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Winn-Dixie Issues Voluntary Recall On Winn-Dixie Choco Charm Chocolate Drink™ Due To Mislabeling And Undeclared Allergen

Winn-Dixie Issues Voluntary Recall On Winn-Dixie Choco Charm Chocolate Drink™ Due To Mislabeling And Undeclared Allergen

Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., (NASDAQ: WINN) is voluntarily recalling Winn-Dixie Choco Charm Chocolate Drink from its in-store dairy departments because the product may be mislabeled and may contain the undeclared allergen of wheat. Individuals sensitive to wheat protein can suffer a moderate-acute allergic reaction.

Sold in the dairy department of Winn-Dixie and SaveRite stores, the Winn-Dixie Choco Charm Chocolate Drink features a 128 oz. (one gallon) clear plastic bottle with a yellow bottle cap and is marked with the UPC code 21140-29830.

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Dangerous Waters: E. Coli Threaten Swim Areas

Kids aren’t the only ones in the water this summer. Dangerous E. coli bacteria have also been populating public swimming areas, sickening dozens across the country since June.

 

swimmingecoli internal Dangerous Waters: E. Coli Threaten Swim Areas

Beginning on the 4th of that month, a series of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses began cropping up in Alabama’s Lee County.  Four children were hospitalized, and as many as 15 were sickened.  By the end of the month, the illnesses had been linked to the Opelika Sportsplex and Aquatics Center, which was temporarily shut down.

 

More recently, a cluster of E. coli O157:H7 cases has been traced back to a lake at Cowan’s Gap State Park in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced Tuesday that 11 Pennsylvania residents and two people from Maryland had developed E. coli O157:H7 infections after swimming at the park. Of these victims, eight have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening complication of the disease in which the kidney shuts down as a result of the poison released by the bacteria.

 

In Tennessee, five E. coli victims have reported exposure to local bodies of water, although their cases have not been definitively linked to these sources.

 

And several beaches around the country have been closed due to high levels of E. coli detected in the water. 

 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), bacterial contamination in recreational water is becoming an increasing problem. More and more beaches are closed each year for microbiological contamination.

 

However, these incidences are not the first, nor the worst, of past E. coli outbreaks sourced to recreational water.

 

In 1998, E. coli O157:H7 in the water at the Six Flags White Water Park in Atlanta sickened 26 people.

 

The following year, Washington state’s Battle Ground Lake was closed off after 37 people fell ill from E. coli poisoning. The lake remained off-limits for the next two years.

 

E. coli contamination arises from the presence of fecal matter in water. At pools and water parks, the source is usually human feces. E. coli in natural bodies of water can come from animals, such as livestock or wildlife, or humans, and is either shed directly into the water or washed into it by irrigation or rainwater, sewer systems or other water flows.

 

Studies have shown that the presence of E. coli in the environment increases during the summer. This is thought to be a result of increased shedding of the bacteria by animals, or from areas with higher average rainfall, as rainwater can wash fecal matter into surrounding water sources.

 

“E. coli bacteria is present in all surface water to some level,” said Teresa Frazier, a water-quality specialist at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, according to TriCities.com.

 

However, higher levels of E. coli – specifically shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STECs) – can pose a health threat to humans.

 

The EPA has set a threshold of 126 colonies per 100 ml for E. coli bacteria. Concentrations above this level have been shown to increase the likelihood of human infection.

 

Swimmers can take steps to protect themselves and to ensure the safety of others when visiting public water facilities. The Centers for Disease Control and Protection recommends the following precautions:

 

– Do not swallow swimming water

– Don’t swim when you have diarrhea in order to avoid spreading germs to others

– Shower and wash with soap before swimming in public areas, and wash hands after going to the bathroom before getting in the water

 

For parents of young children, the CDC recommends:

 

– Take kids on bathroom breaks or check diapers often.

– Change diapers in a changing area, not poolside

– Wash your children thoroughly (especially their rear end) with soap and water before swimming.

