Naked sushi is happening in Vancouver (that’s in Canada), and, yes, it’s what you think it is

Ever heard of nyotaimori? It’s the Japanese practice of serving sushi on a naked body. It’s real, beyond that one scene from the first “Sex and the City” movie. And, for a price, you can now have your sushi served on a naked model in Vancouver. 

naked-sushi-4-620x936Naked Sushi, a catering and events company that supplies this unique service, just launched in Vancouver, reported VancityBuzz. The company employs models to lie very still, sometimes for hours at a time, while partygoers pluck sushi off of their naked bodies with chopsticks. 

A variety of maki and nigiri is arranged strategically on the model’s body on their stomachs, legs, chest area, etc. You can also order bento boxes and a variety of appetizers. And prices vary based on what kind of sushi you want, and how long you’d like your naked sushi model to stay at your party. 

304 sick from Cyclospora in US, some linked to fresh cilantro from Puebla, Mexico

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and federal, state, and local public health partners are continuing surveillance to identify and interview additional ill persons and to identify sources of infection.

  • cilantro.slugs.powell.10Cyclospora cayetanensis is a single-celled parasite that causes an intestinal infection called cyclosporiasis.
  • As of August 26, 2014 (5pm EDT), CDC had been notified of 304 ill persons with confirmed Cyclospora infection in 2014; of these, 207 ill persons from the following states had no history of international travel within two weeks before onset of illness: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York (and New York City), Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington.

◦       Most (133; 64%) of the cases were reported from Texas.

◦       Most (133; 64%) of the cases were reported in July 2014.

◦       Most (176; 85%) of the illness onset dates occurred in June and July.

◦       Among 183 persons with available information, 7 (4%) have reported being hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

◦       Among 204 persons with available information, ill persons range in age from 3 to 88 years, with a median age of 49 years.

◦       Among 204 persons with available information, 115 (56%) of ill persons are female.

  • To date, 133 ill persons with Cyclospora infection have been reported among Texas residents who did not travel outside of the country within the two weeks before becoming ill. 

◦       Epidemiologic and traceback investigations conducted in Texas by state and local public health and regulatory officials and the FDA indicated that some illnesses among Texas residents were linked to fresh cilantro from Puebla, Mexico.

◦       Reported cases of cyclosporiasis in Texas have returned to baseline levels in August; therefore, it is likely that the outbreak has ended.

  • Investigations are ongoing in other states.

◦       To date, there is no evidence to suggest that any illnesses outside of Texas are linked to cilantro from Puebla, Mexico.

  • Consumers should continue to enjoy the health benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables as part of a well-balanced diet.
  • Consumers and retailers should always follow safe produce handling recommendations.

Was it the cabbage? 15 sickened by E. coli O111 linked to Minnesota Applebee’s; know thy suppliers

Green, whole head cabbage was the likely source of E. coli O111 illnesses traced to eating at Applebee’s restaurants in Minnesota this summer, state health officials said Friday.

applebees.ricky_.bobby_Fifteen people were sickened by the produce, which was likely contaminated before it was distributed to restaurants, the department said. Health investigators interviewed 14 who were taken ill: 13 ate at nine Applebee’s restaurants in Minnesota; one ate at a Yard House restaurant.

Many of the cases involved people eating the oriental chicken salad at Applebee’s. This particular strain of E. coli O111 had not been seen in the United States previously, the department said.

Applebee’s pulled the item off its menus and returned it after tapping a different source for the ingredients.

Minnesota investigators traced the cabbage to a common supplier outside of Minnesota and continue to work with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to investigate its source. “The FDA examination of the potentially involved farms is still ongoing. Single cases of illness that match the outbreak strain have occurred in three other states,” the department said.

Shrimp sashimi sold in Hong Kong Thai restaurant contaminated with Salmonella

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) announced today (August 28) that a sample of shrimp sashimi taken at a Thai restaurant was found to be contaminated with a pathogen, Salmonella. The CFS has ordered the restaurant concerned to stop selling the affected product, and to review and improve the food production process.

Shrimp-SushiA CFS spokesman said, “The CFS took a sample of the shrimp sashimi from a licensed general restaurant in Kowloon City for testing through its regular Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that Salmonella was found to be present in 25 grams of the sample, contravening the ‘Microbiological Guidelines for Food’ which state that Salmonella should not be detected in 25 grams of food.”

Saks Restaurant and Bar owners in Australia assure public the food is safe after cockroaches in kitchen fail

Saks Restaurant and Bar at Marina Mirage owners were forced to spend more than $55,000 on cleaning and structural changes after Gold Coast City Council food safety officers busted them for failing several inspections last year.

Saks-Restaurant-BarInspectors discovered dead and live cockroaches in the commercial kitchen, uncovered seafood and surfaces covered in grease, grime, dirt and mould on three separate inspections in September 2013.

Council solicitor Nick Hatcher yesterday told the Southport Magistrates Court 15 cockroaches had been found under the refrigerated pizza unit, near the pizza oven, at the washing up sink and in the dry storage area.

He said the restaurant had been given a clean bill of health in April this year but a single dead cockroach was found during a surprise inspection last week.

Saks pleaded guilty through lawyer Michael McMillan to one count of failing to comply with a requirement imposed by the Food Standards Code.

