Tag Archive: FSIS


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Food Safety News

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, that Aspen Foods of Chicago is recalling approximately 561,000 pounds of frozen, raw, stuffed and breaded chicken products that appear to be ready-to-eat and may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis.

Production codes and descriptions of the recalled products are at the bottom of this page.

Antioch Farms Chicken a la KievThis recall expands the earlier Aspen Foods recall from July 15, 2015, to include additional products sold under 19 different brands.

The FSIS announcement stated that, after further analysis, Aspen Foods chose to recall the products “in an effort to prevent additional illness.”

The frozen, raw, stuffed, and breaded chicken items that appear to be ready-to-eat (RTE) were produced between Aug. 25, 2015, and Sept. 17, 2015, with “best if used by” dates of Aug. 23, 2016, to Dec. 15, 2016.

To view a full list of products recalled as part of this expansion that are not ready-to-eat, click here. To view a full list of products recalled as part of this expansion that are part of a variety pack, click here.

The 19 brands associated with this recall expansion include:

  • Acclaim
  • Antioch Farms
  • Buckley Farms
  • Centrella Signature
  • Chestnut Farms
  • Family Favorites
  • Home Dining Selections
  • Kirkwood
  • Koch Foods
  • Market Day
  • Oven Cravers
  • Rose
  • Rosebud Farm
  • Roundy’s
  • Safeway Kitchens
  • Schwan’s
  • Shaner’s
  • Spartan
  • Sysco

Following the original recall on July 15, 2015, FSIS conducted intensified sampling at this establishment to ensure that the hazard responsible for the initial contamination had been controlled by Aspen Foods.

 

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Food Safety

Montana Says Listeria Outbreak Victim’s Death Was Due to His Infection

CantaloupeSliceRemovedMain.jpgThe unofficial death count of last year’s Listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupes rose from 32 to 33 Wednesday as the Montana Department of Health confirmed that the death of an outbreak victim there was a result of his Listeria infection.

The victim, a 75-year-old Bozeman, Montana man who died in January, was only recently recognized as a victim of the outbreak. Food Safety News reported about the possible link. The connection was first made when PulseNet discovered that a clinical sample of Listeria from the man’s stool was indistinguishable from a rare genetic fingerprint of Listeria found on a cantaloupe from an outbreak victim’s home. PulseNet compares pathogen samples across the U.S. using a DNA mapping technique called pulsed field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE.

Earlier this month, CDC added the Montana man to the outbreak victims count, bringing the total to 147, but has not yet included him in the death count. One other case in Montana has been linked to the outbreak.

“We finished the investigation July 18 and the CDC is adding him to the death toll,” Job Ebelt, a spokesman for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services told The Packer. However, CDC told Food Safety News that it has not yet officially counted the man’s death as one of those that resulted from outbreak, and is currently only counting him as a victim.

“We’re saying at least 30 deaths and one miscarriage,” confirmed Lola Russel, a spokeswoman for the CDC. “The death count is something that’s based on us reviewing death certificates, and that’s a process. Just because a state counts it does not mean we’re increasing that number right then,” she said.

Sprouts Remain An Unsolved Pathogen Problem

Outbreaks linked to sprouted seeds continue to crop up

PROVIDENCE — For all its efforts in the last 15 years or so, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t really moved the meter that much when it comes to improving the safety of raw and lightly cooked sprouts that Americans increasingly like to eat.
Sprouts were given special attention Wednesday at the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) meeting this week in Rhode Island.

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From 1990 until midway through 2011, there were at least 46 major outbreaks involving sprouts, said FDA’s Tong-Jen (T-J) Fu. The problem is that the conditions seeds need to grow sprouts are also ideal for growing pathogens.
Many of those outbreaks have occurred since 1999, the year FDA issued its non-binding “guidance” document to help sprout growers.  “Implementation has been an issue,” explains Fu.
Fixing the problem that good sprouting conditions are also good for growing pathogens isn’t easy.
“Whatever is good for growing the seeds is good for microbial growth,” says Mansour Samadpour, who runs a commercial food lab in Lake Forest Park, WA.
Fu says Salmonella growth is the most common contaminant for sprouts, but E. coli O157:H7 and Listeria are also known to taint sprouting seeds. In the sprouting process, seeds are often found to be the exact cause of outbreaks.
Fu also notes that people often take the seeds home for “home sprouting,” which she says could add to the risks.
On multiple occasions since 1999, FDA has also issued public warnings about sprouts, starting out with a notice warning about alfalfa sprouts. It was then amended to include a public health warning about all sprouts.
FDA’s Michelle Smith said the agency was originally concerned about raw sprouts, but has since changed that part of the warning to include “raw and lightly cooked” sprouts.

USDA Looking at Antibiotics Claims on Meat Labels

Amid growing consumer awareness about antibiotics used to raise food animals, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is taking a look at some of the claims made on meat packages, including “antibiotic free.”

ABXLABELS.jpgIn a letter responding to concerns raised by Consumers Union, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said FSIS has developed updated guidance material on labels that it will send to meat companies and the agency plans to investigate unapproved label claims.

“Under FSIS guidelines, when producers/companies request to make the marketing claim “raised without antibiotics” on their labels, we inform them that this means “no antibiotics in their feed water or injection including no ionophores” during the animal’s life,” said Vilsack.

CU sent a letter to USDA in June asking that the department look into three unapproved label claims that the group found on meat packages: antibiotic free, no antibiotic growth promotants, and no antibiotic residues. In a recent shopping survey, CU found more than 20 different antibiotic-related claims on meat packages (see the group’s list to the left).

CU points out that these claims may confuse or mislead consumers.

Multistate Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Raw Tuna Grows to 425

spicy-tuna-sushi-406.jpgSalmonella from a recalled raw tuna product served in sushi and known as Nakaochi scrape has now sickened at least 425 individuals in 28 states and the District of Columbia. Of those ill, 55 have been hospitalized.

In its final outbreak update, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the outbreak appears to be over, though additional cases may surface in the next several months if unaware food establishments continue serving the product, which is sold frozen and has a long shelf-life.
The victims of the tuna scrape outbreak were infected with one of two Salmonella strains. In total, 410 fell ill with Salmonella Bareilly, while Salmonella Nchanga sickened 15.
The recalled Nakaochi scrape was produced by Moon Marine USA Corporation. Retailers carrying the product are asked not to serve it.
The outbreak’s epidemiological curve, featured below, shows that a significant number of victims acquired their infections after the April 13 tuna scrape recall, suggesting food establishments continued to serve it for some time.
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Case Count Rises in Upstate New York Shigella Outbreak

ShigellaMain.jpgThe number of individuals sickened in a Shigella outbreak in Upstate New York has risen from 45 – at last report – to 69, while the source of the bacteria remains unclear.

The outbreak is affecting residents of Onondaga County, located in the central northern New York. The county’s health department announced the increase in cases Friday. Health officials there are still not sure what is causing the outbreak.
Shigella infection, or shigellosis is characterized by fever, stomach cramps and diarrhea that can be painful and contain blood or mucous. Symptoms usually appear 1 to 3 days after exposure and resolve in about a week.
If you think you may have contracted shigellosis, contact your healthcare provider.
For more information on this outbreak, see Food Safety News’ previous reports:

Paralytic Shellfish Poison Closes Recreational Harvest In Puget Sound

The Washington State Department of Health (WDH) has closed recreational shellfish harvesting in six counties near Puget Sound after dangerous levels of the biotoxin Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) were discovered. Commercially harvested shellfish are not included in the closure and should be safe to eat, according to public health authorities.

The six counties affected by the recreational shellfish harvest closure are in the central and southern areas of the sound. They are: Jefferson, Island, Snohomish, Kitsap, King and Pierce counties. Warning signs have been posted at beaches in these areas.

Shellfish included in the closure are: clams, oysters, mussels, scallops, geoduck, and other mollusks. Crab is not included in the closure, but “crab butter,” the yellow goo that clings to the inside of the shell is.

 

 

Cases of Salmonella Montevideo from Live Poultry Rise to 76

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has counted an additional 10 cases of Salmonella Montevideo linked to live poultry since last month, bringing the new case count to 76 people across 22 states. Of those ill, 17 have been hospitalized.

The live birds originated at Estes Hatchery, a mail-order hatchery in Springfield, Missouri.

The number ill by state is as follows:
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Restaurant in E. coli Outbreak Gets Cover from OC Health

A locally owned single location restaurant in California’s Orange County is getting some valuable service from its local health department — keeping its name from being associated with an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak.
That secret involves romaine lettuce the unnamed restaurant served last April giving E. coli O157:H7 to nine of its customers, and causing the restaurant to voluntarily close for the investigation. The restaurant management was so cooperative that four months later, the Orange County (OC) Health Care Agency is still keeping the name of the restaurant a secret.
Deanne Thompson, public information officer for the OC Health Care Agency, says naming the restaurant now (it was not named then either) would “not serve a useful purpose.”
OC apparently wanted to keep the whole event secret, and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) went along.
At the time, OC Health put out nary a word about the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak and in a county where restaurant closures are an obsession; there was not a word about this one.   Thompson says it was not listed because the closure was voluntary.
OC Health — with more than 11,000 restaurants, food trucks and other food establishments under its regulation — currently lists 88 closures by its inspectors in the last 60 days.

Norovirus Outbreak Linked to Michigan Mexican Restaurant

At least 200 sickened

TummyAcheMain.jpgAt least 200 people fell ill last week with Norovirus infections connected to a Mexican restaurant in Michigan’s Ottowa County.

The Ottowa County Health Department began investigating the outbreak on Thursday of last week and by this week had linked the illnesses to Margarita’s Restaurant of Holland, MI, which was shut down after it was determined to be the outbreak source.
It is not clear whether victims included both customers and employees or only customers.
Norovirus is transmitted through the fecal-oral route. Food handlers who contract Norovirus should stay home from work 48-72 hours after symptoms end to prevent the spread of infection, says the Ottowa County Health Department.

Canada’s Raw Milk Laws Put to Test By Ontario Court of Appeal

Provincial public health and milk marketing regulations that have prevented the sale or distribution of raw milk in Canada for the past 80 years are about to be challenged in the Ontario Court of Appeal.
The often precedent-setting Ontario Court of Appeal, where same-sex marriage in Canada first got its stamp of approval, is second only to the Supreme Court of Canada. And the high federal court reviews only about 3 percent of Ontario Court of Appeal decisions.

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Conflicting and some say confused lower court cases over the fate of raw milk dairy farmer Michael Schmidt, who was first acquitted in 2010 and then convicted in 2011 for distributing raw milk through a cow-share successful appeal request. (Unlike the U.S., the prosecution in Canada can appeal when they lose).
Schmidt, who was sentenced on similar charges in 1994 when he was fined $3,500 and placed on probation for two years, was operating a cow share scheme for 150 families, who had paid $300 each for shares of 26 dairy cows.

