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5 Things to Know About the New Food Labeling Laws

movie-popcorn

Late last week the Food and Drug Administration made a huge announcement that basically holds more businesses accountable for the calories in the food they choose to serve. The new food laws, which falls under the Affordable Care Act, will absolutely affect you; expect to know how many calories are in that tub of popcorn at the movie theater, for instance.

Let’s break down the most important changes you will notice next year.

1. All major businesses will need to display their calorie counts. 

Some big cities are already held to this standard, like New York City. But the FDA’s new laws will require any establishment that sells prepared food (and also has more than 20 locations) to display its food’s calorie information. A one-stop independent bakery will not be affected, but your local and booming coffee purveyor that’s become a chain will not be exempt.

2. Calories will be on the menu. 

Calorie content will appear on menus and menu boards in restaurants, though bakeries, coffee shops, pizza joints, movie theaters, and amusement parks will be affected, as well. The idea is to provide easy access to the caloric information of your food choices to help you realize exactly what you are ingesting. The FDA also hopes that it will inspire restaurants to make healthier food preparation choices.
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Peanut and Nut Butter Recall Due to Salmonella Risk Announced by FDA

If you’ve purchase peanut or other nut butters from Kroger, Safeway, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods recently, you may want to toss it before you eat any of it. Nut butter producer nSPIRED Natural Foods, Inc. announced on August 19 they are voluntarily recalling many of their products.

nut butter

The recall came about after routine testing by the FDA showed evidence of salmonella in the company’s nut butter products. Prior to FDA testing, the company received reports of four people falling ill that may be related to consuming products contaminated with salmonella.

Brands under the recall include:

Arrowhead Mills Peanut Butters

MaraNatha Almond Butters and Peanut Butters

Whole Foods private label

Trader Joe’s private label

Kroger private label

Safeway private label

The FDA has a full list of brands and products affected on their website.

Most of the products under the recall have a sell-by date between December 2014 and June 2015. They were sold in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and the Dominican Republic.
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Gluten-Free Foods are Officially Gluten Free; FDA Enforces Labeling Standards

gluten free

It seems everywhere you turn these days, there is a new addition to the gluten-free gang. Celebrities, the lady down the street, maybe your own cousin — they’ve all happily hopped onto the gluten-free bandwagon, without or without an actual intolerance. However, there’s a new member of the group that may surprise you.

The latest additions to the list of things that are gluten-free are in fact foods labeled with the term “gluten-free.” Starting this week, the term “gluten-free” is regulated, meaning it is no longer up to the various manufacturers to decide what that label actually means.

5 Reasons Why Most of Us Should Not Go Gluten Free

For those who suffer from celiac disease or other conditions that prevent them from digesting gluten, this comes as welcome news.


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Tanning Beds Now Carry Moderate-Risk Label from FDA

Plenty of women (and men) turn to tanning beds not only in the winter to maintain their summer tans, but also in the beginning of summer to get a “base tan.” We’ve all heard the risks associated with tanning beds, and now the FDA has changed its label of tanning beds to reflect those serious concerns.

tanning bed

In a final decision, the FDA has labeled sunlamp products and ultraviolet (UV) lamps used in tanning salons as moderate-risk devices. This is a change from the previous label of low-risk.

In addition to the label change, the FDA is now requiring all sun and UV lamp products to have a black box consumers can see that states the products are unsuitable for use by people under the age of 18. A black box is the strongest warning from the FDA, though it does not outlaw or restrict the products for minors.


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Half of Americans Believe in Medical Conspiracy Theories. Do You?

You probably don’t think aliens are among us or secret societies are running the government, but do you believe in conspiracy theories of another kind? A new study from the University of Chicago published in JAMA Internal Medicine indicates you might.

secret

According to that study, nearly half of Americans believe in medical conspiracy theories. The study found water fluoridation, vaccines, cell phones, and alternative medicine, among others, as prime subjects for conspiracy-based speculation.

To test just how much faith people put in the theories, the University of Chicago’s professor J. Eric Oliver and his colleague collected data from 1,351 adults through an online survey. Participants in the survey were presented with popular medical conspiracy theories and then asked to indicate whether they had heard them before, and whether or not they agreed with them.


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