 

The EPA keeps a record of beaches that have been closed due to contamination, available on its website.

 

Symptoms of an E. coli infection include abdominal pain and sever cramping, followed by diarrhea within 24 hours. In serious cases, diarrhea can become watery or visibly bloody. Less common side effects include vomiting and fever, although fever is rare. The time between exposure and onset of symptoms can range anywhere from 1 to 10 days. 

 Dangerous Waters: E. Coli Threaten Swim Areas

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Kansas Slaughter Firm Recalls Ground Beef Due to Possible E. Coli O157:H7 Adulteration

National Beef Packing Co. LLC, a Dodge City, Kan., establishment, is recalling approximately 60,424 pounds of ground beef products that may be adulterated with E. coli O157:H7.

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Listeria Test Leads to Avocado Dip Recall

A California company is recalling various guacamole dips because the avocados used in them may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
Fresh Food Concepts, Inc. of Buena Park was notified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that routine sampling of its Layer Dip products revealed that the imported avocado pulp contained the bacteria, the FDA said in a news alert late Friday.
The company said it has stopped using avocado from the supplier. 
The dips were distributed nationwide in the U.S. and in Canada through retail supermarkets and club stores.
The dips can be identified as follows:
— Fresh Food Concepts 5 Layer Dip, 32 oz., UPC 29358-11272, use-by date of09/16/11 and before
— Delicioso 5 Layer Dip, 15 oz, UPC 29358-12229, use-by date 09/16/11 and before
— Delicioso 5 Layer Dip, 30 oz, UPC 29358-12230, use-by date 09/16/11 and before
— Rojo’s Ultimate 7 Layer Dip, 36 oz., UPC 35196-44162, use-by date 09/16/11 and before
— Fresh Food Concepts 5 Layer Dip, 16 oz., UPC 35196-44216, use-by date 09/16/11 and before
— Rojo’s Supreme 6 Layer Dip, 44 oz., UPC 47502-44180, use-by date 09/16/11 and before
— Rojo’s 6 Layer Dip, 44 oz., UPC 47502-44185, use-by date 09/16/11 and before
— Rojo’s 6 Layer Dip, 44 oz., UPC 47502-44189, use-by date 09/16/11 and before
— Fresh Food Concepts 5 Layer Dip, 454 g., UPC 35196-44214, use-by date 09/16/11 and before
— Signature Café 6 Layer Dip, 15 oz., UPC 21130-06191, use-by date 09/16/11 and before
— Signature Café 6 Layer Dip, 30 oz., UPC 21130-06192, use-by 09/16/11 and before
— Signature Café 6 Layer Dip, 425 g., UPC 58200-06034, use-by date 09/16/11 and before
— Signature Café 6 Layer Dip, 850 g., UPC 58200-06032, use-by date, 09/16/11 and before
Fresh Food concepts dips with expiration (use-by) dates of 09/24/11 and after were made with avocado from a different source and are not being recalled, the company said. No other products made by Fresh Food Concepts are involved in the recall.
Consumers who purchased the recalled product can return it to the place of purchase for a full refund or destroy it.  Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-714-562-5000, ext. 134, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.PDT.
Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

 Listeria Test Leads to Avocado Dip Recall

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Recall Notification Report 061-2011

AdvancePierre Foods, Inc., an Orange City, Iowa, establishment, is recalling approximately 10,668 pounds of beef patty products that may contain foreign materials.

