February 2nd, 2013 - Jill Ettinger
One in 5 foodborne illnesses in the U.S. can be linked to a leafy green vegetable—more than any other food source—according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Read More:Bacteria-Tainted Salad Greens Leading Cause of Food Poisoning
December 25th, 2011 - Erin Shaw
The USDA is investigating an outbreak of Salmonella that originated with beef products sold throughout the Northeast at Hannaford grocery stores. Tracing the outbreak source up the supply chain is complicated by weak record-keeping standards for grocers’ beef products.
Read More:USDA Investigates Salmonella Outbreak in Beef
April 11th, 2011 - Jill Ettinger
Last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, announced a new rule proposed by the USDA that would require all beef, pork and poultry producers in the US to test their products for potential contaminants, and hold them until test results had proven the meat products safe, before releasing the foods for sale .
Read More:USDA Announces New Testing Rules for Foodborne Pathogens
February 9th, 2011 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
Important nutrition facts may soon appear on the front of food labels, hopes the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute, who this week announced a new labeling system called “Nutrition Keys” to make important health data that much more accessible.
Nutrition Keys, which is voluntary, asks food producers to display calories, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar content on the front of food packages; currently nutrition facts appear on the back of most food products.
Read More:Nutrition Facts Coming to the Front of Food Labels
October 27th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
As many as 1 in 3 U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue, according to a new analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
One in 10 U.S. adults currently has diabetes. The prevalence is expected to rise sharply over the next 40 years because:
- An aging population is more likely to develop the disease.
- Ethnic populations at high risk for type 2 diabetes are expected to grow.
- Better treatment allows diabetics to live longer.
Read More:U.S. Diabetes Cases Expected to Double or Triple by 2050
July 15th, 2010 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
Colorado based Rocky Mountain Natural Meats has issued a recall of ground bison meat and tenderized bison steaks over possible E. coli contamination.
E. coli is a foodborne bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal infection, bloody diarrhea, urinary tract infections, and pneumonia.
The recall includes 66,000 pounds of six different ground meat and steak products produced in May. The meat is marked with “sell or freeze by” dates in June, said the United States Agriculture Department in a release.
Rocky Mountain Natural Meats bison meat has been linked to five cases of E.coli in Colorado and possibly another in New York.
But despite this blip of bad news, the bison meat market in the U.S. has experienced tremendous growth.
The National Bison Association (NBA) says in 2009, 70,000 bison were slaughtered under federal and state inspection in the U.S. The NBA’s website lists bison as a healthier alternative to beef, with bison having 2.42 grams of fat per 3.5 ounces, compared to choice cow meat which as 18.54 grams of fat.
In 2007, a census by Department of Agriculture reported nearly 200,000 bison reside on private ranches and farms in the United States.
Why do we even eat buffalo? Didn’t we hunt them to the brink of extinction? And aren’t American Bison a national treasure, like the Bald Eagles? As a non-meat eater I don’t get it. We raise tons of cows – thats not enough for you!
E. coli scares in the U.S. are all too common, an E. coli-Romaine lettuce outbreak in May sickened people in Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Tennessee.
Read More:Bison Meat Recalled Due to E. coli
July 14th, 2010 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that salsa and guacamole prepared at restaurants pose a high risk for foodborne illness – i.e. food poisoning – because often salsa and guacamole are made in large batches and may not be properly refrigerated.
Ugh! I can’t stand eating out as it is. Who knows whose molesting my food? Quick, get me my surgical mask and rubber gloves!
But it isn’t just about employees not washing their hands, the fresh produce is also to blame. Raw vegetables, like tomatoes, cilantro, and peppers, have been previously linked to foodborne illness outbreaks.
Don’t we know! In May, pre-packaged Fresh Express romaine lettuce salads were recalled due to possible salmonella contamination. And just last week, Ready Pac baby spinach got pulled off shelves for E. coli contamination.
So the CDC is recommending restaurant workers take additional care when making and storing dips. From 1998 to 2008 salsa and guacamole dips accounted for 3.9% of food poisoning outbreaks traced to restaurants.
According to consumer and public health groups, foodborne illnesses cost the United States $152 billion in health-related expenses each year.
Read More:Restaurant Salsa and Guacamole Might Make You Sick
May 16th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and stage agencies have confirmed that the current multistate E. coli outbreak can be traced to bags of shredded romaine lettuce (not organic) distributed by Sydney, OH-based Freshway Foods.
As of Tuesday, there were 23 confirmed and 7 probable affected patients in Michigan, New York, Ohio and Tennessee—12 of whom have been hospitalized and 3 with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially life-threatening condition.
With HUS, the body’s blood-clotting mechanisms are altered, causing blocked circulation and/or bleeding in the brain or kidneys.
Based on available data, illnesses presented between April 10 and 26. Infected patients range in age from 13 to 31, with a median age of 19; 66% are male.
The recall of potentially contaminated products continues, and investigators are attempting to determine the supply-chain point where contamination occurred. They’re taking samples from Freshway’s processing facility, as well as a farm in Yuma, AZ, that grew the lettuce.
Graphic courtesy of the CDC
Read More:Romaine Officially Linked to E. Coli Outbreak
January 29th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with state public-health officials, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo.
As of 9 p.m. Monday, 189 individuals in 40 states have been infected with a matching strain, and 37 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Epidemiologists analyzed the foods that patients ate, and preliminary findings point to Italian sausage and salami products from Rhode Island-based Daniele International Inc.
The company has recalled 1.2 million pounds of products, including artisan and natural brands like:
- Boar’s Head All-Natural Salame Coated with Coarse Black Pepper (8-ounce packages)
- Daniele Naturale Salame Coated with Coarse Black Pepper (10-ounce packages)
- Dietz & Watson Artisan Collection Party Platter Pack
A full list of recalled products, which are sold through grocers and delis, is available here.
This is a Class I recall, which signifies “a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”
The CDC and its public-health partners are now trying to determine which ingredients were contaminated, how the contamination occurred and whether any other foods may be involved. They suspect the pepper in the salami’s coating may be tainted.
If you have any questions, call the Daniele International hotline: (888) 345-4160.
Read More:Sausage Recall Includes Artisan, Natural Brands
November 30th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
The holiday season may be known for indulgence, but there’s some good news on the cholesterol front.
Between 1999 and 2006, the prevalence of U.S. adults with high levels of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) decreased by about one-third, according to a study published in the Nov. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Overall, high LDL levels decreased from 31.5% in 1999–2000 to 21.2% in 2005–2006, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the numbers remain less heartening for those with heart disease, stroke and diabetes: a drop from 69.4% to 58.9% over the same period.
And there’s another caveat: A high percentage of adults are not being screened or treated for high cholesterol levels. Screening deficiencies may occur because there’s a lack of consensus on the age at which testing should begin.
“The current guidelines are overly complicated, and a simplified risk-based approach is supported by the current data,” note J. Michael Gaziano, MD, MPH, and Thomas A. Gaziano, MD, MSc, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in an accompanying JAMA editorial.
Read More:“Bad” Cholesterol Levels Drop