Category: Food Forensics Investigations


Clover sprouts are the source of an E.coli outbreak at Jimmy John'sRaw clover sprouts on Jimmy John’s and other fast food sandwiches are the likely source of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 10 people in Washington and Idaho, according to the Washington State Department of Health. Seven people have confirmed cases of E. coli O121 poisoning and three have probable cases. Five people have been hospitalized.

Health officials are warning consumers not to eat raw clover sprouts from Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, LLC of Idaho. They were distributed to restaurants and grocery stores in the northwest.  “If you have these products at home, you should throw them out.,” said Washington State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy.

In Washington, the sprouts were served on sandwiches at Jimmy John’s locations in King and Spokane counties and two Pita Pit locations in Spokane County. In Idaho, they were served at a Daanen’s Deli and a Jimmy John’s in Kootenai County. All of the restaurants have voluntarily suspended serving sprouts.

 

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Retial stores that sold ground beef linked to an E.coli Outbreak in MI, OH, MA and MO.A partial list of stores involved in the 1.8 million pound ground beef recall linked to an E.coli outbreak that has sickened at least 11 people in four states has been published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS). It’s a small list for a big recall, but the agency is not permitted to list restaurants, only retail stores, and the list may not yet include all locations.

So far, here are the retail locations that are part of the recall. Gordon Food Service Marketplace Stores in FL, IL, IN, KY, MI, OH, PA, TN, and WI.; Surf N Turf Market in Sebring, Florida; Giorgio’s Italian Deli in Stuart, Florida;  M Sixty Six General Store in Orleans, Michigan and Buchtel Food Mart on Buchtel, Ohio.

 

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Boston.com

Confirmed E. Coli Case in Mass Prompts National Beef Recall

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Monday confirmed that a Western Massachusetts resident has E. coli, according to MassLive. That case, along with others across the country, has prompted Wolverine Packing Company and the US Department of Agriculture to recall 1.8 million pounds of beef.

From MassLive:

The beef produced between March 31 and April 18 and distributed for use in restaurants in Ohio, Michigan, Missouri and Massachusetts. The recall notice notes that none of the beef in question was distributed to the Department of Defense, the National School Lunch Program or for catalog or internet sales. 

Products that are subject to are marked with the number “EST. 2574B” and will have a production date code in the format “Packing Nos: MM DD 14″ between “03 31 14″ and “04 18 14.”

 

The recall was ordered after the Massachusetts resident, along with five Michiganders, four Ohioans and a Missourian became ill with E. coli

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Action item:

protein

Tuesday, May 06, 2014
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles…)

 

(NaturalNews) Go to Whole Foods today, pick a rice protein product off the shelf, and ask the store manager why they are selling rice protein containing toxic heavy metals at such high levels that they often exceed California Prop. 65 limits by over 1,000%! The answer you get may shock you: some Whole Foods employees and store managers are falsely claiming there are no heavy metals in the products they sell!

One store employee told a Natural News contributing writer, “Oh, that’s just somebody on the internet. We would never sell something if it had heavy metals in it.” (Really? Then they are sadly misinformed…)

A store manager at another store actually said, “That’s been debunked. Mike Adams doesn’t even have a lab. There are no heavy metals in the proteins we sell.” (Except that there are, see results below…)

Some Whole Foods employees, in other words, seem to have no clue that the products they’re representing — including “organic” products — contain concerning levels of toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. They may have even been instructed to provide false and misleading answers when customers ask about the issue. What they don’t seem to be telling customers is that just one scoop of a rice protein sold at Whole Foods can expose you to over 1,000% the daily lead limit defined by California Prop. 65.

 

Join the action campaign: Go to Whole Foods today and ASK

 

To set the record straight, I’m asking you to go to your local Whole Foods store TODAY and ask the store manager this question: “Why are you selling rice proteins containing such high levels of toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten?”

Email the response you get to reply@naturalnews.com, and be sure to include the city of the store. (We won’t use your name, don’t worry. But we are collecting responses from various Whole Foods stores to see how many are informed about this issue.)

