Eggo waffles recalled due to listeria concerns | Kellogg

eggo-shortage

(Photo: Phil Coale, AP)

 

The Food and Drug Administration letter, dated June 7, was sent less than two years after a Kellogg Eggo waffle plant in the same state was shut for similar reasons.

The inspection found flies and pools of water, the FDA said. The letter from District Director John Gridley didn’t say that any products were tainted with listeria, yet said they were “adulterated” and “may have become contaminated with filth.” The Augusta plant makes Keebler and Famous Amos cookies, and is one of five cookie bakeries Kellogg operates in North America.

“While the FDA did not identify specific concerns with the food, we take this situation very seriously,” Kris Charles, a spokeswoman for Battle Creek, Michigan-based Kellogg, said in an e-mail. “We have undertaken a number of aggressive actions to address their concerns including comprehensive cleaning and extensive testing.”

Kellogg’s response didn’t include dates for taking action at the plant, the FDA said. The regulator gave Kellogg 15 days to outline specific remedies to avoid injunction or product seizure.

Eggo Production

Kellogg’s cookies are baked at a temperature high enough to kill any listeria present, according to Robert Gravani, a food science professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The lack of an FDA product recall suggests that listeria was not found in the cookies, he said. FDA spokeswoman Tamara Ward declined to comment on a potential recall.

Listeria is a bacterium found in prepared foods and soil that can cause a serious infection in humans called listeriosis. It is particularly harmful to pregnant women, the young, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems, according to the FDA’swebsite.

Made in the USA: Labeling Lawsuits in America’s Pet Food Industry

Made in the USA: Labeling Lawsuits in America's Pet Food Industry

As of 2015, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) had become aware of more than 5,000 reports of American dogs that became sick or died after eating chicken jerky pet treats that were made in China, but marketed and sold by allegedly reputable food companies here in the U.S. Read more of this post

FDA: 12% of imported spices are adulterated by filth

Ryan Jaslow

Ryan Jaslow
CBS News

Americans feasting on meals seasoned with imported spices may be getting more than they bargained for: animal feces, insect parts, disease-causing bacteria, and other foreign contaminants. Read more of this post

Group Finds More Fake Ingredients in Popular Foods

By JIM AVILA and SERENA MARSHALL | Good Morning America –

 

ABC News Video

It’s what we expect as shoppers—what’s in the food will be displayed on the label.

But a new scientific examination by the non-profit food fraud detectives the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), discovered rising numbers of fake ingredients in products from olive oil to spices to fruit juice.

“Food products are not always what they purport to be,” Markus Lipp, senior director for Food Standards for the independent lab in Maryland, told ABC News.

In a new database to be released Wednesday, and obtained exclusively by ABC News today, USP warns consumers, the FDA and manufacturers that the amount of food fraud they found is up by 60 percent this year.

USP, a scientific nonprofit that according to their website “sets standards for the identity, strength, quality, and purity of medicines, food ingredients, and dietary supplements manufactured, distributed and consumed worldwide” first released the Food Fraud Database in April 2012.

The organization examined more than 1,300 published studies and media reports from 1980-2010. The update to the database includes nearly 800 new records, nearly all published in 2011 and 2012.

Among the most popular targets for unscrupulous food suppliers? Pomegranate juice, which is often diluted with grape or pear juice.

“Pomegranate juice is a high-value ingredient and a high-priced ingredient, and adulteration appears to be widespread,” Lipp said. “It can be adulterated with other food juices…additional sugar, or just water and sugar.”

Lipp added that there have also been reports of completely “synthetic pomegranate juice” that didn’t contain any traces of the real juice.

USP tells ABC News that liquids and ground foods in general are the easiest to tamper with:

  • Olive oil: often diluted with cheaper oils
  • Lemon juice: cheapened with water and sugar
  • Tea: diluted with fillers like lawn grass or fern leaves
  • Spices: like paprika or saffron adulterated with dangerous food colorings that mimic the colors

Milk, honey, coffee and syrup are also listed by the USP as being highly adulterated products.

