Leftovers ap links people who want to share extra food

Leftovers didn’t used to be my thing. I used to loathe the idea of eating the same meal the next day (unless it was Thanksgiving turkey). With age my lifestyle and tastes have changed. I get up early, run a couple of times a week and have embraced the world of reheating food from the night before.Cold Pizza

I do a lot of the weekend cooking at our house and make meals that turn into at least another dinner and usually a couple of lunches. I get that this isn’t revolutionary (note the large market for Tupperware) but is new for me.

There is apparently a subgroup of leftover-avoiding folks out there who are also concerned with food waste, leading to  the development of a leftover sharing ap. According to KCRG, developer Dan Newman created LeftoverSwap as a way for folks to share extra meatloaf or chicken casserole with others in their location.

“We only eat 60 percent of the food we produce, and that is pretty much a global stat,” said Dan Newman.

He and some friends came up with the solution a few years ago, after ordering too much pizza.

“So all this pizza was going to go to waste. And we thought, how cool of an idea would it be to find a place or find someone in the area who would be interested in eating this pizza?”

That idea grew into a smartphone app called “leftoverswap.”

It’s easy to use: just take a picture of the food you don’t want to go to waste, and then post it through the app. It then drops a pin on your location with a picture and description of the meal, no exchange of money involved. Newman says it also works for unopened and canned foods, but food experts say the app raises safety concerns.

“So you don’t know if it was refrigerated when the person got home, or if they left it on the counter, you also don’t know if they sneezed or coughed into the food, had any saliva in the food when they were eating it. Also, there’s a food defense concern, so you don’t know if they inserted anything in it that could be harmful to you,” said Rachel Wall, a food nutrition specialist with ISU Extension (temperature abuse after sneezing would be a problem. Coughing is pretty low risk, but gross. Saliva would matter if the person was ill- ben).

Newman admits there is the possibility that traded leftovers could make you sick.
But, like with Craigslist, he hopes people will use common sense.

“Don’t give away anything you wouldn’t eat yourself. And if you do take food, make sure you prepare it properly,” Newman said.

What does prepare it properly mean? I’d want to know whether the members have the tools and info necessary to make food safely – and whether they actually did it.

Real-life Airplane as passenger lands plane after pilot ill

I first saw the 1980 movie Airplane at the drive-in. I thought it was dumb, because I was more interested in the girl I was with. I’ve since re-watched about 30 times, and it’s in my top-5 movies of all time (World According to Garp, Wonderboys, American Beauty, O Brother Where Art Though round out the current list).

Whatever plot there was in Airplane revolved around passengers stricken with food poisoning.

That plot seems to have been borne out in real life after the pilot of a small plane fell ill at the controls and two flight instructors were called in to the airport to give his only passenger a crash course in not crashing.

The man—who had no flying experience—managed to bring the plane in for a safe, though somewhat bumpy, landing at England’s Humberside Airport. “He made quite a good landing actually,” one of the flight instructors tells the BBC.

391 now sick, mainly kids; 8 multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infections linked to small turtles

Four of eight multistate outbreaks of Salmonella linked to small turtles remain under active investigation, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control:

a total of 391 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella turtle.kisshave been reported from 40 states and the District of Columbia;

• 29% of ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported;

• 71% of ill persons are children 10 years of age or younger, and 33% of ill persons are children 1 year of age or younger;

• 45% of ill persons are of Hispanic ethnicity. Information about the association between reptiles and Salmonella is available in Spanish;

• results of the epidemiologic and environmental investigations indicate exposure to turtles or their environments (e.g., water from a turtle habitat) is the cause of these outbreaks;

• 70% of ill persons reported exposure to turtles prior to their illness;

• 89% of ill persons with turtle exposure specifically reported exposure to small turtles (shell length less than 4 inches);

• 30% of ill persons with small turtles reported purchasing the turtles from street vendors; and,

• 13% reported purchasing small turtles from pet stores.

The Food and Drug Administration has banned the sale and distribution of turtles with a shell length of less than 4 inches in size as pets since 1975.

Full details are available at http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/small-turtles-03-12/index.html.

Maybe I’ll move: reporting of foodborne illness varies from state-to-state

I’m often asked in my international travels, why does the U.S. have so many high profile outbreaks of foodborne illness?

I say better disease reporting, and a vigilant (though declining) media watchdog.

But what about within the U.S.?

Health types from Tennessee and elsewhere in the U.S. examined variability from state-to-state and found those states requiring submissions to a state lab reported higher rates of foodborne illness.

