UK holidaymaker’s payout after contracting E. coli

A holidaymaker has won just under £3,000 in compensation from a travel company after contracting E. coli on one of their holidays.

Vincci Taj Sultan hotel in TunisiaCarl Pallant, 29, from Horsham, was staying with his girlfriend at Vincci Taj Sultan hotel in Tunisia when he caught the disease last summer. He contacted Your Holiday Claims direct who helped him win £2,935 in damages from travel operator Thomas Cook, with whom Mr Pallant had booked the holiday.

In a statement, the solicitors said: “Mr Pallant had booked the Tunisian getaway through the tour operator Thomas Cook.

“He reported that breakdowns in hygiene standards were rife within the hotel’s restaurants.

“Food was often served undercooked and birds were seen flying around open buffet restaurants where food was uncovered.

“Due to the severity of the symptoms suffered, Mr Pallant was admitted to hospital in Crawley for treatment.

“After days of tests it was confirmed that he had contracted E. coli during his stay at the Vincci Taj Sultan.”

Listeria concerns on the rise for pregnant women?

Listeria has always been a concern, but according to a NBC news affiliate, it’s new.

amy.pregnant.listeriaAnd people wonder why mainstream journalism is dying.

“While normally this is a bacteria our bodies can fight off, for expecting women, it becomes more difficult because of a lowered immune system. Additionally, there is concern that the bacteria could be passed on to the fetus.”

Duh.

Going public saves lives: E. coli kills child in Italy

My Italian food safety friend provides the following:

supershedder.e.coliLast summer, Apulia, a region in Italy’s south, was hit by a hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) outbreak with 20 cases; it was eventually linked to dairy products.

When two children came down with HUS in July,2014, authorities insisted that “there was no alarm.”

It is possible there has been no outbreak and no reason to alert the public, but a 18-month child has now died of HUS and it seems that the main reason was that doctors were slow to consider HUS as a possible diagnosis. Perhaps downplaying the issue to the public, including health professionals, has not helped.

Filthy ‘Scooby Doo!’ ice cream van served UK kids

We have an ice cream truck that trolls around our Brisbane neighborhood as the kids are coming home from school.

scobby.doo.ice.creamI find that creepy.

UK environmental health officers say the state of an ice cream van serving children in Bransholme was the worst they had ever seen.

Ice cream seller Richard Lister has been fined £750 after he pleaded guilty to six food safety offences at the Hull Magistrates’ Court.

He was using an ice cream van called Scooby-Doo and traded around the Bransholme area serving ice creams, ice lollies and sweets.

E. coli connection in Oregon? 3-year-old girl also gets sick

After seeing reports on KATU TV, the family of a 3-year-old girl who got sick from E. coli is convinced that the case is connected to another case of E. coli that killed 4-year-old Serena Profitt on Monday. Both children were in the same general area just before they got sick.

serena1Serena swam in a section of the South Santiam River in Linn County. Then Aubrie Utter had her birthday at Waterloo Park about 20 minutes away and a few feet from a section of that river. They used a water fountain to fill up water balloons.

Aubrie’s birthday party was Saturday, Aug. 23, and her mother, Katie Hendricks, said her daughter was sick that very night.
“During the middle of the night, she woke up crying (that) her stomach hurt. She had diarrhea,” Katie said.

She brought her daughter to a clinic in Albany and just like with Serena she said they thought it was a minor virus and sent her home. But she just kept getting worse, and her mother brought her back in and demanded they do a blood test.

Two hours later they confirmed Aubrie had E. coli, and she was rushed to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, just two doors down from Serena. Aubrie was hospitalized for a full week and underwent five blood transfusions. She recovered but Serena did not.

Now, Katie has a message for other parents.

“I want the public to know,” she said. “You got to push doctors. If they tell you, ‘No, go home,’ – push it, ask for blood work, because my daughter wouldn’t be here today if I wouldn’t have done that.”
A KATU reporter called the Linn County Health Department to see what it is doing about this possible connection. The reporter was told that this was the first it had heard about it.

5 kids sickened by E. coli-related infection in Kentucky

Five Kentucky children were being treated at Kosair Children’s Hospital on Friday for a potentially life-threatening syndrome usually caused by E. coli infection, and the state health department has launched an investigation into how they got sick.

claudia.e.coli.petting.zoo.may.14“There is a cluster of children with” hemolytic uremic syndrome,” said Beth Fisher, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “We don’t know the source at this point.”

Even though the children in this outbreak are from three different counties, officials said, they could have eaten at the same event or restaurant or eaten food that was distributed across counties.

What’s lurking in your kids’ lunch bags?

