Canberra is continuing to crush salmonella but not in a good way

National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System Salmonellosis rates by state and territory accessed 2017-06-12 (Queen's Birthday holiday) Gary Lum

Canberra is continuing to crush salmonella but not in a good way

Medical Fun Facts YouTube

In March I wrote about the rates of Salmonella isolation and infection in Canberra. This was associated with a few outbreaks associated with food outlets.

Today I was tagged in a meme on Facebook about a combination of salmon and Nutella making salmonella. I thought it was pretty funny, so for lunch, I made a salmon wrap and put a jar of Nutella in the background. A blogger friend, Rebecca wrote on Facebook that she hoped I wouldn’t put the two together.

Salmonellosis in Canberra and Australia

It remains a concern that the rates of salmonellosis remain second only to the Northern Territory of Australia and well above the national average.

National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System Salmonellosis rates by state and territory accessed 2017-06-12 (Queen's Birthday holiday) Gary Lum
National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System
Salmonellosis rates by state and territory accessed 2017-06-12 (Queen’s Birthday holiday)

It makes one wonder what it happening in the national capital which boasts of such a food-centric culture.

Salmon and Nutella

Salmon wrap Salmon+Nutella=Salmonella Gary Lum
Salmon wrap
Salmon+Nutella=Salmonella

Did I or didn’t I?

Nope, even I couldn’t bring myself to smear Nutella on salmon. I couldn’t even put it on the wrap. Instead, I laid down some garlic aioli then the shredded lettuce then some tomato and then the salmon. On top of that, I added the remained of the tomato and some spicy bits.

It was a great wrap. I needed two hands to hold it and eat it though.

Medical Fun facts

If you check out my other blog and search for ‘salmonella’ you’ll see some interesting posts.

While you’re there, you’ll see I’ve started a YouTube channel to go with the podcast. Episode 70 will drop tonight at 7 pm Canberra time.

Episode 69 was a bit of a highlight.

How do you like Nutella?

My favourite way of eating Nutella is coated around a spoonful of peanut paste. A treat I love is to take a long parfait spoon and scoop up a large ball of crunchy peanut paste and then plunge that into a jar of room temperature Nutella and coat the peanut paste in the hazelnut chocolate goodness and then lick it off as I watch TV.

How do you like your Nutella?

Starting on a positive

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Birthday treats from work mates

Gumnut patisserie Birthday Vanilla Slice from Kaitlyn for my 52nd birthday Gary Lum

Birthday treats especially at work don’t have Calories! I wish this were true, but who cares. It happens once a year and when you have friends like the ones I have it’s amazing.

It started early when a dear friend brought me my favourite vanilla slice from the Gumnut Patisserie from Bowral. There’s just something amazing in the pastry the way they have a caramel flavour to the flaky pastry.

Gumnut patisserie Birthday Vanilla Slice from Kaitlyn for my 52nd birthday Gary Lum
Birthday Vanilla Slice

Just before lunch (I didn’t eat lunch) another dear friend visited me and gave me a Queensland nut caramel tart from Urban Bean Espresso Bar. I love Queensland nuts (Genus Macadamia), especially on a delicious caramel tart. The best thing is the boys from Urban Bean are all NSW loving cockroach supporters and the friend who gave this to me is a Queenslander!

Urban Bean Espresso Bar Queensland nut birthday cake from Jacinta to me Gary Lum
Queensland nut birthday cake

I attended an executive meeting in the afternoon and a couple of my work mates bought me a cake to share with other members of the meeting. It was a delicious cake with yummy cream. It had a couple of layers separated by cream and jam.

Michele's Patisserie Birthday cake from work friends. I have such great work friends from Sarah and Rosemary for me Gary Lum
Birthday cake from work friends. I have such great work friends.

So I was on a sugar high all day. I wonder what my blood sugar level is.

For dinner, I needed something savoury so I put a piece of baked salmon in a puff pastry parcel along with some Coon cheese. I served it with a Hass avocado (thankfully Hass has replaced Shepard in the supermarkets) mixed with sour cream and chilli flakes.

Birthday baked cheesy salmon parcel with creamy avocado made by me, Gary Lum
Birthday baked cheesy salmon parcel with creamy avocado

In the last few weeks, I’ve alluded to the amazing generosity of my work mates here, here and here.

