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.
Wild Ginger restaurant outbreak update
Since last week, Seattle & King County public health officials have confirmed nine cases in a norovirus outbreak at the Wild Ginger restaurant in Bellevue, WA. Initially, five people from one party reported symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea after consuming food and beverage from the restaurant on Dec. 22. Four employees reported similar symptoms.
Upon inspection of the restaurant, investigators observed temperature violations related to improper hot and cold holding of foods.
Although gastroenteritis has not been confirmed, health officials associate the symptoms with norovirus. The specific food or drink that caused the illness has not been identified, however, norovirus outbreaks often involve multiple food items that could have been contaminated.
On Dec. 27, Public Health ensured proper cleaning and sanitizing with the restaurant so that all violations had been corrected. Additionally, Environmental Health investigators revisited the restaurant again on Dec. 29 to ensure that employees are maintaining a high level of hand hygiene and that no ill employees are working; ill staff is required to remain out until they are symptom-free for at least 48 hours.
British burgers linked to E. coli infections
Sainsbury’s burgers are under recall in the United Kingdom after being linked to at least a dozen cases of E. coli o157 infections by Public Health England identified the brand’s British beef products were contaminated.
Testing identified the presence of E. coli in the affected burgers, and six ill people reported eating the implicated burgers so far.
Sainsbury’s recalled batches of the “Taste the Difference 4 pack Aberdeen Angus British Beef Quarter Pounders.”
“We’ve been made aware by the Food Standards Agency of a very small number of customers who may have been unwell with E. coli after consuming this product,” according to the recall notice.
The new home on the range is a clean room
In the latest demonstration of support for so-called lab meat, an Israeli biotech and food-tech startup called SuperMeat announced Tuesday it has raised $3 million in seed funding, on top of a partnership with one of Europe’s major poultry producers (PHW).
The theme of investing in more sustainable food systems has already proved success with alternative proteins, or lab meat, such as Beyond Meat and SunFed brands. SuperMeat uses chicken cells, which are painlessly extracted from a chicken, to grow and form high-quality chicken cuts.
“This process puts an end to the industrial need to mass produce animals for slaughter, while eliminating exposure to animal waste and food-borne illnesses; the potential benefits for public health and animal welfare are therefore considerable,” according to a news release.
Additionally, a drastic reduction of carbon and ecological footprints would benefit the envirnment as “switching to clean meat will allow a reduction of up to 98 percent in greenhouse gas emissions, 99 percent in land exploitation, and up to 96 percent in water usage.”
According to Ido Savir, co-founder and CEO of the company, “Our team is comprised of a diverse group of top-tier scientists, food engineers and chefs, working together with the best production experts from the pharmaceutical industry to create a new generation of meat products that are sustainable, cost-efficient, animal-friendly, and of course — delicious.”
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