FoodHACCP Newsletter
06/16 2014 ISSUE:604


Chia Seed Salmonella Outbreak Investigation Updated; 65 Ill
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/chia-seed-salmonella-outbreak-investigation-updated-65-ill/
By Linda Larsen (June 16, 2014)
The Public Health Agency of Canada has updated its investigation into the Salmonella outbreak linked to the consumption of chia seeds and sprouted chia seeded powder. There is an outbreak in the U.S. as well. Now, at least 44 people in Canada and 21 people in the U.S. are sick in this outbreak.
In the U.S., the ill persons live in 12 states. Patients range in age from 1 to 81; two people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported to date. In Canada, the 44 ill persons live in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. Six people have been hospitalized in that country. No deaths have been reported in Canada.
There are three separate strains of Salmonella in this particular outbreak in the United States: Newport, Hartford, and Oranienburg. The Canadian outbreak includes those strains and Salmonella Saintpaul. In Canada, 26 of the 26 people who were interviewed reported consumption of sprouted chia seeds or sprouted chia seed powder before they became ill, and 23 reported consuming sprouted chia seed powder.
Many recalls have been issued for chia seed and sprouted chia seed powder products in both countries. The products have a long shelf life and are most likely still in consumer’s homes. Read through the recalls carefully and look on your shelves and in your pantry. If you do have any of the recalled products, do not eat them. Discard in a plastic bag, then wash your hands thoroughly in warm soapy water.
The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, chills, and headache. If you do experience these symptoms, see your doctor immediately. Symptoms usually last four to seven days, and most people get better without treatment. But some people become so ill they must be hospitalized, and the long term consequences of a Salmonella infection can be serious. People with Salmonella infections can develop Reiter’s Syndrome, which can lead to chronic arthritis.

Jewel Deli Meat Possible Source of Salmonella Food Poisoning Outbreak
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/jewel-deli-meat-possible-source-of-salmonella-food-poisoning-outbreak/
By Carla Gillespie (June 16, 2014)
A Salmonella outbreak at the Jewel store in Tinley Park, IL  may have been caused by deli meat, according to local reports. After being contacted about reported illnesses by the Cook County Health Department on Wednesday, the store, located at 171st St, and Harlem Ave., closed its deli for several hours to deep clean the are and remove foods.
Deli meat a possible source of Jewel Salmonella outbreakThere are three confirmed cases of Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, and six probable cases. Test results on the probable cases are pending.
Contact a Salmonella LawyerStore employees have been asked to submit stool samples so health authorities can determine how the bacteria made its way into the deli area. Food poisoning from Salmonella happens when people eat food that is contaminated with microscopic amounts of fecal matter. Salmonella bacteria typically live in the intestines of humans and other animals. Sometimes meat and poultry are contaminated with waste or intestinal bacteria during slaughter.  Other times, food workers who do not wash hands carefully after using the restroom contaminate food.
Commercial settings such as restaurants, delis, bakeries and catering facilities are associated with about 45 percent of Salmonella outbreaks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There have been a number of food poisoning outbreaks caused by deli meats, according to the CDC. In 2002 , deli meat contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes caused a multistate outbreak that sickened 54 people. Eight people died.
Symptoms of Salmonella poisoning include fever, vomiting, diarrhea that is sometimes bloody. If you ate deli meat or other food from the Jewel deli and have developed these symptoms, see a doctor and mention your possible exposure.

