24 sick: Babylon Pizza and Shawarma staff ‘concerned’ by cases of Salmonella

Jennifer O’Brien of The London Free Press (the Ontario, Canada, one) reports the area’s public health watchdog couldn’t pinpoint what caused a salmonella outbreak at a south London eatery, but an official says staff there have shown “knowledge of good food safety practices” and he’s confident “things will be good going forward.”

babylon-pizza-and-shawarmaOwners of Babylon Pizza and Shawarma were “very co-operative, very good to work with and very concerned” when they learned two dozen customers had been infected with salmonella last month, Dave Pavletic, the Middlesex-London health unit’s food safety manager, said Wednesday.

“After our consultations and followup visits, (the owners) really demonstrated knowledge of good food safety practices,” he said. “They’ve achieved what we wanted.”

Pavletic said inspectors couldn’t determine exactly what made 24 Babylon patrons sick in August — a month that saw an unusual spike in salmonella reports even without those cases — but there have been no reports of salmonella linked to the restaurant since Aug. 25.

While two eatery staffers hold food handling certificates, he said, it’s not unheard of for health officials to learn of occasional infractions at restaurants. “From time to time, infractions occur.”

The health unit received 37 reports of salmonella — including the 24 linked to Babylon — in three weeks last month. That compares to the August average of nine reports.

So far this month, the health unit has received nine more salmonella reports.

At the same time, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency reports that Bulk Barrel is recalling No Sugar Added Almond Butter Crunch from the marketplace due to possible Salmonella contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled product described below.

The following product was sold in bulk from Bulk Barrel, 301 Oxford Street W, Unit 76C, London, Ontario, from September 2 to 7, 2016 inclusive.

Recalled products

Brand Name//Common Name//Size//Code(s) on Product//UPC

None//No Sugar Added Almond Butter Crunch//Variable//None//None

This recall was triggered by a recall in another country. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing recalled product from the marketplace.

Illnesses

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Going public: London, Ontario (that’s in Canada) version after Salmonella spike

Rather than waiting until all the facts were in and all the linkages solid, the Middlesex-London Health Unit on Friday decided to do something which has now become radical: it shared what they knew about a spike in Salmonella illnesses, said what they were doing to find out more, and implied that when they  find out more, you’ll hear it from health-types first.

risks.aheadGood job.

Jennifer O’Brien of the London Free-Press reports that 14 reported cases of Salmonella in a week — compared to a monthly August average of nine — has mystified health inspectors who couldn’t find a “common thread” among those affected.

Stephen Turner, director of environmental health and infectious diseases said, “We look for relationships — common restaurants, grocery stores, a common workplace . . . whether they’ve purchased a common product. We haven’t found that. That is why it’s raised our eyebrows so we are investigating diligently.”

The next step for the health unit is to contact each infected person and find out information that might explain how they became infected, he said.

The 14 people who were infected between Aug. 18 and Friday included males and females who range in age and live in various neighbourhoods across London.

They all reported typical symptoms associated with salmonella — diarrhea, vomiting and fever, said Turner, adding the health unit would like anyone experiencing such symptoms to report them.

Restaurant politics: UK protesters throw live insects into burger joints

Cockroaches, locusts and crickets were released into two Byron Hamburger restaurants in the United Kingdom as part of a protest against the chain’s role in an immigration swoop which saw dozens of its workers rounded up.

byron.burgers.insectsActivists said they released thousands of insects into two of the burger chain’s London restaurants on Friday evening.

They accused Byron of carrying out “underhand entrapment” of its workers after 35 people were removed by immigration officials earlier in July.

London Black Revs & Malcolm X Movement said in a joint Facebook statement on Saturday they had taken “affirmative action” in response to the chain’s “despicable actions in the past weeks having entrapped waiters, back of house staff and chefs in collaboration with UK Border Agency”.

“Many thousands of live cockroaches, locusts and crickets into these restaurants.

“We apologise to customers and staff for any irritation, however, we had to act as forced deportations such as this and others are unacceptable, we must defend these people and their families from such dehumanised treatment,” it continued.

