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Friday, February 28, 2014

2/28/14 Health News: Safely Handling Live Easter Chicks - CONTROLLING SALMONELLA IN RAW FOODS- Hepatitis C, a Sneaky Virus - Prostate Test Predicts Deadliest Cancer

STAYING SAFE WHEN HANDLING LIVE POULTRY
Yes, baby chicks, ducklings and other poultry that appear in farm stores this time of year are as cute as can be. And, yes, children especially love to hold them and even nuzzle them mouth to beak. Unfortunately, that’s where the danger begins. The reason? No matter how healthy or clean the baby birds may...Continue Reading

CONTROLLING SALMONELLA IN RAW FOODS
One of the arguments against attempts to control Salmonella is that it is naturally occurring and impossible to eradicate. According to several scientific studies, that is not true. During 1978-1981, B.S. Pomeroy at the University of Minnesota grew Salmonella-free turkeys primarily by selecting Salmonella-free hatchlings, feeding Salmonella-free feed and isolating the flock. “Hatching eggs from...Continue Reading

Progress Against Hepatitis C, a Sneaky Virus
Recognizing that deaths from hepatitis C are rising and more than three-fourths of infections are being diagnosed in baby boomers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that everyone born from 1945 through 1965 be screened for the virus. But what about other people who are walking around with undiagnosed hepatitis C infections? Should they wait until their livers are seriously damaged? “I would recommend that everyone who comes in for a checkup be screened for hepatitis C,” said Dr. Hillel Tobias, a liver specialist at New York University Medical Center  Continue reading

DNA Prostate Test 'Will Predict Deadliest Cancer Risk'
DNA testing can predict which men face the highest risk of deadly prostate cancer, scientists say. The team at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, say men could soon be offered genetic screening in a similar way to breast cancer in women. They have shown 14 separate mutations can greatly increase the odds of aggressive prostate cancers, which could form the basis of a test. Prostate Cancer UK said such testing could "revolutionise" care for men. Prostate cancer is the commonest cancer in men in many countries, including the UK - where more than 40,000 people are diagnosed each year. But not every patient has, or needs, invasive therapy that results in severe side-effects. Identifying which men will need treatment - those who are likely to develop the most aggressive and deadly form of the cancer - is a huge challenge.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

2/27/24 Health News: THEORIES PILE UP ON RANCHO BEEF INVESTIGATION - 18 Exposed to Incurable Disease - Poor Nations Seek Hepatitis C Drug - Medical Errors

THEORIES PILE UP AS RANCHO BEEF INVESTIGATION CONTINUES
So many people are wondering why 8.7 million pounds of meat processed by Rancho Feeding Corporation in Petaluma, CA were recalled and the slaughterhouse subsequently closed. Could it be an inspector shortage? An inspector-veterinarian dispute? Cancerous cow eyes and circumvented inspection requirements? Theories abound and we’re keeping count. The union representing U.S. Department of Agriculture... Continue Reading
18 May Have Been Exposed to Incurable Disease
Doctors and hospital officials from Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, are notifying 18 neurosurgery patients that they might have been exposed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a serious and incurable neurological disorder. "It is important to note that there are multiple variations of CJD and this case is not related to mad cow disease," Novant Health said in a statement. The hospital confirmed that on January 18, an operation was performed on a patient with CJD symptoms who later tested positive for the illness.
Poor Nations Seek New Hepatitis C Drug
Now that wealthy nations have a simple pill regimen that can cure hepatitis C, calls are mounting from representatives of poor nations for the same drugs. In December, the Food and Drug Administration approved sofosbuvir, from Gilead Sciences. Under the brand name Sovaldi in the United States, it is expected to cost $84,000 per treatment. Four other companies are developing similar pills expected to reach the market in the next three years, with similarly high price tags. Worldwide, at least 150 million people — nearly five times the number with H.I.V. — are believed to have hepatitis C, which can cause liver damage and cancer. Continue Reading
Medical Errors That Shook Greece
From incorrect medical assessments and contaminated blood transfusions, to errors that left patients paralyzed or with serious disabilities, physicians in Greece have also had their share of failures over the past years and were involved in medical errors. On the occasion of the Papageorgiou Hospital in northern Greece which is planning to introduce a mobile phone signal jammer for its operating rooms so that physicians won’t be able to use their cell phones while operating..Continue Reading

