Thursday, November 18, 2010

Del Bueno Recalls Cheese Because Of Possible Health Risk

Del Bueno of Grandview, WA has recalled all size packages of the foollowing cheeses manufactured by them:
  • Queso Fresco Fresh Cheese
  • Queso Panela Fresh Cheese
  • Requeson Mexican Style Ricotta Cheese
  • Queso Enchilado Dry Cheese 
This recall is the result of environmental samples and finished product samples taken  by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as the finished product samples taken by Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA). The test results revealed that the cheeses are contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Listeria monocytogenes contamination can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include largely short-term symptoms such as fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. However, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

UPC dates of the products being recalled are as follows:
  • Queso Fresco Fresh Cheese, UPC 75318225028 for 16 oz. package, UPC 753182814063 for 3 lbs. package, date code up to and including Feb 10 2011.
  • Queso Panela Fresh Cheese, UPC 753182814056, date code up to and including Feb 10 2011.
  • Requeson Mexican Style Ricotta Cheese, UPC 753182814070, date code up to and including Jan 10 2011
  • Queso Enchilado Dry Cheese, no UPC date code up to and including Mar 15 2011.
These c heeses were distributed by Del Bueno to retail markets in Washington and Oregon and to the flea market in Pasco, WA. You can find the expiration date code stamped on the back of the packages. The cheese is packaged either in 1 lb. or 3 lbs. plastic vacuum bags. Del Bueno has notified their customers and has pulled the products from retail stores and the company is working with FDA to conduct the recall. If you have purchased Del Bueno brand cheeses are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Del Bueno
Jesus Rodriguez
425-503-3823 (8am-5pm PST)

Image Source: FDA

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Liz Lovely Voluntary Recall Chocolate Products: Undeclared Dairy

Liz Lovely, Inc. of Waitsfield, VT, a dairy free bakery, has recalled recalling cookie products containing chocolate or chocolate chips. Chocolate purchased from a third-party chocolate manufacturer has undeclared dairy present in it.

Liz Lovely cookie products are distributed nationwide in retail stores and through mail orders. People wirh dairy allergy are at risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these undeclared dairy affected products.

This voluntary recall includes Products with the following UPC:
  • Cowboy Cookies 6oz. Plastic Bag With 2 Cookies 893410000018 00497, 00504, 0051
  • Cowgirl Cookies 893410000056 00493, 00503, 0051
  • Peanut Butter Classics 893410000025 00496, 0050
  • Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge 893410001008 00499, 00415, 0051
  • Gluten Free Triple Choc. Mint 893410001122 0050
  • Gluten Free Chocolate Chip 893410001015 0050
  • Lovely Oh's 8oz. Plastic Clamshell Container 893410002111 00501, 0051
  • Mint Lovely Oh's 893410002159 00501, 0051
  • Peanut Butter Lovely Oh's 893410002289 00501, 0051
  • Organic Pretzels 893410002081 00501, 00513
It is important to note that, the lot number for the 6oz. plastic bags is stamped on each 12-unit case box, not printed on each package. Lot number for the 8oz. containers is printed on a sticker affixed to each unit, along with a best-by date.

The recall was initiated after one allergic reaction to dairy was reported. Production will resume on November 24, 2010 with 100% dairy free chocolate and updated product packaging. If you any of these products in a retail store or had them shipped between October 4, 2010 and November 15, 2010, you are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

More Information @: Voluntary Recall

Dan Holtz
802-793-4956 (8am-5pm EST)

Source: FDA

Thursday, November 11, 2010

E.coli Contamination in Gorgonzola Cheese Sold at Costco

Colorado State health department officials have issued a warning to consumers who purchased Mauri Gorgonzola Cheese @ Costco with sell by dates January 13, 2011, and January 14, 2011. E. Coli O157:H was found in an unopened package that was tested at the state health department's lab. Consequently, its distributor, DPI Specialty Foods of Tualatin, Ore., has issued a recall for this product.

Consumers should note that this cheese was sold only at the Costco stores in Colorado. It is packaged in clear plastic in 1 lb. wedges and can be identified by information contained on a white sticker on the package: DISTRIBUTED BY DPI Specialty Foods Tualatin, OR, ITALY 34449" with sell by dates of "01/13/11" or "01/14/11." The Costco item number is 34449.

The FDA advises consumers against eating this cheese. You can return it to the place of purchase or dispose of it in a closed plastic bag. Place the bag in a sealed trash can that prevents people and animals (including wild animals), from eating the product.

The FDA advises that E. coli O157:H7 infection can lead to diarrhea and abdominal cramps. While most people recover within a week, some may develop a severe infection. Rarely, a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome can occur (as symptoms of diarrhea improve); this can happen at any age but is most common in children under 5 years old and in older adults. People with hemolytic uremic syndrome should be hospitalized immediately, as their kidneys may stop working and they may be at risk for other serious health problems.

State health officials urge persons with signs or symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 to contact their health care provider. The latter should immediately report any suspected infection to state or local public health authorities.

Costco has removed the cheese from its stores and using card purchase records, has notified consumers by phone of the situation.

Lori Maldonado
Deputy Director, Office of Communications
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Cell: 303-921-8598

Consumers with questions contact DPI Specialty Foods @: 1-800-597-3876.

