In case you missed it…

TAINTED is now available at all major on-line book sellers, and reached #1 New Release status in its Amazon category on Launch Day, December 2nd.

A Short Excerpt

Something Rotten in the State of Iowa

The CDC first became aware of an unusual rise in Salmonella Enteritidis infections in July 2010. Epidemiological and traceback investigations pointed the finger of suspicion at two Iowa-based suppliers of shell eggs: Quality Egg, LLC (also known as Wright County Egg) and Hillandale Farms of Iowa, Inc.

Alerted by the CDC, the FDA began a detailed inspection of Quality Egg on August 12th. They encountered an egg-laying farm overrun with rodents and birds. Henhouses and buildings used to store feed grain were in a state of disrepair, with manure seeping through the concrete foundation of one of the laying houses. Uncaged chickens ambled across an eight-foot high pile of manure to access the egg-laying area.

The situation confronting inspectors when they began their inspection of Hillandale Farms on August 19th was just as bad. Uncaged hens tracked manure into the henhouses, some of which had structural damage. There was standing water adjacent to the manure pit, and liquid manure was leaking into one of the henhouses.

It surprised no one when environmental samples collected at both Quality Egg and Hillandale Farms tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis.

Quality Egg announced a recall on August 13th, and expanded the scope of the recall on August 18th. Hillandale followed suit with its own recall notice on August 20th.


From Farm Gate to Dinner Plate, Fifty Years of Food Safety Failures

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Official Launch Day for TAINTED


From Farm Gate to Dinner Plate, Fifty Years of Food Safety Failures

Salmonella in eggs. Listeria in deli meats. Melamine in milk. Cyclospora in lettuce.

In a world where irrigation water is contaminated by run-off from cattle feedlots and where food processors cut corners, the food preparation skills we learned from our parents and grandparents are no longer good enough to keep us safe.

Using a variety of foodborne disease outbreaks, often illustrated with the stories of individual victims, TAINTED explores the ways in which food becomes contaminated. Some of the stories – such as the deadly 1993 Jack in the Box outbreak – will be very familiar. Others will not.

In this update to her 2007 book, Food Safety: Old Habits, New Perspectives, Phyllis Entis draws on nearly five decades of experience to explain how our regulatory systems have failed us, and to talk about what can be done to protect consumers from unsafe food.

About the Author

A graduate of McGill University and the University of Toronto, Phyllis Entis received her introduction to the field of food safety at the hands of Canada’s Health Protection Branch, where she spent the first seven years of her professional life immersed in Salmonella, Staphylococcus, E. coli and other bad actors from the microbial world.

Entis left government work to co-found (with her husband) QA Life Sciences, a company specializing in rapid testing methods for foodborne bacteria. For the next twenty-two years, she worked closely with representatives of Health Protection Branch, the US Food and Drug Administration and various state agencies to gain official sanction for the use of rapid testing methods in government and industry settings.

In 2001, Entis turned to writing. Her first book, Food Microbiology—The Laboratory, was published in 2002 by the Food Processors Institute. It was followed five years later by Food Safety: Old Habits, New Perspectives, which was released by the American Society for Microbiology Press in January 2007.

Since 2007, Entis has written about food safety issues for several publications, including Food Safety News, The Bark, and eFoodAlert. She has also found the time to write and release a 5-book mystery series, The Damien Dickens Mysteries.

In TAINTED, Entis has combined her decades of experience in food safety with the story-telling skills honed during her career as a mystery writer to revamp and update the wealth of information contained in Old Habits, and to produce a food safety narrative that is both educational and accessible.

A Short Excerpt

Chapter 3 – Betrayal

Sarah Lewis and her entire family attended a celebratory dinner at a local restaurant on May 29, 2010 to mark her sister Stacey’s college graduation. The next night, Sarah’s world turned upside down.

Already feeling unwell on the evening of May 30th, Sarah went to bed early. She awakened during the night, suffering from vomiting and severe diarrhea. The next day, Sarah’s mother, who lived nearby, took her to an urgent care facility. Twenty minutes later, she was admitted to hospital and was later diagnosed with salmonellosis.

Badly dehydrated and in enormous pain from her inflamed bowels, Sarah was moved to the hospital’s ICU. While there, she developed severe tachycardia (abnormally rapid heartbeat), and was moved to the critical care heart unit, where she spent three days.

When Sarah was finally discharged in time to attend her daughter’s preschool graduation, she thought the worst was behind her.

About 2½ weeks later, she was back in the hospital, still suffering from severe dehydration. She was released after five days.

The antibiotics Sarah took to combat her Salmonella infection stripped her digestive system of its normal population of protective bacteria, resulting in her becoming infected with Clostridium difficile (C. diff), a bacterium which causes severe diarrhea and cramping. A fourteen-day antibiotic regimen took care of the C. diff; however, the Salmonella was more resilient. Four months later, Sarah still was on five to ten different medications daily to combat the infection and control her symptoms.

Sarah Lewis was the first recorded California victim of a Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak that sickened more than 1,900 people across the United States.

