February 9, 2016

FDA Examining Raw Milk Cheese Criteria

Cheesemakers, especially artisan producers, have suggested that the FDA is applying safety criteria to raw milk cheese production that limits producers without benefitting public health. Raw milk cheeses have been linked to recalls and food poisoning outbreaks in the past several years. Raw milk cheese produced by Family Cow in Pennsylvania caused Campylobacter illnesses in 2013, and there have been dozens of recalls of raw milk cheeses over the years. Raw milk cheese has been recalled for Campylobacter, Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria monocytogenes contamination in all of the four years Food Poisoning Bulletin has been published. Some studies have concluded that aged raw milk cheeses are safe to eat, since the aging process changes the composition of the cheese. Aging reduces the … [Read more...]

Dole Salads, 4 Listeria Recalls, in 4 Years and 1 for Salmonella

Since 2012, salads made by Dole have been recalled for Listeria four times and for Salmonella once. The current recall, for all salads with product codes beginning with the letter “A”, sold under the following names: Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar, and President’s Choice. The letter "A' in the product code currently indicates that the salads were made at the company's plant in Springfield, Ohio which has been closed for two weeks. Tests performed in November 2015 by the Ohio Department of Agriculture's Consumer Protection Laboratory, confirmed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in a bag of salad produced at the plant. The Public Health Agency of Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have performed tests confirming that the strain in … [Read more...]

Garden of Life Shakes Recalled for Salmonella After Illnesses Reported

Garden of Life LLC is recalling meal replacement shakes for Salmonella after illnesses were reported. Consumers who have purchased these products should not use them as Salmonella can cause serious illness. The recall includes Raw Meal Organic Shake & Meal Chocolate, Original, Vanilla and Vanilla Chai. For a complete list click the preceding link. Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea which may be bloody and abdominal cramps. If the infection travels to the bloodstream serious complications including arterial infections, endocarditis and arthritis can occur. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating Salmonella Virchow infections associated with the consumption of these products. At this time, the agency has not released … [Read more...]

FDA Test Confirms Listeria in Bagged Salad from Dole’s Springfield Plant

Results on a test performed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on a bagged salad made at Dole's facility in Springfield, Ohio confirm the presence of Listeria. The FDA's finding, follows tests performed last week by the Canadian Public Health Agency confirming Listeria in bagged salad from the Dole Springfield plant. The company told U.S. health officials that it stopped production at the plant on January 21, 2016 and began the process of withdrawing products made at the plant from the market. On January 27, 2016, the company stated it was recalling all packaged salads produced in its Springfield, Ohio, facility for possible Listeria contamination. Consumers should not eat, and restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell these recalled packaged salads which can … [Read more...]

Six Dead from Salmonella in Cucumbers Recalled and Banned Months Ago, How?

A Salmonella outbreak linked to cucumbers continues to sicken people despite recalls issued months ago and an import ban on cucumbers from the implicated Mexican farm. How is this possible? Food Poisoning Bulletin asked this question months ago when the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued previous updates. Recalls for implicated cucumbers, which have a shelf a life of about two weeks, were issued in September. And symptoms of a Salmonella infection usually appear within six to 72 hours of exposure. Yet, people sickened by the three outbreak strains of Salmonella Poona have reported onset of illness as recently as this month. Although illnesses have been reported since July 2015, this outbreak was announced by the CDC on September … [Read more...]

U.S. Marshals Seize Dietary Supplements Made with Kratom

The FDA has announced that U.S. Marshals, at the agency's request, seized almost 90,000 bottles of dietary supplements that contain kratom, a botanical substance that poses a risk to public health. This plant, whose Latin name is Mitragyna speciosa, grows in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. It is toxic to multiple organ systems. Consumption of kratom can lead to respiratory depression, vomiting, nervousness, weight loss, and constipation. It has narcotic and stimulant effects and causes withdrawal symptoms, including hostility, aggression, excessive tearing, aching of muscles and bones and jerky limb movements. The FDA issued an import alert last year to let U.S. officials detain imported dietary supplements and ingredients that contain kratom without physical … [Read more...]

FDA Bans Three Chemicals From Food Packaging

The Food and Drug Administration announced this week that they are banning three chemicals linked to cancer from use in pizza boxes, microwave popcorn bags, sandwich wrappers, and other food packaging, known as food-contact substances (FCSs). This ban, which takes place February 1, 2016, comes more than a decade after consumer advocates raised concerns about the carcinogenicity of these compounds. Environmental Working Group and other groups such as Center for Food Safety, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Children's Environmental Health Network, and Natural Resources Defense Council, have been petitioning the FDA for years to prohibit these substances from food packages. EWG President Ken Cook said in a statement, "industrial chemicals that pollute people's blood clearly have … [Read more...]

FDA Withdraws Approval of Arsenic in Animal Feed

The FDA has announced it has withdrawn approval of all applications for nitarsone (an arsenic-based drug) in animal feed as of December 31, 2015. There are now no FDA-approved, arsenic-based drugs for use in food producing animals. Last April, the FDA announced it received a letter of commitment from Zoetis Animal Health that the company will suspend sales of Histostat, the commercial name for nitarsone. This was the only arsenic-based animal drug used in food animals. It is used for the prevention of disease in turkeys and chickens. Studies have found that organic arsenic, the less toxic form of the chemical used in these drugs, can transform into inorganic arsenic, which is a known carcinogen. In 2011, an FDA study found that higher levels of inorganic arsenic were in chicken … [Read more...]

Osage Lane Creamery Raw Feta Cheese Warned over Listeria

The FDA sent a warning letter to Osage Lane Creamery in Pataskala, Ohio stating that they found Listeria monocytogenes in the facility. That creamery makes and sells raw goat milk Feta cheese, which is not pasteurized to destroy pathogens such as Listeria. Swabs taken from various areas in the processing area revealed the presence of the pathogenic bacteria. Listeria contamination in soft cheeses, particularly raw milk cheeses, can be a persistent problem. This bacteria can be very harmful, especially to those in high risk groups such as children, the elderly, those with compromised immune systems, and pregnant women. The discovery of the bacteria means that the food products are considered adulterated. The firm has "significant deviations" from the Current Good Manufacturing … [Read more...]

Harmless Harvest Thailand Sent FDA Warning Letter

The FDA sent a warning letter to Harmless Harvest Thailand last month, telling them that their 100% Raw Coconut Water products are considered hazardous, since they are processed in a manner that does not comply with the juice Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Systems regulation.  The juice products are considered adulterated within the meaning of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act. The firm provided documentation and information about the processing methods used to make this product. Those methods did not meet the FDA's regulation. The micro filtration process, risk assessment for that process, the HACCP plan and manual, and documentation about High Pressure Processing (HPP) were not adequate. The company must included control measures that will consistency … [Read more...]

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