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Recalls / Allergen Alerts

Cheeses, Dips and Spreads Recalled for Potential Listeria Contamination

A Colorado-based company is recalling a limited number of tapanades, cheeses and salsas because they may contain onions that were recalled last week due to potential contamination with Listeria.

Sartori Inspirations LLC issued the voluntary recall Thursday after Gills Onions of Oxnard, California recalled some of its diced yellow onions on July 18 because a sample had tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. Sartori makes some of its products with these onions.
Those products – sold at some Whole Foods Market stores – include tapanades, smoked gouda, pimento cheese, spinach feta dip and a variety of salsas packaged in both 7 oz. clear plastic and 5 lb. white plastic tubs. The following is a list of the specific products subject to recall. Code information can be found on the side of each container.
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Undeclared Allergen in Chicken and Yam Pies Prompts Recall

Opinion

YamandChickenPies.jpgA California-based company is recalling approximately 79 pounds of chicken and yam pie products because they may have been made with a curry paste that contains shrimp, but shrimp  – a known allergen – is not listed as an ingredient.

Piccadilly Fine Foods of Santa Clara, CA issued a voluntary recall of the products Thursday after a label inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) revealed that the recipe for the pies had been temporarily changed, but that the ingredient change was not reflected on packaging.
Products subject to this recall include:

Chopped Onions with Possible Listeria Contamination Trigger More Recalls

choppedonions-406.jpgChopped yellow and white onions distributed by Gills Onions has triggered more recalls, as more food makers announced they were using the onions, which were first recalled on July 18 for possible Listeria contamination.

No illnesses have yet been reported in relation to these recalls.
1. Garden Fresh Foods, Inc. is recalling various ready-to-eat salads, slaw, salsa, bean and dip products under various brands and code dates. Products were distributed in AZ, CA, FL, IA, IL, IN, MA, MI, MN, MO, PA, TX, and WI.
2. Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC recalled its Calico Bean Salad sold in stores between July 18 and 26.
3. Spartan Stores, Inc. recalled its Three Bean Salad and 10 oz. Broccoli Stir Fry sold between July 13 and 26.
4. Publix Super Markets issued a recall of custom-made sub sandwiches that may have contained chopped onions connected to the recall, sold from July 7 through 26.

Stop & Shop Recalls Calico Bean Salad for Listeria

Northeast grocery chain Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC announced Friday that it removed Calico Bean Salad made by Costa Fruit & Produce from their stores due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

The salad was sold in stores’ salad bar, but the company said no illnesses have been reported.

The company is asking that customers who purchased the product between July 18, 2012 and July 26, 2012 discard any unused portions and bring their purchase receipt to Stop & Shop for a full refund.

BBQ Chicken Salad Recalled for Potential Listeria Contamination

A California company is recalling approximately 5,610 pounds of its barbecue chicken salad because the product contains diced onions that were recalled for potential Listeria contamination last week.

Huxtable’s Kitchen of Vernon, CA issued a voluntary recall of the BBQ chicken salads Friday after another company – Gill’s Onions – announced last week that a sample of its diced onions had tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. Huxtable’s, which uses onions processed by Gill’s in its barbecue chicken salad, was notified of the potential contamination by a supplier and alerted USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the problem.
The Huxtable’s products subject to recall are sold in 14.5 ounce trays and labeled as “TRADER JOE’S BBQ CHICKEN SALAD” Friday.

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Potential Listeria Contamination Prompts Recall of Sausage Products

SausagesinPanMain.jpgA Mississippi firm is recalling approximately 314 pounds of sausage products because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Enslin & Son Packing Company of Hattiesburg, MS, issued a voluntary recall of it’s “Cedar Grove Red Hots” Friday after the company received test results showing that the product had tested positive for Listeria. Product had already been shipped to retail establishments in Meridian and Philadelphia, MS when the company acquired the test results.

Read Full Article here

 

 

 

 

LSG Sky Chefs Latest to Recall Product With Onions Over Listeria Concerns

ChipotleChickWrapMain.jpgLSG Sky Chefs is recalling certain chicken wraps because they are made with diced onions that were recalled by another company last week after a sample of the onions tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

Orlando, Florida-based LSG issued a is voluntarily recalling about 735 pounds of ready-to-eat chipotle chicken wraps Friday after being notified of the onion recall issued by Gill’s Onions last week. LSG uses onions processed by Gill’s in the pico de gallo contained in its wraps.
This is the third recall of product made with Gill’s Onions since the initial recall was announced. Food Safety News reported on the other two in these notices:

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Burch Farms Cantaloupe Recalled for Possible Listeria Contamination

cantaloupedangling-406.jpgNorth Carolina’s Burch Farms and Hannaford Supermarkets on Saturday initiated a recall of 580 crates of whole Athena cantaloupes sent to New York due to possible contamination of Listeria monocytogenes.

The cantaloupes were shipped July 15. No illnesses have been linked to this outbreak.

The cantaloupes sport a red label that reads ‘Burch Farms’ and ‘Cantaloupe PLU 4319.’ Health officials are urging those who purchased the cantaloupes to dispose of them.

Last August, Listeria-contaminated Rocky Ford cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms in Colorado caused one of the deadliest foodborne illness outbreaks in U.S. history, sickening at least 147 and killing 33. Jensen Farms filed for bankruptcy in May.

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Tyson Chunk Chicken Recalled for Undeclared Allergen

Tony Downs Foods Company of Minnesota is recalling 70,500 pounds of premium chunk chicken for mislabeling and an undeclared allergen. The products may actually contain “Beef with Gravy” that contains wheat, one of the major food allergens, that is not declared on the label.

The product is 12.5-ounce cans of “Tyson Premium Chunk Chicken.” The code date of “8965 248A 12139″ and “Best by May 18, 2015″ are ink-jetted on the bottom of each recalled can. Each label has the number “P-65″ inside the USDA mark of inspection. Correctly labeled cans are ink-jetted with the code “1392TDM4600″ and “P65″ beneath a “Use by May 18 2015″ date and are not part of this recall.

The chicken was produced on May 18, 2012 and distributed to retail establishments nationwide. There have been no reports of adverse reactions associated with the consumption of this product. If you have questions, call the Tyson Consumer Hotline at 866-328-3156.

 

 

San Francisco Herb and Natural Food Company Recalls Products

July 29, 2012 By

The San Francisco Herb and Natural Food Company is recalling 16 products for potential contamination of filth. There was a mouse infestation at the company’s Fremont warehouse. The products were sold mostly over the internet in the U.S. No illnesses have been reported in connection with the consumption of these products. For questions, call Dr. Fahimeh Niroomand at 510-770-1215 extension 115.

Each package weighs one pound. The Lot numbers are on a small, white rectangular sticker on the bottom half of the back of the package. The products recalled include:

Read Full Article Here

Colombian Style Cheese Recalled for Potential Staph Contamination

Same cheese recalled one week earlier for improper pasteurization

QuesitoMain.jpgA New York-based company is recalling a Colombian-style cheese product because it may be contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. The recall comes a week after the New York State Department of Agriculture (NYSDA) warned consumers not to eat this same cheese because it had not been properly pasteurized.

Tita Corp. of Glendale, NY issued a voluntary recall of its “Queso Colombiano, Colombian Style Cheese” Saturday after samples of the product were found to contain “high levels of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria,” according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The samples that tested positive for Staph bacteria were taken by an NYSDA Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services inspector on July 25, 2012, just 8 days after the Division had found that milk used to make this cheese had been improperly pasteurized, meaning that it’s possible for pathogens to survive in the product.

Read Full Article here

 

 

Publix Recalls Sub Sandwiches Made with Gills Onions

Publix Super Markets is recalling custom sub sandwiches made with recalled Gills Onions. The onions were recalled on July 19, 2012 for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The recall includes any custom made sub sandwiches with sliced onions sold at the Publix Deli department from July 7, 2012 through July 26, 2012.

The onions were shipped to stores in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Publix stores in Florida are not included in this recall. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the sliced onions.

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Spartan Stores Recall Products Containing Gills Onions

In the ninth derivative recall so far, Spartan Stores is recalling two products that contain Gills Onions. The onions, which may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, were recalled on July 19, 2012.

The recalled products include Three Bean Salad sold at the deli, and 10-ounce Broccoli Stir Fry sold in the product department. There has been no “confirmation” of illnesses associated with the consumption of these products reported to Spartan Stores. If anyone has eaten these products and gotten sick, they should contact their healthcare provider.

Those products should be discarded or returned to the place of purchase for a full refund or replacement. If you have questions, you can contact Spartan Stores’ Consumer Affairs at 1-800-451-8500. You can also contact Gills Onions Customer Service at 1-888-220-0436.

Smoked Salmon Recalled for Botulism Potential

VaccumSmokedSalmonMain.jpgAn Alaskan company is recalling its smoked salmon products because they are labeled with improper instructions that could, if followed, lead to the product’s contamination with Clostridium botulinum bacteria.

Interior Alaska Fish Processors Inc., based in Fairbanks, AK, issued a voluntary recall of its “Santa’s Smokehouse” brand hot-smoked vacuum packed salmon products Tuesday because they bear a label indicating that they can be kept under refrigeration, when in fact they cannot, according to 2KTUU.com.
This misleading label implies that consumers may keep the fish in conditions that could in actuality allow for the growth of Clostridium botulinum, which produces botulinum toxins that attack the human nervous system, leading to paralysis.

Ken’s Foods Recalls Dressings and Sauces for Possible Listeria

Ken’s Foods Inc. is recalling some food service dressings and sauces that contain onions that are part of the Gills Onions recall. The onions may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Fresh Point processes the onions for Ken’s Foods; their supplier is Gills Onions.

The products recalled include these products. Ken’s Tartar Sauce in 4/1 gallon containers, with number KE0666 and MFG number 09/JUL/12. Ken’s Tartar Sauce in 100/1.5-ounce cups, with number KE0666A5 and EXP: 011313. Dickey’s BBQ Bean in 10/48-ounce pouches, with number DI2063 and USE BY date of 11MAR13. Golden Corral Tartar in 4/1 gallon containers, with number GD2517 and MFG: 17/JUL/12. Lee’s Cole Slaw in 14/40 ounce pouches, with number FQ2103 and MFG: 23JUL12. Fatz Tartar Sauce, in 4/1 gallon containers, with number FD0666 and MFG: 23/JUL/12.

