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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ireland: Marks & Spencer is recalling Mussels

Product Recall – Marks & Spencer: Mussels in Garlic, Mussels & Clams and Mussels in White Wine. This product is from the Netherlands
Following reports of illness in the UK and as a precaution while investigations are taking place, Marks & Spencer are removing from sale and recalling the following own brand products:
Mussels in Garlic - All date codes- Unique Product Code 00604819 and 00929189
Mussels in White - Wine All date codes- Unique Product Code 00720618
Mussels and Clams - All date codes- Unique Product Code 00667104
Consumers are advised not to eat these products. Any customers in possession of these products can return them to their nearest store where a full refund will be given.. Consumers who may have already consumed any of these products and are feeling unwell should seek medical advice.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Abbott Blood Glucose Test Strips Recalled

Abbott today announced it is initiating a voluntary recall of 20 lots of FreeStyle® and FreeStyle Lite® Blood Glucose Test Strips in the United States. These lots of test strips may produce erroneously low blood glucose results when used with both "FreeStyle® Blood Glucose Meter" and "FreeStyle® Flash Blood Glucose Meter” [neither of which have been in production since 2010], as well as the OmniPod® Insulin Management System.
When the test strips are used with the newer FreeStyle brand meters including FreeStyle® Freedom Blood Glucose Meter, FreeStyle Lite® Blood Glucose Meter* and FreeStyle Freedom® Lite Blood Glucose Meter*, the blood glucose test results are not affected. Testing with the FreeStyle InsuLinx® Blood Glucose Meter is not affected by this action, as FreeStyle InsuLinx Blood Glucose Meter uses FreeStyle InsuLinx test strips.
The affected test strips are from lots that hold expiration dates from between May 2014 and March 2015, and can be identified as follows:
Lot Numbers

The company is notifying healthcare professionals, pharmacies, distributors and customers about the recall; customers affected by this action are instructed to call Abbott's diabetes care customer service at 1-888-736-9869 for a replacement of the affected test strips at no charge.
For more information, please visit
About Abbott Diabetes Care
Abbott Diabetes Care, based in Alameda, Calif., is a leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing glucose monitoring systems designed to help people better manage their diabetes. Additional information about Abbott Diabetes Care may be found at
About Abbott
Abbott (NYSE: ABT) is a global healthcare company devoted to improving life through the development of products and technologies that span the breadth of healthcare. With a portfolio of leading, science-based offerings in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic pharmaceuticals, Abbott serves people in more than 150 countries and employs approximately 70,000 people.
Visit Abbott at and connect with us on Twitter at @AbbottNews.

Blue Cheese Recalled Due to Salmonella

Flat Creek Farm and Dairy Recalls Heavenly Blue Cheese (label)Flat Creek Farm & Dairy of Swainsboro, GA has recalled 200 pounds of Heavenly Blue cheese, because of potential contamination. As of November 27, 2013 at 11:00am, according to Flat Creek records, all of the purchasers have been notified and more than 90% of the product has been collected or destroyed.
Heavenly Blue was distributed in certain parts of Alabama, Georgia and Florida via and (3) online orders (, which have all been notified. The product is packed in clear plastic and ranges in sizes from 1/2 pound to whole wheels. The recall is specific to product marked with the lot code 130912XHB, which can be found on the front of the package.
The recall was the result of a routine sampling program conducted by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, which revealed that the finished products were contaminated. The company has identified the source of the problem and has eliminated it from future batches.
The product that has been recalled is potentially contaminated with Salmonella enteritidis, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Long-term complications can include severe arthritis.
Consumers that have purchased this product are urged to return the product to the place of purchase. They may also call Flat Creek Dairy & Farm at 478-237-0123 from 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. EST for more information.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Russian Herring Recall Due to Listeria

ZIP INTERNATIONAL GROUP LLC, of Edison, NJ is recalling herring fillet in oil (FOSFOREL, ATLANTIKA) 400 gram in plastic packaging due to Listeria contamination.
Fosforel Herring filletListeria monocytogenes is 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.
The recalled herring fillet in oil (FOSFOREL, ATLANTIKA) 400 gram in plastic packaging includes best by dates 18/01/2014 (UPC: 4607095500208). The best by date is located on the round side of the packaging and was sold to retail grocery stores in New York State beginning on 11/01/2013 and ending on 11/14/2013. It is a product of Russia.
The recall was initiated after routine sampling by New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets Food Inspectors and subsequent analysis of the product by Food Laboratory personnel found the product to be positive for Listeria monocytogenes.
No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem. Consumers who have purchased herring fillet in oil (FOSFOREL, ATLANTIKA) should not consume it, but should return it to the place of purchase. Consumers with questions may contact the company @ 732-225-3600, 9:00AM-5:00 PM EST from Monday to Friday.

