Archive for the ‘food safety’ Category

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TOTAL RECALL: Think before you bite 5/13

May 13, 2011

 

 Salmonella in More Tomato Products

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 7, 2011 – Mann Packing is voluntarily recalling certain vegetable platters and Snacks on the Go product because the grape tomato ingredient may be contaminated with Salmonella. As of today this recall has expanded to include Safeway’s Eating Right Veggie Party Platter with “best if used by dates” and in stores specified below.

This recall is part of a larger recall initiated by Six L’s Packing (Immokalee, Fla) on April 29, 2011. Six L’s is recalling a single lot of grape tomatoes packed on April 11, 2011 that can be identified by Cherry Berry lot code DW-H.

The contamination was detected through a random sample obtained by the USDA at a distributor in New York. The tomatoes were grown at a farm in Estero, Fla. which has since ceased production. The strain of Salmonella has not been determined and no illnesses have been reported.

This nationwide, voluntary recall, by Mann Packing includes the following items with best if used by dates ranging from 05-09 to 05-16 2011.

• Safeway’s Eating Right Veggie Party Platter (universal product code 79893-10708, weight 3 pounds, 6 ounces) sold at Carrs, Dominick’s, Genuardi’s, Pavilions, Randall’s, Safeway, Tom Thumb, and Vons.
• Mann’s Veggies On the Go (universal product code 16519 01411-6, weight 1 pound, 2 ounces).
• Mann’s Snacks on the Go with Celery, Carrots, Tomatoes (universal product code16519 01501-4, weight 8.75 ounces).
• Mann’s Vegetable Platter Large (universal product code 16519 01407-9, 2 pounds, 8 ounces).

The voluntary recall does not include any other products packed or distributed by Mann Packing.

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 people may experience fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (which may be bloody), and abdominal pain. In rare cases the organism can get into the bloodstream and cause more serious complications (for more information visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at www.cdc.gov).

Mann Packing is working with its customers to remove the subject products from distribution. The appropriate regulatory agency has been notified.

Retailers have been contacted and asked to identify, segregate and hold all products matching the information included in this notice.

Consumers who purchased the specific items mentioned above are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Customers and consumers with questions may contact Mann Packing at 1-800-285-1002 or via info@veggiesmadeeasy.com.

This recall taken from: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm254904.htm

Consumers Warned to Avoid Eating Oysters rom Area 1642  in Apalachicola Bay, Florida

 

Warning follows bacterial illness outbreak

Fast Facts
• The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising consumers, restaurant operators, commercial shippers and processors of shellfish not to eat, serve, purchase, sell or ship oysters from Area 1642 in Apalachicola Bay, Fla. because the oysters may be contaminated with toxigenic Vibrio cholerae serogroup O75.

• Nine persons have been reported with illness. For eight, the illness was confirmed as caused by toxigenic Vibrio cholerae O75; laboratory confirmation is pending in the other person. No one was hospitalized or died.

• All ill persons reported consumption of raw or lightly steamed oysters.

• Traceback indicates that oysters harvested from Area 1642 in Apalachicola Bay, Fla., between March 21 and April 6, 2011, are associated with illness. 

• Those who have recently purchased oysters should check with the place of purchase and ask if they were harvested from the affected growing area.

What is the problem?
Raw oysters harvested from Area 1642 in Apalachicola Bay, Fla. between March 21 and April 6, 2011, have been linked to eight confirmed and one possible case of toxigenic Vibrio cholerae O75 infection. The ill persons ate raw or lightly cooked oysters harvested from that area. Ill persons reside in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Indiana; all report consumption of oysters while in Florida.  There are several designated harvest areas within Apalachicola Bay, Fla, and each of these has a unique numerical identifier. Area 1642 is a zone that stretches from north to south in Apalachicola Bay just on the east side of the bridge that goes from Eastpoint, Fla., to St. George Island, Fla. The zone is approximately two miles wide from east to west.