Read Full Article here

 

 

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Articles of Interest

‘Current Controversies’ in Food Safety Produces Lively Debate

Truth be told, the lecture format of most of the symposia at the International Association for Food Protection annual meeting can get a little sleepy.
The meeting, which ended Wednesday, is not known for sharp sticks in the eye or put down quips. The one exception was the “current controversies” section that used a sort of modified college debate format to go through three food safety issues quickly with no apologies for any hard feelings.
There was one caveat. Not only were the views expressed by the debaters not necessarily representative of their organizations, they were not necessarily their own. Like good college debaters everywhere, they might have just ended up with that side or the argument.
The debaters, however, tried their best, since they wanted to sway the audience, which was polled electronically before and after both sides had their say and took questions.
The first topic was whether the pasteurization of all ground beef and ground poultry should be mandated. Speaking in favor was Kroger Company’s W. Payton Pruett; opposed was the American Meat Institute Foundation’s Betsy Booren.
Before the debate began, the audience split 71.4 opposed to the proposal, 28.6 in favor.

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Pruett started by saying that Kroger stores have been on the receiving end of about half of all the 68 recent recalls of ground meat products, and the time has come to just accept that sampling and testing cannot substitute for good kill step.
Just as we reached a point where it was appropriate for milk, juice, and eggs to go through pasteurization, Pruett said that time has now arrived for ground meat. He said pasteurization would cut down on recalls and reduce illnesses.
Booren said the $4.8 billion local food movement, small and very small meat businesses and anyone who values choice in a country with an abundance of food would be ill served by a pasteurization mandate.
In rebuttal, Pruett said his company’s stores have already removed choice from their customers by not selling raw milk.”What we sell in our stores is pasteurized milk,” he said.  “We’ve taken away that customer choice. This is a case of where we have to take control.”

That left an opening for Booren to question whether Pruett’s company is motivated by its concern for public health or its fear of possibilities litigation over the sale of raw milk with its potential for contamination.
In raising her concerns about how pasteurization might change the taste and texture of ground meat products, Booren brought up some of the early tests on radiated meat coming out with a “wet dog” smell.
In the end, the House remained unmoved with only about 2 percent moving to the pro-pasteurization side.
In just over 15 minutes, it was all over and two more debaters had stepped up to argue about whether Clostridium difficile colitis is a foodborne illness. C. diff is a species of gram-positive bacteria, most associated with diarrheal disease picked up in hospital settings.
Going at it over this one was Glenn Songer from Iowa State University at Ames and Brandi Limbago from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

CDC Releases Annual Foodborne Illness Data for 2011

E. coli O157 falling; Salmonella, Listeria and others remain steady

applesconveyorbelt-406.jpgThe number of Americans falling ill from foodborne pathogens remained steady or marginally worsened in the latter half of the 2000s, and 2011 turned out to show little difference, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which released its annual report of foodborne illness data for 2011 on Friday evening.

While the data showed a promising five-year decline of E. coli O157:H7 and Shigella infections since 2007, infection rates stagnated or slightly grew for a number of other notable bacteria, including Salmonella, Campylobacter and Listeria.

As a whole, the data have some food safety advocates reemphasizing the importance of implementing measures of the Food Safety Modernization Act, signed into law by President Obama in January 2011 and designed to shift the focus of U.S. food safety from a reactive system to something more preventative. Many of the act’s central rules have blown past implementation deadlines, including new food import standards and domestic preventative control requirements.

According to the data, Salmonella, Campylobacter and Listeria continue to infect numbers well beyond goals set by the U.S. government for 2010:

For every 100,000 people, 16.5 fell ill with Salmonella in 2011 and 17.5 the year before, despite a goal to reduce that number to 6.8 by then. Similarly, Campylobacter infected 14.3 in 2011 (surpassing the 12.3-person goal), and 0.28 were sickened by Listeria (just above the 2010 goal of 0.24).

At the same time, however, E. coli O157 rates fell to 0.98, just below its goal of 1.0. That’s down from 1.20 in 2007, 1.69 in 2002 and 2.62 in 1996, the year the CDC first began compiling yearly reports on these pathogens.

USDA Supports Meatless-less Mondays

Agency backpedals on support following pressure from industry

by Gretchen Goetz | Jul 30, 2012

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For a brief period last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture got behind the international “Meatless Monday” campaign by calling on its employees to choose vegetarian options on Mondays.
“While a vegetarian diet could have a beneficial impact on a person’s health and the environment, many people are not ready to make that commitment. Because Meatless Monday involves only one day a week, it is a small change that could produce big results,” read the USDA’s internal newsletter “Greening Headquarters Update,” dated Monday, June 23.
The piece — which pointed out that animal agriculture is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and uses up large amounts of resources — was revoked Wednesday after the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) roundly condemned the agency’s anti-meat stance, calling it an “animal rights extremist campaign to ultimately end meat consumption.”
“This is truly an awakening statement by USDA, which strongly indicates that USDA does not understand the efforts being made in rural America to produce food and fiber for a growing global population in a very sustainable way,” said NCBA President J.D. Alexander in a statement Wednesday. “USDA was created to provide a platform to promote and sustain rural America in order to feed the world. This move by USDA should be condemned by anyone who believes agriculture is fundamental to sustaining life on this planet.”
Lawmakers from beef-producing states also criticized the agency’s Meatless Monday endorsement.
“I will eat more meat on Monday to compensate for stupid USDA recommendation abt [sic] a meatless Monday,” tweeted Senator Chuck Grassley Grassley (R-IA) Wednesday.
Grassley’s sentiments were echoed by representative Steve King (R), also of Iowa.
“USDA HQ meatless Mondays!!! At the Dept. Of Agriculture? Heresy! I’m not grazing there. I will have double rib-eye Mondays instead,” he tweeted.
By Wednesday afternoon, USDA’s press center had tweeted the following statement:
“USDA does not endorse Meatless Monday. Statement on USDA site posted w/o proper clearance. It has been removed.”
The announcement was greeted with approval by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

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“USDA did right by scrapping this statement and acknowledging the important role of America’s farm and ranch families in providing food for the world,” said NCBA in a statement later that day.
“USDA denouncing support of the Meatless Monday campaign is an important step in correcting misinformation about the safety and sustainability of U.S. beef production.”

Rawesome Foods Founder Arrested

dairycowcages-406.jpgIn the latest news in the ongoing raw-milk legal saga, 65-year-old James Stewart, founder of Rawesome Foods in Los Angeles County, California, was strong-armed on July 26 by a trio of tough-looking men in street clothes driving unmarked luxury cars who handcuffed him and then slammed him against the back of a car, pressing his face up against the window.

Rawesome Foods is a members-only co-op that specializes in unprocessed foods, including raw milk.

“Why are you treating me so horribly,” the visibly shaken Stewart asked, as someone videotaped what the trio repeatedly referred to as ‘an arrest.’

As he was led to the back seat of the car, Stewart, his voice breaking with emotion, told the person videotaping the scene, “They’re arresting me.”

From there, he was taken to the Ventura County Jail, where a court officer described him as a “flight risk” and refused to grant bail.

Turns out that the three men were members of a bond bailsman retrieval team, which in California have certain police powers, among them the ability to arrest people who have jumped bail. And it turns out that Stewart had, in fact, jumped bail, having failed to show up for two court appearances.

In one of cases, he was out on a $30,000 bail in Los Angeles County on charges of illegally selling raw milk. In the other, he was out of a $100,000 bail in Ventura County on charges of  illegally raising funds for Sharon Palmer’s Healthy Family Farms, according to an article in The Complete Patient.

Palmer supplies Rawesome Foods with raw goat milk and other dairy products from what is known as a ‘herdshare.’ Under a herdshare arrangement, the members don’t consider themselves as buying the milk since they own the animals. Palmer has no license to sell raw milk in California, a state which does allow retail sales of raw milk but which also has very strict laws governing raw-milk production and sales.

Adding another dimension to this drama, raw-milk dairy farmer Mark McAfee, owner of Organic Pastures, the largest raw-milk producer in the nation, was the person who put up $100,000 in personal collateral for the bond in Venice County. In doing so, he put his house on the line, knowing that if Stewart failed to make the necessary court appearances, he could lose his home.

In an interview with Food Safety News after Stewart’s July 26 arrest, McAfee said that he had contacted the bond company because Stewart had told him he wasn’t going to attend the hearings.

“He refused to do that,” McAfee said. “He said he’d go into hiding.”

Stewart told Natural News that McAfee was there at the arrest and watched him being taken away by the bail-bond trio.

McAfee confirmed that, saying that he was the one who found Stewart.

“I was the one who hired the bail agents to arrest James,” he said.

According to the Complete Patient article, the bail bond agents and McAfee tried to convince Stewart both the day before the arrest and the day of the arrest to turn himself in. But their pleas were in vain.

“I didn’t want to lose my house,” McAfee said, in explaining why he had contacted and worked with the bail bondsmen.

McAfee said Stewart had fired the highly qualified lawyer working on the case and opted instead to work with what McAfee described as a “non-lawyer type” from Las Vegas. He had apparently bought into the notion of the ‘sovereign man,’ which urges people to claim their ‘Common Law Inherent Rights’ and defend themselves against “all levels of abuse from Government and Statutes.”

Canada Kicks Off Genome Mapping of Listeria

Canada is kicking off a $600,000 project to map the genome of Listeria bacteria so that more rapid tests can be developed.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Genome Canada, and Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions are teaming up to help protect consumers from the serious foodborne illness.

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The 18-month research initiative is being funded with $250,000 each from Genome Canada and CFIA, and $100,000 from Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions.
Currently, it takes at least five days to confirm the presence of Listeria.  Genomic mapping could improve accuracy and cut the time it takes for both the government and industry to identify Listeria contamination.
In 2008, a Listeria outbreak caused by ready-to-eat meats produced by Maple Leaf Foods in Toronto killed 22 mostly elderly Canadians. The 40 percent fatality rate was among the highest ever experience in a foodborne illness outbreak anywhere in North America.

