Tag Archives: soda

McDonald’s Fatal Soda Fountain CO2 Leak

Foodfacts.com is saddened to hear the recent news of a woman losing her life after an accident involving a carbon dioxide leak at her local McDonald’s. Soda machines at fast-food restaurants often have carbon dioxide lines running to the fountains to incorporate carbonation. Unfortunately, one of the lines at a McDonald’s in Savannah, Georgia had leaked between the walls and into the women’s bathroom, where the women was asphyxiated. Read below for more details of this sad story.

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Carbon dioxide piped through gas lines to a soda fountain leaked in a McDonald’s in Georgia and sickened 10 people, including a woman who later died after being found unconscious in a restroom, police said Wednesday.

Investigators determined a leaky gas line between the walls caused the gas, used to pump carbonation into sodas, to build up a week ago to the point where people inside were unable to breathe.

“It caused what is normally a harmless gas to be pumped into the wall cavity and leak into the women’s restroom,” said Pooler Police Chief Mark Revenew. “At a high level of concentration, it displaces oxygen.”

Firefighters were called Sept. 7 to the restaurant in Pooler, about 10 miles west of Savannah, and two women were found unconscious in a restroom. They were later admitted to a Savannah hospital, where eight others from the restaurant were treated and released. Eighty-year-old Anne Felton of Ponte Vedra, Fla., died the next day.

Investigators initially suspected customers fell ill to noxious fumes from cleaning chemicals. An autopsy found no trace of chemicals in Felton, Revenew said, but it indicated she succumbed to asphyxiation.

The restaurant’s franchisees, John and Monique Palmaccio, said in a statement they “are committed to running safe, welcoming restaurants.”

“We worked closely with the authorities to determine the cause of this incident and we’ve taken action to correct the situation,” the statement said.

The police chief said the owners had replaced the soda fountain’s gas lines and valves and were allowed to reopen the restaurant.

“At this point we don’t anticipate criminal charges,” Revenew said. “It just appears to be a mistake.”

The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration is also investigating. OSHA investigators were conducting interviews last week, looking into possible workplace safety violations.

(Huffington Post)

Fast Foods and Food Stamps?

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Approximately 45 million low-income Americans are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program which provides food stamps to purchase produce, meats, dairy, breads, and packaged foods. There has been much controversy over which foods should actually be allowed to be purchased with food stamps based on nutritional value. Currently, items such as sodas, candy, and chips are able to be purchased, despite seeing trends in the rising obesity epidemic which is largely seen in low-income communities.

Recently, the Yum! Corporation which owns Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Long John Silver’s have been lobbying to have their fast food restaurants included within food stamp programs. They’ve caught on to the increasing use of food stamps during these rough economic years and would like to take full advantage of the opportunity.

What are people saying about this? Some anti-hunger coalitions are actually encouraging it! They’re reasoning, not everyone can get to a grocery store, so a fast food restaurant may be the optimal choice for some. At Foodfacts.com, we’re aware that many people are facing a tough financial time. However, we wouldn’t be so quick to recommend a 2 minute walk to get a KFC Double Down, when you may have some access to whole foods with proper nutritional value.

In good news, many public health organizations are rallying against this movement. They argue that the more revenue these fast-food chains bring in, the more health complications we see, and the higher price we pay later on. Try to eat whole, nutrient-dense foods as much as possible!


Brominated Vegetable Oil in Soda!

sunkist-soda-can-flavorBrought to you by Foodfacts.com:

Soda sales around the world have sky-rocketed in the last 6 decades. Brands such as Coca Cola, Pepsi, and Cadbury Schweppes have made billions of dollars in revenue selling their flavorful and bubbly beverages worldwide. Another trend running parallel to this one; lack of reading nutrition labels. Major food companies recognize that many consumers neglect to read the nutrition fact labels. Therefore, they have more room to sneak in potentially harmful ingredients without raising any eyebrows. One ingredient in particular is brominated vegetable oil.
As mentioned in last week’s blog pertaining to potassium bromate; Bromine is a harmful halogen element which is highly reactive and potentially lethal to biological organisms. In soda applications, bromine is bonded to atoms of vegetable oil to be used as an emulsifier. This emulsifier helps citrus flavors stay suspended in the beverage and also provide a cloudy appearance. Brominated vegetable oil has been used in soda industries since the early 1930′s.

