At Amapola market in Downey, people stood in line for hours last week for the famous masa, the ground cornmeal for tamales — centerpiece of many a Christmas dinner.
Loyal customers came from miles around for 30-and 40-pound batches that they would use in their elaborate holiday cooking ritual. But this year, they found themselves scrambling for doctors’ numbers, sending guests home hungry and rummaging through cupboards for backup plans.
At Maria Coronado’s house, dozens of guests made do with a desperate meal of spaghetti and nachos. The tamales had turned out gloppy, and her husband felt so sick after a few bites that he had to visit the doctor.
“We didn’t have dinner for Christmas,” said Coronado, 51, who has shopped at Amapola markets for 30 years and has always regarded their masa as excellent, well worth the drive from her home in Riverside.
She was back in line Monday, waiting for a refund of the $143 she spent, along with hundreds of others complaining of bad tamales, stomach cramps, fever, nauseated children — and ruined Christmases. Others were lining up at Amapola stores in Compton, Paramount and West Covina.
“We’re devastated,” said Carlos Galvan Jr., the company’s vice president and chief financial officer. “We’re not entirely sure yet what occurred.”
Galvan, whose father and grandfather started the market chain in 1961, said the bad tamales seem to stem from a problem with a 120,000-pound supply of raw corn purchased from a longtime California vendor, though he refused to provide the name. He said Amapola has since switched vendors.
Throwing up is common in football. Stakes are high and nerves are wired. Plus, there’s the whole act of physically exerting yourself, sometimes in extreme weather conditions.
But North Texas running back Jeffrey Wilson took the act of unloading to a new level by getting sick not once, but twice on consecutive plays during the first half of the Heart of Dallas Bowl against Army. In fact, Wilson’s first puke distracted quarterback Alec Morris so much he missed the snap.
The absolute nonchalant attitude of Wilson as he projectile vomits everywhere is impressive. Here’s hoping no one landed in it.
Ten years ago, as a bunch of University of Guelph students were barfing in their residence bathrooms with noro, Brae Surgeoner, Doug and I hatched plot to observe hand hygiene practices in situ. We wanted test whether students in the midst of an outbreak would report they were really good at washing their hands or using sanitizer. We guessed that what they said, and what we would see, would be drastically different.
It wasn’t our first foray into observational research. A couple years before we did a bunch of secret shopping at Ontario grocery stores and interacted with associates to see what they share about food safety with patrons (us). We heard a whole bunch of nonsense. Ellen Thomas advanced this style of research by training a cadre of secret shoppers throughout the U.S. to order undercooked burgers at restaurants.
As Doug wrote a while back, ‘I view the grocery store and the restaurant as my laboratory. I watch and ask questions of people, especially front-line staff. The head of food safety back at corporate HQ may know the correct food safety answer, but are they providing support to front-line staff, the people customers are most likely to interact with?’
That lab also includes the home (or simulated home) kitchen.
Asking people what they know or do is a start. But it’s never enough. People lie, forget or don’t care. Employing other methods to confirm what they say they do is necessary to confirm actions.
So we’re working with RTI International and USDA FSIS to conduct observation research on consumer food handling behavior. FSIS announced the plans in the Federal Register for comment.
To test new consumer messaging and tailor existing messaging, FSIS can help ensure that it is effectively communicating with the public and working to improve consumer food safety practices. This behavioral research will provide insight into the effect FSIS consumer outreach campaigns have on consumers’ food safety behaviors. The results of this research will be used to enhance messaging and accompanying materials to improve their food safety behavior. Additionally, this research will provide useful information for tracking progress toward the goals outlined in the FSIS Fiscal Years 2017-2021 Strategic Plan. To inform the development of food safety communication products and to evaluate public health education and communication activities, FSIS is requesting approval for a new information collection to conduct observational studies using an experimental design. Previous research suggests that self-reported data (e.g., surveys) on consumers’ food safety practices are unreliable, thus observational studies are a preferred approach for collecting information on consumers’ actual food safety practices. These observational studies will help FSIS assess adherence to the four recommended food safety behaviors of clean, separate, cook, and chill, and to determine whether food safety messaging focused on those behaviors affects consumer food safety handling behaviors and whether consumers introduce cross-contamination during food preparation. For this 3-year study, FSIS plans to conduct an observational study each year and to focus on a different behavior, food and food preparation task, and food safety communication product each year. The initial study will examine participants’ use of a food thermometer to determine if meat and poultry products are cooked to the proper temperatures. FSIS may decide to continue to conduct these studies annually, and if so, will request a renewal to extend the expiration date for the information collection request.
Goat, rabbit, hare, kangaroo, wallaby and bird are currently listed as game in the state, provided the animals have not been confined or farmed in any way.
The proposed new definition would see the list grow to include buffalo, camel, deer, donkey, hare, horse, pig and possum — bringing SA in line with an updated section of the Australian and New Zealand Food Standard Code.
The changes would include strict conditions so that animals would have to be slaughtered in the wild; protected native species could only be hunted with special permits; and bird eggs, foetuses or pouched young, would remain excluded.
Adelaide game meat specialist Richard Gunner said “in general” there were some good things about the proposal.