Nearly all the rice protein sold at Whole Foods, by the way, comes from China and other Asian countries where environmental standards are rarely enforced. Just recently in fact, the Chinese government declassified a once-secret document admitting that 20% of China’s farms are contaminated with toxic heavy metals.

This is where a lot of the rice protein sold at Whole Foods really comes from. But instead of admitting these products contain toxic heavy metals, some Whole Foods managers appear to be routinely misleading customers.

Confirmed: Whole Foods keeps selling rice protein products containing high levels of toxic heavy metals

Just to make sure this is still going on, I went to the Whole Foods headquarters in Austin Texas last week and purchased nearly $700 worth of products (see the scan of my receipt, to the right). The receipt appears to be in two parts because Whole Foods prints items on the FRONT and the BACK of each receipt, so I had to stitch together two photos.

The results of testing these rice proteins in my ICP-MS laboratory — the Natural News Forensic Food Labs — once again confirms alarming levels of lead, cadmium and tungsten in multiple rice protein products sold by Whole Foods. If you’re curious how I found tungsten in these products, click here to see the videos from our lab.

Here are just some of the results we found from rice proteins purchased at Whole Foods last week (1,000 ppb = 1 ppm)

Brown Rice Chocolate Protein (Lot #50696014) purchased at Whole Foods
Lead: 312 ppb (over 1,000% higher than California Prop 65 daily intake limit, based on serving size)
Cadmium: 1015 ppb
Tungsten: YES (“YES” means tungsten was detected at significant concentrations)

Raw Rice Protein Chocolate (Lot #I3553A #I3562) purchased at Whole Foods
Lead: 311 ppb (over 1400% higher than California Prop 65 daily intake limit, based on serving size)
Cadmium: 1731 ppb
Tungsten: YES

 

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Over 250 million Americans are addicted to ‘food drugs’ and suffering the consequences

Monday, April 21, 2014 by: S. D. Wells

 

food

(NaturalNews) What? — Food drugs? What on Earth are you talking about? Do you mean “they,” as in “Big Food,” are putting prescription drugs inside food and drinks? Do you mean that scientists are working in labs right now figuring out how to make humans addicted to certain food additives and agents? Is that what you mean by food drugs? Health enthusiasts everywhere want to know.

The Health Ranger is studying this phenomenon in the Natural News Forensic Food Lab — using microscopy and other high-tech scientific equipment for measuring chemical levels in foods, including toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and aluminum. Do you ever wonder how many chemicals are in foods? Try about 70,000 different ones that are allowed by the FDA! How can you even start to filter them out of your daily intake? That’s easy. You just have to prioritize. Start with identifying and eliminating toxic heavy metals and pesticides, the two largest contributors to disease and disorder in the U.S. of A. (http://www.organicconsumers.org)

Junk Science Addicts Galore

What is junk science? Who invests in it? Who is responsible for this insidious development?
(http://www.naturalnews.com)

Why does the Biotech Industry and the late great healthcare scam of Obamacare want you addicted to junk food? What is the big picture and what is the grand connection here? Do they bioengineer aspartame (central nervous system disruptor) and MSG (another CNS disruptor) to make you hungrier and make you gain weight? Yes. They do. And do they bioengineer bug killer and weed killer to ruin your good gut bacteria, your flora? Yes.

How can you become addicted to McDonald’s and Taco Bell for life? How are GMO potato chips and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) subsidized by the Government, and why would they subsidize sickness? These questions and more are all answered, and all you have to do to learn is keep your mind open about your own health.

Over 250 million Americans are addicted right now to FOOD DRUGS and suffering health consequences — heading directly toward cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and arthritis. Let’s face it, Big Food invests mainly in one area, and that is Big Pharma. Conventional food (90% of all food) is processed and cooked DEAD and then labeled as “fortified” to fool the public that it contains any nutritional value at all, when it doesn’t.

