2021

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So, what’s with Leafy Greens and E. coli?

Bill Marler

Is there another outbreak brewing? It was about three weeks from now, sixteen years ago, that I was teaching my daughters to surf on the Oregon coast when I got a tip that an E. coli outbreak was brewing. It eventually blew up to the 2006 Dole baby spinach E. coli outbreak that sickened 205 – killing 5. The industry called it their Jack-in-the-Box and their 911. 2006 seems a long time ago, but when I got a tip today that an outbreak – hopefully smaller in size – is coming to a salad bar near

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Why Cybercriminals Target Restaurants and How to Protect Yours

Modern Restaurant Management

Running a restaurant today is a challenging undertaking. Some challenges, like crowded and highly competitive markets and shifting consumer demands, have always been relevant to restaurant owners. Now, as restaurants embrace new technologies, there’s another threat to consider: cybercrime. Cybercriminals are a growing threat to virtually every industry.

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One Stop Shopping for information on E. coli, Hepatitis A, Listeria and Salmonella

Bill Marler

Here are guides – especially for parents – of the four food borne pathogens I see most frequently. E. coli. E. coli are bacteria that can cause serious, sometimes fatal, infections in humans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that E. coli causes 2,000 hospitalizations in the United States each year.Ten percent of E. coli victims develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure, damage to the central nervous system, and ultimately death.

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Marler Clark retained to investigate Pacific Northwest E. coli Outbreak

Bill Marler

9 sick in Snohomish and King counties. All under the age of 15, except one woman in her 20’s. Question: what food items are consumed by kids as young as 1 and someone in their 20’s? The Snohomish Health District announced Tuesday evening that it has identified two cases of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) in Snohomish County residents.

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Medford Oregon area E. coli Outbreak sickens at least 14 with 10 hospitalized – cause unnanounced

Bill Marler

Jackson County Public Health is investigating an unusually high number of Shiga toxin- producing Escherichia coli (STEC) cases. Since August 1, 2021, 14 cases have been reported to Jackson County, and 10 (71%) of these cases have been hospitalized. Urgent Flash Report_Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli_8.22.21. .

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Why it is a bad idea to Poison your customers – two more reasons

Bill Marler

Pre-COVID, I spent at least 5-6 days of any month somewhere in the world preaching the gospel of “why it is a bad idea to Poison your customer.” There are the business reasons – you will likely see a downturn in sales of your leafy green, and I will sue you for millions of dollars on behalf of kids like the below. There is also the moral reason – either of these kids could be your son or daughter or a grandson or grandaughter.

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Remembering Larry King – Salmonella Eggs and Peanut Butter, and E. coli too

Bill Marler

Rest in Peace Larry King. I wrote in my blog that in March 2009 I finally made it to the Blakely, Georgia Peanut Corporation of America plant. Despite being scrubbed a bit in the last few months after the announcement of the outbreak, we still found mice and cockroaches in the plant with several spots where the roof had been clearly leaking. Really little question that any company purchasing product from this plant should have been on notice of the risks had they ever taken the time for a quic

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Salmonella outbreak prompts salad recall

Bill Marler

As of July 14, 2021, eight people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from two states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 10, 2021, to June 15, 2021. BrightFarms today initiated a voluntary recall of packaged salad greens produced in its Rochelle, Illinois (Ogle County) greenhouse farm sold in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

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Barf Blog – A great resource on why we should reconsider Sprouts

Bill Marler

Thank you www.barfblog.com. As far back as September 1998, FDA issued a warning against sprouts urging: Children, pregnant women and the elderly should not eat alfalfa sprouts until growers find a way to reduce the risk of a potentially deadly bacteria that infects some sprouts, the Food and Drug Administration said this week. The FDA, which is investigating sprout industry practices, said children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems should avoid eating sprouts.

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Marijuana recalled in Arizona due to Salmonella and/or Aspergillus

Bill Marler

It was only a matter of time – as commercial marijuana becomes a thing that we would see recalls due to bacterial contamination. We should expect to see the sam in other, especially edible, marijuana products. Multiple Arizona marijuana establishments and dispensaries are initiating a voluntary recall of specific marijuana products due to possible contamination with Salmonella or Aspergillus.