Source: FDA

Monday, August 16, 2010

Elie Baking Corp. Alert: Soy in Food City Low-Carb Tortilla

The Elie Baking Corp. of Brockton, Mass has issued an allergy alert on its Food City brand Low-Carb Tortilla White and Whole Wheat 10 count. This is due to the presence of undeclared soy in the products.

Details of Recall:

Food City brand, Low Carb Tortilla White, 13.5 oz, 10 count. UPC 0 87848 42002 0
Food City brand, Low Carb Tortilla Whole Wheat, 13.5 oz.10 count. UPC 0 87848 42003 0
MFG Date 07/21/10 & MFG Date 07/22/10 stamped on the top left of the bag.
Consumers are asked to note that people who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to soy run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products The products were distributed in K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. d/b/a Food City retail stores, in the following states: Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee. SP far, no illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The recall was initiated after it was discovered that product containing soy was distributed in packaging that did not declare soy in the ingredient statement. Consumers who have purchased Food City low Carb Tortilla White & Whole Wheat 10 ct are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Call collect: 508 584 4890
Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Image Source: FDA

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Iowa Company Issues Egg Recall in USA

Wright County Egg has issued the following statement regarding the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) on-farm records review and egg testing for Salmonella.
"Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa is voluntarily recalling specific Julian dates of shell eggs produced by their farms because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis or arthritis.

Eggs affected by this recall were distributed to food wholesalers, distribution centers and foodservice companies in California, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. These companies distribute nationwide.
Eggs are packaged under the following brand names: Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps. 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.
There have been confirmed Salmonella enteritidis illnesses relating to the shell eggs and traceback investigations are ongoing. Wright County Egg is fully cooperating with FDA’s investigation by undertaking this voluntary recall. Our primary concern is keeping Salmonella out of the food supply and away from consumers. As a precautionary measure, Wright County Egg also has decided to divert its existing inventory of shell eggs to a breaker, where they will be pasteurized to kill any Salmonella bacteria present.
Consumers who believe they may have purchased these shell eggs should not eat them but should return them to the store where they were purchased for a full refund. This recall is of shell eggs only. Other egg products produced by Wright County Eggs are not affected. Consumers with questions should visit Our farm strives to provide our customers with safe, high-quality eggs – that is our responsibility and our commitment."
Source: FDA
Image Source: FDA

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Goya Frozen Fruit Linked to Typhoid Fever Outbreak

An outbreak of typhoid fever in the USA has been linked to a frozen tropical fruit product used to make smoothies. According to the CDC five of the seven confirmed cases drank milkshakes or smoothies made with frozen Mamey fruit pulp sold by Goya Foods Inc. of Secaucus, N.J. Of the seven cases, three are in California and four in Nevada. Five people have been hospitalized.

Mamey is a sweet grown mainly in Central and South America. It is also known as zapote or sapote. It is usually peeled and mashed to make pulp that is then frozen and sold.

The FDA reported that a sample from one package in Las Vegas tested positive for the bacteria that causes typhoid. Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness caused by a type of bacteria called Salmonella typhi. Symptoms include a sustained fever as high as 103 to 104 degrees, along with headache. weakness, stomach pains or loss of appetite. Some patients have a rash of flat, rose-colored spots. It can be treated with antibiotics.

Goya has recalled packages of the pulp which was sold in the western USA. The recalled mamey pulp was sold in 14-ounce plastic packages in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington.
Also See: CDC - Typhoid Fever

More Information @: FDA

Photo Courtesy: FDA Product Labels

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Kellogg agrees to Restrict Advertising

An investigation by the FTC into some of Kellogg's advertising claims about the health benefits of its Rice Krispies cereal has led to a settlement between the two parties. Kellogg's has agreed to advertising restrictions regarding the following statement on the cereal box which says:

now helps support your child’s immunity; has been improved to include antioxidants and nutrients that your family needs to help them stay healthy

The FTC s taking action against Kellogg at a time when public health researchers are intensifying their challenges to the marketing of sugary foods. They noted that:

We expect more from a great American company than making dubious claims — not once, but twice — that its cereals improve children’s health.

The new order bars Kellogg's from making any claims about any health benefit of any food unless the claims are backed by scientific evidence and not misleading.

Kellogg responded by noting that the company had a long history of responsible advertising.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cadmium found on McDonald's 'Shrek' Glasses

Over 12 million glasses that were sold by McDonald's to promote the movie Shrek Forever After. This recalls follows a warning by the Consumer Product Safety Commission that they contain cadmium, a toxic metal. These glasses were sold only by the burger chain between May and June. The 16oz glasses were sold for $2.00 each and have a Shrek character painted on them.

Interestingly, the recall originated with an anonymous tip by an alert customer last week who told Rep. Jackie Speier (D) of California that the glasses contained cadmium. CPSC was contacted and the glasses were sent for testing. Speier has called for tougher safety standards for children's products.

