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Food Safety News

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Report: Chicken on Menu at 2014 Food Safety Summit was Contaminated

The pan-seared breast of Chicken Marsala served by the Baltimore Convention Center’s exclusive caterer was the food item most commonly consumed by the 216 attendees sickened by the lunch served last April 9 at the Food Safety Summit’s annual conference. It was likely contaminated with Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens), a spore-forming gram-positive bacterium commonly found on raw meat and poultry.

Attendees at the popular conference were from 42 states, Canada, Mauritius and Costa Rica. The local health department learned of the illnesses not from the organizers of the event, the convention center, or the caterer, but from calls by attendees to the city’s 311 service.

According to the report being released today by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the illnesses experienced at the 2014 Food Safety Summit in Baltimore were attributed to C. perfringens. Those sickened experienced symptoms of diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, headaches, chills, vomiting and fever between April 8-12, 2014.

About two-thirds of those sickened experienced the symptoms after eating the chicken lunch that was served by the Baltimore Convention Center’s catering company called Centerplate, according to the final report of the investigation that used epidemiological, environmental and laboratory methods to reach its conclusions.

As for the pathogen involved, the report states: “The frequency of signs and symptoms, duration of illness, and possible incubation period were consistent with outbreaks caused by C. perfringens. In this outbreak, almost all of the cases had diarrhea and only 10 percent reported vomiting, which is typical of outbreaks caused by C. perfringens.”

The outbreak was the first in the 16-year history of the Food Safety Summit. “When we learned that attendees to the Food Safety Summit were ill after attending the 2014 event we fully cooperated with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene regarding this matter and assisted them with their investigation as requested,” the organization said in a statement distributed by spokesperson Amy Riemer.  “We have continued to do so in the past six months while the investigation was conducted and the final report was being prepared.”

The statement adds that the Food Safety Summit is working with the convention center and its catering company prior to its 2015 event “to insure that an outbreak of this nature does not happen again.”

© Food Safety News
  • jen

    Too bad that you don’t mention that the subsequent posting of the survey link by your boss Bill Marler was responsible for mucking up the early investigation into this outbreak. Way to go!

  • Beth Aaron

    Serving genetically altered, tortured birds at this venue is in and of itself, an oxymoron for “food safety.” So much of what Americans do and eat today results in the exact opposite of what we claim to be, humane, just, ethical, and a nation that protects children. As an ethical vegan since 2001, learning about animal agriculture and the sheer HELL billions of sentient beings live and die in. the best informed choice is to NOT support animals as products in the first place. Every disease both infectious and non-communicable, comes from our relationship with animals. http://www.ayshaakhtar.com
    Serving meat or dairy at a food safety summit is like passing out shots of booze at an AA meeting or cigarettes at a conference on lung cancer….Just plain illiterate.

    • samson

      go eat your leaves and legumes and stfu.

      • Or you could just ignore her. She has the right to post just like you.

    • Bunneh

      Yes… of course… let’s just fail to acknowledge salmonella from cantaloupes, e. coli from spinach, apple juice, lettuce.

      • Malby

        Well, in fairness to this raving lunatic, those diseases are from animals who got near the vegetables.

        However, she is wrong wrong wrong anyway. Poison ivy, anyone?

        • Beth Aaron

          vegetables grown in manure where the ecoli, salmonella and listeria live. Truth is not lunacy. A food system that results in every disease known to humantiy! NOw that’s lunacy.

          • Jack D. Ripper

            Uh… that “organic” stuff you eat?

            Grown in shit.

            Unless your veggies were grown in hydroponics using some super-secret ‘organic’ fertilizer which only comes from the tears of baby cows.

            Look up ‘ammonium nitrate’ sometime.

          • fishaddict

            “Unless your veggies were grown in hydroponics” right, in that case the vegies swim in fish shit. hydroponics is really a fascinating system I would love to set up in my barn to get a jump start for trees the next season 5-6 seasons down the road.

    • Marcia_Brady

      Don’t poison your body with food!

    • Bret Zeller

      That’s a bizarre position. Most of the food consumed in the US is perfectly safe by every scientific standard. As far as ethical, that is a personal choice in all matters, and most humans disagree with you. Being vegan may be fine for you, but many people are permanently harmed from the nutrient deficiencies common to vegetarian, and especially vegan diets (where do you get your b-12?).

