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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Melanie: "Your dinner might kill you"


Thanks to Melanie of Bump in the Beltway for this post

Five sickened by local steaks

Claysburg meat processing plant issues recall after
illnesses of Hoss’s customers
By Mark Leberfinger,

Five customers at Hoss’s Steak & Sea
House, including two people in Centre County
[Pennsylvania], were sickened by E. coli bacteria last
month, events that triggered a voluntary recall by a
Claysburg meat processing plant, federal and state
officials said late Friday.

The illnesses were linked to steak products produced
at HFX Inc., a company related to Hoss’s Steak & Sea
House, which voluntarily recalled about 260,000 pounds
of beef products because of possible contamination.
The beef was pulled off shelves after a test from
eastern Pennsylvania came back positive for E. coli.

“The bottom line is that food safety is very
important, and the well-being of our customers comes
first,” Hoss’s spokesman David Fuscus said.

The recall follows E. coli-related illnesses of five
people at Hoss’s locations in Centre, Dauphin, Venango
and York counties between March 24 and 29, state
Health Department spokesman Richard McGarvey said.

E. coli is a potentially deadly bacteria that can
cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration.

The very young, seniors and people with compromised
immune systems are the most suspectible to foodborne

safe is our food? Recalls raise concern about the capacity of food inspection agencies

The Patriot Ledger

Helena Hunt feeds her family a lot of
fresh vegetables. She does so knowing they’re
nutritious, but not always knowing if they’re safe.

‘‘I’m pretty careful about what I eat,’’ said the
Brockton mother, who was having lunch in the food
court at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree last week.
‘‘I’m very aware of (food safety) and I do take extra

Hunt threw out bags of spinach last year when news
came of an E. coli outbreak that killed three people,
and she washes her produce carefully. Still, she

Hunt has reason for concern, according to consumer
advocates and government watchdogs who point to the
nation’s system for inspecting food and other products
and pronounce it to be woefully inadequate.

Recalls, more than 5,000 last year, are symptoms of a
system that is overtaxed, overworked and under
staffed, those critics say.

Some of the particulars the critics point to:

- The federal Food and Drug Administration,
responsible for overseeing more than 126,000 domestic
food producers, according to one consumer group, has
fewer than 1,300 inspectors to do that job, and has
long been inadequately funded.

- posted by Melanie

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