I love my jobs and I love the people I work with.

I hope your birthdays are as good as mine!

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Medical Fun Facts

I broke a tooth gnawing meat from a beef short rib

I broke a tooth gnawing meat from a beef short rib Gary Lum

Broke tooth gnawing meat from a beef short rib today! This is what happens growing up somewhere without fluoride in the drinking water and having a sweet tooth.

Broke tooth gnawing meat from a beef short rib Gary Lum
Broken tooth

How I broke tooth

Tonight I slowly oven roasted a rack of beef short ribs for dinner. The meat was tender and fell off the bone, although there was a little meat still attached and needed to be gnawed off. That was my downfall.

Good Friday slowly roasted short beef ribs with cabbage and broccoli Broke tooth gnawing meat off a rib Gary Lum
Good Friday slowly roasted short beef ribs with cabbage and broccoli

A childhood deficiency

As much as I loved my childhood and growing up in Brisbane, there was one significant shortcoming. For reasons that baffle me, the government in Queensland and the Brisbane City Council resisted the evidence that fluoride in the drinking water protected teeth against dental caries.

I just can’t understand it. I was always at the dentist getting fillings. The same was true for my brothers and my mother. Elsewhere in Australia, fluoride in the water was protecting the teeth of everyone.

I’m grateful I have a well-paying job and can afford to attend the dentist. I have three ceramic crowns and two white gold crowns and about half of my teeth have had root canal treatment.

Yesterday I mentioned that if I was President of Australia, I’d campaign on a long weekend every month. I think I’d also campaign on fluoridation of drinking water and free vaccination for adults and children against important communicable diseases.

I shouldn’t blame my poor dentition on the lack of water fluoridation alone. I’ve always been fond of sugar-laden food and my dental hygiene hasn’t always been up to par.

Anyway, I’m hoping I can get into a dentist next week to repair the molar that has broken.

How do you feel about fluoridation of the drinking water?

How do you feel about the cost of dental care?

 

 

Workplace generosity Part II Bacon!

Home smoked and cured bacon Gary Lum

Bacon must be a better gift than chocolate at Easter!

Bacon! Mmm…Last night I wrote about workplace generosity and how I marvelled at how I’ve been blessed working in great environments where people bring in food to share. I didn’t anticipate I’d be writing a piece about workplace generosity so soon, but here is part II.

Home smoked and cured

Today I was visiting some colleagues on another floor and someone mentioned bacon and I was given some vacuum sealed home smoked and cured porcine gold. How good is that?

Home smoked and cured bacon Gary Lum
Home smoked and cured bacon

I love bacon. I can’t imagine life without it. It got me thinking. When I was a teenager and a young adult full of ignorance and arrogance if I heard someone didn’t like this manor from heaven I’d make some sort of snide comment.

Ethical, moral and religious objections

I can appreciate that for some people it may be a problem for ethical, moral or religious reasons that they don’t eat the amazing bounty from a pig. There will even be some people who don’t like the salty smoky goodness.

In a glass half full context, rather than be critical or make fun of such people, I’m grateful, because it means there is more bacon for me.

Shout out to Sarah and Choppy

I’d like to do a shout out to a blogger friend, Sarah who regularly comments on bacon as well as her companions Paul, Choppy and Schooner.

Sarah dresses up Choppy and Schooner and hangs signs from Choppy’s neck and places signs in front of Schooner’s paws. Mainly because Schooner will scratch Sarah if she tries to attach anything physically to Schooner.

What’s the plan for the gift?

So the plan at the moment is to make Mac and Cheese tomorrow night and have the bacon in that. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Social media

If you follow Yummy Lummy (my food blog’s) Instagram account you’ll see quite a few examples of workplace generosity.

Feel free to also follow me on my nonfood social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Workplace generosity

Workplace generosity | Portuguese tart Gary Lum

Workplace generosity is a thing to behold and cherish. I’d rather a generous workplace than one which is mean and nasty.

I’ve always been fortunate to work in places where people feel generous and have a desire to share. Often it’s food, sometimes it’s produce from a fruit tree or vegetable garden and occasionally it’s craft.

Today was no different but today was the first time I’ve been given a homemade Portuguese tart.

