Again, anyone sick? How was the Listeria detected? More Australian mysteries.
Whitestone Cheese (NZ) has recalled Whitestone Windsor Blue Cheese 110g from Woolworths Supermarkets in QLD, NSW, ACT and VIC due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination.
Anyone sick? How was the Salmonella detected? More Australian mysteries.
Energetic Greens has recalled Organic Sprouts Salad (Broccoli, sunflower and radish) from local greengrocers and IGA stores in northern NSW (New South Wales)nand the Mullumbimby, Bangalow and Glorious Organic Farmers Markets due to Salmonella contamination. Food products contaminated with Salmonella may cause illness if consumed. Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice.
Clenbuterol was never just for elite athletes, veterinarians could get it whenever they wanted.
But the Gold Coast Bulletin, the number one source for surf news in Australia, reports that bodybuilders, athletes and slimmers are misusing a livestock drug, putting them at risk of serious health problems.
Research reveals the use of veterinary drug clenbuterol has spread from elite athletes to the general public.
A rising number of Australians are calling poison hotlines with racing hearts, nausea, vomiting, tremors and anxiety.
There has also been one reported cardiac arrest in a young man linked to the drug.
Clenbuterol is predominantly used to treat respiratory illnesses in horses and, in some countries, it’s still used illegally to increase lean meat in food-producing animals.
Many Gold Coasters, striving to get the perfectly lean body, are using Clenbuterol with it relatively easy to access on the black market through gyms.
The study by the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s Dr Jonathan Brett and researchers from the NSW Poisons Information Centre found 63 calls for help about the drug from 2004-2009.
Most patients were using it for slimming and bodybuilding and had to be hospitalized.
The performance-enhancing drug made headlines when it was popular among elite athletes, with cyclist Alberto Contador and sprinter Katrin Krabbe receiving bans.
In humans, it’s used to boost aerobic capacity, the body’s ability to transport oxygen and metabolize fat.
Ash Lewis was limp in his mother’s arms. The three-year-old boy had been sick for several days, in and out of the family doctor’s surgery and up all night with diarrhea.
That Sunday he had been happily playing on the beach at Torquay on Victoria’s west coast and later munching on an egg and cheese roll at a beachside cafe. He and his mother had left Melbourne to escape February’s heatwave.
By Thursday his condition had gone downhill fast. He stopped speaking and couldn’t walk. His parents, Scott and Sarina Lewis, rushed him to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. His blood pressure was down, his heart rate was low and his face was the ”colour of concrete.”
From the happy little boy playing in the sea he was now in hospital with an IV drip in his arm.
An estimate by the federal Department of Health puts the number of Australians contracting food-borne illness at 5.4 million cases, or nearly one in four, with 120 people so seriously affected they die. The cost to the economy has been put at $1.25 billion.
Richard Cornish of Good Food writes that incidents involving Salmonella have almost doubled in the past 10 years, from 6,990 in 2003 to 12,836 in 2013. In Brisbane last year, 220 people became ill and one elderly woman died after a Melbourne Cup lunch. The finger was pointed at raw egg mayonnaise contaminated with salmonella. In 2010, salmonella-contaminated aioli made with raw egg was found to be the cause of an outbreak in a hamburger bar that struck down 179 people
A stool sample taken from Ash confirmed he was infected with Salmonella bacteria causing gastroenteritis. The sandwich he ate at that cafe was prepared with mayonnaise made with free-range eggs. Owners of the cafe we spoke to believe this is the most likely cause of the food poisoning.
Brett Graham is the co-owner of the Bottle of Milk in Torquay. At the time of writing his cafe was still closed, three weeks after the food poisoning outbreak was identified. He has scrubbed his business from floor to ceiling, spent $20,000 rebuilding the kitchen, complete with new fridges and dishwashers, and installed a window so diners can look in. “No one intentionally tries to make someone sick. I, we [he has a business partner], we feel terrible,” he says. “It’s a small town and a lot of people we know personally have been affected.”
