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Celebrity Grub Health News

Kevin Love Loses 10 Pounds to Bad Seabass, Still Powers Through Basketball Game

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Photo: Sporting News

Talk about a champ.

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ star basketball player Kevin Love recently came down with a bad case of food poisoning due to some sea bass, according to Business Insider.

Following an away game in Charlotte on New Year’s Eve, the power forward ate the fish in between that game and a matchup last night in New Orleans. According to Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue, Love lost a whopping 10 pounds over the course of two days as a result of the food poisoning. Yikes.

Love was able to suck up his illness, however, and finished Monday’s game with an impressive double-double (12 points and 11 rebounds) before being forced to leave the game in the fourth quarter. His performance could have been the deciding factor in the win, however, as the Cavaliers only managed to win by 4 points.

Fish food poisoning is some of the worst you can get, and the microbes that can cause it lead to extreme bouts of nausea, diarrhea, and extreme dehydration. Fighting through all that and still playing hard in the NBA? That’s almost as impressive as Michael Jordan’s infamous flu game.

Kudos to you, Kevin Love. And get well soon!

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Health News Restaurants What's New

Suspect Intentionally Poisoning Food in South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe residents have been on alert for the past week thanks to some intentional food poisoning incidents at food establishments across the city.

This began last week when a man was caught on security footage pouring an unknown substance into the food self-service counter at a local Raley’s grocery store before fleeing the scene on foot. Police released the below photo of the man after reviewing the security footage.

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Photo: News Observer

While this was the first reported incident of intentional food contamination, South Lake Tahoe police believe that the man caught on footage could be linked to three similar incidents at the same Raley’s that began a couple of weeks ago.

The poisonings escalated this past Sunday when a twelve-year-old boy was hospitalized after eating contaminated food at a Baja Fresh restaurant in the area. Employees reported seeing a man putting an unknown substance on the salsa bar in the restaurant the day before, and customers reported a bleach-like odor from the salsa bar that day.

Since then, it’s been confirmed that both the Baja Fresh and Raley’s self-serve food stations had been contaminated multiple times prior to police getting involved in both locations.

The child has since been treated and released from the hospital, but investigators still haven’t been able to identify the substance used in all of the intentional poisonings. Local authorities and the FBI are investigating and analyzing footage and videos from Baja Fresh on top of the footage and photos from Raley’s.

This isn’t the first time food poisoning has been used as a direct attack on people. In 1984, an Oregon cult used similar tactics at a pizza restaurant’s salad bar in attempts to rig a local election by making the public too sick to vote against them. In that attack, 751 people reported becoming ill.

We’re hoping that this series of attacks in South Lake Tahoe does not get up to that level.

(UPDATE: A man has been arrested in connection with the food poisonings at Raley’s. It’s yet unknown if he was responsible for the poisoning at Baja Fresh and what the contaminant was. More updates to come from the Sacramento Bee.)

(UPDATE 2: KCRA news has confirmed that lab test results indicated the contaminant used in both cases was bleach. Harry Dally is now being charged for both poisonings).

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News

Family Gets Food Poisoning After Dinner Celebrating Recovery From Food Poisoning

A Turkish family poisoned themselves and 20 guests at a celebratory dinner party. The occasion they were celebrating? Their recovery from a bad bout of food poisoning. How extremely unfortunate.

Weeks before the mass poisoning, the family of four started suffering from severe stomach aches. Eventually, the pains became so bad that the entire family spent a week in the hospital, where doctors traced the illness back to a meal wife and mother, Asiye Erdal, had prepared for her family.

Once the family was released from hospital care, they invited all their neighbors to dinner to celebrate their good health. The family sacrificed an animal to show their gratitude to God, which Mrs. Erdal then prepared and served to her family and their 20 friends. It was from this sacrificial animal that the Erdal family and their guests got a second stint of serious food poisoning.

All party guests, as well as the Erdal family, suffered severe stomach pains and were hospitalized as a result of the meal.

Alattin Erdal, husband and father of the family, said he was confused by the family’s misfortune.

“We don’t get it. First, we were poisoned and then sacrificed an animal for God as a sign of gratitude for gaining our health back. Then we were poisoned once again, as well as the neighbors. May God save us from the worst,” he told Anadolu News Agency. “Food poisoning became our nightmare.”

Anadolu has reported that four people involved in the incident remain in intensive care in the northern Turkish province of Tekirdag.

