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Food hygiene/food poisoning (ex Tesco thread)

Food hygiene/food poisoning (ex Tesco thread)

Old Mar 12th 2016, 7:00 am
  #16  
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Default Re: Tesco

Getting back to Tesco, I see that in the UK they are launching a range of misshapen vegetables (previously rejected as sub-standard) to be sold at a lower price. Should raise a few giggles amongst female pensioners and provide some more YouTube fodder!
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Old Mar 12th 2016, 7:12 am
  #17  
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Default Re: Tesco

Originally Posted by ex reg
Then you can't have heard of the Michelin 3 * restaurant in UK which was closed for a month or so because of bad food hygene.

.
No I didn't. I think there's only three or four of them. Which one was it ?

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Old Mar 12th 2016, 7:38 am
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Default Re: Tesco

NH,
Regarding hijacking, feel free to open a new thread.
As this one drifted into comparing the quality of the produce in other shops like wetmarkets to Tesco, I continued on the thread by mentioning why I in general prefer wetmarkets.
As for the health hazard scare, I am not SO worried that I will totally refrain from Parma Ham and other processed foods or become a vegetarian.
But in general I believe that it is good to know which (and in what quantities) additives are used and I don't believe that it may be so good to eat large quantities of foods which don't spoil after being exposed to heat and humidity for over a week without spoiling. (The car was parked for most of the days)
And as also mentioned, I believe the regulations here are less stringent than in Europe or US.
As for research vs politics, one good thing with the internet is that one there can find support for whatever truth one happens to believe in :-)
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Old Mar 12th 2016, 11:12 am
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Default Re: Tesco

Originally Posted by JC3
No I didn't. I think there's only three or four of them. Which one was it ?

JC3
It was Heston Blumenthal's 3-star The Fat Duck in Bray which had to close in 2009 after a novovirus outbreak and then his 2-star The Dinner in Knightsbridge closed in 2014, again because of novovirus. He was criticised for waiting 6 weeks before reporting the first outbreak so he reacted much quicker for the second outbreak.
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Old Mar 12th 2016, 3:23 pm
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Default Re: Tesco

Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas
It was Heston Blumenthal's 3-star The Fat Duck in Bray which had to close in 2009 after a novovirus outbreak and then his 2-star The Dinner in Knightsbridge closed in 2014, again because of novovirus. He was criticised for waiting 6 weeks before reporting the first outbreak so he reacted much quicker for the second outbreak.
The Fat Duck… 2009. That's quite a while ago!
So more of a case of contaminated oysters than a dirty restaurant kitchen then.

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Old Mar 12th 2016, 5:56 pm
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Default Re: Tesco

Originally Posted by JC3
The Fat Duck… 2009. That's quite a while ago!
So more of a case of contaminated oysters than a dirty restaurant kitchen then.

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In fact it was the staff who tested positive for the infection. The novovirus can then survive on objects and surfaces in the kitchen for days or weeks.
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Old Mar 13th 2016, 1:27 am
  #22  
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Default Re: Tesco

Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas
In fact it was the staff who tested positive for the infection. The novovirus can then survive on objects and surfaces in the kitchen for days or weeks.
I don’t doubt it - norovirus is highly infectious. However like I said the source was contaminated oysters.

The Health Protection Agency investigation found that uncooked oysters supplied by a firm in Colchester, Essex, had become infected with the norovirus bug, most likely through raw sewage leaked into the sea. The HPA report states (quote):

"The norovirus was probably introduced via shellfish because diners who ate shellfish dishes were more likely to report illness; oysters were served raw; razor clams may not have been appropriately handled or cooked; tracing of the shellfish to source showed evidence for contamination; and outbreaks of illness in other establishments have been associated with oysters from the same source."

Foods can become infected with norovirus via two main routes:

1. Oysters and other shellfish can become contaminated with norovirus originating from human sewage.
2. Individuals infected with norovirus can readily transfer the virus onto foods they prepare. The virus will remain viable and capable of causing illness in those foods that are not subsequently thoroughly cooked.

This is one of the reasons I avoid eating cockles in both laksa and char kway teow in Penang.


Back to Tesco, and post No.1.
Two and a half years later and there's no sign of Tesco pulling out of Malaysia.

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Last edited by JC3; Mar 13th 2016 at 3:34 am.
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Old Mar 13th 2016, 8:55 am
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Default Re: Tesco

Originally Posted by JC3
I don’t doubt it - norovirus is highly infectious. However like I said the source was contaminated oysters.