The business is still paying their staff of 20.
Seventy-seven diners who fell ill after eating at Canberra restaurant Copa Brazilian Churrasco last year are at present taking civil action against its owners in the ACT Supreme Court. A total of 140 people fell ill, with 15 taken to hospital, after eating home-made mayonnaise at the restaurant in May last year.
Here’s a tip: don’t use raw eggs.
Why won’t Australian government or industry or consumer groups make such a basic statement, and actively promote the message? Instead, consumers are told it’s their fault when they buy a sandwich made with raw egg mayo and get sick. And consumers pay for such terrible messages with tax dollars.
A table of raw egg related outbreaks in Australia is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/raw-egg-related-outbreaks-australia-3-3-14.xlsx.
Australia has more than an egg problem – it has a microbial food safety problem.
And the public availability of food safety information is embarrassingly sparse, creating a culture of indifference.
As the number sickened by Salmonella linked to raw-egg based dishes at Torquay’s Bottle of Milk restaurant climbed to 220, OzFoodNet, the national foodborne disease monitoring network, reports the number of Australians struck down by food poisoning has leapt almost 80 per cent in a decade and the number of outbreaks linked to restaurants has more than doubled.
In the decade to 2011, the number of Australians affected by foodborne gastroenteritis increased 79 per cent. In 2011, 150 outbreaks affected 2,241 people compared with 86 affecting 1,768 people in 2001. The rate of hospitalization has trebled since 2001.
The figures capture only a fraction of infections since most victims don’t go to a doctor, experts say. A 2002 estimate of people affected by food poisoning put the number at 5.4 million cases of gastro and 120 deaths a year at a cost of $1.25 billion.
Martyn Kirk, a senior lecturer in epidemiology at the Australian National University and former OzFoodNet senior epidemiologist, warns that any foods prepared without the bacterial ”kill step” of cooking increase the risk of bacteria spreading, and that Salmonella is linked to multiple food sources.
”It’s definitely not always the chicken … We’ve had outbreaks of salmonella linked to rockmelon, papaya, cucumbers – and we know that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” he says.
Raw or minimally cooked eggs are the single largest cause of foodborne illness in Australia. But fresh produce has been increasingly implicated in outbreaks as health-conscious consumers favour salads, raw vegetables and minimally processed foods with lower salt and fat contents.
In the Bottle of Milk outbreak, suspect eggs were traced back to the Green Eggs farm in Great Western. Sales have been restricted until food safety is improved.
In recent days a handful of salmonella cases have also emerged among diners at St Kilda’s Newmarket Hotel, which had also sourced eggs from the Green Eggs farm.
Victorian chief health officer Rosemary Lester said other salmonella cases not linked to the two restaurants had also emerged and were being investigated.
Late last year, Piccalilli Catering was identified as the Brisbane catering company at the centre of another salmonella outbreak, which contributed to the death of one elderly lady and 220 others falling ill.
“We are deeply upset and distressed by this outcome. We always pride ourselves on sourcing the freshest Australian ingredients for our kitchens. We feel very disappointed and let down that the normally reliable fresh food supply chain has failed us – and our clients – on this occasion,” Piccalilli Catering co-owner, Helen Grace, said at the time.
Until someone develops Salmonella-spotting goggles, Australian food service needs to use pasteurized eggs in homemade mayonnaise and aioli, or commercial sources. Having this conversation with an Australian restaurant chef is like walking into 1978.
There are a surprising number of Sizzler restaurants scattered around Australia. One in Booval, Queensland, west of Brisbane, is apparently the source of a suspected gastro outbreak.
Public health physician Dr Kari Jarvinen and Sizzler confirmed the Ipswich restaurant was being investigated after multiple reports of gastro.
He said the venue was co-operating in the investigation and would be checked to assure the appropriate level of sanitation and cleaning had taken place.
Woodend mum Kellie Roussounis-Adams and her family became ill with a gastro illness after eating at the restaurant last Friday.
