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6/19/2012 12:01:00 AM
County supervisors split, approve new food-handling regs
Scott Orr/The Daily Courier
Juliana Goswick and her 13-year-old son, Jacob, of Prescott Valley, told the Board of Supervisors that an E. coli infection sent him to the hospital in 2006. The board voted in favor of new regulations Monday.
Scott Orr/The Daily Courier
Juliana Goswick and her 13-year-old son, Jacob, of Prescott Valley, told the Board of Supervisors that an E. coli infection sent him to the hospital in 2006. The board voted in favor of new regulations Monday.
Scott Orr
The Daily Courier

COTTONWOOD - A young man's story about becoming sick from tainted food was moving, but Yavapai County Supervisor Chip Davis attributed his change of heart over adoption of the 2009 FDA Food Code Monday morning to the effect it will have on local business.

When Brian Supalla, county health program manager, first presented potential adoption of the code on June 4 at a "courtesy public hearing," Davis and Supervisor Carol Springer spoke strongly against it, with Davis calling the new regulations "burdensome." Davis told Chairman Tom Thurman to leave it off the agenda for Monday's meeting, since it was clear that neither he nor Springer would vote for it.

But Thurman took the issue to the county Board of Health meeting the following day and asked those board members how they felt - did they believe it should be adopted, or was it too much regulation?

The board members said they believed it should be adopted, and Thurman put it on the supervisors' agenda. This time, Supalla, who expected a rubber stamp of approval two weeks ago, was prepared for the questions the supervisors had fired at him the first time.

He explained the five new regulations that the new food code would add, and made sure to mention that some provisions had actually been relaxed to make things easier for food handlers. He said that, although rare hamburgers were prohibited from being offered on children's menus, parents could still order them for their kids, if they wish.

Supalla also had polled full-service restaurant owners, and found that most national franchises had already adopted the 2009 FDA Food code, "and the other national brands that haven't adopted the 2009 code are moving in that direction."

Most locally owned restaurants, which he called "mom-and-pop" operations, said they already refuse to undercook food intended for children. "All said they would have no problem with the change, and several of them said they would actually welcome it," Supalla said.

Jacob Goswick, a 13-year-old Prescott Valley boy, and his mother, Juliana, testified to the board about Jacob's experiences when he was infected with E. Coli in 2006.

"I got sick from spinach with E. coli," he said. At the time he was first taken to Yavapai Regional Medical Center and from there he was airlifted to Phoenix Children's Hospital.

"My colon stopped working," he said. "My kidneys continued to deteriorate. I went into complete renal failure and I needed dialysis," and multiple blood transfusions.

Finally, after about a month, his kidneys began working again, and a month after that, he was sent home. "I am lucky I recovered the way I have," Jacob said.

"It's still painful to talk about this," Juliana said. "It stole a year from (Jacob's) life.

"It was a horrendous experience."

Jacob's E. coli exposure came from prepackaged spinach, prepared at home.

Davis had a change of heart. "I believe Supervisor Springer's concern at the last meeting was, 'Are we unnecessarily reaching the long arm of government into private business?'"

But, he said, the fact that some of the new rules made procedures easier for restaurants, "and I think that gives us some balance that we're not just continually adding new regulation."

"I still have a problem with this," said Springer, referring to new produce-handling rules found in the code. "Lots of restaurants have salad bars, and we still don't have any recent records of people getting sick from them."

Supalla reminded her that most people who become ill from tainted food don't go to a doctor.

"If we have a major problem, then, yes, change it," she said. "There's always going to be a small number of people who get sick but, I'm sorry, I think (regulators) have gone too far," she finished, to applause from the audience.

Davis moved to adopt the code and Thurman seconded, saying that, since the county's Food Service Council supported the change, he would, too.

The vote was 2-1, with Springer dissenting.

Related Stories:
• Young E. coli victim to speak to supervisors on food safety

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, June 21, 2012
Article comment by: Thank you Juliana

...for responding with grace and transparency. It's easy to be critical and nasty while anonymously hiding behind a keyboard. I suspect many of these commenters would not do as well in the public eye. Keep up the good work.

William HInks

Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Article comment by: Couldn't Resist

That's fine Juliana, but what's it got to do with how a restaurant cooks a hamburger? You didn't say a single word about hamburgers. All you talked about was the super-mega-resistant salad that apparently only you were unlucky enough to get ahold of in our community. According to your information, there's nothing anyone can do to avoid falling victim to that form of ecoli anyway, so what's the point of making more rules for restaurants to follow regarding that specific form of contamination? That's a matter for the farmers and processors!

