October 25, 2014

Three People Sick In San Jose, CA; E. coli in Water

Water-glass-feature

Three people have become ill in a part of north San Jose, California after E. coli bacteria was detected in the water. The San Jose Water Company has issued a "boil water" notice to residents of 300 homes in the area. The symptoms of an E. coli infection include diarrhea, which may be watery and/or bloody, severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and a mild fever. If you live in this area and have experienced these symptoms, please see a doctor immediately. An E. coli infection can lead to serious complications, including hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) that can destroy the kidneys. The bacteria was found in a water main that services 300 homes on Lisbon Drive, Lisbon Court, Madrid Drive, Madrid Court, Sydney Drive, Sydney Court, and Rowley Drive. If your home is affected, you should have … [Read more...]

Bacteria in Kitchen Towels: Or Why I Use Paper Towels

Kitchen Towel

I am, obviously, extremely conscious of food safety in the kitchen. I have had food poisoning twice in my life: once as a child after eating hard boiled eggs that were left at room temperature, and as an adult after eating candied pineapple. Those terrible experiences, and my education, have prompted me to help others avoid this horrible illness. I try to tell you about prompt refrigeration, cleaning methods, safe cooking and handling methods, and other factors that can affect your risk of getting food poisoning. This topic is not well covered: the safety of kitchen towels. A new study published in Food Protection Trends documents the presence of bacteria in kitchen sponges and dishcloths. Researchers looked at kitchen hand towels and tested them to see if they contain pathogenic … [Read more...]

Antioch Farms Raw Chicken Linked to MN Salmonella Outbreak

Salmonella

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has announced that six people have been sickened with Salmonella food poisoning after eating Antioch Farms raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned stuffed chicken breast entrees. Consumers got sick in August and September 2014 from the same strain of Salmonella Enteritidis. One person has been hospitalized. Dr. Carlota Medus, epidemiologist for the Foodborne Diseases Unit at the Minnesota Department of Health said in a statement, "our DNA fingerprinting found that the individuals were sickened by the same strain of Salmonella. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture collected samples of the same type of product from grocery stores and the outbreak strain of Salmonella was found in packages of this product." The product is Antioch Farms brand … [Read more...]

Fresh Serrano Chile Peppers Recalled for Possible Salmonella

Recall

Bailey Farms of North Carolina is recalling 6,215 pounds of Fresh Serrano Chile Peppers because they may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. No illnesses have been reported to date. The recalled peppers were distributed to Meijer, Inc. Customers may have purchased the peppers from October 14 to October 19, 2014 at Meijer stores in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. The product was also distributed to Publix Super Markets Inc., Merchants Distributors, Inc., Walmart, Food Lion, Flavor 1st Growers and Packers, US Foods, Military Produce Group, LLC., C&S Wholesalers, John Vena, Inc. and Harris Teeter. Consumers may have purchased the peppers between October 2 and October 21, 2014. Check with the stores listed to verify if the product you purchased is subject to … [Read more...]

Mt. Healthy Hatchery Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Live Poultry Ends

Salmonella Live Poultry Outbreak 102214

The CDC says that the multistate outbreak of human Salmonella infections linked to live poultry in backyard flocks appears to be over. However, consumers should take steps to protect themselves from this pathogenic bacteria if they choose to keep chickens, ducks, and turkey. Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio was the source of chicks and ducklings, as determined by multiple traceback investigations. This is the same mail-order hatchery that has been associated with multiple outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to live poultry in 2012 and 2013. A total of 363 people in 43 states and Puerto Rico were infected with outbreak strains of Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport, or Salmonella Hadar. Thirty-three percent of ill persons were hospitalized. No deaths were reported. The … [Read more...]

WTO Rules Against COOL. Again.

GroundBeefLabel

The World Trade Organization released its compliance panel reports on the United States "country of origin labeling" (COOL) disputes Monday, and ruled against the United States. WTO found that "the amended COOL measure violates Article 2.1 of the TBT Agreement because it accords to Canadian and Mexican livestock less favourable treatment than that accorded to like US livestock." The ruling states that COOL has a "detrimental impact" on competitive opportunities of imported livestock because it necessitates "increased segregation of meat and livestock according to origin." WTO also states that the labels place a higher record keeping burden on imported meats, and increases the potential for label inaccuracy. Consumer advocates, including Center for Food Safety, are disappointed by … [Read more...]

FDA Agrees to Finalize GRAS Rule of 1997

FDA

The FDA has agreed to finally finalize its GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) rule, in response to a Center for Food Safety lawsuit. For 17 years, the FDA has let corporations fast track their food additives to get products onto the market. That allowed corporations to sell products that had not been reviewed by the government to see if they are safe for human consumption. In 1958, Congress passed a law requiring the FDA to conduct "rigorous reviews" of food additives before they were put into the marketplace. Those additives were supposed to be rejected or approved based on scientific evidence. Common ingredients that were used for decades, such as sugar, were deemed "generally regarded as safe" and exempt from review. Corporations could formally petition FDA to approve a food additive … [Read more...]

NAMA Conference Presents Trends in Beef and Food Poisoning

ground_beef_260px

The North American Meat Association (NAMA) held its Pathogen Control and Regulatory Compliance in Beef Processing conference last week, and reported on the foodborne disease outbreaks that are attributed to meat. Meatingplace.com says that Hannah Gould of the CDC's National Outbreak Reporting System reported on the data. According to the data, about 9% of foodborne illness outbreaks in the U.S. are attributed to beef; 9% to chicken; and 7% to pork. Between 2009 and 2013, of the illnesses linked to beef, 35% involved E. coli O157:H7 and 23% were caused by Salmonella. And between 2003 and 2012, 55% of all E. coli outbreaks attributed to food were associated with beef consumption. Of those outbreaks, 69% were from ground beef, 14% from steaks and 17% from other beef products. This … [Read more...]

Congress Members Ask for More Answers on Poultry Inspection

Chickencarcass

Fifteen members of Congress sent a letter last week to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack about the new poultry inspection system that has been criticized by consumer, food safety, and workplace safety advocates. They wrote they are "extremely disappointed" that the USDA did not address their concerns about the new rule about HIMP, or the New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS). The letter states "the new rule will create a system that is detrimental to food and worker safety, as well as animal welfare. This rule abdicates food safety oversight from the USDA into the hands of industry and it places workers in jeopardy." The rule removes USDA-FSIS inspectors from processing lines in poultry plants and instead lets corporations use their own employees for inspections. This creates a … [Read more...]

Hapi Pudding Recalled for Undeclared Milk

Hapi Pudding Allergen Recall

JFC International of California is recalling all lot codes of its Hapi Pudding because it may contain undeclared milk, one of the major food allergens. Anyone with an allergy to milk could have a life-threatening reaction if they consume this product. No allergic reactions have been reported to date. The milk-containing product was distributed in packaging that was mislabeled during a revision of the packaging process. The recalled product, "Hapi Pudding" is sold in a 3-pack with a net weight of 8.46 ounces. The UPC number is 11152 13417. The product was distributed nationwide to retail stores. The product is in clear plastic containers with an orange and white seal on top. Product information is on the bottom of the plastic wrapped container. If you purchased this product and … [Read more...]

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