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Deli Meats Recalled Over Listeria Concerns

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert due to concerns that assorted sliced deli meat products served to customers at Dion’s restaurants may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The assorted sliced deli meats were produced by Peter DeFries Corporation, an Albuquerque, N.M. establishment.

The sliced roast beef, ham, pastrami, and turkey items were produced between Dec. 14, 2016 and Dec. 29, 2016, however product may have been available in restaurant locations through January 4, 2017.

These items were distributed to Dion’s restaurant locations in Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. The sliced deli meat products are used on pizzas, salads, and open-faced sandwiches for customers at Dion’s restaurants.

The problem was discovered through routine testing conducted as part of the Peter DeFries Corporation’s Listeria testing program. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider.

Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections can occur in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

Consumers who have purchased these products from Dion’s restaurants are urged not to consume them.

Listeria:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Listeria outbreaks. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Listeria 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 Listeria lawyers have litigated Listeria cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, cheese, celery and milk.

If you or a family member became ill with a Listeria infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Listeria attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Wisconsin Issues “Cannibal” or “Tiger Meat” Sandwich Warning

Health Agency Warns Against Consuming Raw or Undercooked Meat – Advisory includes traditional raw meat sandwiches

If you are among the Wisconsin residents who consider raw ground beef sandwiches (known as “Cannibal” or “Tiger Meat” sandwiches) a holiday tradition, the Department of Health Services (DHS) wants to remind you that consuming raw or undercooked meat can be dangerous to your health.

Cannibal or Tiger Meat Sandwiches typically consist of raw ground beef topped with salt, pepper and onions, served on rye bread or crackers. Historically in Wisconsin, consumption of these sandwiches has led to outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella infections, including an outbreak that involved 150 people in 1994. Outbreaks have also been reported in 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2012 and 2013. Raw beef can also contain other bacteria, including Campylobacter and Listeria. Regardless of where your beef is purchased, eating it raw is always risky.

“We strongly discourage state residents from eating raw or undercooked ground beef. Older adults, pregnant women, children, and people with weakened immune systems are at even greater risk of illness from germs found in raw or undercooked meat”, said State Health Officer Karen McKeown. DHS urges those who are cooking any meat to use a meat thermometer. Color is not a reliable indicator that meat is properly cooked.

Follow these guidelines to avoid illness from the meat you prepare and serve:

  • Wash hands thoroughly with warm water and soap before and after handling raw meat.
  • Cook all meat, poultry and wild game to the proper internal temperature (link is external)
    and use a meat thermometer. Don’t use color as an indicator that meat has reached a safe temperature.

    • Cook ground meat and meat mixtures (e.g., ground beef, pork, veal, lamb) to 160°F.
    • Cook all whole cuts of beef, pork, veal, and lamb to 145°F plus a 3 minute rest.
    • Cook all poultry (e.g., chicken, turkey, duck) and wild game meat to 165°F.
  • Frozen meat should be cooked one and a half times longer than it takes to prepare thawed food. Whole turkey is an exception, as it must be completely thawed before cooking.
  • Eating raw or undercooked wild game meat can also result in illness, including Salmonella, Trichinella, and E. coli infections.
  • Keep raw meat away from other foods that will not be cooked.
  • Wash all work surfaces, cutting boards, and utensils with hot soapy water.
  • Divide leftovers into small portions so they will cool more quickly and put them in the refrigerator as soon as possible. Don’t cool leftovers on the kitchen counter.
  • Cover leftovers to reheat. This helps maintain moisture and ensures the meat is heated all the way through.

Symptoms of foodborne illness can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Contact your healthcare provider if you become ill, especially if you experience diarrhea that lasts more than a few days or is bloody, or if you develop a high fever.

Golden Pond Restaurant and Party House a Disaster Waiting to Happen Before 260 Sick

348sMouse droppings in the kitchen, grease and food debris throughout the kitchen, spilled and leaking food containers in the floor of a walk-in cooler, mold on the beverage gun holder and a buildup of grease and dust on hood filters.

Steve Orr of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle has been reporting on the investigation of the Thanksgiving Day foodborne illness outbreak in Greece, New York has become a painstaking affair, drawn out by the nature of the uncommon pathogens suspected in the case.

At least 260 people were sickened after eating at the Golden Pond Restaurant and Party House on Thanksgiving Day. Four patrons of the restaurant were hospitalized. No deaths from the gastrointestinal illness been reported.