Imported Canadian Liver Pâté Recalled

Sun Hing Foods, Inc., the Importer of Record, a South San Francisco, Calif., establishment, is recalling approximately 1,282 pounds of Canadian liver pâté products which were produced without the benefit of full USDA inspection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. While this is a Class I recall, FSIS issues a Public Health Alert for an imported product when the country of origin recalls the product. However, FSIS issues a recall for an imported product when the product is not presented for inspection at the U.S. border. In the United States, the recall is undertaken by the Importer of Record, which is accountable to FSIS.
The following Sun Hing Foods, Inc., products are subject to recall: View Labels
  • 2.75-oz. and 4.76-oz. packages of “FLOWER ® BRAND, LIVER PÂTÉ / PÂTÉ DE FOIE” bearing case code “215960.”
  • 4.76-oz. packages of “FORTUNE ® BRAND, LIVER SPREAD / PÂTÉ DE FOIE” bearing case code “215960.”
Packages will bear the Canadian establishment number “265.” The products were distributed into commerce in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia.
Anyone concerned about illness should contact a healthcare provider.

Consumers with questions about the recall should contact Rosenda Chan, Office Manager, at (650) 583-8188, ext. 610.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Roos Foods Recalls More Types of Cheese

Update: Roos Foods has voluntarily expanded their February 23, 2014 recall to include all lots of Amigo and Mexicana brands of Requesón (part-skim ricotta in 15 oz. and 16 oz. plastic containers and all lots of Amigo, Mexicana and Santa Rosa De Lima brands of Queso de Huerta (fresh curd cheese).
Roos Foods, Kenton De Recalls ALL LOTS of the Following Cheeses:
Mexicana: Cuajada En Terron, Cuajada/Cuajadita Cacera, Cuajada Fresca, Queso Fresca Round, Queso Dura Viejo Hard Cheeses; Amigo: Cuajada En Terron, Cuajada/Cuajadita Cacera, Cuajada Fresca, Queso Fresca Round, Queso Dura Viejo Hard Cheeses; Santa Rosa De Lima: Cuajada En Terron, Cuajada/Cuajadita Cacera, Cuajada Fresca, Queso Fresca Round, Queso Dura Viejo Hard Cheeses and Anita Queso Fresco Because Of Possible Health Risk.
Roos Foods of Kenton, DE is recalling the above cheeses 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. Products were distributed in Maryland, Virginia and Washing ton D.C through retail stores.
The products are packaged in flexible plastic bags and rigid plastic clamshell packages in 12 oz. and 16 oz. sizes under the brand names: Mexicana, Amigo, Santa Rosa De Lima, and Anita.
As a follow-up to reported illness, samples of various intact/unopened cheeses produced or repacked by Roos Foods, Inc., collected by the Commonwealth of Virginia Dept of Agriculture & Consumer Services and Maryland Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene found to contain Listeria monocytogenes which appear to be linked to the illnesses.
The company has ceased the production and distribution of the products as FDA and the company continue their investigation as to what caused the problem.
Customers should destroy all lots of the above listed products of the brand names Mexicana, Amigo, Santa Rosa De Lima and Anita. For any refund, please return recalled products to store.
If you have any further questions please contact Virginia Mejia phone number (302) 653-8458. Monday thru Friday from 9 am to 3 pm EST.

2/26/14 Health News: Problems at Rancho Slaughterhouse - Vitamin C Reduced Stroke Risk - Itching: More Than Skin-Deep - Thousands Exposed to Measles

Federal Inspector Reported Problems at Rancho Slaughterhouse
A federal food inspector at Rancho Feeding Corp. repeatedly criticized practices inside the Petaluma slaughterhouse now at the center of an international meat recall and an ongoing criminal investigation, according to union officials. Continue reading

Vitamin C Linked With Reduced Stroke Risk
Making sure you get enough vitamin C could help protect you from stroke, a small new study suggests. Research shows that risk of hemorrhagic stroke -- which is more deadly, but rarer, than ischemic stroke -- is lower among people who have normal vitamin C levels, compared with people with depleted vitamin C levels. “Our results show that vitamin C deficiency should be considered a risk factor for this severe type of stroke, as were high blood pressure, drinking alcohol and being overweight in our study,” study researcher Dr. Stéphane Vannier, M.D. said in a statement. Continue Reading

