Saturday, March 31, 2007

Consumer Alert: Undeclared Milk in Certain Healthy Corner Foods Salads and Sandwiches

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- March 29, 2007 -- New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker alerted consumers today that Healthy Corner Foods Inc, d/b/a Healthy Corner Foods, 6005 16th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11204 is recalling certain Chicken and Turkey Salads; and Turkey, Turkey Salad and Chicken Salad Sandwiches due to undeclared milk ingredients. People who have allergies to milk may run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume this product.

The recalled Corner Foods Salads and Sandwiches were sold in New York City and New Jersey.

The following varieties of sandwiches are included in the recall:

Vegetarian Turkey Sandwich – 6oz., Plastic film wrapped – All codes
Vegetarian Turkey Salad Sandwich – 6oz., Plastic film wrapped – All codes
Vegetarian Chicken Salad Sandwich – 7oz., Plastic film wrapped – All codes
Vegetarian Chicken Salad Sandwich on Whole Wheat Pita – 6oz., Plastic film wrapped – All codes
Vegetarian Turkey Salad – 6.5oz., Plastic container – All codes
Vegetarian Chicken Salad – 6.5oz., Plastic container – All codes

The problem was discovered during a routine food safety inspection by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors which revealed the presence of a milk ingredient in product packages which did not declare a milk ingredient on the label.

No illnesses have been reported to date to this Department in connection with the problem. Consumers who have purchased the affected Healthy Corner Foods Salads and/or Sandwiches should return them to the place of purchase.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Consumer Alert: Undeclared Milk in Lorenzo's Brand Mexican Breads

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- March 29, 2007 -- New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker alerted consumers today that Acapulco Bakery, 116 Morning Star Road, Staten Island, New York 10310, is recalling packages of "Lorenzo brand Conchas de Sabor Vainilla, Cuernitos de Canela, Hojaldras, Croissant and Sweet Mexican Bread" varieties due to an undeclared milk ingredient. People who have allergies to milk may run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume this product.

The recalled "Lorenzo brand Conchas, de Sabor Vainilla, Cuernitos de Canela, Hojaldras, Croissant and Sweet Mexican Bread" varieties come in an uncoded plastic bag, lacking a weight declaration. It was sold in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Virginia.

The problem was discovered as a result of routine sampling by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors and subsequent analysis by the Department's Food Laboratory personnel revealed the presence of a milk ingredient in product packages which did not declare a milk ingredient on the label.

No illnesses have been reported to date to this Department in connection with the problem. Consumers who have purchased any "Lorenzo brand Conchas, de Sabor Vainilla, Cuernitos de Canela, Hojaldras, Croissant and Sweet Mexican Bread" variety should return it to the place of purchase.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Nationwide Recall of Cerignola, Nocellara and Castelvetrano Olives Because of Possible Health Risk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- March 27, 2007 -- Charlie Brown di Rutigliano & Figli S.r.l, in Bari Italy, is recalling Cerignola Olives, Nocellara Olives and Castelvetrano Olives from distribution because they have the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium that can cause a life-threatening illness or death. Consumers are warned not to use 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.

The recalled olives were distributed to wholesalers, who then distributed them nationally to restaurants and retail stores.

This recall covers all sizes of cans, glass jars and pouches of Cerignola Olives, Nocerella Olives and Castelvetrano Olives containing codes beginning with the letter "G" followed by 3 or 4 digits under the following brands: Borrelli, Bonta di Puglia, Cento, Corrado's, Dal Raccolto, Flora, Roland and Vantia.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.
The potential for contamination was noted after routine testing found that the product had a higher than required pH.

In response to these findings, the firm has amended its process to assure new product meets pH requirements.

Consumers who have purchased these types of olives are urged to visit their retailer to determine if the olives are from Charlie Brown di Rutigliano & Figli S.r.l. If they are the recalled products you will be issued a full refund.
Consumers with questions may contact the company at 011-039-080-7839073 (phone), or charliebrownbari@yahoo.com (e-mail).