11/28/13 Health News: FDA Closes Mung Been Plant, Compounding Pharmacy Bill, Drug Resistant Bacteria

Court Order Keeps CA Company From Processing Food Until it Cleans Up
Alfred Louie, Inc., in Bakersfield, CA, has agreed to the terms of a court order not to process or distribute food until it cleans up the unsanitary conditions found by U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspectors. The company receives, processes, manufactures, prepares, packs, holds and distributes ready-to-eat mung bean and soybean sprouts and wheat flour noodles Continue Reading

Bill on Drug Compounding Clears Congress a Year After a Meningitis Outbreak
A bill that would give the Food and Drug Administration more power to police compounding pharmacies passed its final hurdle in Congress, in what experts said was an important step to a safer drug supply in the United States. The bill, which cleared the Senate without opposition, stops short of giving the F.D.A. complete authority over pharmacies that tailor-mix drugs for individual patients, a process known as compounding. But the bill still provides significant new safeguards, which have earned it the support of public health advocates around the country. “It has very sharp teeth,” said Sarah Sellers, a drug safety consultant who has tracked the issue for years.continue reading

FDA Pushes to Fight Drug-resistant Germs
Bacteria can develop resistance to antibiotic drugs over time. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this year asserted that there are “potentially catastrophic consequences” of ignoring drug-resistant bacteria, which infect at least 2 million Americans each year. Woodcock, director of the FDA’s drug evaluation and research center, said that Congress should discourage doctors from prescribing antibiotics when they’re not necessary. “We feel that it should be explored that the Congress could make some kind of program that would really send a signal about limited use and good antibiotic stewardship,” she said continue reading

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Possible New Cause for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Gut Microbes Linked to Rheumatoid Arthritis The presence of a specific type of gut bacteria correlates with rheumatoid arthritis in newly diagnosed, untreated people. The finding suggests a potential role for the bacteria in this autoimmune disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function in the finger, wrist, and other joints throughout the body. It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissue, such as the membranes that line the joints.
The causes of rheumatoid arthritis aren’t completely known. Genes tied to the immune system may contribute. Environmental factors, such as cigarette smoking, diet and stress, may also play a role in triggering the disease. Treatments include medications to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
The immune system is influenced by the microbiome, a network of microorganisms that live in and on the human body. These microbes outnumber the body’s cells by 10 to 1. Trillions of microbes—both helpful and harmful—reside in the digestive tract. The gut microbiome has been linked to arthritis in animal studies.
To see if these microbes might also be associated with rheumatoid arthritis in humans, Dr. Dan Littman of NYU School of Medicine led a team of researchers that examined DNA in 114 stool samples from both healthy people and those who had rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis. The team identified gut bacteria by extracting DNA from the samples and then analyzing a bacteria-specific gene called the 16S ribosomal RNA gene. The research was funded in part by NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). Results appeared online on November 5, 2013, in eLife.
The researchers found that 75% of people with new-onset, untreated rheumatoid arthritis had the bacterium Prevotella copri in their intestinal microbiome. In comparison, it was present in 12% of people with chronic, treated rheumatoid arthritis, 38% of people with psoriatic arthritis, and 21% of those in the control group. Increased levels of P. copri correlated with reductions in several groups of beneficial microbes, such as Bacteroides. The researchers performed more complete DNA sequencing on a subset of samples and identified unique Prevotella genes that correlated with rheumatoid arthritis.
To test whether P. copri could influence inflammation, the team administered the bacteria to healthy mice so that the bacteria became part of their gut microbiome. Mice were then given a chemical that induced colitis, a model of gut inflammation. Animals with P. copri developed more severe symptoms than the mice that hadn't received the bacteria. The finding provides further evidence for a potential role for P. copri in inflammation.
“Our own results in mouse studies encouraged us to take a closer look at patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and we found this remarkable and surprising association,” Littman says. “At this stage, however, we cannot conclude that there is a causal link between the abundance of P. copri and the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. We are developing new tools that will hopefully allow us to ask if this is indeed the case.”
Originally Published by NIH