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Letter From The Editor: Turkeys

My uncle Orville was foreman on a turkey ranch in north central Minnesota. I remember going up there to visit a couple of times when I was growing up. One of the attractions was going out to these football field-size buildings when they were filled with thousands of baby turkeys.

turkeygobblers featured Letter From The Editor: Turkeys

Even then you had to put on little booties to walk around to “look but not touch.” I remember thinking: “Boy, there sure are a lot of turkeys!”
This past week, as our friends at USDA and CDC finally connected enough dots to recall 36 million pounds of ground turkey, I was thinking the same thing. 
 “There sure are a lot of turkeys,” but at that moment I was not thinking of all the birds that produced all that poultry meat. I was thinking about the individuals and institutions that don’t come out looking very well over this one.
The Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak, which has infected more people that we will probably ever know (most cases are never laboratory confirmed) with dangerous disease and killed a  Californian, is deadly serious.
Yet, the first action taken by our federal government once it admitted a multistate outbreak was underway on July 29 was to issue a public health alert that essentially gave the public instructions on how to thoroughly cook ground turkey.
Compare that to the nationwide outbreak three years ago of Salmonella Saintpaul.  Now Salmonella Heidelberg is one of the strains that is resistant to some common antibiotics doctors typically use to combat the disease.  Unlike Heidelberg–and Hadar, Newport, and Typhimurium—Saintpaul is not antibiotic resistant.
Yet in 2008, the federal government’s reaction to a nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul was a public warning not to eat tomatoes, period.  It remained in effect until U.S. tomatoes were excluded from responsibility for an outbreak that was ultimately traced to peppers grown in Mexico.
We all know cooking instructions are important, but the scant attention the initial public warning received made Uncle Sam look like a turkey.
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service was one of the turkeys of the last week.  But the agency was not alone, it had competition from its big boss, 
After issuing cooking instructions and the before the announcement of the 36 million pound recall of ground turkey from a Cargill facility in Arkansas, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited Milwaukee long enough  to address the prestigious International Association for Food Protection.
It might have been a good time for Secretary Vilsack to speak about the antibiotic resistant Salmonella strains that FSIS does not ban from meat. Instead Vilsack did a little tap dance about an eventual action on non-O157 E. coli stains.
The massive recall was only hours away when Vilsack spoke.  The Secretary came across as out of touch with the most important news of the day.  Maybe  he can blame his speech writers, but it still made him one of last week’s turkeys.
Most of the criticism about the great turkey event of 2011 is focused on the government’s investigation, a focus that makes Cargill’s management of the actual recall look good by comparison.
Yet Cargill spokesman Mike Martin also came across as a turkey when he said  no corrective action was taken by the company when Salmonella Heidelberg was found in low levels in the past because its so common.
Martin may be correct, but its an acknowledgement that Cargill is not considering the four antibiotic resistant strains of Salmonella in any special way.   That’s makes him a turkey.
The big turkey companies spend millions advertising their products, and they should be using some of those bucks to educate consumers on those all important cooking instructions.   It’s not enough to rely upon “free media” from FSIS press releases.
In the wake of the Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak, the Hormel Foods-owned Jennie-O Turkey went right on with its television advertising campaign showing happy people eating turkey burgers.  Cooking instructions are not mentioned nor is the public warned about how often Salmonella is found in ground turkey.
Jennie-O did not skip a beat in its turkey burger campaign when its own ground product was recalled in April.   There are no cut-ins with cooking instructions either.  Another turkey?   Most definitely.
No amount of feel good advertising from the airheads that sell such pulp to corporate bigwigs would have made a difference had the federal government’s food safety mechanism worked better.  If as it appears,  a warning  could have gone out maybe as early as May not to eat ground turkey illness and maybe a death could have been prevented.   
Tomato growers did not appreciate having to prove themselves innocent in 2008.  They lost money and, except for those with liberal crop insurance coverage, went without compensation. The warning not to eat tomatoes was still the right public health call at the time.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made the call on tomatoes.  FSIS is once again handing out different treatment at the meat and poultry window.  If we keep accepting this dual standards, well, then, we are all turkeys too.

 Letter From The Editor: Turkeys

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FDA reopens comment period on proposed ‘gluten-free’ food labeling rule

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today reopened the comment period for its 2007 proposal on labeling foods as “gluten-free.” The agency is also making available a safety assessment of exposure to gluten for people with celiac disease (CD) and invites comment on these additional data.