Workplace generosity | Portuguese tart Gary Lum
Workplace generosity | Portuguese tart

When I was in medical school I used to bake and bring cakes into the laboratory where I worked part-time to put myself through university.

When I was a pathology trainee, I’d bring in a sticky bun on Saturdays.

I’m seriously considering baking again, but I’m really struggling with my weight. Baking is hardly going to help me.

So let me share with you what else I ate today.

For lunch, I had the last of my leftover cauliflower soup. I’m surprised at just how much I enjoyed this soup. I think it may have something to do with how much red chilli and chilli flakes I added. It really gave the soup some zing.

Cauliflower soup Workplace generosity Gary Lum

For dinner, I made panko crusted tail of salmon with pearl barley couscous with some cheesy spicy chilli laden white sauce. I’m really enjoying my renewed love for white sauce.

Panko crusted salmon with pearl barley couscous and cheesy chilli white sauce Workplace generosity Gary Lum
Panko crusted salmon with pearl barley couscous and cheesy chilli white sauce

If you like the look of my dinner it was pretty simple to put together. I added panko breadcrumbs to the plastic bag holding the salmon and shook it up to coat the salmon.

The pearl barley couscous is ready packaged and cooked in the microwave oven for 150 seconds.

The white sauce was made by melting butter in a saucepan with some diced white onion and then some plain flour whisked into form a roux. Full cream milk was added to make a sauce. I took it off the heat and folded in some grated Coon cheese and Parmesan. To that, I folded in some chopped parsley and chilli flakes.

If you follow my food blog Instagram account you’ll see quite a few examples of workplace generosity.

Feel free to also follow me on my nonfood social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Potato scallops and algebra

Battered fish and potato scallops from Jamison Takeaway Gary Lum algebra

Potato scallops and algebra? Whose thought of that together?

I hadn’t until tonight. I’ve been in Melbourne today and my flight to Canberra didn’t land until nearly 7 pm. Way past my tea time. I decided I’d go to Jamison Takeaway and get some fish and potato scallops. I asked for one piece of battered fish and two potato scallops.

Battered fish and potato scallops from Jamison Takeaway Gary Lum algebra
Battered fish and potato scallops from Jamison Takeaway

Where’s the algebra come in?

What I received were one piece of battered fish and three potato scallops. This is not uncommon. In my experience in Queensland, the Northern Territory of Australia and the Australian capital Territory (Canberra), where n is the number requested and what you receive is more often than not n + 1. I’ve also noticed that when the request is n≥5, the number of potato scallops may be n + 2.

How many potato scallops can you eat in one sitting?

If you’re wondering have I have asked for 5 or more potato scallops for myself? The answer is yes. I love them.

I prefer them to chips and like them as much as potato gems (tater tots for my US friends). If it wasn’t for the fact they are deep fried I’d eat them every day, they taste so good.

Were you good at algebra?

What were you like at algebra at school? I didn’t mind it. I ended up doing mathematics but not advanced mathematics at school. That’s because I wanted to do physics, chemistry and biology. I also had to do English and Japanese. Given the choice, I would have done advanced mathematics rather than Japanese but my school wouldn’t allow it. I’ve never used any Japanese in my life.

Why do north Americans say math rather than maths?

Why do north Americans say math? It sounds really odd. In Australia, we say we’re doing maths or we’re going to maths class. It’s the science of mathematics. It ends with an s, so maths makes sense to me.

 

 

Did you know there are no calories in work related meeting food?

No calories in work meeting food Gary Lum

Exactly my friends, when you’re at an all-day work meeting with guests and someone brings out cakes and biscuits, guess what? They’re calorie-free. No calories!

No calories in work meeting food Gary Lum

Sarcasm Tags

Now should I add “sarcasm tags” to a post like this? It’s a pity there’s not sarcasm code for HTML I reckon.

So that should code as:

<sarcasm>Exactly my friends, when you’re at an all-day work meeting with guests and someone brings out cakes and biscuits, guess what? They’re calorie-free. No calories!</sarcasm>

Of Course There are bloody calories!

I mean of course that piece of cake has calories, it’s full of them and given you’re sitting on your arse all day and the only muscles being exercised are those controlling your eyelids. Then there are the biscuits and the ‘healthy’ wraps containing cured meats and sugary salty sauces.

But first coffee Gary Lum

So I spent today in a meeting. It was a good meeting. I ate biscuits, I ate cake and I ate a salami wrap.