Plus, since about 1990, the holiness of natural food has been devastated by genetic modification — to contain weed killer and bug killer, so on top of being dead food, for two decades it has been contaminated with poison on the inside. The seeds and plants now contain chemicals that kill pests, and guess what the human beings are who consume them? — Dying “pests!” Ca-ching! — Big money for the pink-ribbon-washing cancer-industrial complex. Don’t be a fool. Stop getting fooled. It’s okay to admit when you are wrong. Go on, open the doors of your pantry and look. Open that refrigerator and freezer. Open your medicine cabinet. It’s time to throw away everything that Big Food and Big Pharma have “sold you” through false advertising and marketing schemes.

 

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Shellfish Irradiation To Reduce Food Poisoning Gets FDA Nod

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of ionizing radiation to kill foodborne pathogens on crustacean shellfish and extend their shelf life. The April 11 decision is in response to a food additive petition submitted by the National Fisheries Institute 13 years ago.

irradiated-symbolThe decision will allow processors of crustaceans including crab, shrimp, lobster, crayfish, and prawns use small amounts of ionizing radiation to reduce, but not eliminate, dangerous foodborne bacteria such as E.coli, Vibrio and Listeria.  The maximum permitted dose is 6.0 kiloGray.

The rule covers shellfish sold raw, frozen, shelled, dried, cooked and partially cooked. It also covers crustaceans processed with spices or a small number of other ingredients.

 

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Forbes

Will Irradiated Burgers Turn You Radioactive? The Truth About Food Irradiation

As prolific and commonplace as they are in our lives, “foodstuffs” and “food processes” still confound us. I recently received a query in my inbox; the sender was anxious over some irradiated burgers he had bought. Would they harm him? Would they turn him radioactive? Upon reflection, it seemed ripe fodder for a Forbes post.

I noticed a symbol on a package of burgers that I bought, and saw that it meant the beef had been irradiated. I didn’t eat them. What does this mean to have food irradiated, what does involve, is it bad for me, and were the burgers radioactive?

Radiation at the best of times doesn’t elicit warm, fuzzy feelings. When it gets anywhere near our food supply, we’re prone to panic, hysteria even. But, with irradiated food, where the results are comparable to pasteurization, there’s absolutely no need for frenzy, or to let perfectly fine fare go to waste.

While conventional pasteurization depends on heat, irradiation relies on energy generated by ionizing radiation. This can come from either gamma rays from a radioactive element like cobalt-60, electron beam technology or x-rays. Higher doses of irradiation can kill disease-causing microorganisms like E.coli and Salmonella – this would have been the case with your burgers. Lower doses can replace other forms of fumigation to eradicate insects such as fruit flies and weevils from produce, and extend shelf life by retarding spoilage and natural processes such as ripening and sprouting.

All irradiated food is required by law to carry an internationally recognized symbol, known as a radura — usually green and resembling a circular flower flanked by two leaves within a broken circle. The packaging must also bear a statement indicating the food has been irradiated.

The radura should embolden you to tuck in rather than to throw out your burgers. Irradiation is by no means intended as a substitute for scrupulous hygiene standards, but it does provide that extra measure of safety. The off-putting reality is that burgers and other ground meat products are prone to contamination being frequently made from off-cuts and trimmings that may have been in contact with fecal matter. If a single cut of meat, say a steak or a chicken breast, is contaminated with E.coli or Salmonella, the pathogens harbor only on the surface of the meat being unable to permeate to the interior. Searing the outside over high heat will kill off any nasties. With a burger however, surface bacteria can become mixed into the ground meat. The risk of food poisoning then is inordinately higher despite a well-browned crust  – especially if you like your burgers pink and well below 160F in the middle.

 

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US News & World Report

The Basics on the Foodfight Over Irradiation

Should you look for the “radura” symbol?

Video: Healthful Eating Recipes

Video: Healthful Eating Recipes

By Sept. 5, 2008 SHARE

The Food and Drug Administration’s approval late last month of pathogen-zapping irradiation technology for fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce has reignited a long simmering debate about how to improve the safety of food. The news comes as the latest food safety scare—the salmonella outbreak probably caused by hot peppers—winds down after infecting 1,442 people across 43 states and killing two of them. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that foodborne diseases cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths each year in the United States.

