Friday, October 31, 2008

Everlasting Distributors Inc. Issues a Nationwide Recall of Fresh and Crispy Jacobina Biscuits Because of Possible Health Risks

TT Note: Oops- here comes another one.

Everlasting Distributors Inc., Bayonne NJ is initiating a nationwide recall of all their 3.88oz (110gm) packages of Fresh and Crispy Jacobina Biscuits because it may be contaminated with Melamine.

Consumers who have the product which is being recalled should stop using it immediately. If consumers have questions about possible health risks, they should contact their doctor.

Product was distributed nationwide in Asian Grocery stores.

The product comes in 3.88oz (110 gm) blue and red color clear plastic package, labeled “JACOBINA”.

No illnesses associated with this product have been reported to date.

The recall was initiated after FDA testing discovered that product was found to contain Melamine. Consumers who have purchased Fresh and Crispy Jacobina Biscuits are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 201-823-0800, Monday to Friday 9:00 to 5:00, Eastern Standard Time.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Consumers Becoming Increasingly Less Tolerant of Recalls, Demanding More Control Over Information


TT Note: There are so many recalls in our markets. Have you ever stopped to see the country who appears to be the major manufacturer of the suspect items? Take a moment and go to the Fayette Front Page "Recall Roundup." We bring you all the recalls we can find on a daily basis. Be an informed consumer!

PRNewswire/ -- The buying habits of consumers change dramatically and cost companies millions when product safety and quality issues arise, according to a new study released today by Deloitte.

More than half of consumers responding (58 percent) who heard about product safety and/or quality problems changed their buying habits, according to the survey. These consumers turned away from such products for more than nine months, on average, increasing the likelihood that they would discontinue the use of the product or brand entirely.

"Our research shows that consumers are becoming less tolerant of recalls with more than 50 percent changing their product choices," said Pat Conroy, Deloitte LLP's vice chairman and consumer products practice leader. "As these consumers continue to buy different products, product manufacturers can expect lower sales and run the risk of damage to their brands."

The survey, "Food and Product Safety and Its Effect on Consumer Buying Habits," addresses consumer behavior around product safety and product quality issues in general. Specifically, it focuses on key issues in four product categories:

-- Toys
-- Consumer electronics
-- Fresh food
-- Packaged food/beverages


Of these categories, changes in buying habits were most common for fresh food and packaged food/beverage. Roughly half (49 percent) of respondents said they were extremely concerned about product safety, with the greatest concerns coming from women (53 percent) and consumers 55 years of age and older (56 percent). All in all, there is a wide awareness about product safety and quality problems, and more than half of respondents (54 percent) said they were more concerned about the safety of fresh food products than they were a year ago.

Global Concerns

The global lines that were once drawn have now begun to blur and corporate globalization has created "businesses without borders." However, though globalization is an increasingly valuable part of doing business, roughly two-thirds of consumers surveyed (65 percent) were extremely concerned about the safety of products produced outside the United States, with the greatest apprehension coming from older consumers.

Approximately three-quarters of the overall respondents (73 percent) were extremely concerned about the safety of products produced in China, with half having the same doubts about products produced in Southeast Asia and Mexico.

As products fall under greater scrutiny, consumers surveyed indicated they would like more information about the safety of food products provided on packaging (86 percent), company Websites (81 percent) and by the government (81 percent). Some 67 percent said that food product labels with country of origin labeling, certification of product testing and certification of quality testing would be extremely important in their buying decisions.

"Consumers' increased sensitivity of product safety and quality is having a long-term effect on business," said Conroy. "Product recalls impact companies' revenues and share price, as well as market share and brand perception. We've seen that, while some companies can maneuver through recalls relatively unscathed, others suffer catastrophic damage."

The research shows that some of the key factors that drive the extent of a product recall impact ranges from the extent of the company's product diversification, if the recall is specifically for a branded product, strength of the company's brand when the incident occurred and how the company responds.

"Companies are meeting consumers' concerns by upgrading or expanding safety procedures including stricter safety standards, testing and third-party audits and government intervention is driving change," said Conroy. "The recent granting of the Consumer Product Safety Commission to initiate product recalls and monitor ingredient levels such as lead allowed in toys and other children's products, is a very timely and relevant example of changes being made all with consumer safety and peace-of-mind at the top of the agenda."

