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Food Poisoning – Every Food Business Owners Worst Nightmare

by Andrew Thomson on February 18, 2019

It was probably the raw egg butter: 21 sick with Salmonella, Australia still has an egg problem.

A salmonella outbreak linked to three bakeries in the northern suburbs has left eleven people in hospital.

SA Health has confirmed 21 cases of salmonella have been reported after people ate Vietnamese rolls from three Angkor Bakery stores. Those impacted are 13 to 64 years of age.

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Nicola Spurrier said that of those twenty one people, fourtenn were hospitalised due to the severity of the poisoning.

“Early investigations indicate the cases could be linked to raw egg butter, pate or BBQ pork ingredients.

In an interview with 9News, customer Frank Romeo says he was among those who fell ill after eating a pork roll from one of the Angkor Bakery’s stores.

Mr Romeo says he spent six days seriously ill and visited his doctor three times in one week, he is awaiting test results to confirm if it was salmonella.

“I’ve never been so sick in my whole life, I was contemplating going to the hospital a couple of times,”

“It was just a nightmare, I had full diarrhoea and vomiting non-stop.

“To be hit as hard as I was hit, it is really shocking. I’m still really weak, just trying to get my energy back”

By Friday afternoon all three Angkor Bakery stores had temporarily closed after test results came back confirming there was salmonella contamination at two of their stores. The results have not been released to indicate what food products or surface swabs came back positive for salmonella.

The bakery stores are to be thoroughly cleaned, renovated and staff will be retrained on safe food handling.

An outbreak of food-borne illness linked to a food business can have devastating consequences for a food business itself, employees, suppliers and communities they operate in.

Bakery owner, Lakhina Gung was wiping away tears when she confronted the television news cameras on Thursday afternoon to issue an apology to her customers and then responded to journalist questions about the cause of a salmonella outbreak. Lakhina Gung could not offer an explanation and now she is fearful of the future of her business. Gung declared she has not slept soundly in days.

A related blog Risk Management – Why You Should Care? discusses the risks with not complying with food safety standards.

According to ABC News, SA Health’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Nicola Spurrier stated, “A number of years ago we had a similar problem from this particular bakery and that was investigated and the business was supported in terms of looking at their food hygiene practices.”

Anyone who provides food to the public is responsible for its safety. Fundamental to any business success is having a skilled workforce. 

Managers need to ensure all employees have up-to-date skills to perform their roles. 

Managers and food handling employees need to understand and identify food safety risks and implement strong preventative control measures to prevent food-borne illness outbreaks.  

Consumers demand safe food and its up to everyone working in the food industry to make this happen.

Contact me today to discuss how we can assist your food operation lift its food safety training to the next level. 

*Think ST Solutions acknowledges Dr. Douglas Powell for his contribution to this blog. Dr. Powell is a world authority on food safety and a former professor of food safety at Guelph and subsequently Kansas State University. Dr. Powell has published 70 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and a book. He publishes a weekly food safety update.

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