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Canada moves to protect citizens from E. coli-tainted romaine lettuce from the Salinas Valley

Bill Marler

To protect Canadians from possible health risks, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is implementing temporary import conditions for romaine lettuce from the Salinas Valley ( Santa Cruz , Santa Clara , San Benito , and Monterey ) in California for the 2021 growing season. Between September 30 and December 31, 2021, importers of romaine lettuce and products containing romaine lettuce from the U.S. are required to provide proof that the product does not originate from counties in Ca

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December has been a bad month for consumers of Lettuce, Listeria and E. coli

Bill Marler

53 sick, 30 hospitalized, 4 with kidney failure and 3 dead. E. coli and Lettuce 1: As of December 29, 2021, 13 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from six states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from November 27, 2021, to December 9, 2021. Sick people range in age from 4 to 79 years, with a median age of 54, and 92% are female.

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CBC: Romaine recalls: Why our salads can make us sick

Bill Marler

Canada has been hit by a number of romaine lettuce recalls. We set out to the U.S., where the majority of our leafy greens come from, to dig up why E. coli outbreaks continue to plague our food supply. We meet one B.C. family whose lives have been forever changed by a contaminated salad.

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Some thoughts on June 7 – World Food Safety Day

Bill Marler

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with an estimated 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses annually, unsafe food is a threat to human health and economies, disproportionally affecting vulnerable and marginalized people, especially women and children, populations affected by conflict, and migrants.

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CDC:  It is time, past time, to change views on hepatitis A vaccines for food handlers

Bill Marler

I will spare you the list of hepatitis A cases that I have been involved with since 1998 when I represented 30 people exposed in a Seattle, Washington Subway restaurant, including one child who suffered acute liver failure requiring an emergency liver transplant. There have been dozens in the last 23 years, many with tragic consequences. Yet, here we are once again.

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Famous Anthony sickens at least 52 with 31 hospitalizations and 3 deaths

Bill Marler

This afternoon, the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts (RCAHD) announced that RCAHD has identified a total of 50 confirmed primary cases and 2 secondary cases. There have been at least 31 hospitalizations and unfortunately 3 deaths. RCAHD stresses that hepatitis A is a preventable disease. RCAHD urges everyone to consistently practice good hand washing and to consider getting vaccinated, especially if they fall into a high-risk population.

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Pregnancy advice from a Food Safety Lawyer?

Bill Marler

A few days ago, “Down Under” a.k.a. Australia, my friend, food safety guru, and for some strange reason, eater of raw shellfish, Dr. Julian Cox, was speaking about the risk of pregnant women consuming unpasteurized juice or cider and tahini or hummus. The risk to the mother and the baby is Listeria , which can spread from the human digestive tract to the placenta causing miscarriage or birth defects.

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Hey Salmonella, put me out of business – Please

Bill Marler

Some, I am sure are a bit tired of my ranting about the FSIS doing its job and deeming Salmonella that causes human illness an adulterant in meat. Fact, after E. coli O157:H7 was deemed an adulterant in ground beef in 1994, it took about a decade for E. coli illness cases to drop. During that time, we saw the same drop in clients seeking our help. Go figure, the FSIS and the beef industry heeded my call.

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Could Dole and Fresh Express face criminal charges for Listeria Outbreaks?

Bill Marler

Congress passed the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in 1938 in reaction to growing public safety demands. The primary goal of the Act was to protect the health and safety of the public by preventing deleterious, adulterated or misbranded articles from entering interstate commerce. Under section 402(a)(4) of the Act, a food product is deemed “adulterated” if the food was “prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have become contaminated with filth, or whereby it

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Guess what ruins Thanksgiving – you guessed it – Salmonella

Bill Marler

Volume 28, Number 1—January 2022 Dispatch Salmonella Serotypes Associated with Illnesses after Thanksgiving Holiday, United States, 1998–2018. Here is the CDC’s conclusion: Salmonella Reading was the serotype most strongly associated with illness during the Thanksgiving holiday. Given the dramatic increase in turkey consumption around Thanksgiving, one might expect that serotypes we identified are primarily associated with turkey consumption, and indeed, Reading caused a multistate outbreak with

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Six Ways Contactless Payments Improve the Dining Experience

Modern Restaurant Management

The rise in popularity of contactless payments can mean leaner operations, happier staff, and – most importantly – happier customers. Contactless ordering and pay-at-the-table systems had already started gaining a slow-but-steady foothold over the past three years. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened. That, in turn, forced the acceleration of adoption of contactless ordering and payment options from both the consumer and the restaurant sides of the business.

