October 18, 2017

Archives for September 2014

Raw Milk Myths Debunked for Food Safety Month

September is Food Safety Month, a good time for debunking food myths. There are a lot of myths about raw milk on the Internet, some of them mislead people into thinking that raw milk is a safe health food that can cure illnesses. It's not. Before we get to why, it's important to note that between 60 and 75 percent of adults worldwide are lactose intolerant, meaning they are physically unable to digest lactose, the main sugar in milk. Most of us lose this ability by the time we start school. But many of us don't stop drinking milk when we reach school age. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include bloating, gas, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Lactose intolerance is not the same a milk allergy. About 2.5 percent of Americans have milk allergies meaning the have a … [Read more...]

Raw Milk Warning Comes After E.coli HUS Sickens 4 Kids in KY

A raw milk warning has been issued in Kentucky after five children got E.coli poisoning and four of them were hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome, (HUS) a form of kidney failure that can be fatal. The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services issued the warning today after weeks of investigating the outbreak. “At this time, we know that all of the children consumed unpasteurized milk, which is different from the milk and dairy products you purchase at the grocery store,” said DPH Commissioner Stephanie Mayfield, M.D. “Unpasteurized milk is dangerous and has not undergone a process to kill bacteria before it is consumed, meaning it could contain disease-causing agents such as E. coli. The health of anyone who drinks unpasteurized milk can be affected if they are exposed to … [Read more...]

Experimental GMO Wheat Found in Montana Field

The USDA announced last week that experimental genetically modified (GMO), or engineered (GE), wheat was found at a Montana research facility that hasn't grown the crop since 2003. Center for Food Safety says this finding demonstrates that "coexistence" between GE crops and non-GE crops is a failed policy. At the same time they announced this finding, the government also announced they closed the investigation into GE wheat that was found growing in Oregon last year. They have opened a new investigation into separate detection of GE wheat in Montana. The new investigation is apparently a "regulatory compliance issue." The GE wheat found in Montana in July 2014 is "significantly different" from the GE wheat that was found growing at an Oregon farm last year. There are no GE wheat … [Read more...]

In Canada, Madeleine Tomalley Spread Recalled for Botulism

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Fruits de Mer Madeleine Inc. are recalling Tomalley Spread because it may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Tomalley is the substance in a lobster that serves as its liver and pancreas. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the consumption of this product. The recalled product is Madeleine brand Tomalley Spread in 80 gram containers. There is no code on the product. The UPC number is 6 87090 30020 5. It was sold in Quebec at the retail level. If you purchased this product, do not eat it. Discard in a closed or double-bagged container or return to the place of purchase for a refund. Clostridium botulinum bacteria produce a toxin that can cause paralysis and death. It is tasteless, colorless, and odorless. … [Read more...]

Global Health Security Agenda Addresses Animal Disease Link

The White House released a fact sheet on Friday about the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA). Discussions were held at the White House which included leaders of the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organization for Animal Health, and representatives from 40 countries. FAO Director-General Jose Graziano de Silva spoke about the need for animal health controls to stop the spread of disease from animals to humans. The Ebola outbreak highlights this need. He said that "controlling zoonotic diseases and emerging threats at the human, animal and ecosystems interface needs an integrated and multidisciplinary approach that brings different sectors to work closely together to attain the health of people,  animals, and the environment." He added "there is a need to set up global … [Read more...]

Mercer Island, Washington E. coli Boil Water Advisory Lifted

The City of Mercer Island, Washington was under a boil water advisory this weekend. Seattle Public Utilities, the City's water supplier tests the water every month. The advisory was lifted this morning at 8:45 a.m. The Mercer Island School District decided to close school today to sanitize its systems. City crews will continue to inspect system facilities and to monitor the system. Engineers were not able to identify a source of the contamination. All samples taken from the water reservoirs on the Island were clean. No increase in gastrointestinal illnesses have been reported, and no confirmed cases of E. coli were linked to the City's water. All food establishments on the Island were told to suspend operations until the boil water advisory was lifted. All owners of food … [Read more...]

In Canada, More Chia & Flax Seed Powder Recalled for Salmonella

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Advantage Health Matters is updating their recall of flax seed powder and chia seed powder for possible Salmonella contamination. No illnesses have been reported in connection with the consumption of these specific products, but there was a Salmonella outbreak in the U.S. and Canada this summer linked to these types of products that sickened at least 83 people. The recalled products are all Organic Traditions brand. They include Sprouted Flax Seed Powder, in 227 gram sizes with product code AHM626140818D and UPC number 8 54260 00626 1; and in 454 gram sizes with product code AHM553140818D and UPC number 8 54260 00553 0. Also recalled is Sprouted Chia & Flax Seed Powder in 227 gram sizes with product codes AHM621140808D, AHM621140811D, … [Read more...]

Hepatitis A Outbreak in Clarke County, Alabama

The Alabama Department of Public Health is investigating three cases of hepatitis A in Clarke County, Alabama. Two of the people sickened do have a history of international travel, which increases the risk of contracting this disease. There is no more information about whether this may be a larger outbreak or if any single source is responsible for the spread of the virus. Casual contact does not cause infection. The virus is spread when a person drinks contaminated water or eats contaminated food. Objects can also be contaminated when they are touched by an infected person; another person must touch that object and put their fingers in their mouth. The transmission is "fecal-oral". Signs and symptoms of hepatitis A infection appear 2 weeks to 50 days after exposure. They include … [Read more...]

Report: Iowa VA Patients Not Told of Legionnaires’ Risk

Patients at Veterans Affairs hospital in Iowa were not told that the bacteria that causes Legionnaires'  Disease had been found at the facility, according to a report Sunday in the Des Moines Register. Some patients are wondering why they weren't told. The facility plans to spend $6.5 million to replace the plumbing in the patient care areas of the 600,000-square-foot facility. The work is supposed to begin next year. A 2012 Legionnaire’s outbreak at the Pittsburgh VA killed six patients and sickened at least 22 others. Health officials in Pennsylvania are currently trying to determine if a veteran recently diagnosed with Legionnaires’ contracted the disease at the facility. Legionnaires’ disease,  a severe form of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria,  is transmitted when … [Read more...]

Gross Food News: Tapeworms Nearly Kill Man in China

This month's edition of The Neews, our monthly feature of food stories that put the eew in news is about a man in China whose love of raw foods nearly killed him. X-rays show that the body of the man, from Guangdong Province, was riddled with tapeworm courtesy of his steady intake of raw meat. You can get a tapeworm infection from eating any kind of raw or undercooked fish, pork or beef.  Infections associated with salmon have been mirroring the growth in popularity of sushi, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fish tapeworms, Diphyllobothrium latum, are the largest variety capable of reaching 30 feet in length. The worms can remain in the intestine or the larvae can penetrate the intestinal wall and travel to tissue throughout the body, as was the case for … [Read more...]

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