Archive for January, 2011

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Think Before You Bite – Recalls This Week

January 27, 2011
 

 

 

 
 

 

 

S.T.O.P. E-alert

Listeria in Bagged Salads

LANDOVER, Md., Jan. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Following notification from its supplier, State Garden, Giant Food of Landover, Md. has announced a voluntary recall of several Nature’s Promise organic bagged salad items due to the potential for listeria contamination. All affected products contain a “Best if Used By Date” of January 15, 2011.

The following products are affected by this recall:

  • Nature’s Promise Organic Baby Spinach & Spring Mix, 7 oz., UPC 688267086410  
  • Nature’s Promise Organic Caesar Salad Kit, 10.75 oz., UPC 68826723573
  • Nature’s Promise Organic Spring Mix, 16 oz., UPC 688267039089        
  • Nature’s Promise Organic Sweet Baby Lettuce, 7 oz., UPC 688267086403                 
  • Nature’s Promise Baby Spinach w/ Ranch Dressing & Fork, 3.75 oz. UPC 688267123559
  • Nature’s Promise Organic Caesar Salad w/ Caesar Supreme Dressing & Fork, 5.75 oz. UPC 688267123566
  • Nature’s Promise Organic Spring Mix w/ Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressings & Fork, 3 oz. UPC 688267123542                 

To date, Giant has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.

Listeria is a common organism found in nature. Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease. Healthy people rarely contract listeriosis. However, listeriosis can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea, which can arise up to several weeks after consumption. Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths, as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weakened immune systems, such as infants, the elderly and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy.

Customers who have these products should discard them and bring their purchase receipt to any Giant for a full refund.  Customers looking for additional information may call Giant Corporate Brands toll free line at 1-877-846-9949. Consumers may also visit our website at www.GiantFood.com or contact State Garden at 1-888-841-6191 for more information. If customers have any health concerns, they should contact their doctor.

This recall taken from:  http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/giant-food-issues-a-voluntary-recall-of-natures-promise-bagged-salads-114656094.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

 Listeria in Gluten Free Mac and No Cheese, and Wheat Free, Gluten Free French Bread Pizza

LAWRENCE, Mass., Jan. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Ian’s is voluntarily recalling specific lot numbers of two products due to a risk of contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.  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 persons may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women.

The following two products with the specific use-by dates and UPC codes listed are being recalled because they may have been distributed to retailers nationwide and sold in the frozen foods section of the supermarket:

  • 8-ounce boxes of Ian’s Wheat Free, Gluten Free Mac and No Cheese with a use-by date of 26Aug2011 and UPC code 7-49512-43670-8 (372 packages impacted)
  • 8-ounce boxes of Ian’s Wheat Free, Gluten Free French Bread Pizza with a use-by date of 28Aug2011 and UPC code 7-49512-91572-2 (120 packages impacted)

 

A total of 492 individual boxes are potentially affected.

Consumers who purchased the above products with the specific use-by dates and UPC codes listed are asked to return the products to the place of purchase to receive a full refund. Products that do not contain the specific use-by dates and UPC codes listed are not affected by the recall, and can be used by consumers.

Consumers with questions can contact Ian’s at 1-800-543-6637 twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, or at customerservice@iansnaturalfoods.com.

This recall taken from:   http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ians-voluntarily-recalls-two-products-due-to-risk-of-contamination-by-listeria-bacteria-114530034.html

3 Years of Product Recalled and Company Ordered to Close, Due to Clostridium botulinum

**Please note: this is an update on the black bean sauce recall S.T.O.P. previously reported.**

The state health department has issued a recall for more than one hundred locally produced food products.

They include jams, salad dressings, and sauces that were manufactured at a Waipio processing plant.

Health officials say the foods have a potential risk for botulism.

Basically — if you had a recipe you wanted bottled for sale — this is the place you came to.

Products like Arturo’s hot sauces.

“We’ve been in business for 30 years and have never had a product recall or problem with our product,” said Steve Geimer.

The Health Department issued an Order to Cease and Desist, after the U-S Food and Drug Administration found evidence of improper manufacturing standards at the First Commercial Kitchen plant.

A recall issued last Thursday only included two products: Ohana Flavors Black Bean Sauce and Barbs Local Style Black Bean Sauce.

