No cause IDed, but UK children told to get back to class after E. coli outbreak

There were 71 pupils absent at Carlogie Primary on Monday which was a fifth of the school roll of 346 with 46 being kept off as a precaution.

On Tuesday 57 were absent with 37 kept off as a precaution.

A spokesman for Angus Council said: “Members of the community are understandably concerned and have provided tremendous support in trying to minimise spread of infection and identify a possible source.

“The cases and contacts have now been identified and children should now be attending school or nursery unless they are symptomatic or have been formally excluded by the Health Protection Team.”

Part of Tayside Children’s Hospital at Ninewells in Dundee has been set aside for confirmed and suspected cases in the Angus E. coli O157 outbreak.

NHS Tayside confirmed the move as part of what health chiefs described as an “evolving situation” in which a young girl also remains seriously ill in a Glasgow hospital.

The Peter Pan playgroup at the centre of the Angus investigation remains closed.

UK cockroach-infested curry house shut down after insects found crawling in chef hats

And more about those UK chefs.

A cockroach-infested curry house in north-east London has been ordered to shut its doors after it was discovered crawling with insects, including in chef hats.

currySouth Indian and Sri Lankan restaurant Palii Maamala in Hoe Street, Walthamstow, was closed following fears it risked customers’ health.

Food safety inspectors uncovered an infestation of cockroaches and nymphs inside the “filthy” kitchen with droppings found on shelves containing open food and dinner plates.

Insects were also seen living in a box of paper hats worn by the chefs while the cooker was thick with grease in conditions described as “disgusting”.

Containers were encrusted with old food with the filth witnessed across the entire building including an upstairs function room where cockroaches were also found.

Waltham Forest Council issued an immediate hygiene order for the curry house to shut following an inspection on Monday, September 12 over a number of food safety breaches.

The order was received at Stratford Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday September 14, confirming the closure.


UK cafe boss fined £20,000 after failing to act on health and hygiene concerns

About those UK chefs, a café who flouted hygiene and safety rules has been slapped with a £20,000 fine.

crown-cafe-southendThe Crown Café, in Southchurch Road, Southend, were fined after Hygiene Improvement Notices and one Health and Safety Improvement Notice were not acted upon.

During an inspection at the Crown Café in August 2015, a Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner from Southend Council found the café had no wash hand basin for hand washing only in the kitchen, no documented food safety management system to ensure the safe production of foods and a lack of maintenance to the electrical installation at the café.

As a result, two Hygiene Improvement Notices and one Health and Safety Improvement Notice were served on The Crown Café/ Bistro Limited for the attention of the owner, Agneska De’Ath (nee Janaszek).

Subsequent visits to the café on September 15 and 18 found the improvement notices had not been acted upon. 

Ms De’Ath (nee Janaszek), who is the director of the Crown Café/ Bistro Limited, and her limited company were found guilty at Southend Magistrates Court on September 14 for two food hygiene offences and one health and safety offence, which occurred at the Crow Café.

Magistrates heard the evidence given by Ms Janaszek and found her and her limited company guilty to three offences. 

Liverpool restaurant fined £14,000

How good are those UK chefs?

(Thanks to the reader who sent this in.)

mouse-chefRed Hot World Buffet in Liverpool One shopping centre was fined £14,000 after inspectors found an infestation of mice in the kitchen. It was also ordered to pay £7,816 costs after admitting breaching health and safety regulations.

The pic (right, exactly as shown) was from the chef’s office, with mouse shit everywhere.

Owners Passepartouts Ltd pleaded guilty to 10 counts at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court after mice droppings and beetle larvae were found during an inspection.

The restaurant closed in June and the owners are now in administration.

Environmental health officers visited the restaurant twice last year.

Live mice were caught on sticky traps and mouse droppings and grease were found next to food containers and near fridges.

Owner of filthy UK takeaway ordered to pay £6,000 for disgusting breaches of hygiene

The owner of this disgusting takeaway has been found guilty of serious food hygiene offences following an inspection by Food Safety Officers.

oceana-takeawayMohammed Ejaz, of Oceana Takeaway, appeared before magistrates where he pleaded guilty to seven food safety and hygiene breaches.

