December 14, 2018

Did You Know Some Decorative Glitter and Dust Are Unsafe to Eat?

During the holiday season, many people use decorations on food to add interest and to reflect a celebratory mood. Unicorn cakes and cakes based on dolls and popular products can be decorated with items including decorative glitter and dust. But did you know that some of those decorative products are unsafe to eat? Some decorative glitters and dusts should not be eaten. Many of these products are sold over the internet and also in bakery supply and craft stores. They are sold under the names luster dust, disco dust, twinkle dust, highlighter, sparkle dust, shimmer powder, pearl dust, and petal dust. And many online videos and blogs promote the use of these products. Some glitters and dusts are edible and are made for use on foods. You can distinguish edible decorations from … [Read more...]

CDC Warns Against Eating Raw Dough

Warnings against eating raw dough have been issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The holiday season is when most people bake sweets, and eating raw dough and batter is a fun thing to do. But it can make you very sick. People also often make doughs for crafts, such as making Christmas ornaments. Never use raw flour for those projects. There's a special warning, too, about the Salmonella outbreak that is linked to Duncan Hines cake mixes. Check your pantry to see if you have any of these recalled cake mixes. If you do, throw them away. The problem ingredients in cookie doughs and cake batters are eggs and flour. Eggs are often contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. And flour has been linked to E. coli outbreaks in the past. Flour is a raw agricultural … [Read more...]

Holiday Food Safety Tips From the CDC Can Help Keep You Safe

The holidays are here, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering some tips for food safety. At this time of year, food poisoning outbreaks, especially those caused by Clostridium perfringens, can increase. First, wash your hands. Wash them before, during and after preparing food; after touching raw meat or eggs or unwashed produce; before eating or drinking; after using the bathroom; before caring for someone who is ill; and before and after treating a cut or wound. Also wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; after touching an animal, animal food, or animal waste; and after handling garbage. Another holiday food safety tip: make sure that all of the food you cook is cooked to a safe final internal temperature. All ground meats … [Read more...]

Saranac Brand Foods Enjoined From Distributing Foods After Listeria Found in Plant

A federal court has permanently enjoined Saranac Brand Foods of Saranac, Michigan from "preparing, processing, and distributing adulterated ready-to-eat foods," according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. The complaint was filed on November 29, 2018 at the request of the FDA, and the finding was entered today, Monday, December 3, 2018 by the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan. The FDA alleges that Saranac Brand Foods violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act by putting adulterated ready-to-eat foods into commerce. The company prepared and distributed about 35 foods, including dips, sauces, and salads such as spinach dip, macaroni salad, enchilada sauce, and coleslaw. Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the … [Read more...]

New Hope for Children With Peanut Allergies

A new clinical trial has given hope to children who suffer from peanut allergies. That allergy can be deadly, causing anaphylactic shock within minutes. The study gradually introduced children to peanut protein over six months under medical supervision. The study results were announced at a conference of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in Seattle. One in 50 children in this country is allergic to peanuts. And most FDA recalls are for undeclared allergens in regulated products. This regimen gradually builds up tolerance to the peanut allergen, reducing their sensitivity. This is not a cure, but is trying to reduce the risk that exposure to tiny amounts of peanuts will trigger a life-threatening reaction. Scientists are hoping to develop an oral medication. … [Read more...]

Heavy Metals Found in Some Kratom Products

There have been several warnings issued in the past year about kratom, a dietary supplement that was recalled for Salmonella contamination. Now, the FDA states that they have found "disturbingly high levels of heavy metals in kratom products." Kratom is not legally marketed in the U.S. as a drug or dietary supplement. The FDA states that some substances in kratom have opioid properties that suggest the potential for abuse. FDA scientists tested 26 separate kratom products obtained by field investigators. These products were originally collected as part of the efforts related to the multistate Salmonella outbreak linked to those products. Officials found lead and nickel in the kratom, at levels that are not safe for human consumption. The levels of heavy metals found are not … [Read more...]

How Many U.S. Children Suffer From Food Allergies?

A new report published in the journal Pediatrics finds that almost 8% of children living in the United States have food allergies. That condition can be life-threatening and is a major public health concern. The recalls we tell you about are often for food allergens. A survey was administered to U.S. households in 2015 and 2016, looking for responses for 38,408 children. The overall estimated current food allergy prevalence is 7.6%. The most prevalent allergies were peanut, at 2.2%, affecting about 1.6 million kids; milk at 1.9%, affecting about 1.4 million children; shellfish at 1.3%, ¬†affecting about 1 million children; and tree nut (1.2%), affecting about 900,000 kids. Among those children, 42.3% had severe food allergies, and 39.9% reported multiple allergies. About 19% of … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips To Keep Your Family Safe

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday in the U.S. But the food associated with this holiday, especially the turkey and stuffing, aren't commonly made by most consumers, so there are food safety risks. Foodsafety.gov is offering help with Thanksgiving food safety tips. Safe turkey handling is especially important this year, with the CDC notice of a deadly Salmonella Reading outbreak that has sickened 160 people, hospitalized 93, and killed one person in California. Officials have named some types of Jennie-O ground raw turkey in association with this outbreak, and recalled those products, but have not identified any more brands or producers of turkey. That means it's up to the consumer to make sure the turkey is safely and properly prepared. These Thanksgiving food safety tips will … [Read more...]

Clostridium Perfringens Warning As the Holidays Approach

A Clostridium perfringens outbreak sickened hundreds of people who ate at the Poplar Tent Presbyterian Church BBQ on November 1, 2018. The Cabarrus Health Alliance reported that at least 290 people had reported symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea after that event. The bacteria that caused the illness was identified as Clostridium perfringens after food samples were tested. The bacteria was fond in the Brunswick stew. Clostridium perfringens outbreaks are common around the holidays, because the bacteria grows in food prepared in quantities. When gravies or stews are not kept at a safe temperature, the bacteria easily grows. These outbreaks happen when large groups gather, such as events with catered food, nursing homes, schools, and hospitals. So how can you prevent these … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Turkey Food Safety Tips From the CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is offering Thanksgiving turkey food safety tips, especially about your holiday turkey. This year, a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Reading has sickened at least 164 people in 35 states, hospitalized 63 of those patients, and killed one person in California. The statement says, "Food handling errors and inadequate cooing are the most common problems that lead to poultry-associated foodborne disease outbreaks in the United States." You need to know that most poultry products sold in this country are contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. For instance, Consumer Reports found that 97% of the chicken breasts they purchased were contaminated. So it's up to the consumer to protect himself. Here are the Thanksgiving food safety steps you … [Read more...]

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