      What are you talking about with the diseases? Most infectious diseases come from nature, the same as we do. As far as non-communicable diseases, very few of them come from animals, by definition. If this were not so, then why do animals that are herbivores get diseases? And why do Vegans have the same health problems as everyone else, and in fact, a lower expected life span compared to both vegetarians and omnivores? The answer is you are trying to use hyperbole and sensationalism to attack the perfectly safe and reasonable decision to eat meat, which nature more or less requires of us, simply to push your niche fad diet. No thanks.

      • fishaddict

        We also developed natural architectural structures specific for consuming meats including enzymes for breaking down long fatty acid chains, protein chains and various structures for the sole purpose of manufacturing and storing digestive fluids for meat (bile and the gall bladder). And we have canine teeth for tearing meat.

        • Jack D. Ripper

          Dammit, man! You can’t bring science, facts, and clarity in here! They are trying to have a hysterical discussion about things of which they know nothing!

    • Kevin Snyder

      Good for you! If more people in this country had a superior attitude and hated those who disagree with them, it would be a MUCH better place!

    • Jp

      Illiterate? What does any of part of your rant have to do with the ability to read? Ignorant.. Maybe if one shares your view. But not illiterate.

    • inch32

      If we were not meant to eat animals then why did God make them out of meat

      • Donna M Cochlin

        Humans are made of the same internal organs as animals….RE: blood, muscles, veins, hearts, ability to breathe, give birth, etc…..so based on your “why did God make them out of meat” So on your logic….doesn’t that mean that you guys should be eating human flesh also?

        • Howard Hudson

          I believe the preferred term is “long pork” if you are asking for meat of a human. “Long Pork – The Other Other White Meat.”

      • Gene R.

        We are not eating the animals GOD provided for us. We are eating genetically and chemically altered meat by products that come from the meat man gives us. I was raised on a horse and cattle ranch but we also raise hogs and chickens and we kill an eat what we raised and no one gets sick. When the FDA began allowing growth hormones to speed the growth of farm animals to get them to market quicker was when all of this trouble began. Farmers figured if a little makes the animals grow fast imagine what a little extra might to and there in lies your major issue. GREED by Farmers for that almighty dollar. You can bet none of the meats that farmer and his family eat get any hormones and are kept separate from the herds that are shipped to a market. My folks never added any chemicals to any of our stock period. 5th generation Ranchers and we still do it the old fashion way with corn, wheat and oats and it takes a little longer but it is so much healthier for everyone………….jmho

        • matt

          soylent green is pretty good though

      • Barbara Olson

        humans are made out of “meat” should we eat them also???

        • baconz

          No, humans generally aren’t cannibals. Other predators can eat us.

    • Mr Mike

      Beth, I hate to break it to you, but the term “ethical vegan” is an oxymoron. Even vegans kill other organisms in order to eat. You cannot prove that domesticated plants suffer any less than domesticated animals. No matter what we eat, we have to kill another living being. You and your ilk are simply assuming that plants feel no pain, which current research is proving to be false. We have evolved as omnivores. A strict vegan diet cannot supply all the nutrients a person needs to be healthy, because our digestive system is not very efficient at digesting plant materials. Vegans always like to say how brown rice and beans has all the protein and nutrients you need, but that it in the lab. Only a portion of those nutrients are able to be absorbed by the human digestive system. People should limit the amount of animal protein they eat each day (5 oz. is sufficient), but eliminating meat entirely is not healthy.

      • Anonymous Person

        Exactly it is a matter of the quantities of meat we eat, not the fact that we eat meat at all.

      • Capitalist

        “Ethical vegan”
        Reminds me of the veg-heads that nearly killed their poor kitten by having it on a vegan diet.
        I like a salad and vegetables too – right next to a thick juicy steak.

      • fishaddict

        The guardian out of the UK highlights several studies that plants feel pain and show fear in an aversion to scents, activity, and reaction to plant death in their vicinity. Salad is murder!

        • jn

          Then eating a cow that ate multiple plants is mass murder.

          • fishaddict

            Actually I see the cow as a mass murderer and we are merely protecting the poor defenseless plant from mass depredation, it is not like they can relocare or run away. snark.

      • jn

        If you are worried about plants suffering, you should go vegan. Every animal you consume has consumed mass quantities of plants in order to end up on your plate. You would be eating LESS plants (and therefore causing less suffering in your mind) if you went vegan.

