Show me the data: Chipotle outbreak is caused by in restaurant vegetable processing?

I don’t know about that.

But that’s amateur epidemiologist (and president of Taylor Farms Florida) Leonard Batti’s working theory on the 39 cases of E. coli O26 outbreak linked to Chipotle (via The Packer).

Leonard Batti, president of Orlando-based Taylor Farms Florida, a division of the Salinas, Calif.-based Taylor Fresh Foods Inc., said changes in the foodservice industry likely contributed to the Chipotle outbreak.iWKad22

“It’s a classic example of what’s happening in foodservice today,” he said. “They made a decision a little less than a year ago to move away from fresh-cut and start cutting products in their facilities, somewhere around 1,700 restaurants.

“So basically, almost overnight, we had 1,700 new vegetable processors pop-up around the country. We’ve all been in fast-food restaurants. You never question their focus on food safety. I am not really surprised that we have what’s transpired with Chipotle.”

Uh, what? It sure seems like a supplier issue, not an on-site processing issue. But I’d like to see the data first.

NY woman takes cat on ‘romantic dinner date’ at restaurant

A woman took a cat to dinner Tuesday evening at a Broadway restaurant, sitting the feline across from her at their outdoor table before leaving without ordering any food, a witness said. pair was at the Upper West branch of RedFarm, according to local resident Jessie Auritt, who snapped a picture of the unusual sight and posted it to her Instagram account.

The cat, bedecked in a red bandana and attached to a leash the woman had loosely looped around her wrist, is shown in the photo sitting up in its chair during the “romantic dinner date for two,” she quipped in her post.

RedFarm owner Ed Schoenfeld said it wasn’t the first time the woman and her cat turned up at his restaurant.

“This woman has tried to eat at our restaurant previously with her cat and we’ve denied her service in order to be compliant with the law,” he explained.

The state health code states that pets, except for service animals or police dogs, are not allowed in restaurants or outdoor dining areas, a Health Department spokesman said.

Dirty Dining, Vegas style

Darcy Spears of KTNV Channel 13 writes there is a four-way tie for the dirtiest dining in Las Vegas this week.

dirty.dining.vegasAt Beijing Chinese Cuisine on Eastern and Serene, inspectors found pork blood dripping onto noodles in a loosely covered container, and mold-like growth touching crab rangoons and lettuce in the walk-in.

At El Santaneco on Maryland Parkway across from UNLV, health inspectors found the restaurant falsified time logs used to keep track of proper food temperatures.

Contact 13 discovered they’re misleading the public about their health grade. The A grade card on display is dated Jan. 21. But as of March 5, El Santaneco has a C grade.

An employee said there was no one in charge at the restaurant, but that’s one of the things that got them in trouble with the health district. They’re required to have a qualified food safety manager in charge on premises at all times.

The employee walked away, threw up his hands and gave no answers to our questions.

At DT’s Filipino Food on Rainbow and Warm Springs, inspectors found a food handler didn’t properly wash hands after handling raw meat. Containers of oxtail, cut cabbage, chicken and pork blood were all at unsafe temperatures.

Abyssinia Restaurant on Tropicana and Cameron where inspectors wrote up repeat violations for food improperly cooled and thawed. They also found a dirty cutting board, holes in kitchen walls and rocks used to prop up the freezer.

Also, the person in charge was unable to demonstrate food safety knowledge.


Residents spot rodents in restaurant at mall in Dubai

Everyone’s got a video camera these days, and they like to use them. have emerged of rodents running loose in a restaurant located right outside a popular mall in Dubai.

Passersby have clicked pictures of rats running on food containers and have posted them on the social media, enraging many and some vowing never to eat at the venue.

One resident took on the social media and complained that he got sick after eating at that particular place.

The restaurant did not respond to emails sent by this website. However, master developer Nakheel, the operator of Ibn Battuta Mall, was quick to confirm that it is aware of the issue and has already taken action.“We are aware of this issue and have taken immediate action to rectify the situation, including alerting the appropriate authorities,” a Nakheel spokesperson told Emirates 24|7.