Representative Speier noted:
Our children’s health should not depend on the consciences of anonymous sources. Although McDonald’s did the right thing by recalling these products, we need stronger testing standards to ensure that all children’s products are proven safe before they hit the shelves.
McDonald's notes that the glasses met federal safety standards during laboratory testing but they initiated this recall
in light of the CPSC's evolving assessment of standards for cadmium in consumer products
So far, no injuries from this product have been reported. For more information, consumers are encouraged to contact McDonald’s at (800) 244-6227 between 9 - 5CT Monday through Friday.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Lettuce Recall Due to EColi Contamination

A lettuce recall has been announced in 23 states and the District of Columbia apparently due to an outbreak of E. coli that has sickened at least 19 people. Three of them have life-threatening symptoms.

Local health departments in Ohio, Michigan, and NY noted that it is college students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Ohio State in Columbus and Daemen College in Amherst, N.Y., that are among those affected.

On Thursday, the FDA noted that 12 people were in hospital and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believed that another 10 cases were suspected to be linked to the outbreak.

In a press release, the FDA observed:
Multiple lines of evidence have implicated shredded romaine lettuce from one processing facility.
The lettuce came from Freshway Foods of Sidney, Ohio. They announced that they had initiated a voluntary recall of romaine lettuce sold under the Freshway and Imperial Sysco brands as they were believed to have a link to this E. coli outbreak. Freshway Foods said the lettuce was sold to wholesalers, food service outlets, in-store salad bars and delis.

Further, the FDA investigation is focusing on on lettuce being grown in Arizona as a possible source of this outbreak. E. coli infection can cause mild diarrhea or more severe complications, including kidney damage. The three patients with life-threatening symptoms were diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can cause bleeding in the brain or kidneys. The most common strain of E. coli found in U.S. patients is E. coli O157. The CDC said the strain linked to the lettuce, E. coli 0145, is more difficult to identify and may go unreported.

The recalled lettuce has a best if used by date of May 12 or earlier. The recall also affects "grab and go" salads sold at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets and Marsh grocery stores. The lettuce was sold in Alabama, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Only last year, the House passed a bill last year giving the FDA enhanced authority to police food production. However, the Senate has not as yet acted on it.

In a statement yesterday, Freshway Foods said that:
an extensive FDA investigation
of Freshway Foods' facility in Sidney has not uncovered any contamination at the plant. Consumers with questions can call the company at 888-361-7106 on weekdays (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT) or visit its website for updates ( The company's press release is @ News.

Also see:
FDA Press Release
CDC Investigation Announcement

Monday, April 19, 2010

Undeclared Sulfites in "Nut Tree Health Mix"

The New York State Agriculture Commissioner has alerted consumers that Green Land, 212-03 48th Avenue, Oakland Garden, New York 11364, is voluntarily recalling Nut Tree Health Mix. This is because undeclared sulfites are present in the product. Persons with sulfite sensitivity risk serious or life-threatening reactions if they consume this product.

The recalled product is packaged in 8oz, square plastic tubs and coded DATE: SEP 28 10 in black ink on the product label. It was distributed in the metropolitan New York area. The sulfite contamination was discovered during a routine sampling by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets' food inspectors. An analysis by the New York State Food Laboratory personnel of this product subsequently revealed the product contained high levels of sulfites. This was not stated on the label.

The consumption of 10 milligrams of sulfites per serving has been reported to elicit severe reactions in some asthmatics. Anaphylactic shock can also occur in sulfite sensitive individuals who consume 10 mg or more of sulfites. So far, no illness has reported to the FDA in connection with this product. Consumers are advised to return this product to place of purchase.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Whole Foods Recalls Frozen Whole Catch Yellow Fin Tuna Steaks

Elevated levels of histamine has led to a Whole Foods recall of its Whole Catch Yellow fin Tuna Steaks (frozen) with a best by date of Dec 5th, 2010. The product, sold in twelve ounce bags with Best by Date: exp 05 DEC 2010 with Lot Code: 4853309157A and displays the following UPC code: 0-99482-42078-9 Whole Catch Yellow fin Tuna Steaks (Frozen) 12 oz.

Whole Foods Market has removed the affected lot code from all store shelves. Product was distributed to 28 states plus the District of Columbia including Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, Connecticut, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Rhode Island, Maine and Washington, D.C.
Elevated histamine may result in symptoms that generally appear within minutes to an hour after eating the affected fish. It can produce an allergic reaction called scombroid poisoning when the fish is consumed. The most common symptoms of scombroid poisoning include tingling or burning sensation in the mouth, facial swelling, rash, hives and itchy skin, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. There have been two reported incidents by consumers.

Consumers can return it to the store for a full refund, or call the company @ 512-542-0656.

More Information@: FDA

Friday, April 2, 2010

Zatarain's Recalls Original Dirty Rice Mix Package: Unlabeled Wheat & Barley

Zatarain's has announced a voluntary recall of one of their products as it contains undeclared wheat and barley ingredients. People with wheat or barley allergies have the risk of serious and even life threatening allergic reactions if they consume this product.

Zatarain's Original Dirty Rice Mix, 8 oz. package with UPC Code 7142909535 and a "BEST BY" date of JAN 19 12H.This product was distributed to some grocery stores in Florida, Michigan and Virginia from February 15, 2010 onwards. The product is sold in 8 oz. boxes. Its date code is at the bottom of the package.This recall was initiated after it was discovered that the product was mispackaged. The ingredient statement on the package does not list wheat and barley as an ingredient. So far, no illnesses or allergic reactions have been reported..

