October 18, 2017

Archives for January 2017

Food Safety on Super Bowl Sunday

The Super Bowl is this Sunday. No matter how you celebrate, you need to keep your food safe so you and your guests don't get sick. Foodsafety.gov is offering tips to keep the food for your bash safe. Americans eat more than a billion chicken wings on that day, and many other foods that have the potential to be contaminated with bacteria. If you plan on frying chicken wings, make sure that the frying oil temperature is at least 375°F, measured with a food thermometer, before you start. Never fry frozen chicken wings; they should be completely thawed. Do not rinse the chicken wings before you cook them; that will only spread bacteria around your kitchen and onto you, since the spray from the water can spread up to 3 feet away from the faucet. Pay the wings dry before you put them … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak in Washington Associated with Raw Oysters

King County Public Health is investigation a cluster of "norovirus-like" illnesses associated with eating raw oysters in their area. That virus is found in the stool and vomit of infected people. The virus is very contagious and is spread through contamianted food and person-to-person contact. Consuming raw and undercooked shellfish, especially oysters, increases your chances of getting sick. On January 19, 2017, Public Health was notified about 4 cases of norovirus-like illness from the same party who eat raw oysters at Taylor Shellfish, located at 124 Republican Street in Seattle on January 4, 2017. The patients got sick about 24 hours after eating the oysters, with symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, and muscle aches. Environmental Health … [Read more...]

Farm to Fork Project Looks at Pathogen Transfer on Surfaces

A new study focusing on contact surface transfer of pathogens is halfway through its two year timeline. The research is being conducted at Virginia Tech. Dr. Laura Strawn, a produce safety Extension Specialist at that University is leading the project, along with Dr. Ben Chapman at NCSU and Dr. Michelle Danyluk at the University of Florida in Lake Alfred. The project is being funded by the Center for Produce Safety. Their research is looking at potential pathogen contamination of cantaloupe in the food chain. The study is focusing on Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes transfer. Back in 2011, a huge Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Jensen Farms cantaloupe sickened 147 people and killed 30 in 28 states. Seven pregnant women were sickened in that outbreak. One woman … [Read more...]

ageLOC TR90 Protein Boost Recalled for Undeclared Milk

NSE Products is recalling all ageLOC TR90 Protein Boost because it contains milk, one of the major food allergens, that is not declared on the label. Anyone who is allergic to milk or who is lactose intolerant could have a serious reaction if they consume this product. No serious illnesses have been reported to date, but some instances of swollen lips, throat irritation, hives, and other symptoms that indicate an allergic reaction have been reported to the company. Protein Boost is designed as a vegetarian product and has "lactose free" and "does not contain milk" claims on the label. Nu Skin discovered that flavoring used in the product contains buttermilk. The recalled product was sold in the Untied States and Canada through independent distributors. The product was sold in plastic … [Read more...]

Chocolate Caramel Hearts Recalled for Undeclared Almonds

Marich Confectionery of California is recalling Valentine Chocolate Caramel Hearts because the package may contain Triple Chocolate Toffee, which contains almonds, one of the major food allergens. Anyone who is allergic to almonds could have a serious allergic reaction if they eat this product. No illnesses have been reported to date. The products are distributed to California, Oklahoma, and Minnesota. It is 4.25 ounce (120 gram) Valentine Chocolate Caramel Hearts with UPC number 797817-44440-9. The product comes a bright red and pink box with the product name of Chocolate Caramel Hearts. The lot code is 0031711 and the best by date is 9/30/17, both marked on the bottom of the package. If you purchased this product and are allergic to almonds, do not eat it. Throw it away or take it … [Read more...]

FDA Confirms Belladonna in Homeopathic Teething Products

Last year we told you about a consumer warning issued by the FDA regarding homeopathic teething products that had inconsistent levels of belladonna, which is considered a toxic substance. On Friday, the FDA released a report stating that elevated levels of belladonna have been found in those products; sometimes "far exceeding the amount claimed on the label." The government investigated more than 400 reports of adverse effects linked to those products, which ranged from "seizure, death, fever, shortness of breath, lethargy, constipation, vomiting, sleepiness, to tremor, agitation, and irritability." The FDA has contacted Standard Homeopathic Company in Los Angeles, the maker of Hyland's homeopathic teething products made with belladonna. The company has not agreed to a recall. So … [Read more...]

HUS Study Finds Nitrogen to Creatinine Ratio Accurate Predictor of Outcome

A study published in the European Journal of Pediatrics has found that blood urea nitrogen (BUN) to serum creatinine ratio is an accurate way to predict outcome in patients with diarrhea-associated hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is most often caused by ingesting Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). Identifying the tests that predict a poor outcome could help doctors intervene in a timely manner. The study looked at how accurately the BUN-to-sCreatinine ratio determined upon admission predicts patient outcome. What is the BUN-to-sCreatinine ratio? Blood urea nitrogen is a test that measures the amount of nitrogen in the blood from urea that is produced by the liver and filtered out of the blood by the kidneys. Serum creatinine is a waste product produced by muscle … [Read more...]

WHO Urges Vigilance in Bird Flu Outbreaks

There have been many outbreaks of avian flu among bird flocks around the world in the last two months. The highly pathogenic H5N8 virus is spreading across Europe and other countries. The World Health Organization is telling countries they must be on the watch for possible human avian flu cases. No human H5N8 cases have been reported so far. But Dr. Caroline Brown, program manager for flu and other respiratory pathogens for the WHO's Regional Office for Europe said that "this does not mean this cannot happen, as experience tells us." The H5N8 threat to humans is "relatively low," but other subtypes have made the jump from birds to humans in the past. At least 24 European countries have reported H5N8 outbreaks since June 2016. More outbreaks have been reported in Asia, the Middle … [Read more...]

Milk Chocolate Santas Recalled for Plastic Pieces

Milk chocolate Santas are being recalled in Canada for pieces of plastic, or extraneous or foreign material, posing a choking hazard. The products were sold in Ontario at the retail level. There is no word on whether or not any adverse reactions have been reported to date. The recalled product is Thorntons Hollow Milk Chocolate Jolly Santa in 200 gram packages. All codes on the product are recalled. The UPC number of the recalled product is 5016346234721. The recalling company is britgrocer.com Inc. If you purchased this product, do not eat it. Throw it away or take it back to the store where you bought it for a full refund. … [Read more...]

Cookie Dough Maker Gets Listeria Warning Letter

The FDA has sent the owners of Aspen Hills, Inc., makers of ready to eat cookie dough, a warning letter on January 10, 2017 about environmental samples from their facility that tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. There is zero tolerance for that pathogenic bacteria in ready to eat products. That means that the cookie dough pucks, pellets, and pails are adulterated within the meaning of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Four positive environmental swabs were collected in the manufacturing areas. And between September 18 and 26, 2016, the firm's environmental program found Listeria monocytogenes in ten environmental swabs and in one finished product lot of cookie dough, which was not distributed into commerce. These findings indicate that the "firm is not taking … [Read more...]

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