Southeast Asian Foods Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Liquid Egg White In Fish Paste, Fish Ball and Fish Cake Products

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- San Francisco, CA -- March 27, 2007 -- SOUTHEAST ASIAN FOODS of San Francisco, CA is recalling its Fish Paste, Fish Ball, and Fish Cake products, because they may contain undeclared Liquid Egg White. People who have an allergy or server sensitivity to Liquid Egg White run the risk of serious of life-threatening allergic reaction if the consume these products.

Products were distributed in Northern California through restaurants, supermarkets and retail stores in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Chiu Chow Fish Paste and Chiu Chow Fish Ball were packed in a clear five pound plastic bag; Chiu Chow Fish Paste in the forty pound plastic gallon bucket and 14 oz. clear plastic cup; Chiu Chow Fish Ball in 14 oz. vacuum plastic bag; and Chiu Chow Fish Cake in 7 oz. and 13 oz. vacuum plastic bag.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

The recall was initiated after it was discovered that products containing Liquid Egg White was distributed in packaging that did not reveal the presence of Liquid Egg White. Subsequent investigation indicates the problem was caused by a temporary breakdown in the company's production and packaging processes.

Consumers who have purchased all SOUTHEAST ASIAN FOODS Fish Paste, Fish Ball, and Fish Cake brand are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with question may contact the company at 1-415-822-2070.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Spinach, Lettace, Cantaloupes...

I'm as lazy as the next person. Give me a bag of cut and "washed" lettace or spinach, give me pre-chopped onions and my wallet is open. Yep, I know it costs so much more than the lettace you have to wash and tear with your own two hands. Doesn't matter. I will eat it if I don't have to work at it, it will rot, still intact as a head or a bunch, in my crisper if I have to do it.

However, however, however... I hate those howevers. If you read the FDA warnings on a regular basis (as I do 'cause I post them on the Georgia Front Page and now in this blog), then it gets harder and harder to be lazy. And wasteful in regards to money.

I once read that many of our so-called flu bouts and stomach viruses were actually small doses of e.coli and other toxins. Meat not completely bad, just on the verge. Meat at a restaurant that wasn't handled properly. Egg shells in foods with whatever evil might remain (how many of you wash your eggs before cracking them open?). Spinach or other fresh veggies not cleaned properly...

Start reading books and articles on how our food is being processed and prepared and you'll think a little more about starting a garden in your back yard.

For months now I've been getting warnings from the FDA about cantaloupes. The thing with spinach probably crippled the industry. Lettace, peanut butter, every day it's some kind of problem.

I'm eating spinach again, have been since it first popped back on the fresh food aisle. I will substitute frozen when needed, but prefer it fresh. Love to saute a bit in the morning, dump an egg in it (maybe some pre-washed cut mushrooms, too).

I am thinking harder and harder about that garden. I don't know what I'd have to give up time-wise to get it going, even though I should since I had one for years way-back-when. I know I'd have to fight those cute little rabbits that run across the yard, and the birds, and the many, many deer that park in our yard to eat.

There are a couple of organic co-ops that have sprung up in the area. I might give that a try first. Of course, that would still mean I'd have to clean, cut, bag, prepare my own spinach, lettace, onions...

3/23/07 FDA Finalizes Report on 2006 Spinach Outbreak

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and California’s Department of Health Services (CDHS) today released a joint report on an extensive investigation into the causes of an E.coli O157:H7 outbreak last fall that was associated with contaminated Dole brand Baby Spinach and resulted in 205 confirmed illnesses and three deaths. The inquiry was conducted by the California Food Emergency Response Team (CalFERT), a team of experts from FDA’s district office in San Francisco and CDHS. They were assisted by experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The investigators successfully identified the environmental risk factors and the areas that were most likely involved in the outbreak, but they were unable to definitely determine how the contamination originated.