    • BowserUSC

      You need to understand that you actually have some pretty radical values when it comes to diet, and that most people aren’t going to agree with you.

      Yes, the treatment of many (even most) animals in the agricultural industry can be considered unethical. However, the solution that you’re suggesting, don’t eat meat, isn’t a viable solution for most people. Many people don’t have other options. The economic impact of a total end to meat production would be devastating economically. And most people just don’t agree with you that eating meat is wrong. There are better solutions, and most of them boil down to, know what you eat.

      • jn

        Where do you get your “fact” that most people don’t have other options? Are there some magical lands where grocery stores carry only meat and milk and have no rice, beans and vegetables? Or are you referring to people in small villages in Africa, who hunt and gather their food and still eat less meat than the average American?

        • Jennifer Johns

          It cost more to buy organic or even non-organic fresh foods. So, while the grocery store sells them, they are not “available” to lower income families who have to make every dollar count when grocery shopping.

          • jn

            When did we switch from talking about non-animal foods to organic foods? Pretty much everyone in the US has access to affordable non-animal foods.

      • fishaddict

        Naw this is a first world problem. Starving people eat what will fit in their mouths and provide sustenance. Worrying about what sort of diet one has is purely for the ones that have the luxury to worry.

        • jn

          Of course. But most people who have that luxury still don’t care.

    • Eric

      Do you know what sentient means? Trees / plants are sentient. At least the meat eaters kill their food completely before eating it. You vegans make me sick.

      • Heretic

        Please cite something that shows that a tree or other plant is capable of as much suffering as an animal that has a brain and nervous system.

        • jn

          You’re talking to someone who thinks plants are still alive after being harvested, packaged, shipped, bought and cooked. Don’t expect much sanity.

          • fishaddict

            So you are saying that that view is any more insane than the don’t eat carcasses crowd? Do critters feel any more pain or fear after taking a 8mm, being gutted, skinned, deboned, and bled while hanging to age the meat? Waiting for my chance to get fresh backstraps to wrap in bacon(mmmm baaacon) and slow grill to a rare tender meal. I can see them out back but have not had the chance to go out and get em.

          • jn

            A significant portion of them are still alive when being dismembered, boiled, hung up to bleed, etc.

            Yeah, you didn’t have to say “bacon”. Everyone can tell you don’t really give a damn about suffering.

          • fishaddict

            sure I do mmmm Baaaacon, the life’s blood of eating had some loins grilled rare wrapped in bacon quite recently and they were good. None of my critters suffer. So I suppose you are a riot at the thought of the govt. reintroducing a top tier predator into the wild like the wolves? You are definitely against stocking fish such as walleyes, and do not have any issue with the sport hunting of cats and pigs right?

        • fishaddict

          http://www.smithsonianchannel.com/sc/web/video/titles/12151/do-plants-respond-to-pain
          The Smithsonian, the vanguard of the NRA, shoot food sorts right? No knock on the NRA or food shooters as I am both. but the fact that plants react to pain show fear of sounds show some memory and fear of predation.

          • jn

            An animal has to eat a lot of plants in order to grow big enough for you to eat it. If you care about plant pain, eat plants directly because you would be killing a lot fewer than when you eat meat.

      • fishaddict
    • You should demand, loudly, that the US Government ban the consumption of meat.

    • DW

      Food safety isn’t an ethical choice, it’s a medical one. Save your inane ramblings when it’s actually relevant to the topic at hand.

    • Cheezy

      I smell a PETA-phile…

    • Cairenn Day

      The chickens were not genetically altered any more than a poodle or a golden retriever. They were not tortured. Animals that are in pain do not grow well and they do not produce good tasting meat.

      Humans are omnivores, we are not herbivores. What about the folks killed by eating contaminated produce?

      Food Safety is proper handling of the food. Not how it is raised.

  • Beth Aaron

    Your the example of the word when it comes to facts about consuming corpses called “meat” Meat simply means SOLID FOOD! Did you even know that? Did you know 51% of ALL GHG comes from animal ag? Illieterate is illiterate, uneducated, indoctrinated….EVERY animal being consumed for every nutrient you eat them for, GOT THEIRS FROM PLANTS. NO need to eat them as vectors. Sentencing children to death and disease is NOT moral.

    • Anonymous Pedant

      You, uh, misspelled ‘illiterate’.

