August 2, 2014

If You ate Recalled Wawona Fruit and Are Sick, Here’s What to Do

Fruit Recalled for Listeria Contamination

We've received many comments from people who ate Wawona peaches, plums, nectarines, and pluots that have been recalled for Listeria and have been experiencing illness. It's important to remember that no illnesses have yet been officially reported in connection with this recalled fruit, and that there is no guarantee that the fruit you purchased was contaminated. Listeria monocytogenes can cause two types of infections: listerial gastroenteritis, which is less serious, and invasive listeriosis, which is a serious blood infection. Listeriosis food poisoning is very rare; there are only 2,500 cases diagnosed in the U.S. every year out of 300,000,000 people. Still, it's better to be safe than sorry. Listeria monocytogenes bacteria can cause serious illness, especially in very young … [Read more...]

USDA Denies Petition to Declare Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella an Adulterant

usdaart

The USDA on Thursday denied a petition from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) to declare antibiotic-resistant Salmonella an adulterant in food. The non profit petitioned the government three years ago to add the dangerous bacteria to the list. If a bacteria is declared an adulterant, it cannot be present in food sold to the public. CSPI food safety director Caroline Smith DeWall said in a statement, "USDA's failure to act on antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella in the meat supply ignores vital information about the public health risk posed by these pathogens. Despite numerous examples of outbreaks linked to resistant pathogens, USDA leaves consumers vulnerable to illnesses that carry a much greater risk of hard-to-treat infections leading to … [Read more...]

Was Listeria Meningitis Death of Virginia Newborn Linked to Recent Recall?

Newborn death may have linked to Listeria recall

The mother of a newborn girl, who was delivered five weeks prematurely and died six days later of Listeria Meningitis, says that, while pregnant, she ate food that was part of a nationwide Listeria recall, according to a report by NBC12 News. It would be the first illness and death tied to a recent Listeria recall if epidemiological tests establish a link. Shortly after she was born, little Kennedy Grace Briggs had difficulty breathing and developed a rash. Tests showed she had a Listeria infection and developed Listeria Meningitis, an often fatal form of meningitis. Jenae and Briggs say baby Kennedy was a red-head and fighter who battled the infection for almost a week. "She was so loved," Jenae told NBC12 News. Pregnant women are at special risk for Listeria. Although they may only … [Read more...]

Senators Ask FDA for More Info About Animal Antibiotic Use

Congress

Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have written a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, asking her for more information about the public health threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria. They are concerned that the FDA's policies on sub therapeutic use of antibiotics in farm animals do not go far enough to address this growing problem. A recently approved Veterinary Feed Directives rule would require farmers to obtain a "prescription-like document" to acquire "nearly all" antibiotics. Last week the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled that the FDA does not need to hold hearings on antibiotic use in farm animals to force the industry to prove this practice is safe. Food safety advocates were dismayed by this … [Read more...]

Groups Urge Congress to Reject Enlist Duo Herbicide

CropSprayinglg

Consumer groups, scientists, and doctors are urging congress to pressure the Obama administration to reject an application for "Enlist Duo ™ which is a new toxic herbicide made of 2,4-D and glyphosate. The EPA is reviewing an application for this compound from Dow AgroSciences. This herbicide would be used on millions of acres of farm fields in combination with genetically engineered crops that would tolerate the compound. The Center for Food Safety states that this herbicide would put human and environmental health at risk. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, has been linked to cancer development in people, and 2,4-D was used in Agent Orange, the herbicide that has sickened many Vietnam vets. Dr. Philip Landrigan of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine said, "exposures to … [Read more...]

UC Davis Food Safety Partnership with China

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The University of California, Davis will be part of a new Sino-U.S. Joint Research Center for Food Safety in China. Researchers form the university will work with officials from China’s Northwest Agricultural and Forestry University in Shaanxi province on the new project.  "We are incredibly pleased to join forces with Northwest A&F University and look forward to making discoveries and realizing solutions that will promote food safety in China and around the world,” said UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi.  "The food industry has become the largest industry in China; and food safety is a critical area for China and the U.S. to have creative cooperation and learn from each other," said Zhang Laiwu, China's vice minister of science and technology. "It not only involves technologies, … [Read more...]

Serving Up Maggots and Other Gross Food Stories

Cockroach

A food poisoning outbreak sickened 150 inmates at Parnall Correctional Facility in Jackson, MI who,  in a scene right of the Shawshank Redemption, were served food crawling with maggots. Twice in one week.  The outbreak leads this month's edition of the Neews, food safety stories that put the eew in news. The Parnall outbreak focussed attention on Philadelphia food service provider Aramak which has drawn fire from politicians and families of inmates for longstanding problems. Michigan Corrections Organization (MCO) union, SEIU Local 526M had been reporting problems with the company for weeks before the outbreak. One letter writer to Food Poisoning Bulletin who has a loved one at Parnall said the facility often serves the inmates rotten food and runs out of food at mealtimes. Mark … [Read more...]

USDA Issues Alert For Restaurant Breaded Chicken

Chickennuggets

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a public health alert for breaded chicken produced by VU Foods of Kansas City, Mo. which was not inspected but sold to restaurants. Meat that is not inspected is considered unfit for human consumption by the USDA. Because VU Foods would not recall the products, the USDA FSIS has issued an alert. No illnesses have been reported in connection with the chicken products. The products included in the warning bear the establishment number “P-45038” inside the USDA mark of inspection or on the label. Some labels also state that the products were distributed by Tact Foodservice or US Foods, those products were sent to distributors and labeled for “Use in Restaurant Only.” The alert covers the following … [Read more...]

Court Rules FDA Doesn’t Need to Hold Hearings on Antibiotic Use

Gavel

In a serious blow to those concerned about antibiotic use in farm animals, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled on Thursday, July 24, 2014 that the FDA does not have to hold hearings on the safety of feeding antibiotics to farm animals at sub therapeutic levels. Two years ago, two courts ruled that the FDA is required to hold those hearings to force the industry to prove that this particular use of antibiotics is safe. The appeal would have forced the FDA to end the use of penicillin and tetracyclines, two classes of antibiotics that are critical to human health, in animal feed. There is overwhelming scientific evidence linking this misuse of drugs in food animals to rising antibiotic resistance in many pathogenic bacteria. At least 20,000 people in the United … [Read more...]

Three States File Lawsuits Against 5-Hour Energy Maker

5-Hour Energy

Three states: Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, have filed lawsuits against the makers of 5-Hour Energy, a drink that is loaded with caffeine, for deceptive marketing. That product has been linked to 22 deaths reported to the government since 2004. The defendants are Living Essentials and Innovation Ventures. The Oregon complaint alleges that the companies "repeatedly violated the Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA) by making deceptive and misleading claims about the 5-hour Energy products." The company used print, television, internet, and radio advertising to claim that the product has a "unique combination of ingredients" that provided consumers with "energy, alertness and focus", when the only active ingredient was a concentrated dose of caffeine. Vitamins, enzymes, and amino … [Read more...]

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