May 30, 2017

FDA Has Tips for Eating Outdoors and Handling Food Safely

This is Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial beginning of the summer season. Many people will be barbecuing and having picnics outdoors. These events are opportunities for foodborne illness, especially since the warmer weather months can increase the chance of food poisoning. So the FDA is offering tips for eating outdoors and handling food safely. First, pack and transport the food safely. When perishable foods aren't in the refrigerator, they are at greater risk for bacterial contamination. Cold food should be kept cold. Use a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs and make sure that the temperature in the cooler is at 40*F or below to prevent bacterial growth. You can pack meat, poultry, and seafood while still frozen so they stay colder longer. Organize the cooler contents. Put … [Read more...]

Liver Damage Caused by Dietary Supplements Increases

Consumer Reports says a new study finds that some dietary supplements are causing liver damage. The study looked at cases of liver damage reported to the Drug Induced Liver Injury Network Program at the National Institutes of Health. About 700 cases of liver damage were reported during the study's time frame. And 130 of those cases were linked to dietary supplements. The study, published in the journal Heptology by Dr. Victor Navarro from the Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, states that the greatest risk of liver damage seems to be with bodybuilding and weight loss supplements.  Those products caused about half of the cases of liver damage that were linked to supplements. But other supplements that are sold for depression, sexual performance, and digestive issues can be … [Read more...]

Study Finds Warmer Ocean Waters Linked to Domoic Acid Production

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released information about a study that showed the risk of domoic acid shellfish poisoning is increasing because of warmer West Coast ocean conditions. These conditions are supporting the increase of the marine algae that produce that toxin. Domoic acid found in shellfish can cause serious and fatal food poisoning. A NOAA-supported research team, led by Oregon State University scientists, is developing a new method to predict these toxic outbreaks on a large scale. Morgaine McKibben, scientist at Oregon State University and lead author of the study, said, "We describe a completely new method to understanding and predicting toxic outbreaks on a large scale, linking domoic acid concentrations in shellfish to ocean conditions caused … [Read more...]

Permanent Injunction Entered Against Syfrett Feed Company

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida has entered a consent decree of permanent injunction against Syfrett Feed Company of Okeechobee, Florida for distributing misbranded and adulterated medicated animal feed. According to the complaint, the company's medicated animal feeds did not list the names of active drug ingredients and did not include adequate instruction for use, including feeding limitations, dose administration, and cautionary statements for the use of drugs in combination with other drugs. The complaint also alleges that the feed was not manufactured in conformity with current good manufacturing practices for medicated feeds. The complaint alleges that the defendants failed to "establish and maintain adequate procedures for the identification, … [Read more...]

Raw Tuna in Oahu, Hawaii Tests Positive for Hepatitis A

The Hawaii State Department of Health has been notified that imported frozen raw tuna has tested positive for the hepatitis A virus. This product, which was imported from Indonesia and distributed by Tropic Fish Hawaii, LLC, was used to prepare poke sold between April 27 and May 1, 2017 by food establishments on Oahu. Poke is a raw fish salad. It is served as both an appetizer and a main dish. The imported frozen fish was used to prepare poke that was sold at Times Supermarket and Shima's in Aiea, Kailua, Kaneohe, Kunia, Liliha, Mililani, Waipahu, and Waimanalo. The product was also used to prepare food served or sold by GP Hawaiian Food Catering, the Crab Shack Kapolei (also known as Maile Sunset Bar & Grill in Kapolei), Aloha Sushi at 3131 N. Nimitz, and the ABC store at … [Read more...]

Raw Milk Products Cause 840 Times More Illness Than Pasteurized Milk

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Emerging Infectious Diseases report for June 2017, unpasteurized milk products cause 840 times more illness and 45 times more hospitalizations than pasteurized milk products. Only about 3.2% of the population consume raw milk, and 1.6% of consumers eat raw cheese, but those products cause 96% of the illnesses linked to contaminated dairy products in this country. The number of states that allow raw milk sales increased to 30 in 2011, from 21 in 2004. Consumption of unpasteurized dairy products is becoming more popular, and this raises public health concerns. The bacteria in these products that have caused serious illness and death include E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Listeria monocytogenes. This increase … [Read more...]

CDC Study Looks at Restaurant Food Allergy Practices

As part of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for the week of April 21, 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a study about food allergy practices in restaurants across the country. Food allergies affect about 15,000,000 people in this country and cause about 30,000 emergency department visits and 150 to 200 deaths every year. Almost half of the fatal food allergy reactions over a 13 year period were caused by food from a restaurant or other food service establishment. The report found that fewer than half of members of the restaurant staffs surveyed in 278 restaurants had received training on food allergies. And although most restaurants list ingredients or recipes for some menu items, few have separate equipment or areas that are designed … [Read more...]

MDH Offers Steps to Keep Backyard Poultry Keepers Safe

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is offering simple steps to keep backyard poultry-keepers safe. There have been large Salmonella outbreaks in the past linked to backyard poultry flocks. In 2014, hundreds were sickened in a Salmonella outbreak linked to the birds, and in 2016, there were eight Salmonella outbreaks caused by contact with live poultry. Many people keep backyard birds for fresh eggs and meat. But there are risks associated with raising poultry; the birds can be carriers of Salmonella and other pathogenic bacteria. Children under the age of 5, people with weakened immune systems, the elderly, and pregnant women are most likely to become seriously ill with a Salmonella infection. So MDH is offering some steps to protect yourself and your family. First, be … [Read more...]

CDC Releases Data on Foodborne Illnesses and CIDTs 2013 – 2016

In the latest issue of CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a report studied the incidence and trends of infections of foodborne pathogens from 2013 - 2016. The report also looked at the effect of the increasing use of culture-independent diagnostic tests (CIDTs) on pathogen surveillance. Overall, the 2016 incidence of confirmed Campylobacter infections was lower in the United States, but incidences of confirmed Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), Yersinia, and Cryptosporidium infections were higher. But the report states that culture-independent diagnostics tests (CIDTs) are complicating this data, because testing for pathogens may be occurring more frequently using this method.  In 2016, FoodNet, the CDC's Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network, identified … [Read more...]

FDA Acted on Homeopathic Teething Products

Lyndsay Meyer, Press Officer of the Office of Media Affairs at the FDA reached out to Food Poisoning Bulletin to inform us of the process behind the recent recall of Hyland's Homeopathic Teething Tablets. The FDA issued a statement about this issue on April 13, 2017. The statement says that FDA is alerting consumers of a nationwide voluntary recall of all lots of Hyland's Baby Teething Tablets and Hyland's Baby Nighttime Teething Tablets by the manufacturer, Standard Homeopathic Company. That company received FDA's formal recall request on April 10, 2017, and agreed. The letter states, "The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requesting that you immediately initiate a recall of all lots ofHyland's Baby Teething Tablets and Hyland's Baby Nighttime Teething Tablets, within … [Read more...]

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