August 16, 2018

Deadly Romaine Lettuce E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak May Be Linked to Cow Feces

The FDA just updated their investigation into the deadly Romaine lettuce E. coli O157:H7 outbreak this summer that sickened 210 people in 36 states and killed 5. Ninety-six people were hospitalized, including 27 who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. It seems that canal water in the Yuma Arizona growing region is close to a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO). In other words, it's likely that cow feces contaminated with the pathogenic bacteria got into the canal water that irrigated the romaine lettuce fields in that area. CAFOs are huge cattle operations that can hold more than 100,000 head of cattle at any one time. There is a cluster of romaine lettuce farms nearby. The Environmental Assessment report the FDA is working on will be … [Read more...]

FDA Issues Public Health Alert About Salmonella in Whey Powder

Last week, there were four recalls of products for possible Salmonella contamination in the U.S. and two recalls in Canada. Those recalled products included types of Ritz Crackers, Swiss rolls, several varieties and flavors of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers, and a Hungry Man frozen dinner. On August 1, 2018, the FDA issued a public health alert about possible Salmonella contamination of whey powder. The whey powder is produced by Associated Milk Producers of Minnesota. That facility voluntarily recalled its product, triggering the secondary recalls. No illnesses have been "confirmed," according to the FDA notice, but consumers should not eat any of the recalled foods. While these foods are baked or cooked before they are packaged, which reduces the risk of Salmonella … [Read more...]

FDA Confirms Cyclospora in Fresh Express Salads Sold to McDonald’s; Lawsuits Filed

The FDA has confirmed the presence of cyclospora in a salad mix produced by Fresh Express and sold to McDonald's. McDonald's salads are a possible source of a cyclospora outbreak that has sickened at least 286 people in 15 states and has hospitalized 11. The number of illnesses has not been updated in this most recent update. The analysis was completed in July 26, 2018 using a "new laboratory method." The FDA set up a multidisciplinary workgroup in 2015 to privatize the development, validation, and implementation of a method for detecting cyclospora in fresh produce. The Fresh Express salad mixes in question, containing romaine lettuce and carrots, expired on July 19, 2018. The romaine lettuce was not packaged for retail sale to consumers. And the carrots in the sampled salad mix … [Read more...]

FDA Warning Consumers About Highly Concentrated Caffeine Products

The FDA is warning consumers about highly concentrated caffeine products. The agency recently sent warning letters to two online dietary supplement markets for illegally selling this product. The FDA considers these products to be a threat to public health. The agency has issued guidance to make it clear that dietary supplements containing pure or highly concentrated caffeine in powder or liquid form are unlawful when sold in bulk quantities directly to consumers. These products carry a high risk of being mistakenly used at dangerous doses. They have been linked to at least two deaths. One teaspoon of highly concentrated caffeine is equivalent to the amount of caffeine in 28 cups of coffee. A half cup of liquid concentrated caffeine product has about the same amount of caffeine … [Read more...]

FDA Commissioner Makes Statement on Secondary Product Recalls for Potentially Contaminated Whey

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, FDA Commissioner, has issued a statement on the voluntary recalls of Ritz and Goldfish Crackers and other food products that were made with whey powder that may have been contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. The FDA is working with the companies involved to initiate secondary recalls for products made with the whey. Recalled products include a variety of Mondelez's Ritz cheese sandwiches and Ritz Bits cheese products, some types of Pepperidge Farm's Goldfish crackers, one variety of Hungry Man dinners, Flowers Foods' Swiss Rolls, and Captain John Derst's bread. More recalls may be issued in the coming days. The statement says that there is no evidence that anyone was sickened after eating one of these products, or that the products are, in fact, contaminated. … [Read more...]

Euroline Foods/Royal Seafood Baza Ordered to Comply With Food Safety Requirements

A permanent injunction was entered against Euroline Foods, LLC, and Royal Seafood Baza, Inc., in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on July 18, 2018, to prevent insanitary conditions, including practices that increase the risk of contamination with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. This follows a complaint filed by the FDA in May 2018, alleging that the defendants' food preparation at their facility on Lake Avenue in Staten Island, New York, violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The complaint alleges that the defendant's processed and distributed ready-to-eat fish and fishery products, vegetable salads, and cheese products in a facility that had "chronic insanitary conditions." The FDA allegedly found Listeria monocytogenes at the facility and … [Read more...]

Meech Dairy Farm Ordered to Stop Distributing Adulterated Meat

The Meech Dairy Farm in Sebeka, Minnesota, has been ordered to stop distributing meat in interstate commerce by the U.S. District Court District of Minnesota. A consent decree of permanent injunction was entered against the farm and its co-owners Todd Meech and Patty Meech on Monday, July 9, 2018. A complaint was filed by the Department of Justice alleging violations of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The defendants will be required to "establish and implement a quarantine or segregation system that ensures ready distinction between medicated and unmediated animals and that prevents defendants from selling or delivering for food slaughter any animals with illegal new animal drug residues in their edible tissues," before they can resume introducing "animals and their edible … [Read more...]

Civil Compliant Filed Against Freshy Foods For Selling Adulterated Food

A civil complaint was filed against Freshy Foods, LLC of Elmwood, Louisiana to stop them from "manufacturing and distributing adulterated food in violation of federal law," according to the Department of Justice. This complaint was filed at the request of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The defendants prepare, manufacture, process, pack, label, hold, and distribute ready-to-eat foods such as wraps, salads, sandwiches, snack cups, and fruit cups. The complaint alleges that this food is contaminated, since FDA inspectors found evidence of resident Listeria monocytogenes in the facility. An inspection in July 2017 uncovered the pathogenic bacteria. In addition, the complaint alleges that federal and state authorities have found Listeria monocytogenes in the facility or in … [Read more...]

Precut Melon Linked to Salmonella Outbreak Sold in More States: AL, CA, FL, KS, MD, MN, NE, ND, SD, and TN; Lawsuits Filed

The FDA just stated that there are more states where precut melon and fresh-cut melon products linked to a Salmonella Adelaide outbreak were sold. They were also sold in Alabama, California, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Tennessee. That means the states that received these products include Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The products were packaged in clear plastic clamshell containers and were sold under several different brand names. The stores that the FDA has listed as carrying the melons are Costco, Jay C, Kroger, … [Read more...]

FDA Seeks Injunction Against Company Selling Unapproved Hand Sanitizers

One part of food safety is keeping your hands clean. That's why food safety experts tell consumers to wash their hands before they prepare food or before they eat. That can be difficult when you are away from home. That's why hand sanitizers are so popular. But one company is selling unapproved hand sanitizers that claim to prevent infections from many different pathogens, so the FDA is seeking a permanent injunction against that company. The company is BioDefense Inc. of Lake Forest, California. The product is Zylast topical antiseptics. The company claims that the hand sanitizer is effective against pathogens such as norovirus, rotavirus, flu virus, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), and Ebola. These are drug claims, and so the product is regulated by FDA as a … [Read more...]

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