Why does this just seem like more misguided policy in the name of "helping" folks? I guess because it is.

Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Article comment by: Harold Wise

@ BILL.....I am glad you want to discuss the real problems in District 5. So lets do just that! We have a Municipality that is hell bent on continuing to spend money and raise taxes. When you have a rusty monument designed by a town council based on the WOW factor, which , by the way is the most inefficient building in Yavapai County and it still leaks and ALWAYS will.P.V. gets most of the County money instead of it going to fix roads and neighborhoods outside of the town limits. The area north of 89a in District 5 has a lot of upset people , they feel they are in no mans land and can't get their roads taken care of. Then you have Diamond Valley, who have had problems getting their neighborhood cleaned up and code enforcement. When the County has money to GIVE to feel good causes instead of providing the basic services for ALL the constituents, then we do have a problem in Jack Ass Flats

Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Article comment by: Rachel A.H

@Bill Williams, Why don't you write as the liberal DEMOCRAT you are!! I guess you are going to try to become the blog king. Well I have news for you, you will have to out blog Tom Steele and that won't be easy LOL

Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Article comment by:

After reading all the comments made on this subject the answer seems simple. Darwin. Take it however you like.

Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Article comment by: Bill Williams

memo to Harold Wise:
Why don't you stop writing prose (or whatever that thing you wrote is categorized as) and start opining about issues important to your constituents?

Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Article comment by: Juliana Goswick

The above comments have inspired me to clarify the many misconceptions that are held by the many misinformed members of our community.

My son Jacob was sickened by e coli tainted spinach that was the result of widespread contamination throughout our nation in 2009. Our horrific experience was not caused by an "out of date" bag nor my cooking skills that has been so coldly suggested by some of you. ( I actually hold a culinary degree as well as a County Food Handler certificate).

Cattle that is force fed grain was actually responsible for the acid resistant e coli found in the contaminated spinach bag that sickened my son. As the cattle defecate, rainwater caused contamination in a nearby spinach field. The e coli actually became a part of the plant when the rain water was taken in by the plant's root system. Therefore no amount of scrubbing or washing would have changed the outcomes experienced by so many families across the country during the outbreak that sickened and killed so many people-many of whom were children and older adults. The factory farm distribution center further complicated the problem by scattering the infected spinach leafs into different bags and delivering them to various states. I was the unlucky mother who chose that particular bag at the grocery store. Despite my knowledge of foodborne illness and safety, I will always struggle knowing I was the one who served the spinach to my son.

I will restate what I said to the BOS on Monday June 18th: This is not a political issue or an issue about Big Government. It is an issue of protecting our community children. Whether a child eats tainted spinach or a tainted rare hamburger-the effect is the same. There will be a risk of pancreatitis, ileus, blood transfusions, renal failure, dialysis, surgery, seizure, permanent blindness and dehydration. The risk is real, life threatening, painful and forever life changing.

We are thankful for our county health department who swiftly and accurately isolated the DNA molecule from the spinach bag and linked it ( by the code on the product) to the widespread e coli national outbreak. We will always be grateful for our son's medical care at YRMC and Phoenix Children's Hospital.

I am also thankful for the above comments. They have clearly demonstrated that much work is still needed to keep our community well-informed of the risks of foodborne illness. I strongly encourage you to all become safe food advocates. Care about what is sold and served in our community.

Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Article comment by: This makes sense to me.

My sincerest apologies for using the Italian spelling for conclusion in my last statement. It is the only suspect part of my writings,. This is one thing I do know about food: Italians are generally smaller because they eat a lot of pasta. Pasta takes away all the nutrition from food so Italians are not getting the good food and therefore are smaller. Italians don't usually get E-Coli becasue they eat pasta more than salads and lots of wine.
Therefore, eat pasta so you can stay small and save on clothing. Don't ride bikes to work. Riding bikes can make you sterile but that is another story and all I wanted to do was aplogize for my misspelling. You get my logic I hope.

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Article comment by: This makes sense to me!