Given the less than spotless state of the nation’s food supply, is bombarding a product with radiation to kill microorganisms such as E. coli and salmonella a good thing? Or should you avoid irradiated food, as some groups urge? U.S. News asked food safety experts some key questions to help you decide.

What is irradiation?
The process involves treating a food with a short burst of high energy radiation that damages the DNA of bacteria. Though the FDA has only just approved the technique for use with fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce, the technology is not new. In fact, the agency has conducted safety tests on the technology for more than 40 years, and its use on meat has been approved since 1997. Spinach and iceberg lettuce are the first types of produce approved for irradiation at levels intense enough to kill pathogens. (Lower doses have been approved for other purposes, such as controlling insect infestations and slowing ripening produce’s maturation.) Why do some food processors want to irradiate food?
Groups that represent food processors, such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the American Meat Institute, want to irradiate certain products to kill problematic pathogens and to extend shelf life. Research shows that irradiation destroys 99.9 percent of common foodborne pathogens. However, advocacy groups such as Food & Water Watch and the Organic Consumers Association oppose the irradiation of food on the grounds that it doesn’t address the root causes of outbreaks, such as unsanitary conditions at farms and food processing plants, and reduces the nutritional quality, taste, and texture of food. Why has the Food and Drug Administration decided to approve the technology for use with spinach and lettuce now?

 

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FDA Expands Irradiation of Food Supply; Harmonizing with Codex Alimentarius

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

Demonstrating the lack of concern held by regulatory agencies for public safety or public opinion as well as the increasing attempts to become compliant with Codex Alimentarius regulations, the FDA has recently expanded the amount of ionized radiation that can be used to treat unrefrigerated raw meat.

As reported by Food Safety News, the two new policies decided upon by the FDA were issued in response to two petitions filed in 1999 by the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

While the previous policy was that only refrigerated or frozen meats could be irradiated, the new rule allows for the irradiation of unrefrigerated raw meat. The second rule change allows for increasing the dose of ionizing radiation in poultry from 3.0 kGY to 4.5 kGy.

Although a period for public comment is always set aside for regulatory agency decisions regarding potential changes to policy, the FDA promptly ignored the many comments it received from individuals all over the country as well as consumer advocacy groups which requested the denial of the two FSIS petitions.

The response from the FDA was that all of these comments, made by individuals and by groups such as Public Citizen and the Center for Food Safety, “were of a general nature” and “did not contain any substantive information that could be used in a safety evaluation of irradiated poultry.” This statement was made regarding both the poultry irradiation rule and the passage of a new meat temperature rule.

Predictably, the FDA has defended its decision by circular logic that flies in the face of science and common sense. The agency is claiming that “irradiating unrefrigerated meat was not found to increase meat’s toxicity, change the food’s nutritional properties or increase the likelihood of certain bacteria thriving on meat; therefore FDA has determined that this is a safe application for the process.”

Of course, while the FDA claims that irradiation is not found to increase toxicity or change nutritional properties, the very reason that the FDA has jurisdiction over food irradiation to begin with is because the process of irradiation can do just these very things. Even the FDA admits[1] that, because irradiation “can affect the characteristics of the food,” it is considered a “food additive.” Thus, because food additives fall under the purview of the FDA, irradiation is regulated (or not) by the agency.

By allowing for higher doses of irradiation in food, the FDA is knowingly complicit in covering up unsanitary food production practices by major corporations as well as accepting the inclusion of clearly harmful material (i.e. radiation) into the food supply. Keep in mind, irradiation is mostly used by corporations in order to cover up deplorable manufacturing conditions and dangerous food contamination.

 

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Food Irradiation Supports Agribusiness, Harms Health

Irradiation Lab Mouse Food Irradiation Supports Agribusiness, Harms Health

 

by Heidi Stevenson
Gaia-Health.com

Agribusiness is polluting and destroying the food on which we depend . Irradiation destroys nutrients and creates poisons. Despite claims, it’s largely hidden from us. It exists for the benefit of Agribiz, not for our health.

