September 29, 2016

Food Poisoning Flashback: Deadly Botulism Outbreak at Church Potluck

Last summer, a deadly botulism outbreak was linked to a potluck meal at Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church in Ohio. Twenty nine people were sickened, two people died. Previously, one fatality had been reported in connection with the largest botulism outbreak to strike the U.S. in 40 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most of those sickened described onset of symptoms two days after attending the potluck. Home-canned potatoes in potato salad were the likely source of the outbreak, health officials concluded. Botulism is caused by a nerve toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum which is found in soil and dust. Symptoms include: double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, muscle … [Read more...]

In MN, A Chili Cookoff Exception To Food Safety Rules?

Rep. Joe Radinovich (DFL), the youngest member of Minnesota’s  2013-14 Legislature introduced two bills this week, one of them was about aligning high school graduation standards with college readiness, but that’s not the one people are talking about. Because the other bill has to do with winning prizes for chili. Radinovich, who is 26, co-authored a bill that would exempt chili and soup prepared for contests from the state food safety law that applies to potlucks. The “chili exception” would only apply to chili or soup prepared for cookoffs where: no fee is charged, food preparation volunteers have received food safety training and th efood id served in a cup or a bowl that bears the disclaimer: "Contents were prepared by volunteers trained in food safety, but consumers assume the risk … [Read more...]

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