In many countries, BVO has already been banned as a food additive. However, the US has yet to make take this step. So how does the FDA regulate this ingredient? BVO is on the short list of interim food additives. This is basically a list of “questionable” food additives that are still in production as research continues to explore the safety and potential health effects. Why this list was created?


“The Commissioner recognizes that, with the vast increase in the quantity of scientific testing and in the sophistication of test methodology, there is virtually no[ ] natural or synthetic food substance that cannot be questioned on some technical ground. It would be impossible to require elimination from the food supply of every food substance for which such scientific questions have been or will be raised.”

Currently, BVO is added in certain quantities to flavorings for citrus sodas. Make sure to closely examine food labels and be on the lookout for this ingredients!

A Closer Look at Sodas

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In the late 18th century, Englishman Joseph Priestley, was credited for discovering a new beverage that infused carbon dioxide with water to create a bubbly and refreshing soda water. To enhance the flavor, people began adding wines, fruit juices, spices, and lemony phosphoric acid. This became a hit, and not long after, people were asking for larger amounts of this beverage. Chemists then began creating their own soda water-making apparatuses to sell to pharmacies to help distribute and make profits.

Currently, there are thousands of different varieties and flavors of soda that fly off the shelves on a daily basis. However, the soda water we see today is not as simple as the original version that first appeared in the 18th century. Today, the soda industry adds sugar for sweetness, preservatives for shelf-life, and food coloring for appearance. Today we’ll be taking a closer look at the main ingredients present in your favorite sodas.

Canada Dry Caffeine Free Ginger Ale Soda
Ingredients: Water Carbonated, Corn Syrup High Fructose, Sugar and/or Citric Acid, Flavoring Natural, Sodium Benzoate, Preservative, Caramel Color
High fructose corn syrup is created by a complex process that involves breaking down cornstarch with enzymes, and the result is a roughly 50/50 mix of fructose and glucose. Americans are now consuming at least 200 calories of high fructose corn syrup each day. We would also like to note that the increasing use of this sweetener is along the side of rising obesity numbers in the US. Some researchers argue that the body metabolizes HFCS differently, making it easier to store as fat, but this theory has not been proven.

Coca-Cola Sprite Caffeine Free Lemon-Lime Soda
Ingredients: Water Carbonated, Corn Syrup High Fructose and/or Sucrose, Citric Acid, Flavor(s) Natural, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate To protect taste
According to labeling laws and regulations, some ingredients do not have to be listed as specific names. This is when you commonly see the terms flavors, spices, artificial flavors, and natural flavors. Most of us recognize artificial flavors as an immediate red-flag, because they are commonly man-made, synthetic ingredients that many choose to avoid. However, natural flavors must mean they’re made from natural sources, right? Unfortunately, this is not necessarily true. Just like any others, natural flavors are often man-made by flavorists within different food companies. To give you a better description, we found the exact definition as defined by the Code of Federal Regulations:

Title 21, Section 101, part 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations is as follows:
“The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional. Natural flavors include the natural essence or extractives obtained from plants listed in Secs. 182.10, 182.20, 182.40, and 182.50 and part 184 of this chapter, and the substances listed in Sec. 172.510 of this chapter.

Sodium Benzoate is a preservative that is known to form a chemical known as benzene when in the presence of vitamin C. Benzene not only causes damage to DNA; it’s also a known carcinogen and appears to play a role in a variety of diseases due to it’s DNA damaging capabilities. Recently, sodium benzoate has also been shown to increase hyperactivity in children when in the presence of food coloring. (i.e. caramel color)

Dr. Pepper Soda
Ingredients: Water Carbonated Corn Syrup High Fructose, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Flavor(s) Natural & Artificial, Sodium Benzoate, Caffeine

Caramel color can be found in darker colas and drinks. What is it? We know it’s not the process of heating sugar in a saucepan at home. Instead, it is made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperatures. This creates two chemical compounds, 2-methylimidazole and 4 methylimidazole, carcinogenic products that have been shown to cause lung, liver, thyroid cancer, and leukemia in laboratory mice. Chemicals that cause cancer in animals are considered to pose cancer threats to humans. The Center for Public Interest in Science petitioned to have caramel coloring banned from all food supply products this past year. If this ingredient is not removed, they suggest they be labeled more honestly. Their suggestion: ” ammonia process caramel.”

