April 23, 2014

Do Risks of Antibacterial Soap Outweigh the Benefits?


A new study has shown that antibacterial soaps are better at killing Shigella bacteria than soaps that do not contain antibacterials. But do the risks of using antibacterial soaps outweigh the benefits? Each year, about 18,000 Americans are diagnosed with shigellosis, the infection caused by the Shigella bacteria. Symptoms of shigellosis include diarrhea that contains blood of puss, fever, and stomach cramps starting a day or two after exposure. Symptoms generally last about a week and hospitalization is rarely required. For the study, researchers compared two regular soaps with three antibacterial soaps and found that, overall, the antibacterial soaps were better at reducing the level of Shigella bacteria than regular soaps. But the active ingredients in at least of the antibacterial … [Read more...]

USDA’s Guidance for Listeria Control in Retail Delis


The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA's FSIS) has issued a guidance for Listeria control in retail deli settings.  The document outlines specific measures retailers can take to control Listeria in ready-to-eat meat (RTE) and poultry products. Listeria is a rare and deadly foodborne pathogen that is often associated with ready-to-eat deli meats, soft cheeses and smoked fish. When ingested it causes an infection called listeriosis. Of the 1,600 people diagnosed with listeriosis each year, 1,500 require hospitalization and 260 die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Listeria poses a special risk for children, seniors, pregnant women and others with compromised immune systems. Among pregnant women, listeriosis can cause … [Read more...]

To Slow Spread of PEDv, USDA Requires Reporting

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus, a highly contagious and deadly pig disease has affected more than half of all states.

In an effort to slow the spread of highly contagious viruses that have killed million pigs since last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now requiring pork producers to report cases of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) and Swine Delta Coronavirus. PEDv was discovered in U.S. herds in 2013 and his killed more than 4 million pigs in 27 states since that time. PEDv does not affect humans and is not a food safety concern. "USDA has been working closely with the pork industry and our state and federal partners to solve this problem. Together, we have established testing protocols, sequenced the virus and are investigating how the virus is transmitted," said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. The USDA is also requiring that movements of pigs, vehicles, and other equipment leaving … [Read more...]

Cantaloupe Farmers Pay Fraction of Restitution for Listeria Outbreak

Jensen brothers are sentenced

The brothers who owned the Colorado cantaloupe farm linked to the 2011 Listeria outbreak that sickened 147 people, killed 35 and caused one miscarriage have paid a fraction of the restitution they were initially ordered to pay. Eric and Ryan Jensen, both of Holly Colo., pleaded guilty in October 2013 to introducing cantaloupe contaminated with Listeria to the marketplace and were ordered to pay $300,000 in restitution to victims who lost money because of the outbreak. Those who lost money in connection with the outbreak on medical bills, attorneys fees or funeral expenses and were seeking restitution were to have submitted an account to the court by a deadline last week. Only three people did. Their statements, for $7,624, $4,644 and $916, totaled $13,184.  Many of the victims chose not … [Read more...]

AngelBowls Corkscrew Pasta Recalled for Undeclared Pine Nuts


Dominex Natural Foods, LLC, is voluntarily recalling its AngelBowls Corkscrew pasts because it may contain pine nuts which are not listed as an ingredient. Consumers with allergies to pine nuts should not east this pasta, as they run the risk of an allergic reaction if they do. No adverse reactions have been reported in association with this product. The pasta does not pose a food safety risk to those without a pine nut allergy. The recalled product is AngelBowls Corkscrew Pasta and Creamy Tomato Vodka Sauce with the UPC code 2780607001 and date codes 00914 and 01314. No other AngelBowls or Dominex products are affected by the recall. The company has determined the cause of the mislabeling problem and has worked to prevent the issue form happening again. Consumers who have purchased the … [Read more...]

Wegmans Recalls Easter Bread for Undeclared Egg


Wegmans Food Markets Inc. of Rochester, NY has issued a recall of  braided loaves of Wegmans brand  Easter bread because it contains an undeclared allergen, egg. Consumers with egg allergies should not eat this bread as they run the risk of a severe allergic reaction if they do. The bread does not pose a safety risk for those without egg allergies. No adverse reactions had been reported at the time of the recall. The recalled bread is a braided loaf with drizzled white frosting. Some loaves also have colored sprinkles. The 17 oz loaves were packaged in clear plastic and sold in Wegmans bakery departments. The recalled bread has the UPC 77890 32431. All code dates appearing with that UPC are included in the recall. The recalled bread was sold in all 83 Wegmans stores located in New … [Read more...]

Class I Recalls from FDA’s April 16 Enforcement Report


These are the Class I recalls from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) April 16 Enforcement Report. St. Mary's River Smokehouses Oven Smoked Atlantic Salmon Stix, Chili Mango Flavor are bing recalled for potential Listeria monocytogenes.  Consumers who have purchased this product should not eat it as Listeria can cause serious illness. The recalled product was packaged in styrofoam trays with a sticker marked with the UPC Code 6 26425 10092 9 and production code 347 31##. The product was sold in ME, NH, MA, VT and NY. Fannie May Assorted Chocolates are being recalled for an undeclared allergen, peanuts. People with peanut allergies should not eat these candies as they run the risk of an allergic reaction of they do. Click the link to see more details. Orton Bros. brand … [Read more...]

Hickory Farms Recalls Ranch Sauce for Undeclared Milk

Hickory Farms Ranch Sauce Recall

Hickory Farms is recalling Chipotle Ranch Sauce because it contains milk, one of the major food allergens, that is not declared on the label. Anyone with an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk could have a serious reaction if they consume this product. No adverse reactions have been reported to date. The product is Hickory Farms Farmstand Recipe "Chipotle Ranch Sauce", net weight 9 ounces. It has a Best if Used By date of February 08, 2015 and earlier. The date is located above the back label. It was sold through Hickory Farms' nationwide retail network which includes a web site, Hickory Farms Holiday Market storefronts and kiosks, and at some retailers. The product is made with buttermilk powder. If you purchased this product and are allergic to milk, do not eat it. Discard or … [Read more...]

More Opposition to GMO Labeling Bill


Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS), the single largest recipient of campaign funds from Koch Industries in 2010,  introduced a bill to Congress last week titled the "Safe and Accurate Labeling Act of 2014" (HR 4432) that is anything but. The bill would stop states from requiring labels on food produced from genetically engineered (GE) and genetically modified (GMO) products. It would also make voluntary labeling for GE foods the national standard, ensure that GMOs can be labeled as "natural", and create its own rules for non-GMO labeling. Food & Water Watch opposes this bill, as it is written exactly as Monsanto, the corporation that holds most patents to GMO foods, would want. Politico leaked the language back in January 2014 as the work of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. … [Read more...]

CSPI Estimates 400,000 Preventable Deaths from Salt Since 2010


Four years ago, the Institute of Medicine asked the FDA to set limits on sodium levels allowed in processed food. The FDA has still not acted on those recommendations. Excess sodium is linked to stroke, heart attack, and other health problems. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) states that "if Americans had cut their sodium intake in half beginning in April 2010, as many as 400,000 lives might have been saved." CSPI health promotion policy director Jim O'Hara said, "FDA would probably act in a heartbeat if experts found that an unsafe drug or medical device was responsible for 100,000 deaths a year, but it is tolerating a deadly level of sodium in our food supply. While this Administration talks about the need for healthy eating, it is failing to pursue a policy that … [Read more...]

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