Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lipton Milk Tea Tainted With Melamine

As the extent of the melamine contamination becomes known, CNN today reports that Unilever withdrew Lipton Milk Tea from its Hong Kong markets. Melamine can lead to sevral health problems. Kidney stones, urinary tract ulcers, eye and skin irritation are common.

Also Read: Manufacturing giant recalls melamine tainted tea

Friday, September 26, 2008

FDA Updates Advisory on Melamine Contamination

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today issued an update alert on the melamine contamination crisis impacting consumers globally. Seven Mr. Brown instant coffee, milk, and tea products have been recalled by, King Car Food Industrial Co. Ltd. This is a Taiwanese company that has recognised that their products may be contamination with melamine.

This companies non-dairy creamer manufactured by Shandong Duqing Inc., China, has already been found to contain melamine. The FDA has advised against consuming the recalled products below and has asked retailers and commercial foodservice operators to remove them from their service and shelves:

Mr. Brown Mandheling Blend Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
Mr. Brown Arabica Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
Mr. Brown Blue Mountain Blend Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
Mr. Brown Caramel Macchiato Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
Mr. Brown French Vanilla Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
Mr. Brown Mandhling Blend instant Coffee (2-in-1)
Mr. Brown Milk Tea (3-in-1)

A report issued by the FDA noted that the agency is currently collaborating with food regulatory agencies globally to contain this crisis.

In the meanwhile, New Zealand Food Safety Authority reported finding a high level of melamine contamination in White Rabbit Creamy Candies. Citing this report, the FDA has advised that consumers not eat White Rabbit Creamy Candy. The UK supermarket TESCO has already pulled this candy from its helves as a precaution. The Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety also issued an alert on the candy after it tested positive for melamine in their laboratories, with more than six times the legal limit for the chemical. Australia has issued a recall and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore issued a similar advisory.
For further information, read: The Guardian and FDA.
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Listeriosis Outbreak in Canada

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has linked a deadly listeriosis outbreak to a Maple Leaf Foods plant in Toronto. Products include ready to eat deli meant under brand names of Schneiders, ML Sure Slice, Deli Gourmet, Burns. For a complete list, refer: CFIA Recall Alert.

Maple Leaf Foods had already issued a voluntary recall of the suspected products and closed its Bartor Road plant in Toronto after its meat products tested positive for the bacteria. Maple Leaf Foods has also widened the recall of the affected foods.

Canada's Public Health Agency has reported four deaths from this strain of listeriosis linked to the meat plant. A further 21 people are confirmed as displaying symptoms of this bacterium. Another 30 cases are now under investigation.

About Listeriosis:
Listeriosis symptoms can occur even 70 days after contaminated food has been consumed. The Health Agency thus expects the number of confirmed and suspected cases to rise in the coming days. This foodborne illness is most serious among the elderly, pregnant women and people with depressed immune systems. The bacterium is typically found in herd animals, meats, unpasteurized milk and unprocessed cheese products. Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, nausea or diarrhea. The infection can spread to the nervous system and cause headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and even convulsions. Treatment usually includes a course of antibiotics.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Local Living: Become a Shareholder at a Community Farm

Do you buy your groceries at your local farmers market? Or do you shop around your local farms and buy produce directly from them? Well, now there is another alternative that is catching on fast across the USA. Community-supported agriculture is undoubtedly the next big thing!!

In an article in The New York Times dated 10th July 2008, Susan Saulny, gives a great overview of exactly how this process is working both for farmers and consumers who wish to grow and shop fresh, local, and socially and environmentally sustainable produce.

Here's your chance to develop a healthy interest and support local farmers while simultaneously reducing your carbon footprint. Find you local CSA farm here.

Read: Cutting Out the Middlemen, Shoppers Buy Slices of Farms

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

21 Healthy Foods to Include in Your Diet

Here are some foods that nutritionists recommend including in your diet:

