October 18, 2017

Archives for March 2015

Third Minnesota Turkey Farm Hit with H5N2 Bird Flu

Birds at a third turkey farm in Minnesota have been diagnosed with the bird flu. The UsDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirms that the highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza strain was discovered in a commercial turkey flock in Sterns County, Minnesota. Unfortunately, this flock of 38,000 turkeys is within the Mississippi flyway. No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time, and the CDC considers the risk to people is low. The farm is now quarantined, and the remaining birds will be destroyed and kept out of the consumer food supply. The Minnesota Department of Health is working with poultry workers at the facility to make sure they are taking proper precautions to avoid spreading this disease. The MDH also reminds consumers that poultry and … [Read more...]

Study Finds Raw Milk Benefits Do Not Outweigh Risks

A study conducted by the Department of Environmental Health Services at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future has found that the benefits of consuming raw milk do not outweigh the risks. The study was done for the Maryland General Assembly as they consider a bill to legalize the on-farm sale of unpasteurized milk in that state. The study, which was completed in December 2014 but just released to the public, states, "Overall, our review identified no evidence that the potential benefits of consuming raw milk outweigh the known risks." The bill, House Bill 3 was introduced to the Maryland House of Delegates during the 2014 session. The researchers looked at the scientific literature for studies regarding health benefits and risks … [Read more...]

Garlic Powder Recall for Salmonella Updated in Canada

The recall of organic garlic powder for Salmonella in Canada has been updated to include more product information. The recall is for Steep Hill Co-op garlic powder. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the consumption of this product. The recalled item has no brand name. It was sold from the Steep Hill Food Co-op at 730 Broadway Avenue in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan from January 5, 2015 to March 20, 2015. It was sold in variable sizes, with variable product codes and no UPC numbers. If you purchased this product, do not eat it. Discard in a sealed or double bagged container or return to the place of purchase for a refund. … [Read more...]

L.A. Star Seafood Company Ordered to Close Down

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has entered a consent decree of permanent injunction against L.A. Star Seafood Company of Los Angeles and its corporate officers. The company was producing adulterated seafood products. The complaint alleges that the sanitation practices at the facility were deficient. Acting Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer said, "the failure to actively plan for and control the presence of bacteria and neurotoxins commonly found in seafood processing facilities can pose a serious risk to the public health." FDA inspections in 2013 and 2014 documented a pattern of insanitary conditions. Listeria monocytogenes bacteria were found at the facility. Workers at the facility did not adequately clean surfaces and utensils for … [Read more...]

Deer Brand Raisin Golden Recalled for Undeclared Sulfites

Best Foods of New Jersey is recalling Deer Brand Raisin Golden because it contains undeclared sulfites. People who are sensitive to this ingredient could have a serious allergic reaction, including anaphylactic shock, if they eat this product. The consumption of 10 mg of sulfites per serving also can cause severe reactions in asthmatics. No illnesses have been reported to date. The recalled item is Deer Brand Raisin Golden sold in 7 ounce packages. It is in clear and yellow plastic packages. Some of the packages have the UPC number 714760029255. They were distributed in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, and New Hampshire in retail stores. If you purchased this product and are allergic to or sensitive to sulfites, … [Read more...]

Easter Egg Cookies Recalled for Undeclared Egg

All lots of Silver Lake brand Easter Egg Cookies are being recalled for undeclared egg, one of the major food allergens. People who are allergic to egg could have a serious reaction if they eat this product. No illnesses have been reported to date. The recalled product is Silver Lake brand Easter Egg Cookies in an 8 ounce (226 gram) package. The UPC number is 0 37695 49817 1. The product was sold in supermarkets in Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York, Georgia, Illinois, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Indiana. If you purchased this product and are allergic to egg, do not eat it. Discard or return to the place of purchase for a refund. The cookies are safe to eat if you do not have egg allergies. … [Read more...]

Listeria Bean Sprout Outbreaks in 2008, 2014 Have Similar Story

The Wholesome Soy bean sprout Listeria outbreak in 2014 has a similar story to the first reported Listeria bean sprout outbreak in 2008. Both were discovered by routine testing. The 2008 outbreak  included 20 cases reported between March 2008 and March 2009. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) tests showed all 20 patients were sickened by the same strain. The cases were reported from seven states: CA (1), MA(6), NY(6), NJ(4), MD(1), ME(1) and NH(1). The case patients ranged in age range from 20 to 89. Sixty five percent were female, 21 percent were pregnant at the time of infection. All of them were hospitalized. The source of the infections was unknown until the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets found Listeria in sample of alfalfa sprouts and uploaded it to … [Read more...]

Johns Hopkins Review: Raw Milk Carries Higher Risk of Food Poisoning Than Pasteurized

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health conducted a literature review about the food safety of raw milk after a bill allowing the sale of raw milk directly to consumers was introduced to the Maryland House of Delegates during the 2014 session. Researchers examined the scientific literature regarding the health benefits and risks of raw and pasteurized cow milk. They examined 81 articles of peer-reviewed literature. "Based on our review of the scientific evidence, we conclude that drinking raw milk carries an increased risk of foodborne illness as compared to drinking pasteurized milk," they stated in their report.  "We identified several articles that detected a relationship between drinking raw milk and reduced allergies among rural children and infants. The underlying … [Read more...]

E. coli on Jimmy John’s Cucumbers Sickened 9 in 2013

Cucumbers imported from Mexico were the source of a 2013 E.coli outbreak that sickened nine Jimmy John’s customers in the Denver area in 2013. It was the first time  in the U.S. that an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak was linked to cucumbers. The nine people who were sickened reported eating sandwiches containing cucumbers at three Denver-area Jimmy John’s shops in early October 2013. Lab tests revealed they were all sickened by the same strain of E.coli. Health investigators say it's likely that the cucumbers became contaminated before they arrived at the sandwich shop locations. That could mean that the cucumbers were contaminated during growing, harvest, transport, or distribution. Salmonella is more often associated with cucumbers, such as the outbreak last year that sickened 275 … [Read more...]

How Do Diners Use Restaurant Scores?

How do diners use restaurant scores? A Dine Safe study of usage in King County, Washington sheds some light. Many cities have adopted a grade policy for restaurants tool help customers decide where to eat. Some cities use letter grades. In New York,  for example,  restaurants are required to post the letter grade of their most recent health inspection where it can easily be seen by passers by. In Kansas, restaurants don’t have to post their grades, but a new online tool makes them available to consumers. The information provides a snapshot of conditions. In King County, Washington, Sarah Schacht, a member of the the Dine Safe stakeholder group, wanted to know more about how consumers use the information to make dining decisions. With the help of students from the University of … [Read more...]

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