Food-safe grilling starts with cleanliness
Source : http://chippewa.com/lifestyles/food-safe-grilling-starts-with-cleanliness/article_24e5736d-7d49-52b9-81e7-e96d24f42472.html
By chippewa.com (June 15. 2014)
Grilling season is shifting into high gear as many people enjoy Wisconsin’s all-too-short summer by cooking meals outdoors. When you’re grilling out, keep in mind that foodborne illness peaks in the summer. University of Wisconsin-Extension food science specialist Barbara Ingham offers these tips to help you keep the grilling season food-safe.
—Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food, especially raw meat.
—Always marinate foods in the refrigerator, not on the counter or outdoors. Boil used marinade before applying it to cooked food. Reserve a portion of unused marinade to use as a sauce for cooked meat. Do not rely on heating to decontaminate the marinade that has been in contact with raw meat.
—When grilling foods, preheat the coals on your grill for 20 or 30 minutes, or until the coals are lightly coated with ash.
—If you partially cook food in the microwave, oven or stove to reduce grilling time, do so immediately before the food goes on the hot grill. Partial cooking saves time, can help prevent flare-ups, and for products like chicken, often results in a better quality meal.
--When it’s time to grill your food, cook it to a safe internal temperature. Use a food thermometer to be sure. Place the food thermometer in the thickest part of the meat. Don’t let it touch the bone, fat or gristle. Check the temperature in several places to make sure the food is evenly heated.
•Beef, veal and lamb steaks and roasts: 145 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare (with a 3-minute rest time) and 160 degrees for medium.
•Ground pork and ground beef: 160 degrees.
•Poultry: at least 165 degrees.
•Fin fish: 145 degrees or until the fish is opaque and separates easily with a fork.
•Shrimp, lobster and crabs: The meat should be pearly and opaque.
•Clams, oysters and mussels: Until the shells are open.
—Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs. Be sure to have plenty of clean utensils and platters on hand.
—Grilled food can be kept hot until serving by moving it to the side of the grill rack, just away from the coals to avoid overcooking.
—Avoid placing foods in the Danger Zone (40-140 degrees) for more than one hour on a warm summer’s day. Never let raw meat, poultry, eggs, cooked food or cut fresh fruit or vegetables sit unrefrigerated for more than an hour on a warm day.
To learn more about keeping food safe, contact Mary Geissler, Chippewa County Family Living Agent, at 715-726-7950. To stay abreast of all the latest food safety news, follow “Safe and Healthy: Preserving Food at Home” at http://fyi.uwex.edu/safepreserving.

 




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July 31-August 1, 2014 (Las Vegas, NV)


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Food safety information diners are hungry for
Source : http://barfblog.com/2014/06/food-safety-information-diners-are-hungry-for/
By Doug Powell (June 14, 2014)
The interview and podcast I did with Ken Burgin of Hospitality Magazine in Australia are now up. The podcast is available at http://barfblog.com/2014/06/no-barfing-better-food-safety-management-in-kitchens-and-restaurants-podcast/.
The story is available below:
“The interested public can handle more, not less information about food safety. The best restaurants will not wait for government; they will go ahead and make their food safety practices available in a variety of media and brag about them”. That’s the opinion of Dr Douglas Powell, a former professor of food safety at Kansas State University, now living in Australia.
We talked recently for a podcast interview, and he had some interesting observations about how he as a consumer would like more information and reassurance about the food he eats at a cafe, a restaurant or even a community sausage sizzle. He said:
When I order meat and the server asks how I would like it done, I always say ‘At the appropriate temperature.’ Only once over the past decade has a server been able to say, We can do that’, and pulled out a tip-sensitive digital thermometer she carried around. I returned to that establishment.
If the restaurant or market advertises its food as local or sustainable, organic, natural or ‘GM free’, I ask, ‘How is that verified? Is there any testing for microbial food safety?’ Bringing soil-covered vegetables into the kitchen might be a great Instagram moment, but it’s also an opportunity for bugs and bacteria to enter what should be a sterile clean environment.
Inspection reports are only a snapshot of a particular day, but patterns can be detected over time. Recurring problems mean go somewhere else.
When diners ask to take leftovers home, does the restaurant take the remains to the kitchen (bad) or bring a clamshell to the table for the diner to take care of her own food (good)? And maybe some food safety stickers on that clamshell with date, time and reheating guidelines. It’s not hard to do with a word document and a box of address labels.
A restaurant that cares about food safety will have its own auditors and secret diners to ensure that what management says is happening with front-line servers is actually happening. Its reputation is an asset needing constant attention.
Does management support food safety with rapid, reliable, relevant and repeated food safety information so front-line servers can at least attempt to answer basic food safety questions? Most food safety training is forgotten as soon as the student leaves the classroom – Doug finds that putting up dramatic ‘Infosheets’ is more effective, for example a recent one entitled ‘103 cases of salmonellosis linked to church fundraiser meals’. You can download and print more from the barfblog.com.
Is there equipment for proper hand washing? Vigorously running water, soap and paper towels? Hot air hand dryers are not a substitute for disposable towels.
Are steps taken to prevent cross-contamination? This shows up repeatedly in restaurant inspection reports. Separate utensils and storage for cooked and raw food is basic practice, but not for some operators.
‘What’s in that dip?’ has become my standard question at many Australian restaurants. Usually they use raw eggs, and the outbreaks keep piling up. I choose something else.
Raw produce is problematic. Does that sandwich have raw sprouts? Where did that lettuce or spinach come from? Was it grown with good agricultural practices, because washing ain’t going to do much. This is a challenge for the fans of ‘paddock to plate’ – it should not mean ignore the cleaning.
Are employees vaccinated against Hepatitis A? Do employees work when they are sick with norovirus – it happens every week somewhere in the US. It’s easy for Australian businesses to become complacent about ‘overseas’ problems.
Does the restaurant welcome questions and support disclosure systems?
That’s a lot of questions when I just want to go out on the town with my youngest daughter, but I ask these routinely and learn a lot. Curiosity has its benefits.

