Posts

November 13, 2014

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4:33 AM | Over 200 South African students examined for food poisoning
Some pupils were vomiting and others complained of abdominal pains, said spokesman Macks Lesufi in an e-mail. He said at least 100 pupils were examined, treated, and released at Jane Furse hospital on Monday, while three of them were admitted. … Continue reading →
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4:00 AM | Garbage in, garbage out, surveys still suck: An exploratory case of XL Foods and the biggest food recall in Canadian history
With the occurrence of the E. coli scare in fall 2012, the Canadian beef industry experienced yet another difficult time, attracting significant media attention from Canadian media outlets to bring to the public’s attention throughout September and October of that … Continue reading →
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3:14 AM | Jersey tavern fined after cook fired for spitting in food
The Budd Lake tavern where a cook was arrested for spitting in a customer’s food last month, was fined $400 and $132 in court costs following an inspection after the incident. The owner of Kennedy’s Pub, Bipin Patel of Rutherford, … Continue reading →
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3:04 AM | Taiwan FDA conducting meat probe
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday said that local health agencies are investigating the 117 restaurants and traditional market vendors that have allegedly purchased and used lamb mixed with pork. FDA interim Director-General Chiang Yu-mei (姜郁美) said the Greater … Continue reading →

November 12, 2014

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10:25 PM | No Stompin’ Tom? A historical timeline of ketchup and French fries, and how the pair grew to fall in love
Once upon on a time, in the 1700s, potatoes were thought to be a food “unfit for human consumption,” and instead were fed to livestock and prisoners. Lucky pigs, lucky criminals. As we know them today, potatoes — particularly the … Continue reading →
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7:28 PM | Taming Cheating Cells Gives Rise to Spectacular Evolution
All multicellular creatures are descended from single-celled organisms. The leap from unicellularity to multicellularity is possible only if the originally independent cells collaborate. So-called cheating cells that exploit the cooperation of others are considered a major obstacle. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön, Germany, together with researchers from New Zealand […]
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5:48 PM | WHO Ebola Roadmap Situation Report – Nov 12th
# 9314     The latest World Health Organization Ebola Situation report has been posted in a new HTML (web-based) format along with the standard PDF file. Although there remains a fair degree of uncertainty regarding surveillance and reporting from the region, this latest report contains a lot of information in the form of charts, graphs, and maps.    I’ve only posted a few small excerpts, follow the link to read it in its entirety:   Ebola […]
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5:00 PM | Plankton Astound With Their Many Ways of Bustin’ a Move
Though plankton drift with the ocean currents, that doesn’t mean they’re incapable of any movement. Many of them can move to find food or mates, and they do so in some surprising and... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:19 PM | Saudi MOH: 2 New MERS Cases In Taif
  # 9313   The clustering of MERS cases in Taif continues, with two more cases reported today.  One of the cases appears a bit unusual, as they list a 22 year-old in critical condition, who is a not a Healthcare worker, and who has no known hospital or animal exposure risks.    Last week, in Saudi MOH Announces 2 MERS Cases & Taif MERS Awareness Campaign  we saw the Saudis once again warn on camel exposure.    While probably not the […]
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2:34 PM | WHO Statement On 2nd Introduction Of Ebola Into Mali
# 9312 We’ve been following reports of Mali’s second Ebola introduction since yesterday (see here & here) – mostly through media reports and a brief statement by their MOH – but today we get a detailed summary from the World Health Organization, which suggests there may have been multiple opportunities for the virus to have spread further.    For now, 28 HCWs are being monitored, and a full scale epidemiological investigation is underway.   […]
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2:10 PM | When Influenza Goes Rogue
Variability of Flu Seasons - Mash up from Multiple FluView Reports   # 9311   Most people are aware that over the past century we’ve seen 4 influenza pandemics; the 1918 Spanish Flu, the 1957 Asian Flu, 1968 Hong Kong Flu & the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Of these, the 1918 pandemic was (by far) the worst, but each of the others exacted a heavy toll as well. Less well known have been the `rogue’ flu years, when we saw something less than a pandemic, but […]
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1:30 PM | Middle School Fossil Club Makes Real Discoveries
Recently, the buzz of excitement could be heard outside Exploris Middle School in downtown Raleigh. Members of the school’s Fossil Club, led by Students Discover 2014-2015 Kenan Fellow, Juliana Thomas, were sifting shark tooth fossils out of “fossil reject dirt” from the phosphate mine in Aurora, North Carolina.  I made my way, unnoticed, into the bustling room of 20 middle school students huddled over paper plates containing precious samples of shark teeth. […]
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12:17 PM | Small Is Beautiful
Small proteins can no longer be ignored. Continue reading →
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12:17 PM | Mali MOH Statement On Newly Confirmed Ebola Case
Mali with 500 mile-long border (in red) With Guinea   # 9310   While it doesn’t tell us anything more than we already knew, a statement has been posted on Mali’s MOH website (http://www.sante.gov.ml) that confirms the media reports of last night indicating a nurse had died from Ebola at a clinic in Bamoko after treating a patient from Guinea roughly 2 weeks ago. Unlike Mali’s earlier case – that of a 2 year-old from Guinea who died in October – […]
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8:49 AM | One in 10 UK sausages ‘carries risk of Hepatitis E virus’
One in 10 sausages and processed pork meat products in England and Wales could cause hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection if undercooked, experts warn. There has been an “abrupt rise” in the number of cases in England and Wales as … Continue reading →
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1:08 AM | Media Reports: A Second Ebola Case In Mali
    # 9309   A story the newshounds on FluTrackers and elsewhere have been watching (see FluTrackers Thread) most of the day has concerned reports of a suspected second Ebola case in Mali, unrelated to the first case, a 2 year-old who traveled while ill from Guinea in October. .   Over the past few hours several media sources have reported that a nurse has died and has tested positive for Ebola. The nurse had reportedly treated a patient from Guinea, who also […]
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12:28 AM | Infant botulism risks exist with all honey, pasteurized or not
Tragic stories around infant botulism have popped up over the past couple of years and, as a dad, reading them is like a gut-punch. In 2011, infant Amanda Zakrzewski was diagnosed with infant botulism and had to undergo 9 days of … Continue reading →
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12:02 AM | ‘If veterans can’t count on government promises, it is a very sad day indeed,’ Winegard tells Guelph Remembrance Day ceremony
I was the first journalist to interview Bill Winegard when he was named Canada’s first Minister of Science in 1990. Guelph (that’s in Canada) was still viewed as a cow-town by the uppities in Ottawa, and what was with all … Continue reading →