New Data on Antimicrobial Resistance a Mixed Bag

While some Salmonella and Campylobacter strains grew in resistance, others fell, finds NARMS

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The federal government has released its 2010 data on antibiotic resistance among Salmonella and Campylobacter in both food animals and humans. While some strains, such as Salmonella Heidelberg, became more resistant to certain drugs between 2009 and 2010, resistance among many serotypes has decreased or remained steady over the past few years.
The figures were published by the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), housed at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. The program, which tracks trends in resistance among foodborne bacteria, was launched in 1996 as a collaborative effort between FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The 2010 findings varied widely from strain to strain and drug to drug, but a few trends emerged.
Resistance in Salmonella
Between 2009 and 2010, multidrug resistance – resistant to three or more antibiotics – dropped or stayed the same among most non-Typhoidal Salmonella, which are the second most common source of foodborne illness and the leading cause of hospitalization among foodborne pathogens. Overall, multidrug resistance in human isolates was at an all-time low since 1996.
The strain most commonly resistant to three or more drugs was Typhimurium (a non-Typhoidal serotype, contrary to what its name suggests); 44 percent of these isolates were multidrug resistant.
The two strains that grew in resistance between 2009 and 2010 were Salmonella Heidelberg and Salmonella Serotype I 4,[5],12:i:- (some serotypes are not named). The latter serotype has been discovered more and more frequently in humans and meat over the past 10 years, according to Dr. Patrick McDermott, Director of NARMS.
Interestingly, the presence of Salmonella Dublin in food animals has steadily increased since 1997, and this strain accounts for 55 percent of multidrug resistant Salmonella found in cattle at slaughter, which rose 6 percent between 2007 and 2009. The presence of Heidelberg in meat animals rose between 2009 and 2010.
Scientists also found that resistance to ceftriaxone – an antibiotic used to treat human Salmonella infections – was higher in 2010 among Salmonella Heidelberg isolates from both humans and poultry than it had been in 2009, with the exception of isolates from retail chicken breasts.
Ceftriaxone is a member of the cephalosporin class of antimicrobials, which the FDA limited for use in food animals in April of this year in order to “preserve the effectiveness of cephalosporin drugs for treating disease in humans.”
The action prohibits the “extra-label” use of these drugs, meaning that they may not be used at improper dosages or to prevent disease, and only those cephalosporins that are not intended for human or companion animal use may be used in food animals.
“Serotype Heidelberg is an important poultry-associated serotype where ceftriaxone resistance has gone up,” explains McDermott. “FDA will continue to monitor resistance in this serotype following implementation of the extralabel use prohibition.”
According to the NARMS data, ceftriaxone resistance among human strains rose from 8 percent in 2008 to 21 percent in 2009 and again to 24 percent in 2010. Among isolates from chickens at slaughter, resistance to the drug increased from 8.5 percent in 2008 to 18 percent in 2009 and then again to 32 percent in 2010. Resistance in isolates from retail ground turkey and turkeys at slaughter increased from 3.5 percent and 13 percent, respectively, in 2008 to 10 and 33 percent in 2009, and then rose to 24 and 36 percent in 2010.
Among isolates from retail chicken breast, resistance rose from 17 percent in 2008 to 32 percent in 2009 before declining to 24 percent in 2010.
The highest prevalence of ceftriaxone resistance among these meats was found among Typhimurium strains, 81 percent of which were resistant to the drug. Indeed ceftriaxone-resistant Typhumurium has increased in overall prevalence when isolated from chicken breasts, rising from 44 percent in 2007 to 61 percent in 2010.
A similar rise in ceftriaxone resistance was observed in samples taken from animals at slaughter. Resistance in isolates from cattle and turkeys was at its highest since 1997.
In total, the number of samples tested for Salmonella in 2010 included 2,474 samples from humans, 400 from retail meats and 1,073 from healthy food animals at slaughter.

China Sneaks its Chicken in on Man’s Best Friend

Since 2005, pet food imports from China have increased five-fold

by Tony Corbo | Aug 01, 2012
Opinion

The Chinese chicken saga continues…

On July 18, I attended a meeting at the USDA to get an update on the status of poultry exports to the U.S. from the People’s Republic of China. When I returned from the meeting, I saw an email alert from the Food and Drug Administration entitled, “Questions and Answers Regarding Chicken Jerky Treats from China.” The press statement detailed FDA’s investigation into complaints from dog owners who claimed their pets got sick from eating chicken jerky dog treats imported from China. The Chinese will stop at nothing to force its dubious chicken into the U.S. market to unsuspecting consumers, I thought. What an ironic example of how screwed up our food safety system really is.

The USDA has a fairly elaborate process to approve imported meat and poultry products for human consumption. If there are no major issues with the exporting country’s food safety system, it takes about two years between the time a country applies to USDA and publication of the final regulations approving its application. Unfortunately, such a system is not in place for other imported foods that are regulated by the FDA, including pet food.

Food & Water Watch has led a campaign to prevent China to export their poultry products for human consumption since 2005 when the Bush Administration supported regulation to allow China to export processed poultry products to the United States. China first asked the USDA for approval to export its poultry products to the U.S. in 2003. Even though 2004 USDA audits turned up unsanitary conditions in several Chinese poultry plants they visited, and there had been several outbreaks of H5N1 bird flu in Chinese poultry flocks that killed thousands of animals and some humans, the Bush Administration proceeded to propose the new regulation in November 2005 anyway.

Furthermore, the slaughter facilities in China did not meet USDA inspection requirements. So, the proposed regulation restricted any poultry exported to the U.S. to products where the raw poultry came from “approved sources.” At the time, the only “approved sources” were the U.S. or Canada, which meant that North American poultry slaughterhouses could ship their raw carcasses to China to be cooked and the finished products could then be shipped back to the U.S. in order for U.S consumers to “enjoy” them. As ridiculous as that sounds, the Bush Administration approved that rule in April 2006 over the objections of most of the people who commented on the proposed rule, including Food & Water Watch. When the rule was published, USDA estimated that approximately 2.5 million pounds of this exported processed poultry from China would be consumed annually.

Since no U.S. or Canadian poultry processing company stepped forward to take advantage of such a wonderful opportunity, the Chinese stepped up pressure on USDA to permit it to ship processed poultry originating in China directly into the U.S. Then, Congress intervened. Led by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), the Congress in 2008 and 2009 explicitly prohibited USDA from spending any money to implement or propose any regulations that would permit China to export processed poultry products to the U.S. In response, China filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) arguing that the U.S. was treating its poultry products unfairly. Big U.S. agribusiness put pressure on the new Obama Administration in 2009 to have the congressional ban lifted because the Chinese had threatened retaliatory action on U.S. agricultural exports to China. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative began to lobby Congress to have the ban lifted. The 2010 spending bill for USDA lifted the ban and China eventually won its WTO case against the U.S.  Even though the Chinese prevailed, it meant that USDA had to restart its review process of the Chinese food safety system.

The Chinese have been less than cooperative in this new review by USDA. According to the verbal report I received from USDA officials on July 18, the Chinese government did not permit USDA inspectors back into their poultry processing facilities until December 2010. USDA inspectors, once again, found food safety deficiencies in those plants. The Chinese wrote to USDA in early 2012 that the deficiencies identified in 2010 audit had been corrected but have yet to schedule a time for USDA inspectors verify Chinese poultry facilities themselves. Why were the Chinese dragging their feet in completing the review process when they have made it such a big trade issue? The July 18 FDA alert on Chinese chicken jerky dog treats offered a major clue. I asked Food & Water Watch’s research department to dig into the volume of pet food imports from China and this is what the found:

Government Releases Food Safety Manual for Pregnant Women

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The two federal agencies in charge of food safety in the U.S. have jointly published a manual of advice for avoiding foodborne illness during pregnancy.
Pregnant women are at higher risk for severe illness from certain foodborne pathogens, including Listeria monocytogenes and Toxoplasma gondii, because hormonal changes render their immune systems more susceptible to infection. Listeria, Toxoplasma and other bugs can be dangerous or even fatal to both the mother and her unborn baby.
Food Safety for Pregnant Women” was released Wednesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture along with updated versions of five pre-existing food safety booklets for other groups of people at risk for serious illness from food poisoning. These include guides for cancer patients, transplant recipients, people with HIV/AIDS, older adults and people with diabetes.

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Food Safety

 

 

FDA May Ban BPA from Infant Formula Containers

New strategy succeeds in BPA ban where others have failed

 

After scientific evidence failed to convince the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to outlaw BPA in food packaging, a lawmaker has spotted another way to get the agency to regulate the substance.
Ever since 2008, when new research suggested that bisphenol A – used in packaging to make plastic harder or protect metal can linings – could be harmful to humans, consumer advocates have been pushing for an all-out federal ban on containers carrying the chemical. So far this push has been successful only in the court of public opinion, where the public’s fear of BPA has caused many manufacturers to phase it out of products.
FDA has consistently said that evidence supporting the dangers of BPA is currently too weak to justify banning the substance.

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Now a lawmaker has found another way to get this chemical off the market – or at least out of infant formula containers.
In March, Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) petitioned FDA to remove regulatory approval for BPA in three items: baby and toddler food packaging, small reusable household containers and canned food packaging. Markey argued that manufacturers “have abandoned the use of BPA” in these products. Legally, FDA can remove approval for the use of an additive if that use has since been abandoned.
Markey’s petition essentially asked FDA to withdraw approval for BPA in these three products on the grounds that this use is no longer practiced and therefore no longer needs approval.
On Wednesday, FDA accepted Markey’s petition to disallow the use of BPA in infant formula containers, but denied the petition as it related to small reusable containers and canned food packaging.

 

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Dog Food Has Sickened 22 in 13 States

Twenty two people in 13 states have now been infected with Salmonella Infantis linked to contaminated dog food, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Multiple brands of dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods at a South Carolina facility have been linked to some of the Salmonella infections, which would likely have been acquired via cross contamination from feeding a pet or from contact with a sick pet.

The five new cases are from: Alabama (1), California (1), Illinois (1), New York (1), and South Carolina (1). Two others have been reported in Canada.

Of the cases CDC has detailed information about, illnesses began between October 2011 and May 11, 2012, and ages range from less than one-year-old to 82, but the median age is 46.5. Sixty-eight percent of patients are female. Of the 17 patients CDC has information about, 6, or 35 percent, were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Public health officials noted that any illness that may have occurred after May 11 might not be reported yet.

Anyone who thinks they might have become ill after contact with dry pet food or with an animal that has eaten dry pet food should consult a health care provider.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

Two Applications in For Horse Slaughter; Opposition Gears Up

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) won’t admit it has received either request, but the agency now has two formal applications for inspection of horse meat-for-export processing facilities.
As Food Safety News reported earlier, Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, NM previously filed the first application for equine inspection services with FSIS. The agency has now received a second application for horse slaughter from Unified Equine Missouri for an equine processing plant at Rockville, MO, according to the company.
While FSIS will neither confirm nor deny that the two applications exist, suggesting that the only way get information about them would be to file a Freedom of Information Act request to the agency, one of the most experienced animal protection attorneys in the country is already marshaling the opposition.

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Both applications follow the deal by President Obama and Congress to end the 2007 ban on the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the United States.  The deal clears the way for FSIS to make its continuous inspection services available for equine production.
Unified Equine’s Chief Executive Officer Sue Wallis told Food Safety News that her company is in the process of acquiring the Rockville processing plant, previously used for beef, and making necessary changes to the facility required before FSIS will conduct a walk-through inspection.
Wallis, who also serves in the Wyoming House of Representatives, says Unified Equine wanted FSIS’s input in advance, but the agency declined for legal reasons. “So we are proceeding with our plans to renovate the existing facility, which was USDA certified for beef, and to install our humane handling system designed for the unique characteristics of horses, ” Wallis said.  “Once that work is completed we will be moving forward with our grant of inspection request.”
FSIS officials, according to Wallis, have told the company that the agency is in the process of reestablishing equine inspector training and drug residue plans for horses. Congress cut spending for inspecting horse slaughter about a year before the last three equine operations closed in 2007.