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Congress, Public Not Fooled by Engineered Salmon

The latest salvo by proponents of genetically engineered (GE) salmon [“Big Salmon Says Science Is On Its Side” by Dan Flynn, July 28, 2011] takes direct aim at letters sent by 23 members of Congress to FDA earlier this month urging the agency to put the brakes on its misguided approval process for the AquAdvantage salmon and shift priorities in light of the Young-Woolsey amendment that was included in the house-passed Agriculture Appropriations Act of 2012.  Contrary to the claims by proponents, the science just isn’t there to back up assertions of human and environmental safety or economic and food resource benefits of GE salmon.
 
Not only are arguments that the engineered salmon is “safe” unfounded, but claiming that FDA provides exemplary “science-based” regulation is misleading.  FDA has never promulgated mandatory regulations nor amended existing regulations to cover GE animals. To the contrary, in 2009 the agency announced in a non-binding Guidance to Industry that it would approve GE animals under existing new animal drug provisions.  FDA’s approval process under the 2009 provisions lacks transparency, public engagement and the regulatory and scientific rigor necessary to assess the full suite of novel human health, environmental, animal welfare and socioeconomic risks.  Instead of criticizing Congressional efforts to correct this, we should be asking why an agency with neither expertise in fisheries nor environmental risk assessments is tasked to review and assess GE fish.
 
A recent study conducted by Canadian researchers found that transgenic Atlantic salmon can pass their genes on to wild salmon if they escape into the wild.  Echoing the concerns raised by members of Congress and the public over the past year, the study’s lead author, Darek Moreau of Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada said, “little is known about the potential impact on wild salmon populations if the GM species were to escape captivity.”  Despite company claims that all GE fish are designed to be sterile females, FDA analysis of company data reveals that the triploid sterilization process is not 100% effective, as up to 5% of the entire commercial stock could be fertile and able to reproduce.  As the company has boasted, AquaBounty has orders for 15 million eggs, this could mean the production of upward of 750,000 fertile, genetically engineered eggs. 
 
Regardless of any escapes, the farming of carnivorous fish like salmon requires massive quantities of wild forage fish for use as fishmeal and fish oil, inputs that cannon be sufficiently replaced by vegetarian alternatives.  It can take from 3 to 10 lbs. of forage fish feed to produce just 1 lb. of farmed salmon.[1] This is a massive discrepancy that stands to be made worse by GE salmon designed to grow faster as they will likely need more food, thus increasing the pressure on wild fish stocks that are already over-fished for use by aquaculture operations.  The public is being led to believe that GE salmon will reduce the pressure on wild stocks and they are being deceived.
 
Consumers choose to eat wild salmon for its health benefits yet the data AquAbounty produced for FDA paints a very different picture of GE salmon.  FDA reviews cite the presence of proteins to which some people are acutely allergic to, which might be elevated in the transgenic fish.[2] In later discussion on food allergies, FDA states “the technical flaws in this [AquaBounty’s allergy] study so limit its interpretation that we cannot rely on its results.”[3] AquAdvantage salmon went largely untested for increased disease susceptibility, despite findings of focal inflammations and elevated white blood cell counts suggestive of infection.[4]  Chemical levels of folic acid, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc, as well as ratios of Omega 3/Omega 6 fatty acids, vary in engineered salmon compared to non-GE salmon, which is possibly indicative of food quality differences.[5]
 
Approving GE salmon to be grown across our borders in Canada and Panama, as the company is seeks, is not in our country’s best interests.  The possibility for escape is too high, due tofactors including human error, glitches in containment or serious weather events.  Given the tremendous investment by Federal and State agencies to restore wild salmon fisheries in the Northeast where Atlantic salmon is currently on the endangered species list, ecological and economic costs associated with escapes would be devastating. 
 
