Press Release – Salmonella Saintpaul Outbreak in SE Michigan

22 04 2009

From a Department of Community Health press release.

Salmonella Saintpaul Outbreak in Southeast Michigan Involving Sprouts

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is
issuing a public health alert regarding illness from Salmonella
infections among people who have reported raw alfalfa sprouts
consumption in southeast Michigan. At this time, MDCH is recommending
that people avoid consumption of raw alfalfa sprouts until we have
further information about the origin of the contaminated sprouts.

Michigan currently has 16 confirmed Salmonella Saintpaul cases from six
jurisdictions in southeast Michigan (Livingston, Macomb, Oakland,
Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties; City of Detroit).  The illness onset
dates range from Mar 23 to April 6, 2009.  There have been two known
hospitalizations. Ten of the 16 people reported consumption of raw
alfalfa sprouts at sandwich shops in southeast Michigan.

MDCH is working closely with local health departments, the Michigan
Department of Agriculture (MDA), the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to
determine the source of the outbreak. The Michigan cases are presenting
the same genetic fingerprint as uncovered in the Midwest earlier this
year, which resulted in a recall of alfalfa sprouts.

“Anyone who eats raw sprouts may be at risk for exposure to
Salmonella or E. coli O157:H7 bacteria,” said Dr. Gregory Holzman,
chief medical executive for MDCH.  “We want to alert people to the
risk of illness with the consumption of raw sprouts.”

Sprouts are the germinating form of seeds and beans and are frequently
eaten raw in sandwiches and salads. Past sprout-related outbreaks of
foodborne illness have been linked to seeds contaminated by animal
manure in the field, during storage, or as a result of poor hygienic
practices in the production of sprouts. In addition, the warm and humid
conditions required to grow sprouts are ideal for the rapid growth of
bacteria.

Salmonellosis is an infection with bacteria called Salmonella. Most
persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal
cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7
days, and most people recover without treatment. The elderly, infants,
and those with weak immune systems are more likely to have a severe
illness. Anyone who has recently eaten raw alfalfa sprouts and is
experiencing symptoms should contact their healthcare provider and their
local health department.





Press Release – Joan Bauer Comments on Hunter’s Bill

22 04 2009

From a House Democrats press release –

Bauer Joins the Fight for Smoke Free Air by 2010

Legislation would put smoke-free workplace in the hands of voters

LANSING – The Michigan State Senate today introduced a plan that will place the smoke-free workplace issue on the statewide ballot for Michigan voters to consider in 2010.

If approved by both chambers, Senate Bill 469 would ask state voters to decide the fate of an issue that has been debated in the legislature for more than a decade. The bill, introduced by State Senator Tupac Hunter (D-Detroit) is comprehensive in its definition of workplaces, and includes restaurants, bars, tobacco specialty shops and casinos.

“I am confident that Michigan voters will embrace smoke-free air legislation,” said State Representative Joan Bauer (D-Lansing). “I would hope that my colleagues and I can take the proper steps to protect workers before the November 2010 election season by passing HB 4341, which I introduced earlier this year.”

Michigan voters on have been polled on smoke-free workplaces three times in the past five years and each poll has shown consistent support for the issue at or above 66 percent.

 





Press Release – Senator Proposes Referendum on Smoking Ban

22 04 2009

Here’s a new twist.  Senator Tupac Hunter (D-Detroit) is proposing putting the smoking ban on the 2010 ballot.  This seems, to me, a drastic change from what the Detroit contigency has been saying about the ban.  I would be willing to bet that IF this question makes it to the ballot, it would pass overwhelmingly….so for that reason, I wouldn’t expect it to make it out of either chamber.

Hunter Introduces Bill to Put Smokefree Workplace Issue on the Statewide BallotBill would create ballot proposal to let voters–not special interests–decide if workplaces should go smokefree

 

LANSING- Tupac Hunter (D-Detroit) introduced a bill today that would put the issue of smokefree workplaces on the 2010 statewide ballot. Under this legislation, the ballot proposal would call for all worksites to be smokefree and not include exemptions for restaurants, bars, or casinos.