Any grocery selling Zatarain's New Orleans Style Dirty Rice Mix packages have been asked to remove these products from their shelves immediately. Consumers should contact Zatarain's Consumer Affairs at 1-877-837-3796, weekdays from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM ET. You will receive a replacement or full refund and instructions on what to do with the product.

More Information @: FDA

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Nationwide Recall of Whole Black Pepper in H.D.W. FOODS Labeled Bags

Perfect Candy & Packaging Co is joining a recall of Whole Black Peppercorns. This product recall has been initiated due to the possibility of contamination with Salmonella

The product has an H.D.W. Foods Inc. label:

Whole Black Peppercorns, 2.0 oz Bags UPC# 080869654293

The pepper was distributed nationwide, and all retailers carrying this product are advised to remove it from the shelves. If you have purchased this product, kindly destroy it immediately. If you have any questions regarding the product, kindly contact customer service @ Perfect Candy & Packaging Co at 610-373-3253.

For more information on FDA’s ongoing investigation: FDA

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Modern Products recalls Seasonings: Possible Salmonella Contamination

Modern Products, Inc. is initiating a recall of products manufactured with HVP (Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein). This ingredient is potentially contaminated with Salmonella. The HVP comes from Basic Food Flavors (Las Vegas, Nevada).

To date, no illnesses have been associated with any Modern Products seasonings. In addition, random samples covering all HVP batches of concern were sent to an independent laboratory for testing and all results came back negative, but to be safe, FDA's recommendation to recall product is being followed.

The recalled products were sold nation wide via retail stores. Products recalled include:

UPC Number - Product Description - Code Dates/Lot #

0-75820-00000-4 Spike Original Magic!, 3 oz. 9J19, 9J20, 9K12, 9K13, 9K16, 9K30, 9L16, 9L17, 9L28, 9L29, 10B10, 10B11, 10B12, 10B15, 10B25, 10B26

0-75820-20408-2 Spike Seasoning, 7 oz. 9J21, 9L01, 9L17, 9L28, 9L29, 10B15, 10B18

0-75820-20616-1 Spike Seasoning, 14 oz. 9L03, 9L17, 9L21, 9L30, 10A12, 10A13

0-75820-30030-2 Spike Seasoning, 5 lb. bulk 9K05, 9K09, 9K10, 9K16, 9K17, 9K30, 9L18, 9L21, 10A18, 10B17, 10B18, 10B19

0-75820-00002-8 Spike Vegit Magic!, 2 oz. 9K02, 9L16, 10A19, 10B12

0-75820-20806-6 Vegit Seasoning, 4 oz. 10B11

0-75820-21012-0 Vegit Seasoning, 8 oz. 9L30, 10A12

0-75820-00001-1 Spike Vege-Sal Magic!, 4 oz. 9K02, 9K03, 9L29

0-75820-15410-3 Vege-Sal Seasoning, 10 oz. 9J29, 9L09, 9L29, 10B11, 10B18

0-75820-15222-2 Vege-Sal Seasoning, 20 oz. 9K17, 9K19, 10A13

0-75820-00005-9 Spike Hot ‘n Spicy Magic!, 2.5 oz. 10A19, 10B15

0-75820-00003-5 Spike Tenderizer Magic!, 3-3/4 oz. 9K03, 10B25

0-75820-00008-0 Spike Onion Magic!, 2-1/2 oz. 10B15

0-75820-17804-8 Hauser Vegetable Broth, 4 oz. 9L08, 10B11

0-75820-18008-9 Hauser Vegetable Broth, 8 oz. 9K09, 9K10, 10A14

The codes can be found along the base of the bottles/jars. Cartons/boxes will have the code embossed along the top of the package.

About Salmonella: Consuming products contaminated with Salmonella can cause serious and even fatal infections in persons who have a weak immune system. Young children, frail, and elderly people are particularly vulnerable. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella usually get fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Salmonella can also result more severe illnesses like arterial infections, infected aneurysms, endocarditis and arthritis.

For further information, contact:
Modern Products, Inc.
Tel 262-242-2400

Further Information via: FDA Recall Alert

Monday, February 8, 2010

Soft Drinks & Pancreatic Cancer

Soft drinks are linked with a higher risk of pancreatic cancer. We can't speculate too much on the mechanism because this is an observational study, but the increased risk may be working through effects of the hormone insulin.
Noel Mueller, lead author of study February issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Mueller's research notes that people who consume over two soft drinks per week are likely to double their risk of the deadly pancreatic cancer. The study was a collaboration between the University of Minnesota and National University of Singapore. It involved over 60,000 middle-aged or older Chinese Singaporeans. Researchers calculated how much juice and soda the participants drank on average and followed them for 14 years to see how many developed cancer of the pancreas. Based on this long-term approach, the research revealed that people who drank two or more sodas a week were 87 percent more likely to develop this cancer than those who didn't consume any soda.

The research also found no link between juice consumption and cancer risk. Previous research in U.S. and European populations has suggested an association between sweetened sodas and pancreatic cancer. This is the first study that has examined this association in an Asian population, though researchers believe that the findings will likely prove true for Western populations due to similarity of lifestyle and diet.