“This restaurant is a standalone establishment located outside the mall itself, and, under the terms and conditions of its contract, is responsible for its own health, safety and hygiene management. As mall operator, our role is to ensure that such obligations are met,” the Nakheel spokesperson added.

Fresh start for Lebanon restaurants with focus on food safety

From shawarma spots to fine dining restaurants, the Health Ministry’s sweeping crackdown on food safety has, at times, been tough to stomach. Establishments cited for hygiene issues are dusting themselves off and moving forward with a stricter eye on safety measures and suppliers. Restaurant managers say that despite the negative publicity, they have been able to stay in business.“We still have the same customers, the same people who always come,” said Malak al-Batata manager, Wassim Shaar.

The casual dining mainstay in Hamra was closed by the Health Ministry for nearly a week due to general hygiene issues and the need for renovation.

Shaar said that renovations to the kitchen floor had already been in place several months prior to the restaurant’s citation and subsequent closure.

“I told [the inspector] I need 15 days to renovate,” he said. “I was surprised that, three days later, they closed the restaurant.”

He said he consulted with food and hygiene company Boecker to improve food safety standards, and the restaurant has since re-opened with a closer watch on hygiene.

The Daily Star spoke to several establishments that were publicized for food safety violations. Many were reluctant to speak for fear of attracting further attention.

Beginning in November, Health Minister Wael Abou Faour publicized the names of more than 1,000 restaurants, supermarkets, slaughterhouses and farms for unsatisfactory food sampling or inspection results. Some were shut down, pending required improvements and standards. Many were cited for unsafe meat and dairy products.

Fine dining establishments weren’t exempt from the campaign. Zaitunay Bay’s upscale seafood restaurant, Karam al-Bahar, was cited for its soujouk, raw fish, makanek and shrimp. 

‘Dirty, long, filthy fingernail’ found in pancake came from another diner, says UK restaurant

A “dirty, long, filthy fingernail” was almost swallowed by a disgusted diner at Watford Jimmy’s World Grill in a mouthful of made-to-order Indian pancake.

white_fingernailsAntoinette Miller, 42, from Cassiobury, was eating a specially prepared dosa pancake when she felt something crunch in her mouth.

The church volunteer was “disgusted and appalled” and left retching into her food at the table when she pulled out the offending fingernail.

Managers at Jimmy’s, in High Street, apologised for Ms Miller’s experience but said the nail had come from another guest helping herself to the buffet.

Ansh, manager at the Watford Jimmy’s, said the incident had been investigated and none of his staff were responsible.

He said the most likely explanation is that the nail came from another customer.

He said: “The lady was very upset, we did not give her the bill and explained to her what might have happened – that the nail came off another guest helping herself to the food.

“I would be outraged if it happened to me. We apologised, paid for the meal and invited her back for another meal.” 

150 suffer Shigella poisoning in Jordan

The Ministry of Health has dealt with over 150 cases of food poisoning in a recent incident in the Shihabieh area in Karak, 140km south of the capital, a Health Ministry official said on Monday.

Karak.jordanBashir Qasir, head of the ministry’s communicable diseases department, said the results of an analysis of stool samples taken from the patients proved the presence of Shigella bacteria.

Samples taken from a popular restaurant in the area that serves hummus, and stool samples from restaurant workers also point to the presence of Shigella bacteria.

“The ministry’s health team took precautions by closing the suspected restaurant on Saturday morning until the results of the samples taken from there are fully tested,” Qasir told The Jordan Times over the phone, noting that tests of the food samples are not fully conclusive.

The official said the poisoning is not related to water pollution.

Health Ministry finds top restaurants serving up adulterated and misbranded food and 20 per cent of all food in India fails quality tests

At least a fifth of food items from across the country have failed to meet quality standards during tests at government laboratories and even top restaurants and fast food outlets in the National Capital have been found to be dishing out treats that were either adulterated or misbranded.

india.foodData recently released by the Health Ministry stated that 46,283 food samples, including milk and milk products, edible vegetable oils and spices, were analysed at laboratories during 2013-14.

