January 23, 2017

FDA and EPA Release Fish Consumption Advice

The FDA and EPA have issued advice about eating fish, geared toward pregnant women, women of child-bearing age, breastfeeding mothers, and parents of young children. The issue regarding fish consumption is mercury content. A reference chart sorts 62 types of fish into three categories: "Best choices" you can eat two to three times a week; "good choices" that you can eat once a week, and "fish to avoid." Fish in the "best choices" category include almost 90% of the fish eaten in this country. FDA conducted an analysis of fish consumption data and found that 50% of pregnant women surveyed ate less than 2 ounces a week. That is much less than the recommended amount. The nutritional benefits of eating fish are important for growth and development during pregnancy and early … [Read more...]

How to Report Problems to the FDA

The FDA is charged with making sure that foods and drugs are safe to eat and use. If you have a problem with a product that this agency regulates, you can report it. FDA regulates about 20% of the products sold in this country. They include human prescription and over-the-counter drugs; medical devices; foods, including dietary supplements, infant formulas, beverage, and ingredients added to foods; veterinary products, including foods and drugs for animals; electronic products that give off radiation; biologics, including vaccines, blood, and tissues for transplantation; and cosmetics. The FDA also regulates tobacco products. If you report a problem to the FDA, you could help identify a risk and protect others from harm. Your report could also help the FDA know when to trigger … [Read more...]

E. coli Research Will Continue at University of Nebraska

An E. coli research program that has led to improved detection methods and food safety education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with continue.The $25 million project is investigating Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) strains that can contaminate beef. The project began in 2011. This type of bacteria can cause serious infections, which can lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in some cases. HUS can cause kidney failure and death. The project is in its final phase. It has also improved eradication techniques for meat-packing pants and has given scientists a better understanding of how the bacteria grows and proliferates. Dr. Rodney Moxley, a professor of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences at the University and the project director said, "the whole goal is to … [Read more...]

FDA Issues Draft Guidance for Control of Listeria in RTE Foods

The FDA is distributing a draft guidance, for comment purposes only, on the control of Listeria monocytogenes in ready to eat (RTE) foods. The guidance is for industry. All comments should be submitted electronically or written by July 17, 2017. The document is intended to help manufactures comply with current good manufacturing practices and risk-based preventive controls for human food. The final rule is the product of outreach by the FDA to industry, consumer groups, academia, and other stakeholders. The rule was first proposed in January 2013. There is zero tolerance for Listeria monocytogenes in ready to eat foods. This bacteria causes serious illness and death. It grows at refrigerator temperatures, and freezing does not kill it. Heating to 160°F is the only way to destroy … [Read more...]

Camel Milk Company Warned Over Health Claims

The FDA sent a letter to Desert Farms of Santa Monica, California, telling them that the claims they are making about the products classify them as drugs, and they cannot sell them through interstate commerce. The FDA has threatened to seize products and may seek an injunction against Walid Abdul-Wahab and his company. The company's Facebook page posts therapeutic claims that state the milk is "intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease." The products for sale are Raw Camel Milk (Fresh); Raw Camel Milk (Frozen); Raw Camel Milk Kefir (Fresh); Raw Camel Milk Kefir (Frozen); Pasteurized Camel Milk (Fresh); Pasteurized Camel Milk (Frozen); and Raw Camel Milk 1st Colostrum (Frozen); Raw Camel Milk Regular Colostrum (Frozen); and Camel Milk … [Read more...]

Secondary Salmonella Recalls of Products Made with Dry Milk

There have been more than two dozen secondary recalls of products for possible Salmonella contamination in the past month. They all have something in common: they were made with powdered milk products that have been recalled for the possibility of contamination. We are gathering all of the recalls in one place so you can refer to them easily. This list will be updated every time another product is added. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem. If you did eat any of these products and have been sick with the symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning, see your doctor. Return these products to the store or throw them out if you purchased them. The original recall was for Valley Milk Products nonfat dry milk powder and sweet cream buttermilk powder. … [Read more...]

FDA Wants Info on Fiber on the Nutrition Facts Label

The FDA is providing more time for the public to comment on the fiber documents related to the Nutrition Facts Label. The label is being updated with new content, including serving size requirements based on what the reality of what people actually eat, and daily values for certain nutrients. The original comment period was going to close on January 9, 2017. The FDA is also going to provide more time to comment on its draft guidance "Scientific Evaluation of the Evidence on the Beneficial Physiological Effects of Isolates or Synthetic Non-digestible Carbohydrates Submitted as a Citizen Petition." The FDA's final rule that was published on May 27, 2016, required that only certain naturally occurring dietary fibers found in whole foods, and added isolated or synthetic fibers that … [Read more...]

Kansas State U Study: Celebrity Chefs Have Poor Food Safety Practices

According to a study conducted at Kansas State University, celebrity chefs have poor food safety practices. Edgar Chambers IV and Curtis Maughan from KSU, with Sandria Godwin from Tennessee State University, wrote "Food safety behaviors observed in celebrity chefs across a variety of programs" which was published in the Journal of Public Health. The study was sponsored by the USDA, FDA, and CDC. Researchers looked at 100 cooking shows that were hosted by 24 celebrity chefs and found problematic food preparation behaviors. Chambers said, "twenty-three percent of chefs licked their fingers; that's terrible. Twenty percent touched their hair or dirty clothing or things and then touched food again." The most common food safety hazards observed on these shows included lack of hand … [Read more...]

NIH Issues Guidelines to Prevent Peanut Allergies

Many of the pieces we write have to do with products recalled for undeclared allergens. One of the most serious allergens is the peanut. Some people are so allergic to peanuts that a very tiny amount can produce anaphylactic shock or death. A panel sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of the National Institutes of health, has issued clinical guidelines to help health care providers introduce peanut containing foods to infants to prevent peanut allergies. Peanut allergies is a growing problem. Those with this allergy have to be vigilant about the foods they eat and even the environment around them to avoid peanuts and peanut products. Research has been showing that introducing peanuts and peanut-containing foods into an … [Read more...]

Don’t Buy Meat from Mobile Vendors

The Brown County, Indiana Health Department is warning consumers not to buy meat out of the back of a truck. The Brown County Democrat reports that someone has been attempting to sell meat illegally in the area. Jennifer Heller Rugenstein of the Brown County Health Department said in a statement put out by officials, "None of these people are authorized to sell meat in this county. The health department has strict requirements to sell any kind of food within the county. The only authorized mobile meat vendor in our county is Schwan Foods in the yellow truck. There is great risk in buying meat or seafood from unlicensed vendors. Sometimes this meat is obtained from places where it has been discarded due to being past the usable date, and it is repackaged and resold." You do not … [Read more...]

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