The Erdal family, however, miraculously recovered from their second round of food poisoning. Mrs. Erdal told Anadolu News that she would be much more conscious of preserving food in the future and that the entire family has become significantly pickier after their near month of sickness. We would also imagine they won’t be throwing any dinner parties any time in the near future. Just a guess.

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Health

How To Never Get Food Poisoning Again

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Food poisoning is rough…I think we all can attest to that. In lieu of the recent Blue Bell recall, it’s important to know what foods are potentially risky.

 

1. Berries

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Remember the Hepatitis A in berries recall? Always make sure to wash your berries. Don’t skip this step, even if you buy the berries frozen.

 

2. Lettuce

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According to the CDC, there were 8,836 reported cases of foodborne illness between 1998 and 2008 that were due to consumption of leafy greens. In case your lettuce is dangerous, make sure to thoroughly wash it before you add it to your salad.

 

3. Meat

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You probably saw this one coming. Chicken, not beef, is the most common cause of meat-related foodborne illness. Don’t wash the chicken before you cook it because it will just put all the bacteria all over your sink. Follow these tips when cooking meat.

 

4. Raw Eggs

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I know how tasty cookie dough is, but when it has raw eggs in it, you run the risk of ingesting Salmonella, which is associated with raw eggs. Choose scrambled eggs over sunny side, and eat your cookies once they’re out of the oven.

 

5. Sprouts

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Not only do sprouts grow in warm, wet conditions, but they are very difficult to clean. In fact, it is recommended that the elderly, young children and those with weakened immune systems or those who are pregnant just stay away from sprouts. If you just have to eat them, however, sauté them first.

Go here for a list of outbreak investigations by year.

Written by Maia Vernacchia by Spoon University

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Subway Tells Foodbeast Garlic Bread Recall ‘Not Food Safety Related’

We should have known it was too good to be true.

Apparently Subway’s new garlic bread has been pulled from the assembly line due to “contamination.” A tipster screennamed “lubby” posted this warning the city-date.com forums last Friday afternoon:

“This has not made the news yet, I checked. I work at Subway and we got an urgent message from Subway HQ to throw out any garlic bread plus the garlic butter topping. It was contaminated. Not sure how or what it was contaminated with. I wanted my fellow foodies to know in case they had some. The garlic bread was a new feature for September.”

It’s unclear whether the problems were  limited to any specific batch, but our local Subway in Santa Ana was not offering the garlic bread when we visited earlier today. A few comments have also appeared on the Subway Facebook page complaining about the garlic bread’s supposed contamination and unavailability (ex: A, B, C).

Garlic bread was just the second in a string of brand new menu offerings from the sandwich chain (the first being the Applewood Pulled Pork), so yeah, you could say we’re a little bummed, especially since it was just introduced September 1st.

So far, Subway has released this official statement:

“Our garlic bread seasoning was not being made to the specifications we required. Although it was not food safety related, we temporarily removed it from our bread offerings.  We’re working around the clock to get garlic bread back in your local Subway restaurant and it will be worth the wait.”

Which, okay, seems reasonable. Just hurry up and bring it back, would you Subway? We’re suffering from some serious QSR blue balls here.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Say It Ain’t So! Study Finds High Levels of Lead in Mexican Hot Sauces

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Ugh, I hate when science ruins your favorite food.

Thanks to a study by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, we now know that there are high levels of lead found in certain hot sauces imported from Mexico. Researchers gathered 25 brands of hot sauces from Mexico and South America, swooping them up from local ethinic markets. The collection included a variety of different manufacturers and sauce types, and each bottle was shaken for 60 seconds, then examined for lead concentrations and pH levels.

While four brands of hot sauces (16 percent) exceeded the FDA standard for unsafe levels of lead, 0.1 ppm, you can’t get the full results for two reasons: 1) It costs a hefty sum of moola 2) academic databases have to wait 18 months after the publication’s date to host their papers. Luckily, Gustavo over at the OC Weekly got a hold of a “piratería version of the report,” and was able to find the 5 most dangerous hot sauces from the study.

A quick note on the potential dangers of lead exposure:

  • Lead poisoning can cause detrimental effects on almost every organ of the body
  • Lead poisoning has been known to lead to learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and even death among young children.
  • Although hot sauce isn’t generally consumed in large amounts by children, it may worsen their exposure when combined with exposure to lead-based paint (made before 1978) and lead-contaminated dust found in older buildings.

