Mould Poisoning In Tel Aviv

asian-1238668_1920If you are like me you like shellfish in all forms, shapes and sizes. I just cant get enough shellfish, particularly shrimps, squid and lobster. Personally, I think that shellfish are one of the best food sources available. They are almost all protein, no fat and almost zero cholesterol. What could be better?

But wait. Before you let yourself dash off to the nearest seafood restaurant here are a few things that you should know about your favourite tasty morsel. Shellfish are one of the most dangerous of all forms of food. That’s right, you heard me well, one of the most dangerous and for several reasons.

Firstly, even if you are one hundred percent sure that the shellfish in question is completely fresh, there is still the question of seafood allergies to consider. Shellfish have one of the highest counts of allergic reaction rates per capita. The reason for this is precisely because shellfish are constituted primarily of protein. Most of our immune responce reacts to proteins and the reason for that is because our antibodies are themselves proteins and they are designed to seek out foreign invaders who’s skeletal walls are made of protein.

One of our antibodies, which is known as “I.G.E” causes very acute responses of the immune system. One such immune response is anafilactic shock. If a protein from a shellfish is recognized as an alien threat and becomes attached to I.G.E. antibodies, a potentially fatal chain of reactions may be set into effect.

So, say a person would like to try shellfish for the first time, how could he test if he has an allergic response? One simple option is to take a piece of the shellfish after it has been cooked and to rub it onto the inside of the lower lip. If you are allergic the lip will either swell up, tingle or produce a burning sensation. One may also feel internal side effects such as tightness of breath, facial swelling, excessive salivation,sweating and drop in blood pressure which may cause vomiting , dizziness or red rashes over extensive areas of the body. If that is the case, seek medical treatment immediately in a hospital and don’t go anywhere near shellfish, they are not for you.

Up to now I have talked about allergic reaction to the protein in fresh and untainted shellfish. There is, however a different kind of allergic reaction that one can get from shellfish. It may be of little consequence to the sufferer how he got his allergic reaction but the difference is important from medicinal and scientific perspectives. One may  suffer an allergic reaction to bacterial toxins and/or to waste products of bacteria within the shellfish itself. This is important because the person affected from such bacterial substances may not be allergic to shellfish at all per say and had it not been for the bacterial activity, no reaction would have been encountered at all.

The other danger concerning shellfish is that of bacterial infection. Shellfish are a very easy target for bacteria because a) they contain a high percentage of water and b) they are made up of protein which are an excellent source of food for many dangerous forms of bacteria such as the clostridium genus. Shellfish become contaminated up to ten times more quickly than most other forms of food.

This means that we need to take great care when dealing with shellfish. Shellfish are safest when bought frozen. The reason for this is  they are caught by trawler ships which are really floating factories and they are frozen and packed within minutes of being caught on production lines which are maintained at a constant ambient temperature of four degrees celcius. In conditions such as these the likelihood of contamination is as near to zero as it is possible to get.

So how do you prepare frozen shellfish? My advise is not to thaw frozen shellfish. Boil water and throw them into the boiling water. Cook them until  your crustaceans have changed color and all of them have turned pinky orange in color. Take them out of the water without cooling them at all and after allowing them to drain mix instantly with your pre cooked sauce, while the sauce is still boiling. Serve sizzling hot.

Never allow shellfish dishes to cool and I strongly advise against re heating shellfish dishes, including Paella. Keep it simple and safe, thats the key. In the case of frozen clams, mussels, winkels and such like, discard any that have not opened during the cooking process.

When buying fresh shellfish you should always ensure that the creatures are still alive. If they don’t move, don’t buy. Shells like clams should be closed and you should see them tighten the pressure of the closure when you tap the shell. Do not buy any that don’t react. Personally I like to buy directly from the fishing boats right after they have docked. That way I am one hundred percent sure that they are absolutely fresh. Definitely do not by anything that is not stocked in crushed ice.

One trick that a lot of merchants use and you should look out for is to splash fresh sea water over shellfish and other forms of fish. The reason they do this is so that the merchandise had a fresh sea smell that will make it more difficult for you to recognize other bad smells that might be present on fish and shellfish that has not been stored properly and has been outside for an extended period of time. Watch out for this. If you sea a bucket of water near a stand, you will now know it’s purpose.