Abstract below

Variability among states in investigating foodborne disease outbreaks

Foodborne Pathogens and Disease

Timothy F. Jones, Lauren Rosenberg, Kristy Kubota, and L. Amanda Ingram



Over 1,100 foodborne disease outbreaks cause over 23,000 illnesses in the United States annually, but the rates of outbreaks reported and successful investigation vary dramatically among states. We used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s outbreak reporting database, Association of Public Health Laboratories’ PulseNet laboratory subtyping network survey and Salmonella laboratory survey, national public health surveillance data, and national surveys to examine potential causes of this variability. The mean rate of reporting of Salmonella outbreaks was higher in states requiring submission of all isolates to the state public health laboratory, compared to those that do not (5.9 vs. 4.1 per 10 million population, p=0.0062). Rates of overall outbreak reporting or successful identification of an etiology or food vehicle did not correlate at the state level with population, rates of sporadic disease reporting, health department organizational structure, or self-reported laboratory or epidemiologic capacity. Foodborne disease outbreak surveillance systems are complex, and improving them will require a multi-faceted approach to identifying and overcoming barriers.

Poisoned dog’s vomit sends four to Colorado hospital with breathing problems

Norovirus can easily be aerosolized and sicken others when people barf.

Apparently the same applies to dog vomit.

The Daily News reports a dying dog’s vomit sent four people to the hospital in Colorado — an incident possibly triggered by a chemical used in rat poison.

The puke examined at the Vail Valley Animal Hospital in Friday’s poisoning likely contained zinc phosphate, commonly found in rat bait, the Eagle River Fire Protection District said.

“When the pesticide comes into contact with water, it forms a toxic gas,” said fire inspector Gail McFarland, according to the Vail Daily. “When the dog threw up, this released the gas as the pesticide had mixed with the contents in the dog’s stomach.”

The dog, which later died, had been brought to the Edwards-based clinic for treatment. Its owner wasn’t identified, and it was unclear where it came into contact with the chemical.

The fumes from the vomit caused three people to show signs of “respiratory distress,” while a fourth person was also taken to the hospital as a precaution. Their conditions weren’t immediately known Sunday.

Cases of veterinary workers getting poisoned by dogs that have ingested pesticides are not uncommon.

To protect themselves, animal experts say, workers should induce vomiting outdoors and stand upwind from the potential fumes.

Blame the Welsh: illness takes down rugby’s NZ All Blacks

Just 48 hours before the final test of an arduous season, almost all of the All Blacks have been struck down by sickness.

Only two members of the extended 34-man playing squad escaped the potentially debilitating bug, which first swept through the team in Cardiff last week.

Coach Steve Hansen said, “It’s been a difficult week with a lot of people being sick. We’ve had guys go down with diarrhea and vomiting. There’s only two that have missed out. Just getting that mix right has been difficult. Hopefully we’ve been smart enough to keep the energy tank full. … Apparently half of the UK has got it. Hang around here long enough and we’ll give it to you,” he joked to media.

All Blacks No 8 Kieran Read said, “Personally I’m feeling a lot better today. I know the boys had a good guided tour of their bathrooms yesterday on their day off.”

The sickness shouldn’t be anything like the “Suzie the waitress” food poisoning that ripped through Laurie Mains’ All Blacks before the 1995 World Cup final.


219 – mainly kids — sick in six Salmonella outbreaks linked to small turtles

Turtles traumatized me as a child; now they frighten me for food-safety-related reasons: they make little kids sick.

In the current outbreaks, 30 per cent of the confirmed sick are children 1 year of age or younger; that’s at least 66 infants barfing because their parents wanted them to hang out with small turtles.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control is tracking six different outbreaks of human Salmonella infections linked to small turtles:

• a total of 219 persons infected with outbreak strains of Salmonella Sandiego, Salmonella Pomona, and Salmonella Poona have been reported from 34 states;

• 36 ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported;

• 66% of ill persons are children 10 years of age or younger, and 30% of ill persons are children 1 year of age or younger; and,

• 49% of ill persons are of Hispanic ethnicity.

Results of the epidemiologic and environmental investigations indicate exposure to turtles or their environments (e.g., water from a turtle habitat) is the cause of these outbreaks.

Small turtles are a well-known source of human Salmonella infections, especially among
young children. Because of this risk, the Food and Drug Administration has banned the sale and distribution of these turtles as pets since 1975.

Turtles with a shell length of less than 4 inches in size should not be purchased as pets or given as gifts.

NZ girl in hospital with E. coli after feeding lamb

A 3-year-old Canterbury girl is recovering in Auckland’s Starship children’s hospital after contracting E. coli and developing hemolytic uremic syndrome after feeding a lamb.

The story says the verotoxigenic E. coli came from the raw milk she was feeding the lamb, but it also could have come from the lamb, which Canterbury medical officer of health Alistair Humphrey apparently agreed with.

“It is not clear in this case whether the child contracted VTEC E.coli as a result of drinking unpasteurised milk or by simply touching the lamb. Fortunately, in this case the little girl is recovering.”

