‘Be really careful with raw meat ‘ Salmonella tied to pork sickens at least 56 in Washington

JoNel Aleccia of The Seattle Times reports that at least 56 people in eight Washington state counties have been sickened by a rare strain of salmonella food poisoning apparently linked to eating pork, health officials said Thursday. Most of the cases, 44, have occurred in King County.

pork.rawThe individual cases and small clusters have occurred in several foods and at several events across the region as of Wednesday. Other meat sources could be to blame as well, health officials said. Five people have been hospitalized.

“Why we’re sending out this message now before the investigation is complete is because we’re saying: ‘You’ve got to be really careful with raw meat,’ ” said Dr. Scott Lindquist, state epidemiologist.

Some of the cases appear to be tied to whole-pig roasts, he added.

The outbreak strain is Salmonella I, 4, 5, 12:i: -, a germ that has been emerging nationally during the past five years, but never before seen in Washington state, Lindquist said.

Because of the unique nature of the outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are assisting with the investigation, Lindquist said.

No cases have been reported in states bordering Washington, so officials are investigating whether pork or other meat processed and distributed in the state might be involved in the outbreak.

 

Recommend a thermometer? Australia says 6-2-2 a sizzling success in pork project

How hard is it to recommend a thermometer?

The study does not account for temperature variations of the grill or stove, so seemingly impossible to assess.

curtis.thermomet.pork.oct.24.14But, marketers be marketing.

Pork CRC and APL conducted a study (Pork CRC Project 3C-106) across three retail partners in metropolitan Adelaide to ‘test’ the 6-2-2 (i.e. 6 mins one side, 2 mins the other & 2 mins to rest) messaging for cooking pork steaks.

Pork CRC research has demonstrated experimentally in large studies that cooking temperature influences consumer perception of the eating quality of pork steaks, with over cooking markedly reducing eating quality. APL research in homes showed that 78% of bad eating experiences with pork were due to cooking failure and 53% of these were associated with the loin, which is the fresh pork cut most consumed by Australians.

The objective of the Pork CRC and APL study was to create awareness of the 6-2-2 cooking message to prevent cooking failure  It used different promotional activities, ranging from TV advertising through to retail labelling and the use of 6-2-2 stickers on retail packs.

barfblog.Stick It InThe bottom line was that the sale of pork steaks increased in all retail outlets. The increase in sales above what was expected (based on sales determined before the promotion and store history) ranged from 16% to 56%, depending on the promotional strategy used. Even better news was that the increase in sales of pork steaks was not at the expense of other pork cuts/products.

A major learning outcome from the project was that communicating the rewards associated with 6-2-2 is the best way to entrench the purchase of pork steak and avoid relying on a continuous advertising push.

The findings will form the basis of future advertising and promotional campaigns by APL, which will, hopefully, lead to further increases in demand for Australian pork.

Use a thermometer, color sucks: UK FSA says don’t serve your duck pink

Color is a lousy indicator.

But that doesn’t stop the taxpayer-funded UK Food Standards Agency from issuing nonsensical advice.

smoked-duck-breast1I’ve asked the UK food safety types why they don’t recommend that people use thermometers – as is the advice in the U.S., Canada and Australia – and the response is usually along the lines of, people can’t handle such complicated information.

A colleague received similar advice yesterday from the UK FSA.

Arrogant bullshit.

And not science-based.

The Telegraph reported today that duck should never be served pink as diners could be poisoned by a potential deadly bug more commonly associated with chicken, food officials have said.

While many upmarket restaurants recommend their duck dishes medium-rare, the Food Standards Agency said the poultry should always be cooked “thoroughly” at home.

It warned that the prevalence of the campylobacter bug among ducks was “not dissimilar” to the levels among chickens, where seven in 10 birds are infected.

The bacterium, which makes 280,000 ill every year, is only killed when meat is fully cooked.

On Wednesday the food watchdog said it was concerned that there was a public misconception that duck was different to chicken in that it could safely be served pink.

There’s a public misconception because the bureaucrats are not offering clear, evidence-based information.

Stick it in.

 

Two outbreaks of Salmonella Enteritidis linked to raw, frozen, chicken thingies

Now the U.S. Centers for Disease Control gets into things:

Several states, CDC, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) are investigating two outbreaks of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned stuffed chicken entrees.

barfblog.Stick It InIn one outbreak, six people infected with a strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from Minnesota (5) and Wisconsin (1). Two of these ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

In the second outbreak, three people infected with a different strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from Minnesota. Two of these ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

On July 1, 2015, USDA-FSIS issued a public health alert due to concerns about illnesses caused by Salmonella that may be associated with raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned, stuffed chicken products.