Type 2 diabetes, a disorder of blood sugar levels and insulin under-activity, has also been linked in studies to pancreatic cancer. Researchers suggest that high levels of blood sugar are associated with drinking soda and an associated increase in insulin levels. This increase prompts pancreatic cells to divide abnormally. Sugar-sweetened soft drinks can lead to weight gain, obesity, and eventually diabetes. Both obesity and diabetes are associated with higher risk of pancreatic cancer, one of the leading causes of cancer death in the US.

Some researches however have observed that the report should not cause undue alarm as adult soda drinkers are likely to engage in other lifestyle habits, including smoking, which may also contribute to the elevated risk.

The soft drink industry on the other hand disputes the findings. Richard Adamson, a consultant to the American Beverage Association and former scientific director of the NCI said:
The [study] authors are skipping several steps in trying to connect soft drinks with pancreatic cancer, including an allegation regarding an increase in insulin production. The fact remains that soft drinks do not cause cancer, nor do any authoritative bodies, such as NCI, name soft drinks as a risk factor for pancreatic cancer. You can be a healthy person and enjoy soft drinks. The key to a healthy lifestyle is balance -- eating a variety of foods and beverages in moderation along with getting regular physical activity.
All in all, it might be wise to consider a more cautious view of the situation - soda is not a food and does not belong to any food group. Eat healthy, and remember that moderation is the best mantra for all consumption and lifestyle related issue.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fertility Alert over PBDEs found in Household Consumer Products

Many household consumer products contain flame-retardant chemicals that research suggests reduces fertility in women. This comes as a part of a new research which reinforces previous studies on this topic. Papers published in the last two years have repeatedly suggested that the chemicals, polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs, affect human health.

PBDEs have been used as flame retardants in the USA for almost four decades. They are common in foam furniture, electronics, fabrics, carpets and plastics. While these chemicals are slowly being phased out, they are still found in products that were made prior 2004. Some of these chemicals have already been banned in California, but ironically Californians are expected to have higher exposures to them because of the state's strict flammability laws.

The authors of the study from UC Berkely noted that most of the previous research on the chemicals has been in animals. However a 2008 study linked the chemicals to disrupted thyroid levels in men. Further, a study published earlier this month tied PBDE exposure in pregnancy to neurodevelopmental delays in young children.

Dr. Hugh Taylor, an expert at Yale University not involved in this study says:
These are association studies. You can't show cause and effect. But we have cause-and-effect studies in animals, and we have association studies in humans. I think that is fairly convincing.
In the new study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers measured PBDE levels in blood samples from 223 pregnant women who were mainly Mexican immigrants living in an agricultural community. They were asked to remember how long they had been trying to become pregnant i.e. being sexually active without using birth control.

The research found that the women with the highest concentrations of PBDEs took a longer time to get pregnant. More alarming was the discovery that every 10 fold increase in the blood concentration of PBDEs led to a 30% decrease in pregnancy each month.

Previous studies had shown that 97% of Americans have trace levels of PBDEs in their blood, which may have come from some foods like dairy products, meat and fish, though household products are viewed as the primary source of exposure.

Environmental Protection Agency and the two largest manufacturers of one type of PBDE agreed to phase out the chemical only last month. The EPA banned two of the three mixtures of PBDE developed for commercial use as flame retardants in 2005, and a 3rd is to be phased out of production in 2013.

The study's lead author, Kim Harley, adjunct assistant professor of maternal and child health and associate director of the Center for Children's Environmental Health Research at Berkeley's School of Public Health observed:
The good news is these chemicals have or are being phased out. The bad news is their legacy will continue because of their presence in a lot of items in our homes.
But PBDEs, like many other hazardous chemicals before them, will be in the environment a long after they are banned for use.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Nipro Med Corp recalls 2 million medical needles in U.S.

A subsidiary of the Japanese company Nipro Corp, Nipro Medical Corporation, Miami FL, is initiating 2 nationwide recalls of syringes manufactured by them. The first is of all GlucoPro Insulin Syringes and was initiated on January 21, 2010. According to the FDA, these syringes may have needles that detach from the syringe. If the needle becomes detached from the syringe during use, it can become stuck in the insulin vial, push back into the syringe, or remain in the skin after injection.

This recall includes all product codes and lot numbers with expiration dates before 2011-11 (Nov 1, 2011):
Product Code Lot # Expiry date
JD+01U3008-5C A08022 2011-11
JD+01U3013-5C A08013 2011-06
JD+01U3013-5C A08017 2011-08
JD+01U3108-5C A08013 2011-06
JD+01U3108-5C A08017 2011-08
JD+03U3008-5C C08022 2011-11
JD+03U3013-5C C08013 2011-06
JD+03U3013-5C C08017 2011-08
JD+03U3108-5C C08013 2011-06
JD+03U3108-5C C08017 2011-08
JD+05U3008-5C B08022 2011-11
JD+05U3013-5C B08013 2011-06
JD+05U3013-5C B08017 2011-08
JD+05U3108-5C B08013 2011-06
JD+05U3108-5C B08017 2011-08

The second is a Class I recall of Exel/Exelint Huber needles, Exel/Exelint Huber Infusion Sets and Exel/Exelint “Securetouch+” Safety Huber Infusion Sets, manufactured by Nipro Medical Corporation for Exelint International Corporation. This includes 2 million Huber infusion set needles distributed in the United States. An October 2009 inspections of Nipro facilities by the FDA found problems with the needles that could allow pieces of the port's silicone core to become dislodged. The inspections found around 60-72% of Nipro's needles tested had this problem.