Attempts Too Diagnose Autism Earlier

Eye Contact Declines in Young Infants with Autism

Beginning as young as 2 months of age, infants later diagnosed with autism show a steady decline in eye contact that might be the earliest marker yet for the disorder. If confirmed, the finding might lead to earlier autism diagnosis and treatment.
Autism is a complex brain disorder that affects about 1 in 88 children. A main symptom is impaired social interaction, including a lack of eye contact. Autism symptoms first appear during early childhood, and a definitive diagnosis can often be made by 2 years of age. Scientists have long been searching for ways to identify the condition at even younger ages, since outcomes tend to be better with earlier intervention.
In hope of finding an autism marker that’s present in the first months of life, Drs. Warren Jones and Ami Klin of Emory University School of Medicine studied eye movements in a group of 110 infants starting at 2 months of age. The infants were separated into 2 groups based on their risk for developing autism spectrum disorder. Those in the high-risk group had an older sibling already diagnosed with autism; those in the low-risk group did not. The research was funded in part by NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Results were reported online in Nature on November 6, 2013.
Using eye-tracking equipment, the scientists measured the children’s visual scanning as they watched videos of a caregiver. The researchers calculated the percentage of time each child fixated on the caregiver’s eyes, mouth, body, or nonhuman regions of the images. Children were tested at 10 different times between 2 and 24 months of age.
By 3 years of age, 12 of the 59 children in the high-risk group (about 20%) and one child in the low-risk group had been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The researchers then reviewed the eye-tracking data to see what factors differed between those who had received an autism diagnosis and those who hadn’t.
At 2 months of age, attention to eyes (eye-looking) was similar in children with and without an autism diagnosis. But between 2 and 6 months, eye-looking behavior began to drop in the children later diagnosed with autism. The decline continued throughout the course of the study. By 24 months, the children with autism focused on the caregiver’s eyes only about half as long the children without autism.
The researchers were surprised to find that eye-looking behaviors appeared normal at 2 months of age, since a long-standing theory holds that social behaviors are entirely absent in children with autism. The finding suggests that some social engagement skills initially may be intact in newborns later diagnosed with autism.
“This insight, the preservation of some early eye-looking, is important,” says Jones. “In the future, if we were able to use similar technologies to identify early signs of social disability, we could then consider interventions to build on that early eye-looking and help reduce some of the associated disabilities that often accompany autism.”
The scientists are now enrolling babies and their families into longer term studies in an effort to translate their findings into usable tools for the clinic.
Originally published by the NIH

11/26/13 Health News: Monsanto Signs Pesticide Deal, Biggest Mistake Doctors Make, Vitamin D Helps Kidney Transplants, Childrens Wound Healing Geans

Maui signs pesticide disclosure deal with Monsanto
WAILUKU, Hawaii -- Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa has signed a pesticide disclosure agreement with agricultural giant Monsanto. The county said Wednesday the deal requires Monsanto to disclose what types of restricted-use pesticides it's using and how much.continue reading

Two Genes May Accelerate Wound Healing in the Young
The mystery of why wounds heal more quickly in the young compared to the elderly may soon be solved following the discovery of two of the genes involved in tissue regeneration. The scientists believe that the genes, called Lin28a and IMP1, are designed to be especially active during the foetal stages of development and are gradually turned off as an animal ages - which could explain why wounds take longer to heal in the elderly and how ageing occurs.continue reading
Vitamin D for Healthy Kidney Transplants
A new study suggests that getting enough of a crucial vitamin may be essential for maintaining kidney health after a transplant. The study showed that vitamin D levels were directly related to how well patients' kidneys filtered waste out of the blood in the years after transplant surgery. Patients with lower levels of vitamin D were more likely to have an organ rejection.continue reading

The Biggest Mistake Doctors Make
Misdiagnoses are harmful and costly. But they're often preventable.

A patient with abdominal pain dies from a ruptured appendix after a doctor fails to do a complete physical exam. A biopsy comes back positive for prostate cancer, but no one follows up when the lab result gets misplaced. A child's fever and rash are diagnosed as a viral illness, but they turn out to be a much more serious case of bacterial meningitis. Such devastating errors lead to permanent damage or death for as many as 160,000 patients each year, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Not only are diagnostic problems more common than other medical mistakes—and more likely to harm patients—but they're also the leading cause of malpractice claims, accounting for 35% of nearly $39 billion in payouts in the U.S. from 1986 to 2010, measured in 2011 dollars, according to Johns Hopkins. The good news is that diagnostic errors are more likely to be preventable continue reading

Australia: Spinach Dip Recall Due to Listeria

Yumis Quality Foods is recalling Deli Originals Mediterranean Style Spinach Dip
in a 200 g Plastic tub with lid and foil peel away cover displaying product information
The Identifying features are Batch Code: 297140600222 and APN/EAN: 26122748
The recall is due to microbial (Listeria monocytogenes) contamination.Listeria may cause illness in pregnant women and their unborn babies, the elderly and people with low immune systems.
Dates available for sale were 24th October 2013 - 25th November 2013
The product was sold in Australian Capital Territory,New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria
The spinach dip was sold by Aldi Stores
Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice. Consumers should not eat this product and should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.
For further information please contact:
Yumis Quality Foods 03 8787 1444