Also high on the list: seafood. The number one fake being escolar, an oily fish that can cause stomach problems, being mislabeled as white tuna or albacore, frequently found on sushi menus.

National Consumers League did its own testing on lemon juice just this past year and found four different products labeled 100 percent lemon juice were far from pure.

“One had 10 percent lemon juice, it said it had 100 percent, another had 15 percent lemon juice, another…had 25 percent, and the last one had 35 percent lemon juice,” Sally Greenberg, Executive Director for the National Consumers League said. “And they were all labeled 100 percent lemon juice.”

Greenberg explains there are indications to help consumers pick the faux from the food.

“In a bottle of olive oil if there’s a dark bottle, does it have the date that it was harvested?” she said. While other products, such as honey or lemon juice, are more difficult to discern, if the price is “too good to be true” it probably is.

“$5.50, that’s pretty cheap for extra virgin olive oil,” Greenberg said. “And something that should raise some eyebrows for consumers.”

Many of the products USP found to be adulterated are those that would be more expensive or research intensive in its production. “Pomegranate juice is expensive because there is little juice in a pomegranate,” Lipp said.

But the issue is more than just not getting what you pay for.

“There’s absolutely a public health risk,” said John Spink, associate director for the Anti-Counterfeit and Product Protection Program (A-CAPPP) at Michigan State University. “And the key is the people that are unauthorized to handle this product, they are probably not following good manufacturing practices and so there could be contaminates in it.”

Spink recommends purchasing from “suppliers, retailers, brands, that have a vested interest in keeping us as repeat customers.”

Both the FDA and the Grocery Manufacturers Association say they take food adulteration “very seriously.”

“FDA’s protection of consumers includes not only regulating and continually monitoring food products in interstate commerce for safety and sanitation, but also for the truthfulness and accuracy of their labels,” the FDA said in a statement to ABC News.

Most recently the FDA issued an alert for pomegranate juice mislabeled as 100 percent pomegranate juice, as well as one for the adulteration of honey.

The Grocery Manufacturers of America told ABC News in a statement that “ensuring the safety and integrity of our products – and maintaining the confidence of consumers – is the single most important goal of our industry,” and that their members have “robust quality management programs and procedures in place, including analytical testing, to help ensure that only the safest and highest quality products are being offered to consumers.”

Woman says jerky treats made in China made her dog sick

AUSTIN — An Austin pet owner says jerky treats from China almost killed her dog.

Pat Richardson had no idea her dog Allie was sick until she took her to the veterinarian for an annual check-up. A routine blood test revealed her five-year-old Cairn Terrier had kidney problems. Her vet helped her pinpoint the cause to a treat Richardson fed her dog every day.

“It’s a family member, and I thought if I had done something to harm her, it was devastating,” said Richardson.

Richardson fed her dog Waggin Trails chicken jerky treats every morning. They are made by Nestle Purina in China. Purina is now the target of a class action lawsuit connected to animal deaths and jerky treats.

“Those treats said they were chicken breast and glycerin and no other ingredients at all,” said Richardson.

Richardson paid roughly $1,000 in vet bills for her dog Allie to recover.

The FDA is investigating jerky treats from China linked to 2,200 pet illnesses in all 50 states. In the past 18 months, 360 dogs and one cat have died. The FDA has not singled out a specific brand or banned any of the treats.

“We don’t really know where the sickness is coming from or the exact ingredients that’s causing it, so just use care and caution,” said Dr. Shannon James with the Capital Veterinary Clinic.

Dr. James suggests pet owners should read all labels before giving their animals any food.
“If you are going to give a treat, it’s best to know exactly where that treat is being made and how healthy it is for your pet,” said James.
If your pet is having a problem, you can go here to file a report.