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Statement Released by Mars Petcare US Regarding the Voluntary Recall of a Limited Number of Bags of Wal-Mart SPECIAL KITTY(R) Gourmet Blend Cat Food

PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Even though there is no link between the SPECIAL KITTY(R) Gourmet Blend dry cat food manufactured at the Allentown, Pennsylvania factory and any human or pet illness, we are taking precautionary action to protect pets and their owners by announcing a voluntary recall of all sizes of SPECIAL KITTY(R) Gourmet Blend produced at the facility on August 11, 2008. This action is being taken as a result of potential Salmonella contamination.

This voluntary recall affects only a limited number of bags of SPECIAL KITTY(R) Gourmet Blend dry cat food sold at Wal-Mart locations in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and West Virginia.

Mars Petcare has been working cooperatively with Wal-Mart to address this issue, and the affected product of this lot has already been removed from Wal-Mart's shelves. As a result, consumers can be assured that all SPECIAL KITTY(R) Gourmet Blend products that remain on Wal-Mart's shelves are safe and not subject to this recall.

Our top priority has always been and continues to be the health and welfare of pets and their owners, and we are working vigorously to identify the cause of the issue.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

CPSC and Carter's Advise Parents of Rashes Associated with Heat Transferred, or "Tag-less," Labels

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Carter's, Inc., of Atlanta, Georgia, are advising parents and caregivers that they have received reports that a small percentage of babies and infants have developed rashes on the upper back after wearing Carter's clothing with heat-transferred, or "tag-less," labels.

This advisory applies to Carter's Fall 2007 product line. The Fall 2007 line utilizes a label on the inside back of the garment that has a raised surface with a solid, rather than a stenciled, background. This advisory does not apply to previous and current product lines, which utilize labels with stenciled backgrounds.

The garments, which were made in various countries, were sold at Carter's own retail stores and at department and national chain stores.

If your child develops a rash on the upper back after wearing garments that have a "tag-less" label with a solid background, you should stop using these garments. If the rash persists or worsens, you should contact your pediatrician. For additional information, visit Carter's website at http://www.carters.com/corporate/tagless_message.aspx, contact Carter's toll free at 1-888-282-4674 or by email at contactus@carters.com

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Monday, October 06, 2008

FDA Detects Melamine Contamination in Flavored Drink

TT Note: And they just keep on coming-----

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has increased inspections and product testing efforts in response to the melamine contamination problem which originated in Chinese dairy products. As a result of the FDA’s on-going testing program, the agency has detected melamine contamination in Blue Cat Flavor Drinks. The distributor of the product, Tristar Food Wholesale Co. Inc., initiated a recall of several flavors of Blue Cat Flavor Drink, based on the FDA’s findings. The FDA advises the public not to consume this product and recommends that retailers and food service operators remove the product from sale or service.
Other Recalls

On September 26, the FDA issued an alert to consumers that seven Mr. Brown instant coffee and milk tea products were being recalled by the Taiwanese company, King Car Food Industrial Co. Ltd., due to possible contamination with melamine. King Car Food Industrial Co. used a non-dairy creamer manufactured by Shandong Duqing Inc., China, which was found to be contaminated with melamine. The recalled products are:

* Mr. Brown Mandheling Blend Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
* Mr. Brown Arabica Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
* Mr. Brown Blue Mountain Blend Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
* Mr. Brown Caramel Macchiato Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
* Mr. Brown French Vanilla Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
* Mr. Brown Mandhling Blend instant Coffee (2-in-1)
* Mr. Brown Milk Tea (3-in-1)

The FDA recommends that consumers not consume any of the above Mr. Brown instant coffee and milk tea products. The FDA also recommends that retailers and foodservice operators remove the products from sale or service.

Sunny Maid Corp. Monterey Park, Calif., who is an importer and distributor of Mr. Brown Instant Coffee products, is recalling the products in the United States.

The FDA is working with regulatory agencies in the United States as well as with other countries. The California Department of Public Health and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority reported that its testing of White Rabbit Creamy Candies has shown melamine contamination at high levels. In light of the widespread contamination of milk and milk-based products in China and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority’s finding, the FDA continues to recommend that consumers not eat White Rabbit Creamy Candy and that retailers and foodservice operations remove the product from sale or service.

A recall by QFCO Inc., Burlingame, Calif., of the White Rabbit Creamy Candies, is underway in the United States.

The FDA is closely monitoring these recalls and will continue to perform follow up activities of other recalls that may develop.

To date, the FDA is not aware of any illnesses in the United States stemming from consumption of Blue Cat Flavor Drinks, White Rabbit Creamy Candy, or the Mr. Brown instant coffee and milk tea products.