Friday, November 22, 2013

Great Britain Food Alert Dried Fishery Packaged in an Unapproved Establishment

Various dried fish products have been packaged in an unapproved establishment, trading as Africa Choice. Some of the implicated products have been found on sale at a number of food premises in the London area and may have been distributed by Afro Food Centre Ltd.
Despite investigations by the enforcement authorities, it has not been possible to obtain information on the origin of the packaged products or the full distribution details. There is known distribution to some specialist retail establishments in London and Manchester, however, it is possible that distribution may have taken place to other establishments outside of these areas. Some of the products have been labelled with fraudulent ID mark – UK OL026EC, and with 'packed by African Choice' information on the label. Other products may be labelled with only the unapproved ID mark.
Identification of the affected products
  • Ground Crayfish
  • Ground Prawns
  • Ground Shawa Fillets
  • Haddock Fillets
  • Smoked Shawa Fillets
  • Stockfish
  • Stockfish Backbone
  • Stockfish Cod Backbone
  • Stockfish Cod Trimmings
  • Stockfish Cutlets
  • Whole Crayfish
  • Whole Prawns
  • Stockfish Tusk
  • Smoked Catfish Fillets
  • Smoked Herring Fillets
  • Smoked Bonga Fillets
  • Smoked Ground Crayfish
  • Smoked Ground Shawa Fillet
  • Stockfish Fillet Steak
  • Smoked Stockfish Fillets
  • Smoked Stockfish Trimmings
  • Smoked Prawns
  • Dried Whole Prawns
  • Stockfish Cod
  • Smoked Haddock Fillets
All dates and batch codes of the products listed above displaying the approval number UK OL026 EC and/or bearing the labelling information 'Packed by Africa Choice'.
To assist officers to correctly identify these products, example photographs of the labels have been attached to this alert.
If you have purchased any products with the above packaging information, please do not eat them.
As the above products were repackaged in an unapproved establishment they do not comply with the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 which lays down the specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin.
Local authorities in the known areas are requested to make contact with the relevant retailers in their area who may sell the implicated products. If implicated products are found during the course of their investigations, enforcement officers should ensure that the products are withdrawn from sale and destroyed, if necessary using powers available to them under the Food Hygiene Regulations 2006 and the Food Safety Act 1990. In addition, the local authorities are requested to investigate the traceability of these products and provide any information or copies of the documents to the FSA.
Other local authorities are requested to check during the course of routine visits to establishments in their area for the supply of the above products. If implicated products are found during the course of their visits, enforcement officers should ensure that the products are withdrawn from sale and destroyed, if necessary using powers available to them under the Food Safety Act 1990.
Local authorities should report any finding of the implicated products and any traceability information by emailing the FSA’s dedicated Food Incidents

Weight Loss Supplement Recalled Worldwide

Deseo Rebajar Inc., is voluntarily recalling lot #052012 of Adipotrim XT to the consumer level. The FDA laboratory analysis of this dietary supplement found to contain undeclared Fluoxetine. Flouxetine is an FDA approved drug in a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)  used for treating depression, bulimia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, and premenstrual dysphonic disorder (PMDD), making Adipotrim XT an unapproved drug.
Uses of SSRIs have been associated with serious side effects including suicidal thinking, abnormal bleeding, and seizures. In patients on other medications for common conditions (aspirin, ibuprofen, or other drugs for depression, anxiety, bipolar illness, blood clots, chemotherapy, heart conditions, and psychosis), ventricular arrhythmia or sudden death can occur. No illnesses or injuries have been reported to Deseo Rebajar Inc. to date in connection with the use of this product.
Adipotrim XT is marketed as a natural herb dietary supplement for weight loss.  The recalled products are packaged in 30-count plastic bottles labeled with lot number #052012
The product lot was sold directly to individual customers in our offices in Fajardo, Caguas and Bayamon Puerto Rico and in website We sincerely regret any inconvenience to our customers.
Deseo Rebajar Inc. is notifying their distributors and customers by phone. Consumers/Distributors/Retailers that have the product being recalled should stop using and return the product immediately to the place of purchase.
Consumers with questions should contact Deseo Rebajar Inc. at 787.961.6464 or via email at Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, [GMT time zone]. 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 events that may be related to the use of this product may be reported to FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.