September 19, 2014

iDevices Food Thermometers Recalled for Ingestion Hazard

iDevices recalled food thermometers

The Consumer Products Safety Commission is recalling iDevices cooking thermometer probes because the plastic insulator inside the stainless steel probe is not heat resistant. The plastic can melt and fall into the food, making it an ingestion hazard. The recall is for all Pro Ambient Temperature Probes and Pro Meat Probes manufactured from May 2014 through June 2014. The probes were sold separately as an accessory for the iGrill, iGrill2, iGrillmini grilling thermometers and the Kitchen Thermometer and Kitchen Thermometer mini cooking thermometers. The meat probe was sold as a component of the iGrill2 set. The probes are maid of a curved stainless steel rod attached to a mini connector by a steel braided cable. The Pro Ambient Temperature probes are about 6" long with a metal grate … [Read more...]

UK Lets Big Food Businesses Regulate Themselves

Hamburger in Meat Case

According to Food & Water Watch, the UK Department of Food and Rural Affairs has decided to make a "significant shift" that "puts business in charge of driving reform", to "lightening needless burdens without weakening essential controls." Businesses will be able to review enforcement of regulation in their areas. The press release had a statement from Business Manager Matthew Hancock which said, "businesses will now have the power to lead the reform of counterproductive, time consuming or bureaucratic enforcement of regulation that can get in the way of growth." Food & Water Watch points out that horse meat is still present in European beef supplies, that Food Standards Agency has concerns about filthy conditions in the UK poultry industry, and salmon in the marketplace … [Read more...]

Public Comments on Seafood Fraud Task Force Ask for Traceability

seafood

In June 2014, the White House announced a Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud and asked for comments from the public to develop recommendations. Oceana, one of the groups commenting on the proposal, has long advocated for traceability to help combat seafood fraud. That fraud consists of mislabeling and deliberately misnaming seafood in order to receive a higher price for the product in the marketplace. Some facilities substitute lesser quality species for more desirable fish, which can lead to allergic reactions and other health problems. Some of the species substituted for higher quality fish are higher in heavy metals such as mercury, which can cause serious illness. When farmed fish are substituted for wild-caught … [Read more...]

Kraft Singles Recall Prompts Food Poisoning Complaints

Recall prompts complaints of illness

The Kraft American Singles recall has prompted complaints of illness from consumers who are commenting on news sites, including this one, and on the Kraft Cheese Facebook page. On August 29, Kraft recalled 7,691 cases of the cheese which was distributed to stores nationwide. A list of retailers who sold packages has not yet been made available. Many of those complaining of illness describe food poisoning symptoms such as stomachache that is sometimes severe, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, lack of appetite and fatigue. Some have also mentioned headaches. See a doctor if you ate the cheese and are experiencing these symptoms. The recalled products were sold n 12 oz., 16 oz and 64 oz sizes with “Best When Used By” dates of February 20, 2015, and February 21, 2015. Kraft … [Read more...]

Members of Congress Want to See Full Funding for FSMA

Congress

Members of the U.S. House Roda DeLauro (D-CT) and Sam Farr (D-CA) sent a letter last week to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ask them to fully fund the Food Safety and Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA) rather than relying on user fees. In the fiscal year 2015 budget, the FDA requested $1.48 million for food safety, which includes $255 million in proposed user fees. Their letter states that "FDA must have the resources to retrain the existing inspection workforce, hire new staff, and contract with states to leverage their inspection forces. Continuing outbreaks of foodborne illness undermine consumer confidence and greatly concern those of us who supported FSMA and want it to be implemented … [Read more...]

Listeria Adapts to Survive, Danish Researchers Find

listeria-bacteria-listeriosis

Listeria is often described as rare and deadly.  Now researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have added another word to describe the bacteria: adaptable. They exposed Listeria to substances normally used to fight it and studies its reaction. They found that Listeria used different strategies to resist antibiotics, bile, salt, acid and ethanol. "Generally speaking, Listeria must be described as extremely adaptable. It is constantly aware of its surroundings and if the environment changes around it. It reacts instantly and has a number of strategies to withstand threats", said Associate Professor, Birgitte Kallipolitis, PhD . To infect cells, Listeria needs to produce certain proteins, but it can't produce so many that the immune system is triggered. The researchers discovered … [Read more...]

Raw Goat Milk Tests Positive for Cryptosporidium in Idaho

Goat

Raw goat milk from Treasured Sunrise Acres in Parma, Idaho has tested positive for cryptosporidium. Consumers who purchased raw goat milk from the farm on or after August 24 should not drink it. The Idaho State Department of  Agriculture (ISDA) has placed a hold on raw milk sales at the farm. Cryptosporidium is a parasite commonly associated with outbreaks at water parks and pools. It's hard outer shell makes it resistant to chlorine-based disinfectants and enables it to survive outside a host's body for long stretches of time. It is spread when microscopic amounts of feces from an infected human or animal are ingested. Symptoms of a cryptosporidium infection include: watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, fever, vomiting and weight loss. They usually develop within two to 10 … [Read more...]

FDA: Dietary Supplements Don’t Treat Concussions

FDAlogo

Despite claims by some manufacturers, dietary supplements do not treat concussions, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants consumers to know. Especially, parents of kids involved in football, soccer and other fall sports. A concussion is a traumatic brain injuries (TBI) caused by a blow to the head, or by violent shaking of the head or upper body. TBIs are serious medical conditions that require proper diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring by a health care professional, says the FDA, which is warning consumers to avoid dietary supplements that claim to prevent, treat, or more quickly heal concussions. "We're very concerned that false assurances of faster recovery will convince athletes of all ages, coaches and even parents that someone suffering from a concussion is ready … [Read more...]

Neews on a Stick, Special State Fair Edition of Gross Food Stories

Corndog

It's a special state fair edition of The Neews, our monthly feature of food stories that put the eew in news. This month, we're ditching our standard fare of gross food stories for fair fare and a good cause. Mandy Colten of St. Paul, Minnesota pledged to eat everything served on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair to raise money for Make a Wish. She has a blog with photos of the foods she's tried and a Twitter account for her State Fair Food Challenge. The rules of the challenge were: the food must be on a stick and eaten in its entirety at the fair. There are over a 100 foods served on a stick at the 12-day festival which ends Labor Day. Colton started off with 15 or 16 items each day and tapered off to 10 or 12. She finished just minutes ago with a big corndog and a victory … [Read more...]

Judge Strikes Down Hawaii Law Limiting GMO Crops

Crop Spraying

U.S. District Court Judge Barry M. Kurren has struck down the Kaua'i county law against genetically modified (GM) crops, saying it is preempted by Hawaiian state law. The order forbids county officials from implementing and enforcing Ordinance 960, which required more disclosure from huge biotech companies about pesticide use and GMO farming. The Ordinance also required buffer zones for pesticide spraying around schools, medical facilities, waterways, shorelines, and roadways and mandated County Environmental and Public Health Impact Studies. The plaintiffs in this case include Syngenta Seeds Inc. DuPont's Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Dow Chemical's Agrigenetics Inc., and BASF Plant Science LPs. The defendants include Kaua'i County, Center for Food Safety, Pesticide Action Network … [Read more...]

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