Food safety information diners are hungry for
Source : http://www.hospitalitymagazine.com.au/management/food-safety-information-diners-are-hungry-for
By Ken Burgin (June 13, 2014)
“The interested public can handle more, not less information about food safety. The best restaurants will not wait for government; they will go ahead and make their food safety practices available in a variety of media and brag about them”. That’s the opinion of Dr Douglas Powell, a former professor of food safety at Kansas State University, now living in Australia.
We talked recently for a podcast interview, and he had some interesting observations about how he as a consumer would like more information and reassurance about the food he eats at a cafe, a restaurant or even a community sausage sizzle. He said:
• When I order meat and the server asks how I would like it done, I always say ‘At the appropriate temperature.’ Only once over the past decade has a server been able to say, We can do that’, and pulled out a tip-sensitive digital thermometer she carried around. I returned to that establishment.
• If the restaurant or market advertises its food as local or sustainable, organic, natural or ‘GM free’, I ask, ‘How is that verified? Is there any testing for microbial food safety?’ Bringing soil-covered vegetables into the kitchen might be a great Instagram moment, but it’s also an opportunity for bugs and bacteria to enter what should be a sterile environment.
• Inspection reports are only a snapshot of a particular day, but patterns can be detected over time. Recurring problems mean go somewhere else.
When diners ask to take leftovers home, does the restaurant take the remains to the kitchen (bad) or bring a clamshell to the table for the diner to take care of her own food (good)? And maybe some food safety stickers on that clamshell with date, time and reheating guidelines. It’s not hard to do with a word document and a box of address labels.
• A restaurant that cares about food safety will have its own auditors and secret diners to ensure that what management says is happening with front-line servers is actually happening. Its reputation is an asset needing constant attention.
• Does management support food safety with rapid, reliable, relevant and repeated food safety information so front-line servers can at least attempt to answer basic food safety questions? Most food safety training is forgotten as soon as the student leaves the classroom – Doug finds that putting up dramatic ‘Infosheets’ is more effective, for example a recent one entitled ‘103 cases of salmonellosis linked to church fundraiser meals’. You can download and print more from the Barfblog.
Is there equipment for proper hand washing? Vigorously running water, soap and paper towels? Hot air hand dryers are not a substitute for disposable towels.
• Are steps taken to prevent cross-contamination? This shows up repeatedly in restaurant inspection reports. Separate utensils and storage for cooked and raw food is basic practice, but not for some operators.
• ‘What’s in that dip?’, has become my standard question at many Australian restaurants. Usually they use raw eggs, and the outbreaks keep piling up. I choose something else.
• Raw produce is problematic. Does that sandwich have raw sprouts? Where did that lettuce or spinach come from? Was it grown with good agricultural practices, because washing ain’t going to do much. This is a challenge for the fans of ‘paddock to plate’ – it should not mean ignore the cleaning.
• Are employees vaccinated against Hepatitis A? Do employees work when they are sick with norovirus – it happens every week somewhere in the US. It’s easy for Australian businesses to become complacent about ‘overseas’ problems.
• Does the restaurant welcome questions and support disclosure systems?
• That’s a lot of questions when I just want to go out on the town with my youngest daughter, but I ask these routinely and learn a lot. Curiosity has its benefits.

