April 27, 2017

MDH Offers Steps to Keep Backyard Poultry Keepers Safe

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is offering simple steps to keep backyard poultry-keepers safe. There have been large Salmonella outbreaks in the past linked to backyard poultry flocks. In 2014, hundreds were sickened in a Salmonella outbreak linked to the birds, and in 2016, there were eight Salmonella outbreaks caused by contact with live poultry. Many people keep backyard birds for fresh eggs and meat. But there are risks associated with raising poultry; the birds can be carriers of Salmonella and other pathogenic bacteria. Children under the age of 5, people with weakened immune systems, the elderly, and pregnant women are most likely to become seriously ill with a Salmonella infection. So MDH is offering some steps to protect yourself and your family. First, be … [Read more...]

CDC Releases Data on Foodborne Illnesses and CIDTs 2013 – 2016

In the latest issue of CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a report studied the incidence and trends of infections of foodborne pathogens from 2013 - 2016. The report also looked at the effect of the increasing use of culture-independent diagnostic tests (CIDTs) on pathogen surveillance. Overall, the 2016 incidence of confirmed Campylobacter infections was lower in the United States, but incidences of confirmed Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), Yersinia, and Cryptosporidium infections were higher. But the report states that culture-independent diagnostics tests (CIDTs) are complicating this data, because testing for pathogens may be occurring more frequently using this method.  In 2016, FoodNet, the CDC's Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network, identified … [Read more...]

FDA Acted on Homeopathic Teething Products

Lyndsay Meyer, Press Officer of the Office of Media Affairs at the FDA reached out to Food Poisoning Bulletin to inform us of the process behind the recent recall of Hyland's Homeopathic Teething Tablets. The FDA issued a statement about this issue on April 13, 2017. The statement says that FDA is alerting consumers of a nationwide voluntary recall of all lots of Hyland's Baby Teething Tablets and Hyland's Baby Nighttime Teething Tablets by the manufacturer, Standard Homeopathic Company. That company received FDA's formal recall request on April 10, 2017, and agreed. The letter states, "The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requesting that you immediately initiate a recall of all lots ofHyland's Baby Teething Tablets and Hyland's Baby Nighttime Teething Tablets, within … [Read more...]

New Insights on How Pathogens Escape Immune System

A new study at the University of Cologne is trying to decode how the pathogen Salmonella enterica escapes the immune system. And they found a mechanism the bacteria uses. There were 13,822 reported cases of Salmonella typhimurium in Germany in 2015. In healthy people, most recover without any treatment from antibiotics, but those who are considered "high risk" can suffer serious illness and even death. Those patients include the elderly, the very young, pregnant women, people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, and those with immune deficiencies. In those high risk patients, the bacteria cause damage to cells and can get into the bloodstream. If this happens, an infection called "sepsis" occurs, which can be life-threatening. Salmonella bacteria escape a process called … [Read more...]

Food Allergies Can Be Life-Threatening

Food Poisoning Bulletin is constantly searching for and publishing information about food and drink recalls for potential food allergens, and with good reason. According to the FDA, serious allergic reactions to food allergens causes 30,000 emergency room visits, 2,000 hospitalizations, and 150 deaths in this country every year. Anaphylaxis is caused by a severe reaction to one of the eight major food allergens, which include milk, wheat, eggs, soy, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, and peanuts. More than 150 other foods can cause allergic reactions in people allergic to them, But those top eight cause 90% of food allergic reactions. While most allergies start in childhood, and while some children can "outgrow" their allergies, anyone can develop an allergy to anything at any time … [Read more...]

Banzai Sushi Receives FDA Warning Letter

The FDA has sent a warning letter to Northwest Frozen LLC, doing business as Banzai Sushi, in Seattle, Washington. That seafood processing facility has serious violations of seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations and Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations for food. The facility must conduct or have conducted a hazard analysis for each kind of fish and fishery product produced. And an HACCP plan that lists the food safety hazards that are reasonably likely to occur. The firm's HACCP plan for "Frozen IQF Sushi Pieces" does not list the following food safety hazards: Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation; pathogenic bacteria growth and toxin formation; and undeclared allergens. The letter states that intact vacuum-packaged seafood … [Read more...]

Ten Common Food Safety Mistakes

EatRight.org has published the 10 common food safety mistakes mosts people make. Since millions of Americans contract food poisoning every year, and most are not part of an outbreak, it's important to recognize these mistakes to stop making them. The first mistake is tasting food to see if it's still good. You can't see, taste, or smell pathogenic bacteria in food, and the texture is not affected by any toxins. It takes just 10 E. coli bacteria to make you sick; that number is invisible in the tiniest bit of food. The second mistake is putting cooked or ready-to-eat foods on a plate that held raw meat. This cross-contamination can make you very ill. Always use separate plates, cutting boards, and utensil when you are handling raw meats, eggs, poultry, and seafood. The third … [Read more...]

Minnesota Lutefisk Manufacturer Gets FDA Warning Letter

Day Fish Company in Braham, Minnesota was inspected by the FDA from January 17 to January 23, 2017 and received a warning letter. The firm makes lutefisk from imported dried cod distributes pickled herring cutlets. According to the letter, the inspection revealed "serious violations of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation, Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR), Part 123. hat means that fish or fishery products are adulterated. The refrigerated, ready to eat seafood products are adulterated "in that they have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health." The firm must conduct a hazard analysis for each kind of fish and fishery product they produce along with a … [Read more...]

Lawsuit Against EPA Over CAFOs Settled

According to Food & Water Watch, a federal court approved a settlement agreement, ending years of litigation over the Environmental Protection AGency's (EPA) release of concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This will protect the public's access to information about factory farm pollution. Industry groups sued the EPA for this information in 2013 when the agency gathered basic information about CAFOs from state agencies. A coalition of advocacy and consumer groups, including Food & Water Watch, the Environmental Integrity Project, and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, wanted to protect access to this data. The settlement will require the EPA to withhold some information from the records collected from states, … [Read more...]

Most Cookbooks Give Readers Bad Food Safety Advice

A new study published in the British Food Journal has found that most cookbooks give readers poor food safety advice. Researchers looked at 29 cookbooks that have been on the New York Times bestseller list for food and diet books. Past research has found that poor and incorrect food handling practices can cause foodborne illness, which sickens millions of Americans every year. The study's purpose was to evaluate communication of food safety guidelines in the books. The researchers wanted to know if the recipe tells the cook to heat the dish to a specific internal temperature, if it includes a safe final temperature, and if the recipe perpetuates food safety myths. Those myths include cooking poultry until "the juices run clear" or until a hamburger is no longer pink. Other … [Read more...]

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