Veal products recalled due to possible E. coli O26 and O45 contamination

Gold Medal Packing Inc., a Rome, N.Y. establishment, is recalling approximately 4,607 pounds of boneless veal products that may be contaminated with E. coli O26 and O45, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

veal-cutsThe veal trim and top bottom sirloin (TBS) products were produced and packaged on August 16, 2016, and October 25, 2016. The following products are subject to recall: [View Label (PDF only)]

60-lb. boxes containing “BONELESS VEAL”.

2,387-lb. bin containing “TBS”.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 17965” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The “BONELESS VEAL” items were shipped to a warehouse in California and the “TBS” items were shipped to distributor locations in Pennsylvania.

The problem was discovered during routine sample testing. There have been no confirmed reports of illness or adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

Many clinical laboratories do not test for non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), such as STEC O26 or O45, because they are harder to identify than STEC O157. People can become ill from STECs 2–8 days (average of 3–4 days) after consuming the organism. Most people infected with STEC O26 or O45 develop diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe. Infection is usually diagnosed by testing of a stool sample. Vigorous rehydration and other supportive care is the usual treatment; antibiotic treatment is generally not recommended.

Golden Ponds to reopen after bad gravy sickens 260

Golden Ponds Restaurant in suburban Rochester, New York – Rochester, who goes to Rochester — has been cleared by the health department to reopen, after 260 people were sickened after eating Thanksgiving dinner.

doug-turkey-cater_-nov_-16-300x225The restaurant will most likely be open for business starting next Tuesday, according to the owner.

The Monroe County Department of Health shut the restaurant down the day after Thanksgiving, after 60 people initially reported illnesses following eating food from Golden Ponds.

According to the health department, lab results point to an outbreak of Clostridium perfringens.

Officials say it is “most likely” that the gravy served was the source of the bacteria. They also noted that lapses in food safety practices were observed during their investigation.

Golden Ponds had previously been inspected several times in the months leading up to the outbreak, and had violations including food being stored at improper temperatures.

Schnapps, herring and Listeria

To continue with the Danish theme, Royal Seafood Baza, Inc. of Staten, Island, New York is recalling various refrigerated ready to eat herring productsdelicious with Danish schnapps and that’s about it — because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

schapps-denmarkThe affected ready to eat herring products were distributed to customers located New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, and North Carolina. Wholesale customers of bulk containers must discontinue sales of existing stock of these items immediately and destroy any returned product as soon as possible.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

The recall of the products was the result of environmental sampling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) during an inspection of the firm which revealed the presence of Listeria in the plant.  The company has ceased production and distribution of the products and is working closely with FDA to monitor this situation to determine the source of the environmental contamination, and make the appropriate corrective actions.

listeria-herring-16

 

21 sickened: Salmonella outbreak at New York jail

Undercooked chicken served at the Suffolk jail in Riverhead led to a salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 21 inmates in May, health officials said.

One inmate who was hospitalized has filed a notice of claim with the county, a prelude to a lawsuit.

“Suffolk County comes with an affirmative obligation to supply its criminals in prison all food that’s free of any unhealthy or dangerous substance,” stated Andrew Siben a Bay Shore attorney representing the inmate, Shawn Carpenter.

Fancy food ain’t safe food: NY Swan Club edition

Several clues point to the highly contagious norovirus as the mystery culprit that may have sickened more than 100 weekend guests at the Swan Club, leading county health officials to shut it down temporarily, the Roslyn catering hall’s owner said.

SwanClub2The Swan Club, which has been around for decades, has served as the backdrop to many GOP dinners and fundraisers, and owner Bobby Sidana worries the outbreak has damaged his business’ reputation. He received 300 calls Wednesday, most of them customers who support him.

He said he contacted health officials Monday as soon as guests notified him about gastrointestinal problems. The health department has ordered his staff to undergo tests, including for norovirus, he said, and will be looking at the facilities of the club’s food purveyors.

“We said just come in and do a full inspection here,” Sidana said. “We don’t want to take a chance with safety.”

148 sick from noro at a New York university; over $400K to clean up

The University of Rochester is spending an estimated $30,000 a day on external cleaning and supplies for their response to the Norovirus outbreak—and that’s only with about a quarter of infected students reporting.

norovirus-2The cost figure—provided by Holly Crawford, University CFO and Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance—ramped up on April 12 and has come as the rate of infection is dropping.

It will total nearly $400,000 by Monday and does not include additional internal costs, such as extra staffing and opportunity costs.

“There won’t be any changes this week [for extensive cleaning], but we will have to look at the future beyond that,” Dr. Ralph Manchester, Director of University Health Services (UHS), said.

Sushi safety: Celebrated chef vs. NYC health department

Last week, New York City’s Department of Health closed the popular, acclaimed East Village restaurant Sushi Dojo. The reasons, according to the official report and a statement provided by the DOH, were “a combination of bare hand contact and food out of temperature.”

sushi.dojoThe following day, the restaurant’s Gansevoort Market offshoot, Sushi Dojo Express, was also closed. Somewhat surprisingly, in a statement provided to Eater, Dojo chef David Bouhadana — whose third restaurant, Dojo Izakaya, is still open — wrote that he was closed because of “BS rule, a rule I don’t stand by. Sushi is being ruined [by] gloves, freezing fish and more issues.”

