Public health officials in San Francisco are investigating a number of complaints of foodborne illness among patrons of the House of Prime Rib restaurant.

Since March 31 the San Francisco Department of Public Health has received six complaints, according to a statement sent to Food Safety News today. Some complaints represent more than one sick person if multiple people are from a single household.

“In addition, just today, the DPH Communicable Disease Control Unit (CDCU) received four reports of a foodborne illness with a total of 12 individuals alleging that they became ill and developed symptoms, specific to this facility,”
Continue Reading Officials fail to reveal number of sick patrons linked to same restaurant

Lawmakers in the Golden Gate City want to close the door on unnecessary antibiotic use in livestock, so they’ve unanimously OK’d a local ordinance requiring large retailers to annually report on antibiotics used by their meat and poultry suppliers.

The local law is the first of its kind in the country, according to the man who proposed it, San Francisco’s 8th District Supervisor Jeff Sheehy. Though the ordinance only applies to about 120 grocery stores — all in San Francisco — its reach is much broader.

It doesn’t matter if the local retailers get their meat and poultry from California
Continue Reading San Francisco grocers subject to new meat/poultry reporting

Once again, San Francisco is poised to become the first city in the nation to take a legislative stand on a controversial topic. Its Board of Supervisors is set to vote tomorrow on an ordinance to require disclosure about the use of antibiotics by meat and poultry producers.

The proposed ordinance does not, however, require the meat and poultry producers to take action. Rather, it seeks to require large grocery chains to gather information annually from their meat and poultry suppliers and provide it to the city.

San Francisco’s Department of Environment would post the information about the meat and
Continue Reading Antibiotic disclosure — another first for San Francisco?

Sweetened beverage advertisers in San Francisco won’t be forced to add an obesity warning to their labels and advertisements. A federal appellate court has ruled the warning mandate violates the U.S. Constitution.

The City and County of San Francisco enacted the local law two years ago, requiring advertisers of certain sugar-sweetened beverages to include this statement on their labels:

“WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. This message from the City and County of San Francisco.”

The American Beverage Association, California Retailers Association, and the California State Outdoor Advertising Association sued the local government.
Continue Reading Court says San Francisco’s soda pop warnings unconstitutional

Berkeley, CA and Boulder, CO, are among a handful of America’s most liberal cities who’ve both often been accused of never having met a tax they did not like.

Berkeley two years ago became the first city in America to impose a regressive tax on sugary soda. On Jan. 1, Philadelphia becomes the second to begin soda tax collections.

votecheck_406x250In next Tuesday’s election, voters in Boulder, San Francisco, Oakland and Albany, CA. will decide if those jurisdictions will impose soda taxes.

The outcome of those elections may tell whether a policy mostly embraced in Mexico will find its legs in
Continue Reading Voters in four cities to decide on local soda taxes

“My husband ate at this restaurant on Friday 10/16/2015 and was admitted to the ICU with a bacterial infection from food poisioning [sic],” Kari F. wrote on the Mariscos San Juan Yelp page on Oct. 19. “It was a very scary experience for all. I hope that others affected are healing and doing ok. My heart goes out to you all.” The outbreak of Shigella linked to the seafood restaurant in downtown San Jose, CA, has sickened at least 182 people so far and is reminding people of the power of social media when it comes to tracking foodborne illness.
Continue Reading Open Data on Restaurant Inspections a Useful Tool for Consumers and Government

Maggots were recently found inside a meat case at a Whole Foods Market in San Francisco, and, while the store reportedly cleaned out the case at least three times, the local health department ordered a more thorough cleaning of all floor sinks and drains. A employee at the Noe Valley store initially said that he saw “more than 40” maggots in the meat case after a customer complained; however, the store then reportedly told health officials that only “one dead maggot” had been found and not in contact with any of the meat. While officials with the San Francisco Health
Continue Reading Maggots Found in Meat Case at San Francisco Whole Foods Market

This article was written by Christopher Peak, a Marin Media Institute Research Fellow for the Point Reyes Light. After nearly a century in business, the Bay Area’s last major slaughterhouse facility has once again closed its doors, for the second time in less than a month. Following a massive recall of about 8.7 million pounds of beef and the launch of an investigation into potential criminal charges, Rancho Feeding Corporation in Petaluma, CA, has ceased its operations while they retrieve the meat. The financial burden of reimbursing clients could mean the plant may not reopen, multiple ranchers said, posing
Continue Reading Bay Area’s Last Major Slaughterhouse Struggles with Recalls, Closures

Patrons who visited the Comstock Saloon, a San Francisco restaurant and bar, during several days in December may have been exposed to the Hepatitis A virus, according to local news station KGO-TV. An employee tested positive for the virus after working Dec. 12-15, 2013, and again on Dec. 19. That employee was not a food handler, according to the restaurant management. While health officials say there is little risk of patrons contracting Hepatitis A, anyone who visited the restaurant on those days and has not been vaccinated has been advised to get tested. Symptoms of Hepatitis A infection may
Continue Reading San Francisco Restaurant Patrons Warned of Hep A Exposure

A total of 22 people in San Francisco fell ill in August in an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to Burma Superstar, a restaurant in the Richmond neighborhood, according to an outbreak report released Monday by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. The department first received eight reports of E. coli illness between Aug. 23 and 26 – an unusually high number compared to the typical rate of fewer than one case per month. The cases were dispersed throughout the city, but suggested a moderate-to-high socioeconomic status. Patients also tended to be younger, salad-eating, local-market shopper types in comparison
Continue Reading Final Report: 22 Sickened in Bay Area Burma Superstar E. Coli Outbreak