Individuals who have experienced any health problems after consuming Blue Cat Flavor Drinks, White Rabbit Creamy Candy, or any of the identified Mr. Brown coffee and tea products are advised to contact their health care professional.
Background

On September 12, 2008, in light of reports from China of melamine contaminated infant formula, the FDA issued a Health Information Advisory to assure the American public that there is no known threat of contamination in infant formula manufactured by companies that have met the requirements to sell such products in the United States. That advisory also warned members of Chinese communities in the United States that infant formula manufactured in China, possibly available for purchase at Asian markets, could pose a risk to infants.

The FDA had contacted the companies who manufacture infant formula for distribution in the United States and received, from the companies, information that they are not importing formula or sourcing milk-based materials from China.

At the same time, the FDA—in conjunction with state and local officials—began a nation-wide investigation to check Asian markets for Chinese manufactured infant formula that may have been brought into the United States. In particular, this effort focused on areas of the country with large Chinese communities, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and New York. To date, investigators have visited more than 1,800 retail markets and have not found Chinese infant formula present on shelves in these markets.

The FDA also advises consumers not to purchase infant formula manufactured in China from Internet sites or from other sources.

The FDA has taken, and will continue to take, proactive measures to help ensure the safety of the American food supply. In conjunction with state and local officials, the FDA will continue to visit Asian markets for food items that are imported from China and that could contain a significant amount of milk or milk proteins. In addition, the FDA has broadened its domestic and import sampling and testing of milk-derived ingredients and finished food products containing milk, such as candies, desserts, and beverages that could contain these ingredients from Chinese sources. Milk-derived ingredients include whole milk powder, non-fat milk powder, whey powder, lactose powder, and casein.

In addition to state and local governments, the FDA is working in close cooperation with Customs and Border Protection within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, other federal agencies, and foreign governments.

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Friday, October 03, 2008

FDA Issues Interim Safety and Risk Assessment of Melamine and Melamine-related Compounds in Food

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today issued the results of its interim safety and risk assessment of melamine and melamine-related compounds in food, including infant formula.

A safety/risk assessment is a scientifically based methodology used to estimate the risk to human health from exposure to specified compounds. It is based on available data and certain scientific assumptions in the absence of data. The purpose of the FDA interim safety/risk assessment was to identify the level of melamine and melamine-related compounds in food which would not raise public health concerns. The interim safety/risk assessment evaluated the melamine exposure in infant formula and in other foods.

The safety/risk assessment, prompted by reports of melamine contamination of milk-derived ingredients and finished food products containing milk manufactured in China, was conducted by scientists from FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and the Center for Veterinary Medicine. The FDA reviewed scientific literature on melamine toxicity.

Infant Formula

FDA is currently unable to establish any level of melamine and melamine-related compounds in infant formula that does not raise public health concerns. In large part, this is because of gaps in our scientific knowledge about the toxicity of melamine and its analogues in infants, including:

  1. the consequences of the continuous use of infant formulas as the sole source of nutrition;
  2. the uncertainties associated with the possible presence and co-ingestion of more than one melamine analogue; and
  3. for premature infants with immature kidney function, the possibility that they may be fed these formulas as the sole source of nutrition and thus on a body weight basis experience greater levels of intake for a longer time than is experienced by term infants.

There is too much uncertainty to set a level in infant formula and rule out any public health concern. However, it is important to understand that this does not mean that any exposure to any detectable level of melamine and melamine–related compounds in formula will result in harm to infants.

Other Food Products

In food products other than infant formula, the FDA concludes that levels of melamine and melamine-related compounds below 2.5 parts per million (ppm) do not raise concerns. This conclusion assumes a worst case exposure scenario in which 50% of the diet is contaminated at this level, and applies a 10-fold safety factor to the Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) to account for any uncertainties. The TDI is an estimate of the maximum amount of an agent to which an individual could be exposed on a daily basis over the course of a lifetime without an appreciable health risk.

FDA continues to screen products, collaborate with foreign governments and their regulatory agencies, and monitor reports of contamination from international sources to help ensure that potentially contaminated products from foreign sources are examined if imported into the United States. If products are adulterated because they contain melamine and/or a melamine-related compound, the agency will take appropriate actions to prevent the products from entering commerce.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

CPSC Reminds Parents of Drowning Dangers Inside the Home - Nearly 100 reported deaths of children in buckets

Water anywhere can be a potential drowning hazard. While pools are an obvious risk, parents should not let their guard down around other hazards such as bathtubs and buckets. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning parents that children need to be supervised around these common but sometimes hidden drowning dangers.