The Health Protection Agency investigation found that uncooked oysters supplied by a firm in Colchester, Essex, had become infected with the norovirus bug, most likely through raw sewage leaked into the sea. The HPA report states (quote):

"The norovirus was probably introduced via shellfish because diners who ate shellfish dishes were more likely to report illness; oysters were served raw; razor clams may not have been appropriately handled or cooked; tracing of the shellfish to source showed evidence for contamination; and outbreaks of illness in other establishments have been associated with oysters from the same source."

Foods can become infected with norovirus via two main routes:

1. Oysters and other shellfish can become contaminated with norovirus originating from human sewage.
2. Individuals infected with norovirus can readily transfer the virus onto foods they prepare. The virus will remain viable and capable of causing illness in those foods that are not subsequently thoroughly cooked.

This is one of the reasons I avoid eating cockles in both laksa and char kway teow in Penang.


Back to Tesco, and post No.1.
Two and a half years later and there's no sign of Tesco pulling out of Malaysia.

JC3
The HPA report said it was "probably" caused by an infected oyster, but this was never proved and was disputed by the Fat Ducks supplier whose oyster beds were tested and the virus was found to be at a level of 42 parts per million (up to 100 is considered safe). The report concluded that the scale of the outbreak was exacerbated by staff returning to work too early (over 500 customers were infected).

There is no doubt that infection of the kitchens and staff was the major source of most customers illness, although as I said earlier novovirus is extremely difficult to remove without bleaching everything. If one person is still carrying the virus, even this would be a waste of time.

In 2009, there were only four incidents of shellfish poisoning (one being thr Fat Duck) but these were totally eclipsed by incidents involving unpasteurised cheese!
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Old Mar 13th 2016, 9:56 am
  #24  
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Default Re: Tesco

Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas
The HPA report said it was "probably" caused by an infected oyster, but this was never proved and was disputed by the Fat Ducks supplier whose oyster beds were tested and the virus was found to be at a level of 42 parts per million (up to 100 is considered safe). The report concluded that the scale of the outbreak was exacerbated by staff returning to work too early (over 500 customers were infected).

There is no doubt that infection of the kitchens and staff was the major source of most customers illness, although as I said earlier novovirus is extremely difficult to remove without bleaching everything. If one person is still carrying the virus, even this would be a waste of time.

In 2009, there were only four incidents of shellfish poisoning (one being thr Fat Duck) but these were totally eclipsed by incidents involving unpasteurised cheese!
To clear this up, please read the full HPA Report Conclusion, reproduced below.

7. Conclusion
• A large outbreak of illness occurred among diners who
ate at The Fat Duck restaurant, with 529 of those eating
between 6 January and 22 February 2009 reporting
illness and some reports of apparent secondary
spread in these diners.
• The symptoms reported by cases, time between eating
at the restaurant and becoming ill, and laboratory
investigations where available identify norovirus as the
agent causing illness in this outbreak, further supported
by similar illness and laboratory confirmation among
restaurant staff.
• There was substantial transmission of this infection to
diners at the restaurant over a prolonged period.
The main route of infection is likely to have been
through food consumption as outlined below although
some direct environmental transmission may
have occurred.
• The evidence for infection from consumption of shellfish
in this outbreak is:
1. Raw oysters, an established high-risk food for
norovirus were served. Razor clams cooked on site
for sampling showed evidence of bacterial
contamination consistent with incomplete cooking.
2. Diners who reported consumption of these shellfish
dishes were more likely to report illness than those
who did not consume shellfish.
3. Multiple different strains of norovirus were isolated
from diners, which is typical of a shellfish source.
4. Tracing of the shellfish to source showed evidence for
contamination of shellfish from different batches
coming from the same sources as supplied the
restaurant and identified outbreaks of illness in other
establishments associated with oysters from the
same source around the same time.
• Contamination of other food during preparation may
have contributed to infection of diners. The basis
for this is:
1. The food preparation processes on the premises
were complex, requiring a lot of handling increasing
the risk of contamination. The highest standards of
hygiene are necessary to remove the risk of norovirus
infection in this setting. No breaches of hygiene
standards were identified in the preparation
processes as described by staff.
2. Several staff members were infected with norovirus
and may have been infectious while at work.
3. Alcohol gel may have been used more commonly
than handwashing and is not fully effective in
removing norovirus infection.
4. Food testing showed marginal evidence for poor
hygiene in preparation of a langoustine cream. There
was also some epidemiological association of illness
and consumption of the dish containing
this ingredient.
5. The cleaning agents used during the outbreak may
not have given effective viricidal activity.
• The delay in notification of reports of illness by the
restaurant led to a significant delay in investigating the
incident. Cases could have been prevented had
notification been received in a timely manner and action
been taken sooner. A significant number of cases may
have been prevented if the concerns raised by the
environmental health consultancy Food Alert Ltd on
12/13 February had been acted upon and
promptly reported.
• The investigation allowed identification of factors
contributing to the outbreak and implementation of
measures to reduce risk of recurrence
following reopening.