He said the incident highlighted the need for caution around farm animals.

“Touching farm animals can be lethal. VTEC is one of several diseases carried by healthy animals,” he said.

Humphrey said Community and Public Health was investigating two more possible cases.

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at http://bites.ksu.edu/petting-zoos-outbreaks.

Erdozain G, Kukanich K, Chapman B, Powell D. 2012. Observation of public health risk behaviours, risk communication and hand hygiene at Kansas and Missouri petting zoos – 2010-2011. Zoonoses Public Health. 2012 Jul 30. doi: 10.1111/j.1863-2378.2012.01531.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract below:

Observation of public health risk behaviors, risk communication and hand hygiene at Kansas and Missouri petting zoos – 2010-2011Outbreaks of human illness have been linked to visiting settings with animal contact throughout developed countries. This paper details an observational study of hand hygiene tool availability and recommendations; frequency of risky behavior; and, handwashing attempts by visitors in Kansas (9) and Missouri (4), U.S., petting zoos. Handwashing signs and hand hygiene stations were available at the exit of animal-contact areas in 10/13 and 8/13 petting zoos respectively. Risky behaviors were observed being performed at all petting zoos by at least one visitor. Frequently observed behaviors were: children (10/13 petting zoos) and adults (9/13 petting zoos) touching hands to face within animal-contact areas; animals licking children’s and adults’ hands (7/13 and 4/13 petting zoos, respectively); and children and adults drinking within animal-contact areas (5/13 petting zoos each). Of 574 visitors observed for hand hygiene when exiting animal-contact areas, 37% (n=214) of individuals attempted some type of hand hygiene, with male adults, female adults, and children attempting at similar rates (32%, 40%, and 37% respectively). Visitors were 4.8x more likely to wash their hands when a staff member was present within or at the exit to the animal-contact area (136/231, 59%) than when no staff member was present (78/343, 23%; p<0.001, OR=4.863, 95% C.I.=3.380-6.998). Visitors at zoos with a fence as a partial barrier to human-animal contact were 2.3x more likely to wash their hands (188/460, 40.9%) than visitors allowed to enter the animals’ yard for contact (26/114, 22.8%; p<0.001, OR= 2.339, 95% CI= 1.454-3.763). Inconsistencies existed in tool availability, signage, and supervision of animal-contact. Risk communication was poor, with few petting zoos outlining risks associated with animal-contact, or providing recommendations for precautions to be taken to reduce these risks.

C is for Chinese; food takes out tennis players

David Ferrer of Spain, ranked fifth in the world, retired from his first-round match Tuesday in Beijing at the China Open, stopping his match against Lu Yen-Hsun of Taiwan at 5-4 in the first set. The reason for Ferrer’s midmatch retirement, his first such forfeit since 2009, was listed as a stomach virus.

The New York Times reports Ferrer’s retirement came one day after 24th-ranked Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia retired in the third set of her first-round match against Polona Hercog of Slovenia, a qualifier, citing a G.I. illness.

Though only the second Chinese tournament of the year, the China Open is not the first to be troubled by such problems, perhaps not surprising given China’s heavily scrutinized record on food safety.

Two weeks earlier at a W.T.A. tournament in Guangzhou, there were three exits attributed to gastrointestinal illness. Top-seeded Marion Bartoli of France retired in the first set of her first-round match, then Olga Govortsova of Belarus retired after losing the first set of her second-round match against Alize Cornet of France. Later that day, it was Cornet who withdrew from her doubles match because of gastrointestinal issues. Alexandra Panova of Russia and Yung-Jan Chan of Taiwan also withdrew midway through matches in Guangzhou, citing the possibly stomach-exacerbated issues of “heat illness” and “dizziness.”

Though the aforementioned are confirmed examples of stomach issues forcing players out of competition, it is difficult to determine. Since there is little risk of long-term damage from playing through digestive discomfort compared to a joint or muscle injury, the incidence of players who decide to soldier on is likely a much higher percentage than for other afflictions.

8 sick; Orkney E. coli O157 investigation ends

The joint investigation by NHS Orkney and Orkney Islands Council has ended today.

The investigation began on August 17 and identified eight cases in all, of whom six were confirmed as having the E. coli O157 infection. The remaining cases were suspected because of their symptoms. One confirmed case remains in hospital.

Dr Louise Wilson, Director of Public Health, NHS Orkney said, “We have found no direct link connecting all the cases. The investigation team have worked hard to try and identify where the infection came from and how people became infected. Although we could identify some general common similarities, we could not pinpoint a common source. This is not unusual in an investigation. We had cases located across Orkney and the national laboratory, using genetic fingerprinting techniques, found three strains of E. coli O157 among the six confirmed cases. So it is not surprising that we cannot say with certainty where the infections originated, or how the cases came to be infected.