The restaurant was inspected by the health department and ordered closed the day after Thanksgiving. It will remain closed at least until the cause of the illnesses is determined and until shortcomings identified during inspections are rectified.

Golden Pond had a history, quite recent, of food safety violations:

  • On Nov. 1, inspectors listed 18 violations that were classified as blue, or non-critical violations, which do not directly cause foodborne illness, according to health department documentation. Among the violations were mouse droppings in the kitchen, grease and food debris throughout the kitchen, spilled and leaking food containers in the floor of a walk-in cooler, mold on the beverage gun holder and a buildup of grease and dust on hood filters. “Discussed massive cleaning required to eliminate violations and fire hazards. Cooling and reheating and glove use discussed also,” the report concluded. The report also noted that the restaurant was “high risk,” based upon its menu and cooking processes — the more complex, the more risk, according to Ricci.
  • The same inspector returned to the restaurant on Nov. 16 and apparently found an improved situation. The number of blue violations was down to three. The inspector noted that wire rack shelves and the floor of the walk-in cooler had food debris, and the floor area throughout the kitchen needed cleaning, but that the situation did not require a reinspection. Nine days later, though, a different inspector found three of the more serious red violations, which health department documentation describes as relating directly to factors that could lead to foodborne illness.
  • That inspection was conducted on Nov. 25, the day the restaurant was closed. While some of the violations could be attributed to the aftermath of unusually busy service the day before, others seemed to point to longer-term issues. Heavy deposits of food spills and mold were on the walk-in refrigerator floor, a damaged gasket on a walk-in freezer did not allow its door to close tightly, an ice maker had mildew growing inside, knives stored as clean in the knife rack were dirty, heavily rusted shelving required replacement and a pan of rice and carrots was being held at an unsafe room temperature. “Kitchen/store areas are in very poor sanitary condition. A drastic change in improving sanitation and cleanliness needs to occur ASAP. Lighting needs to improve,” the report stated.
  • The inspector from Nov. 25 visited again on Dec. 5, and found one red violation and 16 blue violations. Pans of food that had been in the walk-in cooler the day of the suspended permit — tripe, sausage, potatoes, meatballs, Italian sausage and Polish sausage — were now stored in the walk-in freezer. Those were discarded by the chef at the direction of the health department. The door gasket on the walk-in freezer was still an issue., the kitchen ice maker was rusting on the inside and ice sinks and chiller plates in the bar had lime buildup and “bio-slime” starting to grow, it noted.

Seems like the restaurant should have closed before Thanksgiving.

Costco Recalls Frozen Chicken and Rice

yakitori-chicken-with-japanese-style-friday-riceThe Canadian Food Inspection Agency is warning people not to eat a frozen chicken and fried rice product recalled by Costco Canada for the second time this year.

On Dec. 16, Costco recalled the Ajinomoto-brand yakitori chicken with Japanese-style fried rice in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.

According to the CFIA, there is a risk that the chicken in the ready-to-eat product is undercooked.

It said the recall was triggered by one in another country.

The recalled products have best before dates between Sept. 26, 2017, and Nov. 5, 2017. Their product code is 0-71757-05642-8.

The CFIA said people should throw out the product or return it to the store where they purchased it. The agency had not received any reports of people getting sick from the chicken and fried rice meal.

The same product was recalled in May due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

For more information visit the CFIA website.

Golden Ponds Restaurant in Greece NY Tied to 260 Foodborne Illnesses

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 6.54.40 PMAccording to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, more than 260 people have been sickened by a Thanksgiving dinner at a popular Greece restaurant and party house, which is quite likely the largest recent outbreak of foodborne illness in Monroe County.

Health Department inspectors closed Golden Ponds Restaurant and Party House restaurant at 500 Long Pond Road in Greece on Nov. 25 after many people reported becoming ill after eating Thanksgiving dinner there. The department is now awaiting the results of laboratory tests on both stool and food samples that were sent to the New York State Department of Health for testing in its laboratory in Albany.

More than 80 people have spoken to the Monroe County Health Department about becoming ill after eating at Golden Ponds on Thanksgiving, said spokesman John Ricci. Those people reported the illnesses of others within their party, bringing the total to more than 260.