Pescott Creeks has been around and monitoring the same little patch of ground for 20 years. They do not allow bicycles there. The E-Coli count is higher now than when they started. My conclusioin is that not having bicycles causes high E-Coli and they should have barbeques there all the time using as much raw meet as possible and maybe those good old fashioned ball park hot dogs.
I am not a Republican or Democrat so my logic is perfect.

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Article comment by: Coyote Contraire™

Make Mine Blood Rare.
• Apparently Supe Springer wants to kill our children.
• Is Jacob's mom scary looking, or what?
• The Goswicks live in PV, huh? I once knew a duck who got E. Coli just from flying over the place. (He got mailed a ticket, too, but threw it away.)
• I think Chip Davis should be promoted to President of Student Council. The admin would like him -- he's nice and... compliant.
• From the minutes of the Board of Health meeting Chairman Tom attended (unidentified speaker): "If we run a hundred restaurants out of business and save just one child's life, it will be well worth it."
• KPHO (CBS-5) TVs "Dirty Dining" segment once told of a health code violation where somebody was caught "smoking near the dishwashing area"!!!! Boy, you talk about dirty, horrible, disgusting and deadly! I think the owners got indeterminate sentences (life without parole).

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Article comment by: Larry Webb

For those of you who think that these regulations are not needed, you are wrong. As a food service professional, I recieve food recalls almost daily, of which most of these never reach the general public. Hamburger, spinach, green onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and many other. All it takes is one employee not washing hands, undercooking meat, not washing produce, to make many people ill, not just the ones who eat there, since they can then infect their family, etc. The health code in question was developed in 2009, not yesterday. My question is why did it take a county with thousands of residents three years to adopt it? For those restaurants who have already accepted it, and are following it, good for you. You are less likely to get your customers sick. Problem is, we don't know which restaurants those are. Therefore, I support the county in accepting the 2009 code to ensure that ALL businesses follow it.

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Article comment by: Eat it Raw

Was the spinach out of date? One infection every six years. Not a bad average I wouldn't think what with all that is eaten and put in the mouth. Oh well.........Let's have more gov. intervention.

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Article comment by: G. J.

Harold Wise says: "My forehead is scanned........"
Did you just admit to taking the "mark of the beast?" If so the rest of your scenario ought to be the least of your worries.

Now, for the issue at hand.
Wash your hands after shopping.

Wipe down all your groceries before putting them away.

Do not place unwashed fresh fruits/veggies on your counter tops. If you do, wash the counter tops before using it to prepare food.

Wash all fruits and veggies before eating.

Wash those eggs too before cooking them.

After preparing raw meats/fish wash down faucet handles, counter tops, knives, sink, hands and any towels that may have come in contact with those food items with warm water using soap.

Cook meats/fish until well done.

Think people. Use common sense and do not be lazy!

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Article comment by: Ron in PV

As others have already said: A child gets an E-coli infection from a vegetable improperly prepared at home by his mother, and the solution is to further regulate how restaurants cook meat? This is Nanny-statism at its worst. I'm really surprisied that Carol Springer was the voice of reason in this case. If most restaurants are already following the 2009 FDA guidelines, why the need to stick the county's nose in to this at all? Maybe the Health Department needs to deal with the real problem and shut down Juliana Goswick's kitchen. I hope the new board, after the elections, repeals this government intrusion.

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Article comment by: Harold Wise

The year is 2042 and i am getting ready to get my food for the month. I have my little recycled bag and it is only about 2 miles to the store so it won't take much time. The food stores are a lot smaller than what they used to be at the turn of the century, little packages of dried things or little bottles of food supplements don't take up much room on the shelves. A neighbor and I walk in to the store at about the same time and the alarm goes off , we are stopped by the security who are at each door to keep out those who are not legal to shop there. My forehead is scanned and I am allowed to shop but as I look back , I see that my neighbor is removed from the store. I first check the digital board to see what the specials are and see that they have some kind of meat jerky on sale , but only about 50 packages. The last time I bought something like that it caused my M.S. to flare up so I won't be buying that.It doesn't take long to buy 30 meals in bottles and as i stand in line to check-out , the food police comes by to make sure that I am not buying for someone who is not legal and that i only have my allotment for the month. I check-out and try to leave the store , but there is such a crowd at the doors that security holds us in until more security arrives. Finally, as i try to make it home before dark, I try to remember a time when it was a joy to go to the store and have the freedom to make choices in what I ate. Does this scenario seem far fetched? Those who CONTROL THE FOOD, CONTROL THE PEOPLE....WAKE-UP AMERICA

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Article comment by: Rachel A.H

@Call it a nanny state if you want but ...Sir, if you try to take my Sweet tooth away from me , You will bring the wrath of HELL upon yourself. LOL

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Article comment by: My Opinion

So, a kid got sick at home, and therefore, the Supervisors draft a bunch of new regulations for restuarants. Unfortunately, this is the caliber of logic all too often applied by the Board.

