September 18, 2014

Harvard Developing Device to Filter Pathogens Out of Blood


Researchers at Harvard University are developing a medical device that replicates the function of the human spleen. The scientists say that it can filter pathogens from E. coli bacteria to the Ebola virus. The device, called a biospleen, is under development at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. The device was primarily developed to treat sepsis, which is a blood infection. The biospleen filters out live and dead pathogens along with dangerous toxins that these pathogens sometimes create. The device removes the pathogens and toxins without having to identify them first. As drug-resistant bacteria continue to evolve and develop, creating a device that will remove these pathogens from the blood quickly without a diagnosis is becoming critical to … [Read more...]

In Canada, Smokies Sausages Recalled for Undeclared Milk


JD Hoggs Meat & Sausage and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are recalling some smokies sausages because they contain undeclared milk, one of the major food allergens. Anyone with an allergy to milk could have a serious reaction if they consume these products. There is no word on whether or not any allergic reactions have been reported. The products are JD Hoggs Meat & Sausage Brand in 6 count packages. There is no UPC code. All codes where milk is not declared on the label are recalled. The recalled products are Jalapeño and Cheese Smokies, and Cheese Smokies. They were sold in Manitoba at the retail level. If you purchased these products and are allergic to milk, do not eat them. Discard or return to the place of purchase for a refund. … [Read more...]

Sunny Delight, Others Asked to Stop Marketing In-School Junk Food


Center for Science in the Public Interest has asked Sunny Delight, maker of Sunny D beverage, to stop a program that encourages parents, teachers, and students to collect 20 labels of the product in exchange for foods. CSPI said that Sunny D "encourages families to consume a drink that promotes diabetes, weight gain, and other health problems." The beverage only includes 5% juice; the remaining ingredients are sugar; artificial sweeteners sucralose, acesulfame potassium, and neotame; high fructose corn syrup; sodium benzoate; dyes Yellow 5 and Yellow 6; and water, along with vitamins and other ingredients such as xanthan gum and canola oil. A 16-ounce bottle of Sunny D Tangy Original has almost 7 teaspoons of sugar. CSPI nutrition policy director Margo G. Wootan said in a statement, … [Read more...]

U.N. Says Ebola Crisis Could Become Food Insecurity Crisis


The Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and other West African countries has made food expensive and hard to find. Labor shortages because of the outbreak are putting the harvest season at risk and trade is being disrupted, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. This has led to "panic buying" and food shortages. The harvest season in West Africa begins in September. There were positive crop production outlooks at the start of the season. Unfortunately, the areas with high incidences of the Ebola virus are among the most agriculturally productive areas of Liberia and Sierra Leone. The organization has issued a special alert on this situation. Bukar Tijana, FAO Regional Representative for Africa said in a statement, "Access to food … [Read more...]

In Canada, Coffeemix Recalled for Undeclared Milk

San Mig Coffeemix Recall

In Canada, AFOD Ltd. and the CFIA are realign San Mig Coffee brand Pro-Slim Coffeemix from the market because it contains milk that is not declared on the label. Anyone with an allergy to milk could have a serious reaction if they consume this product. No illnesses or allergic reactions have been reported to date. The recalled product is San Mig Pro-Slim Coffeemix with L-Carnitine in 40 gram (8 gram x 5 sachets) containers. All lot codes where milk is not declared on the label are recalled. The UPC number on the outer package is 4 806513 741012 and the UPC number on the inner package is 4 806513 741005. The product was sold in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Yukon. If you purchased this product and are allergic to milk, do not eat it. Discard or return to the … [Read more...]

Cryptosporidium Outbreak in Hillsborough County, Florida

Florida Cryptosporidium outbreak

According to WTSP, the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County is reporting an increase in cryptosporidium cases since July 1, 2014. Public health officials say that 157 cases have been reported by DOH-Hillsborough in the last two months. Last year, there were only 11 cases during the same time period. Many of those sickened spent time at day care or schools during the incubation period. Most of those sickened are under the age of 15. Cryptosporidium is a parasite that is passed through infected feces. It is spread after improper hand washing after using the bathroom or changing diapers. It spreads easily in chlorinated swimming pools and through hand-to-mouth contact. Because of this alarming increase in the case count, officials are asking the public to help prevent … [Read more...]

Food & Water Watch Sues USDA to Stop Poultry Rule


Food & Water Watch sued the USDA yesterday to stop implementation of the New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS) rules, which would replace government food safety inspectors with company employees. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said in a statement, "these rules essentially privatize poultry inspection, and pave the way for others in the meat industry to police themselves." These rules come on the heels of the huge Foster Farms chicken Salmonella outbreak which sickened thousands of people over many months. Many people in that outbreak were hospitalized because the seven strains of Salmonella Heidelberg on those products were resistant to several strains of antibiotics. The NRDC just released USDA-FSIS inspection reports on Foster Farms which showed that … [Read more...]

In Canada, Premier and Konrads Spices Recalled for Salmonella

Premier Herbs Salmonella Recall

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Premier Ingredients are recalling many different varieties of herbs and spices from the market because they may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. The products were sold in Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec. No illnesses have been reported in connection with the consumption of these products. The recalled products include PRemier Herbs Italian Seasoning, Herbs Fine Provencal, and Premier Oregano and Oregano Rubbed. The recall also includes Oregano, Italian Herb, and Herbs Fine Provencal. You can see the package sizes, best before dates, and UPC numbers at the CFIA web site. The recalled Premier products all have best before dates from March 18, 2016 to September 9, 2016 inclusive.The recalled products all have … [Read more...]

U.S. House Votes to Prevent Clean Water Act Expansion

Chesapeake Bay

The U.S. House voted on Monday to approve legislation that would prevent the development of regulations expanding the scope of the federal Clean Water Act. Groups such as the National Pork Producers Council supported this action, stating that the regulations would be detrimental to agriculture. The bill, HR 5078, entitled the "WOTUS Regulatory Overreach Protection Act" was sponsored by Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL). WOTUS stands for Waters of the United States. The EPA wanted to expand the Clean Water Act to include the country's water bodies, ditches, and gullies used by farmers for drainage and irrigation. Many farmers support the bill, stating that the EPA's regulations are burdensome. The Clean Water Act is one of the most successful laws in this country. Forty years ago, 2/3 of … [Read more...]

FDA Warning Letters for September 2014


The FDA has sent a warning letter to M & B Sea Products of New Bedford, Massachusetts, alleging that the facility has "serious violations of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation." The company's refrigerated, reduced oxygen packaged raw, scallops are adulterated. The facility does not have an HACCP plan to list critical limits to be met. Because the scallops were not refrigerated at a temperature below 38°F, Clostridium botulinum toxin can form. FDA inspectors found fresh dry scallops packed in metal cans stored in the walk-in cooler, which meant they could not be visually examined. The firm did not maintain monitoring records for two days in July 2014. In addition, the company did not have anyone trained in seafood HACCP to perform necessary … [Read more...]

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