Source:http://www.khou.com/community/blogs/animal-attraction/Woman-says-jerky-treats-made-in-China-made-her-dog-sick-170320956.html

Cantaloupes linked to deadly multistate Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak

— Two deaths and multiple cases of illness across 20 states have been linked to cantaloupes contaminated with salmonella, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
State and federal health officials are advising consumers to discard all cantaloupes from southwestern Indiana, as tests have found evidence of the same strain of salmonella bacteria associated with a multi-state outbreak that health officials say is still ongoing.

The outbreak, which began in July, has been linked to two deaths and sickened at least 50 people in Kentucky. According to the Food and Drug Administration’s website, a total of 141 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 20 states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.

The agency cautions consumers not try to wash the harmful bacteria off the cantaloupe, or cut through the outer surface, as contamination may be both on the inside and outside of the fruit.

Consumers with questions about food safety are encouraged to call 1-888-SAFEFOOD or consult the fda.gov website.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) provides these recommendations for preventing Salmonellosis

– Wash hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and handling pets.

– Wash utensils, cutting boards, dishes, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to the next item.

– Consider using paper towels to clean kitchen surfaces. If you use cloth towels, wash them often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that people in a normal state of health who ingest Salmonella-tainted food may experience diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, which typically begin within 12 to 72 hours. This may be accompanied by vomiting, chills, headache and muscle pains. These symptoms may last about four to seven days, and then go away without specific treatment, but left unchecked, Salmonella infection may spread to the bloodstream and beyond and may cause death if the person is not treated promptly with antibiotics.

Children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune symptoms should practice extreme caution, as salmonellosis may lead to severe illness or even death.

Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration found Listeria monocytogenes on a honeydew melon and at a packing facility in Faison, North Carolina, but no illnesses have been reported.

In 2011, the number of deaths linked to a listeria outbreak in cantaloupe rose to 29, topping a 1985 mark for the most deaths among adults and children. Experts say the third-deadliest U.S. food outbreak was preventable.

Read more: http://www.wptv.com/dpp/money/consumer/cantaloupes-linked-to-deadly-multistate-salmonella-typhimurium-outbreak#ixzz247HWdmdS

EU Might Block Parts of Food Safety Modernization Law

BY DAN FLYNN Food Safety News

In implementing its new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the United States wants to boldly go where no government has gone before in protecting food imports, but the European Union (EU) doesn’t like it.

 Carlos Alvarez Antolinez, an EU food safety official stationed in Washington D.C., told the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) Monday that the 27 member EU countries he represents has some significant issues with FSMA.
Third party auditing, inspections, and foreign supply verification procedures top the list of the EU’s concerns with the new U.S. law.  With governmental authority for a continent of 500 million people speaking 28 languages, the EU is also in a position to stop what it does not like.

“We have been very grateful to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA),” Antolinez said. He said the EU has remained in constant dialogue with FDA since President Obama signed the new food safety law in January 2011, and seemed to suggest somewhat humorously that the U.S. and the EU might be more at impasse if the American government were further along in implementing the new law.
FDA has drafted the implementing regulations, but the White House’s Executive Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have held those up for months.
The EU is concerned that with the FSMA, the U.S. will be reaching out to individual companies in its member countries rather than maintaining a “government-to-government” approach for ensuring food safety, Antolinez says.

Imported-Food Outbreaks Rise, CDC Says

By TIMOTHY W. MARTIN | WSJ

 

Outbreaks of illness linked to imported food have risen since the late 1990s, casting a spotlight on federal inspection standards for fish, produce and other foods brought in from abroad.

The 39 outbreaks from imported food reported between 2005 and 2010 represent a small fraction of total cases of food-borne illnesses such as salmonella or E. coli, according to the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presented Wednesday. But the rise in imported-food outbreaks—mostly from fish and spices—highlights gaps in the food-safety system that a sweeping new law is intended to address.

CDC researchers found 6.5 outbreaks from foreign foods a year, on average, between 2005 and 2010—more than double the average of 2.7 outbreaks annually between 1998 and 2004.

