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Today Japanese police raided a low-price Korean-style barbecue restaurant chain to investigate the deaths of four people from food poisoning after they ate raw beef at its outlets. Police officers searched the head office of the chain’s operator Yakiniku-zakaya Ebisu barbecue chain and its supplier, Food Forus Co in Kanazawa in central Japan.

Ninety diners had fallen sick after eating raw beef at eateries in near Tokyo and on Honshu Island since April 19, the health ministry said, of whom 23 were seriously ill.

E. coli bacteria of the O111 strain were detected in the four fatal cases, the ministry said.

And, by the way, when was the last time that you saw a food executive in the United States get on his or her hands and knees and beg for forgiveness?

  • John Munsell

    Do you remember when an official representing an American meat company or from an association representing the meat industry claimed perhaps 8 months ago that we’ve had zero outbreaks resulting from the non-O157:H7 STECS? I forget the person’s name, but another reader could fill in the blanks. The same claim could have been attempted just prior to the Jack In The Box outbreak.
    Since FSIS misbehaved itself at my plant in 2002, dozens of FSIS employees (both currently employed and retired) have shared their concerns to me that the only way FSIS will be forced to change its failed FSIS-style HACCP Hoax is via a national outbreak killing dozens, and hospitalizing thousands. I’ve always hoped there would be an easier way.
    Even if the agency commences testing for all 7 STEC’s, we will see precious few improvements because FSIS won’t focus its enforcement actions at the SOURCE of contamination (the source slaughter plants), but at the downstream destination further processing establishments. Mark my word, the agency will marginalize the potential lethality of all STEC’s. FSIS intentionally allows STEC’s out of the barn gate, then subsequently goes all out to detect the bugs out in commerce somewhere, and initiates enforcement actions downstream. Therefore, restaurants and retail meat markets will be in the agency’s cross hairs, as well as small USDA-inspected plants. Five years from now, we will still be asking “Why all these ongoing outbreaks?”
    FSIS, take a hint from what is happening in Japan.
    You might also start seriously considering authoring truly meaningful traceback policies.
    John Munsell