October 30, 2014

USDA Providing $4 Million for Honey Bee Habitat

Honeybee

Honey bees around the world have been dying off at an alarming rate in recent years. Because the insect is so important to America's food supply, the USDA is giving five midwestern states $4 million to help farmers and ranchers improve honey bee health. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, "the future of America's food supply depends on honey bees, and this effort is one way USDA is helping improve the health of honey bee populations. Significant progress has been made in understanding the factors that are associated with Colony Collapse Disorder and the overall health of honey bees, and this funding will allow us to work with farmers and ranchers to apply that knowledge over a broader area." The Midwest is home to more than 65% of the commercially managed honey bee hives in the … [Read more...]

Fresh Cilantro Recalled for Possible Salmonella Contamination

cilantro

Shenandoah Growers of Virginia is recalling one lot of fresh cilantro for possible Salmonella contamination. The company is recalling 465 plastic clamshell containers of the herb that were shipped to distributors in Maryland and Alabama on October 8 and 9, 2014. The recalled product is Shenandoah Growers brand conventional fresh-cut cilantro, sold in 0.75-ounce plastic clamshells. Also recalled is Giant brand conventional fresh-cut cilantro in 2.5-ounce plastic clamshells. They have the lot code "15 273283" on the package front. Because the cilantro is very perishable, the recalled herb is probably not available in stores any more, but consumers may have it in their refrigerators. No illnesses have been reported to date. Testing by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer … [Read more...]

Dozens Sickened at California NAACP Gala

Foodpoisoninglg

More than 50 people were sickened with the symptoms of food poisoning after attending an NAACP gala in Redwood City, California on October 25, 2014 according to the San Jose Mercury News. At least twelve people had to be taken to the hospital to be treated for dehydration; some people are still hospitalized. The gala was the end of the 27th Annual NAACP California Hawaii State Convention. More than 300 people attended the event, held at the Sofitel San Francisco Bay Hotel. One of the persons hospitalized was former Oakland Mayor and Assemblyman Elihu Harris. Those who were sickened started feeling ill on Sunday morning. People were vomiting in the hotel lobby while paramedics were treating them. Salmon and salad were part of the dinner served at the banquet. The hospitality firm … [Read more...]

AquaBounty Fined for Violations on GE Salmon

GE-Salmon

Officials in Panama have fined AquaBounty Technologies $9,500, stating the facility is operating in violation of environmental regulations as it experiments with genetically engineered (GE) salmon.  Food safety advocates such as Center for Food Safety and Friends of the Earth have ask the FDA to terminate its regulatory review of AquaBounty's facility and deny the company's application to sell the engineered fish in the U.S. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch said, "FDA has always assured the public that it is checking, monitoring, and regulating AquaBounty's production platform to ensure the company can mitigate the well-documented environmental impacts of escaped GE salmon. We now know that AquaBounty is unwilling or unable to follow basic rules and … [Read more...]

Privatized Food Inspection Equivalencies Risky

Beef carcasses

Food & Water Watch is asking USDA Tom Vilsack to reassess the government's positions on equivalency for privatized inspection systems in other countries. Last week, a shipment of beef imported from Canada was found to be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. The beef was produced at the JBS Food Canada plant in Alberta, Canada. This is the same plant that was responsible for the largest meat recall in Canadian history. In 2012, 12 million pounds of beef was recalled for E. coli contamination. More than 2 million pounds of that beef was shipped to the United States. JBS, Canadian Establishment 0038, uses a privatized inspection program at their facility that USDA recognized as being "equivalent" to U.S. meat inspection in 2006. The contamination was discovered by USDA-FSIS inspectors … [Read more...]

Two Products Recalled in Canada for Foreign Materials

McCain Hashbrown Recall

Two products have been recalled in Canada for foreign materials. McCain Foods is recalling their Hashbrowns because there may be pieces of plastic in the product. And President's Choice Organics is recalling their Primavera Pasta Sauce for possible pieces of plastic. No injuries have been reported in association with the consumption of either of these products. McCain brand Hashbrowns are sold in 900 gram packages. The Lot Code is F40822 and Batch Code is 1000879725. The UPC number is 0 55773 00080 1. It was sold nationally at the retail level. President's Choice Organics Primavera Pasta Sauce is sold in 700 ml containers. The code on the product is BB/MA 2015 AU 07 and the UPC number is 0 60383 69005 2. It was sold in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, … [Read more...]

Raw Cashew Pieces Recalled for Possible Salmonella

Cashews

Chetak of New Jersey is recalling 11,320 packages of "Deep Raw Cashew Pieces" because they may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem. The recalled product is "Deep Raw Cashew Pieces" sold in three sizes. They were distributed nationwide in retail stores from March 12, 2014 to October 21, 2014. The 7 ounce package UPC number is 011433133104; the 14 ounce package UPC number is 011433133111 and the 28 ounce package UPC number is 011433133128. The packages are clear plastic and the UPC number is on the back. Routine testing by the FDA uncovered this problem. If you purchased any of these products, do not eat them. Discard in a closed container or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. … [Read more...]

In Canada, Taiyaki and Waffles Recalled for Undeclared Milk

Kevins Waffle Recall

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Kevin's Food Group are recalling some products because they contain milk, a food allergen, that is not declared on the label. Anyone with an allergy to milk could have a serious allergic reaction if they consume this product. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products. The recalled products are all Kevin's brand name. All codes where milk isn't declared on the label are recalled. The products included Waffle in 300 gram containers with UPC number 8 04879 34010 2, Egg Taiyaki - Red Bean in 400 gram packages with UPC number 8 04879 29701 7, Taiyaki - Red Bean Filled Fish Cake in 170 gram containers with UPC number 8 04879 34014 0, and Taiyaki in 340 gram containers with UPC number 8 04879 … [Read more...]

Humane Society Launches Whistleblower Program

Pigs

The Humane Society of the United States has launched a whistleblower program for factory farm workers. The hotline will let employees at those farms, in slaughterhouses, and at livestock auctions report cruelty and animal abuse. The hotline (1-888-209-7177) offers a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people who have committed acts of cruelty to farm animals. The hotline will be distributed to factory farm workers with the help of the United Farm Workers union. Hotline callers can remain anonymous if they want. Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection for the HSUS said in a statement, "the bleak conditions endured by animals on factory farms are often made worse by overt violence an neglect. Pigs are often beaten. Chickens are … [Read more...]

Mixing Dietary Supplements and Meds Is a Danger

Dietary-Supplements

The Food and Drug Administration, in one of its Consumer Updates, reminds you that mixing medications and dietary supplements can endanger your heath. Robert Mozersky , a medical officer at the FDA said, "Some dietary supplements may increase the effect of your medication, and other dietary supplements may decrease it." Dietary supplements can change metabolism, absorption, and excretion of a medication and affect how it works. Mozerky added, "you may be getting either too much or too little of a medication you need." One example a supplement that interacts with prescription medications is St. John's Wort. That supplement, taken for depression, can make meds for HIV/AIDS, heart disease, depression, birth control pills, and treatments for organ transplants less effective. Other … [Read more...]

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