January 30, 2009 at 12:35 am (News and politics)
January 30, 2009 at 12:30 am (News and politics)
Salmonella was found at least 12 times in products made at the Ga. plant
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 2:43 p.m. PT, Wed., Jan. 28, 2009
Major national manufacturers of peanut butter say they did not purchase products from PCA, so jarred peanut butter still appears to be safe, said Sundlof.
January 29, 2009 at 1:13 am (Health and wellness)
Energee Nuggets in four states because they have the potential to be
contaminated with Salmonella.
Stonewall Kitchen Voluntarily Recalls Seven Dessert Sauces
Creative Energy Foods Recalls Nutrition Bars
As a precautionary measure, Stonewall Kitchen of York, Maine is voluntarily recalling seven dessert sauces because they have the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium which can cause life-threatening illness or death. Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled. http://www.emaxhealth.com/2/75/28927/creative-energy-foods-recalls-nutrition-bars.html
January 27, 2009 at 9:15 pm (Food and drink)
|Brain Food: How to Eat Smart|
How you eat can affect your mind at a fundamental levels. Here are five things you should know about feeding your brain:
1. Don’t overdose on sugar
2. Become a grazer
3. Eat foods that don’t raise blood glucose levels
4. Know your fats
5. Know yourself
January 27, 2009 at 8:20 pm (Health and wellness)
|Lower Your Blood Pressure With Vitamin C|
A study has linked high blood levels of vitamin C with lower blood pressure in young women.
The study involved almost 250 women. They entered the trial when they were 8 to 11 years old, and over a 10-year period, their plasma levels of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and blood pressure were monitored. Both their systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings, were found to be inversely associated with ascorbic acid levels.
Previous research had already linked high plasma levels of vitamin C with lower blood pressure among middle-age and older adults.
January 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm (News and politics)
After a six year battle, a decision from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council on the proposal to develop offshore fisheries is expected soon. The Ocean Conservancy, which has been leading the fight against the project, encourages people to write to their local representatives to express their concern.
But why exactly is this project such a bad idea?
The Ocean Conservancy asks people to learn from the clear mistake of farming salmon. Salmon are predators, so in order to feed the fish, ocean trawlers must gather smaller fish to feed to the captive salmon. It can take up to three pounds of other fish to produce just one pound of farmed salmon.
The whole process would be like farm-raising lions or tigers by carpet-bombing a forest to kill food for them. It makes no sense.
The fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico would raise snapper, grouper, cobia, red drum, and perhaps even tuna, a predator high on the ocean food chain. The fisheries could raise up to 64 million pounds of fish every year. Some believe that disease sometimes common in farms could easily spread to wild populations of the same species.
In addition to opposition from conservationists, the plan has faced pressure from the gulf’s fishing industry, which worries that the massive farms would intrude on their fishing areas. While marine reserves, coral reef areas, and artificial reef zones will be off-limits, anywhere else would be fair game under the plan.
Any farmed fish area would be closed to anyone not involved in the farming operation, which would clearly impact fishermen but could also effect cruise ships and other tourism ventures.
“Before aquaculture moves forward into our federally managed oceans, strong environmental, socioeconomic and liability standards need to be in place,” said George Leonard, director of Ocean Conservancy’s aquaculture program. “What is truly needed are strong federal standards coming out of the congress, not the individual regional fishery councils.”
West Virginia’s Representative Nick Rahall, who is the chairman of Congress’ Committee on Natural Resources, has already written to ask that the plan be dropped. Ask your representative to do the same.
Photo Credit: tombothetominator on Flickr under Creative Commons license.
January 21, 2009 at 7:44 am (Health and wellness)
|Can Tea Tree Oil Body Wash Prevent MRSA?|
A study is investigating whether tea tree oil body wash can prevent the drug-resistant super bug MRSA in critically ill hospitalized adults.
MRSA, which is short for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a growing problem. MRSA is untreatable with most antibiotics and can cause potentially deadly complications. Hospitals and nursing homes are the prime breeding grounds for the disease.
In some prior studies, washing your skin with tea tree oil has been shown to be effective in removing MRSA. Therefore, researchers are currently evaluating the effect of daily washing with a 5 percent tea tree oil preparation on new MRSA infections among ICU patients.
The trial started in 2007, and should be complete in 2010.
January 20, 2009 at 1:11 am (Health and wellness)
January 20, 2009 at 12:31 am (Health and wellness)
FDA Warning: Avoid Eating Peanut Butter Made Products
- n Saturday, January 18, 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised consumers to avoid eating any products containing peanut butter or peanut paste until it can determine how many have been contaminated. The FDA warning says this advisory does not include jars of peanut butter sold in grocery stores, only products that were made with peanut butter, such as crackers.
More than 450 people have been poisoned, and five people have died, as the result on of a Salmonella outbreak. A sixth death may be linked to the outbreak.
