July 30, 2015

Food Safety Violations Temporarily Close Eva Longoria’s Vegas Restaurant

Food safety violations triggered a temporary closure of actress Eva Longoria's Las Vegas steakhouse, She by Morton's, according to the Southern Nevada Health District. The restaurant was clsoed only briefly and is now open. On April 22, health inspectors visited the restaurant at 3720 Las Vegas Blvd., and found 32 food safety demerits including violations for food temperature violations during preparation, transport, display and holding.  On April 30, inspectors revisited the restaurant and found 21 demerits, some were again for food temperature violations. They ordered that the restaurant be closed until the problem was corrected. When food is not held at the proper temperature, bacteria can multiply rapidly and cause illness if eaten. Restaurants and home cooks need to keep hot … [Read more...]

Botulism from Canned Food Spawns MS Man’s 3-Year Survival Struggle

On Thanksgiving weekend 2011, Jay Klein of Mississippi ate some canned food that almost killed him. The former construction worker didn't know what was happening to him, that a nerve toxin produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria in the food he ate was paralyzing his muscles. Neither did the emergency room doctors who placed him on a ventilator. Six days after Klein was admitted, they prepared to tell his wife Amanda that he was brain dead, although he was actually fully conscious. Klein, who recently shared his story with WMCTV, says he was aware of what was happening but unable to move more speak. He prayed that God would help him show the doctors he could hear and understand and somehow when the doctor told him to move his leg, Klein did. After almost three years in and out … [Read more...]

Problems with George’s Chicken HIMP Plant in Virginia

Food & Water Watch has released information about problems with a chicken processing plant that is part of the HACCP-based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) that the USDA is promoting as a modernization of poultry inspection. That corporation owns two plants; one has a full staff of USDA FSIS inspectors; the other is privatized, where most of the inspection is turned over to company employees. The privatized HIMP plant has been upgraded in several ways in the last few years. Walls were repainted, floors cleaned, and slaughter line speeds reduced, even though HIMP calls for increasing those speeds from 140 to 175 birds per minute. Whenever government officials have asked to visit other HIMP plants, FSIS has refused. The George's Chicken plant in Edinburg, Virginia is a "showcase" … [Read more...]

CFS Warns the EPA Will Approve Agent Orange on GE Crops

The Center for Food Safety is warning the public that the EPA is set to approve the direct spraying of the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) on Dow Chemical's genetically engineered corn and soybeans. That chemical is one-half of the compound called "Agent Orange" used in Vietnam to destroy foliage; it caused cancer among Vietnam veterans. EPA will render a decision after a 30 day comment period. Dow developed the GE crops, known as "Enlist", to withstand high doses of 2,4-D (which it also sells) after its disastrous Roundup Ready crops created glyphosate-resistant superweeds. You can sign a petition opposing this action at CFS web site called "Dow Watch". CFS opposes this move by the EPA because they state, "wide scale use of herbicides in tandem with GE crops has led to … [Read more...]

Handling Produce Safely: Ashley Eisenbeiser

Earlier this month, the Partnership for Food Safety Education held a webinar on handling produce safely. Since Salmonella-contaminated produce is in the top five pathogen-food combinations that cause food poisoning outbreaks, knowledge is critical. Ashley Eisenbeiser of the Food Marketing Institute spoke about the numbers. Produce is responsible for 46% of reported foodborne illness outbreaks from 1998 to 2008, and caused 23% of deaths in those outbreaks. Overall, leafy vegetables cause 8% of those illnesses. Of outbreaks attributed to produce, 30% are caused by cross-contamination, and 40% to poor personal hygiene; the rest are contaminated at the source. Sixty-eight percent of outbreaks attributed to produce are from food purchased from a restaurant or deli, 9% from private homes, 7% … [Read more...]

USDA Tips for Florida and Alabama Residents Affected by Flooding

The USDA has issued food safety recommendations for citizen affected by a massive storm system that caused severe flooding in the Florida Panhandle and the Alabama Coast. More than 10 inches of rain was dropped by that weather system. Pensacola saw between 15 and 20 inches of rain in 24 hours as of Wednesday, April 30, 0214. The flooding is the worst that area has seen in 30 years. As many as 30,000 residents are without power. More rain and wind are expected, and flash flooding is going to be a reality across most of the eastern U.S. from southern New England to the Gulf Coast. Food that has been in a flood needs to be inspected carefully. Unless the food is canned or sealed commercially and the container can be washed in a bleach solution or boiled, it must be discarded. Any food … [Read more...]

USDA’s Food Safety Tips For Severe Weather

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has compiled some food safety tips for residents in the South and Midwest affected by severe weather. Here's what you need to know about food safety when sever weather is in the forecast. Before the storm strikes, make sure you have working appliance thermometers in both the refrigerator and the freezer. Safe temperatures for the fridge are 40°F or lower, in the freezer 0°F or lower. Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or other small containers prior to a storm. Tuck them in between frozen foods to help keep them cold. Freeze any food you don't plan to eat in the immediate future such as leftovers, milk, fresh  or poultry. This will help to keep them at a safe temperature for a longer period of time. Group food together in the freezer … [Read more...]

California Updates Warning About Domoic Acid in Shellfish

The warning issued by the California Department of Public Health about domoic acid in anchovies and sardines has been updated. The government is warning consumers to avoid eating the internal organs of commercially or recreationally caught anchovy, sardines, or crab from Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. This warning is in addition to the April 4, 2014 warning about not eating recreationally harvested bivalve shellfish from those counties and the April 10 warning. CDPH is collecting sample of bivalve shellfish, fin fish, and crab from the areas to monitor the level of domoic acid. There have been no illnesses reported in association with this warning. The warning does not apply to commercially sold clams, mussels, scallops, or oysters from approved sources. Those shellfish are … [Read more...]

FDA Warning Letters April 26, 2014: Hahn’s, Diondillo’s, Pancrazio

FDA

The FDA has sent warning letters to three corporations this week for problems with their product safety. Hahn's Old Fashioned Cake Company was warned for food packed or held under insanitary conditions, as was Biondiollo's Bakery. Pancrazio S.P.A. was cited for violating low acid canned food regulations. Hahn's Old Fashioned Cake Company was cited for "serious violations of FDA's Current Good Manufacturing Practice requirements." The corporation did not have adequate cleaning processes for equipment and prep tables. THe product packaging line was "observed to be encrusted with flour, sugar, and filth." In addition, pests were not excluded from the processing areas. Six birds were observed flying around the production area; a bird was defecating while on a rafter above uncovered finished … [Read more...]

EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen of Pesticides on Produce

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes an annual shopper's guide ranking produce by pesticide residue level. The guide uses data from 32,000 samples tested by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to rank four dozen fruits and vegetables .The ones with the most residue are called The Dirty Dozen and the least The Clean Fifteen. This year's report found that 65 percent of the samples analyzed tested positive for pesticide residues. For the fourth straight year, apples were found to have the most residue, while some tropical fruits had very little. For example, 89 percent of pineapples, 88 percent of mangoes, 82 percent of kiwi and 80 percent of papayas had no residues. The "cleanest" fruit was avocados. Just 1 percent of samples … [Read more...]

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