November 28, 2014

Health Canada Warns of Risks Associated with Homemade Baby Formula

baby milk bottle

Health Canada is warning consumers about the risks associated with homemade baby formula. The homemade formulas can "cause severe malnutrition and potentially fatal illness in infants," health authorities say. Recipes for homemade formula, available on the Internet, are billed as healthy alternatives to appeal to processed foods. But there is a reason why commercial infant formula is one of the most tightly regulated products on the market, health officials say. It's not easy to replicate human breast milk. Infants have have specific nutritional needs that are not the same as those of adults or children. Every ounce they take in needs to be balanced with the the proper amount of vitamins, minerals, fats  and protein. Whereas homemade formulas carry the risk of nutritional … [Read more...]

Whole Foods Recalls Vegan Pumpkin Pie for Undeclared Nuts


Whole Foods is recalling “Vegan pumpkin pie” produced and sold at stores in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas because it contains undeclared walnuts. The recalled product was sold as half  pies and full pies packaged in both clear, plastic clamshell boxes and brown, Kraft paper boxes. Consumers who have allergies to nuts should not eat this product as they run the risk of serious or life‑threatening allergic reaction if they do. No adverse reactions had been reported at the time of the recall. The recalled pies were marked with  the UPCs 24917100000 and 24917300000 and “sell by” dates of 10/27/14-­‐‑11/30/14. Signage has been posted at stores to notify customers of this recall, and all affected product has been removed from shelves. Consumers who have purchased this product and … [Read more...]

Listeria Prompts Acme Smoked Nova Salmon Recall


Acme Smoked Fish Corporation of Brooklyn is recalling 564 pounds of imported Smoked Nova Salmon for possible Listeria contamination. The product was sold at Giant stores in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. This recall was issued on November 18, 2014, but the FDA is just announcing it as an "urgent product recall notice". The company contacted us and said the recall is now "closed", but consumers may still have this product in their homes. The product, imported from Denmark, was sold in 4 oz. (113g) vacuum packs with the lot code L.05122014. Consumers who have purchased this product should not eat it as Listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections. Young children, seniors, pregnant women and others with weakened immune systems are at highest risk. … [Read more...]

Bean Sprout Salmonella Outbreak Hits Massachusetts Hard


A 10-state bean sprout Salmonella outbreak has sickened 68 people, many of them in Massachusetts. In a outbreak update released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the case count by state was as follows: Connecticut (4), Maine (3), Massachusetts (31), Montana (1), New Hampshire (4), New York (5), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (10), Rhode Island (6), and Vermont (3). Health officials say the Montana case contracted the infection while traveling to the East Coast. During patient interviews, case patients, who range in age from less than one year to 83 years old, reported onset of illness dates ranging from September 30, 2014 to November 10, 2014. Fifty-six percent of those sickened are female. There have been 11 hospitalizations. Health officials have linked the … [Read more...]

Sprout Salmonella Outbreak Includes 3 in Maine


Three people in Maine are part of a 10-state Salmonella outbreak. The outbreak has been linked to mung bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods Inc. of Brooklyn has sickened 63 people in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.  Eleven people have been hospitalized. A recall has not been issued for the sprouts which were distributed to Asian restaurants and other establishments in nine states on the East Coast (all of the above except Montana. The single case patient there is believed to have contracted the infection while visiting the East Coast.) Wonton Foods stopped production and shipment of the sprouts on November 21, and made its last shipment it made was November 18. Consumers who have purchased these … [Read more...]

The Three Safe Ways To Thaw A Turkey


There are only three safe ways to thaw a turkey and if you bought a giant, frozen bird your time has run out for one of them. Every year, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) compiles Thanksgiving food safety tips for consumers, including safe methods for thawing. There are three of them: refrigerator, cold water and microwave. To thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator, put it on a tray that can collect any juice and place the tray in a fridge with an internal temperature of  40˚F or lower. Allow 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds. So, a 4 to 12 pound turkey needs one to three days,  a 12 to 16 pound turkey needs — three to four days, a 16 to 20 pound turkey needs four to five days and a 20 to 24 pound turkey needs five to six days A fridge- thawed turkey can stay in the fridge one … [Read more...]

FDA’s Consumer Advice on Bean Sprout Salmonella Outbreak


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is offering advice to consumers as a 10-state Salmonella outbreak unfolds on the East Coast. At least 63 people in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont have been diagnosed with Salmonella infections. Eleven people have been hospitalized. The outbreak has been traced to mung bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods Inc of Brooklyn. They were distributed to Asian restaurants and other establishments in nine states on the East Coast (all of the above except Montana. The single case patient there is believed to have contracted the infection while visiting the East Coast.) Wonton Foods has not recalled the sprouts but claims to have contacted companies that took delivery. The … [Read more...]

South Dakota Campylobacter Cases Linked to Raw Milk


A recent outbreak in Durand, Wisconsin is the latest example of a Campylobacter outbreak linked to raw milk. It's a common pairing. The South Dakota Department of Health tracked Campylobacter cases from January 2012 to August 30, 2014. Of the 791 total cases of campylobacteriosis reported during that period, 42 were associated with raw milk, or about 5 percent. Most of those affected,  23 of the 42 cases , were children 19 and under. Ten case patients were 5 and under. The cases were reported in the following counties: Beadle, Brookings, Butte, Clark, Davison, Day, Faulk, Gregory, Haakon, Hamlin, Hanson, Kingsbury, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marshall, Meade, Miner, Minnehaha, Perkins, Roberts, Todd and Union. (Image from the South Dakota Department of Health.) … [Read more...]

USDA FSIS Releases Cost Estimate for Big Six E. coli Tests


The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA- FSIS) has released the cost analysis for testing six additional Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC) strains. The analysis was posted in a November 19 notice  in the Federal Register. Some strains of E.coli, such as E.coli O157:H7, produce toxins called Shiga toxins. Infections from STEC cause hemorrhagic colitis, which causes the bloody diarrhea associated with E. coli O157:H7 infections. If the toxins, leave the digestive tract and travel to the bloodstream, it can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and/or thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). HUS and TTP cause serious, life-threatening injury such as kidney failure, seizure, stroke and coma. Before 2011, E. coli O157:H7 was the only strain of … [Read more...]

No Recall for Bean Sprouts that Sicken 63 with Salmonella


Although Salmonella in bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods has sickened 63 people in 10 states, a recall for the tainted product has not been issued. The company told federal officials that its last shipment of the product was November 18 and that it had contacted Asian restaurants and other establishments on the East Coast that received the product. But it did not issues a recall. Nor has it made public a list of  companies that served or sold the sprouts. Headscratching as that may seem, a similar situation happened with both of the other outbreaks linked to sprouts this year. Last month,  an outbreak from sprouts tainted with Listeria killed two people. Still, the producer Wholesome Soy Inc. of Chicago did not issue a recall. In fact, it kept making and distributing sprouts. And in … [Read more...]

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