Posts

December 06, 2014

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6:00 AM | Juicing firm among 11 businesses hit with closure orders in Ireland last month
A juicing company which supplies fruit and vegetable juices to health-conscious consumers was temporarily closed last month because of food safety concerns. Pure Green Juices, in Dublin 15, was served with a closure order at its processing plant in Millennium … Continue reading →
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5:46 AM | Spitting leads to F at Colorado restaurant
A Wheat Ridge grill earned an “F” on Restaurant Report Card for where an employee was spitting. Long Shots Bar & Grill failed for 16 critical health code violations marked during two unannounced inspections in October and April. The violations … Continue reading →

December 05, 2014

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4:41 PM | FluView Week 48
  # 9415   Although the CDC has warned that  Early Data Suggests a Potentially Severe Flu Season ahead, and there are growing concerns of an H3N2 vaccine component `mismatch’ (see CDC HAN Advisory On `Drifted’ H3N2 Seasonal Flu Virus), North America’s flu season is just really getting started.  The latest FluView report shows modest increases in flu activity over the previous week, along with a rising percentage of `antigenically […]
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4:03 PM | Saudi MOH Reports Another MERS Case From Taif
  # 9414   Saudi Arabia reports another MERS Case from Taif, which has been the focus of nearly half of the MERS cases reported over the past couple of months.   This time it involves a 70 year old female, source of infection still unknown.   While camels are believed responsible for introducing the virus to humans, once someone is infected they are able to spread the virus on to others, albeit not with great efficiency.  We’ve seen clusters […]
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3:34 PM | Some notes on "Citations for Sale" about King Abdulaziz University offerring me $$ to become an adjunct faculty
There is a news story in the Daily Cal titled "Citations for Sale" by Megan Messerly about King Abdullah University King Abdulaziz University trying to pay researchers who are highly cited to become adjunct professors there to boost their rankings.  This article stemmed from a blog post by Lior Pachter.  I was interviewed by the Daily Cal reporter about this because I had sent Lior some of the communications I had had with people from KAU where they tried to get me to do this.I am […]
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3:16 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Chris Schell
While interviewing scientists about their middle school lives, I often encounter a recurring them: scientists didn’t realize until they were much older that they could spend their lives researching something that fascinated them as a kid. They perceived the job of “scientist” as something held by dead and gone people from decades before. My hope is that these interviews serve as inspiration for students who would otherwise struggle to see themselves in the scientific field. […]
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2:21 PM | Egyptian Govt Warnings On Bird Flu
Photo Credit – FAO   # 9413   Being a Friday, we may not see much official news out of Egypt until later today - but with 10 recent bird flu cases reported - the Arabic media is filled with reports of `suspected’ bird flu cases being isolated and tested (this is flu season, and most are probably not avian flu), and advice by the government to avoid contact with live birds.   A problematic warning, as it is estimated that 90% of rural Egyptian households […]
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1:50 PM | FDA to Virginia sprout producer: your place is still a dump
Coral Beach of The Packer writes that criminal charges may be the next step in Virginia’s efforts to protect the public from Henry’s Farm, a fresh sprout grower that has been on officials’ food safety radar because of listeria since … Continue reading →
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1:39 PM | I loves me the berries, so do many others, so a kid from Japan decides it’s lucrative to pick strawberries in Australia
Sorenne was quick to the fruit at the compact market in Melbourne tonight: 2 punnets of strawberries. She gets it from her father, who got it from his mother, except the strawberry season in Australia is almost year round, while … Continue reading →
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1:12 PM | Uh-huh: ‘All employees expected to follow proper GMPs; strict food safety; isolated incident’
Houston’s north side presents a microcosm of terrible food safety risk communication messages in spite of contrary evidence. As reported by Click 2 Houston, inspectors found bare hand application of icing to cinnamon rolls. The corporate types responded: “Relating to … Continue reading →
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12:15 PM | FoodSafetyHelpline introduces mobile app in India
FoodSafetyHelpline.com — a platform for accumulating and learning information on food safety and standards Act, and its rules and regulations — has introduced a mobile app on Food Safety, which will facilitate food business operators in India, and help them … Continue reading →
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12:01 PM | Children suffer the most: Salmonellosis from reptiles in Minnesota, 1996-2011
I’ve told this tale before but it’s worth retelling in light of new stats from Minnesota. Turtles in the 1960s and 1970s were inexpensive, popular, and low maintenance pets, with an array of groovy pre-molded plastic housing designs to choose … Continue reading →
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11:32 AM | Washington man sues Domino’s over wire bristles left in pizza
JoNel Aleccia, now of The Seattle Times, writes that an Auburn man is suing a local Domino’s Pizza outlet over claims he swallowed wire bristles from a cleaning brush left behind in his takeout order, which pierced his intestines and … Continue reading →
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1:27 AM | I have to recall? I sue you
On Dec. 12, 2012, Ocean Beauty Seafoods LLC voluntarily recalled 371 cases of ready-to-eat cold smoked salmon products because of possible contamination by Listeria monocytogenes. Now, they’re suing their supplier. Ocean Beauty Seafoods is suing salmon farming giant Marine Harvest … Continue reading →
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1:18 AM | Aussies getting the thermometer message; when will the Brits?
ABC News Australia reports that chicken is Australia’s favorite meat. The story goes with the just-cook-it-approach and ignores cross-contamination (isn’t there a better term? I say be the bug, but there’s lots of marketing geniuses out there), but at least … Continue reading →
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12:29 AM | Neptune (me, not exactly as shown) to halt production until FDA documents correction of unsanitary practices
Neptune Manufacturing prepares, processes, packs, holds and distributes ready-to-eat smoked and salt-cured (pickled) fish and fishery products including pickled herring, smoked steelhead trout, smoked turbot/halibut, smoked whitefish, smoked salmon and smoked mackerel. The company sells its ready-to-eat products wholesale to … Continue reading →

