Mettwursts and pepperoni made by Australian smallgoods firm recalled

Brad Crouch of The Advertiser reports that mettwurst and pepperoni manufactured by Barossa Valley smallgoods firm Linke’s Central Meats is being recalled amid potential contamination fears.

mettwurst-and-pepperoniFollowing food safety checks by the Department of Primary Industries and Regions

South Australia (PIRSA), three types of mettwursts and one pepperoni from the Nuriootpa-based Linke’s Central Meats have been recalled and SA Health is advising people not to consume them.

SA Health has not received any reports of illness associated with these smallgoods but PIRSA is now investigating as routine food safety checks have been unable to verify the safety of the firm’s manufacturing processes for these mettwurst and pepperoni products.

Linke’s Central Meats can be found at South Australian Foodlands, the Loxton IGA and independent smallgoods stores.

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) will be issuing a nationwide recall for the product and further information about the recall can be found on the FSANZ website.

BS credentials (journos, ask her a food safety question) Australian resort cited for food service violations

Christopher Walsh of Northern Territory News reports former CLP candidate Carolyn Reynolds has been cited on numerous occasions by the Department of Health for serious food service violations at her Lake Bennett Resort including staff not washing their hands, serving questionable food and keeping an “unsanitary” kitchen.

carolyn-reynoldsEnvironmental Health inspection documents obtained by the NT News show Ms Reynolds was written up in early June for a number of breaches of the Food Act, including not having proper potable water on premises and improper hygiene of employees. A follow-up review of the premises known as “Eagle Nest” restaurant showed serious breaches continued at the resort as late as June 23.

“Observation of staff — no handwashing in between duties,” the follow-up report states. “No soap in soap dispenser.

“Defrosting of foods — to be defrosted in coolroom, at time of inspection chicken breasts were defrosting in sink … not safe.”

The inspection also found expired food was stored in the same place as food she was serving customers. She was lectured then about “best before” and “use by” dates.

Department of Health officials confirmed Ms Reynolds was written-up for violations of the Food Act after “numerous complaints” but that no action was taken and that they “continue to work with the proprietor”.

“Environmental Health officers have visited the premises on a number of occasions, as recent as August and served food improvement notices to address issues identified,” a Health Department spokeswoman said. “The proprietor has taken appropriate follow up action.”

But photos taken last week, seen by the NT News, show unsanitary kitchen conditions remain, including dead cockroaches on shelves, unclean cooking areas, out of date cheeses and mouldy foodstuffs in coolers.

A former employee told the NT News Ms Reynolds would routinely serve old and expired food to customers — as late as last week. The employee also said she personally witnessed “Carolyn preparing food without washing her hands, without wiping down benches and using unclean knives quickly wiped on a dirty tea towel”.

Ms Reynolds denied all the allegations, saying she sacked kitchen staff recently “because some people hadn’t been doing things while I was doing the election”.

She added she is a “certified microbiologist” and knows about food safety. The Australian Society for Microbiology said yesterday they had no record of Ms Reynolds as a member.

“I fully understand all aspects of safe food, unfortunately, we in society probably throw away a lot more food than we should,” Ms Reynolds said. She added that claims she served children expired meat were “rubbish.”

“In no way on earth would I risk my reputation both as a chartered biologist and a business owner and as a person who loves children …” she said. “I would not risk harming children.”

Ms Reynolds, who ran for the seat of Goyder, said she was in “desperate” need of a good chef and that she may be forced to bring cooks in from the UK soon.

And they know what about food safety?

celebrity_chefs4

Imitation as flattery: Raw and risky is theme of Aussie food safety week

My line is raw is risky.

duhI’ve used it in at least 20 barfblog.com posts over the last five years, and hundreds of times over the last 25 years.

The Australian Food Safety Information Council has announced that the campaign for Food Safety Week to be held from 6 to 12 November 2016, was announced today as ‘Raw and risky’ foods.

Council Chair, Rachelle Williams, said we have seen major food poisoning outbreaks in recent years linked to risky raw foods such as unpasteurized milk, raw eggs, bean/seed sprouts, frozen berries and lettuce.

Duh.

I’m an Australian citizen. I’ve been here for five years, if you folks need help (not that help recognizes artificial boundaries, although the Australian Internet does suck).

Whole genome sequencing to determine food sources of Salmonella

Salmonella Typhimurium (STM) is an important cause of foodborne outbreaks worldwide. Subtyping of STM remains critical to outbreak investigation, yet current techniques (e.g. multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis, MLVA) may provide insufficient discrimination. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) offers potentially greater discriminatory power to support infectious disease surveillance.

wgsMethods

We performed WGS on 62 STM isolates of a single, endemic MLVA type associated with two epidemiologically independent, foodborne outbreaks along with sporadic cases in New South Wales, Australia, during 2014. Genomes of case and environmental isolates were sequenced using HiSeq (Illumina) and the genetic distance between them was assessed by single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis. SNP analysis was compared to the epidemiological context.