This warning taken from:  http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm254754.htm

Donuts Recalled

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 10, 2011 – Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc. is recalling the following Entenmann’s brand bagged Pop’Ems donuts and Bimbo brand 8 pack Donitas donuts sold in the following states because they may develop an uncharacteristic smell and become moldy within the product code:

Entenmann’s

Product Names
Sizes
States
UPC Codes
Powdered Pop’Ems Donuts 10 oz./284 grams AZ, CA, NV, UT 72030 01570
Cinnamon Pop’Ems Donuts 10 oz./284 grams AZ, CA, NV, UT 72030 01985
Rich Frosted Pop’Ems Donuts 10.5 oz./298 grams AZ, CA, NV, UT 72030 01571

Bimbo

Product Names
Sizes
States
UPC Codes
Sugared Donitas Donuts 8 count – 3.6 oz./102 grams AZ, CA, ID, NV, UT, WY 74323 07039
Powdered Donitas Donuts 8 count – 4.0 oz./113 grams AZ, CA, ID, NV, UT, WY 74323 04976
Chocolate Frosted Donitas Donuts 8 count – 4.3 oz./122 grams AZ, CA, ID, NV, UT, WY 74323 09964

The products were manufactured in the same facility.

The Entenmann’s products being recalled are in blue and white bags with the following dates which are printed on the top front of the bags:

  May 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, 22, 25, 26, 29, 2011
  June 1, 2, 6, 2011 

The Bimbo products being recalled are in cellophane wrappers with the same dates which are printed in a circle in the upper right of the package.

The company announced the recall after it received complaints of the unpleasant odor and temporary illness.  While the potential for serious health problems is low, some consumers are sensitive to the uncharacteristic off-smell and should not eat the recalled products because of possible temporary gastro-intestinal distress, including nausea and diarrhea. 

All products with the above code dates are being removed from store shelves in the affected states.  No other Entenmanns’s or Bimbo products or other states are affected.

Consumers who have purchased the product can return the product to its place of purchase for a full refund.  Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-800-984-0989 at any time 24 hours a day.

This recall taken from: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm255026.htm

Salmonella in Paprika (Canada)

 

OTTAWA, May 11, 2011 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Alimentarus Import Export Inc. are warning the public and retailers not to sell, use or consume the Piment doux moulu (mild ground paprika) described below because the product may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The affected product, Dar Al Assala brand Piment doux moulu (mild ground paprika), imported from Morocco, was sold to various retail stores in Quebec as 5 kg bags bearing UPC 6 111242 541054, lot code PD17-F278 and best before date 05/10/2012.

This product is also known to have been sold from bulk. If you have purchased bulk paprika on or after November 12, 2010, and are unsure if you have the recalled product, check with your place of purchase to verify if it is subject to the recall.

This product is known to have been distributed in Quebec.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled.  Consumption of food contaminated with these bacteria may cause salmonellosis, a foodborne illness.  In young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems, salmonellosis may cause serious and sometimes deadly infections.  In otherwise healthy people, salmonellosis may cause short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhoea.  Long-term complications may include severe arthritis.

The importer, Alimentaurus Import Export Inc. located in Montreal, QC is voluntarily recalling the affected products from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).

This recall taken from: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/2011/20110511e.shtml

Listeria in Pork Loin (Canada)

 

OTTAWA, May 12, 2011 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume the Fumagalli brand Pronta Fresca Lonza Stagionata (Seasoned Dry Cured Pork Loin) described below because the product may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The affected product, Fumagalli brand Pronta Fresca Lonza Stagionata (Seasoned Dry Cured Pork Loin), imported from Italy, is sold in 100 g packages bearing UPC 8 002469 571352, Batch 119066 and Best Before 05/07/2011.

This product has been distributed in Quebec.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with this bacteria may cause listeriosis, a foodborne illness. Listeriosis can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk. Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness, however, infections during pregnancy can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn, or even stillbirth.

The Importer, Les Aliments Edesia Inc. located in Saint-Hubert, QC is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).

This recall taken from: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/2011/20110512be.shtml

Hepatitis A Outbreak in Snoqualmie Valley CA

 

SEATTLE–An outbreak of Hepatitis A in the Snoqualmie Valley has county health authorities asking people to get vaccinated.  Matias Valenzuela, public education coordinator with the county’s public health department, said his office has responded to six confirmed cases in the Valley, all in adults.  No word yet on the source of the outbreak. 

