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Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Briefly: Royal restrictions — Sick leave — Camel urine cocktails

Every hour of every day people around the world are living with and working to resolve food safety issues. Here is a sampling of current headlines for your consumption, brought to you today with the support of Alchemy Systems.


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Sick leave shown to control foodborne illnesses
There’s growing evidence that paid sick leave can help control the spread of diseases carried by food workers. The news comes as restaurant workers are increasingly involved in a multi-state hepatitis A outbreak that has sickened more than 1,200 people, killing dozens.

Research published in late 2017 showed that foodborne illness rates decreased by 22 percent after implementation of paid sick leave law in jurisdictions with laws more supportive of employees taking leave. Foodborne illness rates increased in jurisdictions with laws that are less supportive of workers.

This is particularly important information because more than 50 percent of foodborne illness outbreaks originate from food and beverage establishments, according to public health officials. “Forty-six percent of restaurant-associated outbreaks implicate an infected food worker, which tend to infect a median of twice as many people than other outbreaks, according to the research”

Previous studies suggest an association between paid sick leave and better population health, including fewer infectious disease outbreaks. View the study “Association of Paid Sick Leave Laws With Foodborne Illness Rates” here.


This week, Prince Harry, second from left, and his bride to be Meghan Markle, far left, visited an area of London to see work being done to combat knife crime in the city.

Royal food safety rules for princess to be
With her marriage to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle will have new food safety rules on the list of changes she will make when she becomes a member of the British royal family.

Because of fears that untimely gastro upset could disrupt the public duties of the royal clan, shellfish and other specific foods are off the menu.

Along with rare meat, under-cooked eggs, foreign water, and overly spicy or exotic food, the risk of contracting foodborne illness outweighs the consumption of shellfish as “the royal entourage likes progress to run smoothly, free from the disruptions of gastronomic indisposition,” the BBC reports.

Whether upstairs or downstairs, Brits and Yanks alike could benefit from a review of the royal rules. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, poisoning from shellfish occurs worldwide but is most common in temperate waters, especially off the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts of North America. Cases have also been reported from countries such as the Philippines, China, Chile, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia.


Camel urine/milk brew spurs health warnings
An Islamist leader recently posted a video of himself drinking a “bitter and rich” mix of camel urine and raw camel milk that has sparked controversy because of his claims of health benefits.

Both Muslim and non-Muslim scientists disagree with such medicinal claims, arguing that consumption of camel urine can spread diseases like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS). In 2012, the disease was discovered in Saudi Arabia. It killed at least 36 people during a 2015 outbreak in South Korea.

Additionally, the World Health Organization said the virus can be avoided by eliminating contact with camels, drinking raw camel milk or camel urine, or eating meat that has not been properly cooked.

In recent months U.S. officials seized more than $70,000 in raw camel milk products stored in a warehouse in Kansas City, KS, including some bearing labels from a Missouri dairy. It is against federal law to ship any unpasteurized milk across state lines.

As with raw milk from any mammal, raw camel milk can carry pathogens, parasites and viruses that can be eliminated with simple pasteurization.

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