The restaurant where Stacey’s graduation banquet was held had purchased custard tarts from a local bakery. Ordinarily, the bakery used a pasteurized liquid egg mixture to make the tarts. However, on the day they prepared the dessert items for the graduation dinner, the bakery ran out of pasteurized egg mix and used fresh, raw shell eggs instead. Eggs that most likely had come from Iowa.

Whet Your Appetite

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Recalls and Alerts: November 26 – 28, 2020

Here is today’s list of food safety recalls, product withdrawals, allergy alerts and miscellaneous compliance issues. The live links will take you directly to the official recall notices and company news releases that contain detailed information for each recall and alert.

If you would like to receive automatic email alerts for all new articles posted on eFoodAlert, please submit your request using the sidebar link.

Interested in learning more about food safety and the history of foodborne disease outbreaks and investigations? Go to TAINTED to download the first couple of chapters of my new book.

United States

Food Safety Recall: Tarantino Wholesale Foods Distributor recalls MARY’S FULLY COOKED CHICKEN BREAST (10-lb cases; Lot #20297; Use by 10/23/21) due to undercooking.

Food Safety Recall: Vegpro International recalls Fresh Attitude brand Baby Spinach (9 x 11oz; Best Before 2020 DE 04; UPC 8 88048 00028 8) and Fresh Attitude brand Baby Spinach (8 x 5oz; Best Before 2020 DE 04 & 2020 DE 05; UPC 8 88048 00004 2) due to possible Salmonella contamination.


Allergy Alert: Farm Boy Company Inc. recalls Farm Boy Deluxe Chocolate Brownie Mix (500g; UPC 8 08912 00760 1; All codes where milk is not declared on the label) due to undeclared milk.

Food Safety Warning: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume Bottled Beef and Bottled Chicken made by Robert Waite (Tignish, PEI), sold with no labels, because they may permit the growth of Clostridium botulinum. Please refer to the CFIA Food Safety Warning for additional details.

Food Safety Recall: La Fromagerie La Pépite d’or recalls multiple lot codes and packaging sizes of Twist d’or – Tresse cheeses that were made or packaged under conditions that may make the product unsafe to eat. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Food Safety Recall: Vegpro International recalls Fresh Attitude brand Baby Spinach (312g; Best Before 2020 DE 04; UPC 8 88048 00028 8; Product of USA) and Fresh Attitude brand Baby Spinach (142g; Best Before 2020 DE 04 & 2020 DE 05; UPC 8 88048 00004 2; Product of USA) due to possible Salmonella contamination.

Food Safety Recall: Metro Ontario Inc. recalls multiple Metro brand products due to  possible Salmonella contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.


OUTBREAK ALERT (FRANCE): France reports 26 cases of Salmonella infections, including 17 children, linked to consumption of dried sausages and sliced rosettes (salami). Please refer to the outbreak notice for a list of implicated products.

Allergy Alert (Belgium): Nawras recalls all lot codes and best before dates of Vermicelli, Bulgur and Firiq due to undeclared wheat.

Allergy Alert (Luxembourg): Industry recalls Brugge d’Or en bloc / cheese block (250g; Lots L1420301, L1420302, L1420315, L1420316, L1420324, L1420325; Best before 05/01/2021, 06/01/2021, 19/01/2021, 20/01/2021, 28/01/2021, 29/01/2021) and Brugge d’Or en tranches / cheese slices (180g; Lots L1820311, L1820314, L1820315; Best before 15/01/2021, 18/01/2021, 19/01/2021) due to undeclared egg.

Allergy Alert (Netherlands): Boni recalls Boni grillwost sausage (Lot 172244; Expiry 28-11-2020) due to undeclared milk.

Food Safety Recall (Belgium): Jumbo recalls various bread products due to possible foreign matter (pieces of hard plastic) contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Food Safety Recall (France): Carrefour recalls Reflet de France brand Tomette de brebis / cheese made from pasteurized sheep’s milk (Lot #2020_204) due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

Food Safety Recall (France): Coursesu recalls MYTILIMER brand Palourde japonaise grosse pêchée en atlantique nord-est / Large Japanese clams fished from the North-east Atlantic (Lot PSM0211) due to E. coli contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Germany): Guba-Trade GmbH recalls Gourmet Finest Cuisine – Forellenkaviar / Trout Caviar (50g; Lots 295 & 296; Expiration date 30.04.2021) due to possible foreign matter (glass splinters) contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Netherlands): Jumbo recalls various bread products due to possible foreign matter (pieces of hard plastic) contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Food Safety Recall (Sweden): Lidl Sverige recalls Alesto brand Ekologiska Linfrön / Organic flax seeds (500g; Best before 2021-07-08) due to possible Salmonella contamination.

Pet Food Safety Recall (UK – England and Wales): Happy Hounds Wales Ltd. recalls a number of frozen raw dog food products due to possible Salmonella contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands

Food Safety Recall (Israel): Laviton Ltd. recalls multiple package sizes of Artzieli brand Raw Whole Sesame Seed Tahini (Expiration date 19.08.21) due to Salmonella contamination.

Australia and New Zealand

Food Safety Recall (New Zealand): Pak’n Save Blenheim recalls Pak’n Save Blenheim brand sliced in-store ready-to-eat meat products (All batches and ‘packed on’ dates) due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination.