November 28, 2015

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...]

Why Do Some Supplements Contain Unapproved Drugs?

The Department of Justice and its federal partners is announcing a nationwide sweep and enforcement actions against some dietary supplement makers. More than 100 of those facilities have been investigated in the past year. One of the main reasons for these recalls is that the products contain drugs that have been removed from U.S. markets. Why are these products being sold with unapproved drugs? This year-long effort focused resources on facilities that sold supplements that contain ingredients other than those listed on the label, or the sale of products that make health claims unsupported by scientific evidence. One of the criminal cases announced charges against USPlabs LLC, maker of OxyElite Pro and Jack3d, along with several of its officers. In 2013, OxyElite Pro was recalled by … [Read more...]

FDA Approves AquaBounty GE Salmon

Genetically engineered salmon created by AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. has been given market approval by the U.S.  Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agency is seeking comment on labeling guidance documents for companies that make and sell food items containing the genetically engineered product. AquaBounty says that because the U.S. currently imports over 95 percent of the Atlantic salmon it consumes,  AquAdvantage Salmon offers a new domestic alternative. The salmon, AquAdvantage Salmon, has been genetically enhanced to reach market size in less time than natural salmon. The company says using land-based aquaculture systems to produce the fish is an environmentally friendly way to produce food without damaging the ocean. But the green track record isn't perfect. Last year, the … [Read more...]

USDA: Countdown to Thanksgiving

The USDA is offering food safety and meal planning tips for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. That holiday is a week away, and now is the time to start planning. First, plan early and shop early to make sure that nothing is forgotten. Shelf stable items and foods that can be safely stored for a week should be purchased now. Clean the fridge and use up foods that take space in that appliance. Make sure that you have the right equipment for the meal. The roasting pan has to be large enough for the turkey. You should have a food thermometer to make sure that all food is cooked to a safe temperature. Turkey should be cooke dot a minimum internal temperature of 165°F, checked in the innermost part of the thigh, the innermost part of the wing, and the thickest part of … [Read more...]

Food Policy Action Releases Congressional Scorecard

Food Policy Action, a coalition of Environmental Working Group and other agencies, has published its Congressional scorecard for the year. Other members of the agency include the Humane Society of the United States, Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Oxfam America, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, among others. The stated mission is to "highlight the importance of food policy and to promote policies that support healthy diets, reduce hunger at home and abroad, improve food access and affordability, uphold the rights and dignity of food and farm workers, increase transparency, improve public health, reduce the risk of food-borne illness, support local and regional food systems, protect and maintain sustainable fisheries, treat farm … [Read more...]

Justice Department Slaps Supplement Maker With Criminal Charges

The U.S. Justice Department has brought an 11-count indictment against Dallas -based supplement maker USPlabs LLC, and filed five civil suits against other supplement makers. The lawsuits are part of a nationwide sweep of more than 100 supplement makers conducted by DOJ and its federal partners. Supplements are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but, unlike drugs, they do not require pre-market approval. Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that their products are safe, but not all of them do. In fact, many of these products contain undeclared ingredients that pose health hazards for those with certain medical conditions and interfere with prescription medications. And others have been found to contain banned drugs. These supplements have been linked to … [Read more...]

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