Results

The WGS analysis supported epidemiological evidence and genomes of within-outbreak isolates were nearly identical. Sporadic cases differed from outbreak cases by a small number of SNPs, although their close relationship to outbreak cases may represent an unidentified common food source that may warrant further public health follow up. Previously unrecognised mini-clusters were detected.

Conclusions

WGS of STM can discriminate foodborne community outbreaks within a single endemic MLVA clone. Our findings support the translation of WGS into public health laboratory surveillance of salmonellosis.

Whole genome sequencing of Salmonella Typhimurium illuminates distinct outbreaks caused by an endemic multi-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis type in Australia, 2014

BMC Microbiology, Published 15 September 2016, DOI: 10.1186/s12866-016-0831-3

http://bmcmicrobiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12866-016-0831-3

Australian citizenship

It’s a trifecta of citizenships for me and Sorenne – Canadian, American and now Australian — and a deux-fecta for Amy as we attended our citizenship ceremony on Saturday morning.

citizenship-sep-16We didn’t even know it was Australian Citizenship Day (a U.S. thing too, which is ironical because the three of us are also Americans), but there were 492 of us in a community centre — with another 500 of supporting friends and family, although we decided to keep ours a personal affair — who were welcomed to the Australian family.

Special thanks to Amy and Sorenne, and many others, who have stuck with me while I adjust to the next phase of our life.

We’ll be celebrating tomorrow, in sub-tropical Brisbane, by spending the day at the arena, playing and coaching ice hockey.

And many thanks for all the kind messages we received in response to our citizenships.

We are quite fortunate, and grateful.

dp

(before and after pics; are we different? that’s a softball question lobbed up there for your amusement)

family-citizen

‘MasterChef-itis’ leading to Australian restaurant staff shortages (and dumb food safety)

Young Australians are attracted to the “rock star” chef lifestyle depicted in reality cooking shows, but don’t want to put in the hard graft to get there, Good Food Guide editor Myffy Rigby says.

rockstar-chefRigby has just released the latest annual Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide and said while the food industry was going strong, many restaurants were still having a tough time finding staff.

A Deloitte Access Economics report last year found a current gap of 38,000 staff across the tourism and hospitality sector, a shortage predicted to increase to 123,000 by 2020.

The report predicted demand would be strongest for chefs and restaurant managers.

However, Rigby said young people in particular just weren’t prepared for the years of physical toil it required to make it to the top.

“I think there’s a little bit of MasterChef-itis, I’m going to call it.”

Meanwhile, the Guide announces 11 café trends they’re glad are going away.

Here’s another: No more raw eggs in mayo and aioli.

But that’s a food safety thing and can’t compete with food porn.

Until people get sick.

Uber lawyers for Uber food?

I never liked Ikea.

The stuff looks great in the showroom but is a pain to assemble and never quite looks the same.

ikea-is-testing-diy-food-at-one-of-their-stores-allen-wrench-not-included_1IKEA is opening a “Do-It-Yourself Restaurant”, in which diners will be the chefs. Anyone attending IKEA’s ‘Dining Club’ will be able to cook a meal for up to 19 pals under the supervision of a head chef.

According to an Ikea statement, “diners will orchestrate an intimate foodie experience in a homely kitchen environment to mimic an actual dinner party, but one where diners can host many more guests than usual.”

No mention of liability.

I don’t want a do-it-yourselfer who only knows about food safety from cooking shows – fail – preparing meals for anyone.

We’re gearing up to host Canadian Thanksgiving for a few dozen people at a park so the kids can run around and the parents can chill. I cook the bird. I’ll transport it safely and I’ll serve it safely. Who knows what other microorganisms the others will bring.

Danielle Bowling of Hospitality Magazine writes that Australia has welcomed a new food delivery service, FoodByUs, where home cooks – not chefs – are the ones preparing meals.

After receiving a $2 million investment, the concept launched in late August and is the brainchild of Ben Lipschitz, Menulog co-founder Gary Munitz and Tim Chandler, ex-Menulog lead developer.

foodbyus_2-jpgFoodByUs allows consumers to order meals or snacks prepared by home cooks, and either pick it up from their house, or have it delivered for an additional $5.

Lipschitz said consumers need not be concerned about the fact that the meals aren’t prepared in a commercial kitchen.

“Food safety is taken very seriously at FoodByUs. There’s absolutely nothing illegal about selling food that’s made from your home. It’s very clearly regulated by councils and at times, state government. So we make sure that the cooks are compliant and we help them in understanding those processes,” he told Hospitality.

Pinto defense: we meet all government standards. Flashing red light warning.

Depending on the food being prepared, local councils may or may not inspect the cook’s kitchen, Lipschitz said, and FoodByUs – which has recruited 80-odd cooks, including ex-chefs and MasterChef contestants – doesn’t require food to be prepared in its test kitchen before making it available to consumers.

Ex-chefs and MasterChef contestants know shit about food safety in Australia (see any of the post entitled, Australia still has an egg problem).

“There’s no need to watch them prepare it, and in fact the requirement in terms of their premises always falls back on the council, so from our perspective there would be no point having them prepare it in our kitchen.