The needles are used for special medical purposes including accessing ports implanted under the skin of chronically ill patients for repeated access to veins, withdrawing blood, and injecting medicines. These needles should be designed to penetrate the port without cutting and dislodging any silicone cores (or slivers) from the ports into which they are inserted. The needles were distributed by privately held Exel International from Los Angeles. As of now, no injuries have been reported, FDA officials noted that they were concerned a piece of silicone could enter a patient's bloodstream.

Recalled needles were manufactured from January 2007 to August 2009. Units subject to recall have a lot number that begins with “07,” “08,” “09,” and one of the following product codes or catalog numbers:

Exel/Exelint Huber Needles Product Codes/Catalog Numbers:

Exel/Exelint Huber Infusion Sets Product Codes/Catalog Numbers With/Injection Site:

Without/Injection Site Product Codes/Catalog Numbers:
Exel/Exelint “SecureTouch +” Safety Huber Sets Product Codes/Catalog Numbers:

Hospitals, clinics and patients who have needles from these lists should immediately stop using these affected products and return any unused products to Exelint International Corporation. The FDA has issued a letter to manufacturers of other Huber needles to address design and manufacturing concerns.

Further Details @

Friday, January 22, 2010

Parker's Farm Recall Extended to their Products sold at Wisconsin Cheeseman®

The Wisconsin Cheeseman® has recalls Cheese Logs/Cheese Balls products in conjunction with the voluntary recall initiated by Parkers Farm, Inc. on January 15, 2010.

Parkers Farm, Inc., located in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, believes some of its food items have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. The recall was a result of a sampling done by the state of Wisconsin and the state of Minnesota.

Nine of the recalled products are cheese logs/cheese balls purchased from Parkers Farm, Inc. and then distributed by The Wisconsin Cheeseman®. These products bear the Parkers Farm logo. None of the other recalled products at Parkers Farm, Inc. was purchased or distributed by The Wisconsin Cheeseman®.

The Wisconsin Cheeseman® Food Gifts Impacted by Recall:
Sausage 'N Cheese Logs – Gift #11
Cheese Logs & Cutting Board – Gift #87
Smorgasbord – Gift #325
Cheese Log Trio – Gift #365
Cheese Logs – Gift #411
Cheese Ball Trio – Gift #441
Cheese Logs – Gift #509
Snacker Pack – Gift #751
Cheese Balls & Sausages – Gift #876

The FDA asks consumers who have any of these products in their possession to throw them out. Alternatively, the product can be returned to The Wisconsin Cheeseman® for a refund or replacement. Consumers who believe they may have become ill after consuming these products should immediately contact their health care provider.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pandemic Flu & Vaccine Supply - A WHO Controversy

India today asked the WHO to explain reports that swine flu was a false pandemic. During a meeting of the WHO Executive Health Board, the Indian Union Health Secretary noted that news reports that the pandemic was false were adversely impacting the public health measures being undertaken in various nations. She also called for greater transparency on terms and conditions on which international vaccine manufacturers were supplying vaccines globally.

In response to this intervention by India, the WHO has agreed to formally write to National Focal Points in all countries clarifying the factual position about the H1N1 pandemic. This should quell all doubts that had been created by recent reports which have placed the organisation squarely and rather uncomfortably in the middle of this controversy.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

E.Coli Contamination Leads to Beef Recall

Huntington Meat Packing, a Southern California based meat-packing firm has recalled around 864,000 pounds of ground-beef that might be contaminated with E. coli. The meat is sold under the Huntington, Imperial Meat and El Rancho brands. The affected beef was sold to distribution centers, restaurants and hotels in California between Feb. 19 and May 15, 2008, and between Jan 5. and Jan. 15, 2010. The labels on the recalled meat are stamped "EST. 17967". The recall includes:
  • 40-pound boxes of "Huntington Meats Ground Beef"
  • 40-pound boxes of "Huntington Meat Pkg. Inc. Beef Ground for Further Processing"
  • 40-pound boxes of "Beef Burrito Filling Mix"
  • 10-pound boxes of "Imperial Meat Co. Ground Beef Patty"
  • 20-pound boxes of "Imperial Meat Co. Ground Beef Patty"
  • 10-pound boxes of "El Rancho Meat & Provision All Beef Patties."
On Monday, 18th January, the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) observed that so far no illnesses have been reported from the said products. Officials report that a food safety assessment led department personnel to make this discovery.

E. coli is a potentially deadly germ - it can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration and, in the most severe cases, kidney failure. Children and the elderly are most at risk from this bacteria.

Read: USA Today
Huffington Post

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Massive Recall Initiated by Parkers Farms, Minnesota

The recent food products recall issued by Parkers Farm, Inc. has expanded to include ALL of it products. Please note: This is Regardless of Code Dates, Because of Possible Health Risk.

