August 19, 2010
Hundreds of people have been sickened in a salmonella outbreak linked to eggs health officials said Wednesday as a company dramatically expanded a recall to 380 million eggs.
Initially, 228 million eggs, or the equivalent of 19 million dozen-egg cartons, were recalled by the company Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa. But that number was increased to nearly 32 million dozen-egg cartons.
Minnesota, a state with some of the best food-borne illness investigators in the country, has tied at least seven salmonella illnesses to the eggs.
Other states have seen a jump in reports of the type of salmonella. For example, California has reported 266 illnesses since June and believes many are related to the eggs. Colorado saw 28 cases in June and July, about four times the usual number. Spikes or clusters of suspicious cases have also been reported in Arizona, Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.
The initial recall was issued last week. Eggs affected by the expanded recall were distributed to food wholesalers, distribution centers and food service companies in California, Colorado, Minnesota, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma, Oregon, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.
FDA List of affected brands:
Eggs are packed in varying sizes of cartons (6-egg cartons, dozen egg cartons, 18-egg cartons) with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 225 and plant numbers 1026, 1413 and 1946.
Dates and codes can be found stamped on the end of the egg carton. The plant number begins with the letter P and then the number. The Julian date follows the plant number, for example: P-1946 223.
May 5, 2010
Some foods get all the attention and don’t deserve it. Others are gems that go largely unnoticed. It’s not just a coincidence. Some high-profile foods are backed by hefty ad budgets, while other foods have nothing but your grandmother’s (long-forgotten) endorsement. It’s time to set the record straight
Good article in Nutrition Action on overrated and underated foods:
September 7, 2009
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued draft guidance on the labeling of beers made with grains other than malted barley and hops, such as sorghum, rice or corn, the agency said on Wednesday.
In July last year, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) ruled that beers made from substitutes for malted barley or that do not contain hops are not malted beverages, as defined by the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act).
The TTB is in charge of regulating malted beverages, but its ruling means that beers made from alternative grains will be subject to food and drink labeling laws governed by the FDA.
For manufacturers, the new labeling means that, among other requirements, their non-malt beers will have to carry a listing of ingredients, a nutrition facts panel, and the name of major food allergens in the product. As defined by the FDA, these are: milk, egg, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soybeans.
The one that is most important in this case is wheat, as most of the non-malt beers being produced are intended to be gluten-free alternatives for barley-based beer.
Manufacturers of non-malt beers are expected to comply with the new labeling requirements by January 1, 2010.
The FDA’s draft guidance – “Labeling of Certain Beers Subject to the Labeling Jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration” – can be found online here .
The market for gluten-free foods and beverages has exploded in recent years, and the growth has largely been attributed to more frequent diagnosis of celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder with symptoms triggered by gluten, the protein in grains like wheat, barley and rye.
September 5, 2009
It’s long been thought that broccoli is good for your heart, and now British scientists think they know why.
Researchers at Imperial College London have found evidence a chemical in broccoli and other green leafy vegetables could boost a natural defense mechanism that protects arteries from the clogging that can cause heart attacks.
August 28, 2009
It takes approximately 12 million barrels of oil to make the 100 billion plastic bags Americans use annually. Worldwatch Institute
Diana Kennedy on plastic bags in the Fall 2009 issue of Edible Austin:
“I’m a pain in the ass in the supermarket because I will speak out in a very loud voice to the person who has one banana in a huge plastic bag, two apples in another…at least ten plastic bags with one little item in each…You’ve got to think about the end product…the beginning product, and the end product”. “I have no patience with people who say, ‘Oh, yes, but I recycle.’ That’s not the point. You’re using a bag that has taken up petroleum and energy.”
Which one are you?
August 18, 2009
A new report by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) confirms that adults and children who consume processed meats (meats preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or by the addition of preservatives – ham, bacon, pastrami and salami, as well as hot dogs and some sausages) are at risk of developing cancer and other significant health issues.
The collective scientific evidence linking processed meat consumption to cancer and other health issues is so overwhelming that the American Institute for Cancer Research(AICR) recommends, not just consuming less, but avoiding processed meats altogether.
The latest report stresses consumer awareness and, with the start of a new school year, encourages parents to choose healthier alternatives.
Why the concern:
- According to the WCRF and the AICR, risk of colorectal cancer increases, on average, by 21 percent for every 50 grams (1.7 oz) of processed meat consumed daily. A 50-gram serving is approximately the size of one typical hot dog.
- Americans eat 20 billion hot dogs a year – an average of 70 hot dogs per person.
- Sixty-two percent of all Americans eat smoked ham, bacon, or some form of processed pork—the average person eats 32 pounds of it a year.
- Just one ounce of processed meat per day increases the risk of stomach cancer 15-38 percent.
- A Harvard study of more than 40,000 health professionals showed that those who ate hot dogs, salami, bacon, or sausages two to four times per week increased their risk of diabetes by 35 percent. Those who ate these products five or more times per week experienced 50 percent increased risk.
- Other health issues involved – Doctors are seeing more thickening of the arteries in children, particularly those who are obese or have high cholesterol.
- More than 16 percent of children and adolescents are overweight. One in three will develop diabetes at some point in his or her life.
- Lifetime cancer risk is now one in three for women, and one in two for men.
Men, especially middle-aged men, eat more processed pork than women. Higher-income Americans eat less of it than middle- and low-income citizens. Rural Americans eat more than urban Americans. Blacks eat more than whites. And Midwesterners eat the most per capita.
As well as recommending people avoid processed meat, WCRF also recommends limiting intake of red meat to 17 oz. (cooked weight) per week. This is because there is also convincing evidence that red meat increases risk of bowel cancer.
August 17, 2009
Flickr user somebody 3lse chose this $4.99 package of almonds at a store in Canada “because it was the cheapest.” Going by the information on the label, the almonds, she estimates, traveled approximately 22,000 km or 13,670 miles during processing and packaging (California to Vietnam to Canada).
So does this make you want to go locavore, since so much fuel was likely used in transporting them around the globe, and maybe they’re not the freshest almonds? Or does it support the global food economy: fuel costs are a small part of the production budget, and packaging them in Vietnam probably kept down the price.