A total of 9,265 samples were found to be adulterated and misbranded.

In Delhi alone, the government recently launched 61 prosecutions against erring manufacturers and vendors.

Since the beginning of the year, at least 27 food and milk products were found to be sub-standard and six products at different outlets were found to be “unsafe to eat”.

The tests revealed that spices used at the Punjabi By Nature outlet at City Square Mall in Raja Garden were “unsafe”.

Similarly, authorities found that a food item called “Rizo Rice” at a KFC restaurant in Connaught Place was unsafe and hazardous for health.

According to government officials, the New Punjabi Kitchen, at Metro Road, Eastend, Public School, New Ashok Nagar was selling “unsafe” prepared food.

An outlet of the Bikanerwala chain at Karol Bagh was selling ‘besan barfi’ unfit for consumption.

Who knew? Measles outbreak linked to Kansas eatery

Who gets measles from eating in a restaurant? Apparently people in Wichita (that’s in Kansas).

5279798333_360c20d1d1_zIt is extremely contagious. If you have been exposed or think you have it, do not go to your doctor — call them. You can spread it just sitting in the waiting room,” said Skip Cowan, community services coordinator for the Harvey County Health Department.

There have been six cases in Sedgwick — several of them traced back to a restaurant worker who was working at the end of June and beginning of July.

Due to the concern of transmission to the public, health officials are requesting anyone who dined at Sal’s Japanese Steakhouse, 6829 E. Kellogg Dr. in Wichita, on the following dates: June 20, 23, 25, 29, July 3, 5, and July 7, and later developed an illness with fever and rash to contact their health care provider.

Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. With the creation of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, measles cases have generally been rare in the United States; however, it still sickens approximately 20 million and kills 164,000 people worldwide each year.

Cowan said the disease spreads most quickly among those who are not vaccinated — and the first vaccination doses begin with infants between 12 and 15 months old.

No, because robots don’t source food; would you feel safer with a robot behind the fast food counter?

Steven Burton of Huffington Post Canada writes that with fast food workers trying to unionize to their wages to $15 an hour, some employers are thinking less is more when it comes to staffing and plan to completely automate fast food restaurants. It seems impossible to avoid this future but with all of the outbreaks of foodborne illnesses linked to fast food in the last few years, will these innovations be safer than human prepared food or will we be risking our health more than we already do?

woody.allen.robot.sleepersThe fast food of the future will involve the customer entering their order into a virtual touchscreen interface. Prices could be a little lower as some of the payroll savings may filter down to the customer (I would not hold my breath about this though).

Once the order is entered and payment received, robotic machines in the kitchen will swing into action: cooking the food and assembling the order, bagging everything, and delivering it hot into your hungry hands.

The technology for this already exists. Burger robots from Momentum Machines have the ability to slice tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and onions right before they are placed on the burger so that they are crisper and more flavourful. The burgers are also freshly ground. The robots then wrap, bag, and send it out to the customer via conveyor to the front.

Unlike their human counterparts your order will be taken correctly every time. It will be filled quickly as these robots work at lightning speed; and because this process does not involve human contact with your food it is less likely to be contaminated. After all, machines do not have hair that can fall in the food or bacteria on their skin like Staphylococcus which can infect food. The best part is that the robot making your food will not have a cold, sneeze on your sandwich, and then wrap it up and hand it to you; as has happened to me on more than one occasion.

A potential food safety issue may arise from the robots’ inability to clean themselves. Human workers will need to be vigilant about cleaning them in order to ensure that they are free of food particles which may grow pathogens.

That tomato may be sliced fresh, but where did it come from and was contamination limited on the farm?

That’s a human decision, and the sooner restaurants and food service start exerting their buying power, the better. Source food from safe sources.