Shellfish should be cooked in a sauce which is tart, peppered and salted to taste. All of these qualities will lower the Ph of the shellfish and lessen the risk of bacterial growth.  Avoid adding leaf herbs to shellfish because leaf herbs have bacteria on them which may contaminate your food.

All spices and herbs, if used, should be fried in oil at the beginning of the preparation of the sauce. This way, any bacteria in the spice or on the herb will be killed by the heat of the oil.

Follow these basic principles and you should stay out of shellfish hell.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Below you will find a list of things to check when you go into a restaurant.  Restaurants vary in standard and we all have a tendency to make allowances and overlook ceratain bad points in the places we like to eat because there is something about particular establishments that keeps us coming back for more.

Many of these reasons are emotional and they tend to cloud the true picture of where and what we are eating. We may have family working at a certain restaurant or we may remember a romantic date we had there or it may have been highly recommended by a close friend. Whatever the reason we should try to keep a certain level of objectivity about where we eat. Go through the list below and see if you really look at the place you eat with a truly objective perspective.

Try to memorize as many of the points as you can and look for these points when you next go to your favorite eating house. See how high it scores. If the score is low you might want to consider finding somewhere new to eat out because you might well be risking your health.

1. Was the parking lot clean?
Please select one: YES / NO
Please select one of the ratings below:
1       Unsatisfactory
2       Satisfactory
3       Excellent 
2. Has the parking lot been maintained?
Please select one: YES / NO
Please select one of the ratings below:
4       Unsatisfactory
5       Satisfactory
6       Excellent 
3. Was parking easily available?
Please select one: YES / NO
Please select one of the ratings below:
7       Unsatisfactory
8       Satisfactory
9       Excellent 
4. How far did you have to walk from your car to the entrance?
Please select one of the ratings below:
1       Too Far
2       An acceptable distance
3       Not far
5. Is the parking lot and enterance lighted properly?
Please select one. YES / NO
Please select one of the ratings below:
1       No Lighting
2       Satisfactory
3       Well Lit

6) Were there any unpleasant smells outside or around the establishment?
Please pick an answer:
1) slightly unpleasant
2) moderately unpleasant
3) very disagreeable
Inside Appearance and impressions.
1. What was your first general impression as you looked around the inside of the establishment?
Please select one of the ratings below:
10 Unsatisfactory
11 Satisfactory
12 Excellent
2. Were the tables cleaned and bussed properly?
Please select one of the ratings below:
13 Unsatisfactory
14 Satisfactory
15 Excellent
3. Were the floors clean?
Please select one of the ratings below:
16 Unsatisfactory
17 Satisfactory
18 Excellent
4. Were the windows clean?
Please select one: YES / NO
Please select one of the ratings below:
19 Unsatisfactory
20 Satisfactory
21 Excellent
5. Were the counters clean?
Please select one. YES / NO
1-10, 10 being the best
q1     1
2       2
3       3
4       4
5       5
6       6
7       7
8       8
9       9
10 10
6. Were the napkins and straws stocked and orderly?
Please select one of the ratings below:
22 Unsatisfactory
23 Satisfactory
24 Excellent
7. Were the condiments stocked and in order?
Please select one. YES / NO
Please select one of the ratings below:
25 Unsatisfactory
26 Satisfactory
27 Excellent

8) Were there any unpleasant smells in the establishment?
Please pick an answer:
1) hardly noticable
2) unpleasant
3) disagreeable
Customer Service
1. Were you greeted when you entered the establishment?
Please select one. YES / NO
2. Were the employees helpful and courteous?
Please select one. YES / NO
Please write any additional comments:
3. Were the employees friendly?
Please select one. YES / NO
Please select one of the ratings below:
1       Not Very Satisfactory
2       Very Satisfactory
4. Were the employees clean and dressed appropriately?
Please select one. YES / NO
1) Immaculate
2) acceptable
3) questionable
4) poor
5. Did the employees have nametags?
Please circle one. YES / NO 
Quality of Food
1. How was the quality of the food?
Please select one of the ratings below:
28 Unsatisfactory
29 Satisfactory
30 Excellent 
2. Was the hot food hot?
Please select one. YES / NO
Please select one of the ratings below:
1       Warm
2       Room temperature
3       Cold 
3. Was the cold food cold?
Please select one. YES / NO
Please select one of the ratings below:
4       Warm
5       Room temperature
6       Cold 
4. How was the presentation of the food?
Please select one of the ratings below:
31 Unsatisfactory
32 Satisfactory
33 Excellent