Food irradiation exists only because Agribusiness exists. It isn’t to support your health. As we’ve seen recently with outbreaks of food-borne disease, modern food production is innately unhealthy. It utilizes monoculture, long term storage, and chemicals. None of these are good for us, but all create enormous profits for a money-hungry industry. The need to sterilize foods on a mass scale simply did not exist until Agribusiness changed the nature of what we eat.

Modern food processing and distribution is highly mechanized, with tremendous pressure placed on employees to simply push things through and money carefully spent to grease the palms of those who might have called a stop to the madness. Agribusiness considers it cost-effective to irradiate foods, which sterilizes them and significantly increases their shelf life.

The efforts to utilize irradiation cover the spectrum from propaganda to hiding it from the public. We’re told that food irradiation is safe, effective, and doesn’t affect food quality. Let’s call these claims the myths that they are and examine them.

Myth: Irradiation is effective.

Fact: This is a very slippery claim. Yes, it does kill many infectious organisms, in particular, bacteria. However, it does not protect against toxic elements, such as the neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium that causes botulism. Killing the bacteria can create a sense of security, though the actual disease cause is still present.

Irradiation’s effectiveness against viruses is limited, so anthrax and hepatitis may still survive after irradiation. Prions, the cause of mad cow disease, are untouched by it.

Reinfestation of food is not prevented by irradiation. In fact, it holds the potential of allowing worse contamination. By eliminating most infectious organisms, beneficial ones are also destroyed. This results in there being nothing to prevent reinfection, allowing opportunistic bacteria and viruses free rein in irradiated foods.

Factory farms are not healthy places. Pigs are kept for their entire lives in horrifically unsanitary conditions, with their droppings and urine left uncleared where they fall through the cages, so they rot and release constant toxic fumes. Irradiation is a means to avoid dealing with this inhumane and unhealthy situation.

Urine, feces, pus, tumors, and vomit are not removed by irradiation.

Myth: Irradiation is safe.

Fact: This is simply false. As documented in Food Irradiation, Cats, and Doublespeak: Researchers Reinvent Reality, it’s well known to cause neurological damage in cats.

Irradiation generates furans in food. Carbofuran is a member of this class. It’s the poison, which is banned in Europe and severely curtailed in the US, that FMC sells under the name of Furadan, as reported in PsychoCorp #1—FMC Product Banned in U.S. Kills Lions in Africa. All furans are considered carcinogenic. Fruits, in particular, are affected by the generation of furans.

Public Citizen reports laboratory animals fed irradiated foods suffered “a myriad of serious health problems in laboratory animals that ate irradiated foods, including premature death, fatal internal bleeding, a rare form of cancer, stillbirths and other reproductive problems, mutations and other genetic damage, organ malfunctions, stunted growth and vitamin deficiencies.”

The growth of aflatoxin, implicated in liver cancer in southern states, is stimulated by irradiation. The World Health Organization considers aflatoxin to be a significant health risk. Unique Radiolytic Products (URPs) are produced by irradiation. These chemical compounds have not been well studied, but one group of them, cyclobutanones, have been found to promote cancer and genetic damage in rats, and to cause genetic and cellular damage in both rats and humans. Cyclobutanones are radiation by-products of palmitic acid, which is present in nearly all foods.

Other chemicals known to cause cancer and birth defects are formed by irradiation, including benzene, toluene, and methyl ethyl ketone.

Free radicals are formed by irradiation. These are the targets of antioxidants, supplements that are very popular now. Consider that some antioxidants, such as vitamin A, are destroyed by irradiation. So irradiation holds a double whammy against health—destroying the antioxidants that might help resolve the chemicals it creates.

The journal, Nutrition and Cancer reported in 2002 that colon cancer can be caused by a chemical compound found only in irradiated food.

Myth: Irradiation doesn’t affect food quality.

Fact: There is extensive documentation for the loss of key nutrients from irradiation of food. The Center for Food Safety reports that anywhere from 2-95% of the vitamins can be lost. They cite losses of as much as 80% of vitamin A in eggs, 95% of vitamin A and lutein in green beans, 50% of vitamin A and lutein in broccoli, and 40% of beta carotene in orange juice. Irradiation is also reported to destroy the B, C, E, and K vitamins.