Sweet Grass Dairy Raw Milk Linked to Campylobacter Illnesses

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is issuing a health alert for unpasteurized raw milk and raw milk products from Sweet Grass Dairy’s herd share, due to contamination with Campylobacter. Sweet Grass Dairy is located in Knox County at 6049 Bryant Rd., Fredericktown, OH 43019.

This alert is the result of an investigation by ODA and the Ohio Department of Health after foodborne illnesses were reported in Franklin County. Later testing confirmed a connection between the illnesses and raw milk from Sweet Grass Dairy.

People can prevent infection by only consuming pasteurized milk and milk products. Pasteurization is the process in which milk is heated briefly to kill any pathogenic bacteria that might be present. Raw milk has not been pasteurized to kill pathogenic bacteria that can cause illness and is not available for sale in Ohio retail stores.

Campylobacter:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Campylobacter outbreaks. The Campylobacter lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Campylobacter 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 Campylobacter lawyers have litigated Campylobacter cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as raw milk and municipal water.

If you or a family member became ill with a Campylobacter infection, including Guillain-Barré Syndrome, or GBS, after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Campylobacter attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Feedspot: Food Safety Blogs Best 30 List – Marler Blog and Food Poison Journal Made It

food_safety1000pxFrom Feedspot:  The Best Food Safety blogs from thousands of top Food Safety blogs in our index using search and social metrics. Data will be refreshed once a week.

These blogs are ranked based on following criteria

  • Google reputation and Google search ranking
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites
  • Quality and consistency of posts.
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review

CONGRATULATIONS to every blogger that has made this Top Food Safety blogs list! This is the most comprehensive list of best Food Safety blogs on the internet and I’m honoured to have you as part of this! I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world.

11 – www.foodpoisonjournal.com – Food Poison Journal supplements Marler Clark’s Web site www.foodborneillness.com, a site that provides information about food poisoning, and some of the most common causes of foodborne illness. Information includes the symptoms and risks of infection, testing/detection of foodborne illness, and how to prevent food poisoning outbreaks.

17 – www.marlerblog.com – Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation by Bill Marler. Marler is dedicated to eliminating the need for foodborne illness litigation in this country. Until we succeed in putting ourselves out of business, we will use our experience and industry knowledge to assist consumers who have been sickened by contaminated food.

Golden Ponds Restaurant Sickens 60 in Greece New York

636160209212436744-golden-pondsThe Monroe County Department of Public Health has closed the Golden Ponds Restaurant and Party House, at 500 Long Pond Road in Greece. The restaurant was closed Friday after as many as 60 people reported being sick after eating at the restaurant on Thanksgiving Day, said John Ricci, spokesman for the Monroe County Health Department.

Ricci said the Health Department started getting calls about people experiencing severe diarrhea on Friday morning. While one or two calls about a given restaurant are not uncommon, “when you start to get multiple calls, similar time of day, all with the same story, that pretty quickly leads us to think something might be going on,” he said. The department has talked to 25 to 30 people; as many as 60 people were reported as being ill.

Health Department inspectors visited Golden Ponds restaurant on Friday. They inspected the facility, interviewed the staff, reviewed records and collected samples of leftover food. Following the collection of samples, the inspectors ordered that the rest of the leftover food be destroyed, Ricci said.

“Having done all that and given what was seeming to turn out to be a pretty significant number of calls coming in, we thought it best to close them,” Ricci said. This is a relatively rare action, with fewer than three restaurants closed each year, he said.

Antioch Thanksgiving Illnesses Still a Mystery

DocumentContra Costa Health Services (CCHS) has now identified two additional people who fell ill soon after eating food from a Thanksgiving charity event in Antioch.

All people who became ill developed symptoms within 24 hours of ingesting food served at the charity event and we don’t expect to see new cases.

These two newly discovered people didn’t seek medical attention and have recovered. There are now 19 total people known to have fallen ill—including three people who died—after eating food served at the Antioch American Legion auditorium, 403 West Sixth St., on Thanksgiving.

Anyone with leftover food from this event should not eat it and throw it away. Anyone who ate food from the Thanksgiving Day event and is now feeling sick should immediately contact their medical provider and also call CCHS at 925-313-6740.

Tests of biological samples from the reported cases came back negative for 21 foodborne diseases, including salmonella, E. coli and norovirus. CCHS is sending samples to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to test for other agents that are common but testing is not locally available. Results from the CDC tests may not be available for months.