Who flies with meat? 27kg of raw meat seized at Toronto airport

A traveler arriving from Egypt was found at Toronto Pearson International Airport with luggage filled with 27 kilograms of undeclared, raw meat last week.

who.throws.a.shoe_On June 9, Canada Border Services Agency officers found the partly frozen beef cuts, a whole goose and some smaller avian birds inside luggage.

The meat was found by a detector dog named Scout, in the baggage carousel of Terminal 1.

Any meat, animal hides, fruit, plants or insects must be declared to Canada Border Services agents. CBSA says that uninspected raw meat may damage Canada’s food supply, economy, environment and human health.

Food safety systems in India challenged by hygiene related problems

Indian food safety systems are challenged by the rapidly growing population, hygiene related problems, incidences of residues of antibiotics and heavy metals, foodborne pathogens, incidence of infectious diseases in food producing animals and anti- microbial resistance.

Pork MeatThese observations were made by experts addressing the recently-held National Symposium on Food Safety of Animal Origin, arranged during the XIII Annual Conference of Indian Association of Veterinary and Public Health.

Expressing his views at the symposium, Prof. Suresh S Honnappagol,animal husbandry commissioner, Government of India, stated, “The traditional production, processing and waste handling systems coupled with unhygienic practices in particular have tainted and tarnished the image of the Indian meat industry.”

Further, a panel of experts pointed out that population and income growth were driving enormous increases in demand for foods of animal origin. Livestock production systems are facing increasing demands for livestock feeds relative to availabilities. Accurate assessments of current and future supplies and demands for livestock feed are needed for national food and feed security policy and planning. The development of National Feed Assessment Systems (NFASs) is suggested to support sustainable livestock sector growth.

Dr C Renukaprasad, vice-chancellor, KVAFSU, Bidar,stated,“There is need to have extensive knowledge about the main health hazards associated with consumption of meat, poultry and eggs and their epidemiology in animals and humans. In addition, the risk analysis and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points). There must be an awareness of international regulation concerning the safety of meat, poultry and eggs and related trade issues.There is also need to put in risk-based inspection procedures.”

NZ woman fined $1125 over home-kill meat

A Whangarei bakery manager has been fined after being convicted of buying unregulated home-kill meat she intended to use in produce sold across the counter.

meatIn Whangarei District Court on Monday Sok Heng Chhiv, 30, pleaded guilty to a charge of buying unregulated meat, which had not been processed in accordance with the Animal Products Act. The charge was laid by the Ministry for Primary Industries and Chhiv was fined $1125 and the unregulated meat was forfeited.

She had bought the meat from Whangarei homekill operator Arron Ogle, 40, director of Homekill Services, who was last month convicted of selling 71.7kg of unregulated meat and fined $2250.

The court heard on Monday that May 21, last year, an MPI animal products officer inspected Whau Valley Hot Bread Shop in Whangarei, then jointly owned and managed by Chhiv and her husband.

The officer found 71.7kg of beef that Chhiv had no receipts for. Meat for human consumption must be documented throughout the food chain so it can be traced back to its farm of origin should there be a health or hygiene issue.

Chhiv said she had bought 60kg of diced beef and 11.7kg of beef fillet and rump steak for $500 from “Aaron” the previous day. She said she had not bought meat from “Aaron” before, but did so because it was cheaper than the butcher and good quality. She said “Aaron” was a home-kill operator, but did not know it was illegal to buy meat from this source.

‘Construction workers like it’ Activists call on Swiss parliament to outlaw eating cat for Christmas

Amy talks glowingly of her time in Switzerland, but seems sorta weird to me.

steve.martin.cat.jugglingKeeping with the shameless exploitation of cats to increase blog hits, animal rights activists have drawn up a petition to ban the ‘barbaric’ practice of eating pets in Switzerland, where cat meat often appears on traditional Christmas menus in rural areas.

The animal protection group, SOS Chats Noraingue, has handed over a petition with 16,000 signatures, including such notable animal rights defenders as Brigitte Bardot, to the Swiss parliament on Tuesday.

Dog meat is often used to make sausage, while cats are prepared around the holiday season in a similar style to rabbit – in a white wine and garlic sauce. A type of mostbröckli made from marinated cat or dog is another local favorite.

Though there are no statistics available on the amount of cat and dog meat consumed by the Swiss, SOS Chats founder and president, Tomi Tomek told AFP she suspects that “around three percent of the Swiss secretly eat cat or dog.”