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Three Simple Ways Restaurants Can Embrace IoT in 2022

Modern Restaurant Management

With the new year just around the corner, many restaurants are deciding how they can enhance their operations going forward. While there is plenty of technology out there to optimize your establishment, one food service trend is becoming a mainstay: Internet of Things. Internet of Things, or IoT for short, lets one digital device communicate with multiple devices over an internet connection without human intervention.

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Digital Solutions Keep Restaurant Doors Open

Modern Restaurant Management

Throughout her career, Ellen Linardi has been driven by the passion to build products that help small businesses hold their own against big companies.That desire fueled the Global Head of Product for Clover and her team to help restaurant owners struggling during the pandemic pivot operations and compete in the now digital-first world. In just three weeks, they created a native solution that allowed Clover restaurant merchants to enable online ordering for delivery or curbside pickup.

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Leveraging IoT Solutions to Protect Profit Margins

Modern Restaurant Management

With profit margins ranging on average from three to nine percent , restaurants are continually looking to keep costs down. How do restaurant operators find efficiencies to minimize costs without degrading quality or service? The industry has since entered recovery mode , but returning to pre-pandemic levels won’t be easy. Consumers have shown interest in returning to restaurants, but it’s a slow march, not a cavalcade.

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How Restaurants Evolve in the War for Talent in 2021 and Beyond

Modern Restaurant Management

As we continue to move past the fallout from the pandemic there will be a growing reliance on technology within every aspect of the operation and companies can be ready to take advantage, but they must start now or be left behind. Outside of adapting new technologies to tackle ordering and delivery, one area that is evolving and showing great promise is in the war for talent.

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How Predictive Analytics Can Help Suppliers Overcome Fluctuations in Demand

Modern Restaurant Management

Food service suppliers have been scrambling to keep pace with fluctuating demand in a supply chain that has been anything but predictable since 2020. Total restaurant industry sales in the U.S. hit an all-time low of $30 billion in April 2020. Since then, sales have fluctuated in response to surges of COVID-19 cases, climbing up to $72 billion in August 2021.

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Self-Ordering Kiosks: One Solution to the Current Labor Shortage

Modern Restaurant Management

The food and beverage industry is on a hiring frenzy. With pandemic-related restrictions being eased and dine-in being allowed again, restaurant owners are in need of a lot of staff. The April 2021 Job Openings and Labor Turnover summary issued by The Department of Labor showed that restaurants added almost 350,000 new job openings since March, bringing the sector’s total number of job openings as of April to 1.34 million.

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Four Key Predictions for Restaurant Tech

Modern Restaurant Management

The nature of restaurant management is a pendulum; each year operators swing back and forth to prepare for challenges and take advantage of new opportunities. While 2022 may bring new problems, at its heart, it still follows the same cycle of preparation and prevention. Reviewing the market landscape is a great way to get ahead of the competition. Read on for our key predictions to help operators get a leg up.

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How Solar Power Can Help a Restaurant’s Bottom Line

Modern Restaurant Management

Each year, food waste in the restaurant industry reaches losses that are in the billions. And, while there are multiple points of waste throughout the food supply chain, imagine if it were possible to limit losses due to power outages. What would it mean for a restaurant’s bottom line to keep refrigerators, freezers, ice machines and display coolers running during power outages?

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Is Contactless Forever?

Modern Restaurant Management

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought endless changes to the restaurant industry, but perhaps the most significant has been the rise of the contactless dining experience. The pandemic forced restaurants to adapt to not only a new, leaner business model but also to new consumer behavior. With customers opting for alternatives to dine-in, restaurants adapted to build solutions to offer takeout, delivery and curbside pickup options.

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The Delta Variant: How to Leverage Tech to Sustain Restaurant Recovery

Modern Restaurant Management

Amid all the unknowns COVID-19 has served up over the past year and a half, a few certainties have emerged. Within the hospitality industry, there is universal agreement that restaurants have been through the ringer. And it doesn’t appear the ups and downs of this pandemic will end anytime soon. With delta variant cases surging and a second pandemic winter looming, restaurants are desperately trying to sustain and fuel their recoveries.