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.

2 human heads ‘many cell phones’ seized from Nigerian restaurant

The Gawker reports that according to Nigerian tabloid the Osun Defender, a restaurant in Anambra, Nigeria was raided by police on Thursday when they were tipped off about their cannibal menu.

Among the items that were found in the raid were two cellophaned human heads, two head-mainAK-47 rifles, two army caps, forty rounds of live ammunition, and “so many cell phones.”

A local pastor gave a statement regarding his potential ingestion of human flesh, saying “I did not know it was human meat that I ate at such [an] expensive price.”

Police have arrested 11 people connected with the restaurant and it has since been shut down.

Bad idea: alligator allowed to greet Michigan restaurant patrons

When I think Port Huron, Michigan, I think cajun. So why not have an alligator meet restaurant patrons. Because they are eating machines and most lizards are Salmonella factories. Maybe they should install a petting zoo while they’re at it.

A 4-foot long alligator named Wally will be allowed to greet patrons of a Michigan cajun.gator.dec.13restaurant.

The City Council voted 4-2 on Monday to allow American alligators in its central business district.

Wally will greet guests at Cajun Gator. The restaurant is expected to open within the next week.

Praise the lord and pass the (potatoes, ammunition) hepatitis A

The Fargo, North Dakota, Catholic Diocese’s new bishop may have exposed hundreds of church members here and in Jamestown to the hepatitis A virus in late September and early October.

“The risk of people getting hepatitis A in this situation is low, but the Department of Health felt it was important for people to know about 10-dogmathe possible exposure,” said Molly Howell, immunization program manager.

The diocese announced Monday that Bishop John Folda is taking some time off after being diagnosed with hepatitis A. The diocese said he contracted the infection through contaminated food while attending a conference for newly ordained bishops in Italy last month.

In New York City, a Hepatitis A  outbreak at a Westchester Square pizzeria, has its neighboring eateries dealing with the side effects.

The New York Daily News reported that several eateries near the still-shuttered New Hawaii Sea restaurant which closed last month after five patrons caught Hepatitis A, say they’re stuck dealing with the stigma of the virus.

Ljubo Kocovic, who opened his own pizzeria 28 years ago in 1985, said because of the Hepatitis scare, business has suffered.

“This is the slowest it has ever been. I’ve never seen an October like this,” Kocovic said. “One guy has a problem, and we all suffer. It’s very stressful.”

Restaurant owner, Nilesh Patel of M&R Coffee Shop agreed.

“People are afraid to come,” he said. “It’s not fair. They made a mistake, they should have to pay the price.”

Roadkill at restaurants; man sold deer, raccoons and other Indiana wildlife to Chicago restaurants

A Chicago man was arrested Monday after police made the unsavory discovery he was illegally selling Indiana wildlife to food markets in the Windy City.

Alexander Moy, 47, is being held in the Starke County Jail in Knox, Ind., roughly 90 minutes east of Chicago and is charged with two counts of up-roadkill_lgbuying and selling wildlife. Both offenses are Class D felonies, according to NBC Chicago.

Lt. Thomas Torsell of the DNR said Moy illegally bought the wildlife from hunters and fishermen and in turn sold the products to marketplaces in Chicago, particularly to eateries in Chinatown and possibly other parts of the city.

“We’re talking about some fish, turtles, raccoons and white-tailed deer,” Torsell said according to CBS Chicago.

The Northwest Indiana Times reports Moy told officials with the DNR the raccoons and turtles were mostly used for soup while the deer was “mixed in with other meat.”

Restaurants in China spike meals with opiates to keep diners coming back?

Two south Chinese restaurants were found to be serving their food with poppy seed powder–which contains addictive substances like codeine and morphine–to ensure diners would come back for more.

Officials with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Guangzhou Province checked 70 restaurants last year, and found that two were using poppy-seedsmarinade sachets containing poppy powder, Yangcheng Evening News reported.

Zhan Ke, who works for the Guangzhou FDA Restaurant Division, told the paper that heavily seasoned or aromatic sauces may contain poppy seeds. In their spot check, the inspectors targeted soup base, home-made chilli sauce, brine, and curry sauce.  Tests revealed several substances, that could damage the digestive and nervous systems, including codeine, morphine, papaverine, noscapine, and thebaine.

In 2012, inspectors in Jiangsu Province sampled over 400 hotpot soup bases, and found 10 percent contained poppy seed ingredients, according to a report by Oriental Daily earlier this year.  Also, many seasoning stores in Beijing sell poppy seeds and many noodle shops and barbeque stands were big buyers.

£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.”