Botulism’s deadly paralysis may be reversed by novel treatment

A  novel treatment for botulism that may tame the toxin with therapeutics that have the potential to reverse the deadly paralysis — all coming out of Boston Children’s Hospital. The research on mice is being called a “botulism breakthrough” by Science Daily, the first to publish the work.

With fewer than 1,000 confirmed cases a year in the United States, botulism is a rare poisoning caused by toxins produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. It can be fatal and requires immediate emergency medical care.

Botulism can occur in infants, be spread in food, or infect a wound. Symptoms include difficulty swallowing or speaking, facial weakness, and paralysis. The paralysis usually affects muscles used for breathing, making it necessary for patients to be placed on ventilators.

Toxins produced by Clostridium botulinum can become fatal once they get into the neurons because at that point they’ve not been treatable.

These are the … Read more

America’s Independent Bowling Alleys Might Not Make It Through the Pandemic


Alongside restaurants and bars, recreational spaces like bowling alleys are also feeling the pressures of indefinite COVID-19 closures

Up until August of last year, Eric Wells worked as a bartender at Bay View Bowl in Milwaukee. “I’ve worked at so many bars around the country and it was the greatest job I’ve ever had. I love that place so much,” he says, adding that he made more there than any other prior service industry postings. In addition to pouring standard well drinks, bartenders at Bay View are in charge of manning the fryer for items like corn dogs and chicken strips; needless to say, it was a busy job. Wells had many regulars who came just for the bar and for what he describes as its cast of characters.

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Bay View Bowl temporarily closed. But by June, Wells had gone back to … Read more

Resilience in food safety for 2021: Consumer related challenges


Editor’s note: In part two of this four-part series with SafetyChain Software, Food Safety News reviews how food firms can become resilient in the face of 2021’s new challenges, how resilience will be needed in reducing supply chain risks.

Dr. David Acheson, CEO & president of The Acheson Group, suggests that food firms will need resilience when addressing consumer-related challenges in 2021.

Consumer shift away from preservatives
A recent survey found that seven in 10 Americans are concerned about the presence of chemical products in food. The poll by Mérieux NutriSciences and bioMérieux also found that 70 percent of respondents were troubled about pesticides, antibiotics and additives.

Acheson points to preservatives as an issue specifically on consumers’ minds.

“When it comes to appealing to consumers, pure science doesn’t always win. For example, consumers have pushed for a shift away from preservatives recently,” Acheson said. “When these additives are removed … Read more

The Soothing Bento YouTube Videos That Will Inspire You to Get Back in the Kitchen

In a video posted on her YouTube channel, Imamu cuts open a tamagoyaki. | Imamu room

Imamu Room’s weekly bento-making ritual is my new, calming source of inspiration

The YouTube recommendation algorithm is the devil’s handmaiden, but occasionally Satan comes through. A few days ago, the algorithm introduced me to the channel Imamu Room, a Japanese woman’s weekly chronicle of making bentos for her husband in their small kitchen in Canada. In an episode with about two million views, Imamu (she does not use her last name) cooks her way through a week of Spam onigiri, imitation crab omelet, corn rice with a fried mackerel, crispy corn croquettes, and chicken nanban, all of it plated in a handsome wooden bento box, with vegetables stuffed into crevices, with maybe a single umeboshi as an extra decoration.

Two of the episodes (bento week #5 and #7) have over two … Read more

Plan launched to reduce risk of emerging zoonoses

A drive to prevent emerging zoonotic risks and diseases such as COVID-19 has been unveiled and is being led by France.

The Preventing Zoonotic Diseases Emergence (PREZODE) initiative was announced at the One Planet Summit for Biodiversity on Jan. 11. Zoonotic diseases or zoonoses are caused by germs that spread between animals and people and can be foodborne.

Three French institutes have teamed up with 10 other research bodies in France, Germany and the Netherlands on the project that involves more than 1,000 researchers in 50 countries. These institutes are the Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE) and Research Institute for Development (IRD).

Ready to go in 2022
Others involved are the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES), Institut Pasteur, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut in Germany and … Read more