“For the past 10 years, the Legislature has tried and failed to pass a smokefree worksite bill that would protect our citizens from smoking-related diseases,” said Sen. Hunter. “Instead of continuing to argue about exemptions and concessions, we need to go to the voters and let them decide what is best for Michigan.”

Data from the New York City Department of Finance shows that tax receipts increased by 8.7 percent, or approximately $1.4 million, after the city went smokefree. Between March 2003, when the city went smokefree, and December 2003 there were 10,600 new jobs in its bars and restaurants. Florida saw similar results, and reported that retail receipts for taverns and bars that served food remain unaffected by its smokefree law.

“For my entire legislative career, I have fought on behalf of a majority of Michigan’s citizens who feel Michigan workplaces should be smokefree, only to have my concerns fall on deaf ears or be drowned out by special interests,” said Sen. Ray Basham (D-Taylor), a cosponsor of the bill and longtime advocate for smokefree workplaces. “I had hoped to protect the health of Michigan workers through state legislation, but I am confident that if we let the people of Michigan decide at the ballot box, we can finally move Michigan forward on this issue.”

Recent studies show that nearly 2/3 of Michigan voters support a workplace ban that includes bars and restaurants. Unfortunately, Michigan remains one of the 15 states left that has yet to pass legislation to create smokefree workplaces. Thirty-five states have already passed similar legislation to protect their workers form deadly exposure to secondhand smoke, including Ohio, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota.





KFC Grilled Chicken

22 04 2009

Well, I didn’t plan on being home again last night, so I had nothing prepared for dinner.  Stupid rain screwing up my work schedule.  I started going through the cupboards to find food when J e-mailed me and said we should try KFC’s news grilled chicken.  It sounded good to me, so about a half hour before she’d be home for dinner, I headed to the KFC on South Cedar Street to pick up a bucket.

A fairly empty bucket of KFCs new grilled chicken

A fairly empty bucket of KFC's new grilled chicken

When I walked in, I was met by a clerk yelling from behind the counter that they were out of dark meat.  Yes, KFC, a chicken place, was out of chicken.  She just said they were out of original and extra crispy and didn’t say anything about the grilled chicken so I waited in line while a few other customers yelled at this poor girl for not having chicken.   I mean, really, it’s not her fault.  She’s not a manager.  She’s not a cook.  She was the poor girl who got stuck at the front register.  Apparently, KFC is running a special on an all dark meat bucket and they got swamped at dinner time and couldn’t keep up. 

When it was my turn to order, I asked if they had the grilled chicken.  She said she’d check and mistook that I wanted an all dark meat bucket.  She told me there wasn’t enough, but when I said I’d rather have the mixed bucket anyway, there was actually enough so I put in an order for the 8-piece meal which included two sides and biscuits.

I paid and waited for my chicken to come up and again, got the pleasure of seeing a number of @*&holes yell at this girl for something she had no control over.  Yeah, it sucks that you’re dinner plans just got ruined, but don’t be a jerk about it. 

Anyway, I grabbed my chicken then went home to wait for J.  I opened up the bucket and was a little disappointed.  It didn’t look anything like it does in the commercial.  The bucket was mostly empty.  At first, I thought I got shorted, but as I pulled the pieces out, I counted eight.  I didn’t get cheated, but the grilled chicken pieces are much smaller than the fried pieces.

A KFC grilled chicken breast

A KFC grilled chicken breast

While I was waiting for J, I ate the whole box of potato wedges which were much better than I remembered.  I felt bad about not waiting for J, but they were good and I was hungry.

When she finally did get home, we dug into the chicken.  It did have a nice grilled flavor, but it seemed a little greasy or slimy to me.  The size was the biggest disappointment.  I ate a whole breast in two bites.  J really liked it and didn’t seem to notice or mind the faults I found with it.  It’s definitely something we would order again, but it’s not going to replace fried chicken.  The healthier option is nice and I hope it sticks around, but it’d also be nice if they could find an efficient way to grill bigger pieces or, at the very least, charge a little bit less for the grilled chicken.  The two sides (I got potato wedges and mac ‘n cheese), biscuits (which are good, but not as good as Popeye’s) and eight pieces of chicken set me back just over $13.  Not a bad prices for a meal that left us with lunch for tomorrow, but not as good of a deal as the fried chicken.