    • Capitalist

      My God, man has been eating cooked meat since fire was discovered.
      Who the hell are you to say eons of civilization and social construct is wrong?
      I’ll bet a considerable amoun of my wealth that you are a liberal and voted for obama – twice.

      • Heretic

        We’ve also been stealing, raping, murdering, beating mates, and engaging in torture, genocide, etc. I guess you think that’s okay, though, since we’ve got a lengthy history of such behavior? My point is that our ethical standards have changed, and might even continue to do so. I hope they do, as I think we’ve got plenty of room for improvement. Our “eons of civilization” constitute only a tiny fraction of the history of sentient life on this planet.

    • Mark Muylaert

      Beth Aaron you are of course wrong with the definition of meat. You took only one example of the definition and ran with it to make your case, a lie of omission if you will. It is also defined as; the flesh of an animal used as food, and animal tissue considered especially as food: also : flesh of a mammal as opposed to fowl or fish, or flesh of domesticated animal. When you talk about being indoctrinated, look in the mirror first as you have been totally indoctrinated by the vegan nuts.

    • Hanoisteve

      Tell that to the innuit tribes of the Arctic, the food was undercooked by wage slaves that work for Centerplate, you can catch deadly pathogens and parasites from vegetables too.

  • Id10t

    We were made out of meat for the other predators. Humans are kind of easy prey out in the wild. I also wonder how eating meat equates to vampirism?

  • Trent Russell

    Technically, that is inaccurate. Horses did not colonize the earth. Rabbits did not colonize the earth. Mosquitoes (arguably) did not colonize the earth. Humans did. Why? Maybe it was a lucky gene mutation. But the fact remains, humans ARE the superior species on earth. This is fact. This is not your several-millennium late moral confliction. Eat what you want. Don’t pass your woefully misplaced judgement on the rest of the human race.

    • mugiwara

      You claim humans are the superior species on earth, but Beth is really doing a bang-up job proving you wrong.

    • Heretic

      Bacteria have “colonized” this planet more thoroughly–and have done so for far longer–than humans. And barring cremation or some other catastrophic life-ending event, they’ll consume you as well.

      • fishaddict

        So why aren’t you arguing against anti bacterial agents? Aside from eating bacteria have not formulated a anti human agent. We do not consume bacteria but have formed defenses and agents to destoy them, WMDs if you will both genetically as well as well as chemical..

        • Heretic

          I’m not convinced that bacteria suffer in any way. (Nor am I convinced that plants do either, despite the interesting material linked above.) Although bacteria have not “formulated” anything, some of them can harm or even kill us. (See “pathogenic bacteria”, if you think I’m kidding.) And most of us DO consume bacteria, although not always intentionally. (See “probiotics”, for starters.) Please reconsider what kind of life you would have WITHOUT any bacteria living inside you.

  • ken denham

    we have been eatimg seedless bannans and seedless watermelons for over fifthy years with no side efecks !

    • Erin Parker

      Actually Ken, bananas do have seeds. The variety we are familiar with has tiny edible seeds embeded in their flesh. There are other varieties with larger, inedible seeds. This is not a genetic mutation or alteration. You can buy organic bananas which are non-GMO and the seeds are edible.

  • D.B

    “Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene” That is a name straight from eugenics.

    • KGB

      Our betters will sanitize our thoughts for us while preparing us for the eventual cull. Just sit still and it won’t hurt a bit.

  • Johannes W. Odijk

    Yummie yummie chicken. Fried, grilled, bbq’d you name it. They are put on earth to be enjoyed.

  • tmitsss

    If only there was a magic ray that could kill such pathogens ….. Oh wait there is

  • binaryphile

    Does spam count?

  • fishaddict

    1rst world problems…wow huh.

  • Hanoisteve

    God also made poison ivy.

  • mac

    plants have feelings too.

  • MV

    Time for republiKlans to make more Cuts? Or perhaps put more Oil Men in the FDA?

  • Rama Ganesan

    This hilarious, and karmic.
    Stop feeding yourselves the flesh of animals brutally treated and murdered. Go Vegan, yes, ETHICAL vegan, and live healthy.

    • fishaddict

      plant killer.

  • Eat plants. It’s that easy.

  • jn

    The world’s meat addiction is causing problems for everyone, not just privileged whites. Meat production is incredibly inefficient. So if you’re worried about hunger, maybe start there.