Coca-Cola Classic Cola Soda
Ingredients: Water Carbonated, Corn Syrup High Fructose and/or Sucrose, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Flavor(s) Natural, Caffeine
Phoshporic acid and caffeine share a similar effect in regards to calcium. These ingredients eliminate calcium from the body, by being excreted through the urine. For every 100mg of caffeine, the body loses 6mg of calcium. Also, caffeine can be dangerous in larger amounts because of its effects on the central nervous system. Over consumption of caffeine has been linked to anxiety attacks, depression, sleep disorders, decreased memory function, and ADHD.

6 Foods That Weaken Bones

Foodfacts.com looks into 6 foods that can cause your bones to weaken. To build and maintain h5 bones, eating the right foods makes all the difference. By the same token, certain foods can actually sap bone strength by leaching minerals right out of the bone, or they block the bone’s ability to regrow. Surprisingly, some of these are foods we eat lots of every day. Here, the six biggest bone-sappers:

1. Soft drinks

Soft drinks pose a double-whammy danger to bones. The fizziness in carbonated drinks often comes from phosphoric acid, which ups the rate at which calcium is excreted in the urine. Meanwhile, of course, soft drinks fill you up and satisfy your thirst without providing any of the nutrients you might get from milk or juice.soda

What to do:
When you’re tempted to reach for a cola, instead substitute milk, calcium- and vitamin D-fortified orange juice, or a fruit smoothie made with yogurt. Or just drink water when you’re thirsty, and eat a diet high in bone-building nutrients.

2. Salt

Salt saps calcium from the bones, weakening them over time. For every 2,300 milligrams of sodium you take in, you lose about 40 milligrams of calcium, dietitians say. One study compared postmenopausal women who ate a high-salt diet with those who didn’t, and the ones who ate a lot of salt lost more bone minerals. Our American diet is unusually salt-heavy; many of us ingest double the 2,300 milligrams of salt we should get in a day, according to the 2005 federal dietary guidelines.

What to do:
The quickest, most efficient way to cut salt intake is to avoid processed foods. Research shows that most Americans get 75 percent of their sodium not from table salt but from processed food. Key foods to avoid include processed and deli meats, frozen meals, canned soup, pizza, fast food such as burgers and fries, and canned vegetables.

3. Caffeine

coffee2The numbers for caffeine aren’t as bad as for salt, but caffeine’s action is similar, leaching calcium from bones. For every 100 milligrams of caffeine (the amount in a small to medium-sized cup of coffee), you lose 6 milligrams of calcium. That’s not a lot, but it can become a problem if you tend to substitute caffeine-containing drinks like iced tea and coffee for beverages that are healthy for bones, like milk and fortified juice.

What to do:
Limit yourself to one or two cups of coffee in the morning, then switch to other drinks that don’t have caffeine’s bone-sapping action. Adding milk to your coffee helps to offset the problem, of course.

4. Vitamin A

In the case of vitamin A, recent research is proving that you really can get too much of a good thing. Found in eggs, full-fat dairy products, liver, and vitamin-fortified foods, vitamin A is important for vision and the immune system. But the American diet is naturally high in vitamin A, and most multivitamins also contain vitamin A. So it’s possible to get much more than the recommended allotment of 5,000 IUs (international units) a day — which many experts think is too high anyway.

Postmenopausal women, in particular, seem to be susceptible to vitamin A overload. Studies show that women whose intake was higher than 5,000 IUs had more than double the fracture rate of women whose intake was less than 1,600 IUs a day.