Itching: More Than Skin-Deep
The experiment was not for the squirmish. Volunteers were made to itch like crazy on one arm, but not allowed to scratch. Then they were whisked into an M.R.I. scanner to see what parts of their brains lit up when they itched, when researchers scratched them and when they were finally allowed to scratch themselves. The scientific question was this: Why does it feel so good to scratch an itch? Itching and scratching engage brain areas involved not only in sensation, but also in mental processes that help explain why we love to scratch: motivation and reward, pleasure, craving and even addiction. What an itch turns on, a scratch turns off — and scratching oneself does it better than being scratched by someone else. Continue Reading

In California, Thousands Exposed to Measles

Thousands of San Francisco Bay Area residents may have been exposed to measles this month when an unvaccinated student at the University of California, Berkeley, attended classes and rode the area's BART transit system. Public health officials in Contra Costa County, outside of San Francisco, said anyone riding BART from Feb. 4 to Feb. 7 during the morning or late evening commutes could have been exposed to the highly contagious respiratory virus. The young man in his 20s lives in the county and was confirmed to have measles. He was likely infected while traveling recently in Asia, health officials said..Continue Reading

Reduced Obesity Rates Among 2 to 5 Year Olds


Though overall obesity rates remain unchanged, rates in young children improve
The latest CDC obesity data, published in the February 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, show a significant decline in obesity among children aged 2 to 5 years. Obesity prevalence for this age group went from nearly 14 percent in 2003-2004 to just over 8 percent in 2011-2012 – a decline of 43 percent – based on CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data. Although the  JAMA study does not specifically compare 2009-2010 with 2011-2012, NHANES data does show a decline in the 2 to 5 year old age group during that time period – from just over 12 percent in 2009-2010 to just over 8 percent in 2011-2012.
“We continue to see signs that, for some children in this country, the scales are tipping. This report comes on the heels of previous CDC data that found a significant decline in obesity prevalence among low-income children aged 2 to 4 years participating in federal nutrition programs,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.  “We’ve also seen signs from communities around the country with obesity prevention programs including Anchorage, Alaska, Philadelphia, New York City and King County, Washington. This confirms that at least for kids, we can turn the tide and begin to reverse the obesity epidemic.”
While the precise reasons for the decline in obesity among 2 to 5 year olds are not clear, many child care centers have started to improve their nutrition and physical activity standards over the past few years.  In addition, CDC data show decreases in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among youth in recent years. Another possible factor might be the improvement in breastfeeding rates in the United States, which is beneficial to staving off obesity in breastfed children.
“I am thrilled at the progress we’ve made over the last few years in obesity rates among our youngest Americans,” said Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States of America. “With the participation of kids, parents, and communities in Let’s Move! these last four years,  healthier habits are beginning to become the new norm.”
Overall, CDC’s latest NHANES obesity data published in this week’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates there have been no significant changes in obesity prevalence among 2-19 year olds or adults in the United States between 2003-2004 and 2011-2012.


