Deli Slicer - The ultimate food poisoning machine?

Food Safety Roundup 10th June 2014

Food safety in Australia

It is always good to get to the end of a long weekend and not have food poisoning the lead story in the news. Given that last year the two big out breaks were during Melbourne Cup Day and Mother’s Day, I think the queen did quite well to celebrate a birthday without a dose of Montezumas Revenge. Not that it was the Queen’s birthday, and could you imagine being the restaurant that poisoned the queen?

Food safety around the world

Deli slicers – the ultimate food poisoning machine


Deli Slicer - The ultimate food poisoning machine?

Deli Slicer – The ultimate food poisoning machine?

Imagine a machine that could deliver a thin layer of salmonella across slices of ham and salami. From there it could nicely feast on meat that would not be cooked or heated. What an incredibly efficient way to deliver food poisoning.

And the Washington State Department found such an incredibly efficient device when the investigated an outbreak of Salmonella poisoning linked to a franchise of a national sandwich chain. Upon dismantelling the meat slicer they discovered a build up of black slime made up of decomposied bits of meat and other food. It has made its way through broken seals and was an untouchable mass of rotting meat.

Soaking the slicer in heavy duty sanitizing solution was not having an impact. That wasn’t to say that it wasn’t being removed because it was slowly leaching away onto the food.

Their investigation then widened to other stores and the problem was found over and over. The laws changed and machines have now improved, but old machines still exist.

The full story can be found at While this is a US based story, the warning is still there for delis and supermarkets in Australia.

Another mad cows disease victim dies in the US

The fourth confirmed death due to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) was announced this week.

But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Texas Department of State Health Services are saying the infection was likely to have occured while the victim was in Europe or the Middle East.

In one sense it is meant to bring calm (“it’s ok to eat your giant Texan steak”) but at the same time it’s saying that anyone who travelled in Europe or the Middle East over the last couple of decades could have a ticking time bomb in them. Now I’m regretting that hamburger I had in a London stopover.


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