Wendy’s meltdown in NYC?

An astute reader from Manhattan (New York, not Kansas) notes that a Wendy’s restaurant in at 335 Fifth Ave, in the shadow of the Empire State Building, was Wendys Fifth Ave Closed 091715bclosed back in mid-Sept.

He writes: “What struck me was the sign saying the ‘supply’ (I guess that means food) was being moved to a ‘safer’ location (and not to a ‘safe’ location). Hmmm. And how hot was the food before it was moved to a ‘safer’ location?”

Wendys Fifth Ave Closed 091715a

94 sickened at staff retreat; further test results sought

Health types in Brantford, Ontario, Canada have revealed that 94 people at a staff retreat could have sickened by Plesiomonas shigelloides.

WanyeGretzkyParkway“We’ve had just one positive result,” warned infectious diseases manager Ruth Gratton of the Brant County Health Unit.

“That is not enough evidence to confirm this organism

About half of those who ate at a Brant Family and Children’s Services staff event on Sept. 10 at the South Dumfries Community Centre in St. George became sick after a catered lunch that included egg salad wraps, chicken wraps and potato salad.

Dozens of workers began calling in sick the next day with severe abdominal cramping and diarrhea. Many had to consult a doctor and several went to the emergency department with intensive symptoms.

The caterer involved in the luncheon has been ordered, until further notice, to stop providing food service in the Brantford or Brant County. If the caterer is found to be at fault, it can be charged under the Health Protection Act.

At Brant Family and Children’s Services, things are returning to normal. “My sense is that a handful of staff are still off (but) I don’t have exact numbers,” Patrick Banning, director of administration at the BFCS, said Tuesday.

Gratton said area health-care providers were asked to notify the unit if any complications arose from the 94 cases but no one has been in touch.

Boca restaurants can suck

There was this one-time, BC (before children), that Amy and I went to a hockey game in Phoenix and I waved at my friend Wayne, who was the coach, but he didn’t wave back.

hockey.refThe two guys behind us were typical Arizona-post-grad doucebags, and wouldn’t shut-up.

After hitting Amy for about the third time with their beers, I had to be pretend tough guy and tell them to back off.

But it was the idiotic level of conversation we remember.

This dude was going on about how he had a cougar in Boca, and he was so important because he got 50 e-mails a day.

I get about 1,000.

Only those who are insecure brag about that.

But who wants to brag about Boca, in Florida, with restaurant ratings like these?

Leading off in the Yuck category is Bonaccino Café, a little place near one of the east entrances of Town Center Mall (by the parking structure and Willams-Sonoma). They were temporarily closed and the inspection report indicates a total of 24 violations including 10 marked high priority. Here are some of the lowlights:

Employee failed to wash hands before changing gloves and/or putting on gloves to work with food. Cook washed hands and changed gloves upon request.

Stir Crazy in Town Center had 14 violations with 3 marked high priority.

Food poisoning sickens 80-100 child protection employees in Brantford (Canada)

I remember Brantford, Ontario, Canada, where I grew up, but I’m not sure Brantford wants to remember me.

massey.fergusonWayne Gretzky, Massey-Ferguson, the telephone (my dad may be in this pic, he was head of quality control at the Brantford plant that made combines for the world, and I was always proud of that).

But that’s another discussion, and this is a food safety blog.

So it pains me to write that the good folk of Brantford, all 94,000 and where my parents still live, had more than 80 child protection employees sickened by food poisoning last week, a situation that has decimated working teams at the Brant Family and Children’s Services agency.

Executive director Andy Koster said Thursday staff at the agency has been scrambling to help cover shifts after between 80-100 workers called in sick, beginning last Friday.

“Some people have symptoms that are going on well beyond the regular time associated with food poisoning,” Koster said. “But people are working really hard to deliver our services and those who aren’t ill are doing double duty.”

Koster said staff at the agency plans a once-a-year getaway event where all staff take part. A professional speaker addressed issues of stress management and dealing with the trauma many child protection workers face. This year’s event was held at the St. George Arena and a professional caterer was hired to feed the 200-plus people at the day-long conference. Koster said egg salad wraps, chicken wraps and potato salad were all on the menu for lunch.

“On Friday morning we had people calling saying ‘we’re down four people on our unit’ and people were reporting stomach pains and diarrhea.”

gretzkyWorkers continued to call in sick, although Koster said some employees, knowing their colleagues were more ill, came to work.

Bad idea.

Maybe get a food safety type next year. Not me, but someone who can credibly address food safety issues (without the baggage). Chapman? He’s a Port Hope boy.doug.hockey.goalie

Karen Boughner, the unit’s director of health protection said the unit will not identify the caterer at this point, noting the problem may have been totally out of her hands if it was a contaminated product she purchased for the event.

Except caterers should know better, and know their suppliers.

Boughner said the situation wasn’t made public sooner because it didn’t affect the general public.

That’s just embarrassing.

Russian state media say French supermarket, Burger King fined over food violations

Russian state news agencies say government officials have issued a total of $600,000 in fines for alleged food safety violations at Burger King and French supermarket chain Auchan.

ussrAnna Popova, head of Russian consumer protection agency Rospotrebnadzor, was quoted by media outlets including RIA Novosti as saying Auchan’s fines totaled over 25 million rubles ($372,000) and that “several hundred” employees were suspended from work.