Barber Foods issued an expanded recall of approximately 1.7 million pounds of frozen, raw stuffed chicken products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis on July 12, 2015. This recall expanded the initial Barber Foods recall of Chicken Kiev on July 2, 2015, and resulted from the investigation of the first outbreak.

Products were sold under many different brand names.

Products subject to recall bear the establishment number “P-276” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Products were shipped to retail locations nationwide and Canada (and there’s a bunch of people sick in Canada, but apparently a different frozen chicken thingie).

Since the last update on July 8, 2015, two more ill people have been reported from Minnesota and Wisconsin. A total of six people infected with a strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from Minnesota (5) and Wisconsin (1). Illness onset dates range from April 5, 2015 to June 23, 2015. Two people were hospitalized.

Outbreak 2

No new illnesses have been identified since the last update on July 8, 2015. The Minnesota Department of Health identified three people infected with a different strain of Salmonella Enteritidis with illness onset dates ranging from May 9, 2015 to June 8, 2015. Two people were hospitalized.

On July 12, 2015, Barber Foods expanded its recall to include 1.7 million pounds of frozen, raw stuffed chicken products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis. The recall included Chicken Kiev as well as other types of frozen chicken products. The chicken products were produced between February 17, 2015 and May 20, 2015. The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “P-276” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were shipped to retail locations nationwide and Canada and sold under many different brand names. A list of recalled products is available. This recall expanded the initial Barber Foods recall of Chicken Kiev on July 2, 2015 and resulted from investigation of the first outbreak.

 

Use a thermometer: Two outbreaks of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to raw, frozen, stuffed chicken thingies

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, along with CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), are investigating two outbreaks of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned stuffed chicken entrees.

barfblog.Stick It InIn one outbreak, four people infected with a strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from Minnesota. Two of these ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

In the second outbreak, three people infected with a different strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from Minnesota. Two of these ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

On July 1, 2015, USDA-FSIS issued a public health alert due to concerns about illnesses caused by Salmonella that may be associated with raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned, stuffed chicken products.

USDA-FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare and cook these products. Read more on the Advice to Consumers page.

As a result of the first investigation, on July 2, 2015, Barber Foods recalled approximately 58,320 pounds of Chicken Kiev because it may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis.

The product subject to recall includes a 2 lb.-4 oz. box containing six individually pouched pieces of “Barber Foods Premium Entrees Breaded-Boneless Raw Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Rib Meat Kiev” with use by/sell by dates of April 28, 2016, May 20, 2016, and July 21, 2016.

This is a frozen, raw, stuffed chicken product.

Consumers should check their freezers for the recalled Chicken Kiev product and should not eat it.

Consumers with the product should return it to the place of purchase or contact the company directly at (844) 564-5555.

Illnesses in other states linked to either outbreak have not been identified but the investigation is ongoing. Updates will be provided when more information is available.

raw.chicken.thingies.outbreakThe Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), along with CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), are investigating two outbreaks of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned stuffed chicken entrees.

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of these outbreaks. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA “fingerprinting” is performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using a technique called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE. PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA “fingerprints” to identify possible outbreaks. Two DNA “fingerprints” (outbreak strains) are included in these outbreak investigations. The two strains represent the most common Salmonella Enteritidis strains in the PulseNet database. Because the two strains are so common, most of the illnesses identified as having matching PFGE patterns may not be related to this outbreak. Investigators are using additional laboratory methods, including whole genome sequencing, to help clarify which illnesses may be related to these outbreaks.

Investigation of the Outbreaks

In the first outbreak, MDH identified four people infected with a strain of Salmonella Enteritidis with illness onset dates ranging from April 5, 2015 to June 8, 2015. Two people were hospitalized. Epidemiologic and traceback evidence linked these illnesses to eating Barber Foods brand Chicken Kiev raw stuffed chicken breast. This investigation is ongoing.

In the second outbreak, MDH identified three people infected with a different strain of Salmonella Enteritidis with illness onset dates ranging from May 9, 2015 to June 8, 2015. Two people were hospitalized. The MDH and MDA investigation found that illnesses occurred after the people had eaten Antioch Farms brand Cordon Bleu raw stuffed chicken breast. This investigation is also ongoing.

