I just finished my speech at the GMA Food Litigation Conference and will be heading to the University of Chicago School of Law shortly.  Tomorrow I will be speaking in upstate Minnesota at the MEHA Conference.  Yesterday I attended the sustainable food conference in D.C. and still am perplexed why food safety was not a major part of the discussion.  Local, organic, sustainable and small farms also need to focus on making sure that their products do not sicken their customers.  They need more than just the platitude  of “know your farmer, know your food.”  At the conference I did get an opportunity to meet the Prince of Wales (who gave a great speech) and Secretary Vilsack who off the record said to me “thank you for helping to make our food safer.”  Secretary Vilsack, you can to make our food a bit safer by deeming various non-O157 STECs adulterants before something like the below happens.

Screen shot 2011-05-05 at 7.30.58 AM.pngFour people died after eating raw beef served at a barbecue restaurant chain in Japan, broadcaster NHK reported Thursday.  Two young boys and two women fell sick and died of food poisoning at restaurants of the Yakiniku-zakaya Ebisu chain in Toyama and Fukui prefectures.

Dozens of other customers have also fallen sick in other prefectures.  The O-111 strain of E. coli bacteria was detected in the bodies of the dead boys, health authorities said.

Sources said a Tokyo meat wholesaler produced the beef exclusively for the barbecue chain.

The wholesaler told health ministry officials the meat was meant to be eaten cooked. They said the beef had been sliced, vacuum-packed and stored in refrigerators.