I read the article in The Caterer too. But I don’t think one can totally trust the information touted by vested interests on this story - in this case the Shellfish Association.

I also don’t think one can properly compare outbreaks of shellfish poisoning with incidents involving unpasteurised cheese. Better to compare apples with apples.

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Last edited by JC3; Mar 13th 2016 at 10:29 am.
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Old Mar 13th 2016, 1:26 pm
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Default Re: Tesco

Originally Posted by JC3
To clear this up, please read the full HPA Report Conclusion, reproduced below.

7. Conclusion
• A large outbreak of illness occurred among diners who
ate at The Fat Duck restaurant, with 529 of those eating
between 6 January and 22 February 2009 reporting
illness and some reports of apparent secondary
spread in these diners.
• The symptoms reported by cases, time between eating
at the restaurant and becoming ill, and laboratory
investigations where available identify norovirus as the
agent causing illness in this outbreak, further supported
by similar illness and laboratory confirmation among
restaurant staff.
• There was substantial transmission of this infection to
diners at the restaurant over a prolonged period.
The main route of infection is likely to have been
through food consumption as outlined below although
some direct environmental transmission may
have occurred.
• The evidence for infection from consumption of shellfish
in this outbreak is:
1. Raw oysters, an established high-risk food for
norovirus were served. Razor clams cooked on site
for sampling showed evidence of bacterial
contamination consistent with incomplete cooking.
2. Diners who reported consumption of these shellfish
dishes were more likely to report illness than those
who did not consume shellfish.
3. Multiple different strains of norovirus were isolated
from diners, which is typical of a shellfish source.
4. Tracing of the shellfish to source showed evidence for
contamination of shellfish from different batches
coming from the same sources as supplied the
restaurant and identified outbreaks of illness in other
establishments associated with oysters from the
same source around the same time.
• Contamination of other food during preparation may
have contributed to infection of diners. The basis
for this is:
1. The food preparation processes on the premises
were complex, requiring a lot of handling increasing
the risk of contamination. The highest standards of
hygiene are necessary to remove the risk of norovirus
infection in this setting. No breaches of hygiene
standards were identified in the preparation
processes as described by staff.
2. Several staff members were infected with norovirus
and may have been infectious while at work.
3. Alcohol gel may have been used more commonly
than handwashing and is not fully effective in
removing norovirus infection.
4. Food testing showed marginal evidence for poor
hygiene in preparation of a langoustine cream. There
was also some epidemiological association of illness
and consumption of the dish containing
this ingredient.
5. The cleaning agents used during the outbreak may
not have given effective viricidal activity.
• The delay in notification of reports of illness by the
restaurant led to a significant delay in investigating the
incident. Cases could have been prevented had
notification been received in a timely manner and action
been taken sooner. A significant number of cases may
have been prevented if the concerns raised by the
environmental health consultancy Food Alert Ltd on
12/13 February had been acted upon and
promptly reported.
• The investigation allowed identification of factors
contributing to the outbreak and implementation of
measures to reduce risk of recurrence
following reopening.



I read the article in The Caterer too. But I don’t think one can totally trust the information touted by vested interests on this story - in this case the Shellfish Association.

I also don’t think one can properly compare outbreaks of shellfish poisoning with incidents involving unpasteurised cheese. Better to compare apples with apples.

JC3
Funny, I read the report and nothing was in bold text

You could have included the final paragraph:-


IV Conclusion
The findings of the epidemiological study are consistent
with a large norovirus outbreak among diners at The Fat
Duck restaurant during January and February 2009, with
most of those reporting illness describing symptoms,
incubation times and duration of illness consistent with
norovirus acquired at the restaurant. Eating at the
restaurant appears to have posed a risk of infection
throughout the period from late January until closure on
22 February and possibly earlier in January. There is some
epidemiological evidence for association of two
shellfish-containing dishes (‘Oyster, Passion Fruit Jelly,
Lavender’ and ‘Sound of the Sea’) and one other (‘Jelly Of
Quail, Langoustine Cream, Parfait Of Foie Gras’) with illness.
Other associations observed have a high probability of
being due to confounding while these main associations
are robust to the analytical approach taken.


