April 18, 2019

FDA Warns Nutra Pharma Group For Illegally Marketed Unapproved Products

The FDA posted a warning letter to Nutra Pharma Corporation for illegally marketing unapproved products that were labeled as homeopathic and made medical claims. More specifically, the claims were about ability to treat addiction and chronic pain, including pain that is associated with cancer, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and other serious medical conditions. The targeted products include Nyloxin Oral Spray, Nyloxin Topical Gel, Nyloxin Topical Roll-On, Nyloxin Topical Roll-On ES, Nyloxin Professional Size Pump Topical Gel and Regular Strength Sample Pack. These names are similar to other FDA-approved drugs and may confuse consumers. The claims on these products include "treats conditions that cause chronic pain," and "Cobra venom saw its primary use in the treatment of cancer and … [Read more...]

USDA Guidance For Responding to Customer Complaints Issued

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a best practices guideline to help the meat and poultry industry respond to customer complaints about adulterated and misbranded products, in particular, reports of foreign materials in these products. This document is not regulatory. Since the beginning of 2019, there have been seven recalls of USDA-regulated food products for foreign material contamination. Those recalls have included ground beef chubs, breaded chicken products, chicken nuggets, frozen pork, and deli ham products. Corporations that have recalled these foods include Pilgrim's Pride, Johnsonville, Tyson Foods, and Bellisio. These recalls usually start because a consumer has found a material, such as glass, plastic, or … [Read more...]

GAO High Risk List Report Finds Food Plans Partially Met

The Government Accounting Office (GAO) has released its 2019 report on federal oversight of food safety, and the results are mixed. Food safety remains on the High Risk List, which is updated every two years. The safety of the U.S. food supply is covered by a system that includes 30 federal laws administered by 15 federal agencies. Federal oversight of food safety was added to the high risk list in 2007. The list is used to set agendas of agencies that are charged with oversight. The report states, "For more than four decades, we have reported on the fragmented federal food safety oversight system, which has caused inconsistent oversight, ineffective coordination, and inefficient use of resources. As of November 2018, two of the three recommendations to this high-risk area had … [Read more...]

New Study Shows Neighborhood Antibiotic Use Increases Resistance

A new study, published in Israel and published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, found that increased use of antibiotics in certain neighborhoods is associated with an increased risk of acquiring an antibiotic-resistant infection. The scientists looked at fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli bacteria found in urine cultures of Israelis in more than 1700 neighborhoods. The authors say that this may mean that individual personal consumption of antibiotics isn't the only way that antibiotic resistance is being spread. There may be a selective mechanism for resistance at the community level too. The researchers collected medical records and demographic date on 2.4 million patients, and analyzed almost 5 million urine-culture specimens sent to Clalit Health Services from 2010 … [Read more...]

Raw Dog Food Can Be Risky For Humans and Pets

According to a new study published in Veterinary Record, raw meat based diets for dogs pose a threat to humans and the dogs because they can be contaminated with pathogens such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, and Enterobacteriaceae.  The study showed that some of these raw products have high levels of pathogens. Many recalls of frozen raw pet foods have been issued in the United States over the past few years. Those products have also been linked to human illnesses. In 2018, one person was sickened with a Salmonella infection after feeding a family pet Darwin's Natural raw ground chicken pet food. That product tested positive for  E. coli O128, Salmonella, and/or Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. And in January 2019, a Salmonella patient in Minnesota prompted a recall … [Read more...]

FDA Plans to Modernize Oversight of Imported Food

The FDA's Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb and Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannas are announcing a new strategy to modernizing government oversight of imported food. This country imports about 15% of its food supply from more than 200 countries or territories around the world. Other countries supply 32% of our fresh vegetables, 55% of fresh fruit, and 94% of our seafood. And there have been quite a few food poisoning outbreaks linked to imported food in the past few years. Last year, a Salmonella Concord outbreak was linked to tahini imported from Israel. In 2017, a Salmonella outbreak linked to papayas imported from Mexico sickened at least 255 people with nine different strains of the pathogen.  And in 2016, almost a thousand people were sickened across the country with Salmonella … [Read more...]

Essex County NJ Detention Facility Serving Unsafe Food

The Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security has found that New Jersey's Essex County Correctional Facility has "unsanitary and unsafe conditions." This place holds 800 immigrants. The IG has released a report on conditions at that facility. Inspectors found "foul smelling and unrecognizable" hamburger patties, blood from raw chicken leaking in the refrigerator, and moldy bread set aside to make bread pudding in the kitchen. Lunch meat was "slimy and foul-smelling," and appeared to be spoiled. Detainees said they have been suffering from food poisoning and stomach infections. Those problems can cause food poisoning from Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Cross-contamination from raw chicken juices onto foods eaten uncooked can cause … [Read more...]

Research Shows Possible Link Between E. coli and Cancer

A new study from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and Masonic Cancer Center, published in the journal Science, finds a possible association between E. coli and cancer. The scientists have determined how toxins produced by the pathogen interact with and damage DNA on the molecular level. Applications from this study may help doctors understand how toxins affect DNA, and may help them to develop tools to improve chemotherapy treatments. The main researchers are Silvia Balbo, School of Public Health assistant professor, and Peter Villalta, mass spectrometry services coordinator at Masonic Cancer Center. Support was provided by the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute. The method uses mass spectrometry to study how toxins interact with … [Read more...]

Dying Bacteria Absorb Antibiotics, According to New Study

A new study from researchers at Princeton University and California State University-Northridge has found that dying bacteria can absorb antibiotics, giving other pathogens the chance to survive. The dying bacteria can absorb large amounts of the antibiotic. The paper was published in eLife on December 18, 2018. The work is supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the University of Waterloo in Canada. That's not the only way pathogens can survive antibiotic doses. They can also delay their growth, grow more quickly,  or create biofilms as they grow that shield them from the drug. Researchers created a mathematical model to try to explain this phenomenon. The model "describes the dynamics of bacterial populations facing different … [Read more...]

Scientists Use Machine Learning to Find Source of Salmonella

Scientists at the University of Georgia Center for Food Safety has developed a new approach to identify the animal source of some types of Salmonella outbreaks. The researchers have developed a machine learning approach. The study is published in the January 2019 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases. Researchers Xiangyu Deng and Shaokang Zhang, along with a team of colleagues, used more than a thousand genomes to predict the animal sources of Salmonella Typhimurium. The project used experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food & Drug Administration, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the Translational Genomics Research Institute. Almost 3,000 outbreaks of food poisoning were reported in the U.S. from 2009 to 2015. Ninety percent of those … [Read more...]

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