On July 1, 2015, USDA-FSIS issued a public health alert due to concerns about illnesses caused by Salmonella that may be associated with raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned, stuffed chicken products. In the alert, USDA-FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare and cook these products to a temperature of 165°F.

As a result of the first outbreak investigation, on July 2, 2015, Barber Foods recalled approximately 58,320 pounds of Chicken Kiev because it may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis. The product subject to recall includes a 2 lb.-4 oz. box containing six individually pouched pieces of “Barber Foods Premium Entrees Breaded-Boneless Raw Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Rib Meat Kiev” with use by/sell by dates of April 28, 2016, May 20, 2016, and July 21, 2016. The product was available for purchase at Sam’s Club retail stores in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Illnesses in other states linked to either outbreak have not been identified but the investigation is ongoing. CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill people and to interview them. Updates will be provided when more information is available.

Use a thermometer: Coles BS guide to how to know if steak is done

Coles is one of the two major supermarkets in Australia.

coles.thermometerThey recruit celebrity chefs like Heston-norovirus Blumenthal and Curtis-aren’t-I-handsome Stone, while Woolworth’s goes for Jamie-watch-all-the-food-safety-mistakes-I-make Oliver.

The new sales go on sale on Wednesday, just like it was 1978.

The Coles electronic flyer has this: No hormones, no thermometers, total BS.

Although Amy did find this at a local Coles, MasterChef branded food-porn crap thermometers reduced to clear.

coles.steak

Is Juicy Lucy a safe burger? Use a thermometer

The Food Network with their BS recipes is another gift that keeps on giving.

juicy.lucyUse a tip-sensitive digital meat thermometer  and make sure it gets to 165F.

Forget the fluff below.

Lightly mix 6 ounces ground beef chuck with a big pinch of kosher salt. Form into two equal balls, and then shape into two flat patties. Lay two slices American cheese between them and form the meat around the cheese; make an indentation in the center of the patty. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat; sprinkle the skillet with salt. Cook the burger 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve on a soft bun.

Happy food safe BD, BFF

I was going to put a candle in the sesame-seared tuna, but failed.

scallops.amy.bd.jun.15Six-year-olds have a way of distracting things.

For birthday lunch we went to our favourite fish monger, and then I went back to collect some scallops and tuna for Amy’s birthday dinner.

I overcooked some of the scallops (145F is sufficient) but they were still delicious.

The tuna was great.

Even the frozen green beans (I’m a big fan of the frozen food, growing up in Canada where fresh is available about six weeks) turned out well.

Seafood, champagne, computer, thermometer: it’s how we live.

amy.scallops.tuna.jun.15

Use a thermometer: Top food safety tips for BBQs

How hard can this be: use a thermometer.

barfblog.Stick It InSafefood Ireland, I don’t know when you published this BS, because there’s no date, but it showed up in in my feedly, uh, feed today.

The big issue when barbequing is making sure your food has been cooked thoroughly, all the way through. This is particularly important when cooking poultry, pork, minced and skewered meats, such as burgers, sausages and kebabs on the barbecue – while the outside may look cooked (and in some cases burnt), the inside can still be raw.

We recommend these meats should always be cooked until they are piping hot all the way through, with no pink meat remaining and the juices run clear. If you’ve got lots of people visiting your barbecue and want to ensure that meat is thoroughly cooked, you can pre-cook meat in your kitchen oven just before you put it on the barbeque for flavor.

How to know it’s cooked

When cooking foods on the barbeque, make sure to turn them regularly and move them around the grill to ensure they area cooked evenly on all sides – then remove them from the heat and place them on a clean plate. For meats that need to be cooked all the way through be sure to cut into the centre of them to check that:

They are piping hot all the way through

There is no pink meat left and

The juices run clear

Food safety BS (and taxpayer funded).

Use a tip-sensitive digital thermometer.

Stick it in.

 

Chicago wins, I lose, TV chefs still suck

Now that the Chicago Blackhawks have entered dynasty town with three Stanley Cup wins in six years (Toronto is hopeless) and the wife is gloating because her team won and she got tenure, I’m at a loss for what I’ll watch as background while writing and cooking.

colbert.soccerThere’s TV chefs, but they’re dull.

One gloating Illinois reader suggested I watch soccer.

No.

But only a PR flunky could come up with this headline: America’s favorite chef warns of food poisoning epidemic.

America’s favorite chef, Chef Remi has thrown a word of caution to the public of a food poisoning epidemic during the warm season.

He’s got the usual tips but at least recommends a thermometer “such as the Chef Remi Cooking Thermometer.”

I look forward to the verification data.