All date codes have been included in this recall due to fear of contamination with listeria monocytogenes. Though no illnesses has thus far been reported in connection with this recall, it is important for consumers to note that this organism can cause serious and sometimes fatal infection in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

The FDA notes that recalled products were distributed across the USA in the following retail stores: Hy-Vee, Cub, Rainbow, Byerlys, Lunds, Target, Whole Foods, Jewel, Dominicks, Marsh, Price Chopper, Shop Rite, Nash Finch, Sams Club, Costco, Safeway, Kroger, Wal-Mart, Aldi, etc.

Here is a partial list of recalled products sold under the Parker Farm or Parkers label:

  • 12 ounce & 16 ounce peanut butter in square plastic containers (tub with snap on lid), regular and organic varieties are creamy, crunchy, honey creamy and honey crunchy with sell by dates on or before 12/31/2010.
  • 34 ounce peanut butter in round plastic containers (tub with snap on lid), varieties are creamy and crunchy with sell by dates on or before 09/30/2010.
  • 7 ounce bagel spreads in white plastic containers (tub with snap on lid), varieties are garden veggie, wild berry, strawberry, apple cinnamon and honey walnut with sell by dates on or before 06/30/2010.
  • 12 ounce & 14 ounce dips & spreads in square plastic containers (tub with snap on lid), varieties are jalapeno nacho, pimento and salsa con queso with sell by dates on or before 09/30/2010.
  • 8 ounce, 12 ounce and 16 ounce cold pack cheese in round or square plastic containers (tub with snap on lid), varieties are sharp cheddar, bacon, onion, smoked cheddar, Swiss almond, horseradish, garlic, port wine, and swiss & cheddar with sell by dates on or before 12/31/2010.
  • 16 ounce salsa in square plastic containers (tub with snap on lid), varieties are hot, mild, garlic, black bean and fire roasted with sell by dates on or before 04/30/2010.
  • 32 ounce salsa in plastic jugs (clear jug with screw cap), varieties are hot, mild, garlic, and black bean with sell by dates on or before 04/30/2010.
  • 128 ounce salsa in plastic jugs (clear jug with screw cap), varieties are hot, fire roasted, mild and garlic with sell by dates on or before 04/30/2010.
  • 8 ounce, 9 ounce, 10 ounce Balls & Logs (in film over wrap), varieties are sharp cheddar, port wine, smokey bacon, ranch, garlic, jalapeno, pimento, spinach, jajik, beer and chorizo with sell by dates on or before 01/05/2011.
  • 5#, 5.5#, 10#, 30# Parker Farm cold pack cheese (white tub with snap on lid), varieties are sharp cheddar, onion, bacon, smoked cheddar, swiss almond, horseradish, garlic, port wine, and swiss & cheddar with sell by dates on or before 09/30/2010.
Other labels affected by this recall:16 ounce Happy Farms cold pack cheese in round plastic containers (tub with snap on lid), varieties are sharp cheddar, port wine and swiss almond with sell by dates on or before 12/31/2010.
  • 8 ounce Kroger cold pack cheese in round plastic containers (tub with snap on lid), varieties are sharp cheddar, port wine and swiss almond with sell by dates on or before 12/31/2010.
  • 8 ounce Central Markets cold pack cheese in round plastic containers (tub with snap on lid), varieties are sharp cheddar, port wine, swiss almond, horseradish with sell by dates on or before 12/31/2010.
  • 14 ounce Central Markets salsa con queso in round plastic containers (tub with snap on lid) with sell by dates on or before 09/30/2010.
  • 16 ounce Central Markets salsa in round plastic containers (tub with snap on lid), varieties are sharp cheddar, port wine, swiss almond, horseradish with sell by dates on or before 04/30/2010.
  • 8 ounce Dutch Farms cold pack cheese in round plastic containers (tub with snap on lid), varieties are sharp cheddar, port wine, swiss almond, horseradish, and swiss & cheddar with sell by dates on or before 12/31/2010.
  • 7 ounce Dutch Farms cream cheese spreads in round plastic containers (tub with snap on lid), varieties are strawberry, wild berry, honey walnut & apple cinnamon with sell by dates on or before 06/30/2010.
  • 8 ounce Crystal Farms cold pack cheese in round plastic containers (tub with snap on lid), varieties are sharp cheddar, port wine, swiss almond, bacon and jalapeno cheddar with sell by dates on or before 12/31/2010.
  • 8 ounce Heluva Good cold pack cheese in round plastic containers (tub with snap on lid), varieties are sharp cheddar, port wine and horseradish cheddar with sell by dates on or before 12/31/2010.
  • 8 ounce Amish Classic cold pack cheese in round plastic containers (tub with snap on lid), varieties are sharp cheddar, port wine, swiss almond, horseradish with sell by dates on or before 12/31/2010.
  • 10 ounce Amish Classic cheese balls & logs (in film over wrap), varieties are cheddar, port wine, ranch, smokey bacon, beef n onion with sell by dates on or before 01/05/2011.
  • 128 ounce San Pablo salsa in plastic jugs (clear jug with screw cap), varieties are fire roasted and mild with sell by dates on or before 04/30/2010.
  • 12 ounce Century Resources cold pack cheese food (tub with snap on lid), varieties are sharp cheddar, horseradish, bacon with a sell by date of xxx9 (the first 3 digits aren’t important, but the last digit must be a 9)
  • 12 ounce Century Resources pimento spread (tub with snap on lid) with a sell by date of xxx9 (the first 3 digits aren’t important, but the last digit must be a 9.
  • 8 ounce and 12/12 ounce Century Resources cheese ball & log (in film over wrap) sharp cheddar with a sell by date of xxx9 (the first 3 digits aren’t important, but the last digit must be a 9)
  • 12 ounce Century Resources salsa con queso (tub with snap on lid) with a sell by date of xxx9 (the first 3 digits aren’t important, but the last digit must be a 9)
  • 4#, 5.5# Block & Barrel cold pack cheese (white tub with snap on lid), varieties are sharp cheddar, swiss almond, horseradish, port wine and pimiento spread with packed on dates on or before 12/30/2009.
  • 30# Block & Barrel sharp cheddar cold pack cheese (white pail with snap on lid) with packed on dates on or before 12/30/2009.
  • 5# Cobblestone cold pack cheese (white tub with snap on lid), varieties are sharp cheddar, port wine, swiss almond, horseradish with sell by dates on or before 06/30/2010.
  • 30# Cobblestone sharp cheddar cold pack cheese (white pail with snap on lid) with sell by dates on or before 06/30/2010.
  • 5# Biery label cold pack cheese (white tub with snap on lid), varieties are sharp cheddar and port wine with sell by dates on or before 09/30/2010.
  • 5# Dierks Waukesha cold pack cheese (white tub with snap on lid), varieties are sharp cheddar, port wine, horseradish, swiss almond with sell by dates on or before 09/30/2010.
This recall resulted from a sampling done by the state of Wisconsin and the state of Minnesota. The sampling revealed that some finished products contained bacteria. An investigation is under way and consumers who have purchased these products are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Consumers with questions may contact the company at: (800) 869-6685.

