How Salmonella Poisoning Just Cost This Restaurant $11 Million


A federal judge is ordering a restaurant to pay $11.4 million to a man who got food poisoning while dining at the establishment. In 2010, a Nebraska man contracted salmonella from eating at an Old Country Buffet during a dinner with his wife.

KGAB reports that U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl awarded the couple the damages after writing of the husband’s numerous surgeries and procedures after dining at the buffet in Casper, NE.

Skavdahl states that Christopher Gage is in daily pain and cannot eat or drink water without throwing up. The majority of his meals end in him vomiting. Gage has also lost his mobility and his cognitive functioning has been significantly impacted.

Damages to Gage include abdominal cramping, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, dehydration, acute kidney failure, sepsis, acute lactic acidosis, anemia, thromocytophenia and partial fibrillation.

A day after Gage got sick, the Laramie County Health Department cited the restaurant for numerous health code violations.

Old Country Buffet is operated by Ovation Brands who could not be reached for comments.


Packaged Food

Major Spinach Brand Issues Recall Over Salmonella Risk

Dole Spinach Recall

It seems more and more items are falling victim to possible salmonella contamination. The latest to be recalled is bagged spinach produced by Dole.

Dole Fresh Vegetables are recalling some bags of greens that were wold in Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland, Kentucky, Michigan, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture tested a sample of the spinach and it came out positive for salmonella, Consumerist reports. While Dole says they had no knowledge of the illness, they’re issuing a voluntary recall of the product.

If you bought a bag with an “Enjoy By” date of Oct. (product codes A27409B or A27409A) don’t eat it and throw it out.

Luckily, there have been no reports of illness from consumers.

Photo: Dole Facebook


‘Just Ship It’ Three Words That Killed 9 And Landed This Peanut CEO In Jail For 28 Years


Seven years ago, an outbreak of salmonella poisoning in peanuts led to 700 people getting sick and left nine dead. Now, the former corporate CEO of the Peanut Corporation of America faces 28 years in prison because of it.

The salmonella outbreak was traced to a factory in Georgia that was run by the Peanut Corporation of America, NPR reports.

While companies have been found to release contaminated foods before, this instance, the company was aware that its product was contaminated prior to shipping it out to consumers. The PCA would allegedly retest batches of peanut products when it came out positive for salmonella until the tests were clean.

Guess they didn’t want to risk losing peanuts over something as trivial as salmonella contamination.

Investigators found one email in particular where a shipment of peanut products was put on hold and awaited results from a contamination test. Stewart Parnell, who was CEO at the time, was emailed about the situation and told the factory:

Just ship it.

This act of negligence, along with other criminal charges of fraud, obstruction of justice and selling adulterated foods all contributed to Parnell’s punishment.

The ground-breaking sentence Parnell faces are the harshest ever given to company executives connected to food-releated illnesses. Along with Parnell’s 28-year sentence, two other executives of the former company face major jail time.

The now-defunct peanut company served a variety of peanut-based products.


FDA Recalls 6,215 Pounds of Serrano Chile Peppers, We See You Salmonella


We have yet another Salmonella scare, folks. This time the infection has reached about 6,215 pounds of serrano chile peppers. A random health test discovered that signs of the pathogen appeared in a batch of peppers distributed in Meijer stores in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky.

These batches may also be found at other grocery retailers like Walmart, Publix and Harris Teeter.

People with Salmonella poisoning may experience symptoms like fever, diarrhea, nausea, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. The illness affects children and the elderly more drastically because of their weaker immune systems and may result in hospitalization or death.

The Food and Drug Administration urges consumers to check with retailers from whom they’ve bought serrano chiles between Oct. 2 through Oct. 22 in the affected areas. So far, it’s confirmed that Meijer had a batch of contaminated peppers with the possibility of others stores as well.

More information about the recall can be found through the FDA.

H/T Consumerist



Almost 40,000 Pounds of Foster Farms Chicken Strips Recalled


Foster Farms just can’t catch a break. In July, they had a voluntary recall after traces of salmonella were found in their chicken. Now they are recalling almost 40,000 pounds of chicken strips due to possible listeria contamination.