Of the 39 outbreaks between 2005 and 2010, nearly half—17—occurred in 2009 and 2010.

The foods, including fish, oysters, cheese, sprouts and seven other types of products, were shipped from 15 countries. Nearly 45% of those foods originated from Asia. Most people were sickened with salmonella or histamine fish poisoning, a bacterial disease contracted from eating spoiled dark-flesh fish that causes rashes, diarrhea, sweating, headaches and vomiting. The outbreaks led to 2,348 cases of illness, the CDC said.

Among the largest of those outbreaks was one in 2008 linked to jalapeño and serrano peppers from Mexico contaminated with salmonella. More than 1,400 people were sickened and more than 280 were hospitalized with salmonella in 43 states.

Other major outbreaks reviewed in the study were a 2007 recall of Veggie Booty, a puffed rice snack that was found to contain contaminated raw materials from China that led to 52 cases of salmonella in 17 states, and a 2010 outbreak of typhoid fever tied to frozen fruit pulp that originated in Guatemala.

Read more of this post

Walmart ‘Great for You’ Healthy Labels: Nutrition Experts Say ‘Devil in the Details’

 

BY BRIAN JOHNSON AND ENJOLI FRANCIS  –  WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2012

As Walmart announced plans today to label certain foods with a new green “Great for You” label, some diet and nutrition experts told ABC News they applauded the move, while others questioned whether a company that sells food could set objective standards for what is healthy.

Dr. Darwin Deen, a family doctor and nutrition educator, told ABC News that “an independent opinion of a food’s healthfulness is a good idea but as always, the devil is in the details.”

Walmart, the largest food retailer in United States, will put the new label on select products that meet defined criteria.in its Great Value and Marketside lines. Customers will begin to see the new label on products starting in the spring.

The company said the “Great for You” products meet the rigorous nutrition criteria established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Institute of Medicine.

“Moms are telling us they want to make healthier choices for their families but need help deciphering all the claims and information already displayed on products,” said Andrea Thomas, senior vice president of sustainability at Walmart. Read more of this post

The Dr. Oz Show – Juice Products Association Q&A: Orange Juice Standards

Do you know where your orange juice is really made?

Do you know where your orange juice is really made?

As of this publishing, Natalie’s Orchard Island Juice Company is the ONLY Made in USA Certified Orange Juice sold in the United States.

 

Last week, news broke that the FDA is testing orange juice imports for a fungicide, carbendazim, that’s banned in the United States. Here, the Juice Products Association, the trade group representing juice companies, responds to questions from The Dr. Oz Show.

The FDA is currently testing orange juice imports after the recent discovery of the fungicide carbendazim, banned in the United States. Carbendazim is known to cause liver cancer in animal studies, can be toxic to cell division, which can harm male fertility, and can cause birth defects.

Here, the Juice Products Association responds to our questions on these events and orange juice manufacturing standards.

1. Are American juice companies required to test for carbendazim?

Companies selling foods and beverages in interstate commerce must comply with US laws and regulations. Some of our members rely on government testing while others have more extensive programs. It’s important to note that it was one of our members that discovered the substance and notified the FDA, even though, as the FDA has said, at the low levels found, there are no safety concerns with the Brazilian orange juice our members use in their products.

2. Are American juice companies required to report their test results for carbendazim to FDA?

Yes. Companies selling foods and beverages in interstate commerce must comply with US laws and regulations.

3. Are there other fungicides used in other countries that are not used here that could turn up in imported juice products? (If so, which fungicides?)

As there is no international standard, it is possible that there are others. That’s why juice producers test. Most countries outside the US use the international tolerances set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission established by World Health Organization and Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. In fact, the tolerance for carbendazim in orange juice under Codex is significantly higher than the levels found in Brazilian orange juice, as is the tolerance set by the European Union, Canada and Japan.  Read more of this post

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