Hepatitis A is the only common vaccine-preventable foodborne disease in the United States (Fiore, 2004). It is one of five human hepatitis viruses that primarily infect the human liver and cause human illness. Unlike hepatitis B and C, hepatitis A doesn’t develop into chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis, which are both potentially fatal conditions; however, infection with the hepatitis A virus (HAV) can still lead to acute liver failure and death.

This article taken from: http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/snoqualmie-valley-hepatitis-a-outbreak/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FoodPoisonBlog+%28Food+Poison+Blog%29

 STOP in the News: China Imports in the Grocery Store – A Cause for Concern

 

**STOP President Nancy Donley Quoted Below**

  

With Chinese products dominating more than just the shelves of dollar stores, it shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise — if you’re surprised at all — that imports from the largest nation in the world are increasingly finding their way into American grocery stores.

But the Chinese imports are starting to crop up in parts of the store that were more typically dominated by U.S. grown products or those from Central America. One such place is the freezer case, where imports are up 20 percent over the past decade and it is no longer unusual to find frozen vegetables that originated in China.

Even so, China still accounts for only seven percent of the overall market of frozen fruits and vegetable — up from two percent in 1999, notes Corey Henry, vice president of the American Frozen Food Institute,

“So, yes, imports from China have grown quite a bit, but still represent a small segment of the overall fruit and vegetable market,” Henry says. “China is the fourth largest foreign supplier of fruit and vegetables with Mexico, Canada and Chile the top three.”

But, if you shift away from frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables, where influence is growing but not yet commanding, you need not stray too far to see domination.

“I am concerned with just what regulatory program they have over there for food,” says Nancy Donley, president of STOP Foodborne Illness, a safe food advocacy group. “China has just always been one that raises concerns for us.”

Donley said the country has just said too many times that it is cleaning up its act: “‘We promise to never do it again until the next time’.”

The complete article can be viewed here:  http://blogs.reuters.com/prism-money/2011/05/11/china-imports-in-the-grocery-store-a-cause-for-concern/

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How to Use Eat Cleaner – With Pictures!

May 9, 2011

We’ve had quite a few people ask us for a guide on how to use our Eat Cleaner products and while we have a ‘how-to’ on our website, we think this downloadable file posted on your fridge as a reference just might do the trick.

Download now.

Eat Cleaner How to Guide

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Turkey burgers, sprouts, seafood and walnuts recalled: Think before you bites

April 4, 2011

 Updates from our friends at  S.T.O.P.  (Safe Tables our Priority) 

Salmonella in Turkey Burgers

   

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2011 –Jennie-O Turkey Store, a Willmar, Minn. establishment, is recalling approximately 54,960 pounds of frozen, raw turkey burger products that may be contaminated with Salmonella, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. As FSIS continues its investigation of illnesses related to this recall, additional raw turkey products may be recalled. As a result, FSIS is alerting consumers to take extra care when preparing all raw turkey products.

To prevent salmonellosis and other foodborne illnesses, wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry, and cook poultry—including ground turkey burgers—to 165° F, as determined with a food thermometer.

The products subject to recall include: [View Label; PDF Only]

  • 4-pound boxes of Jennie-O Turkey Store® “All Natural Turkey Burgers with seasonings Lean White Meat”. Each box contains 12 1/3-pound individually wrapped burgers.

 
A use by date of “DEC 23 2011” and an identifying lot code of “32710” through “32780” are inkjetted on the side panel of each box, just above the opening tear strip. Establishment number “P-7760” is located within the USDA mark of inspection on the front of each box. The products were packaged on Nov. 23, 2010 and were distributed to retail establishments nationwide.

This recall taken from: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Recall_028_2011_Release/index.asp

Listeria in Seafood Products

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 30, 2011 -Frankly Fresh, Inc. of Carson, CA. is recalling its seafood line of products, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which 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 shortterm symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Product was distributed in the California and Nevada Areas through retail supermarket stores. Products are packed under the Frankly Fresh label in a variety of sizes in plastic containers with safety seals on.