Study: Dining From Food Carts Just as Safe as Restaurants
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/06/dining-from-food-trucks-as-safe-as-from-restaurants-with-addresses/#.U5-oOE1Zrs1
By News Desk (June 12, 2014)
Nobody can say the food cart movement has had it easy with state and local regulators and opposition from owners of brick-and-mortar restaurants. However, it’s been hard enough that a civil liberties law firm has taken up their cause by checking the “rap sheets” that food carts and trucks have complied.
While their opponents might paint food trucks and carts as being unsafe and not sanitary, a new Institute for Justice study pored through 260,000 food safety inspection reports from seven American cities. Called “Street Eats, Safe Eats,” the study found the notion that these food outlets are unsafe is a myth.
In each of the seven cities, the study found that mobile vendors are covered by the same health codes and inspection regimes as restaurants and other brick-and-mortar businesses, allowing for an apples-to-apples comparison.
“’Street Eats, Safe Eats’ finds that in every city examined — Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Seattle and Washington, D.C. — food trucks and carts did as well as or better than restaurants,” the authors said. “More burdensome regulations proposed in the name of food safety, such as outright bans and limits on when and where mobile vendors may work, do not make street food safer — they just make it harder to get.”
Among the findings:
•In every city examined — Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Seattle and Washington, D.C. — food trucks and carts did as well as, or better, than restaurants.
•In six out of those seven cities — Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami and Washington, D.C. — food trucks and carts averaged fewer sanitation violations than restaurants, and the differences were statistically significant.
•In Seattle, mobile vendors also averaged fewer violations, but the difference was not statistically significant, meaning that mobile vendors and restaurants performed about the same.

Marketing food safety? China’s vice-premier calls for food-safety credit system
Source : http://barfblog.com/2014/06/marketing-food-safety-chinas-vice-premier-calls-for-food-safety-credit-system/
By Doug Powell (June 12, 2014)
Vice-Premier Wang Yang urged food safety authorities to hasten the establishment of a credit system to better inform the public of both the good and bad producers.
He made the remarks on June 10 at a forum of the China Food Safety Publicity Week.
Highlighting the respect for morality, laws and regulations, the event held by 17 government agencies, including the China Food and Drug Administration, aims to help improve China’s food safety and raise public awareness.
“The government should ensure a healthy market order to allow for fair competition, and crimes in the food sector must be severely punished,” he said.
He also demanded strict monitoring of the entire process of food production, processing and sales to safeguard food safety and quality.
Although the general food safety situation in the country has become better and stable, problems still exist, he said.
Consumers and industry associations should also participate in the food safety supervision to help secure a better-regulated food market, he added.
To improve public access into food safety information and knowledge, a mobile application about food and drug-related information was launched by the administration at the event.
Users can use the app to track latest news and information on food, drugs, function food, cosmetics, and medical appliances.
Vice-Premier Wang Yang urged food safety authorities to hasten the establishment of a credit system to better inform the public of both the good and bad producers.

William Marler: Time for a Warning Label on Sprouts
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/william-marler-time-for-a-warning-label-on-sprouts/#.U5-4Mk1Zrs1
By Bill Marler on June 10, 2014
Another sprout-related E. coli outbreak earlier this month has prompted the attorneys of the Seattle law firm, Marler Clark, to call on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require warnings on packaging of all raw sprouts.
“According the FDA’s own 1999 advisory, Recommendations on Sprouted Seeds, sprouts have been increasingly implicated in foodborne outbreaks. The time has come to label sprouts as potentially hazardous,” said William Marler, the firm’s managing partner.
He suggests this labeling mirror the requirements now found on unpasteurized juices:
WARNING: This product may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems.
Epidemiology and traceback investigations conducted by local, state, and federal officials indicated that contaminated raw clover sprouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, LLC of Idaho are the likely source of this outbreak.  In interviews, 12 (86%) of 14 ill persons reported eating raw clover sprouts in the week before becoming ill.
As of June 9, 2014, a total of 17 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121 (STEC O121) have been reported from five states.  The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows:  Idaho (3), Michigan (1), Montana (2), Utah (1), and Washington (10).  47% of ill persons have been hospitalized. No ill persons have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and no deaths have been reported.
The FDA conducted an inspection of Evergreen Fresh Sprouts’ facility on May 22-23, 2014; May 27-30, 2014; and June 6, 2014. During the inspection, FDA investigators observed a number of unsanitary conditions, including condensate and irrigation water dripping from rusty valves; a rusty and corroded mung bean room watering system; tennis rackets that had scratches, chips, and frayed plastic” used to scoop mung bean sprouts; a pitchfork with corroded metal being used to transfer mung bean sprouts; and a squeegee with visible corroded metal and non-treated wood being used to agitate mung bean sprouts inside a soak vat.
Raw clover sprouts have not been recalled from Evergreen Fresh Sprouts. Because contaminated sprouts may still be available on the market, CDC recommends that consumers do not eat any raw clover sprouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts.  The Washington State Department of Health and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare are also advising people not to eat raw clover sprouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts.
Barfblog does a great job of tracking sprout outbreak through 2012.  Outbreak Database carries on – through 2014.
As far back as September 1998, the FDA issued a warning against sprouts urging:
children, pregnant women and the elderly should not eat alfalfa sprouts until growers find a way to reduce the risk of a potentially deadly bacteria that infects some sprouts, the Food and Drug Administration said this week. The FDA, which is investigating sprout industry practices, said children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems should avoid eating sprouts. The agency’s statement, issued Monday, repeated similar but little-noticed advice the U.S. Centers for Disease Control gave to doctors and researchers a year ago.
Here is the CDC warning :
Sprouts Not Healthy Food for Everyone
Children, the elderly, and persons whose immune systems are not functioning well should not eat raw sprouts, because current treatments of seeds and sprouts cannot get rid of all bacteria present.
Persons who are at high risk for complications from foodborne illness should probably not eat raw sprouts, according to an article in the current issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC’s peer-reviewed journal, which tracks new and reemerging infectious diseases worldwide.
Although sprouts are often considered a “health food,” the warm, humid conditions needed for growing sprouts from seeds are also ideal for bacteria to flourish. Salmonella, E. coli, and other bacteria can grow to high levels without affecting the appearance of the sprouts.
Researchers have treated both seeds and sprouts with heat or washed them in solutions of chlorine, alcohol, and other chemicals. Some of these disinfectants reduced the levels of bacteria, but a potential hazard remained, especially for persons with weak immune systems. High temperatures that would kill the bacteria on the seeds would also keep them from sprouting. Until an effective way is found to prevent illness from sprouts, they should be eaten with caution, if at all.