While the commercial sale of dog meat is banned nationwide, its consumption is still legal and is particularly popular in Lucerne, Appenzell, Jura and in the canton of Bern, according to Tomek. Farmers are free to kill and eat their own animals. Those in the Appenzell and St. Gallen areas are said to favor a beefy breed of dog related to Rottweilers.

In a 2012 report on pet eating in the Swiss paper Tages Anzeiger, the Swiss Veterinary Office chalked up the practice to a “cultural matter” and noted that some countries breed dogs specifically for slaughter.

One farmer, defending the practice, told the paper, “There’s nothing odd about it. Meat is meat. Construction workers in particular like eating it.”

38 sick, blame Germany: second Salmonella outbreak, this one linked to meat

The 38 human cases of monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium detected recently in six Member States are likely to be part of the same cluster, a joint EFSA/ECDC report has found. Based on limited available information from food investigations, meat is the suspected vehicle of infection.

article-1282120789302-001a91c800000258-577370_304x156The recently detected 38 cases of monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium with MLVA profile 3-12-17-NA-211 and 3-12-18-NA-211 occurring in six Member States are likely to be part of the same cluster. Given the typing delay and the fact that not all countries are performing MLVA typing, the number of cases currently detected is most likely to be underestimated. These two profiles emerged simultaneously in several Member States in June and July 2014, indicating a simultaneous exposure to the clonal strain at several locations within the EU. Based on limited available information from food investigations, meats are the suspected vehicle of human infection at present. It is important to interview new cases to identify a common exposure and to report all new cases with matching MLVA typing results through the TESSy molecular surveillance service and EPIS FWD in order to assess the evolution of the cluster. There is a need to gather information on the findings of these MLVA profiles in feed, animals, and foods (of animal origin and non-animal origin) in order to narrow the hypothesis for further epidemiological studies. This cluster highlights the need to ensure a rapid exchange of information between the public health and food safety health authorities in order to assess the situation and the need for further epidemiological studies as quickly as possible.

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Washing Food (via Quest)

My friend, Matt Shipman, a science writer and public information officer at North Carolina State University writes in the below Quest North Carolina post about washing food (reprinted with permission):

464.thumbnailEverybody eats, and no one wants to eat something that could make you sick.  But there’s a lot of misinformation out there about how and whether you should wash your food.

Food safety is an important issue.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year one in six people in the United States will get sick because of food-borne illness.  And risks can be increased or decreased at every point between the farm and your fork.  Yes, you want to make sure to cook your food to the appropriate temperature, but here are some other tips to help you make good decisions in the kitchen.IMG_8159-sink-16x9-640x360

1. Don’t Wash Meat

Some people think that you’re supposed to wash chicken, turkey, or other meats before cooking.  Those people are wrong.  “Research shows that washing meat can spread dangerous bacteria around your kitchen or food preparation area,” said Ben Chapman, a food safety researcher at North Carolina State University.  “And washing poultry under running water can spray surface contamination up to three feet away.  We cook meat to make it safer; washing meat can only make a meal riskier.”

2. Washing Fruits and Veggies Only Removes up to 99 Percent of Pathogens

“That seems good, but it’s not great,” Chapman said.  By comparison, cooking food can cut the number of bacteria or other microbial pathogens by 99.9999 percent.  And that 0.9999 percent difference can be important.  If a food is contaminated by thousands of microbes, washing off 99 percent means that dozens will be left behind — and that’s enough to make you sick.  That is why people who are immunocompromised, such as some chemotherapy patients, are often discouraged from eating raw fruits and vegetables.

3. Don’t Use Soap

“Although washing has its limitations, vigorously rinsing produce under running water is the most effective way to remove the microbes that cause foodborne illnesses,” Chapman said.  You don’t need to use soap or special cleaning solutions.  In fact, using soap can actually introduce additional risk, because soaps may contain chemicals that aren’t intended for human consumption.

4. You Can’t Get All the Pesticides Off Your Food (but Don’t Panic)

Some minute traces of pesticide will probably be on — or in — your fruits or vegetables when you eat them.  “But being able to detect a pesticide doesn’t mean that it’s a public health problem,” said Chris Gunter, a researcher at NC State who studies vegetable agriculture.  That’s because, after using a pesticide, farmers are required to wait for a specific period of time before harvesting (it’s called a “pre-harvest interval”).  During that time, the pesticide breaks down or washes off, meaning any residual pesticide meets EPA’s human health requirements.

