July 14, 2020

Americans Using Bleach and Disinfectants Improperly, According to CDC

According to a study published in the CDC's Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for June 5, 2020, many Americans are using bleach and disinfectants improperly during the coronavirus pandemic. Calls to poison centers regarding exposure to cleaners and disinfectants have increased during the pandemic. An internet panel survey found gaps in knowledge about the safe preparation, use, and storage of cleaners, bleaches, and disinfectants. One of the most striking items in the survey is that about 19% of American adults have used bleach to clean food. Overall, 39% of U.S. adults engaged in at least one high risk practice including washing food with bleach: they also said they applied household cleaning or disinfectant products to bare skin, or intentionally inhaled or ingested … [Read more...]

Princeton Develops Poison Arrow Against Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

A team of researchers at Princeton. have developed an antibiotic that can act as a poison arrow against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Part of the antibiotic actually punctures the bacterial wall and destroys folate within the cell. This antibiotic is also immune to antibiotic resistance. The combination. of the poisonous compound, SCH-79797, together with the antibiotic's ability to puncture the cells, makes a drug that is stronger than the sum of its parts. The research was published in the journal Cell. Bacteira are either gram-negative or gram-positive. This makes a difference when treating bacterial infections because gram-negative bacteria, such as E. coli O157:H7, have an extra layer of protein around them that resists most antibiotics. No new classes of gram-negative … [Read more...]

Pandemic Food Safety: Most Googled Recipes and Safety

We all know that during the coronavirus pandemic, more people are cooking at home out of necessity. Many people are cooking for themselves for the first time. And some of those people haven't been taught about food safety. CNBC's Make It section found the top 10 most-googled recipes during quarantine. And we are listing the food safety issues with some of those recipes. The top 10 recipes are for: banana bread, pancakes, chicken, pizza dough, brownie, Recette crepe, meatloaf, French toast, lasagna, and cheesecake. All of these recipes can make you sick if not prepared correctly. Baking Recipes The potential food safety issues with the baking recipes are with eggs and flour. Don't make any recipe that calls for eggs and isn't cooked or baked before eating. Eggs can be … [Read more...]

Hurricane Season Is Here: Be Prepared During the Pandemic

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is offering tips on how to stay safe during the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler said in a statement, "Powerful storms and hurricanes are likely to affect millions of Americans who are already dealing with the stress that comes with a pandemic. That is why we urge everyone now more than ever, to be informed, be prepared and be safe." The hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November. There are things you can do before the storm. Keep freezers full, since that helps the appliance keep food at a safe temperature longer. Keep water on hand too; each person in your household should have one gallon of clean water per day. If you must evacuate to a shelter, … [Read more...]

Can Spinach Be Contaminated With Pathogens At Germination?

We have all heard about the several deadly E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks linked to romaine lettuce that sickened hundreds of people last year in the United States. That contamination apparently occurred while the greens were growing in the field. But can leafy greens such as spinach be contaminated with pathogens during germination? Unfortunately, leafy greens are a main source of foodborne illness, because they are easily contaminated in the field and typically aren't cooked before serving. But that contamination was on the surface of the plant, not internalized into the leaves themselves. Now researchers have looks at the possibility that spinach can be contaminated at germination. Even worse, this contamination can be internalized in the leaf, which means that no amount of … [Read more...]

Do You Buy Food on Facebook? You May Want to Think Twice

You may or may not know this, but you can buy food through Facebook Marketplace. Sounds like a good idea in a time of potential food shortages, right? Maybe not. Food safety experts think that buying food from "opaque" Facebook posts may lead to consumers eating adulterated or contaminated  food. Some unscrupulous people may be selling adulterated food on Facebook, which is considered an "alternative channel" for sales because the food isn't necessarily inspected before it's shipped off to the buyer. Chris Elliott, professor of food safety at Queen's University in Belfast told The Grocer, "That's where I would go [to sell food]. I'm sure a lot of what's being sold on there is good, fine food, but I would say there's also a lot of fraud happening on that particular marketplace … [Read more...]

Researchers Identify Seasonal Peaks for Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

A new study in the American Society for Nutrition has identified seasonal peaks for foodborne illness outbreaks using a newly developed approach. The researchers hope that this information could be used to "optimize the timing and location of food inspections." Ryan B. Simpson, doctoral candidate at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and policy said in a statement, "We rely upon food producers, distributors and retailers to keep food safe in fields, grocery stores and restaurants. A lapse in food safety practices during any step in the food delivery and supply chain can jeopardize human health, waste food resources and threaten the national food economy." If government agencies and the healthcare industry know the patterns for each pathogen and state, an … [Read more...]

Permanent Injunction Against Sundial Herbal Products For Unapproved Drugs

A federal judge has entered an order of permanent inunction against Sundial Herbal Products to stop distributing their products because they have been labeled unapproved new drugs and misbranded drugs. Despite previous warnings from the FDA, the company "continued to violate the law and distributed their products," according to a new release issued by the FDA. FDA Chief Counsel Stacy Amin said in a statement, "Americans expect and deserve medical treatments that have been scientifically proven to be safe and effective. Making claims that unproven drugs can cure or prevent diseases places consumers’ health at risk. We remain committed to pursuing and taking swift action against those who attempt to subvert the regulatory functions of the FDA by repeatedly disregarding the law and … [Read more...]

Stop Using Mueller Austria’s Onion Chopper Pro For Possible Laceration Hazard

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC), select versions of Mueller Austria's Onion Chopper Pro (model #M-700) are being recalled because it could pose a laceration hazard. The recalled items have. locking tab that must be pushed toward the black to lock it into place. But this tab can detach from the unit during use so fingers and hands can slide into the blade. About 72,000 affected onion chopper pro units were sold on Mueller Austria's website and through the online seller Amazon from September 2016 until December 2019. The chopper sold for about $20. The unit is gray and green, with wire grids that fit into the chopper and a n attached plastic bin. The company introduced a new onion chopped in December 2019 that had a different locking tab mechanism. The … [Read more...]

Coronavirus Shutdown Increases Rodent Activity in More Areas

One of the more unpleasant realities caused by the coronavirus shutdown is that rats and mice are moving into suburbs in search of food as restaurants close. The rodents rely on food and waste that those venues generate. With more restaurants closed down, the animals have had to search further afield to find something to eat. Rodent activity will likely increase in areas where it hasn't happened before. That means that homeowners must guard against rodent infestation. If you do find evidence of rats in or around your home, call an exterminator. Rats can be dangerous in and of themselves and have been known to bite people and animals. In fact, 9,000 Americans are treated in emergency rooms every year for rat or mouse bites. They can also carry serious diseases such as hantavirus, … [Read more...]

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