5. Were there any unpleasant smells coming from the food?
Please answer: yes/no 
1. Were the restrooms clean?
Please select one. YES / NO
Please select one of the ratings below:
34 Unsatisfactory
35 Satisfactory
36 Excellent

2. Were the paper products stocked in the restroom?
Please select one. YES / NO
Please select one of the ratings below:
37 Unsatisfactory
38 Satisfactory
39 Excellent
3. Was the soap/lotion dispenser stocked in the restroom?
Please select one YES / NO
Please select one of the ratings below:
40 Unsatisfactory
41 Satisfactory
42 Excellent
4. Did the restrooms smell clean?
Please select one. YES / NO
Please select one of the ratings below:
43 Unsatisfactory
44 Satisfactory
45 Excellent

Add to Technorati Favorites

WHO Finds E Coli in tomatoes in several palaces around the world, proving that vegetable are being grown on cheap sewer water.

People around the world may be at risk from tomatoes and other veg. grown on sewer water.  National health authorities who may be importing from certain countries will have to heighten their alert and inspect all vegetable imports, particularly tomatoes, cucumbers, citrus fruit, strawberries, melons and water melons, peppers and other types of staple veg. Water shortages and the heightened cost of fresh water in many regions is making crop growers  seek cheaper irrigation alternatives to avoid rising costs.

In view of this news, it may be wise for people travelling to warm arid climates or anywhere in the third world,  to avoid purchasing vegetables from open markets and roadside stands. Supermarket chains, hotels and established restaurants might be more careful about ruining there reputations through the purchase of contaminated foods.

Add to Technorati Favorites

A new scheme is being implemented in the UK that will give consumers the opportunity to evaluate food hygiene standards in restaurants that they might be thinking of visiting.

Until now, information about food outlet businesses has not been privy to the general public. Authorities preferred to keep this information classified and under strict lock and key. This turn about in policy is now considered to be vital information for public “food” health & safety. The name “scores on doors” has been chosen for the scheme as scores will be given to food business and which will, hopefully, be an accurate indication to health and safety standards within any specific establishment.

 The scheme organizers also hope that this “points scored” scheme will give restaurants and other food service outlets an incentive to maintain better levels of food hygiene.

 The authority running the scheme is the FSA or the UK Food Standards Agency. Some local authorities, however, will be running their own variation of the scheme.

 The initial pilot scheme will include some 60 out of 400 local authorities within  the United Kingdom. Each of the various authorities will adopt  a different approach to the subject. It is hoped that by evaluating the different approaches adopted by the various authorities, the FSA will be able to judge which approach was most successful. It may, however, become clear that a variety of approaches may need to be adopted to best address the different areas of the suject of  food hygiene.

 At the end of the pilot trial it is hoped that the scheme will be adopted by all 400 local authorities within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the anual number of food poisoning cases will fall dramatically.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Doctors in Tel Aviv hosptials were shocked by the arrival of 85 people to hospital, all showing signs of some sort of classic toxin poisoning and allergic reactions.

Staff at the three Tel Aviv hospitals were further amazed to discover that all 85 people seemed to live in close proximity to one another. Toxicological tests were performed on blood and stool samples of all the victims. Labotatory staff were hightly surprized to find that all showed clear signs of  food mould poisoning.

All the patients were admisistered antidotes to the toxin and are expected to make a full recovery within several days.

Hospital authorities informed Tel Aviv police and public health officials about this potentially lethal development. Investigation of the patients by police showed one thing in common to all of them. All had bought flaky pastry products at a local bakery.

On investigation of workers and the owner of the bakery, police officials discovered that one of the workers had forgotten to put part of a consignment of pastry into the freezer and had left it in a service room for four days.

The pastry thawed and mould grew on the pastry rolls. Not wanting to throw the pastry out, the owner of the business had instructed staff to scrape the mould off as best they could and to use it for the manufacture of the days poducts.

The unsuspecting public eagerly bought the pastry and ate it suspecting nothing. Soon after all of them showed signs of food poisoning and arrived at three of Tel Avivs hospitals for treatment.

The department of public health in Tel Aviv are bringing charges against the bakery owner and have closed the bakery down until further notice.

© 2023 Food Hygiene Essentials