UK grandmother dies after carvery meal: Investigation underway

A woman who ate a carvery dinner before she jetted off on holiday has died of suspected food poisoning two weeks after a pub visit.

julie.hemmingsGrandmother-of-four Julie Hemmings, 53, tucked in to a carvery meal in a London pub with her husband Mark, 55, brother-in-law Nick Kyriacou, and his wife Trish before the couple flew to Turkey.

But when the pair arrived at the resort the next day, Mrs Hemmings started spewing up ‘red’ vomit and died two weeks later after her condition worsened.

Doctors told her devastated husband that the poison was ‘seeping through her body’ after her bowel had perforated.

An investigation is now under way into the food poisoning claim after the couple and Mr Kyriacou all fell ill with sickness and diarrhea following their meal out.

A Merton Council spokesperson said: ‘Merton Council’s Environmental Health team are carrying out an investigation.

Food porn: 32,000 sign up for nude dinners at UK naked restaurant

How bored are Westerners that Bunyadi, a pop-up restaurant billed as London’s first “naked food experience” has a waiting list of 32,000 people?

naked.diningSanitarians have e-mailed me in abject microbiological horror.

The butt is covered for a reason.

Opening in June, the central London venue will offer gowns, changing rooms and lockers to guests wanting to digest the sight of their own exposed skin while getting their chow on.

Only 42 diners a time will fit in the restaurant — at an as-yet-undisclosed location — meaning that many of those hoping for a naked lunch, or dinner, will be disappointed.

“I’m both surprised and excited by the response,” Seb Lyall, whose company Lollipop is behind the venture, tells CNN.

“People want to be naked. Whether it’s on a beach or in a sauna, if the opportunity is there to be in a natural state, they will take it.”

Semi-nude staff

Paying up to $95-a-head for food and drinks, diners will be able to choose between clothed and “naked and pure” seating areas, where they’ll be served by semi-nude staff.

Selfies, mercifully, will be impossible as guests will have to leave their devices behind when entering the candlelit restaurant.

Lyall says to create a completely natural environment, both the restaurant and its kitchen will be run without electricity or gas.

Instead, its menu of vegan and non-vegan dishes will be prepared using wood fires by chefs who will, hopefully, be wearing more than just hairnets and aprons.

Food will be served on earthenware crockery and eaten with edible cutlery.

If you email to get on the waitlist, you get this response:

“The ethos behind The Bunyadi is ultimate freedom and liberation from any impurity.

You will enter a creatively designed space where you will dine under a canopy of candlelights, carefully partitioned with bamboo and wicker, as you recline on wood-hewn furniture. In this space, everything is handmade and natural. 

Think edible cutlery, handmade clay plates and a cooking done with only the basic utensils available (The spatula used in the kitchen is a piece of tree branch…)

Please note, although we would like everyone to experience this, tickets are limited and are only released on a first come first served basis.

Meanwhile, please visit us on our facebook page”

Microorganisms are natural, even the kind that will make people sick, and don’t care about marketing hucksterism.

Ask Chipotle.

Gastrointestinal outbreak confirmed at Canadian psycho ward

The London Health Sciences Centre (that’s in Canada) is in the midst of a gastrointestinal outbreak.

No Title ProvidedAM980 has confirmed an Alert Level Two outbreak has been called for gastrointestinal illness. The outbreak is confined to the 7th floor of the psychiatric ward at Victoria Hospital and the LHSC sent out a memo to staff.

This is the latest issue for the psychiatric ward, which just last week added security guards and visitor restrictions in the wake of what administration calls “an unacceptable level of safety for both our patients and staff.”

Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control, Dr. Michael John, tells AM980 there have been at least four cases.

17K fine; UK hog roast company fined over smelly slime covered decaying meat at Boardmasters

A hog roast company from London has pleaded guilty at Truro Magistrates Court to selling unfit meat at the Boardmasters event in August 2012 and has been ordered to pay a fine of £6,750, costs of £10,418.40 and £120 victim surcharge.

pig-ready-on-spitOfficers from Cornwall Council’s food and safety team discovered five pig carcasses in the trailer belonging to Rainha Santa Portuguese Foods Ltd, a company based at 39 Mahatma Gandhi Industrial Estate, Milkwood Road, London SE24 0JF, that were in a “state of decay”.

A further carcass was being cooked on the spit at the time of the inspection. It later transpired that the pigs had been transported to Cornwall without adequate refrigeration and this is likely to have been an influencing factor to the smell and slime observed when the officers inspected the carcasses and immediately removed them from sale.

Hygiene problems at Jamie Oliver’s London butcher?

Jamie Oliver’s exclusive butcher’s shop in London was closed for several hours in Jan. after inspectors found serious hygiene problems including mouse droppings, mold on carcasses and out-of-date meat.

Barbecoa Butchers, located near St Paul’s Cathedral, closed its doors after public health officers scored it one out of five in January, although a Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group spokeswoman said the closure was voluntary and not enforced.

Jamie OliverIt reopened within 24 hours after the issue was addressed.

Carcasses hanging in basement chillers were found to have mold growing on them, slicers and vacuum packers were left dirty and expensive wagyu beef, marrow bone, oxtail, onglet, and lomo de cana, a Spanish-style pork, was found to be out of date, The Times reported.

In one case chicken breasts which had been deboned were removed from their box, vacuum packed and relabelled with a date set for a week later, City of London inspectors said. There was no safety management system in place.

The butcher’s shop, which supplies meat for the restaurant upstairs of the same name, was found to have dirty fridge door handles, inadequate washing facilities for staff, poor lighting, damaged flooring and a “heavy presence” of mouse droppings.

The Times said it used a freedom of information request to obtain details of the extent of the hygiene problems.

However, a spokeswoman for the Jamie Oliver Group said mold on ageing meat carcasses is normal, and is always removed before it is served to the customer.

That doesn’t address all the other issues in the report.

£9,350 food safety fine for London takeaway

Mohammed Nazakat, owner of Flavour Chicken in South Street, has to pay out a total of £9,350 after being fined £750 for each offence plus £2600 in costs.

Havering Council officers became concerned about poor hygiene at the restaurant during a routine inspection in January 2012, and when Nazakat became the proprietor the following month he was made aware of these concerns.

The Council were clear that improvements needed to be implemented including adequate staff training in food safety, flavour.chickenwritten food safety procedures and ensuring food is protected from contamination.

When further visits indicated no improvements had been made a number of hygiene improvement notices were served.

Another visit in June 2012, to check the notices were being complied with, yielding yet more food safety issues which included inadequate hand washing facilities, staff not wearing aprons, and insufficient lighting. This was alongside a filthy storage area, outside bin, walls, floors and kitchen equipment.

Raw chicken was found to be stored too closely to cooked food and a cleaning cloth was tested and found to contain excessive levels of enterobacteriaceae (a bacteria associated with poor hygiene that can cause food poisoning). Following this visit, Havering Council decided court action was the only option.

Councillor Lesley Kelly, cabinet member for public protection, said: “It is absolutely disgusting that despite so many visits and advice given by our officers this restaurant owner failed to clean up his act and continued to break the law, putting the health and wellbeing of every person who ate there at risk. 

“He blatantly flouted the law and I am pleased that magistrates saw fit to impose a hefty fine. 

“We want to work with local food businesses to help them comply with food safety regulations and that’s why for each business we inspect we give a food hygiene rating from zero, where urgent improvement is necessary, to five which is very good. Residents can check these ratings online before they purchase take-away food or eat out in the Borough.”

London restaurant fights council over rare hamburger complaint

I don’t know what a rare hamburger is. When asked how I would like a burger, I say thermometer-verified 165F. I’m met with blank stares, which I return: rare is a subjective value with little meaning.

The city council of Westminster — which includes many of the important cultural districts in the West End — served notice against London restaurant Davy’s over how they were serving their £13.95 burger. The council’s food health and safety manager commented, “It is possible to produce burgers that can be eaten undercooked, but strict controls are essential.”

Huffington Post reports Davy’s has appealed the notice to the High Court, and their decision could set a precedent for how rare and medium rare burgers are regulated going forward.

The rare burger controversy in Westminster follows several months of controversy in England over the risks posed by rare and medium-rare beef. One major UK burger chain recently committed to ending the sale of rare and medium-rare burgers, while another was hit with penalties for serving undercooked burgers