It was enough to have eaten there in order to be infected, but not necessarily to have eaten oysters.
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Old Mar 13th 2016, 1:59 pm
  #26  
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Default Re: Tesco

Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas
Funny, I read the report and nothing was in bold text

You could have included the final paragraph:-


IV Conclusion
The findings of the epidemiological study are consistent
with a large norovirus outbreak among diners at The Fat
Duck restaurant during January and February 2009, with
most of those reporting illness describing symptoms,
incubation times and duration of illness consistent with
norovirus acquired at the restaurant. Eating at the
restaurant appears to have posed a risk of infection
throughout the period from late January until closure on
22 February and possibly earlier in January. There is some
epidemiological evidence for association of two
shellfish-containing dishes (‘Oyster, Passion Fruit Jelly,
Lavender’ and ‘Sound of the Sea’) and one other (‘Jelly Of
Quail, Langoustine Cream, Parfait Of Foie Gras’) with illness.
Other associations observed have a high probability of
being due to confounding while these main associations
are robust to the analytical approach taken.

Yes I could have, but that would have been misleading.
It is not the final paragraph of the Conclusion (Section 7), that I included in full.

The conclusion you refer to appears in the Appendix, Section 8. It is the Epidemiological Report conclusion - Section 8.5 (IV), and not part of the main report Conclusion text.

Bold text for clarity!

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Last edited by JC3; Mar 13th 2016 at 2:09 pm.
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Old Mar 13th 2016, 2:26 pm
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Default Re: Tesco

Originally Posted by JC3
Do you think the kitchens in restaurants you eat in are any cleaner than wet markets???

Yes, much cleaner.

JC3
Well going back to the origins of this discussion, if you are going to get ill it is much more likely to be from contamination in a restaurant's kitchen, and this whether it looks clean or not (I presume the Fat Duck's kitchens looked very clean but were, in fact, not so clean at all, from an infection-perspective).

I have never been ill from food poisoning in Penang (touch wood) despite eating out all the time, often at hawker centres which themselves do not really look very clean but evidently, from an infection-perspective, must be.
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Old Mar 14th 2016, 11:21 am
  #28  
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Default Re: Tesco

Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas
Well going back to the origins of this discussion, if you are going to get ill it is much more likely to be from contamination in a restaurant's kitchen, and this whether it looks clean or not (I presume the Fat Duck's kitchens looked very clean but were, in fact, not so clean at all, from an infection-perspective).

I have never been ill from food poisoning in Penang (touch wood) despite eating out all the time, often at hawker centres which themselves do not really look very clean but evidently, from an infection-perspective, must be.
IVV I have to agree that you are more likely to get food poisoning from a restaurant kitchen than your own but isn't that because you only ever eat out here in Penang? It's rather like saying you are more at risk dying in a car crash than a motorcycle crash. Everyone knows that motorcycles are more dangerous but you control the hazard by not riding motorcycles.

And let's keep the risk in perspective. Yes oysters are a high risk source of food poisoning but how many people are affected for the millions of raw oysters that are consumed every year? Can someone put a number to this 'high risk'?

Some of the finest cheeses in the world are made from unpasteurised milk. You don't hear of many food poisoning cases from this source and yet the risk is deemed high enough for the USA to ban the import or manufacture of cheese from unpasteurised milk. As a result American cheese is bland, plastic and indigestible.

I will resist the urge to get on my soap box over the current hysteria over red meat suffice to say I still enjoy a rare steak.

40 years ago when I first started earning a living I was working for the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now rebranded as Cancer Research UK) we had a 25% chance of getting cancer with a 20% chance of dying from cancer. Now after 40 years of very expensive research we have a 50% chance of suffering from cancer with iirc around a 25% chance of dying from it. So if I choose my research data carefully enough I should be able to prove a link for increased cancer to just about anything.

What has happened over those 40 years is that there have been significant improvements in medicine with prophylactic treatment for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Major killers such as smoking, asbestos and lead have been eradicated or significantly reduced. Of course our overall risk of death has remained at 1 but on the up side we are living longer.

So yes the risk from a number of sources have increased but the main reason for this has been a significant reduction in the risk from heart attacks and strokes. We won't live forever so we might as well at least enjoy ourselves while we are alive.
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Old Mar 14th 2016, 11:30 am
  #29  
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Default Re: Tesco

Originally Posted by NeonHippy
... isn't that because you only ever eat out here in Penang?
I have been known to eat out in other countries too, you know

Generally, it's quite rare that I will get ill after eating something, most of my infections come from other people
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Old Mar 14th 2016, 12:35 pm
  #30  
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Default Re: Tesco

Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas
...out in other...
I'm in the wrong place, I was looking for the Brexit voting form.

JC3

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