Did Unsanitary Conditions at Evergreen Fresh Sprouts Cause E. coli Outbreak?
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/did-unsanitary-conditions-at-evergreen-fresh-sprouts-cause-e-coli-outbreak/#.U5-5aE1Zrs1
By Bill Marler (June 10, 2014)
The FDA conducted an inspection of Evergreen Fresh Sprouts’ facility on May 22-23, 2014; May 27-30, 2014; and June 6, 2014. During the inspection, FDA investigators observed a number of unsanitary conditions, including condensate and irrigation water dripping from rusty valves; a rusty and corroded mung bean room watering system; tennis rackets that had scratches, chips, and frayed plastic” used to scoop mung bean sprouts; a pitchfork with corroded metal being used to transfer mung bean sprouts; and a squeegee with visible corroded metal and non-treated wood being used to agitate mung bean sprouts inside a soak vat.
As of June 9, 2014, a total of 17 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121 (STEC O121) have been reported from five states.  The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows:  Idaho (3), Michigan (1), Montana (2), Utah (1), and Washington (10).  47% of ill persons have been hospitalized. No ill persons have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and no deaths have been reported.
Epidemiology and traceback investigations conducted by local, state, and federal officials indicated that contaminated raw clover sprouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, LLC of Idaho are the likely source of this outbreak.  In interviews, 12 (86%) of 14 ill persons reported eating raw clover sprouts in the week before becoming ill.
Raw clover sprouts have not been recalled from Evergreen Fresh Sprouts. Because contaminated sprouts may still be available on the market, CDC recommends that consumers do not eat any raw clover sprouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts.  The Washington State Department of Health and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare are also advising people not to eat raw clover sprouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts.

