November 27, 2014

CSPI Asks FDA to Label Sesame an Allergen

Sesame Seeds

Regular readers of this site know that recalls are often issued in Canada for sesame seeds, but those types of recalls are not issued in the U.S. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is asking the FDA to require that sesame be disclosed on food labels in the same manner as the other major food allergens, which include milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, what, and soy. When Congress passed the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act in 2004, the "Big 8" allergens account for 90% of allergic reactions caused by food. But experts think that sesame is an emerging cause of severe allergy. About 300,000 to 500,000 Americans are allergic to sesame. CSPI filed the petition earlier this month, asking that the agency raise awareness among food service … [Read more...]

FDA Finalizes Menu Labeling for Restaurants and Vending Machines

Nutrition Facts

The FDA has finalized two rules requiring calorie information on menus and menu boards in retail food establishments, including chain restaurants, and vending machines with 20 or more locations. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg told reporters "Strikingly, Americans eat and drink about a third of their calories away from home - often consuming less nutritious foods and also underestimating the calories that they eat. These final rules will give consumers more information when they are dining out and help them lead healthier lives." Labeling foods is critical to help consumers make healthy food choices. These new rules provide a consistent standard across the country. The proposed rules were released in 2011. The menu labeling will not apply to bars, deli foods, independent … [Read more...]

Moose Tracks Ice Cream Recalled for Undeclared Peanuts

Denali Extreme Moose Tracks recall

The Kroger Co. is recalling select containers of Private Selection Denali Extreme Moose Tracks Ice Cream because it may contain peanuts, one of the major food allergens, that is not listed on the label. Anyone with an allergy to peanuts could have a serious or life-threatening reaction if they consume this product. No illnesses have been reported to date. The recalled product is Private Selection Denali Extreme Moose Tracks Ice Cream in 48 ounce containers. The sell by date is April 16, 2015 and the UPC number is 11110-00456. The stores in this recall are Bakers stores in Nebraska, Dillons stores in Kansas and Missouri, Gerbes stores in Missouri, Fred Meyer stores in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, Food 4 Less stores in California and Nevada; King Soopers and City Market … [Read more...]

Safe Turkey Handling Tips for a Happy Thanksgiving

Holiday turkey on white

The folks at Holiday Food Safety are offering tips for handling your turkey safely for a happy Thanksgiving. The Partnership for Food Safety Education includes the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Institute of Food Technology, and other organizations. Before you buy the turkey, make sure you have room for it in your fridge. Always store the turkey in a large pan so raw juices don't drip and contaminate other foods. If you buy a frozen turkey, make sure you leave enough time for it to thaw. It takes about 24 hours for every four to five pounds to thaw in the fridge, so by now it's too late. But you can cook your turkey from the frozen state! Always wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling the raw turkey. Never ever defrost the turkey on … [Read more...]

Henry’s Farm Recalls Soybean Sprouts for Listeria Again


Henry's Farm of Virginia is recalling all packages of Soybean Sprouts because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. This is the second big recall of sprouts for Listeria contamination for this facility; the other was in 2012. No illnesses have been reported to date, but listeriosis can take up to 70 days to present after exposure. The recalled products include all clear 1 pound packages of Natto Soybean Sprouts. They are labeled as produced by Henry's Farm Inc. and do not have a code. Also recalled are all clear 2 pound packages of Bean Sprouts distributed by Rhee Brothers Inc. Columbia MD with no code. Finally, all bulk (about 10 pounds) black plastic bags of Soy Bean Sprouts are recalled. They were labeled as produced by Henry's Farm Inc. The packages were not coded. … [Read more...]

Flying Cow Creamery Yogurt Recalled for Improper Pasteurization


Flying Cow Creamery of Rochester, Washington is recalling one lot of its whole milk yogurt for improper pasteurization. Inspection by the Washington State Department of Agriculture found that time and temperature recordings were not made while that lot was being pasteurized. There is no record of proper pasteurization of the product. The recalled product is Flying Cow Creamery Whole Milk Yogurt in 32 ounce glass jars with a white lid. The batch number is 70. The best before date is 12/3. The yogurt was sold in Rochester, Olympia, Seattle, Chehalis, Federal Way, and Tacoma in Washington state. No illnesses have been reported in connection with the consumption of this product. If you purchased this product, do not eat it. Discard or return it to the place of purchase for a refund. … [Read more...]

Northstar Gabapentin Capsules Recalled

Gabapentin Recall Empty Capsules

Aurobindo Pharma USA is voluntarily recalling one lot of Gabapentin Capsules because the bottles contain some empty capsules. Empty capsules could result in patients missing doses, which would result in adverse health consequences that range from no effect, short term withdrawal effect, or status epilepticus (long period seizures) that could be life-threatening. No reports of adverse health events have been reported to date. Gabapentin is used for the treatment of epilepsy and for the management of postherpetic neuralgia (pain after shingles). The product is sold in 300 mg 100-count bottles. The lot number is GESB14011-A, the expiration date is 12/2015, and the NDC is 16714-662-01. The product has the imprint D on the yellow cap and 03 on yellow body with black edible ink. The product … [Read more...]

Rep. DeLauro Urges OMB to Finalize Mechanically Tenderized Beef Rule


Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) wrote to Shaun Donovan, director of the Office of Management and Budget this week, urging him to finalize the new USDA rule on mechanically tenderized beef products. There may be a delay implementing this critical rule if it is not finalized by December 31, 2014. Mechanically tenderized beef has been pierced with blades or needles to break up connective tissue so the meat is more tender. Unfortunately, this process pushes pathogenic bacteria present on the surface of the cut into the interior. Then, if the meat is cooked less than well-done, those bacteria survive in the center of the product, and can make someone sick. A 2008 study by USDA states that about 50,000,000 pounds of this product are sold every month without labels warning consumers of … [Read more...]

Coalition Files Papers in Honolulu Court to Defend GE Initiative

Crop Spraying

A coalition of Maui and Moloka'i residents, farmers, and advocacy groups, represented by Center for Food Safety and Earthjustice, filed papers Friday in Honolulu federal district court to defend the County of Maui's GMO crop safety initiative. That initiative won in the November elections, despite massive spending by huge corporations opposed to it. A legal challenge was almost immediately filed by those multinational chemical companies. Hawaii is being used an an outdoor lab for companies like Monsanto to test GE and GMO crops and the pesticides used on them. The ballot initiative prohibits the "growth, testing, or cultivation of GE crops in Maui County until an environmental and public health study can show that the planning operations are safe for the community." Nine days after the … [Read more...]

Frying a Turkey for Thanksgiving? Watch Out!


If you're thinking about frying your turkey for Thanksgiving, the National Fire Protection Association says that outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil are dangerous and should not be used.  The fryers "pose a significant danger that hot oil will be released at some point during the cooking process," according to the organization. The NFPA encourages consumers to use a new type of "oil-less" turkey fryer. Tests on these fryers shows that hot oil can splash or spill at any time while the turkey is frying. While older fryers that use a stand can collapse, newer countertop units with a solid base "appear to reduce this particular risk." But NFPA doesn't think that consumer education alone can make the risks of deep frying a turkey acceptably low. The large … [Read more...]

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