But now, The recall includes EVERYTHING that was manufactured there over the past three years.

The Health Department says it issued the mass recall after the company failed to produce required documentation and because of inadequate testing to ensure no bacteria growth.

This article continues at:  http://www.khon2.com/news/local/story/Waipahu-food-company-ordered-to-shut-down/54OIlk7SzkefBwrk9E0yHA.cspx

7 States Get and “A” and 14 Get an “F,” for Their Ability to Handle Foodborne Illness

WASHINGTON—A nationwide report card grading the 50 states and the District of Columbia on how well they detect, investigate, and report outbreaks of foodborne illness finds great variability—indicating that many states are only reporting a small fraction of the number of outbreaks as states with better detection and reporting systems.

Using 10 years of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s Outbreak Alert! database, CSPI assigned a letter grade and created an outbreak profile for each state. CSPI used two states that are widely recognized for having strong investigating and reporting systems as benchmarks. Those states, Oregon and Minnesota, have excellent laboratory facilities and public health departments that are quick to interview individuals who are suspected to have been outbreak “cases.” They report nine and eight outbreaks per million people per year, respectively. Those two states, and five states that reported equally high reporting rates for outbreaks, received ‘A’s: Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Washington, and Wyoming.

In contrast, 14 states reported only one outbreak of foodborne illness per million people: Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.

“States that aggressively investigate outbreaks and report them to CDC can help nail down the foods that are responsible for making people sick,” said CSPI food safety director Caroline Smith DeWaal. “But when states aren’t detecting outbreaks, interviewing victims, identifying suspect food sources, or connecting with federal officials, outbreaks can grow larger and more frequent, putting more people at risk.”

This article continues at:  http://www.cspinet.org/new/201101191.html

S.T.O.P. is a national nonprofit public health organization dedicated to the prevention of illness and death from foodborne pathogens by:

*Advocating for sound public policy

*Building public awareness; and

*Assisting those impacted by foodborne illness

 


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Why Boycotting Canadian Seafood could Save Seals with Cat Cora

January 21, 2011

Chefs for Seals – Making a Difference Where it Hurts

Stunning photography by fashion photographer Nigel Barker captures the beauty of these creatures in their natural habitat.

Chilling fact:  The gruesome act of seal hunting is still alive and well.  According to the Humane Society of the US website, ninety-seven percent of the seals killed are younger than 3 months old, primarily for their fur, which is exported for use in fashion markets. Canada’s commercial seal hunt is the largest slaughter of marine mammals on Earth, with nearly 1 million seals killed in the past five years alone. 

But there’s hope. 

Chefs for Seals, an organization of chefs and restaurateurs united with The Humane Society of the US and celeb fashion photographer Nigel  Barker, are aiming to put it to an end with a movement that hits the heart and the wallet.   On January 10th the tour stopped in Los Angeles with hosts Cat Cora and Nigel Barker, and I got to attend along with a bevy of LA’s best chefs, stars and supporters.  We got to observe the breathtaking exhibit of seal stills by Barker accompanied by unsettling descriptions of their brutal slaughter, a sea of red taking over the pristine white landscape.  But the call to action for all of us was clear – boycott Canadian seafood.

So what does Canadian seafood have to do with all of this? It turns out that the majority of the seal hunts or ‘sealing’ takes place in Canada and is part of Canada’s fishing industry.  By encouraging restaurants, chefs and consumers to boycott Canadian seafood, it hits hard financially, as it’s estimated the the U.S. accounts for about two-thirds of its consumption.

The Red Lobster restaurant chain has gotten a lot of heat in their kitchens as the world’s largest purchaser of Canadian seafood. However, over 5,500 restaurants and grocery stores have joined the boycott.  Before you frequent your favorite seafood purveyor, visit The Humane Society’s website for more information on those who support the effort at http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/seal_hunt

It turns out we can all make a difference and a real impact with the color green – our dollars.

Q&A With Cat Cora

Mareya: Why did you align with HSUS and the Chefs for Seals initiative?  

Cat Cora: I had the honor of cooking an all Vegan dinner for The HSUS at the Sundance Film Festival a few years ago, and have wanted to get involved & help where I could ever since.

