August 25, 2016

Climate Change Increasing Vibrio Infections

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that climate change is increasing the incidence of Vibrio infections in the United States. Long term ecological data analysis has found that climate change is affecting marine animal, plant, and fungi populations. Marine prokaryotes (single celled organisms), the largest living biomass in the world's oceans, play a fundamental role in maintaining life on the planet. Evidence has been found that, for the first time, provides a link between climate variability in the North Atlantic and the presence and spread of marine Vibrios, one of the ocean's prokaryotes. Several species of Vibrio bacteria are responsible for infections in animals and humans. Humans acquire Vibrio infections by eating raw or … [Read more...]

USDA Says Deli Listeria Pilot Project Working Well

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has released their second quarter report of a year-long pilot program that assesses whether retailers are using the government's recommendations to address Listeria monocytogenes contamination in their deli departments. The program started in January 2016. The report states that more retail delis are following recommendations. Listeria monocytogenes contamination is a serious issue with deli products, especially sliced meats and cheeses. There have been several outbreaks in the past few years linked to these products, particularly soft cheeses. There is zero tolerance for Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in ready to eat foods. The government surveyed 503 retail delis in the second quarter, up from 334 surveyed in the first … [Read more...]

Hiring a Caterer? Due Diligence is in Order

A wedding held in Snonomish County, Washington state last month was the scene of a food poisoning outbreak that sickened at least 20 people. The caterer for that event, Mr. Rick's Catering, was unlicensed and unpermitted. In fact, that business was recently fined by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department for continuing to operate without a permit since 2012. If you are planning an event and need a caterer, it behooves you to investigate their background. Unlicensed caterers do exist in this country. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department reminds consumers that buy9ing food from permitted food sellers reduces your risk for foodborne illness. No food is 100% safe, of course, but reducing the risk of contamination is important. Permitted caterers employ staff who are trained … [Read more...]

FDA Issues Revised Draft Guidance to Improve Supplement Safety Notifications

The FDA issued a revised draft guidance on August 11, 2016 to improve dietary supplement companies' new dietary ingredient (NDI) premarket safety notifications to the government. These notifications help the FDA identify safety concerns before consumers buy these products. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) requires a manufacturer or distributor to notify the FDA at least 75 days before marketing a supplement that contains a new dietary ingredient, unless the NDI is used in the food supply without chemical alteration. A new dietary ingredient is one that was not marketed in the U.S. before October 15, 1994. Supplements are considered adulterated if they contain an NDI not used in the food supply and if notification has not been submitted to the FDA 75 days … [Read more...]

Michigan Food Service Worker Diagnosed with Hepatitis A

A food service worker at the Social Kitchen and Bar in Birmingham, Michigan, has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, with the Oakland County Health Division and the Wayne County Wellness Services Division have identified the infection. That restaurant is located at 225 East Maple Road in Birmingham. Anyone who consumed any food or drinks at that establishment between July 16, 2016 and August 6, 2016 may have been exposed to the virus. The hepatitis A and immune globulin vaccinations available for this virus are only good if given within two weeks of exposure, so anyone who visited the restaurant before July 28, 2016 is no longer eligible for the shot. People who have had hepatitis A before or have been vaccinated with two doses … [Read more...]

USDA’s Catfish Inspection Program Stops Unsafe Shipment

A press release from Food & Water Watch states that last week, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) stopped more than 40,000 pounds of unsafe catfish products from being imported into the United States from Vietnam. The shipment tested positive for malachite green, a drug that is banned for use in food animals in this country because it is potentially carcinogenic. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch said in a statement, "since FSIS took over inspection of both domestic and imported siluriformes and catfish in April 2016, the agency has taken actions to protect consumers." In May 2016, a shipper from China refused to let FSIS inspect his shipment of catfish and was stopped from offloading the cargo. In June 2016, an importer was forced to … [Read more...]

Learn How to Select and Serve Produce Safely

Summer is a time when everyone enjoys eating more fresh produce. But there have been many foodborne illness outbreaks in the past few years linked to fresh fruits and vegetables. Some of the pathogens in those outbreaks include Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and cyclospora. The FDA is offering tips to help you choose and serve fresh produce safely. Harmful bacteria can be in the irrigation water used in the fields. Animals can poop on the plants, transferring pathogenic bacteria onto the fruits and vegetables. Product can also be contaminated during harvest, processing, or transport. When you buy produce, always choose products that are not damaged, cut, or bruised. Those injuries are open doorways to pathogens. Once the pathogens are inside the fruit or vegetable, … [Read more...]

Senator Schumer: FDA Needs to Fix Recall Process

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is calling on the federal government to improve the FDA's ability to recall contaminated foods. He uses the recall of millions of pounds of General Mills flour for potential E. coli contamination as an example. The E. coli O121 and O26 outbreak linked to that flour began in December 2015, but the flour itself was not recalled until May 2016. Meanwhile, more American consumers got sick. The Senator called for major changes, to make sure the FDA is doing everything it can to prevent future foodborne illness. The Senator is responding to a recently released report by the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which suggested that the FDA is taking far too long to initiate food recalls, putting consumers at … [Read more...]

CDC Spending $67 Million to Fight Antibiotic Resistance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is going to spend $67,000,000 to help fight the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. That money will go to health departments across the country in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and to local health departments in six major cities. Those six cities include New York City, Houston, Chicago, D.C., Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. The money will be available to jurisdictions starting today, August 1, 2016. That money will help labs test for multidrug-resistant bacteria and will aid in whole genome sequencing (WGS) of Salmonella, Shigella, and other intestinal bacteria. Officials hope that this funding and new testing will help the government respond more quickly to food poisoning outbreaks. That funding will also help support seven … [Read more...]

FDA Found Listeria at Reser’s Halifax NC Facility

After two Listeria recalls, more bad foods for Reser's Fine Foods. Investigators from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say Listeria has "maintained a presence" at Reser's facility in Halifax, NC since 2013, according to an FDA warning letter to the company made public this week. Salads produced by Reser's Fine Foods were recalled for Listeria in 2013 and earlier this year. During FDA inspections in 2013, 2014 and 2015 environmental samples collected from the plant were positive for Listeria. Samples collected on November 3-5, 2015, confirmed that some positive samples were from food contact surfaces. Four environmental swabs from inside the processing room were positive for Listeria. The FDA conducted  Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) analysis on six Listeria isolates … [Read more...]

Report Your Food Poisoning Case
[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
×
×

Home About Site Map Contact Us Sponsored by PritzkerOlsen, P.A. Law Firm