Nurse Staffing and Education Linked to Reduced Patient Deaths

Hospitals in Europe where nursing staff care for fewer patients and have a higher proportion of bachelor’s degree-trained nurses had significantly fewer surgical patients die while hospitalized according to a new study. These findings underscore the potential risks to patients when nurse staffing is cut and suggests an increased emphasis on bachelor’s education for nurses could reduce hospital deaths.
The study, supported by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme and the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), part of the National Institutes of Health, is the largest and most detailed analysis to date of patient outcomes associated with nurse staffing and education in Europe. Known as Registered Nurses Forecasting (RN4CAST), the study estimated that an increase in hospital nurses’ workloads by one patient increases the likelihood of in hospital death by 7 percent. Also, a better educated nurse workforce was associated with fewer deaths. For every 10 percent increase in nurses with bachelor’s degrees, there was an associated drop in the likelihood of death by 7 percent.
“Building the scientific foundation for clinical practice has long been a crucial goal of nursing research and the work supported by NINR,” said NINR Director Dr. Patricia A. Grady. “This study emphasizes the role that nurses play in ensuring successful patient outcomes and underscores the need for a well-educated nursing workforce.”
For the RN4CAST study, a consortium of scientists led by Dr. Linda Aiken of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, and Dr. Walter Sermeus of the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, reviewed hospital discharge data of nearly 500,000 patients from nine European countries who underwent common surgeries. They also surveyed over 26,500 nurses practicing in study hospitals to measure nurse staffing and education levels. The team analyzed the data and surveys to assess the effects of nursing factors on the likelihood of patients dying within 30 days of hospital admission.
Based on their analysis, the researchers estimated that patients in hospitals where 60 percent of nurses had bachelor’s degrees and cared for an average of six patients had a nearly one-third lower risk of dying in the hospital after surgery than patients in hospitals where only one-third of nurses had bachelor’s level education and cared for an average of eight patients each.
“Our study is the first to examine nursing workforce data across multiple European nations and analyze them in relation to objective clinical outcomes, rather than patient or nurse reports,” said Dr. Aiken. “Our findings complement studies in the U.S. linking improved hospital nurse staffing and higher education levels with decreased mortality.”
In the U.S., analysis of patient outcomes associated with nurse staffing practices has informed proposed or actual legislation in nearly 25 states. These types of analyses also informed the recommendation of the Institute of Medicine that 80 percent of nurses in the U.S. have a bachelor’s degree by 2020. Hospitals have responded to this recommendation with preferential hiring of bachelor’s degree-trained nurses.
The RN4CAST study was designed to provide scientific evidence for decision makers in Europe to guide planning for the nurse workforce for the future. The study’s findings provide evidence to guide important decisions about improving hospital care in the context of scarce resources and health care reforms.
“This study is another example of how nursing science can help inform policies that promote positive patient outcomes not only in the U.S., but around the world,” added Dr. Grady.

Canada: Alfalfa Sprouts recalled Due to Salmonella

Aquafuchsia: Salad Plus – Alfalfa with a touch of radish! - 125 gramsAquafuchsia Foods Inc. is recalling Aquafuchsia brand alfalfa sprout product from the marketplace due to possible Salmonella contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled product described below.
The following product has been sold in Quebec.

Recalled products

Brand Name
Common Name
Size
Code
UPC
Aquafuchsia
Salad Plus – Alfalfa with a touch of radish!
125 g
041
0 551176 1

Check to see if you have recalled product in your home. Recalled product should be thrown out or returned to the store where it was purchased.
Food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems may contract serious and sometimes deadly infections. Healthy people may experience short-term symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Long-term complications may include severe arthritis.


Canada: Recall Caesar Salad Products Due to Listeria

Safeway and Buy-Low Foods are recalling Caesar salad products from the marketplace due to possible Listeria contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled products described below.
The following products have been sold in Alberta and British Columbia (Buy-Low Foods and Nesters Market) and in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan (Safeway and St. Martin's Family Foods).
Recalled products
Brand Name
Common Name
Size
Code(s) on Product
UPC
Signature Cafe
Chicken Caesar Salad
140 g
Dates up to and including MR01
0 58200 13145 1
Signature Cafe
Chicken Caesar Salad
300 g
Dates up to and including MR01
0 58200 13119 2
Fresh 'n Delicious
Ceasar Salad
100 g
Dates up to and including FEB 28/14
Starts with 2 06430
Fresh 'n Delicious
Ceasar Salad
205 g
Dates up to and including FEB 28/14
Starts with 2 06419
Fresh 'n Delicious
Chicken Ceasar Salad
280 g
Dates up to and including FEB 28/14
Starts with 2 06422
Nester's Own
Ceasar Salad
100 g
Dates up to and including FEB 28/14
Starts with 2 06430
Nester's Own
Ceasar Salad
205 g
Dates up to and including FEB 28/14
Starts with 2 06419
Nester's Own
Chicken Ceasar Salad
280 g
Dates up to and including FEB 28/14
Starts with 2 06422
What you should do
Check to see if you have recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.
Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, the infection can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth. In severe cases of illness, people may die.
More information