October 18, 2017

Archives for June 2016

E. coli Outbreak Shows Dough for Play Isn’t Kid Friendly

Crayons and placemat games are familiar "kid friendly" activities restaurants provide to help young diners pass the time while waiting for dinner. Some also provide little ones with a ball of pizza dough to play with, a practice they may rethink in the wake of an E. coli outbreak linked to flour. The 20-state outbreak linked to General Mills flours sickened 38 people between December 21, 2015, and May 3, 2016. Three of the case patients, who range in age from 1 to 95, reported eating or playing with raw dough at restaurants before they became ill. (Nine others reported tasting raw dough or batter prepared at home.) The outbreak illustrates that raw eggs are not the only ingredient in dough that poses a danger to your health. E. coli bacteria can cause serious illness and death. … [Read more...]

Sunflower Seed Listeria Recall Roundup

Updated June 29, 2016.  A May 4 sunflower seed Listeria recall by SunOpta has triggered a cascade of others.  Here is a roundup of the Listeria recalls for sunflower seeds or products containing them. There is now a listeriosis outbreak; at least two people are sick. First Source sunflower seed products are associated with this outbreak. Consumers should check product information carefully as Listeria can cause serious illness and death. Symptoms of an infection, which can take up to 70 days to develop, include high fever, muscle aches, neck stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Among pregnant women, Listeria infections can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery and infection in newborns. Others at heightened risk are young children, seniors and those with … [Read more...]

NatureBox Recalls Sunflower Kernels for Possible Listeria

The FDA's Weekly Enforcement Report for the week of June 29, 2016 includes a recall of NatureBox Sunflower Kernels for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The report states that 14,941 pouches of Country Ranch sunflower kernels, 22,231 pouches of Cheddar and Onion Sunflower kernels, and 29 cases of SunOpta Country Ranch Sunflower Kernels are being recalled. These products were distributed nationwide directly to consumers online. The NatureBox Country Ranch Sunflower Kernels were sold in a 5 ounce (142 gram) customer stand up pouch. The UPC number of the recalled product is 8 52523 00535 8. The lot number is 8H5M25 and best before dates are 05/18/16, 06/10/16, 08/25/16, 5/9/16, and 7/15/16. The NatureBox Cheddar and Onion Sunflower kernels are also sold in a 5 ounce … [Read more...]

Consumer Reports Decodes Labels on Meat Packages

Consumer Reports is helping consumers decode the labels on their meat packages. Information on the label can tell you if the meat is organic, if the animal was raised without synthetic hormones or antibiotics, if it was grass fed, and more. Here are some label terms and what they mean. "Grass fed" means that meat must come from an animal that has never been fed grain and can graze in a pasture during the grazing season. The animal can be fed antibiotics and hormones. "Partial grass-fed" as a label term is meaningless, since all cattle eat grass or hay when they are young. Grain is given to some of these animals so they get bigger before slaughter. The American Grassfed Association and Animal Welfare Approved Grassfed labels have stricter standards than the USDA. "Humanely raised" … [Read more...]

FDA Requests Data About Safety of Hand Sanitizers

The FDA issued a proposed rule yesterday requesting additional scientific data to support the safety and effectiveness of ingredients used in hand sanitizers that are marketed over the counter. The agency wants to make sure that regular use of these products doesn't present unknown safety and efficacy concerns. This does not mean the FDA thinks these products are unsafe or ineffective. Antiseptic rubs are products used when soap and water are not available. They are left on and not rinsed off with water. Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research said in a statement, "today, consumers are using antiseptic rubs more frequently at home, work, school, and in other public settings where the risk of infection is relatively low. These products … [Read more...]

In Canada, Asian Legend Fried Noodles Recalled for Undeclared Egg

In Canada, Asian Legend fried noodle entrees are being recalled for undeclared egg. The recall, issued June 24,  has been updated to include additional product information. People with an allergy to egg should not consume the recalled products described below as they allergic reaction if they do. The recalled products are Asian Legend Fried Noodles with Shredded Beef sold in 500 g packages with use by date FEB 03 2017 and UPC 8 36520 00051 6;  and Asian Legend Fried Noodles with Shredded Pork in 500 g packages with use by date FEB 03 2017 and UPC 8 36520 00052 3. The recall was issued after an inspection by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The investigation is ongoing and other products may be recalled. … [Read more...]

FDA Issues Details of General Mills E. coli Outbreak Investigation

The FDA has issued details of their investigation into the E. coli O121 outbreak linked to recalled General Mills flour. Flour is not an ingredient most people connect with food poisoning, but it is a raw agricultural product and can be contamianted with pathogenic bacteria. One of the problems with recalls of flour is that many people do not keep this product in its original packaging. Most decant the flour into another container and discard the wrapping. But three people who were sickened in this outbreak kept the flour in its packaging, and helped the government track down the culprit in this outbreak. Multiple signals from the FDA's Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation (CORE) network started coming in. The CDC identified a string of illnesses that started in December … [Read more...]

IKEA Recalls Chocolate Bars for Undeclared Milk and Nuts

IKEA is recalling some of their dark chocolate bars for undeclared milk, hazelnuts, and almonds (tree nuts). Anyone who is allergic to milk, is lactose intolerant, or who is allergic to tree nuts could have a serious reaction if they eat these products. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the consumption of these products in the U.S. IKEA in Sweden has had one reported complaint from a person in Japan. IKEA had samples of the bars analyzed and found they contained the undeclared allergens. The recalled products are CHOKLAD MÖRK Dark Chocolate Bars in 3.5 ounce packages with UPC number 100293927003. Also recalled are CHOKLAD MÖRK 70% Dark Chocolate Bars in 3.5 ounce packages, with UPC number 1203080940009. All "best before dates" are being recalled. If you … [Read more...]

FDA Too Slow To Issue Recalls, HHS Audit Says

The FDA is too slow to get food companies to recall contamianted products, according to an audit by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In some cases, firms waited for months before they recalled their products that caused many illnesses. The HHS Office released a report that states "we found that the FDA did not have an efficient and effective food recall initiation process that helps ensure the safety of the Nation's food supply. Specifically, FDA did not have policies and procedures to ensure that firms or responsible parties initiated voluntary food recalls promptly. This issue is a significant matter and requires FDA's immediate attention." FDA relies on firms to recall food that can be harmful to the public health. The government did not have the authority to … [Read more...]

Legionnaires’ Outbreak at Meadowbrook Inn & Suites in NC; 3 Sickened

The source of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that has infected three guests at Meadowbrook Inn & Suites in Blowing Rock, North Carolina has not yet been identified, according to the Appalachian District Health Department (AppHealthCare). The health department has released a public health advisory to alert visitors to the mountain resort community about this recent outbreak. According to this advisory, the three victims all visited the 62-room hotel, located one block from central Blowing Rock, between April 15 and June 15. Each had stayed at the hotel within the 2- to 10-day incubation period in which Legionella bacteria, once inhaled or aspirated into one’s body, develops into full-blown Legionnaires’ disease. All three people were hospitalized, treated, and are now … [Read more...]

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