The offences included failure to keep the premise and equipment clean and failure to control food safety hazards.

The prosecution against the owner of the takeaway in Ingoldmells was brought by East Lindsey District Council.

Lincoln magistrates fined Ejaz £1,750 with costs of £4,676, plus a victim surcharge of £25.

Laura Hackney, prosecuting on behalf of East Lindsey District Council, said: “The district council was called from a member of the public on January 7 regarding rats at the premises.”

Food safety inspectors found a trail of filth when they inspected the premises, including dirty surfaces and equipment, rusty pizza trays and microwave; and badly scored chopping boards.

Those handling food were not wearing protective clothing and documented food safety procedures were not available.

Oceana Takeaway received a zero out of five food hygiene rating as a result of the inspection.

The district council classified conditions at the takeaway as being capable of causing “adverse effect to individuals”.

Ejaz admitted he had not given the takeaway the attention it needed.

In mitigation, he said: “I do try hard.

“I have spent two years working and I have not made anything.

“My son became ill and it means I have not been able to give the time to the restaurant.”

Ejaz, who is currently living at Ingoldmells Service Station, insisted standards have improved following the inspection in January.


Chefs don’t know shit about food safety: Trend for eating chicken livers ’pink’ could put lives at risk

Another one for the duh files.

chicken.liver.pateUK researchers found the fashion for serving chicken livers “rare” may expose people to potentially fatal Campylobacter food poisoning. 

The study investigated the cooking times for chicken liver included in a number of popular current recipes. 

Many of the recipes recommend serving chicken livers pink and cooking them for times insufficient to kill off Campylobacter – the most common cause of food poisoning in Britain which is responsible for more than 250,000 cases each year. 

Researchers from Manchester, Bangor and Liverpool universities found that up to 52 per cent of 141 chefs from a range of professional kitchens questioned wanted to serve chicken livers so rare that they would not reach 70C, the temperature necessary to kill the pathogen Campylobacter. 

Dr Paul Cross, of Bangor University, said: “Chicken livers are served in many pubs and restaurants around the country, and the trend seems to be for them to be served ‘pink.’ 

“The research asked over a thousand members of the public and the chefs about their preferences, and whether they could identify safely cooked meats. 

“The public were not able to identify safely cooked chicken livers by sight.

“Almost a third of the public participants identified livers as ‘safe’ which in fact had predicted Campylobacter survival rates of between 48 per cent and 98 per cent.” 

Study co lead author Professor Dan Rigby of Manchester University, said: “As people are eating their steaks and other joints of red meat rarer, that trend seems to be extending to higher risk meats such as chicken livers and beef burgers. 

“We found that many chefs were able to identify cooked livers that reached the temperature necessary to kill the pathogens, but their preferences for the taste and texture of pink livers may be overriding their knowledge of food safety. 

“In contrast the public were consistent in their choices – they tended to select dishes to eat that they thought met safe cooking guidelines. This is a concern, because the public were also poor at identifying by sight whether a cooked chicken liver had been cooked sufficiently to be safe.” 

The study showed that chefs also overestimated the public’s preference for rareness. 

The study highlighted that almost half the members of the public questioned (48 per cent) agreed that cooking programmes on TV and recipes in magazines had influenced the public to serve meat pinker in the middle. 

Of course the British public believes thia, because their regulators won’t say, use a damn thermometer.

barfblog.Stick It In


Epi works but needs to be stronger than ‘some people ate the cheese ’ Cheese firm in Scotland linked to E. coli outbreak threatens legal action

Victoria Weldon of Herald Scotland writes that a cheese firm at the centre of an E.coli outbreak is threatening legal action to prevent a ban on sales of its popular delicacy. Blue, a mould ripened, gourmet cheese from Lanarkshire, is suspected of being the source of last month’s outbreak which struck down 16 people, hospitalising two.

Makers Errington Cheese were initially forced to recall two batches but claim they have now been ordered to halt all sales or face enforcement action.

It follows fresh tests carried out by FSS identifying genes that, while not confirmation of E.coli, indicate a “presumptive positive” result for naturally occurring bacteria strains.