 

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Additional Sources on Irradiation of food and it’s byproducts

Pubmed Data : Nutr Cancer. 2002;44(2):189-91. PMID: 12734067
Study Type : Animal Study

Pubmed Data : J Food Prot. 2008 Jun;71(6):1270-2. PMID: 18592759
Study Type : Animal Study

Pubmed Data : Poult Sci. 2001 Jan ;80(1):105-8. PMID: 11214329
Study Type : Animal Study

Pubmed Data : Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Sep 19 ;51C:46-52. Epub 2012 Sep 19. PMID: 23000443
Study Type : Animal Study

Pubmed Data : Neurosci Lett. 2006 Sep 25;405(3):172-4. Epub 2006 Jul 26. PMID: 12380747
Study Type : Animal Study
Additional Links

Additional Keywords : Gamma Irradiation : CK(9) : AC(6)

Pubmed Data : Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2012 ;76(5):900-5. Epub 2012 May 7. PMID: 22738956
Study Type : Plant Study

Pubmed Data : PDA J Pharm Sci Technol. 2010 Sep-Oct;64(5):432-5. PMID: 21502047
Study Type : Review

Pubmed Data : J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Oct 5;53(20):7826-31. PMID: 16190637
Study Type : In Vitro Study
Additional Links

Additional Keywords : Gamma Irradiation : CK(9) : AC(6)
Problem Substances : Furan : CK(11) : AC(2)
Adverse Pharmacological Actions : Carcinogenic : CK(936) : AC(130)

Pubmed Data : J Sci Food Agric. 2011 Mar 15;91(4):634-49. Epub 2010 Dec 23. PMID: 21302317
Study Type : In Vitro Study
Additional Links


Pubmed Data : J Food Sci. 2011 Sep ;76(7):C1056-61. PMID: 22417543
Study Type : Plant Study
Additional Links

Pharmacological Actions : Antioxidants : CK(3723) : AC(1318)
Adverse Pharmacological Actions : Oxidant : CK(104) : AC(37)

Pubmed Data : Poult Sci. 2011 Nov ;90(11):2578-83. PMID: 22010244
Study Type : Review

Pubmed Data : Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 Dec;45(12):2581-91. Epub 2007 Jun 28. PMID: 17766022
Study Type : In Vitro Study
Additional Links

Additional Keywords : Gamma Irradiation : CK(9) : AC(6)

Pubmed Data : Mutat Res. 2006 Feb 22;594(1-2):10-9. Epub 2005 Sep 8. PMID: 16153665
Study Type : In Vitro Study

 

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Food Poisoning Bulletin

Hepatitis A Exposure at Restaurant in Nyack, NY

Seems like it’s the season for hepatitis A. A confirmed case of acute hepatitis A has been identified in a food handler at the La Fontana restaurant in Nyack, New York. Anyone who ate there between March 19 and April 1, 2014 may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A Virus

 

The County of Rockland Department of Health is recommending that everyone who ate at the restaurant on March 29, March 30, or April 1, 2014 receive a vaccination. The vaccination is about 80% to 90% effective. The Rockland County Department of Health is offering free vaccines to patrons and employees of the restaurant on Sunday, April 13, 2014 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and Monday, April 14, 2014 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Rockland County Fire Training Center at 35 Firemens Memorial Drive in Pomona.

 

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NY eatery patrons possibly exposed to hepatitis

April 12

The Associated Press

— Health officials say a waiter at a popular Rockland County restaurant may have exposed hundreds of patrons to hepatitis A.

The Journal News reports (http://lohud.us/1hqzs4V ) that the waiter may have exposed customers at La Fontana in Nyack to the disease between March 19 and April 1.

People who ate at the restaurant March 29 through April 1 can get a free hepatitis vaccine Saturday through Monday at the Rockland Fire Training Center in Ramapo.

 

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La Fontana waiter may have exposed hundreds of patrons to hepatitis A, health officials say

Health officials say a waiter at a popular Rockland County restaurant may have exposed hundreds of patrons to hepatitis A.

The Journal News reports that the waiter may have exposed customers at La Fontana in Nyack to the disease between March 19 and April 1.