Worthy sentiment: food safety before profit
Source : http://barfblog.com/2014/06/worthy-sentiment-food-safety-before-profit/
By Doug Powell (June 11, 2014)
Dave Watson of the Unison Scotland blog writes:
Protecting the consumer and quality Scottish food brands needs proper regulation and a new Food body that puts food safety before company profit.
Chicago_meat_inspection_swift_co_1906I was giving evidence this morning to the Scottish Parliament Health Committee on the Food (Scotland) Bill. This Bill creates Food Standards Scotland to take over the work of the UK-wide Food Standards Agency in Scotland, and establishes new food law provisions.
UNISON welcomes the devolution of this work from a UK body that has a mixed record in protecting consumers. It has all too often fallen into the deregulation lobby and tamely surrendered to the pressures from some meat producers for faster production at the expense of food safety. We hope that a Scottish body will recognise that protecting the brand requires independent inspection, so that the consumer can have confidence in the product. It was encouraging to hear Tesco making similar points this morning.
A key test will be to ensure that meat inspection is not handed over to the companies as many of the producers would wish. A company meat inspector is inevitably placed in an impossible conflict of interests position.
There is a good example of deregulation currently in front of MSPs with an EU proposal to introduce visual only inspection of pig carcasses. This means the 37,000 abscesses and tumours spotted by meat inspectors are likely to be missed in future and minced into our sausages and pies. The health risks may be low, but this is a quality issue. Something the FSA thinks is nothing to do with them. I trust MSPs grasped what the FSA said on that point this morning and ensure that quality is a concern.
There is a welcome strengthening of the regulatory powers in areas such as administrative fines and a duty to report. However, all the legislation and regulation in the world is useless if it is not enforced – a common theme in evidence this morning. The numbers of local authority Environmental Health Officers and staff dealing with food have been cut by 20% and food sampling is down by a third. Putting an out of date inspection report on a restaurant door is pointless. The preventative and education work that the industry welcomes is also being reduced because of staffing cuts.
The legislation is very light on staffing issues, you would think inspection was carried out by robots! Staff transfers are relegated to the Financial Memorandum when the Cabinet Office rules say they should be in the legislation. There are also no provisions for Staff Governance, something the new body would benefit from.
There may well be a reduced demand for pies and and sausages in the MSP canteen today and our latest info graphic makes the point visually. Let’s hope our MSPs recognise that food safety and quality is everyone’s business.

Summer Food Safety
Source : http://www.kgns.tv/news/local/headlines/Summer-Food-Safety-262442741.html
By kgns.tv (June 11, 2014)
Get your grills ready. It's that season again. If you're anything like Jerry Garcia, you'll spend a lot of your time cooking out this summer. But before you light up the grill, make sure you're taking the proper precautions. Many food poisoning cases are caused by under cooked food. Garcia said he always checks his food before serving it.
"I usually tear a piece of chicken and if the chicken is obviously pink or white, well then it's not ready. You need to keep it longer on the grill."
It's also a good idea to check with a meat thermometer. It depends on the type of meat you have as to what temperature you should cook it to. Rosa Cavazos Lopez is a Laredo Medical Center Dietitian. She said washing your hands is a must.
"It's so basic and important. We handle so many items that we can contaminate from one food item to the next if we don't wash our hands often enough."
When cooking, make sure you do not cross contaminate if you are cooking different meats. Make sure you chill and store your foods properly. Keep your refrigerator below 40-degrees. Also, rinse fresh fruits and vegetables.
It may sound like a lot to worry about, but for all the new grillers out there, keep with it.
"The first time it might not come out well. You might overcook it or under cook it. Just give it more shots. Before you know it, your food will come out awesome."
Every year 1 in 6 Americans get some type of food poisoning.

Stale Food: Firm and Food Safety Commissioner Fined
Source : http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/kochi/Stale-Food-Firm-and-Food-Safety-Commissioner-Fined/2014/06/09/article2270601.ece
By Express News Service (June 09, 2014)
A man who contracted acute Hepatitis A after consuming stale food purchased from a retail outlet at Maradu, got his grievance redressed when the Ernakulam Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum asked the company and the food department store to pay monetary compensation to the victim.
The forum asked the opposite parties, Pantaloon Retail India Ltd and Food Bazaar retail outlet, Nucleus Mall, Maradu, to jointly pay the compensation worth ` 1 lakh and an additional amount of ` 2,000 towards the cost of proceedings in the forum. The Food Safety Commissioner who is the third opposite party will have to pay ` 5,000 for not carrying out his duty even after the complainant lodged a complaint.
The forum observed that the food bought by the complainant, Anand Unnikrishnan, which   included pulses, cereals and vegetables from the retail outlet at Maradu were stale. The response of the Food Safety Commissioner to the complaint filed by Anand proves that both the first and second opposite parties were distributing stale food.
In his reply, the Food Safety Commissioner said that the samples from the retail outlet were collected and directions were given to the Chief Food Safety Officer, Mobile Vigilance Squad, Ernakulam to report on the action. “This is a suffice evidence,” observed the forum. Besides, the discharge summary by the hospital clearly states that  Hepatitis A is transmitted orally by consuming contaminated food and the victim had to spend ` 36,414.93 towards treatment expenses.
The Forum fined the Food Safety commissioner as even after claiming that the food safety officials collected the samples, the documents pertaining to it could not be presented  before the forum.  “It is a blatant negligence of duty. Besides,the sale of sub-standard food or unsafe food itself is punishable under Section 51 and 59 of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006,” the forum observed.
The members of the forums were president A Rajesh, Sheen Jose and V K Beena Kumari.

