181 sick with Salmonella from chicks

The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that public health, veterinary, and agriculture officials in many states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) are investigating four multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infections linked to contact with live poultry.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs of June 29, 2015, 181 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 40 states.

33 ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback findings have linked these four outbreaks of human Salmonella infections to contact with chicks, ducklings, and other live poultry from multiple hatcheries.

Eighty-two (86%) of the 95 ill people who were interviewed reported contact with live poultry in the week before their illness began.

CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory conducted antibiotic resistance testing on Salmonella isolates collected from seven ill people infected with one of the outbreak strains.

All seven isolates were susceptible to all antibiotics tested on the NARMS panel.

Antibiotic resistance testing continues on additional isolates collected from ill people infected with the outbreak strains.

Backyard flock owners should take steps to protect themselves and their families:

Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where the birds live and roam.

Do not let live poultry inside the house.

 

Pay attention when staff barf: 96 sickened from Cowfish in NC

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.

norovirusThe records, obtained through a public records request, provide the fullest account yet of the extent of the illnesses at the popular SouthPark sushi and burger bar.

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.

 

Stroke me, stroke you: Ex-Iowa egg farm manager avoids jail in 2010 Salmonella outbreak

A former Iowa egg farm manager will avoid jail time after cooperating with investigators in a criminal prosecution stemming from a 2010 salmonella outbreak.

egg.dirty.feb.12U.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.

Cyclospora count in Texas rises to 78

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.

love.boat.cyclosporaDSHS recommends thoroughly washing fresh produce, but that may not entirely eliminate the risk because Cyclospora can be difficult to wash off. Cooking will kill the parasite.

But what about cross-contamination?

Actors should stick to acting, not medical advice

It was about 2002 when someone posted a death threat on the door of my lab.

jim_carey_by_aporelimprevisto-d5fyl39We had done comparative studies of consumer preferences for genetically engineered and conventional crops, and this person didn’t like the results (GE won).

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.

Anti-vaxxers in the U.S. are employing similar tactics.

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.

 

Use a thermometer: Coles BS guide to how to know if steak is done

Coles is one of the two major supermarkets in Australia.

coles.thermometerThey recruit celebrity chefs like Heston-norovirus Blumenthal and Curtis-aren’t-I-handsome Stone, while Woolworth’s goes for Jamie-watch-all-the-food-safety-mistakes-I-make Oliver.

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.

coles.steak

But it got an A: Tarheel Q outbreak sickens 216 with Salmonella

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.qSeven lawsuits have been filed against the barbecue restaurant, according to the Davidson County Clerk of Court’s office.

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.

Tennessee offers new app that shows restaurant inspection scores

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.

tn-restaurant-scores-logoThe 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.

NZ real estate agent mails poop to rival

An Auckland real estate agent who mailed poo to a rival agent has been discharged without conviction.

poop.jarGrant Campbell Tucker, 58, a director of Netrealty, appeared for sentence in the Auckland District Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to posting a noxious substance.

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.