“The following day my entire family was sick, including my two children,” she said. “My husband, who works as a concreter, was forced to take a day off work.”
Mrs Roussounis-Adams became aware of the gastro outbreak through social media.
Sizzlers refunded the cost of the meal to Mrs Roussounis-Adams, which is helping Queensland Health identify the source.
A Sizzler spokeswoman said customers had raised their concerns after the Friday night.
This sounds about right for Australian time.
But at least they have decent penalties.
The Imperial Peking restaurant at Saint Peters in Adelaide was visited by health-types 12 times between 2006 and 2013 and served warning notices on each occasion. The Chinese takeaway was closed for eight days in December 2012.
Prosecutor Paul Kelly told Magistrates Court that failures included insufficient hygiene training of staff.
“This is a significant food business over a number of years. The offending has occurred over a sustained period against a backdrop of warnings … and it continued after the business reopened in December 2012.”
He said the restaurant closure in 2012 saw a sign put up saying it was closed ‘due to a gas leak’.
He fined the company, MustWin Investments Pty Ltd, its cook manager Joel Zhuo Bin Guan, and one of its directors, Di Fei Huang, a total of $104,000 plus costs.
Sorenne started school today, the equivalent of North American kindergarten and what is called prep here, every day, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
And it has to be pink for the princess (but ice hockey starts Sunday).
The humble lunchbox has taken on a life of its own with varieties now ranging from a basic $3 plastic container to an $85 stainless steel contraption.
And just as the choice of lunchbox shapes, colors and sizes is endless, so is the range of accessories.
Insulated carry cases, removable compartments, drink bottles and ice pack inserts are among the more practical extras.
We spent 10 minutes going over the various containers – frozen ice pack half-filled with juice, two compartments for morning fruit (grapes and apple slices) and a larger compartment below for lunch (salami and cheese sandwich on whole grain bread, with a peeled orange).
She’ll eat when she gets home. This was the fifth time I’ve sent a daughter off to school. No tears.
Lucas Whitelegg is finally ready to embrace the world with both arms after spending 10 months with his entire body paralysed by botulism.
Three days after celebrating his first birthday, Lucas will on Friday wave goodbye to the Monash Children’s Hospital staff who helped him through 241 days in intensive care and the gradual return of his movement from the pure form of Botox. For Lucas’ mother Bree Bailey it will mark the end of nightmare that began when he was 8 1/2 weeks old and ingested a spore that sprouted botulism in his belly, which then spread through his bloodstream and paralysed his entire body.
One of only 13 cases of botulism in Victoria in the last five years, doctors had to retrieve a $100,000 antitoxin from the US to save Lucas and then wait for the paralysis to wear off.
It was weeks before Lucas could even open his eyes, three months before his fingers and toes wiggled, and eight months before his lungs and diaphragm freed up allowing him to breath without a ventilator.
Raw and cooked meat produced in same room.
Not a rigorous food safety plan.
But exactly what Peter and Patrick Conroy are charged of doing as their smallgoods firm, Conroy’s (think deli meat) faces a maximum $200,000 fine over allegations they breached the South Australia food safety code eight times in three months.
Lawyers for the company and its directors, Peter Andrew Conroy and Patrick Kelly Conroy, appeared on their behalf in the Adelaide Magistrates Court today.
The company has yet to enter pleas to eight counts of breaching a condition of its accreditation under the Primary Produce (Food Safety Schemes) Act (2004).
In December 2005, Conroys goods were taken off store shelves due to a listeria outbreak.
Royal Adelaide Hospital patient Richard Formosa died as a result of eating infected Conroy’s products – seven years later, his family received $200,000 compensation.
Listeria was detected at Conroy’s again in August 2006.
Prosecutors later would tell a court the company had ignored the “fundamental rules” of the meat industry by packing raw and cooked meat in the same room.
Conroy’s was fined $8000 for that offence, which the company’s lawyer dubbed “a once-off.”
In June this year, the company was fined $8000 after pleading guilty to four breaches of hygiene standards.