June 21, 2024

Bar-B-Q Shack Not The Only E. coli Outbreak in 2013

Most E. coli outbreaks in the United States are linked to contaminated products that are distributed nationwide, such as the illnesses linked to Farm Rich frozen snack products. But some outbreaks have been linked to specific restaurants. There are currently two E. coli outbreaks associated with restaurants: the Bar-B-Q Shack outbreak in Toccoa, Georgia and the Coco Loco restaurant in College Station, Texas. In both of those current outbreaks, victims have been hospitalized and some have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious complication of an E. coli infection that can lead to kidney failure. Surprisingly, these are not the only E. coli restaurant outbreaks this year. Since January, there have been two other E. coli outbreaks associated with restaurants. In March 2013, an … [Read more...]

High Hampton Inn, NC Employee Tests Positive for Hepatitis A

An employee at the High Hampton Inn restaurant in Cashiers, North Carolina has tested positive for Hepatitis A. Anyone who ate at that restaurant on April 26, 27, 28, 29, or May 1, 2013 may have been exposed to the virus. Hepatitis A is a virus that affects the liver. Symptoms of an infection include loss of appetite, fever, abdominal pain, headache, vomiting, jaundice, nausea, tiredness, and dark urine. Not everyone who harbors the virus exhibits symptoms. It is spread by fecal-oral transmission, through food, drink, and contact. If left untreated, the infection can cause permanent liver damage, especially if the patient has pre-existing liver conditions. Public heath officials are investigating this case. Anyone who ate at the restaurant on the above dates should contact their … [Read more...]

Patrons of Papa Murphy’s in Chubbuck, Idaho at Risk for Hepatitis A

The Southeastern Idaho Public Health Department released a statement today stating that the patrons of Papa Murphy's in Chubbuck, Idaho may have been exposed to Hepatitis A in April. An employee from the restaurant was diagnosed with the disease on May 2, 2013. There is no evidence of a Hepatitis A outbreak at this time. Public health officials are recommending that anyone who is not immune to Hepatitis A and ate uncooked food (such as salad, uncooked pizza toppings, or uncooked cookie dough) from Papa Murphy's on April 19, 20 or 21 receive a Hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin (IG) immediately. In addition, anyone who ate uncooked food from Papa Murphy's from April 6 to April 18, 2013 should contact their doctor if they are exhibiting any symptoms of Hepatitis A. A vaccine is too … [Read more...]

North Park Deli in California Reopens After Closure for Norovirus

Contra Costa County environmental health officials in California closed the North Park Deli in Concord last week for norovirus. Two employees tested positive for the virus. Public health officials started investigating the restaurants after 48 people who ate food at an event catered by the deli became ill. The restaurant reopened February 1, 2013 after a thorough cleaning. According to KTVU.com, the county's environmental health department director Marilyn Underwood said the catered event was held at a local biotech company. Those who were sickened "ate common food, at a common place so we came to the North Park deli and talked with the employees there, suspecting one of them had come to work sick. We found that one had come to work sick to their stomach and had worked that day," she … [Read more...]

More Salmonella Cases Linked to On the Border Restaurant in Vancouver WA

The outbreak of Salmonella linked to the Mexican restaurant On the Border in Vancouver Washington has grown. Now at least 21 cases are confirmed, and 55 cases are suspected according to the Clark County Public Health Department. The restaurant is closed pending the investigation and the outcome of lab reports. The people who are sick reported eating at the restaurant between September 20 and October 9, 2012. Since food that was served during that time period has been discarded, it has been difficult to find the source of the bacteria. Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County Health Officer said in a statement, "our staff is interviewing employees and patrons to learn more about the possible source of this outbreak, such as a contaminated food source. We're also working with restaurant staff to … [Read more...]

Chicago Public Health Inspector Who Took Bribes Heads To Prison

A retired Chicago public health inspector who took almost $100,000 in bribes was sentenced to two and half years in federal prison last week. Maryanne Koll who taught food service sanitation classes and administered state certifications is alleged to have accepted at least $96,930 in bribes in exchange for fraudulently arranging to provide 531 people with certifications as food sanitations managers. Koll, 69, who operated Kollmar Food Safety Institute from her home in Burr Ridge, Ill., was convicted of one count of bribery conspiracy in federal court in September 2011. U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber sentenced her to 30 months in prison and ordered her to begin serving the sentence on Dec. 31, 2012. llinois state law requires that all food service establishments have someone on … [Read more...]

Ottawa Proposes Mandatory Training for Employees at Cited Restaurants

The City of Ottawa, Canada may require food safety training for employees if restaurants and businesses violate food safety regulations.  A proposal on this matter will be submitted next week to the Ottawa City Council. At this time, training is voluntary and the city offers certification programs to food service workers. Food facilities with more than four "critical" violations in one year would be required to participate in training. Critical violations include the presence of insect or rodent infestation, not following personal hygiene rules, improperly cooking food, storing food incorrectly, or improperly maintaining premises and equipment. Currently, the city posts restaurant inspection scores that the public can access. Inspectors visit food facilities and establishments on a … [Read more...]

Just Before Summer Olympics, London Restaurants Post Inspection Scores

Just in time for the Summer Olympics, restaurants in London are posting their inspection scores. The Food Standards Agency rates the facilities on a scale of 1 to 5 in their Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. Authorities think that these ratings will help consumers choose where to eat out and encourage businesses to improve their food safety standards. The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme covers England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Scotland has a different program called the Food Hygiene Information Scheme, run by local authorities in partnership with the Food Standards Agency. Some local programs are also operating; you can see them by visiting the Food Standards Agency website. The ratings are also posted at the Food Standards Agency website. A rating of "0" means the facility needs urgent … [Read more...]

South Dakota Posts Food Facility Scores Online

The South Dakota Department of Health and Office of Health Protection Issues is posting the scores of food facilities, including food service, lodging, and campground establishments, online. That state is joinging Kansas and New York City in this endeavor. There are 5,900 establishments that sell food to people in that state. The new website gives consumers access to these scores. The government stresses that "it is important to remember that the score is one snapshot of an establishment's operation and any violations observed on the day of inspection. For a more complete and accurate representation, consumers should review a facility's scores over time and consider whether violations are critical or non-critical." The consumer website includes scores from the four most recent … [Read more...]

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