McCain Takes Aim at ‘Senseless’ Catfish Inspection Program

catfishwide.jpgSenator and former presidential contender John McCain (R-AZ) is at war against “senseless” measures in the farm bill and the pending catfish inspection program is on his list of top targets.

On the floor Thursday, Sen. McCain mocked a variety of farm bill programs, including a $15 million grant program to improve the sheep industry, a $200 million overseas ag marketing program, and a $25 million initiative to study the health benefits of peas, lentils, and garbanzo beans.

“Mothers all over America that have advocated for their children to eat their peas will be pleased to know there’s a study…” joked the senior senator.

McCain also mocked a mohair subsidy, “which has been fleecing the American people since 1954.” (The subsidy was repealed in the 1990s, but was reinstated in the 2002 farm bill).

“The mohair program, which costs taxpayers about $1 million a year, may not be particularly expensive compared to most farm programs,” said McCain. “I suppose where some of my colleagues see a minor government pittance for wool socks, I see a disgraceful example of how special interests can embed themselves in a Farm Bill for generations.”

One item that seems to have McCain particularly fired up is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s pending catfish inspection program, something that was added to the 2008 Farm Bill — under the guise of food safety — to help protect southern catfish farmers from the influx of import competition.

With support from both sides of the aisle — including Sens. John Kerry (D-MA), Tom Coburn (R-OK), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) — McCain has filed an amendment (#2199) to the 2012 farm bill to repeal the new catfish inspection program.

“As my colleagues know, USDA inspects meat, eggs, and poultry, but not seafood,” said McCain in remarks released by his office. “Thus, a whole new government office is being developed at USDA just to inspect catfish. Catfish farmers have tried to argue that we need a Catfish Inspection Office to ensure Americans are eating safe and healthy catfish. I wholeheartedly agree that catfish should be safe for consumers.”

“The problem is FDA already inspects catfish – just like it does ALL seafood – screening it for biological and chemical hazards,” added McCain. “If there were legitimate food safety reasons for having USDA inspect catfish, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.”

US Bans Korean Shellfish After FDA Finds Fecal Matter, Norovirus In Growing Areas

Korean shellfish is not safe to eat and Korea has been removed from the U.S. list of approved  shellfish shippers after officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discovered unsanitary conditions  that exposed molluscan growing areas to human fecal matter, norovirus and pollution, the agency announced yesterday.

Previously, the FDA had issued a recall of Korean shellfish imported to the U.S. after  May 1, 2012. But now the FDA says no shellfish from Korea is safe to eat. Whether they are fresh, frozen or canned; mussels, scallops and oysters from Korea may have been exposed to human fecal matter, may also be contaminated with norovirus and are not safe to eat at this time, according to the advisory.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

 

California Soup Makers Say Recall Was Only A Technical Foul

The Botulism warning that went out about two companies selling canned soap at California farmers markets really only amounts to a technical foul not dangerous canning practices.
That’s the push-back argument being made by Malibu-based One Gun Ranch and Santa Barbara-based Organic Soup Kitchen four days after the California Department of Health warned the public about products from the two businesses.

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One Gun Ranch’s Jennifer Hozer told Food Safety News “there are no incidents or indications that any of our food products are contaminated, whatsoever.”   She said the Health Department’s public health warning and subsequent mandatory recall of the canned products was over licensing requirements by local health agencies required by state regulations.
“It was not a result of contaminated food or improper preparation of our jarred food products,” Hozer said.   She said One Gun products are prepared in commercial kitchens, which “adhere to the highest standards of operation and regulation required by CDHP.”
In addition to Hozer calling the botulism scare “a paperwork issue,” Organic Soup Kitchen’s founder Anthony Carroccio told the LA Weekly his company has fed 50,000 homeless and low-income people in the last three years “without incident.”

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Recalls

 

 

 

Raw Stuffed Chicken Breast Recalled for Undeclared Allergens

A California-based firm is voluntarily recalling 3,534 pounds of a raw stuffed chicken product because it may contain known allergens that are not declared on the label.
Antonelli’s and Sons of South San Francisco is recalling the product because it is made with milk, soy and monosodium glutamate (MSG), all known allergens that are not listed as ingredients on packaging.
The product subject to recall comes in an approximately 1 pound tray labeled “TRADER JOE’S CRANBERRY APPLE STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST,” with a Use By date of 06/13/12 through 6/23/12, located on a sticker in the upper right corner of the package.

Navy Beans Recalled For Undeclared Soy

Anyone with an allergy or severe sensitivity to soy should avoid eating Premium Navy Beans manufactured by Truitt Bros., Inc.
The Salem, OR based food manufacturer has recalled its Premium Navy Beans in 15 ounce cans for undeclared soy.   The June 15 recall notice said no illnesses had yet been reported in connection with the problem.
Truitt distributed the product with its undeclared soy in Oregon and Northern California to retail stores from Dec. 1, 2011 to June 15, 2012.  The company described the product as follows:

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Articles of Interest

 

 

 

 

‘Domino Effect’ Key To Unlocking Shigella Mysteries

Diarrheal diseases are the second leading cause of death, after lower respiratory tract infections, for children under age 5. Of these deaths, a full 75 percent are from shigellosis.
Yet Shigella, the Gram-negative bacterium transmitted via contaminated food or water, does not seem to get the attention it’s due for the worldwide devastation it causes.
According to the World Health Organization, Shigellosis is responsible for 90 million illnesses and 108,000 deaths annually. And while viewed as a Third World disease, WHO says there are half a million cases each year involving military personnel and travelers from industrialized countries.
The United States sees about 14,000 shigellosis cases each year, but the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta says the actual number is probably 20 times higher, as most cases go unreported and are self-treated at home.
Now a team of researchers from three American universities, led by Dr. Erin Murphy, assistant professor of bacteriology at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, is shedding new light on this old plague.

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“Our work furthers the understanding of how Shigella responds to the environmental conditions encountered within the human body to control the production of bacterial factors that increase the ability of the bacteria to cause the disease,” Murphy told Food Safety News.
“Understanding how bacteria control the production of such ‘virulence factors’ may, one day, lead to therapeutics that specifically disrupt these processes, ” she continued.  “Our work is the basic science that may support future applied studies by others.”

Animal Rights Groups Argue Against Egg Bill

On top of the infighting among animal agriculture groups over a proposed bill to set national welfare standards for egg production — which has pitted the egg industry against pork, beef, and poultry — there is some conflict among animal rights groups as well.

The Humane Farming Association, a California based anti-factory farming group, is trying to convince lawmakers to vote against what it calls the “rotten egg bill,” which has been proposed in both chambers, most recently as an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill in the Senate.

As the Senate began debate on the Farm Bill Wednesday, the group ran a quarter-page advertisement in the Washington Post calling the egg bill a price-fixing scheme that would “deprive states of the right to enforce anti-cruelty laws which prohibit battery cages.”

The legislation to slowly phase in “enriched colony housing” for laying hens, which would double the space for each bird, was the result of a landmark deal struck between the United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the United States, two groups who had been fighting bitterly over state egg initiatives for years. The compromise seeks to give egg producers regulatory certainty, while fulfilling HSUS’ goal of giving hens more space.

But HFA and other local groups are angry that standards might preempt state laws that seek to go above and beyond the welfare standards in the HSUS-UEP deal.

New Group will Rate Congress with a Food Policy Scorecard

A new group will rate Congress with a food policy scorecard, according to the Environmental Working Group. The new group, a 501c(4) nonprofit organization, will consist of food and agriculture policy leaders.

This will be the first time an organization has rated politicians on their votes and stance on issues such as food safety, farm subsidies, farm animal welfare, organic and local food, nutrition assistance, fisheries management, and farm and food worker justice.

 

 

Read Full Article Here

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Food Safety

FSIS Set to Implement Non-O157 E. coli Policy Next Week

New document responds to concerns and outlines expectations

Just days before the agency is set to begin testing raw beef trimmings for more strains of disease-causing E. coli, the Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a detailed response to comments it has received about the new policy.

The new document, published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, confirms that despite industry calls for delay, FSIS will begin testing trimmings for six additional Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) next week on June 4. As of that date, any raw, non-intact beef products or components contaminated with STECs O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145, will be legally considered adulterated — just as the agency has long treated E. coli O157:H7.

ecolipetri_iphone.jpgThe agency also said that it will issue a Federal Register notice to implement routine verification testing for the six STECs in additional raw beef products, including ground beef.

The policy rollout has not come without challenges. When FSIS first announced its intent to consider more non-O157 STEC adulterants, it said the verification and testing program would begin on March 5, 2012. But the agency eventually pushed back the implementation date to June 4, 2012 to “allow establishments time to implement appropriate changes in their food safety systems, including changes in process control procedures.”

In its response to comments, FSIS said that it disagreed with several of the reasons cited by those seeking a delay, including requests to conduct a baseline study before moving forward with the policy.

“FSIS has concluded that a baseline is neither necessary nor warranted before implementation of the FSIS verification sampling and testing program,” said the agency in the document. “These organisms are present in beef products in the United States; the evidence for this is presented in the risk profile. FSIS considers the data on non-O157 STECs obtained by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at a limited number of slaughter establishments to be evidence that the pathogens should be considered adulterants and are capable of causing illness.”

Read Full Article here

Food Safety Incidents Rise For Second Year in United Kingdom

For a second consecutive year, the number of incidents involving food safety in the United Kingdom increased in 2011, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) reports.
Tim J. Smith, the agency’s executive director, says there is no single reason for the increasing number of incidents.  “Instead, we believe a combination of factors, including better reporting and monitoring, are behind the upward trend,” Smith says.
Most food safety incidents are reported to FSA by border inspection posts, local health authorities and fire services.
In FSA’s annual incidents report for 2011, published this week, the agency says the total number of incidents increased to 1,714, up from 1, 508 in 2010, and 1,208 in 2009.  Incidents include reports of contaminated or illegal food entering the food chain with some potential harm to the public.

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Smith says case studies in the report point to increases in incidents involving allergens and pesticides, and to more foodborne illness outbreaks originating abroad, including sources in India, China, and Bangladesh.  The report says these “high level” instances required international responses.
The UK continued to experience an increase in the number of reports of microbiological contamination–a trend that began in 2006.  In 2011, there were 281 such incidents, up from 271 in 2010, and 147 going back to 2006.

