The Salmonella strain that sickened 12 people in 10 states and triggered last week’s recall of 54,960 pounds of Jennie-O turkey burgers may be resistant to antibiotics, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced April 4.

According to the CDC, Salmonella Hadar is resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics, including ampicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanate, cephalothin and tetracycline, which may increase the risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals.

On April 1, Jennie-O Turkey Store announced a nationwide recall of 4-pound boxes of frozen Jennie-O Turkey Store® “All Natural Turkey Burgers with seasonings Lean White Meat” containing 12 individually wrapped 1/3-pound burgers after they were linked to 12 confirmed cases of Salmonella Hadar in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Washington and Wisconsin, with illnesses occurring between December 2010 and March 2011. Three of the patients in Colorado, Ohio and Wisconsin specifically reported eating this product prior to illness onset and hospitalization; the last of these illnesses was reported on March 14, 2011.

Advice to consumers:

  • Recalled turkey burgers may still be in grocery stores and in consumers’ homes, including in the freezer. Consumer should not eat recalled turkey burgers and food service operators should not serve them.
  • The recalling firm is asking customers to return the product to the place of purchase for a refund.  Individuals choosing not to return the product should dispose of the recalled turkey burgers in a closed plastic bag placed in a sealed trash can. This will prevent people or animals from eating them.
  • Wash hands, kitchen work surfaces, and utensils with soap and water immediately after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry. Then, disinfect the food contact surfaces using a sanitizing agent, such as bleach, following label instructions.
  • Cook poultry thoroughly. Be particularly careful with foods prepared for infants, the elderly, and the immune-compromised.
  • If served undercooked poultry in a restaurant, send it back to the kitchen for further cooking.
  • Cross-contamination of foods should be avoided. Uncooked meats should be kept separate from produce, cooked foods, and ready-to-eat foods. Hands, cutting boards, counters, knives, and other utensils should be washed thoroughly after touching uncooked foods. Hands should be washed before handling food, and between handling different food items.
  • Persons who think they might have become ill from eating possibly contaminated turkey burgers should consult their health care providers. Infants, elderly persons, and persons with impaired immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/hadar0411/040411/index.html

 

Today the FDA launched a new and improved web search tool for consumers to use during recalls.

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) signed into law in January by President Obama called for a more consumer-friendly recall search engine.

How does the new site work? Search results provide data from news releases and other recall announcements in the form of a table. That table organizes information from news releases on recalls since 2009 by date, product brand name, product description, reason for the recall and  the recalling. The table also provides a link to the news release on each recall for more detailed information.

A quick look at the new site showed some favorites – Skippy, Teavanna and DelMonte (cantaloupes) all listed as recalled because of  salmonella.

Under FSMA, FDA was required to provide a consumer-friendly recall search engine 90 days after the law went into effect.  The  law also requires that recalls conducted under FSMA indicate whether the recall is ongoing or completed. Believe it or not, prior to passage of FSMA, FDA did not have mandatory recall authority for food and feed products other than infant formula.

And while this is a good thing, don’t look for your turkey, beef or chicken recalls at this site. That’s all handled by the USDA, not the FDA. Getting better but still confusing for sure.

Check FDA’s new recall site at:  Recalls & Safety Alerts, USDA at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fsis%5FRecalls/

Obesity: We’re #1!

April 4, 2011

 Rank   Country     Amount   
# 1    United States: 30.6%  
# 2    Mexico: 24.2%  
# 3    United Kingdom: 23%  
# 4    Slovakia: 22.4%  
# 5    Greece: 21.9%  
# 6    Australia: 21.7%  
# 7    New Zealand: 20.9%  
# 8    Hungary: 18.8%  
# 9    Luxembourg: 18.4%  
# 10    Czech Republic: 14.8%  
# 11    Canada: 14.3%  
# 12    Spain: 13.1%  
# 13    Ireland: 13%  
# 14    Germany: 12.9%  
= 15    Portugal: 12.8%  
= 15    Finland: 12.8%  
# 17    Iceland: 12.4%  
# 18    Turkey: 12%  
# 19    Belgium: 11.7%  
# 20    Netherlands: 10%  
# 21    Sweden: 9.7%  
# 22    Denmark: 9.5%  
# 23    France: 9.4%  
# 24    Austria: 9.1%  
# 25    Italy: 8.5%  
# 26    Norway: 8.3%  
# 27    Switzerland: 7.7%  
= 28    Japan: 3.2%  
= 28    Korea, South: 3.2%  
 Weighted average: 14.1%   

DEFINITION: Percentage of total population who have a BMI (body mass index) greater than 30 Kg/sq.meters Obesity rates are defined as the percentage of the population with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30. The BMI is a single number that evaluates an individual’s weight status in relation to height (weight/height2, with weight in kilograms and height in metres). For Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, figures are based on health examinations, rather than self-reported information. Obesity estimates derived from health examinations are generally higher and more reliable than those coming from self-reports, because they preclude any misreporting of people’s height and weight. However, health examinations are only conducted regularly in a few countries (OECD).

SOURCE: OECD Health Data 2005


In 1961 Americans consumed 2883 calories per person. By 2000 this had increased to 3817. Combine this with a decrease in physical activity and it’s a no-brainer; in the space of 40 years people got fatter. Not only that – they also got sicker.

What foods made up this 935 calorie increase and what effect might those foods have had on overall health?

Are we eating a lot more animal-based protein? Red meat? Or is it the increase of saturated fats that have made us sicker?

Nope!

We’ve actually been eating more poultry but less red meat, butter, and eggs. Pork consumption is about the same.

So where did all the extra calories come from? Added sugars, vegetable oils, and cereal grains.

We’ve been told to; eat less eggs, eat more margarine – avoid butter, eat less saturated fat, eat less red meat, eat more grains, use more vegetable oils.

The above statistics would indicate – that to some degree – this advice has been taken to heart.

Strange how more of us are obese than ever before and how diabetes and heart disease rates continue to climb.

Source: http://www.diet-blog.com/07/the_foods_that_made_america_fat.php

Garbage In, Garbage Out

September 1, 2010

Dairy and gluten-grain products combine to make up the top six foods we now eat. Yet cow’s milk and wheat are two of the most commonly reported allergens in the world. With individuals genetically predisposed to food allergies and gluten sensitivity, eating these same non-ancestral, genetically incompatible foods in large quantities day in and day out, is it any wonder that so many people suffer from chronic ford sensitivities?

Source: Dangerous Grains, James Braly, M.D. & Ron Hoggan, M.A.

The latest, and ever growing, egg recall illustrates the risk to public health of cramming millions of hens in cages so small they can barely move an inch their whole lives, says animal rights protection organisation HSUS in the USA.

“Factory farms that cram egg-laying hens into tiny cages are not only cruel, but they threaten food safety,” stated Michael Greger, MD director of public health and animal agriculture for The Humane Society of the United States. “According to the best available science, simply by switching to cage-free housing systems, the egg industry may be able to halve the risk of Salmonella for the American public.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 100,000 Americans suffer egg-borne Salmonella infections every year, HSUS states. An increase in Salmonella infections led this week to a nationwide recall of eggs from Wright County Egg in Galt, Iowa. Every single scientific study published in recent years comparing Salmonella contamination between cage and cage-free operations has found that confining hens in cages significantly increases Salmonella risk.

To protect public health, the industry must take steps to reduce risks on the farm, including moving to cage-free operations, HSUS says.

You can help, one egg purchase at a time. Buy local, buy cage free.