October 6, 2015

Petco to End Sales of Pet Treats from China

Petco will no longer carry dog and cat treats made in China after the end of this year, the company announced yesterday. The decision, which was prompted by continuing reports of illness associated with the products, makes Petco the first national pet specialty retailer to end sales of the problem treats Since 2007, at least 5,600 dogs illnesses and 1,ooo dog deaths have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as of May 1, 2014. The chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats have also sickened 24 cats, and three people. “We know some pet parents are wary of dog and cat treats made in China, especially Chicken Jerky products, and we’ve heard their concerns,” said Jim Myers, Petco CEO. “As a leader in the … [Read more...]

Michigan E. coli Outbreak Warning for Memorial Day Grillers

The ongoing E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that has sickened at least 11 people and hospitalized 6 associated with undercooked hamburgers served at restaurants serves as a warning to consumers who are going to grill this Memorial Day weekend. That outbreak, linked to 1.8 million pounds of recalled ground beef sold by Wolverine Packing Company of Detroit, has sickened people in Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, and Massachusetts. Memorial Day is traditionally the start of the grilling season. The FDA has tips on how to grill safely, especially during summer holidays. You can protect your family by following some simple rules. Remember, raw meats that are in your home should be treated as if it is contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, because much of it is, according to research. Make sure you … [Read more...]

New Research Shows E. coli Survives in Airplanes for Weeks

A two-year study conducted at Auburn University has found that pathogenic bacteria survives on surfaces in commercial airplanes for up to a week. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. The study was funded through the Federal Aviation Administration's Airliner Cabin Environmental Research Center. The government wanted to find out how long E. coli O157:H7 and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, would survive on surfaces under average conditions. An airline carrier gave researchers material from armrests, plastic tray tables, seat-pocket cloth, window shades, and metal toilet buttons. The scientists simulated the same temperature and humidity levels found during commercial flights and tested the materials for … [Read more...]

Petco, Petsmart Phasing Out Sales of Chinese Pet Treats

Petco and Petsmart have announced plans to stop carrying pet treats imported from China after last week's FDA announcement that they can't find the cause of 4,800 dog and cat illnesses. The government has been researching this issue for seven years and cannot figure out what is going wrong. Veterinarians and the government are reminding pet owners that these treats are not necessary to a pet's nutrition or health. Safety advocates have been asking the government to ban these imported treats for years, but nothing has been done. Food & Water Watch commends Petco and Petsmart for taking this step, but say that they should remove those products from their shelves immediately rather than simply phasing them out. More than 1,000 dogs have died after consuming these treats. Three … [Read more...]

TATFAR Study on Antimicrobial Resistance Frightening

Foodborne illness resulting from organisms that are resistant to antibiotics is an emerging problem and a facet of a much greater challenge that threatens the health and safety of entire populations. As a result of the threat from Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the European Commission formed the Transatlantic Taskforce on Antimicrobial Resistance (TATFAR) and recently issued a report outlining the problems posed by AMR and the goals of the Taskforce intended to address them. Antimicrobial agents, including even the newest and most powerful drugs will, over time, be rendered ineffective, according to the report, “by the remarkable ability of bacteria to become resistant through mutation or acquisition of resistance genes from … [Read more...]

Bake Sale and Poker Shoot Fundraiser For GA Girl With E.coli HUS

The community of Canton, GA is rallying around the family of little girl who has been hospitalized for three weeks with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) a life-threatening condition that develops from E. coli infections. The community has already started a gofundme campaign for Hannah Collett who spent her seventh birthday hospitalized in critical condition. Now Armed American Ladies, a Cherokee County Women's Gun Club, has organized a fundraising event to help her. On May 23 form 11 to & a Big Woods Goods there will be a poker shoot and bake sale. Particpation in the poker shoot is $15.  The proceeds will got to help Hannah's family. The source of Hannah's E.coli infection is not known. Food poisoning from E. coli is often associated with undercooked meat, raw fruits and … [Read more...]

CFS Report Warns of Food Safety Problems with TTIP

The Center for Food Safety (CFS) released a report last week looking at the potential food safety effects of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), currently being negotiated by the U.S. and the European Union. The report, titled "Trade Matters" calls the trade agreement "highly undemocratic and non-transparent." TTIP follows the trade agreement models of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), which focus on trade barriers. Those "barriers" are actually health and environmental standards that safeguard the citizens of each country. CFS states that "many analysis believe that a central aim of the negotiations is to dismantle many food safety regulations that corporations view as impediments to trade and profit making." The partners negotiating this trade … [Read more...]

Food & Water Watch Responds to FDA Pet Jerky Investigation

Food & Water Watch has responded to the latest information released by the FDA about their investigation into the pet deaths and illnesses linked to jerky treats imported from China. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of the agency said in a statement, "this ongoing health threat to American pets illustrates how trade policy is trumping regulations to protect our health. When is the Obama administration going to show some backbone and stop the importation of these deadly products until we have some concrete answers?" At least 4,800 pets have been sickened by these imported products. At least 1,000 dogs have died as a result of their illness. The FDA does n0t have any answers, despite a lengthy investigation. The jerky treats are made from chicken, duck, or sweet potato. Some … [Read more...]

FDA Updates Jerky Pet Treat Investigation

The Food and Drug Administration has updated its investigation into pet illnesses and deaths in animals that ate jerky pet treats. FDA is collaborating with the CDC on a new case control study. The government has not been able to identify a specific cause for the reported illnesses and deaths. Since the last update on October 22, 2013, there have been 1,800 more reports of illness and death. As of May 1, 2014, they agencies have received more than 4,800 complaints of illness in pets that ate chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats, nearly all imported from China. Those reports include more than 5,600 dogs, 24 cats, and three people. More than 1,000 dogs have died. The symptoms break down as: 60% gastrointestinal/liver disease, 30% kidney or urinary disease, and the remaining 10% … [Read more...]

Common Food Poisoning Source C. Perfringens Causes Colon Damage, Study Shows

The foodborne bacteria Clostridium perfringens doesn't grab many headlines, but it's a common source of food poisoning and the one most often cited as the cause of food poisoning outbreaks at large gatherings such as wedding receptions, fundraisers and conventions. As the third-most common source of food poisoning it sickens about 1 million Americans every year, but researchers are still learning about the big impact the little bug can have on the human body such as a new study that shows illness from the bacteria causes colon damage. Previous studies on rabbits have shown that C. perfringens infections cause damage to the small intestine. This study found for the first time that damage also occurs in the colon. Symptoms of food poisoning from C. perfringens include watery diarrhea … [Read more...]

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