The affected products / lots are:

Item Number Item Description UPC Afftected Code Dates Between
229233 Ceviche de Camaron 10lbs 826520370191 4/02 to 4/16/2011
229243 Ceviche de Camaron & Pescado 10 lbs 826520370184 4/02 to 4/16/2011
229253 Agua Chile de Camaron 10 lbs 826520370177 4/02 to 4/16/2011
229263 Cocktail de Camaron con Pulpo 10 lbs 826520370207 4/02 to 4/16/2011
231322 KRAB & SHRIMP LOUIE 14 OZ FF 826520100958 3/21 to 4/05/2011
231981 Premium Fish Ceviche 10 lb N/A 3/29 to 4/13/2011
231993 Premium Krab Salad 10 lbs 826520370214 3/29 to 4/13/2011
231994 Shrimp & Scallop Ceviche 10 lbs 826520370221 3/29 to 4/13/2011
2325051 KRAB & SHRIMP 7# 826520300518 3/21 to 4/05/2011
233116 Tuna Sandwich Wedge 5.3 oz 826520105816 3/19 to 4/03/2011
234023 FISH CEVICHE 10# 826520700233 3/29 to 4/13/2011
234032 FAVORITE KRAB 10# 038794930487 4/08 to 4/23/2011
234033 Ceviche W/ Pasta Salad 7# 82652030146 3/19 to 4/03/2011
234042 SEAFOOD COCKTAIL 10# 038794348862 4/08 to 4/23/2011
2340422 SEAFOOD COCKTAIL 10# (BOX) 038794348862 4/08 to 4/23/2011
234052 CEVICHE 10# 038794348855 4/08 to 4/23/2011
234072 KRAB & SHRIMP LOUIE 10 LB 826520300105 3/29 to 4/13/2011
234093 CEVICHE MIXTO 10# FF 826520300334 4/02 to 4/16/2011
234223 Seafood Cocktail 8/16 oz 826520100507 4/02 to 4/16/2011
234243 Krab & Shrimp Louie Salad 16 oz 826520100484 3/21 to 4/05/2011
234253 Krab Salad 16 oz EA Retail Unit 826520100491 3/21 to 4/05/2011
234273 Ceviche Salad 16 oz EA Retail Unit 826520100514 3/21 to 4/05/2011
235032 WRAP TUNA 10 OZ FF 826520100842 3/21 to 4/05/2011
254514 Seafood Salad 1/14 oz. 826520104543 3/21 to 4/05/2011
262033 Tuna Salad Wedge 6.3 oz. 041573103521 3/19 to 4/03/2011
252163 Tuna Salad w/Pickles 1/ 5 lb 826520300877 3/21 to 4/05/2011
254364 Krab & Shrimp Louie Salad 6/12 oz 826520104574 4/08 to 4/23/2011
254183-1 FF Krab & Shrimp Louie 6/9.5 oz 826520103157 4/08 to 4/23/2011

NO ILLNESSES HAVE BEEN REPORTED TO DATE.
The recall was the result of a routine sampling program by the FDA in conjunction with Frankly Fresh Company, which revealed that the finished products may contain the bacteria. Frankly Fresh has voluntarily ceased the production and distribution of these products as FDA and the company continue their investigation as to what caused the problem.

Consumers who have purchased Frankly Fresh Seafood Products are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company via email at we-care@franklyfresh.com and/or our hot line at 1-800-826-3322 MON-FRI from 9 to 5 Pacific Time.

This recall taken from: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm249270.htm

Clostridium botulinum in Smoked Roundscad

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 31, 2011 – Arko Foods International of Los Angeles, CA is recalling Angelina Brand Smoked Roundscad, 8oz packs, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium which can cause life-threatening illness or death. Consumers are warned not to consume the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled.

Botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning, can cause the following symptoms: general weakness, dizziness, double-vision and trouble with speaking or swallowing. Difficulty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distension and constipation may also be common symptoms. People experiencing these problems should seek immediate medical attention.

Angelina Brand Smoked Roundscad was distributed in California, Nevada, Arizona, Washington, New York, Texas, Maryland, and Florida through retail stores, supermarkets, and wholesale distributors.

The product is in 8 oz bags with header indicating Angelina brand which were distributed to the market from 2009 to January 2011.

The product is imported from the Philippines and is uneviscerated. It may have the potential to cause Botulism. However, note that no illnesses have been reported to date.

Consumers who have purchased and who still has Angelina Brand Smoked Roundscad in stock are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers who have questions may contact the company at (323) 257-1888 from Monday to Friday at 9am to 6pm (Pacific Standard Time).