Mr McMillan said his clients took over the business a year ago but were “just accountants” who had little experience in the hospitality industry and were “not up to speed”.

The council asked for fines up to $25,000 while Mr McMillan said a lesser fine of up to $15,000 was more fitting as the business had no previous breaches and had already suffered adverse publicity this week.

“They take a lot of pride in what they do and they are very upset about how this negative publicity will affect them,” he said.

He said the owners wanted to reassure customers that the restaurant was now fully compliant.

“Saks is open for business and people can be assured that all the food stuff they eat there are safe and staff are doing all they can to make customers’ happy,” he said.

But Magistrate Ron Kilner expressed disgust at the owners slow compliance with council orders. “Members of the public were put at risk of salmonella poisoning … due to the poor hygiene at the restaurant,” he said.

“The fact of the matter is, they didn’t shut the doors — they kept the restaurant open for business, presumably making money while not complying.

Lizards and worms should not be on the school lunch menu in India, or elsewhere

Rice and lentils was the free lunch on Aug. 22 at the Government Model Senior Secondary school in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh.

sprouted-lentilsTeachers took a look at the meal.

They found worms.

Lunch was not served. Seven hundred students reportedly went home hungry after their school day.

India’s free school lunch program is the largest in the world. The program was started in the mid-1990s with two goals: to fight chronic hunger and child malnutrition and to increase school enrollment and attendance.

Dog meat fades in S. Korea

The USA Today today reports that for more than 30 years, chef and restaurant owner Oh Keum-il built her expertise in cooking one traditional South Korean delicacy: dog meat.

sadie.dog.powellIn her twenties, Oh traveled around South Korea to learn dog meat recipes from each region. During a period of South Korean reconciliation with North Korea early last decade, she went to Pyongyang as part of a business delegation and tasted a dozen different dog dishes, from dog stew to dog taffy, all served lavishly at the Koryo, one of the North’s best hotels.

She adapted famous dishes to include dog meat, replacing beef with dog in South Korea’s signature meat and rice dish bibimbap. But the 58-year-old’s lifelong experience with a food eaten for centuries in Korea is about to become history.

Daegyo, the famous dog meat restaurant she opened in a Seoul alley in 1981, will serve its last bowl of boshintang, or dog stew, on Friday, a reflection of the challenges facing a trade that is neither legal nor explicitly banned under South Korean laws governing livestock and food processing.

Danish scientists uncover clue to Listeria’s toughness

Birgitte Kallipolitis, an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Southern Denmark, and colleagues report their findings in the journal Nucleic Acids Research.

listeriaListeria, a bacterium that sometimes occurs in unprocessed and processed foods, causes an infection called listeriosis. Most infections only result in mild symptoms such as fever, vomiting and diarrhea, which take about 3 days to pass and do not normally require treatment.

But in rare cases, listeriosis can spread to other parts of the body and cause severe conditions like meningitis, which is typically accompanied by severe headache, stiff neck and tremors.

Unborn babies can also contract a listeria infection from the mother via the placenta.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that around 1,600 Americans fall ill with listeriosis and 260 die from it every year. In Denmark – a country with a population some 60 times smaller than that of the US – over the last few weeks alone, 28 people have fallen ill and 13 have died from listeriosis caused by eating processed foods bought in supermarkets. Prof. Kallipolitis says Listeria is notoriously difficult to fight because it is extremely able to adapt to changes in its surroundings. This was the subject of their study, which reveals some important clues about how Listeria manages to retain the ability to invade cells while at the same time escape the attention of the immune system.

For their study, they examined what happens at the microbiological level when Listeria is exposed to some of the substances known to be challenging to bacteria – such as antibiotics, bile, salt, ethanol and acid, many of which it encounters in processed and unprocessed foods in the human body and also in disinfected environments.

Prof. Kallipolitis says, “We knew that Listeria can resist these substances, but we did not quite know how.” She and her colleagues found the bacterium uses various strategies to resist the substances.

“Generally speaking, Listeria must be described as extremely adaptable. It is constantly aware of its surroundings and if the environment changes around it. It reacts instantly and has a number of strategies to withstand threats,” she explains.

Listeria infects host cells by producing special proteins. In order for infection to be successful, the bacterium must keep the production of the proteins under a certain level – for above this level the host immune system becomes aware of it and attacks the pathogen.

The researchers discovered that when they exposed Listeria in the lab to the various anti-pathogen substances like bile, salt, ethanol and antibiotics, the bacterium started releasing special RNA molecules, as Prof. Kallipolitis explains:

“With these RNA molecules the bacteria can adjust how much or how little to produce of various proteins. For example it can downgrade the production of the protein LapB, which it uses to enter our cells. If this production is not downgraded, the bacterium will potentially be detected and fought by the immune system.”

The team also found that these same RNA molecules help Listeria keep watch on its cell walls in the face of danger. Antibiotics work by attacking the cell walls of bacteria. But when Listeria is exposed to antibiotics, it rapidly detects the assault on its cell walls and sets about repairing them.

The researchers observed that in the lab, Listeria only produces the special RNA molecules when exposed to one of the challenging substances. The bacterium did not produce them when there was no challenge.

Prof. Kallipolitis says this “reveals part of the mechanism behind Listeria’s extreme adaptability.”

The team now plans to find out if removing the RNA molecules renders Listeria harmless.