Phyllis Entis

Award-winning mystery writer and food safety microbiologist


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My Pandemic Project

I’m not alone in feeling as though this year has lasted forever. The only good thing about the limitations on social gatherings has been the added time freed up for writing.

In January 2007, ASM Press released my textbook, Food Safety: Old Habits, New Perspectives.

In January 2020, ASM Press returned the copyright to my thirteen-year old book to me, giving me the green light to revamp, update and republish the book for the general public.

Today, I am pleased to announce that TAINTED: From Farm Gate to Dinner Plate, Fifty Years of Food Safety Failures is now available for Amazon pre-order. If you prefer a different ebook format, or would rather read a “real” book, don’t despair. TAINTED will be available in paperback and in all ebook formats.

 

Here is a short excerpt from Chapter 15. See No Evil

It was a chocolate lover’s nightmare. The lab was stacked to its acoustical tile ceiling with cases of Christmas Santas, Easter eggs, and Easter bunnies, and we couldn’t so much as nibble an ear. Even the broken crumbs were off-limits. Nor were we tempted to indulge. The novelties had been manufactured by Regent Chocolate and were suspected of containing Salmonella Eastbourne.

I was working in the Winnipeg, Manitoba regional lab of Canada’s Health Protection Branch (HPB) when news of the Salmonella outbreak broke in January 1974. One week later, on February 1st, the FDA announced a voluntary recall of Regent’s foil-wrapped chocolate balls. Because the manufacturer was located in Ste-Hyacinthe, Quebec, more than 1,400 miles [2300 kilometers] away, we didn’t expect to become involved in the investigation. When a dispute arose between company management and government investigators over how much of the chocolate should be recalled, the HPB decided to test every single batch of Regent’s chocolate products stored in warehouses across Canada. 

Our lab was responsible for checking all of the suspect chocolate that was stored in  warehouses in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. We didn’t find Salmonella in any of the samples that we tested, but some of the other regional labs struck paydirt. Ultimately, the company was forced to recall its entire outstanding inventory – a total value of $6 million. The cost of the recall, and the damage to the company’s reputation, was a body blow that broke Regent’s financial back and forced it into bankruptcy protection.

 

Pre-order TAINTED now and it will be delivered automatically to your Kindle reader or Kindle app on December 2, 2020.

Follow me on eFoodAlert, or follow my Facebook author page for updates on how to order TAINTED from other ebook retailers.