July 13, 2020

Prepare For Food Safety During Power Outages WIth Tips From the FDA

As the U.S. enters the hurricane and tornado season, the FDA is offering tips for helping consumers prepare for food safety during power outages. Food can spoil if the power is out for hours, but you can save money and protect yourself by following these steps. First, make sure that you have appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer. That's the best way to tell if the temperature in those appliances is cold enough to keep food safe from bacterial growth. The freezer should always be at 0°F or below, and the refrigerator should always be at or below 40°F. Then, think about freezing containers of water to help keep foods cold in the freezer, refrigerator, or coolers when the power goes out. The melting ice will also provide drinking water if you use water from the … [Read more...]

Memorial Day Food Safety Tips From The USDA To Stay Safe and Healthy

The USDA is offering Memorial Day food safety tips to help keep you. safe and healthy. This holiday weekend is not like other years because of the coronavirus pandemic, but don't forget about food safety while you observe the holiday. Remember that if the weather is hot and humid, perishable foods can only be out of refrigeration for one hour before bacteria start to grow rapidly. Those foods include meat and poultry, dips and cold salads, and cut fruits and vegetables. About 85% of respondents to a recent USDA survey said they don't nest cold foods in ice when served. Keeping cold foods cold is important for food safety. In that same survey, 66% of respondents said they did. not keep cooked foods, such as burgers and hot dogs, warm after cooking. Those foods need to be kept … [Read more...]

CDC Assesses Role of Food Handlers in Hepatitis A Transmission

In the latest issue of the Center for Disease Control and PRevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Notes From the Field addresses the role of food handlers restaurants in Hepatitis A transmission. Hepatitis A transmission is occurring in unprecedented numbers across the United States, given that there is an effective vaccine against the virus. As of May 2020, 33 states have reported hepatitis A outbreaks that have sickened more than 32,000 people, caused 19,800 hospitalizations, and 320 deaths since 2016. Hepatitis A infections among food handlers have raised public alarm. Many food safety experts are calling for vaccinating all food handlers. Health departments issue warnings to restaurant patrons every month about food handlers diagnosed with hepatitis A, warning … [Read more...]

Stop Foodborne Illness, CSPI Call For Poultry Safety Modernization

The food safety agencies Stop Foodborne Illness and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) are calling for poultry safety modernization to reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter infections in poultry. Those agencies believe that the USDA's regulatory framework lags behind advances in science and technology and doesn't reflect the best. practices to prevent illness from poultry. Stop Foodborne Illness CEO Mitzi Baum said in a statement, "To their credit, FSIS, academic experts, and many poultry industry leaders recognize the poultry safety problem and are working on solutions. Consumers rightfully expect, however, that FSIS build today’s best practices into its regulatory system so they can become common practices. Outbreaks linked to poultry products have occurred … [Read more...]

What Should You Do With a Recalled Food Product?

Food recalls are handled by the FDA and USDA. They tell consumers about problems or issues with the food they regulate. Recalls can range from a processing error or mislabeling to undeclared allergens and pathogen contamination. It's important that everyone be aware of these recalls and stay up to date. But what should you do with a recalled food product? It depends on the reason for the recall. If the recalled food product is recalled for something that isn't going to affect health, it's your choice whether or not to discard it. If the recall is for an undeclared allergen, it doesn't affect you or your family unless a person in your family is allergic to that ingredient; throw it away if this is the case. But if the recall is for a pathogen, you should follow these steps. Any … [Read more...]

Cease and Desist Order Issued to Hawaii’s Malama Meals Restaurant

A cease and desist order has been issued to Hawaii Malama Meals restaurant for multiple food safety issues, according to a news release from the Hawaii Department of Health. The restaurant was preparing and providing meals on O'ahu, Kaua'i, and Molokai. The restaurant is located at 91-100 Farrington Highway Peter Oshiro, chief of the Department of Hawaii Food Safety Brand said n a statement, "The operation had multiple food safety issues as it prepared and packaged hot meals on O‘ahu and shipped them to the neighbor islands without proper temperature controls. Without proper controls, the risk of an outbreak of food illness is high and could have a devastating impact especially on those who are elderly and have underlying conditions." An inspection was conducted at Malama Meals … [Read more...]

Researchers Find Drug Combination Fights Salmonella Infections

Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario have found that a drug combination fights antibiotic resistant Salmonella infections. A combination of the antibiotic and a natural product called dephostatin combined are effective. Colistin is considered a last-resort antibiotic, because it has a toxic effect on the body. When paired with dephostatin, doctors can use much lower concentrations. of colistin as a treatment for Salmonella infections in mice. The results of the study were published in Cell Chemical Biology. Caressa Tsai, first author and a PhD student in biochemistry and biomedical sciences at the Coombes lab at McMaster said in a statement, "The rise of antibiotic resistance has ushered in the post-antibiotic age, and alternatives to antibiotics are urgently required. … [Read more...]

Factory Farming Increases the Risk of Pandemic Development

A study conducted at the University of Bath has found that factory farming increases the risk of pandemic development. Overuse of antibiotics, low genetic diversity, and a large number of animals increases the risk of animal pathogens transferring to humans. Viruses and bacteria that jump from animals to humans are called zoonotic diseases. Some zoonotic diseases include bird flu, Campylobacter, Salmonella, E. coli infections, swine flu, and novel coronavirus. Scientists investigated the evolution of Campylobacter jejuni, a bacteria that is carried by cattle. This pathogen causes is transferred to people who eat contaminated meat and poultry. It causes bloody diarrhea and cause serious illness in those with compromised immune systems and chronic illnesses. About 1 in 7 people … [Read more...]

Whatcom County Beaches Closed Due to Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning

According to a press release from the Whatcom County Health Department, Whatcom County beaches have been closed to recreational shellfish harvest because the paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) biotoxin has reached unsafe levels in molluscan shellfish in Drayton Harbor. All shellfish that is sold in restaurants and in retail markets has been tested before it is marketed and is safe to eat. Algae that contain marine biotixins can't be seen by the human eye. The only way to find them is through laboratory testing. During a biotoxin event, mussels and varnish clams usually contain the highest concentration of the PSP toxin. PSP and other naturally occurring toxins are not destroyed by cooking or freezing. While crab meat is not affected by this toxin, crab butter and crab … [Read more...]

Food Safety Advocates Want Mandatory Meatpacking Worker Safety

Food safety advocates Food Chain Alliance and the Center for Food Safety filed a petition against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to implement mandatory meatpacking worker safety. Many employees at meatpacking plants and slaughterhouses  have contacted coronavirus. Some plants have closed because of these illnesses, triggering worries about meat shortages. Center for Food safety states, "OSHA has a duty to issue an emergency temporary standard to protect workers from new hazards that pose a grave danger to health and safety. The COVID-19 pandemic is certainly a grave threat to human health, but OSHA has only suggested that meat companies comply with voluntary safety standards." Ryan Talbott, staff attorney at Center for Food safety said in statement, "If … [Read more...]

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