From Barry Estabrook on Politics of the Plate:
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) handling of a recent investigation into a salmonella outbreak that sickened 68 people in 10 states—sending more than 20 to the hospital—had all the elements of a B-grade spy movie. The CDC identified the source of the contaminated food, but refused to make the name public, instead calling it Restaurant Chain A, and saying only that it was a Mexican chain. It could have been any one of six such chains that operated in the affected states.
That seemed like odd behavior from an agency whose responsibility is to save lives, protect Americans, and save money through prevention. Although no one died in this outbreak, which came to light last fall, salmonella is frequently fatal, so outing the culprit could have saved lives. Revealing the identity of the mysterious Restaurant Chain A would have allowed customers to protect themselves by avoiding the place, if they chose. And a little negative publicity might have been just what was needed to convince those in charge of the company to clean up their act, perhaps preventing future outbreaks. Continue reading
A reader who prefers not to be identified is asking The Bovine community whether anyone can answer the following questions regarding food safety:
- If pathogens exist in a particular batch of raw milk (for instance, salmonella, campylobacter or e-coli O157:H7), and those pathogens are then killed by pasteurization , what effect (if any) do the dead bacteria have on consumers who later drink that milk?
- In particular, if e-coli O157:H7 is liable to release “shiga-like toxins” is there some possibility that killing the e-coli via pasteurization might precipitate the release of such toxins into the pasteurized milk?
- Does anyone have information on the use of activated charcoal or bentonite clay as a remedy (and in particular, a handy home remedy) for any of the pathogens that might be found in raw milk?
From Doug Powell on Barfblog:
Was it the sauce? Photo via Barfblog.
“Pork barbecue with vinegar and pepper-based sauce is the source of 23 per cent of salmonella-positive samples the U.S. Department of Agriculture reviewed from 2005 to 2010. The contamination has not caused any known illnesses.
Exactly what part of the dish is contaminating it with salmonella isn’t clear. FSIS notes that it “may have come from the addition of contaminated ingredients (such as the pepper) to the sauce, or from cross-contamination of the product or sauce in the post lethality processing environment.” Continue reading
From Maryn McKenna on Wired:
Image from the story on Wired. Click picture to go to the Wired website.
As the scale of the nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg started to sink in Thursday — along with the stunningly large recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey, much of it probably already eaten — there were a number of moments that made a careful listener need to stop and just think. Continue reading
Underground sources report that U.S. food safety legislation is already being implemented. Here are a few snippets:
S510 is going into effect. For those who supported it, arguing it was needed and wasn’t going to destroy local farmers and food producers, here is the reality.
This radio show gives detail. Listen to the podcast at: http://www.derrybrownfield.com/tracks/042511.mp3
They are using it to try to shut down Mike Callicrate and/or people doing the same work he is, with HACCP. He produced raw beef and delivers it fresh every day, within just hours of grinding it (or cutting, too?). They are imposing a “test and wait” rule, in which ground beef (or other kinds, too?) has to be tested daily (sent off for tests?) and then held for test results (for days). This would kill the business of anyone producing fresh meat. Continue reading
From The Complete Patient blog:
Todd Moore (second from left) and family being recognized at a livestock show.
“On the face of it, the case against Lavon Farms looks open and shut. Milk from the Plano, TX, raw dairy, the largest in the state, has been genetically linked to four illnesses from salmonella–three of them involving children–over the last few months, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Continue reading
Here’s an excerpt from Globe and Mail food reporter Jessica Leeder’s take on “Massive egg recall opens window on inhumane farming”:
What's it about, the chicken or the egg? Photo via Globe and Mail.com
“If anyone stands to benefit from the most sweeping egg recall in America’s history, it is the chickens.
Animal-welfare advocates waging an ongoing war to free caged birds have seized on the U.S. recall of half a billion eggs over fears of salmonella contamination as evidence that common industrial egg-producing systems are not only inhumane, they pose a real threat to food safety. Continue reading
Excerpts from a recent Natural News story titled “FDA exploits salmonella eggs recall to pursue food sterilization agenda“:
“(NaturalNews) It’s always amusing to see how quickly consumers can be worked up into a false fear frenzy by health authorities. We saw it last year with the overhyped H1N1 swine flu scare which was fanned into a flaming fear fest by WHO advisors on the take from vaccine manufacturers. Now we’re getting a new round of fear-mongering from many of the same sources who are warning us about salmonella contaminated eggs.
According to mainstream news sources, a massive 380-million-egg recall has been announced, and these eggs are all so incredibly dangerous that you have to immediately remove them from your refrigerator and take them back to the storewhere you bought them so that they can be properly destroyed. This is all backed up by phrases like, “It’s not worth the risk,” and claims that if people eat the eggs, they are taking “too much of a chance.” Continue reading
An excerpt from a recent thought-provoking article on The Ethicurean blog by Elanor, about industrial concentration vs local choice:
Data mining infographic from 2004 shows sector by sector concentration of ownership of the food industry -- via The Ethicurean blog. See the Ethicurean for a larger version of this image.
“On Friday, New York Times op-ed contributor Steven Budiansky challenged local food advocates to rethink their math, mainly about food miles. As it happens, I was already doing some food calculations that day — but not of the sort Budiansky discussed.
My numbers included the following: As of Friday, 450 million eggs originating from two Iowa egg operations — both of which buy feed and chicks from the same company — had been recalled from stores in 14 states for salmonella contamination. Continue reading
Thanks to Karen Selick for the heads up on this latest affront to the vast majority of North Americans who wager their personal health on the safety of processed foods. Here’s an excerpt from this National Post/Canwest news story.
“Canadian consumers could be facing an avalanche of food recalls after an ingredient used in thousands of processed foods was found to be contaminated with salmonella, government investigators said yesterday. The popular flavour enhancer hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) is added to a wide range of processed foods, including dips, salad dressings, chips, sauces, hotdogs, soups and frozen dinners. Already, 56 products in the United States and two in Canada — chips and veggie dips — were recalled this week after salmonella was detected in the flavouring ingredient produced by a Nevada company….”