Food Safety News
Displaying Articles 1 to 5 of 5
Prev | Next
Every morning between 7 and 8 a.m., Second Harvest comes by to pick up hundreds of pounds of excess food from high-end grocer Whole Foods - food it will distribute to the city's needy. The charity is not only helping to fill empty Toronto stomachs, it's helping the tony Yorkville grocery store to dispose of food it can't sell. But if store manager Peter Hilge had his way, there would be nothing left to give away. The story says that today, balancing supply and demand in a grocery store is complicated. At Whole Foods, more than 90 per cent of the store's products - about 20,000 different items - have a "best-before date." If the product doesn't sell by that date, it has to be thrown out. In fact, products are removed from shelves two days before the best-before date is reached - clerks sort through products like fruits and vegetables every few hours to dispose of items that may have spoiled or been blemished. Other items are sorted on a daily or weekly basis. The story says that a study by Cornell University in last month's Journal of Food Science found food was rated as less tasty and less healthy as it approached its best-before date. Alan O. Wright of the U.S. Army Research Labs, a study participant, was quoted as saying, "It doesn't seem to matter how far in the future something is labelled as being fresh. There's no in-between even though it's perfectly safe." But some experts say there's no direct correlation between best-before dates and safe consumption. Under the federal Food and Drug Regulations, foods that spoil within 90 days must have a best-before date. Randy Worobo, professor of food microbiology at Cornell University, was quoted as saying, "It's a juggling act. Companies don't want to over-process, since that lowers the food quality (but extends shelf life). They want to give the optimal quality without having to dispose of food."
Banquet broke bride's heart
Sunday Telegraph (Australia)
IT was every bride's worst nightmare: the picture-perfect country wedding ruined by food poisoning from a hens' night at the local Chinese restaurant. Country bride, Simone Sprenkeler, her bridesmaids and mother were struck down for a week with vomiting and diarrhoea after their girls' night out at the Sapphire Chinese Restaurant in Inverell, in the State's north-west. The bridal party held the hens' night on the Wednesday before the Saturday wedding. By the morning of her big day, they were all so ill they could hardly leave the toilet. For the original article, please go to https://www.news.com.au/sundaytelegraph/story/0,22049,19955970-5006002,00.html
Australian town can't stomach recycled sewage water
SYDNEY - A drought-hit Australian town could not swallow the idea of drinking recycled sewage water and rejected the water-saving option in a referendum on Saturday. Toowoomba, 140 km (85 miles) west of the Queensland state capital Brisbane, would have become the nation's first town to supplement drinking water with recycled waste water, a practice used in Israel, Singapore, the U.S. and parts of Europe. In the end, the "yuck factor" meant Toowoomba's 100,000 residents overwhelmingly voted against the idea despite a decade of tough water regulations resulting from the worst drought in 100 years in parts of Australia.
Nearly 230 people fall ill on cruise ship
PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Nearly 230 people aboard a cruise ship fell ill with a gastrointestinal illness during a weeklong Caribbean voyage, the company said Saturday. The illness, believed to be a norovirus brought onto the Mariner of the Seas by a passenger, struck 221 of the ship's 3,660 passengers and six of its 1,202 crew members, said Royal Caribbean spokesman Michael Sheehan. Sick passengers started complaining of vomiting and diarrhea Wednesday and were treated with over-the-counter medication, he said.
Lassie, go home
Section 59 of Regulation 562 of the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act states that, "Every operator of a food premise shall ensure that... every room where food is... served...is kept free from... live birds and animals." It's the latter, in the form of schnoodles, shih tzus and mutts (with an exemption for working dogs) and not the former, in the form of pigeons, seagulls and sparrows, that concerns city health inspectors charged with enforcing the Ontario law - even though University of Guelph veterinarian and researcher of diseases shared between pets and people, Sandra Lefebvre, was quoted as saying, "Birds, flies eating feces before landing on food, I'd be far more concerned about them transmitting infections." Lefebvre was further cited as saying she allows her cat to walk on the dining room table at home while she eats, and as for prohibiting dogs on restaurants patios, states, "There are no health reasons that I know of." Gerry Lawrence, who oversees a team of 12 inspectors for the city of Toronto, was quoted as saying, "We certainly can't control pigeons and seagulls. God's creatures could end up anywhere. It's the creatures we have control over we would not permit to be present." The story notes that the restaurant, Gabby's, is among a dozen Toronto restaurants listed by dogfriendly.com as welcoming dogs to their outdoor eating area although several, including Gabby's, have changed their policy because of a crackdown by regulators. Other restaurants around the city, including three in Yorkville that allow dogs on their patios, either ignore the law or are unaware that it applies to outdoor areas. Almost all restaurants will permit dogs to remain on the other side of a railing or wrought iron fence that defines the eating area, even though the dogs are still adjacent to the tables. Gabby's manager Steve Atherley was quoted as saying, "I totally allowed dogs on the patio, but a health inspector came by and said every patio has to be dog-free if you serve food." He says a woman from the neighbourhood complained and reported the restaurant. Toronto city councillor Shelley Carroll, who represents Don Valley East and has a golden retriever named Maxx, was quoted as saying, "It's highly likely that the province is citing health reasons in order to meet preference-based concerns," while emphasizing that pet owners have to be responsible and obey the law, and that, "If there were health concerns, there would be a lot of sick people in France." There, and in other European countries, it's not unusual to see dogs and cats not only on patios but in restaurant dining rooms. Scott Weese, associate professor of clinical studies at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, whose dog Meg sits beside the table at home, was quoted as saying, "A lot of it is cultural. The potential (for disease) is very minimal. And there's no greater risk on a restaurant patio than having a dog anywhere else." The risk, he says, which is always present with a dog, comes from "touching the dog and getting bacterium on the hand and putting it in the mouth. But it's easily preventable by not touching the dog or washing your hands before you eat." It all comes down to common sense and good hygiene, wherever you are." Weese was quoted as saying, "You're more likely to get an infection from the person sitting next to you than from a dog sitting next to you on a patio. It's so widely done in Europe, and we're unaware of any outbreaks (of disease) in Europe linked to pets on patios." Nor does the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta consider dogs to be a health risk at outdoor restaurants.
Displaying Articles 1 to 5 of 5
Prev | Next