After pools, more children drown in bathtubs than in any other product in and around the home. From 2002 through 2004, CPSC has reports of 221 children younger than 5 who drowned in bathing-related incidents. Most of these children were younger than 2 years old. Often these incidents involve caregivers leaving the room momentarily to answer the phone/door or to retrieve an item like a towel. In other incidents, an older sibling was left to watch a younger sibling.

Reported drowning incidents received by CPSC confirms another drowning hazard - buckets. CPSC has reports of 94 bucket-related drowning or submersion fatalities from 1999 through 2006. All but one of these deaths were to children less than 2 years old.

"A child can drown very quickly in only inches of water," said CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord. "Bathtubs, buckets, and other containers in and around the home pose drowning hazards all year long."

CPSC recommends parents and caregivers follow these safety tips when children are around bathtubs, buckets, spas, or decorative ponds or fountains:

Never leave young children alone even for a moment near any water. Young children can drown in even small amounts of water.

Always keep a young child within arm's reach in a bathtub. If you must leave, take the child with you. Never leave to answer the phone, answer the door, get a towel or for any other reason.

Don't leave a baby or toddler in a bathtub under the care of another young child.

Never leave a bucket containing even a small amount of liquid unattended. Toddlers can fall headfirst into buckets and drown. After using a bucket, always empty and store it where young children cannot reach it. Don't leave buckets outside where they can collect rainwater.

Prevent children from gaining access to spas or hot tubs when not in use; always secure with safety covers and barriers.

Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). It can be a lifesaver when there are only seconds to act.

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FDA Awards $5.2 Million in Grants to Further Food and Feed Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced the awarding of 17 grants to enhance food and feed safety. These grants fund major cooperative agreements in four major areas. The FDA awarded a combined $5.2 million in these one-year grants to various state and local regulatory agencies.

"These cooperative agreements support and enhance local food protection efforts consistent with our Food Protection Plan," said Michael Chappell, the FDA's acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. "The grants represent an important step in the FDA’s continued efforts to integrate and improve the effectiveness of food safety systems at the federal, state and local levels."

Prevention: Ruminant Feed Ban Support Program

The cooperative agreements for the Ruminant Feed Ban Support Program further enhance the infrastructure of state, territorial, and tribal animal feed safety and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prevention programs. Under these cooperative agreements, state, territory, and tribal governments will enhance their feed/BSE safety programs to increase the ability to locate and visit companies involved in the manufacture, distribution, and transportation of animal feed as well as operations feeding ruminant animals, and to verify their compliance with the BSE/ruminant feed ban. Funds may also be used to conduct educational outreach activities and to develop materials needed to further enhance the industries' knowledge of and compliance with the BSE/ruminant feed ban. The awards were up to $250,000 and the states receiving them were Iowa, Mississippi, North Carolina and Washington.

Intervention: Food Safety and Security Monitoring

The grants for Food Safety and Security Monitoring provide funding to Food Emergency Response Network chemistry laboratories, laboratories essential to intervention efforts. The grants may be used for facility upgrades, training in current food testing methodologies, and increased laboratory sample analysis capacity, among other activities. In the event of a large-scale chemical terrorism event affecting food or food products, the recipient may be required to perform selected chemical analyses of food samples collected by the FDA or provided by other government agencies through the FDA. The states receiving these grants were Colorado, California and Ohio and were given up to $350,000.

Intervention: Innovative Food Defense

The Innovative Food Defense grants will generate novel solutions and outreach to address gaps in, or provide enhancement to, food defense nationwide -- for example, implementing the food defense programs in food establishments called the Assure, Look, Employees, Reports, and Threat or ALERT, and Employees Follow, Inspect, Recognize, Secure, and Tell or FIRST. Each recipient was awarded up to $40,000. The funded counties were Riverside County Dept. of Environmental Health (California) and Multnomah County Department of Health (Ore.). The funded states were Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

Response: Rapid Response Teams

The first-ever Rapid Response Team (RRT) cooperative agreement will develop, implement, exercise and integrate an all-hazards food and food-borne illness response capability to more rapidly react to potential threats to our food supply. The RRT, which is designed to operate in conjunction with other food and feed agencies within state programs, other state RRTs, FDA district offices, and state emergency operations centers, is another tool to enhance response capabilities.

The RRTs will respond to all food hazard incidents in the farm-to-table continuum of food production and delivery by using incident command structure response protocols, a formalized crisis management system. Each recipient was awarded up to $500,000 to exercise its response team, conduct a program assessment, purchase additional equipment and supplies, fund personnel, train, and share information and data as appropriate. The funded states were North Carolina, Massachusetts, California, Michigan, Florida and Minnesota.

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