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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Poultry More Dangerous Than Raw Milk

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did a ten year study A 10-year study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that raw milk and pork both contributed to food illnesses across the United State, but fell short of the number caused by poultry, fish and beef. A 10-year study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that raw milk and pork both contributed to food illnesses across the United State, but fell short of the number caused by poultry, fish and beef. The study looked at more than 13,000 foodborne disease outbreaks between 1998 and 2008 They resulted in 273,120 cases of illness, 9.109 hospitalizations and 200 deaths.
The commodities implicated most commonly were poultry at 18.9%, fish at 18.6%, followed by beef 11.9%. The pathogen-commodity pairs most commonly responsible for outbreaks were scombroid toxin/histamine and fish (317 outbreaks), ciguatoxin and fish (172 outbreaks), Salmonella and poultry (145 outbreaks), and norovirus and leafy vegetables (141 outbreaks). The pathogen-commodity pairs most commonly responsible for outbreak-related illnesses were norovirus and leafy vegetables (4,011 illnesses), Clostridium perfringens and poultry (3,452 illnesses), Salmonella and vine-stalk vegetables (3,216 illnesses), and Clostridium perfringens and beef (2,963 illnesses). Compared with the first 2 years of the study (1998–1999), the percentage of outbreaks associated with leafy vegetables and dairy increased substantially during 2006–2008, while the percentage of outbreaks associated with eggs decreased.
Dairy and pork were responsible for fewer outbreaks, but still made the list. Pork was on par with leafy vegetables, while dairy, primarily due to raw products, made the list at No. 8. .Raw dairy products accounted for 81 percent of the outbreaks linked to dairy during this period. This seems to be due to increased use of unpasteurized milk.
One of the major problems with poultry is that the poultry inspectors check for visible problems with the chickens as they go down the processing line while the inspectors do not check for viral or bacterial contamination

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Weight Loss Supplements Contains Banned Substance

Dolphin Intertrade Corp. is voluntarily recalling “JaDera” and  “Xiyouji Qing”  Weight Loss Supplement. These product have been found to contain undeclared Sibutramine, Sibutramine was a previously approved controlled substance for the treatment of obesity that was removed from the U.S. market in October 2010 for safety reasons, making this product an unapproved new drug.
Sibutramine is known to substantially increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some patients and may present a significant risk for patients with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias or stroke. These products may also interact in life threatening ways with other medications a consumer may be taking. The company has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall. The recall was initiated after discovering that Sibutramine was included as an ingredient by the manufacturer.
JaDera Weight Loss Supplement is marketed as a dietary supplement used as a weight loss aid and is packaged in bottles of # 30 capsules. The affected JaDera Weight Loss Supplement, includes manufactured lot 10.06.2011 with Expiration Date: 09.06.2013. JaDera Weight Loss Supplement was distributed Nationwide to consumers and distributors. The products were distributed from May 2011 to May 2013.
Xiyouji Qingzhi Weight Loss Supplement is marketed as a dietary supplement used as a weight loss aid and is packaged in bottles of # 30 capsules of 300 mg. The affected Xiyouji Qingzhi Weight Loss Supplement, includes all lots. The products were distributed from May 2011 to May 2013.
Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact Dolphin Intertrade Corp. at 305-383-7600 Monday - Friday from 9:00am-5:00pm EST. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using this drug product.
Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Baby Cereal Products May Contain Mycotoxin

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Wonder Berry North America are

warning the public not to consume the baby products described below. They may contain
mycotoxin HT-2. These baby cereal have been distributed in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Wonder Berry North America are
warning the public not to consume certain baby cereal products described below
because they may contain mycotoxin HT-2 These products have been distributed 
in Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec,
HT-2 is a mycotoxin produced by the Fusarium species of mold. It can grow in food crops
such as Cereals and grains. This toxin may cause nausea, vomiting and adominal pain. Do
not feed these food products to your children

All of these UMNITZA (in Russian Language) brand baby cerials are imported from thr Russian 

Buckwheat Pear & Milk flavour     250 g   UPC 4 680002 470580

7 Grains flavour   250 g   UPC 4 680002 470634

5 Grains flavour   250 g   UPC 4 680002 470542
Buckwheat & Pear flavour   250 g   UPC 4 680002 470641
Buckwheat & Milk flavour   250 g   UPC 4 680002 470535