What to do:
Switch to low-fat or nonfat dairy products only, and eat egg whites rather than whole eggs (all the vitamin A is in the yolk). Also check your multivitamin, and if it’s high in vitamin A, consider switching to one that isn’t.

5. Alcohol

Think of alcohol as a calcium-blocker; it prevents the bone-building minerals you eat from being absorbed. And heavy drinking disrupts the bone remodeling process by preventing osteoblasts, the bone-building cells, from doing their job. So not only do bones become weaker, but when you do suffer a fracture, alcohol can interfere with healing.

What to do:
Limit your drinking to one drink a day, whether it’s wine, beer, or hard alcohol.

6. Hydrogenated oils

For a number of years now, we’ve known from studies that the process of hydrogenation, which turns liquid vegetable oil into the solid oils used in commercial baking, destroys the vitamin K naturally found in the oils. Vitamin K is essential for h5 bones, and vegetable oils such as canola and olive oil are the second-best dietary source of this key nutrient, after green leafy vegetables. However, the amounts of vitamin K we’re talking about are tiny here — one tablespoon of canola oil has 20 micrograms of K, and one tablespoon of olive oil has 6 micrograms, as compared with 120 micrograms in a serving of spinach.

What to do:
If you’re eating your greens, you don’t need to worry about this too much. If you’re a big lover of baked goods like muffins and cookies, bake at home using canola oil when possible, and read labels to avoid hydrogenated oils (which many manufacturers of processed foods have eliminated in recent years).

Information provided by Yahoo health.

Aspartame Causing Severe Depression?

Aspartame Causing Severe Depression? | Foodfacts.com

Aspartame Causing Severe Depression? | Foodfacts.com

Our Foodfacts.com Blog research on aspartame has revealed additional speculation and claims worth exploring.

The National Institutes of Health characterize aspartame as an artificial sweetener that’s 220 times sweeter than sugar. It’s a combination of phenylalanine and aspartic acid. Both of these ingredients are considered amino acids, which can make them sound somewhat healthy in nature. However, there are links between the consumption of aspartame and depression. Continue reading

Concerns over Caramel Color in Soda Causing Cancer

The Center for Science In The Public Interest is calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban the caramel color used in some sodas and foods. Soy sauces, steak sauces, dark beers, syrups and the popular Coca-Cola and Pepsi sodas may all contain this chemical color additive.

The Center for Science In The Public Interest is asking the FDA to ban Caramel IV and Caramel III, both made with ammonia. The color additive is also know as, 4-Methylimidazole (4-MEI).

The American Beverage Association stated that 4-MEI is safe and is not a human carcinogen.

Coca-Cola released the following statement:

Our beverages are completely safe. Ensuring the safety of our products and maintaining the confidence of consumers are the most important priorities for The Coca-Cola Company.

CSPI’s statement irresponsibly insinuates that the caramel used in our beverages is unsafe and maliciously raises cancer concerns among consumers. This does a disservice to the very public for which CSPI purports to serve. In fact studies show that the caramel we use does not cause cancer. Further, the caramel we use does not contain the 2-MEI alleged by CSPI.

4-MEI is found in trace amounts in a wide variety of foods and beverages, including Coca-Cola. In fact, it forms normally in the ‘browning reaction’ while cooking, even in one’s own kitchen.

These extrapolations by CSPI to human health and cancer are totally unfounded. We have a responsibility to challenge Mr. Jacobson’s statements and make the truth clear for the public.

It should be noted that often animal lab tests do not correlate directly to human testing. As of now, it seems the biggest risk for drinking soda is obesity.

Can Soft Drinks Be Healthy?

Can Soft Drinks Be Healthy?

Can Soft Drinks Be Healthy?

For those of you who love your diet-Pepsi, crave cream soda and can’t have a meal without your CocaCola, there is bad news. Many dieters depend on diet drinks and sodas when following a weight loss plan. It seems logical and the right thing to do: cut back on your sugar intake and reduce daily calories. It’s all so easy, especially when diet sodas allow you to experience the same great taste as a regular soda, as well as the caffeine high, without getting excess calories. Continue reading