October 31, 2014

USDA Providing $4 Million for Honey Bee Habitat

Honeybee

Honey bees around the world have been dying off at an alarming rate in recent years. Because the insect is so important to America's food supply, the USDA is giving five midwestern states $4 million to help farmers and ranchers improve honey bee health. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, "the future of America's food supply depends on honey bees, and this effort is one way USDA is helping improve the health of honey bee populations. Significant progress has been made in understanding the factors that are associated with Colony Collapse Disorder and the overall health of honey bees, and this funding will allow us to work with farmers and ranchers to apply that knowledge over a broader area." The Midwest is home to more than 65% of the commercially managed honey bee hives in the … [Read more...]

Fresh Cilantro Recalled for Possible Salmonella Contamination

cilantro

Shenandoah Growers of Virginia is recalling one lot of fresh cilantro for possible Salmonella contamination. The company is recalling 465 plastic clamshell containers of the herb that were shipped to distributors in Maryland and Alabama on October 8 and 9, 2014. The recalled product is Shenandoah Growers brand conventional fresh-cut cilantro, sold in 0.75-ounce plastic clamshells. Also recalled is Giant brand conventional fresh-cut cilantro in 2.5-ounce plastic clamshells. They have the lot code "15 273283" on the package front. Because the cilantro is very perishable, the recalled herb is probably not available in stores any more, but consumers may have it in their refrigerators. No illnesses have been reported to date. Testing by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer … [Read more...]

Dozens Sickened at California NAACP Gala

Foodpoisoninglg

More than 50 people were sickened with the symptoms of food poisoning after attending an NAACP gala in Redwood City, California on October 25, 2014 according to the San Jose Mercury News. At least twelve people had to be taken to the hospital to be treated for dehydration; some people are still hospitalized. The gala was the end of the 27th Annual NAACP California Hawaii State Convention. More than 300 people attended the event, held at the Sofitel San Francisco Bay Hotel. One of the persons hospitalized was former Oakland Mayor and Assemblyman Elihu Harris. Those who were sickened started feeling ill on Sunday morning. People were vomiting in the hotel lobby while paramedics were treating them. Salmon and salad were part of the dinner served at the banquet. The hospitality firm … [Read more...]

Ottogi Curry Products Recalled for Undeclared Allergens

Ottogi Curry Recall

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Manna International Trading, Pan Asia Food, and Seoul Trading Corp. are recalling Ottogi curry products because they contain undeclared milk and mustard, which are food allergens. Those with an allergy to those ingredients could have a serious allergic reaction if they consume these products. No illnesses have been reported to date. You can see the long list of recalled products at the CFIA web site. The packages have Korean characters and include Ottogi Bekse Curry, Ottogi Vermont Curry, and Ottogi Curry. You can also see pictures of the product labels at the CFIA site. They were sold nationally at the retail level. If you purchased any of these products and are allergic to milk and/or mustard, do not eat them. Throw them away or return them … [Read more...]

AquaBounty Fined for Violations on GE Salmon

GE-Salmon

Officials in Panama have fined AquaBounty Technologies $9,500, stating the facility is operating in violation of environmental regulations as it experiments with genetically engineered (GE) salmon.  Food safety advocates such as Center for Food Safety and Friends of the Earth have ask the FDA to terminate its regulatory review of AquaBounty's facility and deny the company's application to sell the engineered fish in the U.S. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch said, "FDA has always assured the public that it is checking, monitoring, and regulating AquaBounty's production platform to ensure the company can mitigate the well-documented environmental impacts of escaped GE salmon. We now know that AquaBounty is unwilling or unable to follow basic rules and … [Read more...]

Privatized Food Inspection Equivalencies Risky

Beef carcasses

Food & Water Watch is asking USDA Tom Vilsack to reassess the government's positions on equivalency for privatized inspection systems in other countries. Last week, a shipment of beef imported from Canada was found to be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. The beef was produced at the JBS Food Canada plant in Alberta, Canada. This is the same plant that was responsible for the largest meat recall in Canadian history. In 2012, 12 million pounds of beef was recalled for E. coli contamination. More than 2 million pounds of that beef was shipped to the United States. JBS, Canadian Establishment 0038, uses a privatized inspection program at their facility that USDA recognized as being "equivalent" to U.S. meat inspection in 2006. The contamination was discovered by USDA-FSIS inspectors … [Read more...]

Chicken Kiev Salmonella Outbreak Raised Red Flag in MN

Chicken-Kiev-Salmonella

When six people in Minnesota developed Salmonella poisoning after eating Antioch Farms frozen raw chicken Kiev, health officials suspected it wasn't a clear-cut case of user error.  Labeling changes for frozen products containing raw meat or poultry enacted in 2008 had completely eliminated outbreaks associated with such products. Then this one came along. Dr. Carlota Medus, epidemiologist for the Foodborne Diseases Unit at Minnesota Department of Health, told Food Poisoning Bulletin that that raised a red flag. Something must have changed with the chicken. As per the 2008 label rule, the packages of chicken Kiev were clearly marked as raw and did not have microwave instructions. During interviews, some patients said they carefully followed cooking instructions.  This could mean that … [Read more...]

Listeria in Raw Milk Prompts Warning From NY Ag Department

E.coli in raw milk sickened 12

Listeria found in raw milk fromRichard Dirie Farm, in Sullivan County New York has prompted a warning from state agricultural officials. Consumers who have purchase raw milk from  located at 1345 Shandelee Road, Livingston Manor, New York should not drink it. as they risk life-threatening illness if they do. Illnesses had not been reported to the Ag department at the time of the recall, but symptoms of a Listeria infection can take as long as two months to develop. A sample of the milk, collected by an inspector from the Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services on October 21, 2014,  tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. The farm was notified of the test result onOctober 23, 2014 and volunteered to suspend raw milk sales until the sample results were confirmed. Further lab … [Read more...]

Whole Foods in Melrose MA Recalls Vegan Gingersnaps for Undeclared Allergens

gingersnap-recall

Whole Foods Market in Melrose Mass. is  recalling “Vegan Gingersnap Cookies” for the undeclared allergens milk, soy, eggs, and tree nuts. The recalled products were produced and sold only at the Melrose store. No adverse reactions have been reported in connection with this recall. However, people with allergies or severe sensitivity to those ingredients run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products. The cookies were sold in six-packs labeled as “Vegan Gingersnap Cookies”  with “Sell By” dates of October 28, 2014.  The cookies were sold in the store between October 23 and October 26, 2014. Signage is posted to notify customers of this recall, and all affected product has been removed from shelves. Consumers who purchased this product from … [Read more...]

Chicken Kiev Linked to MN Salmonella Outbreak Sold in 16 States

chicken-kiev-salmonella

Frozen chicken Kiev products linked to a Minnesota Salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least six people were sold in 16 states according to a retail distribution list published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USDA). More than 14 tons of Antioch Farms "Raw Stuffed Chicken Breast Breaded, Boneless Breast of Chicken with Rib Meat 'A La Kiev'” were recalled from stores in 16 states after tests linked illnesses in Minnesota, where one person was hospitalized, to a specific production lot. The recalled product, with “sell by” dates of October 1, 2015 and October 7, 2015 and the USDA establishment number “P-1358” inside the USDA mark of inspection, were sold in the following states: CO, ID, IL, MA, ME, MI, MN, MT, NH,  NV, ND, RI, UT, VT, WI and WY. Some of the stores … [Read more...]

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