October 18, 2017

Archives for April 2014

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...]

Publix Recalls Mushrooms for Pieces of Glass

Publix is voluntarily recalling private label Baby Bella Sliced Mushrooms because a customer found a piece of glass in the product. No injuries have been repotted to date. The store that reported the notice is in Lakeland, Florida. There is no information about this recall on the FDA web site. The recalled product is Publix Baby Bella Sliced Mushrooms, with UPC number 4141502286. The lot code on the product is PHG 096. The mushrooms are sold in 8-ounce packages. They were distributed to Publix stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina. The product has been removed from store shelves. If you purchased this product, do not eat it. Return it to the place of purchase for a refund. … [Read more...]

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

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...]

Listeria Halts Operations at Finger Lakes Farmstead Cheese

Listeria in raw cow's milk cheese from Finger Lakes Farmstead Cheese and unsanitary conditions at its plant in Trumansburg, NY have led to a suspension of operations. On April 28, U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara of the Western District of New York entered a consent decree of permanent injunction between the United States, the company and its co-owner Nancy Taber Richards. Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne bacteria that can cause serious illness and death. No illnesses were reported in connection with Finger Lakes Farmstead, but a recent Listeria outbreak linked to soft cheese made by another company sickened eight people, killing one of them. Young children, seniors, pregnant women and others with weakened immune systems are most at risk for Listeria infections. In … [Read more...]

Study Finds Trace Levels of Fukushima Radiation in Tuna

A study conducted at Oregon State University has found that tuna caught off the Oregon shore after the Fukushima nuclear power station was destroyed in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami had only trace levels of radiation. There are many conspiracy theories going around about how all the seafood in the Pacific is now contaminated because of the nuclear meltdown. The study is published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. A year of eating albacore tuna with this level of cesium is "about the same dose of radiation as you get from spending 23 seconds in a stuffy basement from radon gas," according to Delvan Neville, a graduate student at the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics at the university and lead author on the study. "It's just not much at … [Read more...]

Handling Produce Safety: Dr. Linda Verrill

The Partnership for Food Safety Education held a webinar earlier this month all about handling produce and food safety. Dr. Linda Verrill of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), Ashely Eisenbeiser of Food Marketing Institute, and Ellie Krieger, author and nutritionist, were the speakers. Today we will tell you about Dr. Verrill's information and advice. Dr. Verrill spoke about studies and surveys conducted by CFSAN about produce handling and safety. She said that 14 pathogens represent over 95% of annual illnesses and hospitalizations in the U.S. And five of those pathogens are responsible for more than 90% of the health burden: Salmonella, Toxoplasma gondii, norovirus, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter. In fact, Salmonella and produce is in the top 5 … [Read more...]

Hearts Choices Products Recalled in Canada for Undeclared Egg

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Hearts Choices is recalling two types of vegetarian entrees because they contain undeclared egg. Anyone with a severe sensitivity or allergy to eggs could have a serious or life-threatening reaction if they consume these products. There is no information on whether or not any adverse reactions have been reported. The recalled products are Hearts Choices Vegan Ribs in 300 gram packages with best before date of 2015/03/15. Also recalled is Hearts Choices Vegetarian Bacon in 300 gram packages with best before date  of 2015/02/15. Neither product has a UPC number. The products were sold in Alberta at the retail level. If you purchased these products and are allergic to egg, do not eat them. Discard or return to the place of purchase for a refund. … [Read more...]

Patrons at Teavana in Indianapolis Exposed to Hepatitis A

The Marion County Public Health Department issued an alert yesterday, warning patrons of Teavana, a store at The Fashion Mall at the Keystone shopping center in Indianapolis, that they may have been exposed to hepatitis A. Anyone who visited the store on April 5, 12, or 19 may have been exposed. Unfortunately, customers who were there on April 5 and 12 are beyond the time limit for getting a vaccination, so those people must monitor themselves for the symptoms of hepatitis A. Those symptoms include nausea, vomiting, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and fever. If you experience these symptoms, please see a health care provider. Customers who ate at Teavana on April 19 can get a hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination. If you have had … [Read more...]

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