Grub called the chef to talk about what exactly happened, what he’s going to do about it, and why he feels he’s being targeted (an edited version is below — dp).

So, what happened?
The Department of Health, let’s put it this way, the DOH has their rules and their laws, and it is what it is. For sushi, there’s always been a gray area as far as fish, rice, temperatures — everything, really. The rule that applies to me and applies to Taco Bell is no bare-hand contact with raw food.
In sushi, we’re taught to be clean, hygienic, and professional. If you are a clean chef, you don’t need gloves. When a health inspector walks in, we all have our code word, we all have our drill: Put the gloves on, smile to the inspector, they walk in, they walk out. You’re good for six months. The problem is my restaurant is designed so when you first walk in you see me, and through the windows you can see me. But this wasn’t an issue before. Sushi Yasuda has open windows. Sushi Nakazawa has open windows. Every sushi bar has open windows.

When did it become an issue then?
The tipping point came when the inspector told me to throw food away in front of my customers. When an inspector walks into a restaurant, like Eleven Madison Park or wherever, they’re in the kitchen. Nobody knows they’re there. When you walk into my restaurant, I am positioned front and the center.
… This is not a disgusting restaurant. There’s no feces, there’s no vomit, there’s no bacteria (wow, that must be something – dp), there’s no sign of any kind of health-hazardous anything. This is a personal issue. I’ve been talking to a lot of sushi chefs for years now, and right now it’s a huge moment, and of course everyone is behind me, but no one really wants me to use their name or get involved in controversy. But, well, what do we do?

Duh files: Whole Foods still sucks, allegedly overcharge

I’ve long maintained that retailer Whole Foods sucs at food safety and wouldn’t shop there.

whole.foodsThey apparently also suck at pricing.

A New York consumer protection agency alleges that New York City Whole Foods supermarkets have repeatedly overcharged customers for prepackaged foods.

An investigation by the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) tested 80 different types of prepackaged food from the city’s Whole Foods locations (eight were open at the time of the investigation; a ninth has since opened). The investigation found all categories included products with incorrect weights, which led to overcharges that ranged from 80 cents for a package of pecan panko to $14.84 for coconut shrimp. The investigation, released Wednesday, also examined vegetable platters, nuts, chicken tenders and berries.

Whole Foods denies the allegations. The supermarket chain called the department’s allegations “overreaching.”

Whole Foods, long known as a higher-priced grocery chain, settled a case in California last year and agreed to pay nearly $800,000 in penalties after pricing discrepancies were found in area Whole Foods in 2012. As part of the settlement, Whole Foods agreed to appoint two state coordinators to oversee pricing accuracy in California, designate an employee at every California store responsible for pricing accuracy and conduct random audits of stores four times a year.

At 9:30 am? Man roasting guinea pig in NYC park

One of the best things about Brisbane is the parks.

They’re everywhere, because the river tends to have a 100-year flood every 10 years.

guinea.pig.bbqThere’s free grills, and it’s normal to just take the cooler and cook a meal at the park.

Maybe they have the same thing in New York City.

A man roasting a guinea pig in Prospect Park on Saturday morning got grilled by police after a 911 caller assumed he was an animal abuser.

Officers responded to an emergency call about someone mistreating a squirrel in the park, police said. But the suspected abuse turned out to be lunch in the making.

The man, who told DNAinfo New York he was from Ecuador, was roasting the squirrel-sized animal on a 4-foot wooden skewer over a barbecue grill near the Ninth Street entrance to the park about 9:30 a.m. The man said the animal was a guinea pig.

It’s legal to grill meat as long as it’s in one of the park’s designated barbecue areas, which was the case in this instance, an NYPD spokesman said. Police did not take any action against the man.

Nosestretcher alert: no studies showing impact of diseases spread to customers from animals in petting zoo, but NY requires handwashing anyway

New York now requires petting zoos to provide for hand washing.

The new law says establishments providing an area where animals are grouped so visitors can view, touch or fondle them must provide appropriate facilities for washing.

claudia.e.coli.petting.zoo.may.14They should be located either at the exit of the petting area or within 50 feet. Signs are required.

The law also authorizes state and city health officials to formulate rules against the spread of bacteria and viruses carried by animals displayed at carnivals, fairs and amusement parks.

Sponsors say there have been no studies so far showing the impact of diseases spread to customers from animals in petting zoos.

And people wonder why journalism sucks.

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Petting-Zoo-Outbreaks-Table-4-8-14.xlsx.

Best practices for planning events encouraging human-animal interactions

Zoonoses and Public Health

G. Erdozain , K. KuKanich , B. Chapman  and D. Powell

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zph.12117/abstract?deniedAccess

Educational events encouraging human–animal interaction include the risk of zoonotic disease transmission. It is estimated that 14% of all disease in the US caused by Campylobacter spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, non-O157 STECs, Listeria monocytogenes, nontyphoidal Salmonella enterica and Yersinia enterocolitica were attributable to animal contact. This article reviews best practices for organizing events where human–animal interactions are encouraged, with the objective of lowering the risk of zoonotic disease transmission.