March 28, 2017

Secondary Cheese Recalls for Listeria Monocytogenes

There have been more than a dozen secondary recalls of cheeses and products made with cheese under different brand names for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination in the past month. Those products were distributed by MDS Foods of Massillon, Ohio and were provided to them by Deutsch Kase Haus, LLC of Middlebury, Indiana. The recall notice states, "Deutsch Kase Haus, LLC of Middlebury, Indiana, supplied MDS Foods with Colby and Colby Jack minihorn cheeses that have been found to be contaminated with the pathogenic organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems." No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the consumption of these products. We have gathered all … [Read more...]

FDA Releases 2016 Food Safety Survey Report

The FDA has released the 2016 Food Safety Survey Report. This is a periodic national telephone survey of adults in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. This survey has been conducted since 1988 and is used to help the FDA and USDA make regulatory and education decisions. The 2016 survey was the first time cell phone users were sampled in addition to landline phone users. The survey interviewed 4,169 respondents between October 2015 and January 2016. The key findings are below. The survey found that consumers are somewhat concerned about getting a foodborne illness from how they prepare food, but think that people are more likely to get sick from food prepared at a restaurant.  It is true that more outbreaks (defined as two more more unrelated people sickened with the same … [Read more...]

FDA Tells Pet Owners Not to Feed Two Dog Foods

The FDA is advising pet owners not to feed their pets certain lots of Evander's Hunk of Beef or Against the Grain Grain Free Pulled Beef with Gravy canned dog foods after unopened cans from both brands were found to contain pentobarbital, a barbiturate. This drug is used in animal euthanasia. It should not be in pet food. The FDA was not able to determine from records whether any other Evanger's or Against the Grain products made with beef contained any of the beef used in the recalled products. In addition, the FDA inspected manufacturing facilities on February 14, 2017 and found "numerous significant concerns with conditions" at the company's Wheeling, Illinois and Markham, Illinois plants. The advisory states that "these are initial observations and do not represent a final … [Read more...]

Tips for a Safe and Healthy Valentine’s Day Dinner

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering 14 tips for a safe and healthy Valentine's Day dinner, whether you eat out at a restaurant or at home. About 65% of food poisoning outbreaks are traced to food prepared in a restaurant. When you go into a restaurant, first look at the scene. See if certificates are posted that show food safety practices, such as a health inspection score.Make sure that the glasses, silverware, napkins, and tablecloths are clean. Watch out for unlikely sources of sodium. Most sodium comes from breads and rolls, cold cuts, cured meats, pizza, poultry, soups, sandwiches, cheese, pasta dishes, meat dishes, and snacks. Look up nutritional information in advance, since most major restaurant chains post this information online. Always … [Read more...]

Virginia Raw Milk Bill Fails in House of Delegates

The Virginia House of Delegates voted against House Bill 2030, which would have legalized the sale of raw milk. The vote was 6 to 15. The bill would have allowed the sale of unpasteurized milk along with other uninspected and unregulated foods at farmers markets, at producer's homes, and on farms. The Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services both have pages on their web sites that warn against the consumption of raw milk. The page on the DOH site answers myths about raw milk and sets the record straight. For instance, the statement "Pasteurization kills all of the nutrients and enzymes present in raw milk," is debunked with this statement, "Pasteurization of milk does not significantly change its nutritional value. You will … [Read more...]

Is That Really FDA-Approved?

When you see the words "FDA Approved" on a product, what does that mean? The FDA is a government agency that is responsible for protecting the public health. It regulates human drugs, biologics, animal drugs, medical devices, tobacco products, food, cosmetics, and electronic products that emit radiation. Not all of those products are reviewed for safety and effectiveness by the FDA before thy are marketed. FDA enforcement efforts often focus on products that are already available to consumers. The FDA can act when safety issues and problems arise. The FDA does not approve companies, health care facilities, labs, or manufacturers. Owners and operators of domestic or foreign food and drug companies must register their facilities with the FDA. The FDA approves new drugs and … [Read more...]

Scientists Kill Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria with Brute Force

New research at University College London (UCL) has found that antibiotics can kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria with brute force. The study was published in Nature Scientific Reports. In order to kill bacteria, antibiotics have to bind to the cells in the pathogens. Bacterial resistance can be caused by molecular changes to the surface of the bacteria. Dr. Joseph Ndieyira of UCL Medicine said, "Antibiotics have 'keys' that fit 'locks' on bacterial cell surfaces, allowing them to latch on. When a bacterium becomes resistant to a drug, it effectively changes the locks so the key won't fit any more. Incredibly, we found that certain antibiotics can still 'force' the lock, allowing them to bind to and kill resistant bacteria because they are able to push hard enough. In fact, some … [Read more...]

OSU Scientists Make Progress in Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria War

Scientists at Oregon State University have made progress in the war against antibiotic resistant bacteria. More and more pathogenic bacteria are developing resistance against antibiotics, even our last-ditch drugs. Researchers have found that a molecule can neutralize bacteria's ability to become resistant to antibiotics. The study was published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. This study is very important, since in September 2016, a woman in Nevada died from a bacterial infection that resisted every type of antibiotic we have in our arsenal. The death was reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week. Scientists think that antibiotic-resistant bacteria will kill 10 million people by 2050. The molecule that the scientists at OSU constructed is … [Read more...]

Super Bowl Tips from the USDA

The USDA is offering food safety tips for your Super Bowl party this Sunday. Did you know that the Super Bowl is the second biggest food event in this country after Thanksgiving? It is very important to make sure that the food you serve at any party is safe so your guests don't get sick. Keep your food safe with the classic steps of Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill. Follow these steps and your food will be safe and your party will be fun. Clean your hands frequently with soap and warm water before preparing food and while you are making the food, especially after handling items such as raw meats and poultry and raw eggs. Make sure you wash your hands well with soap and water after going to the bathroom or after petting dogs and cats. Wash them for 20 seconds and dry well on paper … [Read more...]

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Reproduce Faster

A paper in the January 2017 edition of Nature Ecology & Evolution states that antibiotic-resistant bacteria grow faster and more efficiently than those that are not resistant to antibiotics. That is bad news in the fight against this deadly threat. Antibiotic resistant bacteria develop when the organisms are exposed to antibiotics. The drugs kill most of the bacteria, but some survive. And those that survive develop resistance to the drugs. Worse, they can pass that resistance on to other bacteria. The scientist from the University of Exeter were studying how E. coli bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics. In the study, they exposed the bacteria to doxycycline, a common antibiotic for treating infections. The bacteria quickly developed mutations for doxycycline … [Read more...]

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