Following Chapman, which I seem to be doing more frequently lately (and that is preferred) I had my own thoughts, published in Canada, on school lunches.

simpsons.lunch.lady.09According to Doug Powell, former professor of food safety at the University of Guelph, reusable lunch bags make attractive breeding grounds for germs. “The risk of illness is low, but it’s difficult to quantify,” he says. “Most foodborne illness goes unreported. What you want to do is get ahead of it and be preventative. That means cleaning thoroughly every day.”

Since most schools don’t offer refrigeration for kids’ lunches, an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack inside (or in a pinch, a frozen water bottle) can help keep foods cool until lunchtime.

“Any food can have a risk, but some foods are riskier than others,” says Powell. Types of foods that Powell says are more likely to carry bacteria include cantaloupe (its soft, porous skin can be a breeding ground for germs), raw sprouts (they can easily become contaminated with E. coli and salmonella in the high-moisture environment they grow in) and meats from the deli counter (deli slicers are hard to clean, so listeria can build up over time).

lunch.box.jan.14While kids might be fine with skipping the cantaloupe and sprouts, they might not be quite as happy about giving up their lunch meats. If you’d rather not avoid the deli counter altogether, Powell recommends being extra careful about keeping deli meats refrigerated and not storing them for more than two to three days.

I use a frozen water bottle along with an ice pack.

Foster Farms won’t come clean

I’m not a fan of antibiotic resistance stories, I’m not a fan of NRDC, but I am a fan of food that doesn’t make people barf, and companies who are accountable, rather than the just-cook-it approach.

Family guy barfIf Foster Farms wants to regain consumer confidence, market microbial food safety at retail.

After the NPR puff-piece on Foster Farms and its Salmonella-laden chicken which has sickened at least more than 600 people, the Los Angeles Times reports that after reopening its main plant in Central California after a cockroach infestation, federal inspectors were already writing-up new violations at the sprawling poultry-processing facility.

U.S. Department of Agricultural inspectors would cite the Livingston, Calif., plant more than 40 times over the next two months for violations such as mold, rust on equipment and several instances of fecal contamination.

The new details were released by the Natural Resources Defense Council, a New York environmental advocacy group that is campaigning to reduce antibiotic use in livestock over concerns that it is contributing to drug-resistant superbugs.

The issue has become so prominent in the industry that Perdue Farms announced last week that it was the first major poultry brand to eliminate antibiotic use in its hatcheries.

Using the Freedom of Information Act, the NRDC received months’ worth of documented violations at Foster Farms from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

food.that.doesn't.make.you.barf.09The goal? To lift the veil at a company linked to an outbreak of salmonella that sickened at least 634 people from March 2013 to July. The outbreak was notable for its higher rates of hospitalizations and the presence of antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella.

“Throughout the salmonella crisis, Foster Farms repeatedly told us it was committed to leadership in food safety. But the reports show that when you look behind the curtain, it’s a company that can’t comply with its own food safety plan,” said Jonathan Kaplan, the council’s food and agriculture program director.

Thomas E. Elam, president of farming consulting company FarmEcon in Carmel, Ind., said the number of violations was unusually high, though he did not have comparative data for poultry firms of a similar size.

“Some of the issues are very minor, but there is a pattern of lack of employee training and sanitation issues with the plant infrastructure that are not so minor,” said Elam, who reviewed a copy of the violations. “I’m frankly surprised by the number of bird handling and contamination issues from improperly operating equipment…. These data are not going to put Foster in a positive light.”

The Food Safety and Inspection Service did not respond to a request to explain whether Foster Farms was receiving violations at higher rates than similarly sized competitors.

Prosecutor says Georgia peanut plant owner OK’d sales of salmonella-tainted food ‘whatever the risk’

Prosecutors are wrapping up their case against the owner of a Georgia peanut plant linked to a deadly salmonella outbreak, saying he knowingly approved shipments of tainted food “whatever the risk.”

peanutJurors began hearing closing arguments Thursday in the five-week federal trial of former Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell and two others charged with covering up lab tests that found salmonella in peanuts and peanut butter. The company’s products are blamed for killing nine Americans and making 714 others sick in 2008 and 2009.

Defense attorneys took barely an hour Wednesday to rest their cases after more than a month of prosecution testimony.

5 sickened: Frog found in midday meal in India

Food safety authorities on Wednesday took specimens of food from a school in Badgaon in Saharanpur district, in which a dead frog was found.

kermit.frogFood safety officer Paramjeet Singh said a dead frog was found in the rice-dal served to students of Sati Smarak Inter College on Tuesday, after which three students and two teachers fell ill.