught Chipotle supply-chain economics. Chipotle often derides fast-food chains and their factory farms, enlisting the likes of Willie Nelson to make plaintive music videos about crop chemicals and steroidal cattle. But Ells respects McDonald’s size. In an interview with Bloomberg in 2014, he said Chipotle could one day be “bigger than McDonald’s in the U.S. I mean, that’s not an unreasonable way to think about this.”

And so much more. Great story

.

New strain of Norovirus hits Minnesota

A new strain of norovirus, the most common cause of sudden intestinal illness, has shown up in Minnesota, and that could mean more norovirus illnesses this winter, state health officials warned today.

NorochickThe new strain, called GII.17 Kawasaki, caused many outbreaks in Asia last winter before arriving in the U.S. MDH has investigated more than 20 outbreaks caused by norovirus since the beginning of September. The new strain first showed up in sporadic cases in the state earlier this year and the first outbreak caused by the new strain was reported last week. Reports of norovirus-like illnesses in the community have also increased in the past week.

“Every few years, a new strain of norovirus emerges and causes many illnesses. We don’t know yet if this new strain will lead to an increase in the number of outbreaks reported, but it could,” said Amy Saupe, a foodborne disease epidemiologist at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). “If we’re meticulous about washing our hands and handling food properly, we may be able to limit the impact.”

Illness caused by norovirus is often mistakenly called “stomach flu,” which is a confusing term because norovirus is not related to influenza. Influenza is a respiratory illness, with symptoms that include high fever, chills, body aches, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, and/or coughing. Norovirus is not a respiratory illness, and is not spread through breathing or coughing.

“When people say that they have ‘stomach flu,’ referring to a short illness with diarrhea and/or vomiting, what they generally have is a norovirus infection,” said Saupe.

Norovirus can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, body aches, a general run-down feeling, and a mild fever. Symptoms typically begin 24 to 48 hours after swallowing the virus, and usually last one to two days. The virus passes from one person to another by the fecal-oral route. That means the virus comes from the feces or vomit of people who are sick or were recently sick, and can make someone else sick if they get the virus in their mouth and swallow it. A tiny amount of virus can make someone sick.

norovirus-2d”Fecal-oral transmission sounds gross, but it’s important for people to understand that they may have gotten their norovirus from food, and that they could pass the virus to others by handling food, even after their symptoms are gone,” Saupe said.

Norovirus is the most common cause of food-related illness in Minnesota. In a recent outbreak example, employees who had been sick with diarrhea prepared food items that were eaten by restaurant patrons and at least 25 patrons became ill from norovirus.

The majority of norovirus illnesses and outbreaks can be prevented through good handwashing and appropriate food handling. Always wash your hands well before preparing food, and do not prepare food for others (at home or for your job) at all if you have been sick with vomiting or diarrhea in the last three days. If you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea, wash your hands very carefully after using the restroom. Norovirus can be present in your stool for several days even after you are feeling better, so continue to be extra careful about handwashing.

Always wash your hands before eating. Do not eat food prepared by someone who is ill with vomiting or diarrhea. If someone in your household is sick with vomiting or diarrhea, have them use a separate bathroom, if possible. Clean surfaces with soap and water and sanitize with a bleach solution to kill any norovirus that was spread to bathroom or kitchen surfaces. Launder soiled clothing in hot water promptly. Wash your hands after helping children in the bathroom or touching surfaces that may have vomit or feces on them.

Thorough handwashing includes washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, rinsing under running water, and drying with a towel.

182 sick: Barf cruise ship docked in Sydney

The Explorer of the Seas arrived at around 6am on Wednesday with Royal Caribbean confirming 182 cases of a gastrointestinal illness among guests and crew of the 14-night trip.

mr.creosote.monty.python.vomit“Those affected by the short-lived illness have responded well to over-the-counter medication administered onboard the ship,” the statement issued on Wednesday said.

Paramedics were on stand-by as the 3,566 passengers and 1,139 crew members disembarked the Royal Caribbean Explorer, but no patients needed to be transported, am Ambulance NSW spokesman told AAP.

The ship and terminal will undergo enhanced cleaning and sanitisation to prevent any illness affecting future cruises as the ship prepares to depart for its next voyage on Wednesday evening.

With more than three per cent of the ship’s passengers struck down with the stomach bug, it is a legal obligation that health authorities be alerted.