  1. Almonds: reduces cholesterol, prevents cancer, in Ayurveda it is considered nutritive for the brain and the nervous system, constituents of almond have anti-inflammatory, immunity boosting, and anti-hepatotoxicity effects
  2. Beans: chock full of the B vitamins including folic acid, niacin, pyridoxine and thiamine, good source of Vitamin K and iron
  3. Beets: rich in folate and antioxidants
  4. Cabbage: contains nutrient called sulforaphane, a chemical believed to boost cancer-fighting enzymes
  5. Cinnamon: said to assist in controlling blood sugar and cholesterol
  6. Canned pumpkin: high in fiber and vitamin A, has very few calories
  7. Swiss chard: packed with carotenoids that can protect aging eyes
  8. Frozen blueberries: associated with better memory
  9. Goji berries: considered a medicinal food in Tibet for over 1,700 years
  10. Guava: very high concentration of lycopene, an antioxidant that fights prostate cancer, just 1 cup provides 688 milligrams of potassium, and it is the ultimate high-fiber food - around 9 grams of fiber in every cup
  11. Purslane: a popular vegetable and herb in many countries, purslane has very high amount of heart-healthy omega-3 fats of any edible plant, and 10 to 20 times more melatonin - an antioxidant that may inhibit cancer growth
  12. Pomegranate Juice: could lower blood pressure chock full of antioxidants
  13. Prunes/Dried plums: packed with antioxidants
  14. Pumpkin seeds: packed with magnesium - a mineral linked to longevity
  15. Quinoa: high protein content (12%–18%), a balanced set of essential amino acids, good source of dietary fibre, high in phosphorus, magnesium and iron, gluten free and hence easy to digest.
  16. Sardines: high in omega-3’s, loaded with calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese as well as all B vitamins
  17. Salmon: high in protein, high Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and high Vitamin D content
  18. Spinach: rich source of iron, high calcium content, an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6, also a good source of dietary fiber, copper, protein, phosphorous, zinc, vitamin E,f omega-3 fatty acids, niacin and selenium
  19. Tomatoes: rich in vitamin C and contain lycopene
  20. Turmeric: it may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
  21. Walnuts: high in antioxidants and ALA - a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid, contain arginine - an amino acid that keeps blood vessels flexible

Friday, April 18, 2008

Malt-O-Meal Cereal Recall Linked to Salmonella

The recent recall by Malt-O-Meal of unsweetened Puffed Rice and unsweetened Puffed Wheat Cereals is being linked by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)to Salmonella poisoning. Around 21 people in 13 states have been diagnosed with salmonellosis that was caused by the same strain of Salmonella that was found in the recalled brands.

These were distributed nationally under the Malt-O-Meal brand name and under other private labels including Acme, America's Choice, Food Club, Giant, Hannaford, Jewel, Laura Lynn, Pathmark, Shaw's, ShopRite, Tops and Weis Quality. The cereal packs have 'Best If Used By' dates from April 8, 2008 (coded as 'APR0808') through March 18, 2009 (coded as 'MAR1809').

Consumers have been advised to throw out the product, while grocery stores and retailers have been asked to remove the cereals from their shelves.

A note on Salmonella: It is a type of bacteria that can cause serious and at times fatal infections in young children, frail, elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of Salmonella infection include nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Salmonella can also invade the bloodstream and cause life-threatening infections. Kindly contact your health care practitioner immediately and report the illness to their state or local health authorities, if you have experienced these symptoms after consuming this product.

At present, the FDA is working with Malt-O-Meal to determine the cause of the contamination and with the states and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify and prevent additional illnesses.

A full list of recalled products can be found at Malt-O-Meal.

Picture Courtesy: Malt-O-Meal

Monday, April 7, 2008

Ice Cream Recall

Inter-American Products, Inc., a division of The Kroger Co., has announced a recall on Private Selection Light Churned Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream in 1.75-quart containers with a 'Sell By' date of December 3, 2008. The two sales codes are: DEC0308 8070 and DEC0308 8080.

The ice cream has been recalled as it may contain egg, soy, and wheat, which are not noted in the ingredient list. The ice cream was distributed to Kroger stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Customers can return the product to a Kroger store for a full refund. Consumers with questions or concerns may call Inter-American Products, Inc. at 1-800-697-2448.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Raja Foods Recalls Bindis in USA

Most Indian women consider the bindi to be an integral part of their traditional dress. Indeed the bindi is believed to complete the attire and lend grace and elegance to the persona. Even today, many women do not step out of their homes without a pretty coloured 'bindi' on their forehead.

Yet, after sindoor, it is the bindi that has come under the radar of the US FDA.

Alleged as containing a high percentage of unsafe chemicals including lead, the bindi has as off now been forced off American shelves. Raja Foods, the primary supplier for the USA market has withdrawn bindis from the market there.

Lead is considered to be a dangerous chemical and can have serious effects on the central nervous system, kidney and heart.