People who ate at the restaurant March 29 through April 1 can get a free hepatitis vaccine Saturday through Monday at the Rockland Fire Training Center in Ramapo.

 

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Food Poisoning Bulletin

Oklahoma E. Coli Outbreak Investigated

Dr. Lauri Smithee, Acute Disease Service Director of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, spoke to Food Poisoning Bulletin and confirmed that an E. coli outbreak is associated with the Oklahoma Youth Expo held at the Oklahoma state fairgrounds in March 2014. Twelve people are sick, in various stages of confirmation. Four people have been confirmed ill with E. coli infections through lab tests.

Cow State Fair

Two children are sick with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and are hospitalized. One is two years old; the other is eight.

The investigation is still broad. Initial cases were reported following a livestock show, but more recent patients said they have had animal contact, but not at that particular show. Right now investigators are concentrating on case control studies and PFGE matches to see if contact with livestock was the cause of the illnesses, or if food or something else made people sick.

 

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     News 9

 

OK State Dept. Of Health Investigates E. coli Outbreak

Posted: Apr 03, 2014 5:55 PM CST Updated: Apr 03, 2014 5:55 PM CST

By Michael Konopasek, News 9 – bio | email
One of the patients, Connor Sneary, is fighting hard at OU Children's Hospital, according to family friends.
One of the patients, Connor Sneary, is fighting hard at OU Children’s Hospital, according to family friends.

OKLAHOMA CITY –

State health officials in Oklahoma are investigating a spike in a deadly strain of E. coli. At least a dozen people, who have attended agricultural events around the state, were hospitalized as of late Thursday, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Health professionals say they are still in the early stages of their investigation. As of late Thursday, officials had not located a source. One of the patients, Connor Sneary, is fighting hard at OU Children’s Hospital, according to family friends.

“He’s still in ICU in critical condition,” said friend Tina Baker who has been in contact with Connor’s mother.

Connor has a form of E. coli that the family believes may have been contracted at an agricultural event at the Oklahoma State Fair Grounds. Investigators say that is a possibility.

“It does appear to be clustered in groups of people that have attended various agricultural events,” said state health official Lauri Smithee, Ph.D.

 

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The Ottawa County Department of Public Health is investigating a gastrointestinal illness outbreak associated with the Wild Chef Japanese Steakhouse Grill and Bar in Holland Township, Michigan, according to WWMT.com. The restaurant closed voluntarily on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 after a number of customers reported becoming ill.

Hibachi

More than 100 cases are associated with the restaurant. Public health officials are investigating, and waiting for lab results to pinpoint what is causing the illness and if a particular food is responsible. Symptoms reported included nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, and fever.

 

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  Daily Herald Tribune

Local science project finds high levels of radiation in seaweed

By Elizabeth McSheffrey, Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune

Grade 10 Composite High School student Bronwyn Delacruz shows off her Geiger Counter, a handheld detector that measures ionizing radiation in certain food products.  Elizabeth McSheffrey/Daily Herald-Tribune<br /><br />
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Grade 10 Composite High School student Bronwyn Delacruz shows off her Geiger Counter, a handheld detector that measures ionizing radiation in certain food products. Elizabeth McSheffrey/Daily Herald-Tribune

When Bronwyn Delacruz started testing seaweed in her living room last August, she made an incredible discovery: Something unexpected may be lurking in Canadian waters.

The Composite High School Grade 10 student has found disconcerting radiation levels in seaweed products from local grocery stores and is concerned for the health of families who may be consuming them.

Her research on the subject recently earned gold at the regional Canada-Wide Science Fair in Peace River, garnering her a spot at the national competition in Ontario this May.

“I think any dose of radiation can be harmful,” she explained. “Any dose can cause negative health effects, no matter how small it may be.”

Delacruz tested more than 300 individual seaweed samples, with 15 brands exported from New Brunswick, British Columbia, California, Washington, China and Japan.

Each was purchased in an Alberta grocery store, and evaluated for radiation levels using a Geiger counter.