The outbreak started on December 5 and peaked on December 11 and 12, but has since been decreasing, NSW health authorities told AAP.

52 sick with E. coli O26 linked to Chiptole; tightening suppliers

As the number of confirmed cases of E. coli O26 linked to Chipotle restaurants increased to 52 in nine states, the company says it’s revamping its food-supply standards.

portland-press-herald_3512878Chipotle will work with Seattle-based IEH Laboratories and Consulting Group, unveiled a new safety program that includes improving its supply chain and doing DNA testing of produce. Chipotle also is retooling its training to help employees handle food more carefully.

“While it is never possible to completely eliminate all risk, this program eliminates or mitigates risk to a level near zero, and will establish Chipotle as the industry leader in this area,” Mansour Samadpour, head of IEH Laboratories, said in a statement.

USA Today said Chipotle Mexican Grill will soon have stricter guidelines for its suppliers that will mean the chain will be using local produce less often.

Chris Arnold, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail Wednesday that the company plans on formally releasing some of its changes in the coming days, if not sooner.

“We do expect that some of the local suppliers we have used will not meet more stringent testing standards we have put in place,” Arnold said.

Street food in Brazil; and The Beatles

The aims of this study were to assess the compliance of street foods sold in an urban center in a major capital of Brazil with international standards for food safety and to provide data that could be used for the elaboration of specific legislation to ensure the safety of street food.

brazil.street.foodThe study investigated demographic profiles of street vendors and hygiene practices used in critical points of food production for products sold. Direct observations and structured interviews were conducted among vendors at stationary locations in the downtown area. Forty-three participating vendors were mostly males who generally completed only elementary school. Among observed food safety risks: 12% of the vendors did not provide ice at the point of sale for perishable ingredients; 95% did not wash hands between food and money transactions and restroom breaks; 91% did not have hair coverings and 100% of the vendors did not have access to a water supply. The interviews revealed that 12% of the vendors did not provide proper cold holding during transportation; 33% did not wash their hands at all, whereas 24% only used water to wash their hands; and 33% never took the required food-handling course. The study indicates a need for improvements of the environmental conditions at these sites to prevent foodborne diseases. Specific local and national laws for street food need to be created to protect the consumer, and continuous training of vendors could help address the lack of food quality and safety.

And for no particular reason, today in 1966, The Beatles began recording sessions for Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The album cost $75,000 to record.

Food safety and hygiene practices of vendors during the chain of street food production in Florianopolis, Brazil: A cross-sectional study

Food Control, Volume 62, April 2016, Pages 178–186

Rayza Dal Molin Cortese, Marcela Boro Veiros, Charles Feldman, Suzi Barletto Cavalli

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956713515302498

Thanksgiving goofiness

My parents come from Ontario (that’s in Canada) every year to visit for Thanksgiving (or American Thanksgiving as it’s known to them). My mom likes to participate in the Black Friday shopping craziness; my dad likes to watch football. It’s just fun to have them around.

A couple of years ago my friend Matt Shipman and I put together some Thanksgiving meal videos – sorta our goofy take on food safety for the holidays. The content (unlike my hairline) is timeless.

And here are some food safety infosheets for the holidays.

Holiday meal food safety

Bathing birds is a food safety mess

Avoid foodborne illness during the holidays

 

Best public restroom in the U.S. named; handwashing tools not shown

Powell famously rated Guelph bathrooms in the 1980s while editor of the University of Guelph’s campus paper, The Ontarion. His idea was resurrected by supply and uniform company, Cintas and according to the Denver Post, a Minturn, Colorado restroom has won the most artsy award (or something like that).20150917__Minturn_bathroom_1~p1

Holding back chuckles, [Minturn planning director Janet] Hawkison said there has been a great sense of humor and jokes around town about being known for their toilets. The town is just happy that a project that was such a big part of the community had its time to shine.

The two restrooms, one for men and one for women, sit a few feet apart and feature fabricated wood pieces — 320 different pieces total — on the sides where they face each other to mimic an adit, or an entrance to a mine in honor of Minturn’s rich mining history. Inside the bathrooms, walls are painted turquoise and copper and feature steel butterflies on the ceiling. Conception, design and construction were all done locally.

Curious parties want to see the award winning handwashing tools and signs.