Editorial: Learn more about food safety risks
Source : http://www.reporterherald.com/opinion/editorial/ci_25931204/editorial-learn-more-about-food-safety-risks
By reporterherald.com (June 09, 2014)
Every month, local health departments are dispatched to restaurants after receiving complaints of diners getting sick. Sometimes, those inspectors find practices at restaurants that need to be addressed; other times, the source of the foodborne pathogen is never found.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study last week that gave new insights into the sources of foodborne illnesses, specifically the dreaded norovirus.
The norovirus family has come under scrutiny in recent years because of the ease with which it is spread as well as its resistance to sanitizers that target bacteria instead of viruses. In news accounts, the virus has become linked with the passenger cruise industry because of its ability to sweep through a confined population.
Federal researchers note that only 1 percent of documented norovirus cases come from the high seas, however. The vast majority are from food service workers who fail to take the right precautions when preparing meals. Many times, the virus is spread after a food has been cooked, by a food service worker performing the final bit of presentation or other contact.
The easy spread of norovirus is a reminder of the importance of local health departments not only to inspect the restaurants for proper food safety practices, but also their ability to educate food service workers and their employers about the best practices to avoid being a carrier.
Both Larimer and Boulder counties post the inspection reports for local restaurants on their websites, and those reports can be informative about the precautions and standards being addressed. They can also help to teach home cooks about the latest research in food safety.

Killingworth Health Department issues summer food safety tips
Source : http://www.middletownpress.com/general-news/20140609/killingworth-health-department-issues-summer-food-safety-tips
By middletownpress.com  (June 09, 2014)
The Killingworth Health Department reminds residents to keep food safety in mind when grilling outdoors.
Food safety is just as important when you’re cooking outside as it is when you’re cooking inside. Following a few simple steps can help ensure the success of your barbecues and picnics.
Here are some food safety tips for grilling outdoors:
• Wash hands - Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water and dry your hands with a paper towel following restroom use, before preparing foods, after handling raw meat or before eating. Be sure to wash hands thoroughly after handling raw meat products and before handling other foods. Clean hands will help prevent the spread of potentially illness-causing microorganisms.
• Clean - Wash food-contact surfaces often with warm soapy water. Bacteria can spread and get onto cutting boards, knives and counter tops. Wash fruits and vegetables before preparing.
• Separate utensils - Be sure to use separate plates and utensils for cooked and uncooked foods. Bacteria from uncooked meats and poultry can be dangerous if they contaminate cooked food. Don’t reuse marinade – discard after food is removed for cooking. If basting is required, use a freshly prepared marinade.
• Take temperatures - Cook food thoroughly. The most common minimum internal cooking temperatures are 158 degrees Fahrenheit for hamburgers, 145 degrees Fahrenheit for steaks and ribs, and 165 degrees Fahrenheit for poultry. Be sure to use a food thermometer to check temperatures.
• Keep it cold (or hot) - Keep cold food refrigerated until it is ready to be placed on the grill. Consume immediately or hold hot on the grill. Do not hold cooked foods at room temperature. Cooked, hot foods should be kept at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. Cold foods should be kept below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
For more information about food safety contact the Killingworth Health Department at 860-663-1765, ext. 223 or visit the CT Department of Public Health, Food Protection Program website at www.ct.gov/dph/foodprotection or call 860-509-7297.