“The application process simply involves the cook bringing their food into a tasting centre and allowing us to do a quality and taste test. At that point we also take identification so there’s accountability and then they’re able to sell food on the network. The third thing we do is that every single buyer must review their purchase; they actually can’t continue using the service or app until they’ve reviewed their purchase. That means that we’ve got live, up-to-date feedback,” he said.

Maybe they have those groovy bacteria-sensing goggles.

From the advert:

Experience

Not Applicable

Job description

Cook, bake and create family meals in your area – flexible hours, great income

Earn over $500 / week, reaching thousands of buyers

Create Your Own Products, Schedule & Pricing

Free to Join, No Contracts

https://www.foodbyus.com.au/maker-registration/

Are you a quality cook looking for additional income? Turn your kitchen (home or commercial) into dollars by selling food to a huge community of hungry local buyers looking for quality meals to feed their families. FoodByUs (www.foodbyus.com.au) is actively looking for passionate cooks to make authentic food. Aussie favourites, food from back home and food specially crafted for different dietary requirements are all welcome. Our part-time food makers earn over $500 / week and it’s free to join.

FoodByUs.com.au allows cooks to sell quality food online. No one who sells food on our site is a restaurant or big producer – rather we enable passionate cooks who make food from home or a commercial kitchen to independently sell their own food! You can make anything from delicious lunches and dinners through to sauces, cakes, cookies, pies or even empanadas if you like. Create your own products, your own cooking schedule and your own prices. We have appeared on national media like The Today Show, Channel 10, news.com.au, Grazia and more – we’re well known and ready to get you customers.

Not a mention of food safety.

Lawyers, sharpen your pencils.

Blame Australia: 3 new noroviruses cause gastro outbreaks across Australia

University of New South Wales scientists have identified three new strains of highly contagious norovirus that are responsible for a major new epidemic of viral gastroenteritis that has affected hundreds of thousands of Australians over winter.

keep-calm-and-blame-it-on-australiaScores of outbreaks of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea have occurred in Sydney, the Hunter region and the ACT, mainly in closed settings including aged care facilities, hospitals, childcare centres and cruise ships. More cases are expected.

In 2012, Professor Peter White and his team in the UNSW Faculty of Science discovered a new strain of norovirus named Sydney 2012, which caused a worldwide pandemic of gastro, including major outbreaks in Australia.

This strain dominated cases of norovirus infection until this year, when it declined from 75 per cent of cases to 18 per cent of cases in Australia. Similar trends have also been seen in the US and New Zealand.

“Now that Sydney 2012 has declined, three new strains of norovirus have emerged as a new major health concern,” says Professor White.

“They are responsible for a big increase in the number of gastro cases in Australia in the past two months, and this new spate of infection is likely to continue to cause a wave of sick leave that will affect businesses and schools already reeling from the effects of the current influenza epidemic.”

UNSW PhD student and molecular virologist Jennifer Lun worked out the genetic typing of the new viral strains.

“I was surprised to find three new viruses, rather than a single one,” she says.

“Two of the viruses are hybrid strains that evolved from the previous pandemic Sydney 2012 strain, while the other new strain is likely to have come from Asia. It occurred to me immediately that there was a potential for them to cause an increase in outbreaks this winter, because people have not been exposed to them before.”

norovirus-2Each year, norovirus infects about two million Australians and kills about 220,000 people worldwide. The nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea usually last for two to three days.

“Norovirus is highly infectious and can spread through aerosol particles when people vomit,” says Professor White, of the UNSW School of Biotechnology and Molecular Sciences.

“During the past 20 years there have been six global epidemics of norovirus, in 1996, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2012. Only time will tell how widely these three new strains will spread.”

The research on the new strains was carried out in collaboration with researchers at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Westmead Hospital, Canberra Hospital, the NSW Public Health Unit and medical testing service Douglass Hanly Moir.

Professor White established the Australian and New Zealand Norovirus Surveillance Network of testing laboratories in 2006, which has links with two similar organisations in Europe and North America to form a global surveillance network.

Barfblog daily is down

Blogging used to be glamorous, sorta like airplane travel before 9/11.

Sorta before you knew that Bob Ross’ afro wasn’t all-natural, how things were normal until Harrison Ford started wearing an earring, sorta before you knew that people who run ice hockey in Australia are just as self-centered as the Canadians (they mainly are Canadians).

There’s a lot of behind the scenes stuff, and the pay sucks. Chapman is off in Japan (right, not exactly as shown) and barfblog daily ain’t working. For the 4,000 subscribers, we’re trying to fix things.

With over 70,000 direct subscribers to barfblog.com in over 70 countries, you’re getting the news, just a bit fractured at the moment.

And since so many of you comment on my music choices, I’m sending this out to my favorite and under-appreciated hockey coach, bus driver Chris. Gotta have soul.

Everyone’s got a camera poop edition: Sorenne’s first blog post

Sorenne usually goes to the bathroom after school.

poop.school.sorenne.sept.16Today she found something of interest, so took my iPhone and took a picture.

The rest of this post is hers.

I found this poop on the toilet seat in the girls toilet. It was very disgusting. I wanted to clean it up so I wiped it with toilet paper so I washed my hands five times.