The Times reported that the 3.5-pound bags of frozen, precooked chicken breast strips are the ones in question. More specifically, the bags with an August 15, 2015, “best by” date.

The contamination was found as the plant was going through a routine inspection, but the set-aside chicken was carelessly shipped out to retailers in California, Texas, Utah and Washington state last month.

There have not been any reported cases of anyone getting sick from the chicken, but listeria  usually affects the elderly, pregnant women, newborns and people with weakened immune systems.

So if you did eat the chicken and get a fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, lose your balance or even just a tummy ache, you might want to see the doc.

H/T LA Times Pic Thx Foster Farms


FDA Recalls Thousands of Parmesan Cheese Jars, Because Salmonella


A massive recall of 3,500 6-ounce jars of 4C Parmesan Cheese was issued by the Food and Drug Administration due to a possible salmonella contamination. The salmonella risk was discovered after a routine test of the 4C products. The jars affected were mainly distributed in the Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin states, Consumerist reports.

Salmonella has the potential to cause fatal injuries to anyone with a weaker immune system, including young kids and the elderly. Consumers are advised to look for a Best By date of JUL 21 2016 and JUL 22 2016 towards the bottom or back of the jar, dispose of the cheese and its container and contact 4C Foods for a full refund.

As of now, no illnesses have been reported involving the jars of parmesan. Better safe than sorry, though.

H/T Consumerist


Edible, Salmonella-Free Cookie Dough Finally Exists


Most kids growing up have heard (and ignored) the spiel many times over: don’t eat raw cookie dough or you’ll get salmonella poisoning and die. We had our little friends raw eggs to thank for that one, but a new line of ready-to-eat cookie dough bites does away with the eggs entirely to create — yes — edible, salmonella-free cookie dough.

They’re called Unbakeables and they come in nine different flavors, including  “Thin Mint,” birthday cake, peanut butter & jelly, oatmeal raisin, and of course, chocolate chip. Each 3 or 10-pack tube is available for purchase online and in a few stores and farmer’s markets in Connecticut and New York.

Not lucky enough to live out there or too impatient to wait for shipping? (Come on, you don’t even want to wait for the cookies to bake.) We’ve found you a five-minute recipe, here.

H/T Frisky


Eating Raw Cookie Dough Won’t Make You Sick (Probably)

Cookie dough taste

Our lives have been a lie. From brownie batters to chocolate chip cookie dough we’ve been subjected to a wagging finger followed by a “don’t eat that you’ll get sick!” Well, it turns out that good ol’ Mom might have been keeping us away from this sweet stuff for no reason at all since it’s actually really hard to get salmonella from eggs.

We all know that the best part of making cookies is sneaking a taste of that sweet raw cookie dough and no one knows that better than Slate assistant editor L.V. Anderson. At the age of 27 she’s roughly consumed 360 raw eggs in her 15 years of baking and has never gotten sick. Anderson looked into the research behind salmonella and found that salmonella in eggs is rare to begin with.

Back in the 1980’s a salmonella outbreak in the US got hundreds of Americans sick and killed a few dozen. Because this was an egg-associated outbreak measures were put in place to ensure hens avoided infection. Just because a hen has salmonella doesn’t mean she’ll lay infected eggs though. Since new protocols were put in place it’s estimated that 0.012 percent of eggs would be contaminated with salmonella and even THAT doesn’t mean that you’ll get sick.

As long as you keep your eggs at or below 45 degrees your eggs will be safe. At these temperatures the salmonella bacteria can’t grow. It’s when you leave eggs out on the counter or at unsafe temperatures that you should start worrying. Even if you did ingest a little salmonella the chances that you’ll get sick are still relatively low, Anderson explains that salmonella doesn’t “do so well in a healthy human intestinal tract, where they have to compete with thousands of other bacteria for nutrients.”

Basically as long as your not eating tubs of raw cookie dough on the daily you’ll be fine. But in case you’re still worried you could always just cook the dough…

H/T + PicThx Slate, Photobucket