Corn flavour   250 g   UPC 4 680002 470665

Rice flavour   250 g   UPC 4 680002 470672

Wheat Cereal, Milk & Pumpkin flavour   250 g   UPC 4 680002 470175

Buckwheat Pear & Milk flavour
Buckwheat Pear & Milk flavour
7 Grains flavour
7 Grains flavour
5 Grains flavour
5 Grains flavour
Buckwheat & Pear flavour
Buckwheat & Pear flavour
Buckwheat & Milk flavour
Buckwheat & Milk flavour
Corn flavour
Corn flavour
Rice flavour
Rice flavour
Wheat Cereal, Milk & Pumpkin flavour
Wheat Cereal, Milk & Pumpkin flavour

Recall: Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels

Scenic Fruit Company of Gresham, Oregon today announced it is voluntarily recalling (61,092 eight ounce bags of Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels. Based on an ongoing  investigation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of an illness outbreak, the kernels have the potential to be contaminated with Hepatitis A virus. There are no illnesses yet.. People usually become sick 15 to 50 days after being exposed to Hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that can be mild and last for weeks, or in more serious cases, can last for months, according to the Department of Consumer Protection.  Symptoms include fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine and pale stool   

These  Pomegranate Kernels were imported from Turkey and may be associated with the imported pomegranate kernels implicated in the ongoing Townsend Farms frozen berry hepatitis A outbreak that has sickened at least 122 people in eight states. There were 17 cases in Arizona, 62 in California, 25 in Colorado, five each in Hawaii, New Mexico and Nevada, and two in Utah and one in Wisconsin. Over 50 people were hospitalized.

Products were shipped from February 2013 through May 2013 to California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington State. There may be some shipped to other states.

Woodstock Organic Pomegranate Kernels are sold in eight-ounce (227 gram) resealable plastic pouches (see image) with UPC Code 0 42563 01628 9. Specific coding information to identify the product can be found on the back portion of these pouches below the zip-lock seal. The following lots are subject to this recall:
  • C 0129 (A,B, or C) 035 with a best by date of 02/04/2015
  • C 0388 (A,B, or C) 087 with a best by date of 03/28/2015
  • C 0490 (A,B, or C) 109 with a best by date of 04/19/2015
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that can be mild and last for weeks, or in more serious cases, can last for months, according to the Department of Consumer Protection.  Symptoms include fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine and pale stool
Hepatitis A vaccination can prevent illness if given within two weeks of exposure to a contaminated food. In rare cases, particularly consumers who have a pre- existing severe illness or are immunocompromised, Hepatitis A infection can progress to liver failure.
Persons who may have consumed affected product should consult with their health care professional or local health department to determine if a vaccination is appropriate, and consumers with symptoms of Hepatitis A should contact their health care professionals or the local health department immediately.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bacteria Testing in Beach Waters Threatened

The Obama Administration has proposed  stopping all aid to states to testing for bacteria in beach water. . Nearly 4000 beach closings and swimming advisories were issued by state and local governments in 1995. Most problems with beach pollution have been reported for ocean, bay, and Great Lakes beaches, but these problems are not limited to coastal areas.

The Health Department in Broward County,where I live, routinely test our beach water for bacteria but all parts of the country are not tested.
Bacterial contamination can come from wildlife,pets,storm water runoff,sewage spills, illegal boat discharges, bathers and toddlers with dirty diapers.In areas where they do fish farming there are drug resistant bacteria because of the antibiotics that the fish farmers use.

Several environmental groups are suing the Environmental Protection Agency because they feel that there standards for beach water are two low.

Can You Get MRSA From Your Pets

Many investigations have been focused on the transmission of MRSA from livestock but this study in Germany focused on dogs cats and guinea pigs. In nearly every case the pet and its owner were infected with the same type of MRSA. Obviously the pet infected the owner or the owner infected the pet.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans.. MRSA is any strain of Staphylococcus aureus that has developed, through the process of natural selection, resistance to antibiotics, which include the penicillins (methicillin, dicloxacillin, nafcillin, oxacillin, etc.) and the cephalosporins. MRSA is not especially virulent in fact it can live in your nose for several years without causing disease. Its resistance to antibiotics makes it harder to treat when a disease develops. There were over 3700 deaths from MRSA in the United States last year.

