This is Public Health

Ground Beef 2

“Supermarket chains Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo are recalling some ground beef because of the risk that the meat has been contaminated with E. coli.

The chains announced the recall Thursday as part of a larger ground beef recall issued by the National Beef Packing Company.

E. coli can cause diarrhea, dehydration and potentially kidney failure.

Winn-Dixie is immediately recalling the affected Fresh 93 Percent Lean Ground Beef from all stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. The product was shipped to stores around July 18.

Bi-Lo is recalling the same product from its shelves in all stores in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Neither has received reports of any related illnesses.

Consumers can bring the product to the store for a refund.”

Story Credit: Associated Press. Click here to view it on WVUE-TV’s website.

 mosquito

Louisiana has recorded its first case of the West Nile virus in a human for 2013, according to the state Department of Health and Hospitals. The case was confirmed in Caldwell Parish in the north central part of the state on July 22, and was determined to be a neuroinvasive case, the most dangerous form.

West Nile infections are characterized as neuroinvasive, West Nile fever or as asymptomatic. The neuroinvasive form occurs when the virus attacks nerve cells, and in older people may be very severe, with some cases resulting in brain damage or death, according to a health department news release.

Click here to read the full story from the Times-Picayune.

Many American children are not meeting recommended car passenger safety guidelines for their age group, a new study finds. The AAP advised that children be placed in rear-facing car seats until they are at least 2 years old. Next, children should use forward-facing car seats with a five-point harness until they reach the maximum height and weight requirement recommended by the seat’s manufacturer.

Children should continue to use a booster seat until they are about 57 inches tall (the average height of an 11-year-old child) and an adult seat belt fits them properly. Children under 13 years old should ride in the back seat, the AAP said.

Click here to read the full article for more tips and regulations.

The Food and Drug Administration has proposed sweeping rules to curtail food-borne illnesses that kill thousands of Americans annually — and, in the process, to transform itself into an agency that prevents contamination, not one that merely investigates outbreaks.

The rules, drafted with an eye toward strict standards in California and some other states, enable the implementation of the landmark Food Safety Modernization Act that President Obama signed two years ago in response to a string of deadly outbreaks of illness from contaminated spinach, eggs, peanut butter and imported produce.

The first proposed rule would require domestic and overseas producers of food sold in the U.S. to craft a plan to prevent and deal with contamination of their products. The plans would be open to federal audits. The second rule would address contamination of fruit and vegetables during harvesting.

Click here to read more from the LA Times.

The nation’s early flu season continues to grow in the U.S., with no sign yet of a peak in the spread of coughing, achy, feverish illness, health officials said recently. Twenty-nine states and New York City reported high levels of flu activity, up from 16 states and NYC the previous week. Flu was widespread in 41 states, up from 31 states, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of the week ending Dec. 29, 2,257 people had been hospitalized with flu, and 18 children had died from complications of the illness, CDC reported.

Click here to read the full story from MSNBC.

Federal authorities are taking the makers of the Nap Nanny to court for failing to voluntarily recall its product.

At least five infant deaths and more than 70 complaints of children falling out of the Nap Nanny baby recliner have been reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

In an administrative complaint filed yesterday, the agency says the manufacturer isn’t doing enough to warn customers about the risks associated with the product.

The Nap Nanny is a baby recliner designed for sleep, rest, and play. The recliner includes a shaped foam pad with a fabric cover and three-point harness.

The CPSC recalled the Nap Nanny Generation One recliner in July 2010 after the first infant death was reported. At that time, 22 reports of infants hanging or falling out over the side of the Nap Nanny had been reported, even though most of the infants had been placed in the harness.

Since then, the agency says the product’s manufacturer, Baby Matters LLC of Berwyn, Pa., has failed to adequately warn customers of the product’s risks.

Click here for more information.

Kellogg is recalling boxes of Mini-Wheats cereal due to the “unlikely but possible presence of fragments of flexible metal mesh from a faulty manufacturing part,” according to the company.

The recall covers roughly  282,000 cases of Frosted Mini-Wheats Bite Size Original and Mini-Wheats Unfrosted Bite Size cereal with the letters KB, AP or FK before or after the best-before date. Most of the recalled products are cereal boxes, but some are single-serving bowls.

Click here to read more.

According the Mayor of New Orleans and the Times-Picayune article below, the boil water advisory for Orleans Parish has been lifted.

“The advisory to boil tap water across the east bank of New Orleans ended Tuesday at 2 p.m. after state health officials and the Sewerage & Water Board declared the city’s water supply safe to drink. Scientists tested the city’s drinking water for coliform bacteria, a mostly harmless group of microscopic organisms whose presence can indicate that more harmful bacteria is lurking nearby. The testing takes roughly 24 hours to process.”

Click here to read the full story.

New Mexico-based Sunland Inc. has expanded its recall of peanut butter and almond butter to include cashew butters, tahini and blanched and roasted peanut products. The company, which sells its nuts and nut butters to large groceries and other food distributors around the country, recalled products under multiple brand names last month after salmonella illnesses were linked to Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter, one of the brands it manufactures.

In addition to Trader Joe’s, the recall over the past week has included some nut butters and nut products sold at Whole Foods Market, Target, Safeway, Fresh & Easy, Harry and David, Sprouts, Heinen’s, Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, Giant Food of Landover, Md., and several other stores. Some of those retailers used Sunland ingredients in items they prepared and packaged themselves.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there have been 30 salmonella illnesses in 19 states that can be traced to the Trader Joe’s peanut butter. No other foods have been linked to the illnesses, but Sunland recalled other products manufactured on the same equipment as the Trader Joe’s product.

Some of the brand names included in the recall are Target’s Archer Farms, Safeway’s Open Nature, Earth Balance, Fresh & Easy, Late July, Heinen’s, Joseph’s, Natural Value, Naturally More, Peanut Power Butter, Serious Food, Snaclite Power, Sprouts Farmers Market, Sprouts, Sunland and Dogsbutter.

Sunland’s recall includes 101 products, and several retailers have issued additional recalls including items made with Sunland ingredients.

Read the full story on WWL-TV by clicking here.

Check out this important article from the Alexandria Town Talk:

“West Nile peaked in Louisiana in 2002, when there were 328 reported cases of people in the state becoming ill. That number steadily dropped until last year, when there were only 12 reported cases.As of Friday, there were 176 reported cases in the state of people becoming ill from West Nile this year, including 10 deaths. In Region 6, which covers Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Rapides, Vernon and Winn parishes, there were 16 cases with two deaths.”

Click here to read the full story.