Tag Archives: cross contamination

Friday’s Food Recalls

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Foodfacts.com brings to you the latest news on food recalls!

True Leaf Farms is voluntarily recalling 90 cartons of chopped romaine because of the potential of contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. The recalled product was shipped between September 12 and 13 to an institutional food service distributor in Oregon who further distributed it to at least two additional states, Washington and Idaho. The romaine affected by this recall has a “use by date” of 9/29/11.
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No illnesses related to this finding have been reported

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections 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 recalled bags of romaine were packed in True Leaf Farms cardboard cartons and distributed by Church Brothers, LLC, and shipped between September 12 and 13, 2011. All bags carry a “use by date” of 9/29/11. Produce affected by the recall was labeled as follows:

2# bags, chopped romaine – Bag and box code B256-46438-8
Photos of the recalled product can be viewed at www.churchbrothers.com/recall. This recall includes only chopped romaine as described above.
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FDA notified the company today that a sample taken as part of a random check from a single bag of chopped romaine tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. True Leaf Farms is working with FDA to inform consumers of this recall. In addition, the company is working with its food service distribution customers to ensure that other romaine products that may be implicated are pulled from the market.

“We are fully cooperating with the FDA, and we are contacting all of our customers to ensure prompt removal of any product potentially associated with the recall,” said Steve Church, True Leaf Farms. “We are committed to conducting this recall quickly and efficiently to reduce any risk to public health.”

Anyone who has in their possession the recalled romaine as described above should not consume it, and should either destroy it or call Church Brothers, LLC for product pickup.

Consumers with questions or who need information may call Church Brothers, LLC, the sales agent for True Leaf Farms, at 1-800-799-9475, or may visit www.churchbrothers.com for updates.

(Food and Drug Administration)

Food Recall: Cargill Ground Turkey.. again.

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Brought to you by Foodfacts.com:

For the second time in barely a month, Cargill has voluntarily recalled ground turkey due to tests showing the presence of Salmonella, and has temporarily suspended ground turkey production at its Springdale, AR, processing plant.

Cargill announced the recall of 185,000 pounds of turkey that was processed at the Arkansas plant on Aug 23, 24, 30 and 31, 2011, after a random sample collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service Aug. 24 tested positive for the same Salmonella Heidelberg strain that sickened more than 100 people in 31 states earlier this summer. Twenty-seven people were hospitalized and one person died.

The Springdale plant was closed again Friday, and the recall announced at about 2 a.m. (PDT) Sunday as the nation prepared to observe the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are acting quickly in response to USDA’s sample testing,” said Steve Willardsen, president of Cargill’s turkey business, in a prepared statement. “Although there are no known illnesses associated with this positive sample, it is the same Salmonella Heidelberg strain that resulted in our voluntary recall on Aug. 3.”

Food safety attorney Bill Marler, publisher of Food Safety News, said it is significant that Cargill is recalling Salmonella-tainted ground turkey without evidence of human illness. “In essence, Cargill is treating Salmonella like it is in fact an adulterant. For that Cargill should be commended.”

Sunday’s recall is small compared to the August 3 recall of 36 million pounds of fresh and frozen ground turkey produced over a period of more than five months.

Following that recall, the Springdale plant was cleaned and the company installed an “enhanced food safety plan” designed to be “the most aggressive and advanced program in the poultry industry,” Cargill spokesman Mike Martin said at the time. The plant was reopened two weeks later, on Aug 18, having increased the level of antibacterial treatment in its turkey processing line.

“The measures that we put in place were showing encouraging results,” Martin told Food Safety News on Sunday. “We were seeing lower numbers of Salmonella positives since those new measures were implemented.”

However, some authorities had remained skeptical. Oregon epidemiologist Bill Keene was sufficiently concerned that he bought 15 packages of Cargill ground turkey in the Portland area and had them tested. Six of the 15 packages tested positive for Salmonella.

Last week’s FSIS test appears to confirm Keene’s suspicions that contaminated ground turkey remained on the market.

“As we all know, Salmonella is a naturally occurring bacteria which is ubiquitous in the environment,” Martin said. “It’s indicative of the challenges the food processing industry faces trying to get its arms around this problem.”

After two consecutive recalls, the Springdale plant might be considered suspect. But that plant is located in the heart of Arkansas poultry country, and it has been producing ground turkey for more than 20 years, Martin said. “And, prior to August 3, it had never had a recall.”

One alternative for safer ground poultry and other meats, which effectively kills bacteria without affecting the meat, Martin said. But the industry fears that consumers won’t accept irradiated food, which must be labeled as such.

Meanwhile, the latest recall “strengthens our resolve,” to ensure that its ground meat is not contaminated, Martin said.
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The recalled products are:

Fresh Ground Turkey Chubs (chubs are cylinders, or rolls, of ground turkey):
– 16 oz. (1 lb.) chubs of Fresh HEB Ground Turkey 85/15 with Use or Freeze by Dates of 09/12/2011, 09/13/2011, 09/19/2011 and 09/20/2011

– 16 oz. (1 lb.) chubs of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Fresh Ground Turkey with Use or Freeze by Dates of 09/19/2011, 09/20/2011 and 09/21/2011

Fresh Ground Turkey Trays:

– 19.2 oz. (1.2 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey with Use or Freeze by Dates of 09/10/2011 and 09/12/2011

– 48.0 oz. (3 lb.) trays of Kroger Ground Turkey Fresh 85/15 with Use or Freeze by Dates of 09/17/2011, 09/18/2011 and 09/19/2011

– 48.0 oz. (3 lbs.) trays of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey Family Pack with Use or Freeze by Dates of 09/11/2011, 09/12/2011, 09/13/2011, 09/15/2011, 09/17/2011 and 09/18/2011

– 16 oz. (1 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey with a Use or Freeze by Date of 09/11/2011

Fresh Ground Turkey Patties:

– 16.0 oz. (1 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White Ground Turkey Patties with a Use or Freeze by Date of 09/18/2011

– 16 oz. (1 lb.) trays of Kroger Ground Seasoned Turkey Patties Fresh 85/15 with a Use or Freeze by Date of 09/17/2011

When available, the retail distribution list will be posted on the FSIS website. Consumers who purchased the recalled ground turkey may return them to the retailer. Questions may be addressed by phoning Cargill’s consumer relations toll-free telephone number: 1-888-812-1646.