Check out the full list of the 5 Worst Culprits from UNLV’s study on lead contamination.

H/T + PicThx OC Weekly

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Features

15 Sure-Fire Ways to Guarantee You’ll Get Food Poisoning This Summer, Probably

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My best friend has a saying – “What’s life without a little risk?” This is usually applied to a select few scenarios, most often involving the possibility of death and/or a very good story. But when it comes to summer grilling, more than a couple “what ifs” come to mind that make taking the safer-than-sorrier route a very compelling option.

You know the drill — lax food safety practices leading to pain. Sleepless nights. Gas. Sure, there are those among us who are just intuitively good cooks and know all these rules like the back of their Kindle cookbooks. But for everyone else, it might come in handy to take a quick primer before you accidentally poison yourself and all your Fourth of July guests.

With that in mind, this isn’t a guide for the conservative, the timid, the chronically color-by-number. This is a guide for those who really couldn’t give a rat’s ass about proper food storage and who’d much rather do their damnedest to tempt fate. Oh, so the correct temperature for keeping food in a fridge is under 40 degrees Fahrenheit? Why don’t I crank this b*tch up to 50? Oh, you’re supposed to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds (or long enough to sing the ABC song twice)? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Check out the infographic below this list to learn how not to be a total, blundering idiot at the grill and in the kitchen. For everyone else, here are 15 Sure-Fire Ways to Guarantee You’ll Get Food Poisoning This Summer, Probably.

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1. Feel free to use raw meat as all-purpose grocery bag décor

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Most meats are either bagged or shrink-wrapped, but what’s stopping that glossy Cap’n Commander Crunch box from tearing your steak a new one? Cross-contamination happens when bacteria-infested juices from uncooked foods come into contact with other foods they have no business coming into contact with. So it’s best to separate your raw meats from your other groceries from the get-go, right out of the grocery store. That way if and when they leak, at least they’ll leak all over each other and not into your precious breakfast cereals. Unless, you know, you’re trying to kill somebody.

Picthx Kitchn

2. Leave groceries in the car while you spend the day at Disneyland

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Summer at Disneyland means higher temperatures and longer lines – perfect conditions for flourishing bacteria. Foodsafetysite.com recommends that perishable food should not be left out at room temperature for more than two hours, no more than one hour if it’s hotter than 90 degrees F. They also recommend storing food in the back seat instead of the trunk, as temperatures back there can easily reach over 100 degrees F.

Picthx Bimmer Forums

3. Make sure to use the same cutting board, tongs and plates for everything

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You know what they say, don’t eat where your bacteria sh*ts. Wait. Well, whatever the maxim is, the same bacteria that are wallowing around in your meat juices don’t just disappear from those juices just because the meat’s been cooked. If you’re using the same cutting boards, tongs, knives and plates to handle raw meat as you are to handle cooked meat, you’re practically nullifying the whole cooking process. We’ve heard of paleo before, but that’s something else entirely.

Picthx Wikimedia

4. Skip the directions

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Different meats mean different cooking times and different cooking temperatures. Foster Farms states that cooking poultry at 165 degrees Fahrenheit cooks all bacteria, while about.com places it at between 8 – 20 minutes for steak and 5 – 12 minutes for hot dogs. When in doubt, check the packaging.

Picthx Food Safety News

5. Only check the surface temperature for doneness

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A recent episode of Masterchef showcased a gorgeous shiitake black cod which was also, sadly, completely raw inside. While this isn’t much of an issue with steaks, other meats like burgers and sausages actually need to be cooked throughout in order to not to leave you huddled over the toilet seat bemoaning your entire existence. Do yourself a favor, stick that thermometer right where it hurts. Also note that charcoals should be grey and glowing before you even consider cooking on them. Otherwise all you’ll get is toast.

Picthx Kitchn

6. Leave the fridge and freezer doors open

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Aside from turning your whole house into an ice bar, leaving your fridge door open also hinders the storage process, surprise surprise. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends storing meat at between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the refrigerator, and at 0 degrees Fahrenheit in the freezer.