November 11, 2014

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11:08 PM | Publicizing outbreak info matters; even stuff about falsified poop samples
There’s a troubling trend popping up in our food safety-related Google Alerts: public health folks looking less-than-transparent by blocking the releases of outbreak and illness information. Releasing the details on an investigation or exposure can reduce immediate public health impacts and … Continue reading →
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9:14 PM | Health minister: Lebanon’s food ‘dipped in diseases and microbes’
The list read like a who’s who of Lebanese eateries – Hawa Chicken, Spinneys, Roadster Diner and dozens of others – but this was no recognition of Lebanon’s famed cuisine: Tuesday afternoon the health minister named and shamed establishments across … Continue reading →
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5:51 PM | Job Announcement: Moore Foundation Program Associate
This seems like a potentially interesting job.  I note - I love the Moore Foundation - and just about everything they are doing in science.  Below is the email I recieved from the Project Lead Jon Kaye:We have opened a search for a Program Associate. Details at the link below and attached. Please share with Bachelor’s and Master’s level individuals who may be interested. http://www.moore.org/about/careers?gnk=job&gni=8a8725d0494f97e601495deb88ba30cb We will […]
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3:58 PM | Saudi MOH: 1 New MERS Case In Al-Kharj
  # 9308   The Saudi MOH today announced a new MERS case in Al-Karj – roughly 80 kilometers south of Riyadh – along with the recovery of 5 earlier cases, and one death.  About a month ago we saw another case from Al-Karj which was tentatively linked to consumption of camel’s milk.
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2:49 PM | The Coming Crisis in Antibiotics
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1:56 PM | ECDC: New Public Health Management Guidelines On Ebola
  # 9307   The ECDC has released a pair of technical reports today on the public health management of Healthcare workers returning from Ebola-affected nations, and on anyone who might have been exposed to Ebola while in the EU.  We’ve seen similar guidance issued by the CDC, PHAC, Public Health England, and other government agencies – and while similar in many ways – each approaches the topic a bit differently.   A few excerpts follow, but download […]
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1:04 PM | Lessons From Three Months Of Dealing With Ebola In The United States
Photo Credit- CDC   # 9306   Later today, America’s last hospitalized Ebola patient – Dr.  Craig Spencer – will be released from the New York Hospital where he has been treated for the past 3 weeks, cured of his Ebola virus infection (see Maggie Fox’s report Last U.S. Ebola Patient Is Cured: Dr. Craig Spencer to Be Released).     Since the epidemic still rages in West Africa, our respite may be short-lived.  Our next Ebola […]
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1:56 AM | PEI potato growers offer reward in tampering case
Coral Beach of The Packer writes the Prince Edward Island (that’s in Canada) potato industry is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for recent tampering incidents involving sewing needles being embedded … Continue reading →
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1:22 AM | ‘E. coli festering in the microwave’ surprise for four beer and chips-loving Irish students
Conor, Padraig, Brian and Paddy are students at Athlone Institute of Technology, and have been supplementing their studies with a diet of beer and chips while dangerous E. coli festers in their microwave. The lads, all in their 20s, are … Continue reading →
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1:08 AM | ‘Breaches completely avoidable’ 15 food businesses closed in Ireland last month
Eight restaurants across the country were hit by closure orders by Ireland’s food safety watchdog last month. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) issued the orders to nine food businesses in Dublin and one each in Cork, Kerry, Waterford, … Continue reading →
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12:16 AM | I still prefer name and shame: Name and Fame for Dubai restaurants
Customers will soon be able to view a food safety grade on the entrance of Dubai food outlets as part of an upcoming “Name and Fame” scheme, an official said on Sunday. The scheme will reveal whether the outlet has … Continue reading →

November 10, 2014

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11:45 PM | Australian importer fined $25K for not testing imported ham
An importer has been fined $25,000 for failing to test 2241 kg Parma ham imported from Italy in 2011. Paqualino Licastro, owner of Perth import company Topas Pty Ltd, was fined $3000 while the company was fined $22,000. After breaching … Continue reading →
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