This recall taken from: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm249386.htm

 Salmonella in Sprouts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 30, 2011 – Louie Foods International of Fresno, California, is voluntarily recalling all Louie’s brand sprouts with a “Use By” date on or before 4/14/11, because they may be contaminated with Salmonella. To-date, no illnesses have been reported.

Products affected by the recall include:

  • Alfalfa Sprout Mix, 4 oz. cups (UPC 11324 04401)
  • Alfalfa Sprout Mix, 16 oz. bags (UPC 11324 16401)
  • Clover Sprouts, 4 oz. cups (UPC 11324 04406)
  • Clover Sprouts, 16 oz. bags (UPC 11324 04406)
  • Spicy Sprouts, 4 oz. cups (UPC 11325 04402)
  • Broccoli Sprouts, 4 oz. cups (UPC 11324 04407)

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 (which may be bloody), 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 (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

Products were sold to distributors located in the Central Valley and along the Coast of California. Within hours of being notified, Louie Foods International contacted all of its customers and advised them to destroy the affected products.

The contamination was detected during a random test conducted by the USDA, in a package of the alfalfa-clover sprouts. However, as a precautionary measure, Louie Foods International is recalling all sprout products produced during the same time period. Louie Foods International has temporarily ceased the production and distribution of the sprout products subject to this recall. The California Department of Public Health, FDA and Louie Foods International continue their investigation into the source of the problem.

Consumers are urged to destroy the above listed products or to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers may contact Jay Louie at Louie Foods International, 1-559-264-2745 for additional information.

This article taken from: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm249283.htm

 Salmonella in Jalapeno Peppers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 18, 2011 – Thomas Produce of Boca Raton, FL, is recalling 320 boxes of Jalapeno Peppers because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

The recalled Jalapeno Peppers were sold to distributors in Florida, New York, North Carolina, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania from 2/15/2011 to 2/18/2011.

The fresh, whole, green Jalapeno Peppers were sold in generic cardboard bushel boxes (1 1/9 bushel size). The 2.5″x1″ affixed label on the box has the code 1054811HJBT. This is the only lot affected by this recall.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The recall is the result of routine sampling by FDA which revealed that one sample of the finished product tested positive for the bacteria. The company has ceased the production and distribution of this lot of peppers as FDA and the company continue their investigation as to the source of the problem.

If you have any questions or concerns you may contact Richard Wilson of Thomas Produce Company at 1-561-482-1111 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. EST.

This article taken from:  http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm249201.htm

Salmonella in Walnuts (Canada)

OTTAWA, April 3, 2011 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Amira Enterprises Inc. are warning the public not to consume certain bulk and prepackaged raw shelled walnut products described below because these products may be contaminated with may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

All raw shelled walnuts sold from bulk bins, all package sizes and all lot codes / Best Before dates of the following raw shelled walnuts and products containing walnuts are affected by this alert. The affected products were available for purchase from January 1, 2011, up to and including April 4, 2011. The raw shelled walnuts are imported from the USA.

Brand Product
Amira Raw shelled walnuts sold from a bulk bin*
Amira Prepackaged raw shelled walnuts (Halves/Pieces/Crumbs)
Tia Prepackaged raw shelled walnuts (Halves/Pieces/Crumbs)
Merit Selection Prepackaged raw shelled walnuts (Halves/Pieces/Crumbs)
Amira Mistral Mix containing walnuts
Tia Mistral Mix containing walnuts
Amira Salad booster containing walnuts
Tia Salad booster containing walnuts

*The brand name Amira may not be marked on the raw walnuts sold from the bulk bins.

Consumers who have purchased walnuts from bulk bins are advised to contact the retailer to determine if they have the affected product.
 
These products have been distributed in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and Ontario. However, they may have been distributed nationally.

This recall taken from:  http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/2011/20110403e.shtml 

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 Frankenfood can make you fat

February 19, 2011

The Adds and the Add-Nots 

 To celebrate Chinese New Year, we set out to find a really authentic restaurant in Los Angeles’ Chinatown.  We asked around, looking for a recommendation from people in the neighborhood and settled on a popular favorite. 