MRSA is especially troublesome in hospitals, prisons and nursing homes, where patients with open wounds, invasive devices, and weakened immune systems are at greater risk of infection than the general public
The authors of this study feel that transmission MRSA between companion animals and their owners in household environments needs further studied. Even so it may be wise to have your prt checked out at the veterinarian.
Source Emerging Infectious Diseases. Vol 18 No. 12
t .

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

FDA Approves Ingredients that Others Ban

FDA Approves Ingredients that Others Ban  
Buzzfeed published a list of eight ingredients banned outside the U.S. that are found in foods in America.  The list was derived from the book, Rich Food, Poor Food: The Ultimate Grocery Purchasing System

Here are some ingredients that are banned in other countries:

Blue #1 food coloring

Blue #2 food coloring

Yellow #5 (Tartazine)

Yellow #6 food coloring

Red #40

Brominated vegetable oil


Potassium Bromate (Bromated flour)

Olestra (Olean)

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)

rBGH and rBST


With the FDA where lobbyist walk in their door every day there is always the question whether their decisions favor the public’s health or big corporations wealth.

Nepal: Milk Contains Chloroform

According to the Himalayan News service  the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control found milk produced by 14 dairies were contaminated with coliform last month,
The Government has made a commitment to maintain safety in milk and will intensify their efforts. Daries not maining milk standards will be punished.

They are going also going to intensify inspections on bottled water and meat. Hygiene conditions of meat shops have been in question. Every year, the government promises to build a slaughterhouse in towns but not one has been built till date Therefore, butchers have been slaughtering animals in dirty open spaces and selling meat at roadsides.

Companies that manufacture bottled water have not maintained safety norms. Bottled water lacks scientific purification methods and minerals. However, bottled water is being sold as mineral water. The department had found coliform in about 30 % of bottled water.

source Himalayan Times

Six Sick from Raw Milk

Minnesota: A dairy farm’s raw milk blamed for six illnesses, including three that have been laboratory confirmed as Campylobacter jejuni bacteria. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH),  detected the six illnesses and linking them to consumption of raw dairy products from the Dennis Jaloszyski dairy farm, located near Cambridge.
Anyone who purchased the raw milk is encouraged to throw it away. Everyone who is ill drank raw milk from the Jaloszynski Farm.
There is an inherent risk for foodborne illness from drinking raw milk. It can expose you to a variety of pathogens that can result in anything from a few days of diarrhea to kidney failure and death.  The risk is espically high for children.
Common symptoms of Campylobacter infection include fever, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), abdominal pain, malaise, and vomiting. In addition, Campylobacter infection occasionally results in complications such as arthritis and Guillain-Barré syndrome, which is characterized by the sudden onset of paralysis. Anyone who believes they may have become ill with Campylobacter should contact a healthcare provider.
sourse food safety news

Pesticide Residue on Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese Medicine has been practiced for 5,000 years with over 100,000 medicinal products. With the advent of pesticides in modern agriculture there is a question. Does Chinese Herbal medicine do more harm than good.
Greenpeace did a study testing 65 popular herbs at nine pharmacies in nine different cities.  Forty eight of the herbs tested positive for pesticide residue. Twenty six residues were for a pesticide banned in China. Some of these are classified as extremely dangerous by the World Health Organization. The study found one pesticide residue that was  500 times over the European Union’s  maximum.
China’s farmers use nearly two million tons of pesticides each year. According to the Greenpeace study only 30% is utilized ,the rest turns into hazardous soil, water and air pollution.
Health implications from long-term exposure to toxic pesticide levels may include learning difficulties, hormone disruption and reproductive abnormalities, Greenpeace said.

Source Food Safety News

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Canada: Prince Tahini Recalled

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and UNFI Canada Inc. are warning the public not to consume the Prince brand Tahini products described below because they may be contaminated with Salmonella.
The following Prince brand products, product of Israel, are affected by the recall.
Prince brand Tahini 500g with an expiration date November 19, 2013 with                   UPC 8 14417 01200 2                                                                                          Prince brand Tahini 18kg with an expiration date November 19, 2013 with                     UPC 8 14417 01400 6
For more information, consumers and industry can contact: NFI Canada Inc. at 1-800-247-0087;
Food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with these bacteria may cause salmonellosis, a foodborne illness. In young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems, salmonellosis may cause serious and sometimes deadly infections. In otherwise healthy people, salmonellosis may cause short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Long-term complications may include severe arthritis.
Prince brand Tahini
Prince brand Tahini - 18 kilogram (40 pounds)

Factory Farms Pollute Groundwater

Washington State: The Community Association of Restoration of the Environment (CARE) and the Center for Food Safety have brought suit against five Yakima Valley dairies. The EPA tested 331 wells in Yakima Valley. Twenty percent had dangerously high levels of nitrates. The nitrates  raising a health risk for the 24,000 residents of the area.

