November 29, 2015

Costco E. coli O157:H7 Chicken Salad Outbreak: It’s the Veggies

The FDA has announced that it appears onions and celery in Costco chicken salad may be the source of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria that has sickened at least 19 people in 7 states. Those people live in California (1), Colorado (4), Missouri (1), Montana (6), Utah (5), Virginia (1), and Washington state (1). According to news outlets, Taylor Farms in Salinas, California is the supplier of the vegetables for Costco Wholesale. The vegetables from that supplier are used in the chicken salads sold in all of the company's U.S. stores. Of those 19 ill persons, 16 have been interviewed. Fourteen of those people purchased or ate rotisserie chicken salad from Costco stores the week before they got sick. Five of the patients have been hospitalized, and two are suffering from hemolytic uremic syndrome … [Read more...]

Gelato Fresco Recalled in Canada for Undeclared Almonds

Gelato Fresco and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are recalling Gelato Fresco brand Toasted Hazelnut Dairy Ice because it may contain almonds, or tree nuts, one of the major food allergens, that is not declared on the label. Anyone allergic to that ingredient could have a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they eat this product. No illnesses or reactions have been received to date in association with the consumption of this product. The recalled product is Gelato Fresco brand name Toasted Hazelnut Dairy Ice in 500 ml containers. The code on the product is 4745 and the UPC number is 0 67902 50002 1. It was sold in Ontario at the retail level. If you purchased the product and are allergic to almonds, do not eat it. Throw it away or return it to the place of purchase … [Read more...]

Use High Heat to Cook Meat? Rethink That Technique

A new study published in the journal Cancer has found that cooking beef at high temperatures may lead to an increased risk of developing kidney cancer. Carcinogenic compounds are created in the meat when grilled, barbecued, and pan-fried. The study was conducted at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Renal cell carcinoma affects 60,000 new patients every year. About 14,000 people die of this illness every year in the Untied States. The incidence of this type of cancer has been increasing for decades. Dr. Stephanie Melkonian, Epidemiology postdoctoral fellow and lead author of the study said, "this study encourages us to look not only at what foods we're eating, but also how we're preparing those foods." When you cook meat with high temperature, causing charring on the … [Read more...]

FDA Begins Testing Cucumbers and Hot Peppers

The FDA is ramping up testing of cucumbers and hot peppers, after six reports of food poisoning outbreaks linked to cucumbers from 1996 to this year.  Those foods are eaten raw, and they are often contaminated. Produce can be contaminated in several ways. It can come into contact with polluted water, or dirty equipment during growing, harvesting, and post-harvest production. Ill workers who harvest and sort the produce by hand can also contaminate it. The government is seeking information on the prevalence of Salmonella and E. coli O157:H76 on fresh cucumbers. There is currently a Salmonella outbreak linked to slicer cucumbers imported from Mexico by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce. The CDC reports that 838 people in 38 states have been sickened in the past two months. Fresh … [Read more...]

Raw Milk Bill Back in Wisconsin Legislature

A bill to legalize the sale of raw milk is back in the Wisconsin legislature. Republican Representative Dave Murphy introduced a bill last week that would let dairy farms sell raw milk and raw milk products directly to customers where they are produced.  The farmers would not need state milk producer licenses or permits, and state milk quality rules would not apply to these products. At this time, selling raw milk is illegal in Wisconsin. "Incidental sales" of raw milk directly to consumers at a dairy farm for consumption by that consumer, the consumer's family, or nonpaying guests, is exempted from the law. But if done on a regular basis, or if the sales involve advertising, those sales are deemed illegal. Dairy farmers who are considered "bona fide" owners can consume raw milk from … [Read more...]

Countdown to Thanksgiving

The USDA is offering advice on the countdown to Thanksgiving Day. The key to a safe holiday is to plan ahead and make sure you follow all food safety rules. If you purchased a frozen turkey, it should be thawing in the fridge. For most sizes of frozen bird, it's too late to thaw now in the fridge. You can thaw the bird in cold water, but that takes hours, and the water should be changed every 30 minutes to make sure it stays cold. Do not thaw a large turkey in the microwave; if you do thaw a smaller turkey there, it must be cooked immediately. You can cook your turkey from the frozen state safely and easily. A fresh turkey should only be purchased one to two days before cooking. Today is a great day to buy your bird. And remember never buy a pre stuffed fresh turkey, since it is a … [Read more...]

Costco, Red Lobster Will Not Sell GMO Salmon

The FDA approved AquaBounty's GMO salmon this week, after months and years of contentious opposition from consumer advocate and food safety groups. This is the first genetically engineered animal to be sold for food in the United States. The problems with this product range from "lost" eggs and fish to violation of environmental regulations and missing permits. But this week the third largest retailer in the U.S., Costco Wholesale, announced that it will not sell the fish, according to Center for Food Safety. They join more than 60 other supermarket chains, including Kroger, Safeway, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods that will not sell the GMO salmon. Red Lobster last week also rejected the salmon. Walmart and Public are the largest retail chains that have not rejected the salmon. Dana … [Read more...]

Brined Turkeys Recalled from Lunds and Byerlys Stores

Lunds and Byerlys stores are recalling Fresh All-Natural Brined Whole Turkeys because they have an off-odor. The products have been removed from store shelves. The recall notice states "we have no knowledge of this product posing a health or safety risk." The recalled products were offered in four sizes. They are Lunds & Byerlys Fresh Brined Whole Turkey 10-14 pound with UPC number 25222500000, Lunds & Byerlys Fresh Brined Whole Turkey 14-16 pound with UPC number 25221500000, Lunds & Byerlys Fresh Brined Whole Turkey 16-20 pound with UPC number 25222600000, and Lunds & Byerlys Fresh Brined Whole Turkey 20-24 pound with UPC number 252216000000. The turkeys were sold from November 18 - 23, 2015. If you bought any of these turkeys, return them to Lunds & Byerlys for … [Read more...]

Here’s What to Do if You Purchased Costco Chicken Salad Linked to an E. coli Outbreak

Chicken salad made and sold at Costco Wholesale stores in seven states has sickened at least 19 people with E. coli O157:H7 infections. Those sickened live in Washington state, Montana, California, Utah, Colorado, Missouri, and Virginia. The CDC, FDA, and USDA are investigating this outbreak, along with public health officials in the affected states. Five of the 19 patients have been hospitalized, and two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Fourteen of sixteen people interviewed purchased or ate rotisserie chicken salad from Costco the week before they got sick. With such a wide distribution of case patients, it's probable that an ingredient used to make that salad in the stores and purchased in bulk by Costco is the source of the pathogenic bacteria. It is not probable … [Read more...]

Mi Tienda Recalls Some Products at One South Houston Store

The Mi Tienda store at 1630 Spencer Highway in South Houston, Texas is issuing a precautionary recall for masa and tostadas produced in-store and packed on November 16 and 17, 2015 because of possible metal fragments. There is no word on any injuries reported. The recall is for three different products. They are: Masa Prepared by the pound, packed on Monday, November 16; Tostadas Botoneras Rojas packed on Monday, November 16 and Tuesday, November 17; and Tostadas Siberia Large Tostadas Packed on Monday, November 16 and Tuesday, November 17, 2015. If you purchased these items, do not consume them. Throw them away or return the product to the store for a full refund. You can see pictures of the recalled product labels at the FDA web site. … [Read more...]

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