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April 15, 2014

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12:55 AM | FDA says, keep lilies away from your cats
The white, trumpet-shaped Easter lily symbolizes Easter and spring for many people, and is a popular decoration in homes at this time of year. If you have cats, however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to remind you … Continue reading →
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12:28 AM | 220 now sick; Mexico suspends 8 restaurants in sushi chain poisoning
Eight restaurants, a distribution center and two suppliers of restaurant chain Sushi Roll were suspended by the Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks (Cofepris) due to poisoning of 220 customers. “After consuming food in these businesses had reported the … Continue reading →
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12:20 AM | Raw sewage, no hot water closes UK kebab shop
The Midhurst kebab shop has been fined for nine offences under food hygiene law in what was described as one of the worst cases of neglect of standards Chichester District Council (CDC) had ever seen. Following a routine visit by … Continue reading →
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12:13 AM | 335 students sick in Guatemala
Students who spent the day in the Guatemalan capital said that a lunch of beans and rice had a bad taste, and that the chicken was undercooked, but ate because they were hungry. The 335 sick students were evaluated by … Continue reading →
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12:04 AM | It’s an egg problem; Salmonella spike in South Australia linked to television cooking shows? Blame the consumer
A spike in food poisoning cases has been linked to South Australians undercooking eggs at home. The new cases have sparked warnings from health authorities to be wary of attempting techniques used on television cooking shows. SA Health figures show … Continue reading →

April 14, 2014

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11:44 PM | What’s wrong with Australian recall notices: Sprout Garden alfalfa and onion sprouts
The food safety recall notices issued by Food Standards Agency – Australia/New Zealand don’t say much. Below is the notice but what I’d want to know is: what kind of E. coli; how was it found; is anyone sick; should … Continue reading →
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5:03 PM | WHO GAR Update On MERS-CoV – KSA & UAE – April 14th
Photo Credit WHO   # 8475   The World Health Organization has posted an update this afternoon covering some (but not all) of the recently announced MERS cases from the Middle East.    Not included are the 6 paramedics infected in the UAE (see UAE Ministry Of Interior Announces 6 MERS-CoV Cases (1 Fatality)), yesterday’s Yemen Reports 1st MERS-CoV Case, or cases reported from Saudi Arabia over the past 48 hours.   Earlier today the Saudi MOH […]
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2:07 PM | Microbial Misadventures: A Malaria Outbreak Without Mosquitoes
Microbial Misadventures is a recurring series on Body Horrors looking at instances and incidents where human meets microbe in novel and unusual circumstances that challenge our assumptions about how infections are spread.  Shout “fire” in a crowded room and watch the occupants fly for the exits. Speak the word “malaria” and watch as all within earshot […]The post Microbial Misadventures: A Malaria Outbreak Without Mosquitoes appeared first on Body […]
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2:07 PM | Microbial Misadventures: A Malaria Outbreak Without Mosquitoes
Microbial Misadventures is a recurring series on Body Horrors looking at instances and incidents where human meets microbe in novel and unusual circumstances that challenge our assumptions about how infections are spread.  Shout “fire” in a crowded room and watch the occupants fly for the exits. Speak the word “malaria” and watch as all within earshot […]The post Microbial Misadventures: A Malaria Outbreak Without Mosquitoes appeared first on Body […]
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1:59 PM | Saudi Govt. Prohibits `Unauthorized’ Media Coverage Of MERS
    # 8474   Earlier today in The Battle To Control Online MERS Messaging, I wrote about attempts by the Saudi and UAE governments to control the flow of information in the media, and on twitter, regarding their MERS outbreaks.   It now appears that the Saudi Government has decided to impose even more restrictions on media coverage, by restricting the media to only publishing `official’ statements from the MOH. Two reports.  First from the […]
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12:49 PM | Saudi MOH Announces 5 New MERS Cases In Jeddah
  # 8473   The `lull’ in MERS reports out of Saudi Arabia didn’t last very long, as this morning they have announced 5 new cases in Jeddah, one of which has proved fatal. Once again, we are seeing mild or asymptomatic cases along side severe ones.  At least two of these cases are described as Health Care Workers.   Today’s announcement moves the number of cases in this Jeddah cluster to 27 cases, making it the largest known outbreak to […]
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12:36 PM | The Battle To Control Online MERS Messaging
    # 8471   While we’ve a (possibly brief) lull in new MERS reports out of the Middle East one of the fascinating sideshows to the past 72 hours has been watching the attempts to control the MERS message  in newspapers, on twitter, and in other social media outlets.   On Saturday, in MERS-CoV: The Twitter Of Their Discontent, I described what appeared to be orchestrated `shout downs’ of MERS rumors, where scores of twitter accounts would tweet […]
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11:00 AM | By Chance and Necessity: The Role of the Cytoskeleton in the Genesis of Eukaryotes
by Daniel P. Haeusser How did Eukaryotes Evolve from Prokaryotes? Figure 1. The mysterious root of the eukaryotic origin. Evolution of prokaryotes into eukaryotes undoubtedly involved mitochondrial acquisition, but the full details of the story are far from certain. Source. One of the most exciting and enduring obscurities of biology lies in the early stages of the evolution of “our”...
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10:53 AM | The Joy of Discovery
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10:04 AM | Homeopathy Awareness Week
April 10th-16th is World Homeopathy Awareness week, organised by the World Homeopathy Awareness Organisation. April 10th is the birthday of the originator of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann. In case you need reminding what homeopathy is, it is based on Hahnemann’s bizarre doctrine that substances which cause disease symptoms in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in [...]
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9:06 AM | Monday Micro – Bioluminescent bacteria photobooth
For those curious how our bioluminescent photo booth went at Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) recently, the results are up on Flickr. As a quick reminder, the light being used to illuminate the subjects was being supplied by glowing bacteria growing on large petri dishes. We used a 6 second exposure to take [...]

