October 15, 2018

Affected By Hurricane Michael? Get USDA’s Food Safety Tips

Hurricane Michael has come and gone in the U.S. Southeast. But its effects are going to last for a long time. The storm surge caused severe flooding, and many people are still without power. If you were affected by this hurricane, the USDA has some tips for you. First of all, never eat food that has been in contact with flood water. That water is extremely dirty and can contain all types of pathogens, from deadly bacteria to parasites and viruses. Discard any raw fruits or vegetables, cartons, of milk, or eggs that may have touched flood water, however briefly. And don't assume that what you think are waterproof containers are safe. Food containers that are not waterproof include any made of plastic or cardboard. The type of closure makes a difference too. Screw-caps, snap lids, … [Read more...]

Employee at Wendy’s in Ripley, WV Diagnosed with Hepatitis A

An employee at the Wendy's restaurant in Ripley, West Virginia was diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to news reports. There is no information about this issue on the Jackson County Health Department website, although the health officer of that agency is quoted in articles. The employee worked between September 14 and September 24, 2018. Anyone who ate at that Wendy's restaurant during that time period may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus. Dr. I John Snyder, Jackson County health officer, said in a statement, "While the risk of contracting Hepatitis A from visiting this restaurant is very low, people who have not been vaccinated against Hepatitis A and who consumed food at the restaurant between Sept. 14, 2018, and Sept. 24, 2018, should consider getting the … [Read more...]

Keep Food Safe at Fall Football Cookouts With Tips From Experts

It's football time, and that means tailgating. Keep your food safe at fall football cookouts with food safety tips from Auburn University. Tailgate parties usually take place in parking lots and areas around football stadiums around the country. Most people grill at these gatherings, which present some unique food safety issues. But if you follow these tips at each step, from purchasing the food to grilling and cleanup, you can stay safe and avoid foodborne illness. First, when you shop, purchase meats such as ground hamburger, hot dogs, and chicken last. Get them home quickly and into the refrigerator and freezer. When you are packing and preparing food for your fall football cookouts, make sure you put them in an insulated cooler and use ice or frozen gel packs to keep them … [Read more...]

New Warnings About Kratom With Unproven Medical Claims

The FDA has been warning consumers about dietary supplements containing kratom, a plant native to Southeast Asia, that contains opioids. The plant mitragyna speciosa contains substances that react in the body in a way similar to opioids. This compound is illegal and controlled in several other countries, including Denmark, Germany, and Australia. Several states and cities in the U.S. also ban it. The FDA states that "there have been no adequate and well-controlled scientific studies involving the use of kratom as a treatment for opioid use withdrawal or other diseases in humans. Nor have there been studies on how this compound, when combined with other substances, may impact the body, its dangers, potential side effects, or interactions with other drugs." The FDA has sent warning … [Read more...]

As Hurricane Florence Approaches, Get Ready

Hurricane Florence is approaching the east coast of the U.S. as a Category 4 storm with winds of 140 mph. Storms of this magnitude can wreak havoc on a large area even if your home is out of reach of storm surge and high winds. Flooding and power outages can cause serious food safety issues. The CDC has some advice. If you are in an evacuation area, leave. Take medications you need with you, along with prescriptions. Avoid driving through flooded areas and standing water. If you are planning to stay, get supplies. The hurricane will probably cut off power and your water supply may end. Have at least five gallons of water per person available per day. Most experts say you should have enough water for five days, but Hurricane Florence may stall, so you may want to think about … [Read more...]

Permanent Injunction Issued Against Dietary Supplements Containing Undisclosed Drugs

The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey has entered an order of permanent injunction against S. Hackett Marketing LLC doing business as Just Enhance. This injunction requires the defendants to cease the distribution of their products until they take remedial measures and comply with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The notice states that the defendants violated the Act by selling unapproved drugs and misbranded drugs to consumer on more than 100 different websites. The complaint states that the label on these products claimed, without FDA approval or any clinical studies demonstrating safety and effectiveness, that they could treat or provident serious conditions. Some of those conditions included impotence and prostatitis. Testing at the FDA laboratory … [Read more...]

Who is at High Risk for Complications From Food Poisoning?

Every week Food Poisoning Bulletin tells you about outbreaks that have sickened, hospitalized, or even killed dozens and hundreds of people. The ironic thing about these outbreaks is that a good number of sick persons never see a doctor. Unless something goes seriously wrong.¬†So who is at higher risk for developing serious complications from food poisoning? Every year, about 1 in 6 Americans, or 48,000,000 people, contract some type of food poisoning infection. More than 120,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 people die. Those who are more likely to get a foodborne illness in the first place are children under the age of 5, adults over the age of 65, anyone who has a chronic illness such as cancer or diabetes, and pregnant women. That's why we stress that it is so important to … [Read more...]

Food Safety Tips for Labor Day Weekend From Experts

It's Labor Day, the last blast of summer in the United States. And many people are grilling and cooking outside. The New York State Department of Health is reminding people about food safety tips for Labor Day weekend. There is a recent multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to kosher chicken. There are seventeen people sick in four states, including Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. And eleven of those patients live in New York State. How people prepare chicken, especially if it is cooked outside on the grill, can leave some susceptible to food poisoning. So, here's what you can do. When you buy meats, wrap them in plastic bags to stop blood and juices from dripping onto other foods, especially those that are eaten without further cooking. Refrigerate perishable … [Read more...]

FDA Tells Consumers to Avoid Point of Sale Liquid Nitrogen Products

The FDA has issued a safety alert about food items that are prepared by adding liquid nitrogen at the point of sale, right before someone eats or drinks it. These products can cause "severe damage to skin and internal organs if mishandled¬†or accidently ingested due to the extremely low temperatures it can maintain." These products are often marketed under the names "Dragon's Breath," "Heaven's Breath," or "nitro puff." Inhaling the vapor released by a food or beverage prepared in this way can cause difficulty in breathing, especially among people with asthma. While liquid nitrogen is itself non-toxic, it can damage skin and internal organs because it maintains extremely low temperatures. This safety alert advises consumers to avoid eating, drinking, or handling these foods and … [Read more...]

Back to School Meal Prep and Food Safety From Uncle Sam

Most schools in the United States start next Tuesday, after Labor Day. That prospect can be daunting for parents who provide lunches and snacks for their kids to tote to school, but Uncle Sam has some advice about making back to school meal prep easy. First, it's important to plan out the menu for the week. Look for recipes you know your kids will like, then create a shopping list based on the foods you need. Make sure, at the store, that you put any refrigerated or frozen foods into the cart last, just before you check out. And those items must be put in the refrigerator or freezer within two hours after you finish shopping. Safe food preparation is next on the checklist for back to school lunches. Make sure that your kitchen is clean before you start to cook and prepare foods. … [Read more...]

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