7. Don’t wash your hands

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Did you know you’re probably not washing your hands long enough? Yep, that eyeblink rinse-soap-rub-rinse routine should take you at least 20 seconds, or long enough to sing the ABC song or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star twice. Imagine breaking into a rousing rendition the next time you step away from the grill, and coming back to a round of uproarious applause. Trust me, your stomach and everyone else’s appetites will thank you for it. Mmm, probably.

Picthx Afro News

8. Use the same sponge you’ve had since college

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By now, you’ve probably heard that the single most unsanitary object in a person’s house is his kitchen sponge. Like with bath towels, it just doesn’t occur to us to wash the darn things because, well, aren’t they supposed to be clean to begin with? It turns out that the five major causes of food-borne illness such as salmonella, E.coli, campylobacter, clostridium perfringens and staphylococcus can easily be found on sponges, according to food website the Kitchn, and every time you think you’re cleaning your guest’s precious dishes, you’re actually just sharing the wealth. Luckily, sanitation is as easy as tossing one of those dirty, dirty boys in the microwave for a minute to kill over 99% of the bacteria. Granted, 1% of bacteria is still a hell of a lot, but at least your conscience will be cleaner than that brillo pad.

Picthx Parsimonious Princess

9. Run dirty utensils under cold sewer water to clean them

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Naturally, you want to try to avoid anything that makes your dirty dishes smell even more like poop, but next time, try washing with 1 tbsp of bleach per every gallon of warm, soapy water.

Picthx Clyde Woman

10. Don’t worry about splashing around bacteria when washing meats

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So you’ve safely managed to avoid doing everything on this list. You put your raw meats and your cooked meats in separate bags and now you’re ready to rinse your chicken off before cooking it. But beware of high-pressure sink water, unless you want to shower your sink and counters in a veritable bacteria bukkake. And if you don’t know what that is, trust me, it’s a lot grosser than it sounds.

Picthx Raw Explorer

11. Remember that cooking solves all spoilage problems: Ignore all sell and freeze-by dates

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I’ll admit I’ve been guilty of this brand of logic – thinking that if I nuke leftovers for long enough, any damage done by storing them for much too long will be immediately undone. Well, it turns out those weird numbers stuck to the front of each meat package aren’t there for nothing. According to Consumer Reports, food scientist Linda Greene states that “You should buy fish and meat before the sell-by date and generally either use within a day or so or freeze it.” Above all, do the smell and color tests before cooking. If anything looks or smells off, just buy a new steak (and consider cleaning out your fridge).

Picthx 66 Square Feet

12. Go ahead and leave cooked food out forever

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The sad truth is that bacteria is everywhere and just because you’ve cooked the bugs out of your pepper-crusted filet mignon doesn’t mean they won’t come back. Two hours is the recommended time frame you’re allowed to leave your food out before it needs to be refrigerated, though why you would risk anyone stealing it and not just put it back right away is beyond me.

Picthx Oregon Live

13. Store your cooked food and your raw food in the same fridge compartments

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Have you even been listening, bro? Raw food next to cooked food = no. Never. Nein nein nein nein.

Picthx Drink Kopi

14. Practice food cryogenic technology (i.e., Freezing lasts forever)

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Luckily freezing meat is a kind of food safety end-all be-all that kills bacterial function indefinitely, for as long as the meat remains frozen. Unluckily, other less important things like taste, texture, color and aroma start to suffer the longer you keep your beef on ice. As a general rule of thumb, keep food up to 3 – 4 days in the fridge and 2 – 6 months in the freezer unless you want to end up with a mouthful of carpet.

Picthx Wise Geek

15. Thaw food however and wherever you want

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Finally, the recommended way to thaw frozen meats is to put it in an air-tight container and let it thaw in the fridge, but that’s assuming you’ve given yourself more than a day to prepare. For most people, it’s probably better to submerge the meat in cool water in the sink, change the water every 30 minutes until thawed, and cook immediately. Or just to microwave the damn thing and cook immediately. Just don’t leave it out in the open where bugs can get to it while it’s thawing. Or do. I don’t know your life.

Picthx Food Network

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[Click to enlarge]

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H/T Foster Farms, Food Safety, Food Safety Site, Net Doctor, About, KitchnConsumer Reports, Fit Day

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Food Critic Poisoned By His Dinner

Everyone thinks food critics have the best life — good service and free meals at the finest restaurants any day of the week. What most people don’t realize is that there are risks involved with having the perfect job. Michael Winner, gourmet and food critic, fell victim to those risks.