FDA Says Just Don’t Call It “Corn Sugar”

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) cannot be called “corn sugar,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has determined.
A citizen’s petition filed with FDA by the Washington D.C. Corn Refiners Association (CRA) on Sept. 14, 2010 and supplemented on July 29, 2011 requested the name change.
But in a letter Wednesday, FDA’s Michael M. Landa, director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, turned down the name change request and rejected all three arguments made by the corn processors in their petition.
Specifically, Landa said calling HFCS “sugar” when the product is syrup would not be an accurate way to identify or describe the basic nature of the food or its characterizing properties.
The denial letter went to Ms. Audrae Erickson, CRA president, who was told that the petition “does not provide sufficient grounds for the agency to authorize ‘corn sugar’ as an alternate common or usual name for HFCS.”
Since filing the petition for the name change, CRA embarked on a national campaign to introduce the “corn sugar” name. That quickly brought on litigation by the Sugar Association, representing traditional sugar growers. That lawsuit is pending in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

FDA Warning Letters For 5/30/12

These FDA warning letters for the week of May 30, 2012 list food facilities with food safety violations that are of interest to consumers. These letters are sent after a facility is inspected, to give the owners guidance and time to fix violations.

1. Seco Spice Ltd. of Berino, New Mexico

2. Sushi Boy, Inc. of Gardena, California

3. The Nut Factory, Inc. of Greenacres, Washington

4. Smith Family Frosted Foods, LLC of Tiffin, Ohio.

Read Full Article Here

Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Infections Linked to Chicks and Ducks

The CDC is reporting an outbreak of human Salmonella infections linked to live poultry. Outbreak strains of Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport, and Salmonella Lille have sickened 93 people in 23 states. Eighteen people have been hospitalized, and there has been one death that may be related to the outbreak and is under investigation. The outbreak began in February 2012.

Case counts are as follows:

  • Alabama (3)
  • Georgia (3)
  • Illinois (1)
  • Indiana (2)
  • Kentucky (4)
  • Louisiana (1)
  • Massachusetts (1)
  • Maryland (1)
  • Maine (2)
  • Michigan (1)
  • Nebraska (1)
  • New Jersey (1)
  • North Carolina (9)
  • New York (13)
  •  Ohio (26)
  • Pennsylvania (9)
  • Rhode Island (1)
  • South Carolina (1)
  • Tennessee (4)
  • Texas (1)
  • Virginia (6)
  • Vermont (1)
  • West Virginia (1)

Read Full Article Here

Consumer Groups Criticize Poultry Inspection Proposal

Three more leading consumer groups weighed in this week on the debate over a controversial plan to revamp poultry inspection by shifting greater responsibility to companies.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumer Federation of America, and Consumers Union each sharply criticized the proposal in their comments filed before the Tuesday deadline, which had been pushed back a month in response to sharp criticism raised by the Government Accountability Project, Food & Water Watch, and poultry inspectors.

While each group acknowledged that modernizing the system is a commendable goal, all three expressed significant concerns about the plan to expand the HACCP Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP). The model reduces the number of inspectors from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on duty and largely turns over physical inspections to company employees, while allowing plants to significantly speed up their production lines.

FSIS says expanding HIMP would focus inspectors on food safety tasks rather than cosmetic surveillance, save taxpayers around $90 million over three years, and each year prevent 5,200 foodborne illnesses, mostly from Salmonella. The chicken and turkey industries strongly support the measure and USDA estimates it will save the industry $250 million annually. But consumer groups question whether HIMP would actually improve food safety.   RawChickenBody.jpg

“For years the poultry industry has operated under a system that allows for far greater levels of contamination than are acceptable to consumers,” read CSPI’s comments, submitted by staff attorney Sarah Klein. “FSIS should have reducing Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry as the central tenet behind its changes, and should apply systems that monitor and measure contamination rates.”

Read Full Article Here

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Recalls

Peach Granola Recalled for Undeclared Cashews

OSKRI Corp. of Wisconsin is recalling “Peach Granola” because it may contain undeclared cashews, a tree nut that is one of the major food allergens.

Product details:

  • Peach Granola
  • 3.53 ounce flexible plastic bag
  • UPC number 666016111743
  • Marked with this stamp:
    • P 3/3/12
    • EXP 9/9/13
    • LOT 75

    Read Full Article here

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Articles of Interest

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Most Common Cause of Pediatric Kidney Failure

According to a study published in the May issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is the most common cause of acute kidney failure in children in the United States. FoodNet, the Foodborne Disease Active Surveillance network, was the source of the statistics. Surveillance is difficult because there is no single diagnostic test to diagnose HUS.

Get E. coli-HUS help here.

The study examined pediatric HUS cases from 2000 to 2007 and found that in 627 cases, more than 90% occurred after a diarrheal illness and most were caused by infections of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli 0157:H7 (STEC). An average of 78 cases were reported every year; most (66%) occurred in children less than than five years old; of those cases, 64% were in children less than two years old.

Read Full Article Here

Paper Chronicles 8-Year Salmonella Outbreak Tied to Chicks

Boots-on-the-ground epidemiology — including interviews, disease surveillance, and traceback — was key in helping health officials solve and control an 8-year salmonella outbreak, the longest in U.S. history, which was ultimately tied to mail order chicks.

Between 2004 and 2011, 316 reported illnesses from 43 states were linked to the same outbreak strain. A new paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine chronicles just how investigators were able to crack the case. Researchers say it is likely that thousands of additional infections occurred in association with the outbreak, but were not reported.

In April 2005, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment identified three Salmonella serotype Montevideo isolates with the same genetic patterns. After interviewing the patients, local health officials learned that all three had been exposed to chicks or ducklings bought at feed stores the week before they got sick.

Officials then checked PulseNet, the national network for foodborne disease surveillance, and found that the same rare outbreak strain had been isolated from five other people in four states: Kansas, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas.

By March 2006, health officials had zeroed in on New Mexico agricultural feed stores that sold young poultry during 2005.

“New Mexico was chosen because it had a large number of cases as well as resources available to support investigation activities,” reported researchers in the NEJM paper. “Stores identified in an Internet search were randomly selected for an in-person or a telephone interview. The standardized questionnaire focused on the source of the live poultry, volume of live poultry sales, handling and hygienic conditions of poultry in the store, knowledge about the risk of transmission of Salmonella from poultry to humans, and education of customers about this risk.”

Using information from patients, investigators were able to trace young poultry back to where it had been purchased at the retail level, and back to mail-order hatcheries.  chickies_iphone.jpg

According to the paper, over the duration of the outbreak, cases peaked annually during the spring, but the greatest number of reported cases came in 2006. Those sickened ranged from age 1 to 86 years old with a median age of 4. Of those with information available, 143 (54 percent) were 5 years of age or younger and 149 patients (53 percent) were female.

Read Full Article Here

Cruelty Charges Brought Against California Auction Barn

The 73-year-old owner of Ontario Livestock Sales and 7 employees must appear in a California court July 20 to face a total of 21 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty stemming from an undercover investigation by an animal protection group.
If convicted, Horacio Santorsola and his employees would each face up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines.

downer cow article pic.jpg

Mercy for Animals of Los Angeles produced hidden camera video footage that showed auction barn workers kicking and stomping animals, most often to get them to move.
Another Ontario Livestock employee working with Mercy for Animals was behind the camera.
Dr. Temple Grandin, a Colorado State University-based expert on animal welfare, viewed the undercover video and said the rough treatment and frequent kicking was not acceptable. She said if the auction were a federally inspected meat packing plant, its inspection would be suspended and the operation would be shut down.

Food Safety Attorney Bill Marler to Present Webinar

Food safety attorney and Food Safety News publisher Bill Marler will present a webinar on the legal consequences of poor food safety practices on June 14.
In the webinar hosted by Food Seminars International, Marler will elaborate on his work in foodborne illness litigation. The webinar will include discussion on the obstacles companies face in prioritizing food safety, the common methods used to prove a foodborne illness claim and the roles that epidemiology and public health play in food safety, among other topics.

NYC Poised to Limit Size of Sugary Drinks

A small soda at McDonalds is about to become the largest option available in New York City if a proposal to limit sugary drink portion sizes is passed by the city’s health board.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, which has made public health a central part of its agenda, announced Thursday that it is seeking a 16 oz. cap on sugar-sweetened drinks served at delis, fast food and sit-down restaurants, movie theaters and sports venues.
This latest rule would follow past city regulations that have mandated calorie labeling on all chain restaurant menus and banned artificial trans fats from food establishments.

Cola Body.jpg

According to the New York City Health Department, sugary drinks are a main contributor to the city’s obesity problem. Nearly 6 in 10 NYC residents are either overweight or obese. High sugary drink consumption is associated with weight gain, obesity and higher rates of diabetes in New York City, says a 2011 report by four district health offices.

FDA Appeals Mandate to Ban Three Animal Antibiotics

After a magistrate judge ruled that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must act on its long-standing proposal to ban the use of three antibiotics in animal feed because they may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria, FDA is appealing the decision.

In a notice dated May 21, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, Director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine Bernadette Dunham and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius together filed an appeal with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the March decision.

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

Follow the Money: BPA Makers to Gross $8 Billion Thanks to FDA Rejecting Ban

By Anthony Gucciardi

Producers of toxic BPA are now boasting $8 billion in sales for 2012 thanks to the FDA rejecting a potential ban on the cancer-linked chemical on March 30th. According to GlobalData, manufacturers will produce 4.7 million metric tons of BPA this year to be dispersed into the daily lives of millions worldwide. BPA now goes into everything: plastic bottles, canned foods, DVDs, plastic wrap, and much more. Despite being linked to about as many serious health conditionsas the amount of products it contaminates, the FDA has decided once again to side with mega corporations over protecting the health of the people.

Even Campbell’s Soup and the Heinz corporation are removing BPA from their products in an effort to reclaim consumers who are fully aware of the issues surrounding BPA. California is also banning the substance from baby bottles and sippy cups in attempts to protect newborn babies whose developing bodies are majorly affected by the estrogen-mimicking chemical. But the FDA?

Read Full Article Here

Slimegate: Should USDA Require Labeling for LFTB?

by Helena Bottemiller

Over the past several weeks, thousands of articles, blog posts, tweets and even Facebook statuses have weighed in on the debate over Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB), now commonly known as “pink slime.” One place you won’t find any mention of the product, however, is on a ground beef label — or any meat label, for that matter.

That may be about to change.

As the nation’s largest manufacturer of LFTB, Beef Products Inc., reels from the consumer revolt against its product and state and local politicians work to help the company recover, the national discussion has turned to labeling.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it would approve requests from ground beef product makers who want to voluntarily label products containing LFTB.

Last Friday, U.S. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and 10 co-sponsors introduced a bill that would require beef products that included LFTB to be labeled, and Reps. Sam Farr (D-CA) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) urged USDA to update beef labels “to note whether or not the product contains processed meat filler, and, if so, which filler(s) are in the product.”

So, why isn’t “LFTB” or “ammoniated beef” or “centrifuge-separated ammonia-treated beef” already labeled when added to ground beef?

