Friday, May 29, 2015

Food Safety Quick Hits - Hyperlinking the News for May 29th, 2015

An Ohio firm is recalling jars of salsa after discovering jars were not properly sealed. The titles of the various news articles call it a potential botulism concern, unsealed jars are more likely to be a spoilage issue.

The FDA issued a recall notice for a Colorado company that is recalling raw Macadamia nuts due to the presence of Salmonella.  The Salmonella was found by FDA through routine product testing.  No illnesses have been reported.

A California company is recalling candy - coconut chews because of the potential to contain small stainless steel wire.  It looks to be that a screen within the manufacturing process is the source.  Perhaps a screen broke or was fraying?

In California, patrons filed a lawsuit against a Mexican restaurant that reportedly made them ill.   The LA County Health Department investigated after seeing a number of complaints on Yelp, the social media site for restaurant reviews.

The CDC is investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella paratyphi B that may be linked to raw tuna used for sushi.  The epicenter for the cases is in the Southeast US.  As of May 21, 2015, a total of 53 people from 9 states have reported being ill.    CDC is still investigating the source.
Interesting, this variant does not cause parahyphoid fever, which would be characterized by high fever, but is more similar to the symptoms of normal Salmonella  which includes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12-72 hours after being exposed.

In Wisconsin, 60 people report becoming ill from a Salmonella infection after eating pork carnitas served by a local market.  According to Wikipedia, "Carnitas, literally "little meats," is a dish of Mexican cuisine originating from the state of Michoacán. Carnitas are made by braising or simmering pork in oil or preferably lard until tender. The process takes three or four hours and the result is very tender and juicy meat, which is then typically served with chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) and diced onion, salsa, guacamole, tortillas, and refried beans (frijoles refritos)."  Sounds delicious except for the Salmonella part.

Finally, some reasons why not to take a cruise.  In a report issued by some group that supports journalism in the public interest, they call attention to all the bad stuff that can happen on a cruise ship.  From the report: "Last year over 1,700 passengers and crew members fell sick from gastrointestinal illnesses like norovirus. Since 2012 at least seven children have drowned or nearly drowned in cruise ship pools that rarely have full-time lifeguards. This year, a 21-year-old college student fell overboard and was never found -- one of at least two dozen incidents in the last two years in which cruise passengers or crew have gone overboard, according to media reports." 
Stay home and make your own pork carnitas.

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