“I don’t see any particular market for donkey meat, possum meat and horse meat, but camel meat, yes,” he said.
This caused some passengers to vomit in their seats, and others to race off the plane after landing to vomit on the tarmac.
I get it.
After the flight, a woman took to Facebook to share her experience and how Virgin Australia should improve.
‘I love cheese along with the best of us, however, when sitting in an enclosed space, with a low roof, over the length of 40ft, with not a window to open, and with seating capacity of over 100 passengers, parmesan cheese was probably not your brightest choice.’
A fan of cheese herself, the woman said the strong smell of parmesan became for some of the people sitting around her, including the woman beside her who was heaving into her sick bag for two hours. ‘I am fortunate enough not suffer such an affliction, but after hearing her wrenching and burping, mixed in with the lingering wafting smell of old socks took every strength of effort not to go out in sympathy with her.’
The Bangkok Post reports China, rocked in recent years by a series of food safety scandals, uncovered as many as half a million illegal food safety violations in the first three quarters of the year, an official has told lawmakers.
Chinese officials have unearthed a series of recent scandals, including rice contaminated with heavy metals, the use of recycled “gutter oil” in restaurants, as well as the sale of baby formula containing lethal amounts of the industrial chemical melamine in 2008.
Bi Jingquan, the head of the China Food and Drug Administration, told the Standing Committee of National People’s Congress on Friday that while significant progress had been made in the food sector, “deep-seated” problems remained.
The New Mexico Environment Department says the diner — until recently called the Bad Ass Sandwich Shop but now called the Kick Ass Sandwich Shop because of a legal dispute, see the NSFV video below – will be served with a notice of violation for not having a catering permit.
Paul Rhien, a spokesman for the Health Department, said Friday that epidemiology tests confirmed the contamination came from the restaurant’s food.
Shannon Quintana of Kick Ass Sandwich Shop couldn’t be reached for comment Friday. He told the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper that he didn’t cater the Dec. 14 lunch and that the Health Department had ordered food from Kick Ass to be served alongside other dishes brought by employees.
The Health Department’s holiday lunch, which was held in the department’s offices at the Runnels Building – where employees headquartered there are the same ones who investigate disease outbreaks around the state – resulted in “reports of a number of employees becoming ill with mild gastrointestinal illness,” according to a message sent to employees Monday by Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher.
More than 200 department workers are estimated to have attended and about 71 reported gastrointestinal symptoms that developed within 24 to 48 hours.
Rhien said Friday that the Department of Health was not aware the sandwich shop didn’t have a catering permit. “If a restaurant doesn’t have the appropriate permit, we would expect them to refuse our request to cater an event — just as anyone would expect,” he said in an e-mail.
“The lab results from our epidemiological investigation confirmed that Clostridium perfringens bacteria were the source of the outbreak.”
The holiday lunch was paid for with worker contributions to an employee events committee, not by taxpayers, Rhien said.
Cryptosporidium parvum is an important opportunistic parasite pathogen for immunocompromised individuals and a common cause of diarrhea in young children. Previous studies have identified a panel of RNA transcripts of very low protein-coding potential in C. parvum.
Using an in vitro model of human intestinal cryptosporidiosis, we report here that some of these C. parvum RNA transcripts were selectively delivered into the nuclei of host epithelial cells during C. parvum infection. Nuclear delivery of several such parasitic RNAs, including Cdg7_FLc_0990, involved heat-shock protein 70-mediated nuclear importing mechanism. Overexpression of Cdg7_FLc_0990 in intestinal epithelial cells resulted in significant changes in expression levels of specific genes, with significant overlapping with alterations in gene expression profile detected in host cells following C. parvum infection.
Our data demonstrate that C. parvum transcripts of low protein-coding potential are selectively delivered into epithelial cells during infection and may modulate gene transcription in infected host cells.
Delivery of parasite RNA transcripts into infected epithelial cells during Cryptosporidium infection and its potential impact on host gene transcription
J Infect Dis. (2016) doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiw607
Yang Wang, Ai-Yu Gong, Shibin Ma, Xiqiang Chen, Yan Li, Chun-Jen Su, Dana Norall, Jing Chen, Juliane K. Strauss-Soukup, Xian-Ming Chen
The veal trim and top bottom sirloin (TBS) products were produced and packaged on August 16, 2016, and October 25, 2016. The following products are subject to recall: [View Label (PDF only)]
60-lb. boxes containing “BONELESS VEAL”.
2,387-lb. bin containing “TBS”.
The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 17965” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The “BONELESS VEAL” items were shipped to a warehouse in California and the “TBS” items were shipped to distributor locations in Pennsylvania.
The problem was discovered during routine sample testing. There have been no confirmed reports of illness or adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.
Many clinical laboratories do not test for non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), such as STEC O26 or O45, because they are harder to identify than STEC O157. People can become ill from STECs 2–8 days (average of 3–4 days) after consuming the organism. Most people infected with STEC O26 or O45 develop diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe. Infection is usually diagnosed by testing of a stool sample. Vigorous rehydration and other supportive care is the usual treatment; antibiotic treatment is generally not recommended.