“I just wanted to see if it was contaminated and I did find radioactive contamination in it,” she said. “I’m kind of concerned that this is landing in our grocery stores and that if you aren’t measuring it, you could just be eating this and bringing home to your family.”

Radioactivity is measured in becquerels (Bq), and 0.5 Bq per square centimetre is widely considered an actionable level of contamination.

Delacruz said one Bq is equivalent to 1,450 counts over a 10-minute period, and many of her samples tested well over this amount.

“Kelp was higher than what washttp://www.dailyheraldtribune.com/ considered dangerous,” she explained. “Some of them came up to 1,700, 1,800 (counts).”

The student’s research delves further than surface measurements however, and speculates a cause for the unusual counts.

In March 2011, Japan was devastated by a massive earthquake and tsunami that led to the meltdown of two Fukushima nuclear power plants.

Delacruz believes the current has carried dangerous radiation from Japan’s east coast to Canada’s portion of the Pacific Ocean.

From April 2011 to October 2012, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) tested more than 250 samples of imported foods from Japan, including fish and seafood, processed product, grain, fruit and vegetables.

None of the samples posed a health risk to consumers, it said, based on a Health Canada action level of 1,000 Bq/kg.

 

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Japan Nuclear Crisis: Information for Canadians Regarding Imported and Domestic Food

Following the March 11 earthquake in Japan, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) took several measures to assess and protect the Canadian food supply from potential effects of Japan’s nuclear crisis. In coordination with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and other government and international partners, the CFIA implemented enhanced import controls, which did not allow food and animal feed products from affected areas in Japan to enter Canada without acceptable documentation or test results verifying their safety.

The CFIA also launched a sampling and testing strategy to monitor radiation levels of imported food from Japan, domestic milk and domestic fish off the coast of British Columbia. More than 200 food samples were tested and all were found to be below Health Canada’s actionable levels for radioactivity. As such, enhanced import controls have been lifted and no additional testing is planned.

Japan

British Columbia

Nevertheless, the CFIA continues to monitor events in Japan and assess any potential impacts on Canada’s food supply. Canadian officials continue to collect and assess intelligence from Japanese officials, Canada’s mission abroad and international authorities. Domestically, atmospheric monitoring continues and Health Canada continues to regularly monitor for radionuclides in food sold in Canada through its Total Diet Study. This would include imports from Japan. As well, Japanese controls on the sale of contaminated product remain intact.

Additional Information

Date modified:
2014-02-25

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Seafood Dish
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  Original uploader was Elapied at fr.wikipedia

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Food Poisoning Bulletin

Consumer Groups Sue FDA Over Mercury in Seafood

Earthjustice, along with Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Mercury Policy Project, are suing the FDA for “failing to respond to a July 2011 petition in which the groups asked the FDA to give consumers clear, accurate, and accessible information about toxic mercury in the seafood they eat.” At this time, the latest recommendations for pregnant women eating shellfish are to avoid certain species, and eat up to 12 ounces a week of other fish. Those recommendations were set in 2004.

seafoodThe lawsuit asks for a court-ordered deadline for the FDA to respond to its request that signs be required at seafood counters and on seafood labels to let consumers know how much mercury is in the fish they buy. The FDA had 180 days, three years ago, to respond to the petition, but did not.

Mercury content in seafood is a concern and has been for years. Airborne mercury comes from coal-fired power plants and gold mining. It falls into the ocean, where it is converted into methyl mercury, which is a neurotoxin. That concentrates in fish and shellfish. Methylmercury exposure is linked to lowered IQ, learning disabilities, and impaired cognitive functioning.

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Activists sue FDA over mercury disclosures in seafood

Consumer protection and environmental advocacy groups filed al lawsuit Monday, accusing the Food and Drug Administration of failing to act in response to calls for more public information about mercury levels in seafood.

The legal action follows a petition filed by the group Earthjustice three years ago, urging the FDA to require signs at supermarket seafood counters to telling shoppers about the amounts of mercury in fish.

The petition, filed on behalf of the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Mercury Policy Project, also calls for labels on packaged seafood.

The groups say FDA officials had, under the agency’s own rules, 180 days to respond to the petition but ignored the deadline in violation of federal law.

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