“The probe was a notable effort by federal, state and local officials,” said Robert E. Brackett, Ph.D., director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “It yielded valuable information we can use to determine how best to reduce the likelihood of similar outbreaks.”
The report describes the painstaking detective work of the investigators following the first reports from CDC in September 2006 of an apparent outbreak of E.coli O157:H7 linked to the consumption of bagged spinach. The probe initially focused on the processing and packaging plant of Natural Selection Foods, LLC in San Juan Bautista, CA, where the contaminated products had been processed.

The next focus of the inquiry was the source of the spinach in 13 bags containing E.coli O157:H7 isolates that had been collected nationwide from sick customers. Using the product codes on the bags, and employing DNA fingerprinting on the bacteria from the bags, the investigators were able to match environmental samples of E.coli O157:H7 from one field to the strain that had caused the outbreak. Potential environmental risk factors for E.coli O157:H7 contamination at or near the field included the presence of wild pigs, the proximity of irrigation wells used to grow produce for ready-to-eat packaging, and surface waterways exposed to feces from cattle and wildlife.

Because the contamination occurred before the start of the investigation, and because of the many ways that E.coli O157:H7 can be transferred -- including animals, humans, and water -- the precise means by which the bacteria spread to the spinach remain unknown.

FDA continues to work closely with its federal, state and local partners to keep produce safe from bacterial contamination. In August 2006, the agency announced an initiative called “Leafy Greens” that focuses attention on the produce, contamination agents, and other areas of potential public health concern associated with such products. Recently, FDA recently issued a draft final guidance, “Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards of Fresh-cut Fruits and Vegetables”, which recommends measures to prevent microbial contamination during the processing of fresh-cut produce.

Earlier this week the agency explored issues involved in the safety of fresh produce in a public hearing held in California, and it plans to hold a similar hearing on April 13, 2007 in Maryland. The goal of both events is to solicit and share information about the recent outbreaks, the involved and associated risk factors, and measures the agency could adopt to advance the safety of fresh produce.

Although washing produce would not have prevented the recent E-coli outbreak involving spinach, washing can reduce the risk of contamination from some other causes. FDA advises consumers that all produce should be thoroughly washed before eating.

The report on the probe of the Dole spinach contamination, titled: Investigation of an Escherichia coli O157:H7 Outbreak Associated with Dole Pre-Packaged Spinach, is posted at http://www.DHS.ca.gov.

Smith & Nephew Issues Nationwide Recall of RF Denervation Probes Used for the Spine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Andover, MA -- March 26, 2007 -- Smith & Nephew Inc. is initiating a nationwide recall of 539 RF Denervation probes for the part numbers and models listed in the table below.

The Smith & Nephew RF Denervation probes are indicated for use exclusively with the Smith & Nephew ELECTROTHERMAL(TM) 20S SPINE SYSTEM in RF heat lesion procedures for the relief of pain. The RF Denervation Probes, which are provided in a non-sterile condition, were mislabeled as sterile which potentially could result in a patient infection.

Customers who have product that is being recalled should return it to Smith & Nephew per the recall instructions. The recall includes the following products and lot numbers:

Part #
Description
Lot numbers
7210270
RF Denervation Probe
602549, 602550, 602846, 602847
7210271
RF Denervation Probe
602541, 602542, 602556, 602557, 602558, 602559, 602560, 602561, 602562, 602848, 602849, 602999
7210272
RF Denervation Probe
602543, 602570, 602571, 602850, 603000

The company voluntarily recalled the products after learning of the labeling error. FDA has been apprised of this action. No injuries have been reported to date associated with this issue.
Product was distributed to 134 domestic and international customers. It can be identified by the product number, name, and lot numbers identified above. Smith & Nephew has notified its distributors and customers and is arranging for return and replacement of all recalled products.
Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-800-343-5717.

Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

Online: http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm
Regular Mail: use postage-paid FDA form 3500 available at: http://www.fda.gov/MedWatch/getforms.htm. Mail to MedWatch 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787
Fax: 1-800-FDA-0178

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Honey Update...