An hour after eating, I started to feel short breathed and was literally gasping for air.  My face was flush and I felt pangs of anxiety, followed by an intense need to sleep. For a moment, I thought I was having a heart attack.  Or was I just losing it altogether? Come to find out I had taken in a serious dose of MSG.  Monosodium Glutamate, a common additive that enhances flavor is also linked to obesity, learning disabilities and even brain lesions. I kicked myself over the fact that I forgot to make sure they weren’t adding that awful chemical to our meal.  After all, if we don’t ask, who’s going to tell?There are over 14,000 additives used in commercially prepared foods today. Some are far more complicated and potentially dangerous than others and manufacturers, restaurateurs and those who make our food are not required to disclose the hazards.  Whether you’re eating out or preparing food at home, it’s critical to know what to protect you and your family’s plate against. 

In this issue, check out our ‘Steer Clear’ list of additives to avoid like the plague, FrankenFood can make you fat and an Irresistible Clean Plate Club Offer.

The Cleaner Plate Club

The Steer Clear List.

(BUTYLATED HYDROXYANISOLE. Do you put it in your body or your gas tank? See answer below.)

Ditch these phony baloneys:

1. Artificial sugars:  Created to pacify the sweet cravings of dieters, sweeteners do more than sweeten your food — they serve as a health hazard.  Aspartame, Acesulfame K and Saccharine are all chemically produced to sweeten our foods without the calories of sugar. Even Splenda, which has a better reputation is not as clean as it should be. Ironically, these empty calories can create a vicious cycle of craving more sweets, with the inevitable consequences of weight gain. Don’t be seduced by the calorie-free promise.  What you trade out is far worse.  Artificial sugars have been linked to behavioral problems, hyperactivity, allergies and are possibly carcinogenic.  Stick with the real deal.

Sweeteners are rampant in diet, lite or sugar-free products. They are used in dry mixes for beverages, instant coffee and tea, gelatin desserts, puddings, non-dairy creamers, chewing gums, breath mints, diet soda, yogurt, even children’s medicine and vitamins.

THE CLEANER PLATE CLUB TIP: Try more natural sources of sugar as in agave, stevia, honey, molasses, and maple syrup in moderate quantities.

2. Artificial colors: Food colorings are used to make the food look more appealing or to replace colors lost in processing. However, don’t let these colors deceive you. Artificial colorings are synthetic dyes that are mostly coal-tar derivatives. 

They are suspected to cause allergies, asthma, hyperactivity and are possibly carcinogenic. Chief culprits: Candy, beverages, soda, gelatin desserts, pastry, sausage, baked goods, even fruit like green oranges sprayed with red dye to make them look ripe. 

THE CLEANER PLATE CLUB TIP: Keep it real with a rainbow of fresh fruit and veggies, natural juices and additive-free snacks

3. Artificial preservatives (BHA, BHT, EDTA, etc):  You may see these ingredients in chips, fried snack foods, baked goods, carbonated drinks, cheese spreads, chewing gum, ice cream, breakfast cereals and even cosmetics.
These preservatives are actually synthetic petroleum-based and fat soluble antioxidants, used by manufacturers to prevent oxidation and retard rancidity.  They can cause cancer, allergic reactions and hyperactivity, and BHT may be toxic to the nervous system and the liver.

THE CLEANER PLATE CLUB TIP: Choose food and drinks labelled with “no artificial antioxidants.”  Avoid poor quality vegetable oils.  Look for cold-pressed virgin oil which contains natural antioxidants such as Vitamin E.  Eat fresh produce that doesn’t contain these preservatives.

4. Nitrites and Nitrates: Love your bacon in the morning and salami at lunch time? Cured, preserved, smoked meats are saturated with nitrites and nitrates to preserve shelf life and give it the healthy pink hue. These two preservatives may prevent the growth of bacteria but they transform into cancer-causing agents called nitrosamines in the stomach. They also produced noticeable side effects like headaches, nausea, vomiting and dizziness.

THE CLEANER PLATE CLUB TIP: Look for nitrite-free processed meats and opt for meat-free alternatives to mix it up.

5. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): You may be happy that you’re dining in restaurants that carry the “No MSG” declaration.  But do you know that MSG lurks in all kinds of sauces used to prepare the foods that you thought are MSG-free?  They are also significant in all kinds of snacks, seasonings, candy, even infant formula, over-the-counter medications and nutritional supplements. 

