February 24, 2018

FDA Recalls and Destroys Kratom Products; Kratom is Associated with a Multistate Salmonella Outbreak

The FDA has said it has recalled and destroyed products made with kratom, and warns consumers that the substance can be hazardous. The supplements it has collected and destroyed were distributed nationwide under the brand names Botany Bay, Enhance Your Life, and Divinity by Divinity Products Distribution of Grain Valley, Missouri. The company has agreed to stop selling all products containing kratom.   The FDA is also encouraging all companies that sell products containing kratom to take steps to remove their products from the market and submit evidence to the FDA to evaluate them according to the regulatory pathway. Government officials are concerned about this product since the FDA has stated that 36 deaths are related to the use of the product. In addition, kratom products … [Read more...]

Reishi D. Supplement Facility Warned by FDA

The FDA has sent a warning letter to the Reishi D. International dietary supplement facility in South San Francisco, California. Inspectors found serious violations of the current Good Manufacturing Practice, which means the product is considered adulterated. Inspectors also collected labels and brochures for the supplement that contain violations of the Act and regulations. The supplement is considered a drug because it is "ntended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease." Claims on the product, such as "has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years.." and "Propolis … contains more than 30 different flavonoids and antioxidants to help control free radicals. Free radicals are caused by waste from our body cells that increase with … … [Read more...]

FDA Publishes Risk Profile of Pathogens and Filth in Spices

Did you know that spices can contain pathogenic bacteria and filth? The FDA has published the 2017 Risk Profile of Pathogens and Filth in Spices to "describe the nature and extend of the pubic health risk posed by consumption of spices in the U.S." The report identifies the most commonly occurring microbial hazards in spices, and evaluates the current mitigation and control options. There have been recalls of these types of products for possible bacterial contamination in the past few years. In October 2017, for example, Spicely Organics recalled tarragon for possible Salmonella contamination. And in 2014, some Costco pepper was recalled, also for Salmonella. The draft risk profile did identify Salmonella as the pathogen most commonly associated with human illness that was … [Read more...]

Should You Feed Raw Pet Food? Consumer Reports Weighs In

A Salmonella outbreak in Minnesota that is linked to recalled raw pet food is highlighting a question that pet owners face. Should you feed your pet raw food? Consumer Reports weighs in. In that outbreak, two children were sickened after pets in their home were fed Raws for Paws ground turkey pet food. One of the children was hospitalized with osteomyelitis, a serious and painful bone infection that can cause fractures later in life. Sales of raw frozen and refrigerated pet foods has grown by 263% from 2011 to 2017, but those diets are controversial. Some vets say that those products are not nutritionally balanced. The products can contain raw organ meats, whole or crushed animal or fish bones, unpasteurized milk, uncooked eggs, and raw produce. Any raw meat can be contaminated … [Read more...]

Raw Chicken Necks are Linked to APN Paralysis in Dogs

According to a study conducted at the University of Melbourne, raw chicken necks have been linked to a potentially fatal form of paralysis. The illness is called acute polyradiculoneuritis (APN), which shares similarities with Guillain-Barre syndrome in humans. The bacteria in question is Campylobacter. Scientists studied 27 client-owned dogs suffering from suspected APN and 47 healthy dogs. The researchers collected fecal samples from each dog and performed direct culture, DNA extraction, and polymerase chain retain to look for Campylobacter. The research revealed that dogs with APN were 9.4 times more likely to be positive for Campylobacter species compared to dogs in the control group. And a significant association was found between dogs affected by APN and the consumption of … [Read more...]

FDA Releases Information About Opioid Compounds in Kratom

The FDA released information about adverse events and scientific analysis providing evidence of opioid properties in kratom, an ingredient used in some dietary supplements. Food Poisoning Bulletin told you about a warning the FDA issued last November about this ingredient, stating that the substance is addictive and has been linked to deaths in this country. The FDA conducted a scientific analysis using a computational model developed by scientists in the agency, which provides "even stronger evidence of kratom compounds' opioid properties." More adverse events involving this product have been reported. Government officials are concerned about the use of this substance to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms. The press release states that "there is no reliable evidence to support the … [Read more...]

Studies Find Sea Salt is Contaminated with Plastic

According to The Guardian, sea salt around the world is contaminated with tiny bits of plastic. Research was conducted at the State University of New York at Fredonia. Sherri Mason, a professor at that facility told the Guardian, "Not only are plastics pervasive in our society in terms of daily use, but they are pervasive in the environment. Plastics are ubiquitous, in the air, water, the seafood we eat, the beer we drink, the salt we use - plastics are just everywhere." Researchers think the plastic in sea salt comes from microfibers and single-use plastics such as water bottles. Scientists studied 12 kinds of salt purchased in U.S. grocery stores. They found that Americans could be eating more than 600 particles of plastic every year in sea salt, and that's if they follow the … [Read more...]

Food & Water Watch Finds Privatized Inspection System Produces More Contaminated Chicken

Food & Watch Watch has analyzed the USDA's regulatory sampling for Salmonella bacteria in the country's poultry slaughter plants, and has found that more contaminated chicken is being produced. Thirty percent of plants operating under the new privatized system have failed the performance standard for that pathogenic bacteria. The New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS) removes USDA inspectors from slaughter lines. Company employees are now responsible for inspections, under this system. Just one USDA inspector is on each line, and that person must inspect three birds per second. The final rule, proposed in 2012, was published in 2014. USDA argued that this inspection system would reduce the incidence of Salmonella contamination. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & … [Read more...]

CDC Offers Tips to Prevent the Spread of Norovirus

During the winter months when more people are indoors and in close quarters, norovirus cases, a type of food poisoning, increase; more than 80% of norovirus outbreaks occur from November to April. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering tips to help you protect yourself and others against this virus. Norovirus is the name for a group of viruses that cause inflammation of the stomach and intestines, which is also known as gastroenteritis. Symptoms of this illness are abdominal and stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Officials think that this pathogenic virus causes about 20 million illnesses in the United States every year, 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations, and about 700 deaths. Many people call this illness the "stomach flu." But it is not … [Read more...]

USDA Guide to Hosting a Safe Super Bowl Party

The Super Bowl is this Sunday; if you're hosting a party, take advice from the USDA to make sure the food you are serving is safe. These tips and rules will help ensure that your guests are happy and don't get sick. Begin by washing your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. This will remove any bacteria from your hands before you start preparing the food. And make sure that dishware and utensils are clean and sanitized before you use them to prepare, warm, cook or serve food. Make sure that you separate raw foods such as raw meat and poultry and foods that are eaten uncooked such as crudités and dips. Use clean and different utensils for each dish. Never use your own spoon or fork to serve yourself foods from the buffet, or you could contaminate the food. Use … [Read more...]

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