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Tag: E. coli

Here are a few food headlines that caught my eye this week:

Change in season: Why salt doesn’t deserve its bad rap
If you follow our blog, you may remember a recent post, Is ANYTHING Good For Me?, where salt was a source of much contention. It appears I’m not the only one trying to understand the sodium dilemma. In this article, Kristin Wartman explains why sodium is not all bad and why you should mainly consume unrefined sea salt. Read the full story on Grist.org

Pediatricians Warn Against Energy and Sports Drinks for Kids
Gatorade commercials are pretty compelling. Picture the mega athlete dunking a basketball and then sweating out droplets of brightly colored “dew.”  Healthy? Many moms think so. Unfortunately, sports drinks are loaded with sweeteners, artificial colors and extra calories and are not suited for children. Don’t even get me started on energy drinks.  If parents are allowing their children to drink something, that by definition, will give them “energy,” the kids need more sleep. Read the full story on NPR.org
Continue reading…

Wondering which food products have been recalled lately? Do you have a serious food allergy and need allergy alerts? Do you want to see a picture of the item recalled along with UPC numbers? Need to check on a particular food? Check out this announcement from the FDA regarding their new (and much needed) food recall web page.

From the FDA:

On April 4, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched a new consumer-friendly Web search for use during recalls. Consumers will now be able to search for food and other product recalls easier and quicker on the FDA’s website. To provide greater ease of use for consumers, the search results will now provide data from news releases and other recall announcements in the form of a table. That table organizes information from news releases on recalls since 2009 by date, product brand name, product description, reason for the recall and the recalling firm. The table also provides a link to the news release on each recall for more detailed information. The news releases were chosen as the source of information for the table because they provide the most up-to-date and user friendly information about any recall.

Screenshot of the FDA Recall Website

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The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law in January by President Obama, called for a more consumer-friendly recall search engine within 90 days after the law went into effect. Per the requirements of the FSMA, for certain recalls the search results will also provide status information on whether the recall is completed or on-going. The status information will be provided for those recalls that FDA either ordered a mandatory recall or provided the opportunity for a voluntary recall under FDA’s FSMA authority.

Source:

US Food & Drug Administration Recall Website

The Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510) has gathered support from both sides of the political aisle. If the Senate passes the measure today or tomorrow, it will go back to the House for a final vote.  All indicators are showing that the bill will likely pass and the major question right now is whether they will pass it with the Tester Amendment or not.  The Tester Amendment essentially exempts small farmers from the new controls if they earn less than $500,000 in annual sales and if they sell directly to consumers, restaurants, or grocery stores (as opposed to 3rd party food brokers). This likely includes the majority of the farmers and food producers you find at your local farmer’s market.

Many argue that FDA should not be given additional control over farms. Others say new regulation is critical to help fight outbreaks such as salmonella and E.coli. Regardless of what side of the fence you are on, it is imperative that the food bill be passed WITH the Tester Amendment to exempt small farms.

CALL TO ACTION: Please call your state senator and let them know that small farms are not the problem with America’s food safety and do not need additional, burdensome regulation. Click here for simple, step-by-step instructions on how to call your senator. It will only take 2 minutes!

FDA Recall information is now available on the Be Food Smart blog. Recall information is received from the FDA as soon as they issue a press release. Take a look at the recent recalls on the bottom right of the blog (in the yellow bar under the tags section). Check back often as mandatory and voluntary food recalls are, unfortunately, very common.

Food recalls may occur for a variety of reasons including:

  • Undelcared ingredients – especially those which are common allergens such as sulfites, nuts, soy, dairy, etc.
  • Health risks such as salmonella, listeria or E. coli
  • The presence of certain chemicals which may cause adverse affects
  • Problems with packaging, expiration dates, or manufacturing standards

As you can see from the first bullet, you really don’t know what’s in your food if it comes in a package. There very well may be nuts in a product that you specifically purchased because it was nut-free. If you or someone in your family has a food allergy or is very sensitive to certain foods, check the recall list often and try to reduce the amount of packaged foods you purchase.