(Were it up to satirical news anchor Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, LFTB might be labeled “ammonia-soaked centrifuge separated byproduct paste.”)

In a USA Today Op-Ed, former USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service administrator Dr. H. Russel Cross declared that “There is no need for labeling LFTB — because nothing is being added that is not beef.”

Likewise, in a recent video to help combat “a frenzy of misinformation” about LFTB, American Meat Institute spokeswoman Janet Riley added a similar justification for not labeling LFTB: “Both citric acid and ammonium hydroxide are natural processing aids, not additives or ingredients because they don’t remain in the product.”

Read Full Article Here

CDC Offers Favorable Snapshot of Nation’s Nutrition Status

by Mary Rothschild

With its focus on disease outbreaks and other generally gloomy reports, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rarely seems to dispatch good news.

So it was heartening to see Monday’s CDC press release announcing that the U.S. population, for the most part, is getting enough essential vitamins and nutrients – specifically vitamins A and D and folate — even though some groups need to address dietary deficiencies.

“Research shows that good nutrition can help lower people’s risk for many chronic diseases. For most nutrients, the low deficiency rates, less than 1 to 10 percent, are encouraging, but higher deficiency rates in certain age and race/ethnic groups are a concern and need additional attention,” said Christine Pfeiffer, Ph.D., lead researcher, in the Division of Laboratory Sciences in CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health.

Less than optimal vitamin and nutrient levels have been associated with myriad health risks, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, impaired cognitive function, cancer, eye diseases and weakened bones.

The CDC’s favorable, although limited, review is the most comprehensive biochemical assessment ever of the nation’s nutritional status, drawn from analysis by the Division of Laboratory Sciences of blood and urine samples collected during the 1999 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The last such report was published in 2008. This Second Nutrition Report establishes blood and urine reference levels for 58 biochemical indicators; more than twice as many as before. And the new report includes first-time data for a new indicator of iron deficiency and for 24 healthy and unhealthy fatty acids.

Measurements of nutrient levels in blood and urine are critical, according to the CDC, because they show whether the total nutrients from foods and vitamin supplements are too low, too high or sufficient.

In very brief summary, the positive findings in the Second Nutrition Report include that:….

Read Full Article Here

Poultry Inspectors Protest Inspection Proposal at USDA

by Helena Bottemiller

Around 100 poultry inspectors gathered outside the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday, right under Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s window, to protest a proposal to expand an inspection system that shifts federal inspectors away from inspecting for quality defects and allows slaughter lines to speed up.

chicken-protest-350.jpgThe USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is responsible for examining all poultry carcasses for blemishes or visible defects before they are further processed. Under the proposed rule, the agency would transfer much of this quality-assurance task over to the poultry plants so that it can devote more of its employees to evaluating the companies’ pathogen-prevention plans and bacteria-testing programs.

It basically moves the federal inspector further down the line, to right before the chiller, to make sure there’s no fecal material on the birds before they take the plunge into the cooling tank.

FSIS argues that the system, formally known as the HACCP Based Inspection Models Project, or HIMP, will improve food safety and save taxpayer dollars. The consumer group Food & Water Watch, and the inspectors at the rally, take issue with the entire proposal, arguing that it privatizes inspection and puts consumers at risk. A handful of plants have been a part of the HIMP pilot program for 12 years.

Read Full Article Here

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Recalls

Quebec Sausage Recalled Due to Listeria Risk

by News Desk

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume certain La Vecchia Fattoria brand Cacciatore Dry Cured Sausages because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

There have been no reported illnesses.

The recalled La Vecchia Fattoria brand Cacciatore Dry Cured Sausages were sold in packages of 2 units each (approximately 300 g), with the UPC 8 81248 33336 1 and a best-before date of 12 23 JL.

The sausages were distributed in Quebec.

Read Full Article Here

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Articles of Interest

Rocky Relief Pitcher Down With Food Poisoning, Club Says

by News Desk

Josh Outman, 28-year-old relief pitcher for the Colorado Rockies, is reported by the club to be suffering from food poisoning.

Rockies Manager Jim Tracy did not specify what type of food poisoning is involved, but said if the left-handed pitcher is still not well enough on opening day Friday in Houston, another relief pitcher will be called up.

Read Full Article Here

Sugar Is Not Poison, But We’re Getting Too Much of It

by Dan Flynn

Sugar is the toxin responsible for most of today’s health problems, a California endocrinologist who conducts research for the American Heart Association, told the television magazine program 60 Minutes Sunday.

poptart-boy-350.jpg
The University of California’s Dr. Robert Lustig said obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension and heart disease can all be blamed on Americans consuming too much sugar.

The 60 Minutes segment, with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta playing the part of the on-air reporter, said new research is “starting to find that sugar, the way many people are eating it today, is toxic and could be a driving force behind some of this country’s leading killers, including heart disease.”

An ongoing, five-year research project at the University of California – Davis, by nutritional biologist Kimber Stanhope, also got mention because it appears to be showing that high fructose corn syrup intake is linked to heart disease and stroke. Midway through, the research also suggests calories from added sugars differ from other calories.

Gupta said the belief that a calorie is a calorie is a “mantra” of nutritionists. He also said the scientists involved in the research are personally eliminating all added sugar from their diets. Added sugars are sweeteners added to processed and prepared foods and beverages.

Examples of added sugars include white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup, malt syrup, maple syrup, pancake syrup, fructose sweetener, liquid fructose, honey, molasses, anhydrous dextrose, crystal dextrose and dextrin…..

Read Full Article Here

Is sugar toxic?

Sugar and kids: The toxic truth

Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on new research showing that beyond weight gain, sugar can take a serious toll on your health, worsening conditions ranging from heart disease to cancer.

(CBS News) If you are what you eat, then what does it mean that the average American consumes 130 pounds of sugar a year? Sanjay Gupta reports on new research showing that beyond weight gain, sugar can take a serious toll on your health, worsening conditions ranging from heart disease to cancer. Some physicians go so far as to call sugar a toxin.

The following script is from “Sugar” which aired on April 1, 2012. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is the correspondent. Denise Schrier Cetta and Sumi Aggarwal, producers.

The chances are good that sugar is a bigger part of your daily diet than you may realize which is why our story tonight is so important. New research coming out of some of America’s most respected institutions is starting to find that sugar, the way many people are eating it today, is a toxin and could be a driving force behind some of this country’s leading killers, including heart disease.

As a result of these findings, an anti-sugar campaign has sprung up, led by Dr. Robert Lustig, a California endocrinologist, who believes the consumption of added sugars has plunged America into a public health crisis.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Is sugar toxic?

Dr. Robert Lustig: I believe it is.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Do you ever worry that that’s– it just sounds a little bit over the top?

Dr. Robert Lustig: Sure. All the time. But it’s the truth.

Dr. Robert Lustig is a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco and a pioneer in what is becoming a war against sugar.

Motivated by his own patients — too many sick and obese children – Dr. Lustig has concluded that sugar, more than any other substance, is to blame.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: What are all these various diseases that you say are linked to sugar?

Dr. Robert Lustig: Obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease itself.

Lustig says the American lifestyle is killing us.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: And most of it you say is preventable?

Dr. Robert Lustig: Seventy-five percent of it is preventable.

While Dr. Lustig has published a dozen scientific articles on the evils of sugar, it was his lecture on YouTube, called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” that brought his message to the masses.

[YouTube Video: I’m standing here today to recruit you in the war against bad food.]

By “bad food” Dr. Lustig means the obvious things such as table sugar, honey, syrup, sugary drinks and desserts, but also just about every processed food you can imagine, where sugar is often hidden: yogurts and sauces, bread, and even peanut butter. And what about the man-made, often vilified sweetener, high fructose corn syrup?

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Is it worse than just table sugar?

Dr. Robert Lustig: No. ‘Cause it’s the exact same. They are basically equivalent. The problem is they’re both bad. They’re both equally toxic.

Since the 1970s, sugar consumption has gone down nearly 40 percent, but high fructose corn syrup has more than made up the difference. Dr. Lustig says they are both toxic because they both contain fructose — that’s what makes them sweet and irresistible.

Read Full Transcript Here

http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/cbsnews_player_embed.swf

Food Safety

 

Aspartame: GMO Bacteria Poop Causing Blindness!

 

 

Uploaded by ExperimentalVaccines on Mar 14, 2012

Find out more at: http://experimentalvaccines.org/
Natural News Article Trocho Study Barcelona 1998:
http://www.naturalnews.com/026849_aspartame_drug_diet.html
The Independent article Worlds Top Sweetener is made with GM Bacteria
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/worlds-top-sweetener-is-made-with-gm-bacter…
Betty Martini Website MPWHI:
http://www.mpwhi.com/main.htm
FDA Website Statement on European Aspartame Study
http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodIngredientsPackaging/FoodAdditives/ucm208580.htm
National Eye Institute:
http://www.nei.nih.gov/news/pressreleases/032002.asp
Blindness Statistics Ciba Vision:
http://www.cibavision.com/eye-health-care/vision-statistics.shtml
Methonal Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methanol
Source Watch Website aspartame page:
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Aspartame
Coca Cola CEO Muhtar Kent 21.2 Million Dollar Salary:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/08/muhtar-kent-coca-cola_n_1332063.html
Monsanto Wikipedia page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto
Coca Cola Wikipedia Page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Coca-Cola_Company

 

What Are Chicken Nuggets Made Of?

 

(*****The Other Pink Slime ******)

 

 

Illegal Geoduck Shipments Seized in Seattle

 

By News Desk

Washington State Fish & Wildlife officials are working were in overdrive this week trying to track down geoducks — large, long-necked clams — that may have been improperly or unsafely harvested, King5 News reported Thursday.”We are up to our necks…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/illegal-geoduck-shipments-seized-in-seattle/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120325

 

Unacceptable Levels: New film about toxins in our food, cosmetics & environment

by geobear7

Food Freedom News

“Unacceptable Levels” is a feature length film, in conjunction with learned scientists, doctors, and experts in the field, who will reveal the truth about toxins in the environment, and in ourselves. Trailer:

 

 

 

Health

 

Multiple Sclerosis: The Cause and Solution Uncovered

by geobear7

Food Freedom News

By Woodrow Monte

An exhaustive analysis of the medical and scientific literature, authored by a uniquely qualified food scientist, persuasively reveals the cause of MS and describes a path to recovery and prevention. The symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis are identical to those of an uncommon form of poisoning—methanol poisoning.

Individuals who have been exposed to this poison over a long period of time, in fact, develop MS. This poison—methanol–is a major component of cigarette smoke, which, until now, has been the only known cause of Multiple Sclerosis. Dr. Monte’s compelling work reveals that this poison is also contained in certain foods that are canned and smoked or have had the insidious sweetener, aspartame, added to them.