The company urged consumers to take normal precautions when preparing and cooking ground turkey and other meats. That includes cooking ground poultry to an internal temperature of 160 degrees, as measured by a tip-sensitive food thermometer, and washing with warm, soapy water hands, cutting boards, dishes, utensils or anything else that has come in contact with raw poultry. Keep raw poultry away from foods that won’t be cooked.

“We all need to remember bacteria is everywhere, and we must properly handle and prepare fresh foods,” Willardsen said in his prepared statement. “USDA food safety guidelines can be found on the USDA website.”

The earlier Cargill recall included fresh and frozen ground turkey produced between February 20 and August 2. It followed the determination by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that more than 100 people had been sickened and one had died from Salmonella poisoning attributed to Cargill’s ground turkey.

The CDC estimates that for every illness reported in such outbreaks, more than 30 cases go unreported, meaning that more than 2,000 people may have been sickened over the five months that the Cargill meat was being sold.

(Ross Anderson- FoodSafetyNews.com)

Celiac Disease- Why it may be on the rise.

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Foodfacts.com notices many of our followers struggle with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder which affects the small intestine after consuming gluten. We’ve come across on article that describes the possibly reasoning behind the rise of this disease. Check it out below!

(Yahoo Health) Nearly five times as many Americans have celiac disease today than in the 1950s, a recent study of 9,133 young adults at Warren Air Force Base found. Another recent report found that the rates of celiac disease have doubled every 15 years since 1974. The debilitating digestive disease is now estimated to afflict about 1 in 100 Americans. Why is exposure to gluten–a protein in found in barley, wheat, rye, and possibly oats, as well as other everyday products, including some brands of lipstick, vitamins and lip balms—making more people sick than ever before?

To find out more about celiac disease and the health effects of gluten-free diets, I talked to Christina Tennyson, MD of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University in New York City.

What is celiac disease? A debilitating digestive disorder, celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten. When people with the disease eat foods that contain gluten, a damaging reaction occurs in the lining of the small intestines, blocking its ability to absorb certain nutrients. This can lead to vitamin deficiencies and malnutrition, even if the person is eating a seemingly healthy diet.

What are the symptoms? One reason why this autoimmune disease often goes undiagnosed for as long as 10 years is that symptoms can vary from person to person. Among the more common warning signs of celiac disease are abdominal pain, bloating, gassiness, diarrhea, constipation, lactose intolerance, nausea and fatigue.
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How serious is it? Because celiac disease robs the body of vital nutrients, people who have it are at increased risk for anemia and osteoporosis. People who have celiac disease and don’t eat a gluten-free diet also face a higher threat of bowel cancer and intestinal lymphoma. The Air Force Base study found that during 45 years of follow-up, those with undiagnosed celiac disease were four times more likely to die.

What causes it? Although the cause isn’t fully understood, two genes are known to play a role, says Dr. Tennyson.
Why are rates rising? One theory is that today’s grain-based foods contain more gluten than they did in the past. Another is that kids are exposed to gluten at an earlier age, contributing to increased risk. A frequently proposed explanation is the “hygiene hypothesis,” the theory that we are too clean for our own good, resulting in weaker immune systems because we’re not exposed to as many diseases.
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Does a gluten-free diet help people lose weight? Many gluten-free foods are actually higher in calories than their gluten-containing counterparts and therefore lead to weight gain, reports Dr. Tennyson. “One of the pitfalls is that these foods are often highly processed and high in fat. Some ingredients that are used are low in fiber, such as white rice flour, tapioca and corn starch, causing constipation.” To avoid these problems, people with celiac disease should work with a nutritionist, she advises.

Does a gluten-free diet have any health benefits if you don’t have celiac disease? Possibly. In a randomized study in which neither the researchers nor the participants knew if the foods they were eating contained gluten or not, 68 percent of people who thought that a gluten-free diet improved their GI symptoms reported worsening of their symptoms when they were fed gluten-containing foods without their knowledge. However, the study only looked at 34 patients. Use of gluten-free diets for other conditions, such as autism, is highly controversial.

How trustworthy is gluten-free labeling? While products as diverse as lipstick brands to chocolate and many types of groceries carry gluten-free labeling, right now, there are no legal standards that have to be met in the US. In 27 other countries, food labeled as gluten-free food can’t have more than 20 parts of gluten per million. Nearly three years after the FDA’s deadline for a rule to define “gluten-free,” the agency is finally getting serious about tackling the dangerous risks people with celiac disease can face due to misleading labeling.

What’s the treatment? Although there’s no cure, symptoms can be effectively controlled through dietary changes to avoid all foods with gluten. However, if you think you might have celiac disease, don’t start a gluten-free diet until you’ve been tested for the condition, since eliminating gluten can cause misleading test results, cautions Dr. Tennyson. Because the disease can also spark vitamin and mineral deficiencies, patients may also need supplements. For people with severe small intestine inflammation, doctors sometimes prescribe steroids.