Just got back from Kroger & they must have read my blog (uh huh)... They have Tupelo honey again in the large containers. I'm happy.

I'm going to be shopping more at Kroger. I stopped at the local Wal-Mart yesterday and they're not carrying many of the things they had LAST week. They ditched Cascadia organic frozen veggies!!! NO organic frozen veggies now. They're engergy drink prices are higher or the same as Kroger (shock) and they're continually out of the really good ones and have a poor selection when compared to other stores.

They are carrying more organics like I mentioned in an earlier blog. However, their rising prices on other staples are giving me good reason to shop closer to home. I did some price shopping yesterday and was really surprised. The milk I buy was one penny cheaper than Kroger.

Guess it goes to show that it's worth paying attention to sales and not just sticking with a place 'cause it's touted to be less expensive. I like cleanliness, helpful staff and a good selection. I'll pay a few pennies more to get the first two.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Readers Beware!

I just rec'd a notice from SitePro News saying spammers and hackers and nasty types are sneaking garbage onto blogs. Here's the link to read about it: http://www.fortiguardcenter.com:80/advisory/FGA-2007-04.html

Watch what you click on blogs! When I put a link on my blog just know it'll be easy to tell it came from me.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Honey...

I use honey, Tupelo honey to be exact, instead of sugar or the fake stuff. I've gone round and round for years on which is best. I went sugarless (including honey & substitutes for too many years to count). Then I went on a sugar binge (stress? can't even remember what led me to pick up that first cookie!).

My butt got bigger (not just 'cause of the sugar, but it sure didn't help!). So, in my major dieting period, I switched to sugar substitutes. As the new improved models were introduced I switched. Each time I'd have read all kinds of horror tales about the substitute I was using, so I'd be primed and ready to try something new.

Of course, none of the sugar substitutes are good for your body. Stevia seemed to be the best bet but I really can't handle the taste. Even with the new and much, much better stevia's running around out there, they still can't make it taste like the sugar I grew addicted to as a child.

So, reading and reading, and talking and talking... I am now using honey. Unfortunately, it has calories (60 per tablespoon). But, on the plus side, it metabolizes slower in your system and it does taste good.

Tupelo honey supposedly doesn't crystallize like the other types. It's great in hot tea.

Aside from honey in my hot tea, I don't eat sugar or honey in anything. I did a three day fast and at the end of that time somehow I was "miraculously" cured of my sugar addiction. Except when it came to hot tea, my staple, my wake-up in the morning and get ready for bed elixir.

The real reason for this post is not to tell you all about my sugar habits (although that's what it turned into, didn't it?). I have been searching the world for the best place to buy honey at a reasonable price in the Atlanta area.

You might be surprised where I found the best prices... First I hit the health food stores as I only wanted raw honey. I found what I was looking for and bought a nice size container. "Made" locally in Georgia, sold all over the place.

I figured that the DeKalb Farmer's Market would have the best prices, so on my monthly trip I compared brand-to-brand, size-to-size. Guess what? They were $2 HIGHER than the highest price I found at the little mom & pop health stores... hmmmm....

I took a look at Wal-Mart as they are now carrying a fantastic supply of organic foods. No luck, they didn't have any raw honey.

So, I figured I'd stick with the health food stores until... until... I happened to stop in our local Kroger grocery store. They were $2 CHEAPER than the health food stores. Wow, that's $4 cheaper than the Dekalb Farmer's Market. Only problem I have with Kroger is that they're continually out of the larger container of the Tupelo. They have all the others, clover, etc., etc. so I might have to give them a try.

Just as a side note --- I've been comparing prices at the Dekalb Farmer's Market with Publix & Kroger since the honey shopping trip. They are higher than MANY other places. Can't beat their breads, great organic fresh veggies and fruits, but I'm now buying a lot of things locally that I used to pick up there.