Trader Joe’s Supplier Recalls Peanut Butter for Salmonella Contamination

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Sunland Inc., which makes the Trader Joe’s brand peanut butter, has recalled 76 different defective products due to the possibility of salmonella contamination. According to an NBC News report, the company has recalled three brands of Trader Joe’s peanut butter and almond butter. The products have been linked to 29 infections in 18 states including California caused by the rare salmonella Bredeney. Sunland is also recalling peanut and almond products sold under popular brands including Archer’s, Earth Balance, Fresh & Easy, Heinen’s, Natural Value, Naturally More, Sprout’s and Serious Food. The products have best-by dates between May 1, 2013 and September 24, 2013.

The food poisoning cases linked to these products were reported between June 11 and September 2, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So far four people have been hospitalized. The company is recalling the products although officials say they have not detected positive results for the rare salmonella strain in the products. Symptoms of a salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain and cramping. The illness may last four to seven days. Some people who become more seriously ill may require hospitalization.

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Fresno-Based Company Recalls Cantaloupe for Salmonella Contamination

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DFI Marketing of Fresno is recalling cantaloupe due to food poisoning concerns. According to a news report in The Newport Beach Patch, salmonella was found on a single sample of cantaloupe during routine testing conducted at a wholesale produce distribution center, which is part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) testing program. So far, no illnesses have been reported. The recalled products include about 28,000 cartons of bulk-packed product. The fruit was packed on August 26, 2012 and distributed primarily to retail customers in 21 states including California. Some of the fruit was also exported to Mexico. Anyone who has these defective products at home would be well advised to not consume them.

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Mexican Mangoes Linked to Salmonella Outbreak in California

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Daniella brand mangoes that are imported from Mexico are being recalled due to food poisoning concerns. According to a USA Today news report, Splendid Products of Burlingame, California, which distributes the fruit, issued a voluntary recall because they have been linked to a salmonella outbreak. Canada’s Food Inspection Agency reports that the mangoes are linked to 22 salmonella infections while California has had 73 cases of the strain known as salmonella Braenderup. About 67 percent of those who were sickened in California said they ate mangoes, California Department of Public Health officials say. Washington State has also reported six cases.

My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by this salmonella outbreak. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

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Romaine Lettuce Recalled for E. Coli Contamination

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A California produce supplier has issued a safety recall for romaine lettuce due to food poisoning concerns. According to The Associated Press, the Salinas-based company Tanimura & Antle issued the recall on August 19, 2012 for Field Fresh Wrapped Single Head Romaine because of potential E. coli contamination. Representatives for the company say there are 2,095 cases of lettuce that are potentially contaminated. The recalled lettuce has a UPC number of 0-27918-20314-9 and likely a “best by” date of August 19, 2012. There have been no illnesses reported yet due to of these defective food products.

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Beef Products Recalled for E. Coli Contamination

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A Utah-based meat packing company is recalling about 38,200 pounds of beef products due to food poisoning concerns. According to a news report in Consumer Affairs, the food safety recall involves beef products packaged by Dale T. Smith and Songs Meat Packing. Officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed positive results for E. coli in the company’s beef products that were produced on August 7, 2012. The recalled products were distributed to wholesale and retail establishments in California and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Officials believe that this bacterial contamination may have occurred as the result of a refrigeration malfunction. All of the beef products manufactured on that day are being recalled because of possible cross-contamination. There have not, however, been any reported injuries or illnesses association with these defective products.

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Onions Recalled for Listeria Contamination

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California-based Gill’s Onions has expanded a voluntary recall because of food poisoning issues. According to a KTLA news article, the food safety recall began after listeria monocytogenes bacteria was found in a production facility where these products are manufactured. The contamination resulted in the facility being shut down on July 17, 2012 and in the recall of over 2,300 pounds of diced red onions with a “use by” date of May 14, 15 and 17.

The food recall has been expanded to include diced, slivered and whole peeled onions and diced onion/celery mix with use-by dates of on or before August 3. The Oxnard-based produce company has said that none of the products have tested positive for the bacteria and no illnesses have been reported. The voluntary recall of these potentially defective products is a preventive measure to minimize risk to public health.

Dangers of Listeria Poisoning

When listeria bacteria get into a food-processing factory, it can survive there for years contaminating food products. It has been found in raw foods such as meats and vegetables as well as in cooked or processed foods such as soft cheeses, meats and seafood. Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, which is a rare and potentially fatally disease. It is particularly dangerous for individuals with a weak immune system. In some cases, victims of listeriosis suffer from a high fever, neck stiffness, nausea and a severe headache. It has also been linked to miscarriages and fatal infections. More

Federal Government Approves New Safety Standards for Play Yards

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved new safety standards that will protect children as they play in portable play yards. According to Consumer Reports, these potentially dangerous and defective products, which are commonly referred to as pack-and-plays, were involved in more than 2,100 incidents. The play yards were reported to the agency between November 2007 and December 2011 accounting for 60 deaths and 170 injuries. The new regulations relating to play yard safety will become effective six months after the final rule is published in the Federal Register.

New Federal Safety Rule

The mandatory federal requirements for play yards include a stability test to prevent the play yard from tipping over; latch and lock mechanisms to keep the play yard from folding on a child when it is in use; entrapment tests for attachments so a child’s head does not get trapped; and floor strength tests to ensure structural integrity and to prevent children from getting trapped by the play yard floor.

The new rule will also mandate play yard manufacturers to follow minimum side height requirements to prevent children from climbing out of the play yard on their own. In addition, manufacturers must test the play yards to prevent the top rails from folding downward and cause a neck entrapment. However, manufacturers were able to do away with a provision that would have addressed misassembly, known to be a common cause of play yard deaths.

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FDA Panel Sees More Cons than Pros with Metal Hip Implants

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 18-member panel, which met recently to discuss the effectiveness of metal-on-metal hip implants, arrived at the conclusion that there are few reasons to continue using these defective medical devices. According to a news report in The Associated Press, there is a growing body of evidence, which suggests that the devices can break down early and expose patients to dangerous metallic particles. The metal-on-metal hip implants, which are being scrutinized by the FDA following numerous consumer complaints about the failing implants, were originally marketed as a longer lasting alternative to older ceramic and plastic models.

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Egg Producer Knew about Salmonella Contamination Months Prior to Recall

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The egg producer whose products were linked to nearly 2,000 food poisoning cases nationwide knew that their eggs were contaminated with salmonella four months before the outbreak occurred. According to an ABC news report, documents unearthed in a lawsuit by California food cooperative, NuCal Foods, show that in May 2010, Iowa State University’s Veterinary Diagnostics Lab had told Iowa egg companies owned by Jack DeCoster that salmonella had been found in dead chickens and in manure at DeCoster plants. In September 2010, the company recalled 550 million eggs nationwide, after the salmonella-tainted products sickened 1,939 people. There were no reported fatalities in connection with that outbreak.

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CDC Lowers Limit for Child Lead Poisoning

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it has reduced the limit for child lead poisoning from 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood to five. According to Consumer Reports, there is no amount of lead level that is safe in children. This move encourages everyone from product manufacturers to consumers and parents to work on eliminating all lead from the environment.

CDC statistics show that about 250,000 children in the United States between the ages of 1 and 5 have blood lead levels greater than 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood. About 450,000 children in that age group have lead levels greater than 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood. Under the earlier rule 10 micrograms was the level at which the CDC recommended that public health actions be initiated. Now that level has been brought down to 5 micrograms. This change also alters the definition of what is considered lead poisoning in children.

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