Specific reasons for the fines were not immediately clear and Auchan declined to comment.

Auchan is also the target of allegations from Russia’s agricultural agency, which claims some Auchan meat products tested positive for bacteria such as E. coli and Listeria. The allegations have reportedly led Auchan to close down some facilities for cleaning.

The inspections come at a time of tension between France and Russia over the extension of European Union sanctions and France’s decision to cancel a deal to provide warships to Russia.


Everyone’s got a camera: Maryland school lunch version, and ‘food safety is our top priority’

The Prince George’s County Public School System rejects a student’s allegations that students are being served food that is moldy, unhealthy and disgusting.

belushi.zit.food.fight“Our school meals are healthy, nutritious and safe. And food safety is our top priority,” says Sherrie Johnson, spokeswoman for Prince George’s County Public Schools.

The student, Tamera Perry, a senior at Friendly High School in Fort Washington, made her complaints about school food public. Other students took to social media, posting pictures including undercooked hamburgers and moldy sandwich rolls.

But Johnson insists most of the pictures are of food from other school districts.

“We actually met with members of our Food and Nutrition Team [Tuesday] morning, and we examined the photos and they were quite clear: some of those are not ours. We could tell by the color of the food tray and we don’t use milk cartons — we have bottled milk,” Johnson says.

Among the complaints the girl made to Fox5 was that the Rojo Fiesta Pizza she was served Friday, Sept. 11, “wasn’t pizza at all, it was disgusting.”

Johnson says there’s a reason the pizza looked different.

“This is a new product this year. It’s a vegetarian pizza in which mashed kidney beans and cheese are part of the protein source,” Johnson says.

NYC briefly shuts down sushi shop for live roaches

A midtown sushi restaurant that had been wracking up health violations for months when inspectors found evidence of rats, roaches and mice was shuttered for three days last week, records show.

EEL_TH_C_^_THUIQFuji Sushi, located at 238 W. 56th St., was forced to close by the Health Department on Sept. 8 when inspectors found live roaches in the restaurant.

Fancy food ain’t safe food – DC’s Fig & Olive edition with 70 sick

The number of Salmonella cases linked to the Fig & Olive, the New York-based chain that opened a restaurant in City Center DC this year, has climbed to 70.

Fig & OliveMarcus A. Williams, a spokesman for the health department, said six patients have been confirmed to have Salmonella infection. Five live in the District and one in Alexandria.

All 70 “reported eating or drinking at the Fig and Olive establishment,” Williams confirmed via e-mail.

Health officials had collected 10 food and environmental samples from Fig & Olive last week, but they all came back negative, Williams noted. One is being re-tested.

“Additional environment and food testing is underway,” the spokesman e-mailed.

Fig & Olive remained closed Monday and has not set a date to reopen. The chain issued a statement via its local representative:

“We are continuing to make progress on testing and re-testing our products and procedures and sanitizing our facility from top to bottom. We are working with both the Department of Health and with the third-party food safety company we retained. It is premature to discuss any findings at this time but we are working hard to re-open soon.”

Another audit, more failings with restaurant inspection, Nebraska-style

From the state with the creepiest football mascots, Nebraska’s Douglas County’s switch from paper to digital food safety records is taking much longer than expected, leaving restaurant patrons in the dark.

nebraska.cornhuskersEighteen months have elapsed since the Douglas County Health Department signed a contract for a digital record-keeping system to track inspections of food and drink establishments. But persistent delays with the software vendor have pushed back the start date into next year.

The lack of progress was highlighted this week when State Auditor Charlie Janssen released an audit showing that food safety inspections in Nebraska are routinely late.

Douglas County health officials disputed the audit’s findings, but it took some time for them to assemble the numbers to back up their claims.

That’s because in Nebraska’s largest county, those records still exist only on paper.

Douglas County Health Director Adi Pour acknowledged that restaurant inspections sometimes lag in the spring, when food and drink inspectors are busy helping other divisions. But the backlog is always cleared, she said.

ghostbuster.marsmellow“At the end of every year, we are caught up,” she said.

As The World-Herald reported last year, inspection records for food and drink establishments can be difficult to obtain in Douglas County and elsewhere in Nebraska.

Unlike many other cities and states in the region, Douglas County does not have an electronic system to manage those public records. Instead, every month, the department posts a snapshot of inspection scores online.

Who has UK football’s dirtiest pies?

The half-time pie is one of football’s time-honoured traditions but some stadium kitchens preparing fans’ food have been criticised by inspectors for dirty conditions and pest problems – Mirror Online can reveal.

rest.inspec.stadium.uk.pie.sep.15Our investigation has examined food hygiene reports of all 92 Premier League and Football League clubs to reveal which pie stands fans may want to avoid.

The majority of grounds passed with flying colours but others clubs were warned over the state of the kitchens at kiosks at their stadiums.

One club was even warned over the potential safety of the food it was allegedly serving to players on away trips.

The reports were obtained through Freedom of Information requests made to councils a week before the start of the new season – although some ratings have changed since then.