A near unanimity of Americans, 91%, felt the FDA should not introduce GE fish and meat into the marketplace, according to poll by Lake Research Partners.[6]  Now AquaBounty is threatening to take its business elsewhere (although no domestic jobs would result from an approval anyway).  As the most influential country in the world, the U.S. should represent the highest pillar of excellence in economic, environmental and social sustainability – rather than catering to the lowest.  If another country permits dangerous and damaging practices of questionable consequences to take place, that is up to their citizens, scientists, and policymakers to decide.
 
Fortunately, we can draw from successful approaches to management here in the U.S.  Taking a cue from Alaska, which has prohibited fish farming and instead invested in proper management, wild fisheries can flourish when properly supported and thus produce abundant food while generating jobs and economic benefits throughout sectors.  For their efforts, Alaska is being rewarded with near-record salmon returns this year – but these successes need not be limited to Alaska.  We know there is great appetite for salmon, however the solution is not to ‘farm’ genetically engineered versions to put more on our dinner tables; the solution is to support and work to bring our vanishing wild salmon populations back.
[1] Naylor, R.L and Burke, M. (2005) Aquaculture and Ocean Resources: Raising Tigers of the Sea. Stanford University Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Vol. 30, page(s) 185-218; Pinto, F. and Furci, G. (2006) Salmon Piranha Style: Feed Conversion Efficiency in the Chilean Salmon Farming Industry, Edited by R. Pizarro, Terram Publications.
[2] AquAdvantage Salmon Briefing Packet for Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee, Center for Veterinary Medicine, Food and Drug Administration, Sept. 20, 2010, p. 75-76.
[3] Briefing Packet, p. 104.
[4] Briefing Packet, p. 41: “Comprehensive disease challenge tests have not been conducted on these fish.”  “An increased presence of focal inflammation in various tissue types in AquAdvantage salmon has the strongest correlation with the presence of the AquAdvantage construct [inserted gene] among the findings in this study.  That these fish may have been immunocompromised as a result of seasonality or other factors confounds the interpretation of these findings.”  In other words, FDA waves off the strongest finding of difference between GE and control salmon with airy speculation, and fails to demand further study to clarify these “confounded” findings.  In particular, FDA does not demand “comprehensive disease challenge” tests to determine, based on SCIENCE and DATA, whether these GE salmon are more susceptible to disease.  This is inexcusable, particularly given peer-reviewed literature showing that salmon engineered with a growth hormone gene are more susceptible to a significant salmon pathogen (Vibrio anguillarum) that causes the devastating salmon disease vibriosis than non-GE salmon.  See Jhingan et al (2003).  “Disease resistance, stress response and effects of triploidy in growth hormone transgenic coho salmon,” Journal of Fish Biology 63: 806-823.  For elevated white blood cell (lymphocyte) counts, see p. 35, and Figure 5, p. 147).
[5] VMAC at 87-88
[6] Lake Research Partners, Commissioned by Food and Water Watch, 9/20/10 http://documents.foodandwaterwatch.org/release-FWW-Omnibus.pdf
 ———————————–
Colin O’Neil is a regulatory policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety a non-profit public interest organization based in Washington, D.C.
 

 Congress, Public Not Fooled by Engineered Salmon

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Ohio Firm Recalls Jerky Products Due To Misbranding And An Undeclared Alergen

Curly’s Custom Meats, a Jackson Center, Ohio establishment is recalling approximately 33 pounds of teriyaki-flavored beef jerky products because of misbranding and an undeclared allergen.

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Document Control to Manage today’s Complex Quality Systems – A Quality and Food Safety Systems webinar

Attend this webinar to learn strategies and practical examples for document control to comply with GFSI audits and for legal compliance.

Sponsor Organization: ComplianceOnline

Link to register or for more information: http://complianceonline.com/ecommerce/control/trainingFocus/~product_id=701924?c hannel=FSN  Document Control to Manage todays Complex Quality Systems   A Quality and Food Safety Systems webinar

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