Oorah! US Marine recruits sidelined by E. Coli

Attending boot camp with the United States Marine Corps is pretty much volunteering for a beatdown: the grueling 13-week training schedule challenges the spiritual, physical and psychological mettle of each recruit--and that's before taking the shitty sanitary conditions their chow is made in into account.

Last year, 29 Marine recruits were admitted to the hospital with a variety of ugly symptoms ranging from bloody diarrhea to stomach cramps and seizures. To solve the mystery of what was happening to the recruits, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were called in. The verdict: E. coli.

From Task & Purpose:

In August 2018, attorneys for three former Marines filed lawsuits against food service company Sodexo that prepares meals for recruits at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, one of the two sites where enlistees enter the Corps’ 13-week boot camp. Court filings describe the tragic consequences faced by the recruits, all three of whom were ultimately discharged due to their medical conditions caused by the outbreak.

The lawsuits allege that Sodexo is responsible for the source of the E. Coli, and claims that food service staff served undercooked ground meat to the Marines. While the CDC report does not identify the source of the outbreak with 100% certainty, inspectors reported they observed unsafe meal preparation procedures, some of which violate FDA and California Department of Public Health standards.

The health issues caused by the presence of E. Coli were complicated even further, according to the CDC, by the fact that the washrooms used by the future Marines were often found lacking in soap, paper towels and toilet paper--sundries that the recruits are expected to restock themselves. Read the rest

All aboard the Alabama shit train!

Fact: The only thing that smells worse than your poop is tons of other people's poop. If you don't believe me, take a road trip to the town of Parrish, Alabama. They'll back me up on this one: According to the Associated Press, the citizens of Parrish were forced to endure the stench pouring off a train full of  sewer sludge from New York and New Jersey for close to two months.

It's not unusual for trains full of human waste to pass through the town of 982 people: there's a landfill complex that treats and disposes of the excrement another 20 miles further down the track. Having the train stop in town to share its intoxicating perfume for two months? That's both unreasonable and unusual. It seems that another county in Alabama blocked the train's passage, making it impossible for it to reach its final destination. So, there it sat in Parrish: like a man in the bathroom after a large, questionable meal, full of poop, making everything terrible for everyone. NPR states that the train was stopped near a local park. The odor coming off of it was so bad that little league games had to be cancelled.

After two months of having to put up with the stench ruining the lives of everyone in the town, in mid-April, the Mayor of Parrish was finally able to tell her constituents that it was finally moving on. The town's administration will be looking into passing a series of by-laws to keep similar incidents from happening again. Read the rest