5. Even Organic Food Can Use a Rinse

Just because produce is labeled “organic” doesn’t mean that it’s somehow immune to microbial contamination. Organic farmers usually grow their fruits and vegetables in open fields, just like conventional farmers, and are subject to some of the same risks, such as fecal contamination from wildlife (that is, poop can still get on the food).

“Any time you’re going to eat fresh produce you should rinse it off, if for no other reason than to rinse off dirt,” said Don Schaffner, a food safety researcher at Rutgers.  “And rinsing off produce may offer some risk reduction in terms of microbial pathogens.”

Bonus: Don’t Wash Pre-Washed Veggies

If you’ve bought salad mix that is labeled as “pre-washed,” you really don’t need to wash it again, Schaffner said. In fact, you probably shouldn’t wash it again.  “An expert panel reported in 2007 that consumers who wash these salads again won’t reduce the risk,” Schaffner said, “and may actually create a risk of cross-contamination” where pathogens from other foods get onto the salad.  In this case, being lazy is a virtue. 

Raw meat in reusable bags; use plastic

I bought a chicken at the megalomart on Sunday.

The cashier asked me if I wanted the bird in a plastic bag, to which I replied, “Yes.”

john.oliver-300x255I do that for all meat, and the cashiers are trained to ask (I’m nosey that way).

The poultry at this and many other megalomarts in Australia is prone to leaking, and while I use reusable bags, I don’t want chicken blood all over them. And I wash them like Chapman says.

The woman behind had brought her own cooler bag (commonly known here as an Esky, as in short for Eskimo, to which I usually say, they’re Inuit, and isn’t that a bit racist?), and when asked if she wanted her bird in a plastic bag, replied, “Oh no, I’ve got my Esky. It’s fine.”

A bloody cooler bag isn’t cool.

Vietnam gang stole 4000 cats for meat

For reasons unbeknownst to me, we arrived home from swimming and Amy decided to put collars on the cats.

With bells.

She and the kid disappeared upstairs, leaving me to prepare our lunch of pork loin chops with a mixed berry sweet-and-sour sauce, stir-fried shitsu.cat.jul.13veggies and long-grain brown rain.

Unbeknownst to her, the cats almost ended up elsewhere.

But we live in Australia, not Vietnam, where police have arrested six men on suspicion of stealing as many as 4,000 cats over two years to sell for their meat.

The gang stole between four and six cats each night for two years, police in Vinh City said on Friday. They sold a kilogram of cat for $US3, and used the money to play online games, police said.

Although dog thefts are common in Vietnam, this is the first time a group of people have been arrested for stealing such a large number of cats.

The head of the gang, 26-year-old Nguyen Duc Dung, told police they caught the animals by baiting traps with pieces of fish and leaving them outside homes where they knew people kept cats.

Angry locals alerted the police after their pets continued to go missing. jacque.cat.jul.13The men were caught red-handed as they tried to catch more cats.

Cat meat is a popular delicacy in some parts of Vietnam, usually eaten barbecued as a snack and served with rice wine.

Ikea’s moose lasagna pulled due to surprise pork meat

Paula Forbes of Eater writes that furniture/meatball and rice cake emporium Ikea has pulled 17,600 moose lasangas from stores in Europe after they were discovered to also contain surprise pork.

According to the BBC, the contamination was discovered by Belgian authorities, and the meat supplier told local Swedish press that the contamination “was due to its facilities not being cleaned ikea-elk-2properly between the handling of different animals and that it was taking steps to improve its practices.” Gross. One batch of lasagna tested contained 1.4% pork.

Ikea recently pulled both meatballs and sausages from stores due to possible horse meat contamination. After meatballs were returned to shelves, Ikea Foods Chief Executive Edward Mohr declared the company’s intent to “have a traceability standard in place, tracing meat from farm to fork.” From farm to contaminated meat processing plants to frozen moose lasagna to fork?

Handwashing sinks now required for NY mobile food vendors handling raw meat

According to Lauren Evans of the gothamist, it’s time for food trucks and carts to grow up and accept some responsibility. The Health Department today released a list of new regulations for the food.truck.NYCmobile eateries including:

• carts and trucks that prepare raw meat will be required to have a sink for hand-washing;

• facilities that store the trucks and carts overnight will have to keep a log of the dates and times that the units enter and exit; and,

• permit holders will be required to be present during inspections.