December 04, 2014

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10:24 PM | Is the Food Babe a fearmonger? Yes
Yes. The details are here, via NPR Salt.
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8:34 PM | Can E. coli O157:H7 blow from feedlots to lettuce or spinach fields? (Yes) Does it matter? (Probably)
The impact of proximity to a beef cattle feedlot on E. coli O157:H7 contamination of leafy greens was examined. In each of two years, leafy greens were planted to nine plots located 60, 120, and 180 meters from a cattle … Continue reading →
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8:25 PM | Consumer food safety efforts (or, environmental scans aren’t about camping)
I started out my career in food safety as an undergraduate student looking for some sort of direction or passion. It was post-y2k and I really just wanted to find something fun to do and stay in Guelph with all … Continue reading →
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8:13 PM | CDC: Early Data Suggests Potentially Severe Flu Season
  # 9412   As follow up to this morning’s blog (see CDC HAN Advisory On `Drifted’ H3N2 Seasonal Flu Virus), and a blog I wrote a month ago called A `Drift’ In A Sea Of Influenza Viruses, we’ve got a press release from the CDC warning that there are early signs that might indicate a rough flu season ahead. Earlier today CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden and Dr. Joseph Bresee held a teleconference, where they went over last night’s HAN […]
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7:43 PM | Media: Canadian Bird Flu Outbreak Identified As H5N2
Map Credit FAO   # 9411 After several days of anticipation – and a good deal of public speculation that Canada’s Fraser Valley bird flu outbreak might have been due to either H5N1 or H5N8 – it was revealed today that this outbreaks is the somewhat less alarming – but far from benign – H5N2 subtype.   The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION Tests confirm avian influenza strain at B.C. farms as H5N2: source By: The Canadian Press […]
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3:12 PM | Overcoming Fixation Problems in Flow Cytometry Assays
Bio-Rad Laboratories announced the launch of VivaFix™ Cell Viability Assays, a family of reagents that provide a simple way to identify dead cells in a sample. When stained with VivaFix Dyes, dead cells show at least a 100-fold increase in fluorescence intensity over live cells with no significant loss of fluorescence upon fixation, leading to […]
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1:57 PM | Zhuhai Live Market Surveillance Finds H7N9 In 40% Of Recent Samples
Credit Wikipedia   # 9410   In what is feared could be a harbinger of things to come later this winter, Chinese officials are reporting the findings of environmental testing of poultry stalls at live markets in the prefecture-level coastal city of Zhuhai, in Guangdong province which indicates a rising, and currently high level of H7N9 detection.   Unlike many of the other avian influenza viruses (H5N1, H5N3, H5N8, etc.), the H7N9 virus generally produces no symptoms […]
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12:38 PM | Egyptian MOH Statement On Recent H5N1 Cases
  # 9409   We’ve official confirmation from the Egyptian MOH this morning on the two H5N1 cases I wrote about yesterday (see Egyptian Media Reports 2 More H5N1 Cases), the 9th and 10th cases announced since the middle of November.   Meanwhile Arabic media this morning continues to report on additional `suspect’ cases undergoing testing, and the raising of local governorate alert levels, such as Emergency Minya after the death of a fourth case of bird […]
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11:53 AM | CDC HAN Advisory On `Drifted’ H3N2 Seasonal Flu Virus
# 9408   Late yesterday the CDC issued a HAN Advisory for clinicians on the possibility of seeing `drifted’ H3N2 virus infections during this year’s flu season, along with a reminder on the appropriate and timely use of antivirals.    If this sounds familiar, we looked at this possibility at some length a little over a month ago in A `Drift’ In A Sea Of Influenza Viruses.   But briefly, over the summer – and since this year’s flu […]
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10:24 AM | A scientist's explorations in microbiology and art
On Monday I met Dr. Simon Park, Senior lecturer in Microbial Sciences at the University of Surrey, at Café Scientifique in Reading. Cafe Scientifique is an international event where scientists talk to the general public about their research in an informal setting such as a pub (science + alcohol = perfect combination!). This was the first microbiology-themed talk I got to host, so I was super excited to have Simon come in and tell the public about the wonders of microbes. Simon’s […]
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9:01 AM | Oncolytic viruses as anticancer vaccines
Oncolytic viruses are natural or genetically modified viral species that selectively infect and kill cancer cells. Continue reading →
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8:45 AM | Aldi hotdogs contaminated with Listeria in Australia
I didn’t know they had hot dogs in Australia. There’s sausages, snags and snots, but not a lot of hot dogs. Apparently I need to go to ALDI’s: or maybe not. Canberrans are urged to check any hotdogs bought from … Continue reading →
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8:34 AM | You are ahead by a (half) century: Belarus to Russia on food safety
Allegations of the poor quality of Belarusian foodstuffs are groundless, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said at a meeting to discuss the measures to remove the ban on the import of Belarusian products to Russia and the transit of embargoed food, … Continue reading →
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8:21 AM | Unborn babies can get toxoplasmosis, listeriosis
ABS-CBN News in the Philippines reports Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite found in raw or undercooked meat, can latch on to pregnant moms and their unborn babies if ingested, potentially causing food poisoning, miscarriage or other complications to the unborn baby. … Continue reading →
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