THE CLEANER PLATE CLUB TIP: Buy MSG-free snacks and read labels, so you can make healthier choices.

(BUTYLATED HYDROXYANISOLE is a cancer causing additive found in some cereals, chewing gum potato chips, vegetable oil and is definitely on the ‘don’t put it in your stomach’ list.  Just remember, Buty is booty.)

FrankenFood Makes You Fat

Each American is exposed to about 10 to 13 different pesticides through food, beverages and drinking water every day. And nine of the 10 most common pesticides are endocrine-disrupting, which have been linked to weight gain.* In his book, “The New American Diet,” author Stephen Perrine talks about “obesogens” and how they play a role in the American obesity crisis. From pesticides to growth hormones, antibiotics and plastic pollutants, to name a few. Bad for the environment, bad for us, here’s what to avoid.

In your refrigerator:

  • The Dirty Dozen: Non organic peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, kale, lettuce, imported grapes, carrots, pears.
  • Farm raised fish: (e.g. Farmed salmon are up to 10 times higher in pesticides like PCBs as wild salmon)
  • Corn/soy-fed beef and chicken
  • Non organic dairy products

In your pantry:

  • Plastic compounds (in particular BPA)
  • Lining of canned foods such as canned tuna, soup, beans and tomatoes
  • Lining of canned beverages such as energy drinks, baby formula
  • Sports drink bottles

THE CLEANER PLATE CLUB TIP:  Wash with EAT CLEANER All Natural Fruit + Vegetable Wash or Wipes to effectively remove pesticide residue from the surface of fresh foods. 

PEAS OF MIND:
  Rest assured that all EAT CLEANER(r) products are made with BPA-free plastic, including our Wash + Dryer Kit Spinner and Scrub Brush.  Check out all of our EAT CLEANER(r) products at www.eatcleaner.com.

* From “Chemicals in Food Can Make You Fat,” Feb. 11, 2010, cbsnews.com

On the steer clear list: GMO's, artificial additives and fake frankenfood

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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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Don’t be a statistic on Turkey Day

November 18, 2010

Turkey?  Check.  Fixin’s?  Check. Centerpiece?  Check.  Salmonella?  Let’s keep that one off the menu.

Being the perfect host or hostess is not just about a beautiful table or delicious food.  It’s also about keeping your family and friends food safe – you don’t want to be remembered as the host or hostess who sent their guests to the hospital at the holidays. 

Every year there are 78 million reported cases of food borne illness – 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths.  On Thanksgiving day alone, an average of 200,000 people will get food poisoning.  Who wants to spend the day on their days praying to the ceramic altar?  We’ll pass.

Tune in Monday, 11/21 and watch ‘The Fit Foody’ show how to host a healthy, food safe holiday

The Fit Foody– food and safety expert Mareya Ibrahim of Eat Cleaner has a few simple tricks of the trade to show how to keep the holiday season happy and worry free. 

–        Don’t let fowl go foul:  For your main event, taking measures to clean and prep your turkey properly can help your table be Salmonella-free.

–        Pick and clean fixin’s properly: Before your produce reaches you, it has been touched by around 20 different sets of hands and has traveled at least 1,500 miles.  Preparation and handling is key to producing food borne illness-free results.

–        Cook it done:  You can’t always judge a food by it’s color, simple tricks to tell you when your bird is really cooked.

–        Keep it cool:  Don’t let the tryptophan kick in, why it’s important to clean up now rather than later and just how much later.

Mareya Ibrahim is The Fit Foody and the Founder of the Cleaner Plate Club.  She is a food safety expert and advocate based in Orange County, CA.

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Cut through the crap

July 17, 2010

Wax can trap pesticide residue and harmful bacteria. Unlike water, a produce wash like Food Production And Pesticide Use

I found this article, written a registered dietician nutritionist, called Avoiding Pesky Produce Pesticides and thought her insights into why you need a

Every day we’re bombarded with news about bacteria-tainted meat and pesticide-laden produce. In the
United States we expect our produce to be free of such contaminants, but there is a growing concern
about the safety of our food supply. Fresh fruits and veggies are an important component of a nutritious
diet because they are packed with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber. So how can we reap
the benefits of healthful produce, but ensure they’re 100 percent safe?