The EPA and the dairies made a binding agreement that requires the dairies do specific things to clean up the water. Charlie Tebbutt, attorney for CARE and the Center for Food Safety, told the Yakima Herald Republic newspaper that the EPA agreement “only reinforces the use of failed strategies that will not solve the contamination and will continue to put the Lower Valley residents at risk.”  
A statement by the two groups said they ”look forward to obtaining an order from the Court requiring the dairies to clean up so that the taxpayers are not stuck with the bill while the dairies reap profits at the expense of the community.”
This trial will be watched carefully by factory farms around the country. It could change the way factory farms operate.
source : Food Safety News

New Defense Against Bio-terrorist Attack

University of Missouri Professor Shubhra Gangopadhya found a New technology could improve food safety, defend against bio-terrorism. A team headed by Professor Gangopadhya  found a way to make food contamination testing more rapid and accurate.
This could could accelerate warnings after bio-terrorism attacks.

"Quickly stopping the spread of toxins saves lives, whether those toxins are from natural processes or enemy attacks” according to, postdoctoral fellow Sangho Bok. "Our technique uses nano-particles to make detection one hundred times more sensitive than the standard method” . "We have also reduced the time needed to detect a threat to only one hour, compared to four to six hours” Bok said the team's current testing of the technology focused on Clostriudium botulinum neurotoxin A, It is the most acutely toxic substance known and it causes food poisoning, but that engineers and biologists at the university are working to adapt the test to detect many other dangerous chemicals.

Many times before a food product can be tested for pathogens the foods have left the farm and are already in your refrigerator.  Fast testing could greatly improve our food safety.

Restaurant Managers Banned for Reselling Hot Pot Broth

Restaurant managers Zheng Pin and Yu Zhenjiang were banned for five years from food production on allegations that they were collecting hot pot broth and reselling it to customers.
Hot Pot Broth refers to several East Asian varieties of stew, consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. Typical hot pot dishes include thinly sliced meat, leaf vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, egg dumplings, and seafood. Vegetables, fish and meat should be fresh. The cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce.
Shanghai, the world's largest city with a population over 23 million, has started there first ever food safety blacklist. Any restaurant, food factory or supermarket with severe food safety violations will be closed down and their management will be banned from running a food service facility for five years.
Thirteen individuals were blacklisted, including individuals who processed and sold pigs that died of diseases and individuals who sold industrial salt as edible salt. All  also received criminal penalties.
Shanghai will establish a food safety credit system gradually, and any business that applies for a license and fails inspection will receive a deduction in points and those with severe violations will be blacklisted.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Green Shadow Cabinet is against Obama’s Trans-pacific Partnership

The Green Shadow Cabinet includes nearly 100 prominent scientists, community and labor leaders, physicians, cultural workers, veterans, and more, and provides an ongoing opposition and alternative voice to the dysfunctional government in Washington D.C.. As with shadow cabinets in other countries, the Green Shadow Cabinet of the United States responds to actions of the government in office and demonstrates that another government is possible. This cabinet is led by the 2012 Green Party presidential nominees of Dr. Jill Stein and Ms. Cheri Honkala and supports independent politics and policies.
Here is a good article about why they are against this treaty and about how agriculture is kept out of the negotiations. Whenever the government wants to do things in secret they are sure the people will not approve of what they are doing

California Farmer Starts Food Safety Classes

The California based farming company, Andrew & Williamson, has started a new food safety program. They are having their workers take a food safety course. They are taught safe food handling methods. After the course the workers are paid a higher wage for incorporating the improved handling methods. So far this program has been  successful with their strawberry crop. They are going to start the courses for their tomato workers.

They are marketing the product as premium strawberries and are able to get a higher price. People who read about this program in the New York Times have been calling them to find out which groceries are carrying there strawberries.   

They groceries are happy with the berries because they have better sales when the product is in better condition, They also have less spoilage. The average grocery has about 3% loss due to spoilage in their produce department. So any reduction means more profits.

