December 9, 2016

Phil-Am Trading Recalls Smoked Mackerel for Botulism Risk

One day after the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets issued a consumer warning about Phil Am Smoked Mackerel, the company has voluntarily recalled the product. The product is uneviscerated. The viscera in fish can contain Clostridium botulinum spores that can cause serious illness and death. No illnesses have been reported to date. The recalled product is Phil-am Smoked Mackerel (Hasa-Hasa) in a 200 gram (7.05 ounce) pack. It is packaged in a clear flexible plastic pouch and has a predominantly red tag on the top seal with the product information. The UPC code is 814487015147. It was distributed to stores in New Jersey, New York, Georgia, and Pennsylvania between February and November 2016. If you purchased this product, do not eat it. Throw it away in a sealed … [Read more...]

Beware of Illegally Marketed Diabetes Treatments

The FDA is advising consumers with diabetes to avoid illegally marketed treatments. They say that if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. The phrases on products and dietary supplements to watch out for include "lowers your blood sugar naturally," "inexpensive therapy to fight and eliminate type II diabetes," "protects your eyes, kidneys, and blood vessels from damage," "replaces your diabetes medicine," "effective treatment to relieve all symptoms of diabetes," and "natural diabetes cure." If a product has these claims on the label, it's probably a scam. In addition to not meeting label claims, these products can contain harmful ingredients. They may be marketed as over the counter products when they require a prescription. And if people with diabetes rely on these … [Read more...]

CSPI Wants Cancer Warning Label on Processed Meat

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is calling on the USDA to put a warning label on processed meat and poultry products telling consumers that eating those foods is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. bacon, ham, hot dogs, and other processed products would have that label. The regulatory petition CSPI filed yesterday cites the findings of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which found in 2015 that processed meat is "carcinogenic to humans." The study found that eating 50 grams per day of processed meat raises the risk of developing that particular kind of cancer by about 18%. A typical serving size of those meats is about 55 grams. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in this country. It will cause … [Read more...]

National Steak and Poultry Expands Recall of Chicken Products

National Steak and Poultry is expanding their November 23, 2016 recall of potentially undercooked ready to eat chicken products to include an additional 1,976,089 pounds of the product. The initial recall was for 17,439 pounds. No illnesses have been reported to date. You can see the 2-1/2 page list of recalled products, along with case codes and lot codes, at the USDA web site. The products include fully cooked chicken breast strips in various flavors, chicken breast cubes, and other products. Brand names in the recall include Hormel, NSP, Magnifoods, Mr. Hero, Al Pastor, Blaze Pizza, and Orion Food Systems. The products were made on various dates from August 20, 2016 through November 30, 2016. The cases containing these products have the establishment number "P-6010T" inside … [Read more...]

Goat Cheese from PA Apple Tree Dairy Recalled for Listeria

The FDA has issued a consumer advisory for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination in goat cheese products made by Apple Tree Goat Dairy of Richfield, Pennsylvania. Four lots of these products made in March and July 2016 were recalled by the dairy on September 20, 2016. A recent FDA inspection of the facility found the pathogenic bacteria in the firm's finished products and in the production environment. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the consumption of these products. But listeriosis, the illness caused by this bacteria, can take up to 70 days to appear. On September 12, 2016, the FDA inspected the Apple Tree facility. Inspectors found poor sanitation practices and also found Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in 18 environmental samples from the … [Read more...]

Phil Am Smoked Mackerel Recalled for Botulism Risk

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is warning consumers not to eat "Phil Am" brand Smoked Mackerel (Hasa Hasa) because it was uneviscerated. The viscera in fish can harbor Clostridium both;inure spores. The product is sold by Asian Supermarket Group Inc. at 1245 Central Avenue in Albany, New York. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the consumption of this product. The "Phil Am" brand Smoked Mackerel is packaged in a clear, vacuum package flexible plastic pouch and offered for sale in refrigerated cases. The product is uncoded and is from the Philippines. The package does have a UPC number 814487015147. It is not legal to sell uneviscerated fish in New York. Clostridium botulinum bacteria produce a toxin that can be fatal at very … [Read more...]

Campylobacter Outbreak Linked to OH Sweet Grass Dairy Raw Milk

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is issuing a health alert for unpasteurized raw milk and raw milk products that may be contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria. The products are from Sweet Grass Dairy's herd share. That dairy is in Knox County at 6049 Bryant Road in Fredericktown. There is no word on how many people have been sickened, the patient age range, or whether or not anyone has been hospitalized. The last Campylobacter outbreak linked to raw milk was in September 2016. In that outbreak, at least 20 people were sickened in Pueblo, Colorado. A herd share is a system where people buy into a dairy farmers herd, then share in the products the cows produce. This is a way to get around the ban on raw milk sales in many states. The sale of unpasteurized milk is illegal in … [Read more...]

Royal Seafood Baza Recalls Herring for Possible Listeria

Royal Seafood Baza of New York is recalling refrigerated ready to eat herring products because they may be contamianted with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. No illnesses have been reported to date, but the illness caused by this bacteria can take up to 70 days to manifest. You can see the long list of recalled products at the FDA web site. They include refrigerated, ready to eat herring in brine and herring in oil in various sizes and with different UPC numbers. The Bulk Herring products have pack dates of “11/2/16” – “11/30/16”.  The Herring products packaged in retail containers have Best Before dates of: 11.30.2016 through 02.28.2017. Herring products packaged in vacuum packaged bags include Pack Dates of 11.09.16 - 11.30.16. This recall was triggered as a result of environmental … [Read more...]

Trader Joe’s Hummus Recalled for Possible Listeria

Bakkavor Foods is recalling two types of Trader Joe's Hummus because it may be contamianted with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. No confirmed illnesses have been reported to date, but the illness caused by this bacteria can take up to 70 days to appear. The recalled products are Trader Joe's Mediterranean Hummus with SKU number 90642 and Trader Joe's White Bean & Basil Hummus with SKU number 91107. The "USE BY" date codes for these products are up to and including 12/15/2016. The products are in 16 ounce plastic tubs with the SKU numbers on the top labels. The date codes are on the bottom of the tubs, along with the plant identification code "C." Products with the plant identification code "J" were made in a different facility and are not affected by this recall. Trader Joe's … [Read more...]

Restaurants Don’t Explain Risks of Undercooked Meat to Customers

According to a study by North Carolina State University and published in the Journal of Food Protection, front line staff in restaurants do not do a good job explaining risks of undercooked meat to customers. Undercooked meat served at restaurants, especially ground beef, has been the source of food poisoning outbreaks in the past.   Unfortunately, servers in restaurants are a high turnover position with relatively low wages. These workers want to give their customers a positive experience, so they typically don't want to mention potential problems with food. Inaccurate information provided by servers often contracts science-based information people need to make informed food safety decisions. All of the 50 states in this country have adopted some version of the FDA's … [Read more...]

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