Food Production And Pesticide Use

Food production and distribution methods have changed over the years, leading to new safety issues. For
example, to optimize crop yields many farmers increasingly turn to pesticides to control undesired insects,
weeds, rodents, fungi and bacteria. Antibiotics are added to animal feed to counteract the growing
number of bacteria. However, these bacteria are becoming resistant to the antibiotics. These “super”
strains of bacteria grow inside animals and can be passed on to humans through tainted meat and
eggs. Fruits and vegetables can become contaminated when they are shipped or prepared with animal
products harboring bacteria.

We know that the healthful benefits of produce are greater than the risk of pesticide exposure. However,
today concern is mounting about the ways that pesticides could affect people, especially pregnant
women and young children.

In 1997, Congress passed the Food Quality Protection Act, which requires all pesticides to be proven safe
for infants and children. If a pesticide is unsafe for children or information is lacking about its safety, the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for setting safety levels for its use. This strategy
may help to minimize pesticide use in the long run.

The EPA also approves every pesticide before its use on foods, monitors pesticide residues in foods,
and surveys which such foods children consume in greater amounts. Some pesticides are rated by the
EPA as known or possible carcinogens.

But the risk from pesticides is still uncertain, not thoroughly studied, and worrisome to consumers. It
makes sense that we should try to reduce our exposure to them, but how do we do this?

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Going Organic

What does organic produce mean? As defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), organic foods
are those grown without the use of pesticides, petroleum- or sewage-based fertilizers, antibiotics,
synthetic hormones, genetic engineering, or irradiation.

So how can we identify organic foods? As of October 2002, the USDA began labeling organic foods with
anorganic seal of approval. To be labeled “100 percent organic,” the food has to be certified by the
USDA. A food can claim to be “organic” if it contains 95 percent organic ingredients. Foods with 70
percent to 95 percent organic ingredients can claim to be “made with organic ingredients”. If a food has
less than 70 percent organic ingredients, the word organic must be relegated to the ingredient list.

Although there is no solid evidence that organic foods are healthier for consumers, emerging studies
show that organic produce is less likely to contain pesticides. Pesticide residue has been in 13 percent
to 23 percent of organic produce and 71 percent to 90 percent of conventionally grown produce.

To reduce the risk of pesticide exposure, follow some of the food-safety tips below to insure the safest
and tastiest produce:

  1. Eat organic when you can. If this option is too costly or not readily available, select organic
    produce to replace the most contaminated fruits and veggies from the table below.
  2. Choose conventionally grown produce from the least contaminated fruits and veggies from the
    table below.
  3. Buy locally grown produce when in season. You may want to inquire about pesticide use. Check
    with your state’s cooperative extension service for a list of farmers’ markets.
  4. Wash your produce with cold, running water. Peel thick-skinned produce and trim outer leaves of
    greens. Water is effective as produce washes when it comes to non-waxed fruits and veggies.
    Washing produce with water can reduce bacteria 10-fold. However, produce washes may help to
    remove the wax coating from produce such as apples, peppers, cucumbers or tomatoes. Edible
    wax is applied to trap moisture and keep produce fresh longer, but dirt and pesticide residues can
    get trapped underneath.
  5. Keep produce and animal food preparation separate. Use one cutting board for meats, fish,
    chicken and another board for produce. After every use wash boards, knives and other
    kitchen utensils thoroughly with soap and water.
  6. Finally, always wash your hands prior to any type of food prep, and wash hands when
    switching from meat to produce preparation.

Keep in mind that fruits and veggies are loaded with healthful benefits that outweigh the risks of possible
pesticides. Diets based on fruits, vegetables, and grains can help to lower your cancer risk by as much
as 20 percent. The bottom line: Eat a variety of fruits and veggies daily and treat yourself and your family
to a new one every week!

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Most And Least Contaminated Produce
Conventionally Grown Fruit And Vegetables
12 Most Contaminated 12 Least Contaminated
Peaches Sweet corn
Strawberries Avocado
Apples Pineapples
Spinach Cauliflower
Nectarines Mangoes
Celery Sweet peas
Pears Asparagus
Cherries Onions
Potatoes Broccoli
Bell peppers Bananas
Raspberries Kiwi fruit
Grapes, imported Papaya
Source: Environmental Working Group



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