Andrew & Williamson has been farming since 1986 and has farms in California and Mexico

Source Produce Business Magazine

Japan Did It - Why Can’t The United States

Japan Did It - Why Can’t The United States
Between 1998 and 2002 in Japan the food industry reduced the amount of Bisphenol A, commonly called BPA their citizens ingested. They reduced the amount of BPA in can goods to practically zero. They were tested after drinking 6 cans of beverage and they had no increase in BPA in their system. They also changed the tableware to plastics that were BPA free in schools. This was not done because of government regulation but was done voluntarily because the consumers did not want BPA in their food or beverages.

In the United States BPA is presently used in baby bottles, can foods and in plastic items such as water bottles.  It is used in the caps for beverage bottles. Canada was the first country to ban BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups. BPA is thought to contribute to obesity, diabetes, reproductive disorders, development of prostate, breast and uterine cancer, asthma, and cardiovascular diseases.

There have been hundreds  of studies to determine the safety of BPA. The studies funded by the plastic industry show that BPA is safe. The studies funded by NIH and other government programs tend to show that it is not safe.

It is getting so bad that our oceans now contain from 3 to 5 parts per million of BPA from plastic that has broken down. This is enough to interfere with the reproduction of some small animals. There still has to be research to see if the BPA is getting into the fish we eat. Ninety three percent of Americans tested had BPA in their body. In a Tuffs University ten year study they found that people who had larger amounts of BPA in their system were more likely to have a heart attack.

The FDA felt that BPA is safe in food because it is broken down in our digestive tract.  Even so, 93% of us have BPA in our body. It had to come from somewhere.  In Japan, they found a reduction in the amount of BPA in people who used cans that didn’t leach BPA. We can not depend on the FDA to keep us safe. The FDA has a history of siding with big business. But if Japan can do this so can the United States.

We need to take action. We need to let Campbell Soup, Coca Cola  and other food companies know that we don’t want BPA in our foods. We also need to let the grocery companies know that we don’t want them stocking foods in cans that contain BPA. If the food industry knows that the American public is avoiding their products with BPA in them they will change without government intervention.

Until the can industry changes we need to buy our food products in glass jars and boxes.
The other day I saw soup in a box in the grocery store. We need to buy our vegetables  fresh or frozen rather than in cans. We need to avoid  foods in plastics with the recycling  symbol with a 3, 7 or BR in the middle of the triangle. They contains BPA. When you buy a toy for a young child that they may put in their mouth you may want to check with the manufacturer  to make sure that the toy is BPA free. Working together we can make change.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Most Plentiful Organism on Earth

If you count all the living organisms on earth: the plants, the animals, the bacteria, even the cockroaches, and add them together. you will still have more Bacteriophages. There are
10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bacteriophages on earth. Hopefully they didn’t count them by hand. Bacteriophage,called phage for short, are very small, 100 times smaller than a bacteria. We could not see them until the electron microscope was invented..These organisms  are viruses.

The name Bacteriophage means Bacteria eater. But they don’t actually eat bacteria but they do kill bacteria. Each species of phage only kills one species of bacteria. For example there are over 100 species of E coli and there are over 100 species of Phage that kill them. The species of Phage pictured below attacks is called  T4 and attacks E coli 

The top part of the Phage is called the cuspid. It contains the DNA wound up tightly like a spring. Below the cuspid the thin spot is called the collar. The bumpy part is called the tail and the 6 appendages are called long tail fibers. the part on the bottom is the base plate.
Wherever there are bacteria, Phage are close by. They are  even in our body, on the mountain tops and in the deepest oceans.Every two days  they kill half the bacteria on earth. Because bacteria can  reproduce in as little as 30 minutes  Phage are never able to wipe out all bacteria.

When a phage finds a bacteria species that they are able to kill, the Phage attach their long tail fibers to the bacteria with a sticky glue. After they are attached, they move their base plate near the surface of the bacteria.The points that stick out from the bottom of the base plate attach to the bacteria with a stronger glue. Then the base plate gives off a chemical that softens the skin of the bacteria. Then the DNA shoots out of the caspit, down the tail and into the bacteria with a force 6 times as great as a champagne cork.

Once inside the bacteria the DNA takes over the bacteria. The DNA uses the bacteria’s energy to duplicate itself. Once it has duplicated itself 50 or more times ,the bacteria splits open killing the bacteria and sending more Phage to attack other bacteria.this can take as little as 15 minutes

The drawing is from wikipedia