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Article comment by: OMG DUH

Now that Mom got her name & picture in the paper, she should go home and clean up her cooking skills. Seems she is more responsible for her son's illness than all the restaurants in the entire country. Basic principal of washing it, before eating it!

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Article comment by: Call it a nanny state if you want but ...

In NYC the average life expectancy has shot up in recent years. Those folks will, on average, live a lot longer than us right here in good ol' Yavapai County.


Because they've outlawed trans fats, super size sodas and other unhealthy choices.

Call it a nanny state if you will, but regs like this that protect us from ourselves apparently adds years to our lives.

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Article comment by: Couldn't Resist

As usual, if someone objects to unecessarry rules and regulations, they are immediately branded as anti-child, anti-elderly, anti-minority, anti-poor etc. That shows the measure of the intellect of those who make such accusations. They only function on emotion and hysteria. Funny thing is, they are the ones accusing others of being fearful and paranoid. What a joke our society has become thanks to the liberal mind set. Just look at one of them making comments here today, somehow (stupidly) linking the "Tea Party" to folks not liking overbearing county oversight on restaurant food standards. That's how these people "think".

I'm sure that by now we've all heard about the federally funded Summer lunch program that our local kids can attend....with no "need based" criteria whatsoever. Yeah, if you're against a food subsidy that is given freely to anyone, regardless of their actual needs, then you are a bad person who doesn't want kids to have enough food. Yeah, you liberals are the fabric of our society alright.

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Article comment by: Teach our children

Juliana, I'm sure this horrendous experience stole a year from the life of every member of your family. And have turned this into a learning experience for many families, showing the importance of teaching children, everything they need to know, on how to stay safe, in complicated society, such as we live in. My mom never let up on teaching us, over and over, until we finally got it, and their were ten of us. We all need to be teaching our children more information than we had to learn as children.

So then the rest of the story appears to be

Chip Davis made his decision based on emotions,
Tom Thurman made his decision based on ignorance, and
Carol Springer made her decision based on reason.

Or this may just be more journalistic buffoonery.

Which makes it hard to give an appropriate comment.

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Article comment by: Actually Informed

For those of you who are "A Bit Confused" as to why Jacob Goswick was asked to speak to the board let me explain as simply as possible. It was to illustrate what happens when you get sick from e-coli. Seriously, was it really all that hard to put 2 and 2 together?

Had you been at the meeting you would have heard Carol Springer ask Jacob's mom what part of the update to the food code she supports. Then you would have heard Jacob's mom say the illimination of rare food from the kid's menu. even she understands this is a good thing, put in place to protect children, and prevent any more kids from getting as sick as her son did.

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Article comment by: Missing the Point

Earlier this month, one of the Supes said that no children in the county ever got sick from E. coli. Poof - one showed up to testify - Not so much to talk about spinach or hamburger, rather how serious and life threatening an E. coli infection can be.

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Article comment by: Tea Party members as usual miss the point.

So mired in their foolishness. And stubborn. This revised FDA Food code is already accepted in most places. It is meant to keep children healthy. It hurts no one. Most restaurants already subscribe to it. And support it. So what is more important. Your obsession with no rules or regulations on anything. No government involvement in your pathetic lives ... except of course your social security check and medicare coverage! ...

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Article comment by: What's What

How does chairman Tom Thurman make a leap connecting Jacob's E. coli exposure, which came from prepackaged spinach, prepared at home, and not from undercooked rare hamburger in a restaurant.

Parents are to be responsible for teaching their children, and for food preparation at home, not Tom Thurman.

Ignorant statements like this show us that Tom Thurman is in over his head and should resign his position as chairman. We need clear thinking people in charge, and not the kind of foolish talk portrayed by Tom Thurman.

Don't we have enough laws to protect the ignorant, or those who prefer to stay ignorant? How did Americans live so long without the help of Tom Thurman? Maybe we should pass a law to protect us from people like Tom Thurman and his kind of ignorance..

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