April 13, 2014

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8:34 PM | NYC restaurant inspection and disclosure program sucks: expert?
Restaurant inspection and disclosure programs like the A, B, C system favored by New York City, has a lot of problems: but I wouldn’t want to be the politician who says, this public health data is too complicated for you, … Continue reading →
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4:02 PM | Hong Kong Detects Their 10th Imported H7N9 Case
H7N9 Awareness Campaign Summer 2013 - Photo credit Hong Kong’s CHP       # 8470           While our attentions are understandably focused these past few days on the MERS-CoV outbreaks in the Middle East,  the H7N9 virus continues to circulate in Eastern China, occasionally infecting humans.   Today, for the third time in the past 9 days, Hong Kong’s CHP is reporting an imported case – their 10th to date. […]
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2:47 PM | Dr. Mackay On HCWs & MERS Infection Rates
Credit Dr. Ian Mackay VDU BLog       # 8470   One of the `red flags’ we’ve looked for over the years with disease outbreaks like SARS and Avian Flu is the number of Health Care Workers (HCWs) that contract the illness.  While HCWs are far more apt to come in contact with infectious patients during an outbreak, they are also (presumably) following infection control protocols that should help to protect them.   I say `Presumably’ […]
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12:19 PM | TWiV 280: Post viral
On episode #280 of the science show This Week in Virology, the TWiVmeisters answer listener email about the NEIDL, negative results, patenting MERS-coronavirus, human papillomavirus transmission, canine distemper virus, and much, much more. You can find TWiV #280 at www.twiv.tv.
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11:04 AM | Referral: VDU Charts Rise In MERS Cases
Coronavirus – Credit CDC PHIL   # 8469   After a brief lull in cases reported in January and early February, the number of MERS cases being reported out of the Middle East over the past couple of months has begun to climb like a homesick angel.    Although the numbers have a tendency to change by the hour now, Dr. Ian Mackay has updated his tracking graph this morning, and provides some commentary.     MERS-CoV update: Case accumulation […]
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10:50 AM | Yemen Reports 1st MERS-CoV Case
# 8468   For several days Sharon Sanders of FluTrackers and I have been discussing vague and unsubstantiated reports (on twitter, and elsewhere) suggesting that there was a MERS case in Yemen, but until this morning they have been only rumors.    Today Reuters, and several other news agencies, are reporting that an aeronautical engineer from Sanaa has been infected with the virus, although very little else has been divulged. This report from Reuters. […]
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10:01 AM | Japan: Detection Of H5 Avian Flu At Poultry Farm
Credit Wikipedia   # 8467   It’s been three years since Japan has had to deal with an H5 avian flu outbreak in poultry or wild birds (see OIE reports 29/06/11 Final report 48089 & 25/06/11 Final report 48022), but that respite appears over as several birds at a poultry farm in Kumamoto Prefecture have tested positive for the avian virus.    The exact subtype has yet to be identified, but any form of H5 influenza is considered a serious threat to […]
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7:04 AM | Proper handwashing requires proper tools
The state government in New South Wales – that’s where Sydney is – has come out with a new push for handwashing as a cornerstone of food safety. I agree. But proper handwashing requires proper tools – vigorous water-flow, soap … Continue reading →
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6:15 AM | Tofu yum: liquid effluent, stagnant water and mice infestation found at illegal UK tofu factory
An illegal tofu factory in Erith has been busted by Bexley Council twice in a month after it was found to be infested with mice. Food safety officers first visited the business, Soy, in Hailey Road on March 18 following … Continue reading →
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5:57 AM | Is there a better name for cross-contamination: kitchen cutting boards remain a source of multidrug-resistant bacteria after use
After handling raw poultry, hands of food preparers and cutting boards remain a source of transmission for multi-drug resistant bacteria, such as E. coli that produce extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs). The study of household and hospital kitchens was published in the … Continue reading →
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5:50 AM | Canadian restaurant inspections uncover repeated, major violations
Canada’s (self-proclaimed) biggest analysis of public health inspection reports from national chain restaurants reveals that almost one-in-four inspections has at least one major violation, a CBC Marketplace investigation has found. Major violations, such as improper food handling, inadequate handwashing and … Continue reading →
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5:14 AM | CFIA plays the 99 per cent numbers game
CFIA is getting into the 99 per cent game, usually reserved for hucksters on TV. 99.9 per cent sounds good, but that’s only a 3-log reduction. For food safety purposes, log-5 (99.999 per cent) to log-7 (99.99999 per cent) reductions … Continue reading →
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4:35 AM | Aberdeen’s typhoid outbreak remembered 50 years on
Sheena Blackhall was a 16-year-old schoolgirl when Aberdeen was brought to its knees by the largest typhoid outbreak in recent British history 50 years ago. More than 500 people of all ages had to be quarantined in hospital. The infection … Continue reading →
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4:15 AM | Farm management, hygiene, weather all affect E. coli rates in spinach
The likelihood that a crop of leafy greens will be contaminated by E. coli, an indicator of fecal contamination, before harvest is strongly influenced by both farm management and environmental factors, according to a study spotlighted on the cover of … Continue reading →
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