Archive of December, 2021

How to assure safer leafy greens, the role of water testing and why traceability is not sufficient
According to the NY Times, the FDA is worried about a repeat of romaine lettuce outbreak this year. The FDA strongly encourages the entire leafy greens supply chain to adopt state-of-the-art technology for traceability in order to assure quick, accurate and easy access to the whole supply chain and to enable  tracing back the products to their original farms. An important element of stopping an outbreak is the ability to identify specific farms or ranches and dates of harvest for products that contribute to outbreaks if product has been commingled.        It is important to be able to determine which farm(s) and growing region(s)...
Should we use electric Jet-air Dryers to dry hands? Or should we be scared back to use paper towels?
A study published recently in the Journal of Hospital Infection compared the effect of hand-drying methods on the potential risks of pathogen dissemination. A comparison was made between hand drying using paper towels (PT) or jet air dryer (JAD; Dyson) and their impact on the contamination levels in the bathrooms in several European countries. While much attention is being paid to hand washing methods, less attention is being paid to optimal hand drying methods. Hand drying can play a key role in the prevention of the transfer of microorganisms among people and their dissemination in the environment. The relative risk of dissemination...
How Safe Food Trucks Are?
E. coli outbreak closed Chicken & Rice Guys in Boston According to the Boston Globe the city of Boston received an anonymous complaint about customers getting sick after buying food from Chicken & Rice Guys trucks. The Boston Health department confirmed 7 cases of E. coli food poisoning originating from the Allston location that supplies the food for the chain. The company has 5 trucks that rotate in the Boston area. They also have regular, brick and mortar, restaurants in Allison, Boston, and Medford. The Chicken & Rice Guys began the food truck business in 2012. Fifteen of the chain customers were...
Infection by a Rare Type of E. coli Across Canada
The Announcement The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) reported that there have been 12 cases of a rare strain of E. coli O121.  The illness onset dates range from November to December 2016, and include 9 males and 4 females, age of 9-79 years old. The recovered E. coli with a matching genetic fingerprint reported in three provinces: British Columbia (4), Saskatchewan (4), and Newfoundland and Labrador (4). Four individuals have been hospitalized. These individuals have recovered or are recovering. The investigation into the source of the outbreak of the relatively rare E. coli O121 contamination is ongoing. PHAC said that two of the most common ways...