Unfortunately, the truth has been obscured due to the fact that methanol is a poisonous to humans and not to (laboratory) animals.

http://foodfreedomgroup.com/2012/03/25/multiple-sclerosis-the-cause-and-solution-uncovered/#more-20948

 

 

Holistic Health

 

Tell Your Doctor: If You Don’t Show Me This, You’re Breaking the Law

 

Posted By Dr. Mercola

The Colorado Board of Health has been holding hearings on whether or not to adopt a new rule that would mandate healthcare workers get an annual flu vaccine, with NO religious or conscientious/philosophical belief exemptions. A federal vaccine advisory committee has already voted to encourage hospitals and medical facilities to force health care workers to get an annual flu shot as a condition of employment
According to the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), there’s been an increase of reports of harassment in the past two years – not only from parents being coerced and “fired” by pediatricians if they decline one or more vaccines for their children – but also from health professionals. More health care workers are reporting being threatened and fired from their jobs for declining influenza vaccination, even in cases where they’ve suffered side effects from previous flu shots or other vaccinations or have health conditions that could get worse if they are forced to get vaccinated ….

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/25/defending-vaccine-exemptions.aspx?e_cid=20120325_SNL_Art_1

 

 

Pet Health

 

Dem Sen. Brown urges FDA to better regulate Chinese-made dog food

 

By Josiah Ryan

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday to get more “aggressive” in regulating Chinese-made dog food that some owners suspect has sickened and killed their pets.

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/217889-dem-sen-brown-urges-fda-to-better-regulate-chinese-made-dog-food

 

 

A Cleaner, Greener Home for You and Your Pet

Breathe Easier Knowing Your Home is Toxin Free

 

Out of all the toxic environments that your pet will be exposed to in its lifetime, it is the place where we feel safest that may be the most dangerous to your pet’s health.

 

The typical modern home has more chemicals, gases, and natural toxins than anything your pet is likely to come across while roaming the neighborhood, yet most pet owners are blithely unaware of the dangers being posed by such seemingly innocuous products like air fresheners and furniture polishes.

 

Just as humans can fall ill as the result of sensitivity to chemicals, animals suffer from physical reactions to chemicals that are used to manufacture furniture and textiles in the home, and cleaning products that leave residual films. Air fresheners, meanwhile, may give the appearance of leaving a clean, fresh scent, but are actually irritating to the breathing passages and mucus membranes. Even damp carpeting can pose a health risk to pets, especially since they are so close to the source.

 

To make matters worse, plants, which are often used to keep indoor air clean, can be toxic for your pet as well, should Kitty or Fido decide to take a bite out of one of them.

 

Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect your pet from “chemical overload.”….

 

http://www.petmd.com/dog/wellness/evr_multi_indoor_home_pollution#.T3DbqbRZfe8

 

 

Alternative Veterinary Treatments

Four therapeutic approaches when traditional animal medicine just doesn’t work

 

Pets, like people, can suffer from a variety of debilitating chronic, degenerative conditions. Treatment options, meanwhile, are sometimes limited and frustrating, focusing on alleviating symptoms through the use of narcotics and other means. There may be another solution, though. Your veterinarian may recommend an alternative therapeutic approach to your pet’s health.

 

Alternative therapies for pets have taken giant leaps in the success rate of post-operative recovery, as well as cases involving degenerative spine issues, neurologic disc problems, hip dysplasia and cruciate ligament injuries. The aim of alternative veterinary therapy is to heal your pet using a whole body approach. The horse and dog racing industry have known this for years; alternative therapy stems from their specialized animal health practices.

 

To find out more, petMD’s Yahaira Cespedes spoke with Dr. Gerald Johnson, a holistic veterinarian with many years’ experience on primarily dogs and horses. He utilizes a variety of alternative therapies on patients at his practice. Their advantage: alternative therapies treat your pet’s condition by addressing the cause of the disease, while keeping you actively involved in your pet’s treatment…..

Some of the more common alternative therapies include:….

 

http://www.petmd.com/dog/wellness/evr_multi_alternative_veterinary_treatments#.T3Dcp7RZfe8

 

 

Recalls

 

Sysco Recalls Beef Patties From Canada After FSIS Alert

 

by Dan Flynn

…….The alert was for beef patties from Canada made by the same company that ceased operations in mid-February, went into receivership, and then was the subject of the discovery of possible E. coli O1457:H7 contamination that had led to numerous product recalls in Canada.

What happened to beef patties imported to Sysco Food Services in the American border town of Blaine, WA was for a time a mystery because FSIS was not able to find anyone at the company to talk to about it.

The Houston-based company, a Fortune 500 Company with $37.24 billion in revenue last year, is one of the largest food distributors in the U.S. It employs about 47,000 people and has food warehouses throughout the country.

When the public health alert was issued, Food Safety News learned it was likely to be turned into a recall, and that has now occurred.

The recalled beef patties were sent to the U.S. states from the same troubled plant responsible for numerous recalls in Canada comes more than a month after the problem began. The FSIS said the ground beef involved might be contaminated with O157:H7, a strain of E. coli that can cause serious human illness and in some cases death……

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/public-health-alert-goes-out-because-recall-isnt-possible/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120325

 

Salmonella Causes A Recall Of Fresh Jalapenos

 

By News Desk

Newport, Kentucky-based Castellini Poduce has issued an unclassified recall on fresh jalapenos in packs of two, 10, and 40. The recalled jalapenos did reach five divisions of Rosemont,IL-based US Foods (formerly U.S. Foodservice) between March 9 and 24, according to the…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/salmonella-bring-recall-of-fresh-jalapenos/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120325

 

 

Food Safety

 

Cases Rise in Ottawa’s School-Linked Salmonella Outbreak

By Mary Rothschild

There now are 37 Salmonella infections in Ottawa, most linked to a catering company that served meals to schools and day care centers, the city’s public health department reported Monday.The outbreak total includes 33 children, ranging in age from 15..

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/37-ill-in-ottawas-school-linked-salmonella-outbreak/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120319

Denver Restaurateurs Say Inspections Being Used to Raise Cash

By Dan Flynn

Denver’s restaurateurs hurting from the Great Recession agreed to a deal in which the Department of Environmental Health stopped posting reports of critical violations for customers to see, in exchange for accepting higher fines for infractions. But two years later,…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/denver-restaurateurs-say-inspections-used-to-generate-cash/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120320

California Still Investigating Claravale Farm Raw Milk

By Dan Flynn

Health officials in the Golden State say an investigation into a Campylobacter outbreak associated with raw milk from Claravale Farm is continuing, but is not over.”The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is conducting an epidemiologic investigation, ” according to…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/california-still-investigating-claravale-farm-raw-milk/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120320

Consumers Not Protected with Food Safety Rules ‘Stuck in Review’

By News Desk

New rules Congress called for in the Food Safety Modernization Act — for preventive controls for food, animal feed, produce safety and food imports — should be passed without further delay by the Obama Administration.So says the Consumer Federation of…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/food-safety-isnt-improving-while-rules-stuck-in-review/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120320

Health

New strain of whooping cough emerging

Australian scientists have attributed a sharp rise in whooping cough cases to a new strain of the respiratory disease which could be becoming resistant to the current vaccine.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/new-strain-of-whooping-cough-emerging/story-e6frf7jx-1226306167913

 

Holistic Health

Vitamin D3 inhibits systemic inflammation to improve heart health markers

By John Phillip,

(NaturalNews) Thousands of research studies have demonstrated the powerful health-promoting properties of the prohormone compound, vitamin D3. Researchers publishing in The Journal of Immunology explain the specific molecular and signaling events by which vitamin D inhibits inflammation in the human body. In a very detailed analysis, scientists show that low blood circulating levels of vitamin D do not adequately inhibit the inflammatory cascade necessary to turn off this potentially destructive…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035294_vitamin_D3_heart_health_inflammation.html

Heart surgeon openly admits low-fat diets recommended for years by mainstream medicine actually cause heart disease

By Jonathan Benson,

(NaturalNews) The belief that maintaining a low-fat diet promotes health and prevents disease is perhaps the single biggest misconception responsible for today’s epidemics of high cholesterol, obesity, heart disease and early death. In a recent report, Dr. Dwight Lundell, a former heart surgeon with 25 years of experience, admits that low-fat diets are actually responsible for destroying health, and explains why consuming fats in proper balance with one another is vital for protecting the body from…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035295_low-fat_diet_heart_disease_medical_myths.html

Cancer industry trying to co-opt most recent potential natural cure – frankincense

By Paul Fassa,

(NaturalNews) “There is not one, but many cures for cancer available. But they are all being systematically suppressed by … the major oncology centers. They have too much of an interest in the status quo,” stated Dr Robert Atkins, MD, creator of the Atkins Diet, after licensure problems for curing cancer patients with ozone therapy during the 1960s. Yet the cancer industry keeps doing exactly what Dr. Atkins described. It is amazing how many cures do exist while many suffer and die from “accepted…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035296_frankincense_cancer_natural_cure.html

Beat gallstones naturally

By Dr. David Jockers,

(NaturalNews) Gallstones are crystalline formations of cholesterol and calcium formed within the gallbladder and biliary tracts. These stones can vary widely in size from as small as a grain of salt to nearly the size of a golf ball. Gallstones are a sign of incomplete liver detoxification and pose a significant threat to the body. Beat gallstones naturally with an anti-inflammatory diet and cleansing cycle. The gallbladder serves as a reservoir for the bile that is produced by the liver. Bile…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035297_gallstones_gallbladder_remedies.html

Recalls

Uninspected Pork Recalled

By Olivia Marler

Lawson Foods of Irvington, N.J. is recalling approximately 84,587 pounds of pork that includes pork imported from Canada not properly presented for re-inspection upon entry into the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/uninspected-pork-recalled/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120320

Recall Notification Report 015-2012

Lawson Foods LLC, an Irvington, N.J., establishment, is recalling approximately 84,587 pounds of pork product, as it includes pork product imported from Canada that was not properly presented for re-inspection upon entry into the United States.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/fsis_recalls/RNR_015_2012/index.asp

El Ranchero Del Sur, LLC Recalls El Ranchero Queso Fresco (Fresh Cheese), Los Corrales Queso Fresco en Hoja de Platano (Fresh Cheese in Banana Leaf), and El Ranchero Queso Oaxaca (String Cheese) Because of Possible Health Risk

El Ranchero Del Sur, LLC. of South River, New Jersey is recalling El Ranchero Queso Fresco 14 oz. (Fresh Cheese), Los Corrales Queso Fresco en Hoja De Platano 14 oz. (Fresh Cheese In Banana Leaf), El Ranchero Queso Oaxaca 14 oz. and 10 lb. (String Cheese) because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm296511.htm

http://www.nationofchange.org/occupy-s-front-line-moves-front-lawn-1332236487