The FDA said its investigators found contamination in a Blakely, Ga., peanut-processing plant owned by Lynchburg, Va.-based Peanut Corp. of America. They have not confirmed the contamination at the plant is the same strain that caused the Salmonella outbreak. The plant suspended operations this week while investigators look for clues.
Normally any kind of salmonella contamination would be destroyed in the processing of peanuts for peanut butter as the peanuts are roasted to about 350 degrees.
Peanut Corp. of America on Friday expanded its recall of peanut butter for bulk distribution which is believed to be the source of the contamination. The company had previously recalled 21 lots of peanut butter produced on or after July 1, 2008.
Late Friday, Kellogg announced it is recalling cookies and crackers made with peanut butter as a precaution. This includes about 33,000 cases of cookies, and 7 million cases of crackers from grocery shelves.
Kellogg is also asking consumers who possess recalled products to destroy them. Consumers wishing to receive a refund may do so by calling the customer service number listed on the recall notice.
These are the products Kellog has told retailers to recall and customers to destroy:
• Austin Quality Foods Cheese Crackers with Peanut Butter — all sizes.
• Austin Quality Foods Cheese & Peanut ButterSandwich Crackers — all sizes.
• Austin Quality Foods Mega Stuffed Cheese Crackers with Peanut Butter — all sizes.
• Austin Quality Foods PB & J Cracker Sandwiches — all sizes.
• Austin Quality Foods Super Snack Pack Sandwich Crackers.
• Austin Quality Foods Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers — all sizes.
• Austin Quality Foods Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter — all sizes.
• Austin Quality Foods Reduced Fat Cheese & Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers.
• Austin Quality Foods Reduced Fat Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers.
• Austin Quality FoodsCookie/Cracker Pack.
• Austin Quality FoodsVariety Pack.
• Keebler Cheese & Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers — all sizes.
• Keebler Toast & PB’n J Flavored Sandwich Crackers — all sizes.
• Keebler Toast & Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers — all sizes.
• Famous Amos Peanut Butter Cookies (2- and 3-ounce).
• Keebler Soft Batch Homestyle Peanut Butter Cookies (2.5-ounce).
January 16, 2009 at 6:57 pm (Health and wellness)
WASHINGTON – Federal food safety officials say 85 food companies have purchased peanut products from the Georgia facility under investigation in the latest salmonella outbreak.
The Food and Drug Administration says 30 companies have been contacted and urged to test their products.
In a briefing late Friday, FDA officials said much of their information is still sketchy.
The outbreak has sickened hundreds of people in 43 states and killed at least six. Earlier this week, the outbreak prompted Kellogg to pull some of its venerable Keebler crackers from store shelves, as a precaution. The government is expanding its investigation of peanut products in a salmonella outbreak that has sickened hundreds and killed at least six, consumer groups briefed on the matter said Friday.
The concern about peanut paste is significant because it can be used in dozens of products, from baked goods to cooking sauces. At first, the state and federal investigation focused on bulk containers of peanut butter sold to institutions like nursing homes, and not found on supermarket shelves.
"Now it turns out it’s not just institutions," said Michael Hansen, a senior scientist with Consumers Union.
The investigation is focusing on a processing in Blakely, Ga., owned by Peanut Corp. of America. State officials say the facility shows signs of contamination, but no definitive link has been made to salmonella, and tests are continuing. The plant passed its last inspection by the state agriculture department this summer.
21 lots recalled
Peanut Corp. has recalled 21 lots of peanut butter made at the plant since July 1 because of possible salmonella contamination. The company, which suspended peanut butter processing at the facility, said none of its peanut butter is sold directly to consumers, but is distributed to institutions, food service industries and private label food companies.
But Kellogg Co., which gets some peanut paste from the Blakely facility, asked stores late Wednesday to stop selling some of its Keebler and Austin peanut butter sandwich crackers. The company said it hasn’t received any reports of illnesses.
Peanut Corp. said it is working with federal authorities.
"Peanut butter is not supposed to be a risky food," said Patty Lovera, assistant director of Food & Water Watch. "What went wrong? And what does this mean about foods that are considered high-risk, such as raw vegetables?"
Meanwhile, health officials on Friday announced that a sixth death has been linked to the outbreak which has sickened more than 450 people in 43 states.
An elderly North Carolina man died in November from the same strain of salmonella that’s causing the outbreak, North Carolina health officials said Friday. Tests taken the day before he died indicated the infection had overrun his digestive system and spread to his bloodstream, said Dr. Zack Moore, an epidemiologist with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
Health officials in Minnesota and Virginia have linked two deaths each to the outbreak and Idaho has reported one. Four of those five were elderly people, and all had salmonella when they died, though their exact causes of death haven’t been determined. But the CDC said the salmonella may have contributed.
The family of a 72-year-old Minnesota woman who died says it is pursuing a lawsuit against Peanut Corp. but hasn’t yet filed it.
The CDC said the bacteria behind the outbreak — typhimurium — is common and not an unusually dangerous strain but that the elderly or those with weakened immune systems are more at risk.