January 16, 2021

Valley Processing Ordered To Stop Producing Adulterated Juices

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington entered a consent decree between the FDA and Valley Processing of Sunnyside, Washington to stop the company from distributing adulterated juice products until they comply with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The complaint, filed on November 6, 2020, states that Valley Processing juice products allegedly contained inorganic arsenic and patulin toxins at levels that can cause health problems. This juice was distributed for use in school lunch programs. This consent decree prohibits Valley Processing from receiving, preparing, processing, packing, holding, labeling, and/or distributing FDA regulated products until it completes corrective actions. The company had stopped its juice processing activities, but they … [Read more...]

Director of FDA CORE on Romaine: “I like to call it poop in a cup”

After a lively presentation today, the FDA’s Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation (CORE) Network Director Stic Harris, DVM, MPH took questions from the webinar audience. When asked if there was something about romaine lettuce that made it more susceptible to E. coli contamination than other leafy greens, Harris described the funnel-like shape of a head of romaine and said, "I like to call it poop in a cup." The question and answer session followed Harris's presentation called "FDA Grand Rounds: The CORE Network (or How I Learned to Love Lettuce…)" The goal of the webinar was to describe how the FDA works in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state agencies to identify outbreaks, stop them, analyze them, and, ideally, prevent from happening … [Read more...]

How To Prevent Salmonella Infections From Backyard Poultry

There have been thousands of human illnesses linked to backyard poultry in the U.S. in the past few years. In 2020 alone, there were 17 multistate outbreaks of Salmonella illnesses linked to contact with poultry in backyard flocks. In fact, in 2020 the number of illnesses linked to live birds was higher than any other past year. In those 17 outbreaks, 1,722 people were sickened, and 333 were hospitalized. One death was reported in Oklahoma. And 24% of those patients were children under the age of 5. Testing of backyard poultry and their environments in Kentucky and Oregon found three of the outbreak strains. The problem is that live poultry can carry Salmonella bacteria even if they look clean and healthy and do not seem sick. It's so easy to contract a Salmonella infection from … [Read more...]

Fusion Health Is Ordered to Stop Selling Covid-19 Vitamin D Treatments

Fusion Health is ordered to stop selling Covid-19 Vitamin D products by the U.S. Department of Justice,. Two other companies also owned by Matthew Ryncarz, Vitality LLC doing business as Pharm Origins, and Fusion Ionz LLC doing business as Pharm Origins, are included in the complaint. These companies allegedly sold and distributed products that the defendants claimed would "cure, mitigate, or treat COVID-19 and other diseases." Several products were sold that supposedly contained Vitamin D3, such as "Immune Shot," "Immune Boost," and "Core." None of these products are generally recognized as safe and effective by qualified experts, according to the complaint. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Daniel J. Feith said in a statement, "The Department of Justice will not allow … [Read more...]

FASTER Act Needed For Food Allergen Research and Labeling

The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act is needed for food allergen research and labeling. Thirty-two million Americans are allergic to many foods other than the eight major food allergen groups (milk, eggs, wheat, finfish, shellfish, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts) and more ingredients should be classified as food allergens. Some of these allergic reactions are life-threatening, and others result in hospitalization. Many of the pieces posted at Food Poisoning Bulletin focus on recalls for undeclared allergens in different food products. Sesame is probably the next in line to be added to the FDA's list of food allergens. More than 1.5 million people are allergic to sesame, but that ingredient does not have to be listed on product labels. On a … [Read more...]

FDA Warns Whole Foods For Selling Misbranded Products

The FDA warns Whole Foods for selling misbranded products as part of the government's efforts to address undeclared allergens as the leading cause of food recalls in this country. The history of Whole Foods recalls was reviewed, and the FDA states that "These recalls demonstrate that your corporation engaged in a pattern of receiving and offering for sale misbranded food products. For the time period of October 2019 to November 2020, your firm recalled 32 food products due to undeclared allergen(s). We noticed similar patterns of numerous recalls for undeclared allergens in previous years as well." Some of the recalled products include Whole Foods Market Minestrone Soup, which was recalled in April 2020 for undeclared milk. The reason given for the recall was that the internal … [Read more...]

Do You Know How To Buy and Serve Fresh Seafood?

Fresh seafood is a part of a healthy and balanced diet. But do you know how to buy and serve fresh seafood? These foods can cause food poisoning if not handled safely. The FDA has tips to help you. When buying fresh seafood there are things to look for. First of all, fish should not "smell." It should have a mild and fresh aroma and not small sour, "fishy," or like ammonia. A whole fish's eyes should be clear and shiny, and the flesh should be firm and spring back when pressed. Fish fillets should not be discolored or be drying around the edges. Shellfish such as shrimp, lobster, and scallops should be clear with a pearl-like color and no odor. Packaged fresh seafood with time/temperature indicators should only be purchased if the indicator shows the product is safe to eat. And … [Read more...]

Avoid Making and Serving These Potentially Dangerous Holiday Foods

Every year people are sickened by certain types of foods. Avoid making and serving these potentially dangerous holiday foods this season. Some are inherently dangerous, and others are easily contaminated with dangerous bacteria. The potentially harmful foods include cannibal sandwiches, raw cookie dough, eggnog, unpasteurized cider, and raw oysters. Cannibal sandwiches are sandwiches made with raw ground beef. They are a specialty in some areas of the Midwest United States. In 2013, an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Wisconsin was associated with the seasonal consumption of these sandwiches. Raw ground beef is inherently risky, because cows carry pathogenic STEC bacteria in their guts. When the cows are slaughtered, the bacteria are released and can contaminate the beef. When this beef … [Read more...]

2020 Meat and Poultry Recalls Hit All-Time Low

In-Depth Analysis From Food Poisoning Bulletin Who’s Been Minding our Meat? When Food Poisoning Bulletin began a review of food recalls in 2020, we discovered there had been a dramatic decline in the number of recalls for meat and poultry but not for other food products. To find out why, we analyzed five years of recall data published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS), the federal agency that regulates meat, poultry, and egg products. Our research showed that meat and poultry recalls plummeted to an all-time low this year. Just 29 recalls were issued for meat and poultry in 2020 (through December 10) and only one of them was for bacterial contamination. Those numbers are a fraction of the annual averages since 2016 - 128  total … [Read more...]

How E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria Recalls Prevent Serious Illness

When Food Poisoning Bulletin began a review of food recalls in 2020, we discovered there had been a dramatic decline in the number of recalls for meat and poultry but not for other food products. To find out why, we looked at five years of recall data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS), the federal agency that regulates meat, poultry, and eggs. A decline in the number of recalls for bacterial contamination is concerning. To read our in-depth analysis, click here. Bacterial Contamination in Meat is Serious E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella are bacteria that cause typical food poisoning symptoms when they are ingested but each of them can also cause serious illness and death. That’s why companies that produce food are required to have … [Read more...]

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