April 16, 2021

Stay Safe While Cutting Food Waste At Home and Away

While food safety is of ultimate importance, everyone should also keep minimizing food waste in mind. And there are ways to do just that with tips from the FDA. Read on to learn how cutting food waste at home is a good idea monetarily and for the planet. While 48,000,000 Americans suffer from food poisoning every year, Americans also discard almost 40,000,000 tons of food annually. That averages out fo 219 pounds of waste per person, or about 35% of our food supply. And that food decomposes and creates methane, a big component in climate change. While much food is rightfully discarded because it could cause illness, a lot, about half of the total discarded, is thrown away because consumers don't understand food product dating. And food waste occurs at every step in the food … [Read more...]

FDA Releases Action Plan to Reduce Heavy Metals in Baby Food

The FDA has released their Action Plan to reduce heavy metals in baby food and other foods that children eat. A report released by the United States House of Representatives in February found that commercials baby foods were "tainted with significant levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury." That report also stated that "Exposure to toxic heavy metals causes permanent decreases in IQ, diminished future economic productivity, and increased risk of future criminal and antisocial behavior in children. Toxic heavy metals endanger infant neurological development and long-term brain function." The action plan, called Closer to Zero, details the approach the government will take. The press release did insist that FDA testing found that children are … [Read more...]

Home Treated Flour May Not Be Safe Says Purdue Researcher

The risks of uncooked flour have been well documented through studies and food poisoning outbreaks linked to that ingredient. But many recipes, especially older ones, call for using flour that is not cooked. To be able to make these recipes without the risk of food poisoning, many sites have been advocating that home cooks treat their own flour. But a Purdue researcher says that home treated flour may not be safe after all. The typical "recipe" for treating raw flour at home is to spread it on a pan and microwave it or bake it in the oven until it reaches 160°F, the temperature at which E. coli and other pathogens are destroyed. Purdue food scientist Yoahua "Betty" Feng states that those treatments are not guaranteed to make the flour safe. She says that while heating meats or … [Read more...]

How Long Can You Store Easter Eggs After the Holiday?

Making and decorating hard cooked eggs for the Easter holiday is traditional. But how long can you store Easter eggs after the holiday? The answer is one week. Which means that this next Sunday, all of your hard cooked Easter eggs should be eaten or discarded. If you stored the eggs after peeling, they should be kept in a bowl of cold water. And change the water every day. Unfortunately, you can't freeze whole hard cooked eggs or they will be rubbery. You can remove and freeze the yolks if you want. Of course, that time frame assumes that you cooked the eggs to well done, refrigerated them within two hours of cooking, and stored them in a refrigerator at a temperature less than 40°F. And used food-grade dye to color the eggs. And that you didn't hide them directly on the ground … [Read more...]

FDA Warns Two Companies Selling OTC CBD Products For Pain Relief

The FDA has issued warning letters to two companies selling OTC CBD products for pain relief. The items are labeled as containing cannabidiol (CBD) in ways that violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). The letters address the illegal marketing of unapproved drugs labeled as containing CBD. The FDA has not approved any over-the-counter (OTC) drugs containing CBD, and these products do not meet the requirements to be legally marketed without an approved new drug application. CBD has known pharmacological effects on people, with demonstrated risks, so it can't be legally marketed as an inactive ingredient in OTC drug products that are not approved by the FDA. The letters also cite substandard manufacturing practices, including the failure to comply with … [Read more...]

FDA Warns Earth Tea Against False Statements About COVID-19

The FDA has sent a warning letter to B4B Corporation, makers of Earth Tea, against false statements regarding the treatment and cure of COVID-19. The FDA says that the company is offering the product for sale and that it is intended to "mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people." That makes the product and unapproved new drug in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and also makes the product a misbranded drug under section 502 of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. § 352. Some examples of claims on the company's website that misleading represent the product as safe and/or effective for the treatment and prevention of the viral illness include, "Earth Tea works fast so it can eliminate quarantine time. With those simple steps we can move to end the … [Read more...]

FDA Warns Mercola Over Products Claiming to Treat and Cure COVID-19

The FDA has sent a warning letter to Mercola.com about their products being marketed as diagnostic tools, treatment options, and cures for COVID-19. The letter, dated February 18, 2021, addresses "Unapproved and Misbranded Products Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019." The company's websites and social media accounts promote these products which are considered unapproved new drugs sold in violation of the FDA's Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The FDA is taking urgent measures to protect consumers that, without approval or authorization by that agency, claim to "mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people." The government states that Mercola must take immediate action to cease the sale of these unapproved and unauthorized products. Some of the claims on the … [Read more...]

Ultrasonic Cleaning Could Reduce Leafy Greens Outbreaks

A new study conducted at the University of Southamptom has found that ultrasonic cleaning could reduce leafy greens outbreaks in the future. The cleaning is done by spraying food with streams of water that carry sound and microscopic air bubbles. This can clean greens more effectively than current washing methods. The study was conducted in a collaboration between the University of Southampton, North Carolina State University,  with lead scientist Professor Timothy Leighton. The work was sponsored by Vitacress. There have been several deadly E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks in the past few years that were linked to leafy greens, particularly romaine lettuce harvested in Arizona and California. While most of the investigations conducted by the CDC, FDA, and local officials have not been … [Read more...]

If You Travel, the CDC Has Info About Food and Water Safety Abroad

If you travel, or if you are going to start traveling once the pandemic eases, the CDC has information about food and water safety abroad that is important. There are some countries where the food and water are infamous for causing illness, whether true or not. But no matter where you travel there are some things you should know to avoid food poisoning. Hot food is usually safe. The only thing that reliably destroys most bacteria and pathogens is heat. The exception is toxins produced by some bacteria as they grow, and spores of some bacteria, such as Clostridium botulinum. Just beware of foods that are sitting at warm or room temperature, such as at a buffet because it could be re-contaminated. Dry or packaged food is also usually safe. Most bacteria and other pathogens require … [Read more...]

After Severe Weather, What Does a Boil Water Notice Mean?

Many people in different parts of the country have been, and will be, under a "boil water" notice after severe weather strikes. So what does a boil water notice mean? These advisories are often issued after a flood or when there is an issue with local water services, such as broken water mains or a sewage spill. Everyone should pay attention to these advisories and notices and follow them rigorously to protect health. Boil water notices are issued to protect the public from waterborne infectious agents that can range from parasites to E. coli and other pathogens to viruses. When a notice is issued, everyone should stop using water from the tap until a government agency says that the water is again safe to drink and use in cooking and cleaning. Heat treatments and filtration can … [Read more...]

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