February 28, 2021

At Least 110 Pets Are Dead After Eating Aflatoxin Contaminated Pet Food

At least 110 pets are dead after eating aflatoxin contaminated pet food, according to the FDA. The FDA and several state departments of agriculture are investigating certain products manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods that may contain potentially fatal levels of the toxin. A recall was issued on December 30, 2020 for several varieties of those foods. On January 11, 2021, the recall was expanded to include all pet foods that contain corn and were made in the company's Oklahoma plant. These are Sportmix, Pro Pac, and Nunn pet foods and Splash Fat Cat fish foods that expire on or before July 9, 2022. On January 25, 2021, FDA added a list of countries to which the recalled products may be been exported. You can see the complete list of recalled products, along with expiration dates … [Read more...]

At Your 2021 Super Bowl Party, Avoid Food Poisoning With These Tips

At your Super Bowl party this year, avoid food poisoning with these tips from the USDA. Whenever you are entertaining, you need to think about food safety and how to avoid making people sick. All you have to do is follow a few simple rules and pay attention to the food. USDA Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Paul Kiecker said, "As Americans prepare their Super Bowl food, protecting loved ones from foodborne illnesses is essential. Millions of people get sick from food poisoning each year. Following guidance on proper handwashing and avoiding cross-contamination can keep your family safe." First, always wash your hands before you start preparing food. In a recent USDA study, participants failed to wash their hands correctly 99% of the time. You need to wet your hands … [Read more...]

FDA Places All Hand Sanitizers Imported From Mexico on Import Alert

The FDA has placed all hand sanitizers imported from Mexico on import alert to help stop products that are in violation of U.S. law from entering the country until the agency can ascertain the product's safety. Many hand sanitizers imported from that country have tested positive for methanol contamination since the coronavirus pandemic began last year. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is toxic when absorbed through the skin and it is life-threatening when ingested. Methanol is not allowed in hand sanitizers. Under the import alert, the alcohol-based hand sanitizers imported from Mexico are subject to heightened FDA scrutiny. FDA staff can detain the shipment. FDA Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Judy McMeekin, Pharm.D., said in a statement, "Consumer use of hand … [Read more...]

USDA Withdraws Controversial Poultry Line Speed Rule

On Friday, January 22, 2021, the USDA withdrew a controversial poultry line speed rules from the previous administration that would have rolled back line-speed standards at poultry plants. The first such proposal was made by the Obama administration in 2012. At the time, and over the last nine years, food safety experts and consumer advocates have opposed increasing these speeds, which whip poultry carcasses past inspectors at three birds per second. Executive Director of Food and Water Watch's Wenoah Hauter, said in a statement, "Such speeds would have made it nearly impossible for inspectors to properly due their jobs and ensure food safety and public health." She continued, "We’re pleased that the Biden administration has resisted the bidding of the immensely powerful … [Read more...]

Sniff Test For Food Safety: Bad Advice From British Government UPDATED

We heard from the developer of the campaign and app about things the Guardian article let out. The actual campaign is much more aligned with food safety than the Guardian article would lead a reader to believe. We included their response at the end of this piece. An article published in The Guardian a few days ago outlined a new British government initiative that could be tragic: officials are telling people to "sniff and taste" their food before discarding it. The problem with the sniff test for food safety is that pathogenic bacteria, such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria monocytogenes, do not change the taste, aroma, or texture of food. And while refrigerator temperatures below 40°F slow bacterial growth, it doesn't stop it completely. The campaign, called "Look, Smell, … [Read more...]

Possible Botulism Treatment Breakthrough Reverses Paralysis

A possible botulism treatment breakthrough that reverses paralysis in mice has been announced by scientists at Boston's Children's Hospital. Botulism food poisoning can be deadly. It is caused by the botulinum toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum spores. The spores grow in a low acid, anaerobic environment (without oxygen) such as in improperly canned foods. A tiny amount of the toxin can kill an adult human being. The spores are found in soil, dust, and in foods such as honey. Early treatment is key in recovery, since once paralysis starts, it cannot be reversed. That is what makes this new treatment so exciting. Min Dong, Ph.D., a researcher in the Boston Children's Hospital Department of Urology and corresponding author of the paper said in a statement, "Currently, there … [Read more...]

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...]

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