April 23, 2018

Raw Chicken Necks are Linked to APN Paralysis in Dogs

According to a study conducted at the University of Melbourne, raw chicken necks have been linked to a potentially fatal form of paralysis. The illness is called acute polyradiculoneuritis (APN), which shares similarities with Guillain-Barre syndrome in humans. The bacteria in question is Campylobacter. Scientists studied 27 client-owned dogs suffering from suspected APN and 47 healthy dogs. The researchers collected fecal samples from each dog and performed direct culture, DNA extraction, and polymerase chain retain to look for Campylobacter. The research revealed that dogs with APN were 9.4 times more likely to be positive for Campylobacter species compared to dogs in the control group. And a significant association was found between dogs affected by APN and the consumption of … [Read more...]

FDA Releases Information About Opioid Compounds in Kratom

The FDA released information about adverse events and scientific analysis providing evidence of opioid properties in kratom, an ingredient used in some dietary supplements. Food Poisoning Bulletin told you about a warning the FDA issued last November about this ingredient, stating that the substance is addictive and has been linked to deaths in this country. The FDA conducted a scientific analysis using a computational model developed by scientists in the agency, which provides "even stronger evidence of kratom compounds' opioid properties." More adverse events involving this product have been reported. Government officials are concerned about the use of this substance to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms. The press release states that "there is no reliable evidence to support the … [Read more...]

Studies Find Sea Salt is Contaminated with Plastic

According to The Guardian, sea salt around the world is contaminated with tiny bits of plastic. Research was conducted at the State University of New York at Fredonia. Sherri Mason, a professor at that facility told the Guardian, "Not only are plastics pervasive in our society in terms of daily use, but they are pervasive in the environment. Plastics are ubiquitous, in the air, water, the seafood we eat, the beer we drink, the salt we use - plastics are just everywhere." Researchers think the plastic in sea salt comes from microfibers and single-use plastics such as water bottles. Scientists studied 12 kinds of salt purchased in U.S. grocery stores. They found that Americans could be eating more than 600 particles of plastic every year in sea salt, and that's if they follow the … [Read more...]

Food & Water Watch Finds Privatized Inspection System Produces More Contaminated Chicken

Food & Watch Watch has analyzed the USDA's regulatory sampling for Salmonella bacteria in the country's poultry slaughter plants, and has found that more contaminated chicken is being produced. Thirty percent of plants operating under the new privatized system have failed the performance standard for that pathogenic bacteria. The New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS) removes USDA inspectors from slaughter lines. Company employees are now responsible for inspections, under this system. Just one USDA inspector is on each line, and that person must inspect three birds per second. The final rule, proposed in 2012, was published in 2014. USDA argued that this inspection system would reduce the incidence of Salmonella contamination. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & … [Read more...]

CDC Offers Tips to Prevent the Spread of Norovirus

During the winter months when more people are indoors and in close quarters, norovirus cases, a type of food poisoning, increase; more than 80% of norovirus outbreaks occur from November to April. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering tips to help you protect yourself and others against this virus. Norovirus is the name for a group of viruses that cause inflammation of the stomach and intestines, which is also known as gastroenteritis. Symptoms of this illness are abdominal and stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Officials think that this pathogenic virus causes about 20 million illnesses in the United States every year, 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations, and about 700 deaths. Many people call this illness the "stomach flu." But it is not … [Read more...]

USDA Guide to Hosting a Safe Super Bowl Party

The Super Bowl is this Sunday; if you're hosting a party, take advice from the USDA to make sure the food you are serving is safe. These tips and rules will help ensure that your guests are happy and don't get sick. Begin by washing your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. This will remove any bacteria from your hands before you start preparing the food. And make sure that dishware and utensils are clean and sanitized before you use them to prepare, warm, cook or serve food. Make sure that you separate raw foods such as raw meat and poultry and foods that are eaten uncooked such as crudités and dips. Use clean and different utensils for each dish. Never use your own spoon or fork to serve yourself foods from the buffet, or you could contaminate the food. Use … [Read more...]

What Happens to the FDA, CDC, and USDA During the Government Shutdown?

The United States government is under a shutdown as of January 20, 2018. What does that mean to the work done by the FDA and USDA to help keep our food supply safe? The FDA has posted a statement saying that "only some of our work is permitted to continue during a lapse in funding." Agency operations will continue in areas that address "imminent threats to the safety of human life and activities funded by carryover user fee funds." The FDFA will still monitor for and respond to food poisoning outbreaks; will support high-risk food and medical product recalls when those products endanger consumers; pursue criminal and some civil investigations when they believe the public health is at risk; screening food and medical products imported to the U.S.; and address "other critical pubic … [Read more...]

Sixty-One Vendors at the New York State Fair Cited for Critical Violations

Sixty-one vendors at the New York State Fair were cited for serious violations, according to Syracuse.com. The violations were for problems and issues that can cause foodborne illness. That paper submitted a request for the violations at the New York State Fair with a Freedom of Information Act request. Two complaints of ill persons were investigated at the fair last year, but were "unsubstantiated," according to the report. The 100 violations were rated as "critical." These types of violations involve cooking, storage temperatures, the condition of food, or the source of the food. They may also be linked to water and sewage, presence of pests, use of toxic materials, and the sanitary practices of food workers. Officials also found 371 non-critical violations at the New York … [Read more...]

Study Finds Recurrent Salmonella and Campylobacter Food Poisoning Infections May Cause Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A new study published in Science has found that recurrent Salmonella infections may cause inflammatory bowel disease and they may have found the mechanism. Researchers studying mice found that these infections progressively disable protection against intestinal inflammation. Foodborne illnesses are a serious human health problem. Doctors are seeing increasing cases of colitis and inflammatory bowel disease. Scientists have long believed that environmental triggers of these conditions are possible. For instance, bacterial infections are associated with seasonal increases in intestinal inflammation diagnoses; in other words, during the months that Salmonella infections are most common, more people are diagnosed with intestinal inflammation. The researchers think that common … [Read more...]

New Study Finds E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella in Raw Pet Foods

Raw pet foods can be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria such as E. coil O157:H7, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes, according to a new study published in the journal Veterinary Record. These findings show that raw meat-based diets (RMBDs) "may post a risk to both animal and human health," according to the study. The study was conducted at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Raw pet foods have risen in popularity in the past few years. Humans are at risk for possible illness by handling the food, and by touching or petting animals fed this food. Pathogens can also be passed from pet fed raw diets to human by the dog or cat licking people. The researchers analyzed 35 commercial products from eight different brands. They found E. coli O157:H7 in 23% of the samples, … [Read more...]

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