Mareya: Do you feel that by boycotting Canadian seafood, we’ll be able to stop the seal hunts?

Cat Cora:  I think that with chefs nationwide all joining together & boycotting Canadian seafood, by no longer providing the US market, this mentality will spread worldwide & eventually we can put an end to these unnecessary slaughters.

Mareya:  As a chef, how realistic is it to completely avoid Canadian seafood?  Does it limit your offerings?                                             

Cat Cora:  Not at all~ There are plenty of other sources offering great seafood, but time has to be put in to search for them — Definitely worth the time spent to save so many baby seals’ lives!

Mareya:  What would you like to tell consumers of seafood and our readers about Chefs for Seals?                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Cat Cora:  If you’re a chef & or in charge of sourcing product for your restaurant/shop/market, please sign the pledge & commit to boycotting Canadian seafood.  If you’re a consumer, please ask when dining out where the seafood came from to best avoid any seafood products from Canada, and always buy more locally farmed seafood from your fish market or grocery store.  Talk to your purveyors to find out where they caught the fish, and to ensure they follow only humane practices.

 

Dishing with Cat Cora at the Humane Society’s Chefs for Seals Event
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The New Food Safety Bill – Do You Bite?

January 7, 2011

Do you feel safer with the new Food Safety Bill?

This week, President Obama signed the revolutionary Food Safety Modernization Act into law, a $1.4 billion proposition and the most sweeping policy related to food safety in almost 100 years – this nearly two years after a salmonella outbreak linked to contaminated peanuts sparked renewed focus on the FDA’s food-safety function. The United States has also seen high-profile recalls of eggs, spinach and other products in recent years and a mass recall of sprouts just this week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last month that about one in six Americans gets sick, and 3,000 die, from food borne diseases each year.

But what does all this policy jargon mean to YOU?  Let’s boil it down:

If you’re a restaurant, food manufacturer or distributor:

– Increased number of facility inspections and food safety records to be reviewed

– Mandatory recalls if a company does not volunteer to stop selling tainted products, trace food outbreaks to its source and step up food inspections. In the past, company recalls were not enforced

– Owners, operators, or agents in charge of a food facility must identify and implement preventive controls to significantly minimize or prevent hazards that could affect food manufactured, processed, packed, or held by such facility.

– Allows for fines to be imposed on companies that have issued recalls and food facility re-inspections.

If you’re a consumer:

– Possibly higher food prices, from grocery stores to restaurants. Everyone will be absorbing the increases.

– More traceable food. Manufacturers will now be required to implement a traceability program. Look for scan codes on every piece of produce you purchase.

– Voluntary food allergy and anaphylaxis management guidelines for schools and early childhood education programs.

– Hopefully, much safer food across the board.  But then again, can the government really control it all, or are they biting off more than they can chew?

Weigh in.

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Over 34,000 lbs of Organic Ground Beef Recall

January 3, 2011

Just to prove, it doesn’t mean it’s pathogen free if it’s organic.  Think before you bite.

S.T.O.P. E-alert

E. coli in Organic Ground Beef

WASHINGTON, Dec. 30, 2010 – First Class Foods, Inc., a Hawthorne, Calif., establishment, is recalling approximately 34,373 pounds of organic ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF Only)]

  • 16-oz. packages of “NATURE’S HARVEST ORGANIC GROUND BEEF BRICK” sold singly with one of the following “USE or FREEZE by” dates: “12/30/10” or “01/08/11.”
  • 16-oz. packages of “ORGANIC HARVEST ORGANIC GROUND BEEF BRICK” sold singly and in three-packs with one of the following “USE or FREEZE by” dates: “12/28/10” or “01/06/11.”
  • 16-oz. packages of NATURE’S HARVEST GROUND PATTY” containing four (4) 4-oz. patties with the following “USE or FREEZE by” date: “12/30/10” or “01/08/11”

Each package label bears the establishment number “EST. 18895” as well as the identifying Pack Date of “10341 and 10350 Julian date. These ground beef products were produced on Dec. 7, 2010, and Dec. 16, 2010, and were shipped to retail establishments in Calif., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Wis., and Wash. State. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on FSIS’ website

This recall taken from: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Recall_070_2010_Release/index.asp

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