Image Courtesy: Parkers Farm

Friday, January 15, 2010

McNeil Consumer Recall goes Global , Gets Slap on Wrist from FDA

McNeil Consumer Healthcare today expanded its recall to include some batches of regular and extra-strength Tylenol children's Tylenol, eight-hour Tylenol, Tylenol arthritis, Tylenol PM, children's Motrin, Motrin IB, Benadryl Rolaids, Simply Sleep, and St. Joseph's aspirin. Apart from tese, Caplet and Geltab products that are being sold in the Americas, the United Arab Emirates, and Fiji were recalled.

This ever-expanding recall by McNeil Consumer Healthcare Products of its Tylenol, Motrin and other over-the-counter products has received a slap on the wrist from the FDA. Tainted by the chemical tribromoanisole embedded in wooden shipping pallets, this Johnson & Johnson company today was accused of not paying timely and proper attention towards the investigation of the contamination and subsequent recall.

Deborah Autor, chief of compliance at FDA's drug office noted:
"McNeil should have acted faster. When something smells bad, literally and figuratively, companies must take all necessary actions to solve the problem."
She observed that McNeil was aware of the problem as far back as September 2008, but failed to notify the FDA until a year later in September 2009. Further McNeil did not actually begin the product recall until November 2009.

Current regulations do not permit FDA to recall products on its own authority. Recalls and notifications are the responsibility of the company making the product. Due to the significant delays in this case, the FDA today fired McNeil a warning letter asking that they upgrade their manufacturing. The FDA wants an explanation as to why the problem was not made public sooner. Johnson & Johnson has 15 days to respond, J&J said they are working with the FDA.

More news on J&J: The company has also been cited by today by Federal prosecutors in Boston for paying tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks to nursing homes. They paid the money so that the nursing homes put more of their patients on its blockbuster schizophrenia drug. Particularly, the company gave special rebates to Omnicare Inc. Omnicare is one of the biggest companies in the USA providing pharmacy services to nursing homes. The kickbacks were in return for recommendations from its pharmacists that patients use Risperdal.

Read More:
McNeil Product Recall
LA Times

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Now, Its Fecal Matter in Soda Fountains??

A team of microbiologists from Hollins University have found that around half of sodas tested from the fast food fountains contain coliform bacteria. This bacteria is typically fecal in origin. What was even more alarming in this study was that microbiologists found that the bacteria also antibiotic resistant - most of the bacteria showed resistance to one or more of the 11 antibiotics tested. The study included testing of 90 beverages from 30 soda fountains. They included sugar sodas, diet sodas, and water.

The findings of this research have been published the International Journal of Food Microbiology. Their abstract states:

...Coliform bacteria was detected in 48% of the beverages and 20% had a heterotrophic plate count greater than 500 cfu/ml. [...] More than 11% of the beverages analyzed contained Escherichia coli [E. Coli] and over 17% contained Chryseobacterium meningosepticum. Other opportunistic pathogenic microorganisms isolated from the beverages included species of Klebsiella, Staphylococcus, Stenotrophomonas, Candida, and Serratia. Most of the identified bacteria showed resistance to one or more of the 11 antibiotics tested.
Only one outbreak linked to a soda fountain has been recorded ten years ago. However, on an individual level, these bacteria can lead to sickness that often goes unreported.