How did you spend today?

Canberra is crushing salmonellosis in early 2017

Salmonellosis rates in Australia PER 100,000 for each state and territory Gary Lum crushing salmonellosis

Canberra is crushing salmonellosis in early 2017
Food

 
 
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Crushing salmonellosis is probably not a great headline for the National Capital

Crushing salmonellosis is nothing for Canberra to be proud of but I was surprised when I looked at the figures today for salmonellosis notifications per 100,000 population by state and territory in Australia.

Salmonellosis rates in Australia PER 100,000 for each state and territory Gary Lum crushing salmonellosis
Salmonellosis rates in Australia PER 100,000 for each state and territory (Friday 2017-03-10)

National notifiable diseases surveillance system

You can find the information on the website for the national notifiable diseases surveillance system. Anyone can access the information, you can search by disease by year or jurisdiction and by numbers or rate per 100,000 population.

Is infection by Salmonella a big deal?

Most people who get infected have some sort of gastroenteritis, mainly diarrhoea with lower abdominal pain and sometimes fever. You certainly don’t feel well but most people will recover without treatment. That’s an important point, most people should NOT be treated, I repeat, should NOT be treated. In reasonably healthy adults, treatment with antimicrobials can prolong the carriage of Salmonella in your gut. It’s not the thing you want to have in your guts for a prolonged time.

There are also some risk groups, namely, people who are immunosuppressed, and people at the extremes of ages, especially infants. In these groups, treatment with antimicrobials is advised. In these susceptible groups, invasive disease including meningitis, bacteræmia and septicæmia can occur with death a distinct possibility.

Therefore, Salmonella infection is a big deal for public health officials. It’s why, such a big deal is made of food safety and hygiene in restaurants and places where food is eaten, especially outdoor events when controlled environmental conditions cannot be guaranteed. Anyone with a permit to sell food must take scrupulous care when preparing food and cook it properly.

Final words

Canberra has recently had some well-reported outbreaks of salmonellosis. The reporting is mandatory and it indicates for Canberra this has been a big deal.

A tweep started an exchange with me about this and I don’t think he appreciated the magnitude of the numbers.

 

The take home message is being careful with food preparation.

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Mum and Dad cooked a huge breakfast

Lamb chops with bacon eggs and scones Gary Lum

So after a big day of food on Saturday (go back to lunch and dinner), Mum and Dad cooked a huge breakfast for me and the girls.

Mum and Dad both love cooking and they love sharing how much they love their kids and grandkids by cooking large quantities of food 😃

Their small apartment quickly filled with the aromas of bacon, lamb, and scones.

This is my first breakfast plate. In all I ended up with four lamb chops, I estimate about four eggs worth of omelet and a couple more scones 🤣😂😋

Lamb chops with bacon eggs and scones Gary Lum

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Miss 15 will soon be Miss 16

Pork ribs with prime rib and mashed potato and pepper sauce at Hog's Breath Café, Aspley Gary Lum

My youngest daughter will soon turn 16. We went out for dinner, celebrated over steaks and then had some cake.

Grace, Larissa and Nicola at Hog's Breath Café, Aspley Gary Lum

We went to Hog’s Breath Cafe in Aspley because it’s close and Mum’s food allergies aren’t affected by slowly cooked steak.

I asked for the combination pork ribs and prime rib steak along with double mashed potato with pepper sauce. I did ask for some salad, but the server must have thought I said double mashed potato. I didn’t complain, I like mashed potato, especially with barbecue sauce from the pork and the added pepper sauce I asked for the steak. Often I’ll have the steak with some prawns for a surf and turn but I’d already eaten fish and calamari earlier in the day.

Pork ribs with prime rib and mashed potato and pepper sauce at Hog's Breath Café, Aspley Gary Lum
Pork ribs with prime rib and mashed potato and pepper sauce at Hog’s Breath Café, Aspley

Mum had made a coconut ice coconut cake as a birthday cake. It was really nice. It was moist and full of great coconut flavour.

Nicola and her coconut ice birthday cake Gary Lum

Coconut ice coconut birthday cake Gary Lum
Coconut ice coconut birthday cake

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Grace, Larissa and Nicola at Hog's Breath Café, Aspley Gary Lum