Hepatitis A: The Potential Hidden Danger in your Next Restaurant Meal – Hepatitis A
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/hepatitis-a-the-potential-hidden-danger-in-your-next-restaurant-meal-hepatitis-a/#.U5-9PE1Zrs1
By Bill Marler (June 9, 2014)
With tens of thousands exposed or sickened every year, food safety lawyer Bill Marler wonders why we aren’t vaccinating restaurant workers
The next time you go out to eat your waitperson might bring you a side of the hepatitis A Virus along with your meal.
In recent weeks, scores of restaurants—from small eateries to big chains like Papa John’s and Red Robin—have exposed thousands of patrons to this highly communicable, potentially deadly liver disease.
Despite the Food & Drug Administration having approved the hepatitis A vaccine in 1995, restaurant workers—who can easily pass hepatitis A during food handling—are not required to get the vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control has repeatedly pointed out that the consumption of worker-contaminated food is a major cause of foodborne illness in the U.S. There are approximately 83,000 cases ofhepatitis A in the U.S. every year.
“The vaccine costs $50 per person, which is tiny compared to the cost of dealing with an outbreak, but, unfortunately, the restaurant industry has chosen to be reactive instead of protective,” said Bill Marler, an attorney specializing on food safety issues.
Illustrating this reaction to hepatitis A is a warning issued in Greene County, Missouri this past May. In that case, a Red Robin restaurant exposed more than 5,000 people. Marler has filed a class action on behalf of all those that were required to stand in line to be vaccinated.
In North Carolina, a similar case in April exposed thousands who ate at a Papa John’s restaurant where a worker was sick with hepatitis A. Marler too has filed a class action on behalf of all those that were required to stand in line to be vaccinated.
But, Marler stresses, there’s as much a chance of exposure at a “ma and pa” diner as there is at a chain restaurant.
For example, Marler recently filed suit on behalf of David Cohen and Anthony Loreto, Jr. against WilliamsbridgeRestaurant, Inc., which operated the Chinese/Japanese eatery New Hawaii Sea Restaurant in the Bronx in New York.
In September 2013, the New York City Health Department issued a warning to customers of New Hawaii Sea that they may have been exposed to hepatitis A through an ill restaurant worker—a host who rarely, if ever, handled the food. An inspection of the restaurant revealed unsanitary conditions and food cross-contamination that likely aided in the spread of the disease. Patrons were urged to see a doctor immediately. A total of nine people became ill withhepatitis A during this outbreak.
Cohen, a 42-year-old volunteer firefighter, and Loreto, a 25-year-old who was still recovering from injuries sustained in a 2011 motor vehicle accident, were two of the victims. Both men ate at New Hawaii Sea Restaurant and became seriously ill.
Many people with hepatitis A don’t experience any symptoms at initial onset, but if they do these can mimic the flu. Once the disease hits the liver, victims canexperience severe stomach pain, dark urine, jaundice, itchy skin, body aches, and general weakness. The infection can continue for weeks or months. Cohen and Loreto were both out of work for about a month, and still continue to recover from their illnesses.
While the CDC has not yet called for mandatory vaccination of food-service workers, it has releasedestimates of the costs associated with infection—and they are substantial.
“The argument from the restaurant industry is that it isn’t cost effective to vaccinate against hepatitis A because of the high turnover rate among employees. That’s like not buying health insurance and just crossing your fingers that you’ll never get sick. Anyone who has ever done that will tell you that it’s a heavy bet, because if you do become sick, it’s devastating,” said Marler.
Adults who become ill with Hepatitis A miss an average of 27 days of work. When there’s an outbreak, local health departments have to devote valuable man-hours and resources notifying the public of their risk to harm. The average direct and indirect costs of hepatitis A range from $1,817 to $2,549 per case for adults and from $433 to $1,492 per case for children younger than 18. In addition, restaurants that are forced to issue hepatitis A exposure warnings are typically shut down for a period of time. Thisharms their reputation and bottom line in ways that they may no be able to recover from. For example, after being temporarily closed in September 2013, New Hawaii Sea Restaurant reopened briefly before closing its doors permanently.
All of those costs—the loss of jobs, medical care, physical pain and suffering—can be avoided for just $50 per worker.
“It’s ridiculous that states, counties, and the restaurant industry haven’t come together to eliminate this threat.hepatitis A is a serious disease, but it’s also the only food-borne illness that is vaccine-preventable. There is no reason not to vaccinate all restaurant workers; it is the right and moral thing to do,” said Marler.
ABOUT BILL MARLER:
Bill Marler is an accomplished food safety advocate and attorney. He began litigating foodborne illness cases in 1993, when he successfully represented Brianne Kiner, the most seriously injured survivor of the Jack in the Box E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. Over the years, Bill and his firm, Marler Clark, have become the leaders in representing victims of foodborne illness. Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our hepatitis A lawyers have litigated hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food.  The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Subway, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr.
Bill spends much of his time traveling to address food industry groups, fair associations, and public health groups about foodborne illness, related litigation, and surrounding issues. He has testified before Congress as well as State Legislatures. He is a frequent author of articles related to foodborne illness in food safety journals and magazines as well as on his personal blog, www.marlerblog.com. Bill also recently founded Food Safety News (www.foodsafetynews.com) as a one-stop resource for global food safety news and information.

 

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