Bindis are generally manufactured unchecked in India. There is no regulatory agency to oversee the production of such goods, and the market is filled with many spurious and unbranded products. Manufacturers are able to take the advantages offered to them by cheap synthetic dyes and salts to mass produce this product. The safety of such chemicals itself is in doubt.

In response to this recall, the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forest has observed that a mandatory standard does need to be established with the aim of addressing these shortcomings with a view to public health. The Drug Controller General of India still does not have any safety regulations for consumers.

It is important to note that most doctors advise that bindis should not be used if one experiences even the slightest of skin irritations.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Gorton's Seafood Recall

Suspected adulteration in Gorton's 6 Crispy Battered Fish Fillets is the cause for a recall issued by Gorton's Seafood. A Massachusetts based company, Gorton's is voluntarily recalling this frozen seafood product as it may have been adulterated with pills. So far one case of adulteration has been reported from the product.

This precautionary measure applies to:

Gorton's 6 Crispy Battered Fish Fillets
11.4 oz -- UPC #4440015770
Date code: 7289G1
Best if used by date: April 2009
It was produced on October 16, 2007
Distributed to retail outlets in Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

The said product is being removed from retail shelves, and consumers are being asked to check their freezers for products bearing this particular code. Gorton's is also conducting an investigation and working with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the Food & Drug Administration.

To return the product and receive a refund, call: 800-896-9479.

To complain, find you local districts FDA's complaint coordinators on the FDA website at: FDA Complaint Coordinators

For further information, read: FDA.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Recall Alert: Michigan-Based Company Issues Voluntary Recall for Canned Beans

Michigan-based New Era Canning Co., has made the voluntary recall of canned green beans and garbanzo beans because of potential botulism contamination, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Friday. The codes on the affected products begin with the numbers '00249', or the letters 'GREEN' or 'GARB'.

Acting in the interest of public health, New Era noted that the beans may be contaminated with Clostridium Botulinum, which is often the cause of botulism,a serious and sometimes life-threatening condition.Today, the company expanded its recall to include Mexican-style Chili Beans and Dark Red Kidney Beans also.

According to the FDA, the affected cans are institutional-sized containers, weighing around 61/2 pounds. The FDA has also said that the cans and contents must be thrown away very carefully. The smallest quantity of the C. botulinum toxin can cause a very serious illness. At the same time, the FDA has noted that:

To date, no illnesses have been reported to the FDA; however, consumers should not consume these products, even if they appear to be normal.

Product Labels affected include:
Bunny brand, Distributed by Bunn Capitol Company, Springfield, IL

Classic Sysco brand, Distributed by Sysco Corporation, Houston, TX.

Code brand, Distributed by Code, Atlanta, GA.

ComSource brand, Distributed by ComSource, Atlanta, GA.

ComSource Medallion Premium Quality brand, distributed by ComSource, Atlanta, GA.

ComSource Merit Excellence Food Service brand, Distributed by ComSource, Inc, Atlanta, GA.

ComSource Traditional brand, Distributed by ComSource, Atlanta, GA.

Frosty Acres Restaurant's Pride Preferred brand, Packed for F.A.B., Inc., Alpharetta, GA.

GFS brand, Distributed by Gordon Food Service, Grand Rapids, MI

goodtaste brand, Distributed by New Era Canning in New Era, MI.

Harvest Value brand, distributed by U.S. Food Service, Columbia, MD

Kitchen brand, Distributed by Potato Products, Detroit, MI.

Kitchen Essentials brand, Distributed by Gordon Food Service, Grand Rapids, MI.

Monarch brand, Distributed by Reid, Murdoch & Co., Columbia, MD

Monarch Premium brand, packed for PYA/Monarch, Inc, Greenville, SC.

Mount Stirling brand, Distributed by Pocahontas Foods USA, Richmond, VA.

Necco brand, Packed by New Era Canning Company, New Era, MI.

New Era brand, Distributed by New Era Canning Co, New Era, MI.

Nugget brand, Distributed by Nugget, Atlanta, GA.

Pocahontas brand, Distributed by Pocahontas Foods USA, Richmond, VA.

Reliance Sysco, Distributed by Sysco Corporation, Houston, TX.

Sysco brand, Distributed by Sysco Corporation, Houston, TX.

US brand Distributed by U.S. FoodService, Columbia, MD.

USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, Special Nutrition Programs, Alexandria, VA label.

For further information, read: FDA, CDC-Botulism, and New Era Canning Company Recall.

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