January 17th, 2013
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.
January 14th, 2013
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.
December 7th, 2012
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.
October 15th, 2012
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.
October 9th, 2012
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.”
October 2nd, 2012
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.
September 12th, 2012
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.”
September 6th, 2012
With 241 cases of West Nile virus and four related deaths reported so far this year, the United States is experiencing the biggest spike in the mosquito-borne illness since 2004, health officials report. Eighty percent of these infections have occurred in three states — Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma — which have seen earlier activity than usual. Overall, 42 states had detected West Nile virus infections in people, birds or mosquitoes as of July 31, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC officials recommend several important protective measures to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. Click here to read the full list.
August 27th, 2012
The City of New Orleans has created an overarching emergency preparedness website called NOLA Ready. It seeks to encourage residents to create and know their plan for various emergency situations. Additionally, residents can sign up for city-wide alerts and other information that will be helpful.
Additional information is available on numerous other Louisiana parish websites, so please refer to your local government sites for more specifically detailed information.
August 23rd, 2012
A drink or two each week during pregnancy may not affect a child’s general intelligence at age 5, according to a new series of Danish studies. The research indicates that strict abstinence may not be necessary during early to mid pregnancy, but the researchers say their findings need to be investigated further. Mothers-to-be, they say, should continue to follow current guidelines that advise against any alcohol consumption.
To read more on this study, click here.