Company founder Humphrey Errington claims the ban is “unprecedented” and argues that scientific evidence suggests presumptive positive results are notoriously inconclusive, adding, “The behaviour of FSS is monstrous. They blamed our cheese for this outbreak in the absence of any hard evidence and have refused to share with us details of their investigation. We had independent tests carried out two weeks ago that showed the suspected batches of cheese were not contaminated. We shared these results with FSS and they said nothing to restore public trust in the product.”

Errington said the ban on Dunsyre Blue, which accounts for about two-thirds of the company’s revenue, was a “catastrophe” and revealed that his lawyers will decide today whether or not to take legal action.

“I’m afraid I can see this ending up in the courts,” he told the Sunday Times.

Dunsyre Blue is characterised by its chunky blue-green moulds and is favoured by the Queen and Michelin-starred restaurants, including an eaterie run by renowned chef Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles resort in Perthshire.

It became the focus of the health scare after 14 people in Scotland and two in England were struck down with E.coli in July, suffering stomach cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting and fever.

By the end of the month, health officials announced that Dunsyre Blue was the most likely cause of the outbreak.

However, questions are now being asked over the strength of evidence linking the cheese to the outbreak.

Hugh Pennington, professor of bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen, said: “I don’t know if Dunsyre Blue was the cause or not, but if you’re going to accuse Errington’s cheese of being the vector of the outbreak, then without further ado effectively destroy his business, then I think you should have stronger evidence than just ‘some people ate the cheese’.”

A spokesman for FSS said that all victims had been contaminated with the same strain of E.coli O157 and that “there is a strong link with certain batches [C22 and D14] of Dunsyre Blue cheese”.

He added: “Dunsyre Blue cheese remains the most likely source of this outbreak, with confirmed cases becoming unwell between July 2 and 15. It would not be appropriate to respond in more detail as investigations have not yet concluded.”

Pools or animal farms: 223 sick UK crypto could be anywhere

Janet Hughes of Gloucestershire Live writes that scientists are checking to see if summer holiday visits to animal attractions are behind a massive spike in the number of toddlers with cryptosporidium.

crypto.petting.farmPublic health chiefs are asking affected families to fill in questionnaires about where they have been and what they have eaten in an effort to trace the source of the outbreak which is particularly bad in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

Children aged between one and five years are most at risk from the parasite cryptosporidium which is three or four times more prevalent than normal this summer.

Doctors believe a small number of cases could be linked Oasis leisure centre in Swindon, which has been closed as a precautionary measure, and say swimming in contaminated lakes, rivers or swimming pools can cause the disease to strike.

But many of those struck down are young toddlers so other possible theories include the prospect that children might not have washed their hands after petting animals at attractions during the summer holidays.

Hand washing is never enough.


Crypto don’t care about borders

With cases of Cryptosporidium linked to public pools reaching 300 in Columbus, Ohio, and 100 in Phoenix, Arizona, reports have emerged that there are now 223 confirmed cases of Cryptosporidium across southwest UK.

diaper.poolAccording to Heather Pickstock of the Bath Chronicle, no source has been found as yet for the cases and it is not known if they are all linked.

Dr Toyin Ejidokun, consultant in Communicable Disease Control for PHE South West, said, “We have had confirmed reports of Cryptosporidium infection amongst a number of people who visited the Oasis swimming pool in Swindon earlier this summer. The swimming pool is one of a number of possible exposures that we are exploring. At this point, there is no confirmed source of exposure. We would like to reassure the public that we have only had reports of these cases, and if visitors to swimming pools have had similar symptoms, to contact their GP.”

Hamburger safety videos: Who’s the bullshitter, UK or US?

How can two different countries come up with two different recommendations – yet equally cheesy videos – on the basics of hamburger food safety?

Value assumptions in risk assessments.

My guess would be the UK Food Standards Agency thinks consumers can’t handle thermometers so they provide misguided and meaningless risk messages. And when talking about steaks, they don’t talk about needle- or blade tenderized steaks, in which the outside is pushed into the inside.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture gets the science right, but fails to expand beyond the simplistic cook-chill-clean-separate mantra and doesn’t mention sourcing food from safe sources, like the World Health Organization does.

I provide information. You decide.