The “EWWW” factor: A customer in Great Britain claims she was served a plate of food that has already been given to someone else. She says the food was already half-eaten, although a restaurant spokesman disputes that. Nonetheless, the incident was trumpeted on social media and even made the newspaper. This is one of those “EWWWWWWWW!” stories that clearly points out how a particularly disturbing food safety slip-up could potentially result in very negative health effects to a formally loyal restaurant patron who consumed food that had been partially eaten by another and then reserved to her. The case also shows that in an age of instant communication through social media, poor management of a food-related event can rapidly affect the brand integrity of an establishment. READ MORE

Botulism outbreak traced to prison-made booze: Last June, the Mississippi Poison Control Center and the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) notified CDC of five suspected cases of botulism, a potentially fatal neuroparalytic illness, in inmates at a medium-security federal correctional institution they called “Prison A”. By June 10, 13 inmates were hospitalized. Prison A staff members suspected that a “homemade” alcoholic beverage, known by inmates as “hooch” or “pruno,” was the source of the outbreak. This botulism outbreak, the largest in the United States since 1978 highlights the clinical spectrum of illness, from total paralysis to cranial nerve complaints not requiring hospitalization. READ MORE 

Stolen pollinators: A Montana beekeeper says thieves got away with 488 beehives he had taken to California to pollinate almond trees. Lloyd Cunniff tells the Great Falls Tribune it appeared the thieves used semitrailers to steal about 190,000 bees between in Yuba City, Calif. He said he was storing the bees on a fellow beekeeper’s property before moving them to Fresno, where he had a contract to pollinate almond trees. Cunniff says the theft will cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars in income. The hives were insured. READ MORE

Avian influenza identified in Montana: Officials in Montana have confirmed a case of avian influenza in a mallard duck harvested by a hunter, although the precise strain has yet to be determined, according to the Montana Dept. of Livestock and the Billings Gazette. Meanwhile, Stephens Inc. analyst Farha Aslam noted in a report that there does not appear to be “imminent risk” to the U.S. broiler industry. READ MORE


Watch out for stealthy solo attacks: A confidential government report says terrorist groups such as the Islamic State have all but abandoned trying to put together huge plots such as the Sept. 11 attacks and warns counterterrorism agencies of a “new landscape” where lone killers strike and massacre quickly thanks to the digital age. The report by the National Counterterrorism Center marks a historical shift that requires the FBI, CIA and other agencies to try to locate the mobile and digital-savvy loner, and not necessarily detect a complex plot. READ MORE

The face of evil: What is it like to stare into the face of evil? James E. Mitchell knows. In his gripping new memoir, “Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying To Destroy America,” Mitchell describes the day he was questioning Khalid Sheik Mohammed, when the 9/11 mastermind announced he had something important to say. Mohammed then launched into a and detailed description of how he personally beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. When asked whether it was “hard to do” (meaning emotionally difficult), Mohammed misunderstood the question. “Oh, no, no problem,” he said, “I had very sharp knives. Just like slaughtering sheep.” READ MORE


Being prepared for emergencies takes time: Toward the end of last year, an Ebola vaccine developed by a group of scientists was proven to be 100 percent effective during a trial in West Africa. Consequently, the inoculation quickly achieved fast-track status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The virus killed more than 11,000 people in 2014, and terrorized countless others as it ripped through parts of West Africa, eventually traveling to the United States. Naturally, the world is cheering the spectacular vaccine results—but it would be a mistake to believe the path to success for this vaccine began in 2014, or that it represents a typical battle in the war that is being fought every day against emerging infectious diseases. READ MORE