Tag Archives: food borne illness

E. Coli 0145 Outbreak May be Tied to Ground Beef

UPDATE: 11:48 a.m.: Just announced via CNN, 14 people in six states have been effected by this strain during the past couple of months. “”Their illness onsets range from April 15 to May 12, 2012,” said Lola Russell from the CDC. Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama and Florida are the known effected states; the CDC will not reveal the other two states.

Another dangerous E. coli outbreak, centered in Atlanta, Georgia, is being investigated by health officials.

Five people have been hospitalized and a toddler has passed away. The CDC has said that they have not identified the cause and at this time no specific food is responsible for the outbreak. Food is the primary source for spreading this bacteria.

“At this time, we continue to interview new cases as we are notified of them,” Nicole Price, spokeswoman for Georgia’s Department of Public Health, told ABC News. We have detected no food items or environmental exposures that are statistically associated with illness at this time. This investigation is ongoing.” However, according to iScienceTimes.com, investigators are looking closely at ground beef for the source of this outbreak. (more…)

Freegan Diet Food Safety Tips from Registered Dietitians

They call themselves freegans: people who live almost entirely on what others throw away, from furniture right down to the food they put in their bodies. Freegans reject the idea of a capitalist system and take pride in their limited participation in a conventional economy.

According to Freegan.Info, freegans live based on “sharing resources, minimizing the detrimental impact of our consumption and reducing and recovering waste and independence from the profit-driven economy.”

While trash touring or dumpster diving may not sound like reliable methods for sourcing food and nutrition, freegans rarely go hungry, as the Environmental Protection Agency states that Americans dump approximately 38 million tons of garbage daily.

One commenter on a Huffington Post article about a week in the life of a freegan said “While I personally can not see myself dumpster diving, I have seen the waste that restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores discard…it’s good food that can provide meals to the poor or unfortunat­e.”

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Bisin: A New Natural Food Preservative Discovery

If you haven’t yet heard of Bisin there is a good chance that you probably will within the next couple of years. Bisin is the latest craze in the world of food-borne illness prevention. It is the first natural preservative found to kill gram-negative bacteria, and it may just be worth all the hype, especially in light of all the recent E.coli outbreaks that have occurred this summer.

Bisin can supposedly prevent harmful bacteria such as E. coli, listeria, and salmonella from growing on a wide variety of foods. These types of food include meats, processed cheeses, egg and dairy products, canned foods, seafood, salad dressing, fermented beverages, and many other foods. By using Bisin, these foods may have extended shelf-lives and ultimately reduce food waste. This is a good thing – so is the fact that bisin appears to be allergen free, non-toxic, and doesn’t appear to be one of those substances that germs build up resistance to.

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60,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Recalled Due to E. Coli

beef-pattiesBefore you cook or grill that ground beef in your fridge for dinner tonight, beware. The USDA has recalled a whopping 60,000 pounds of ground beef due to possible E. Coli contamination.

So far the recall only focuses on the Southeast region of the United States, focusing on products sold mainly in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee. The ground beef was supplied by National Beef Packaging Co. of Dodge City, Kan. and was sold in Winn-Dixie, Publix and Kroger grocery stores.

The USDA says that the tainted beef may be contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria, a particularly troubling strain of E. coli. This strain of E. coli can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration and, in the most severe cases, kidney failure. As with any foodborne illness, the very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible, according to the USDA.

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Bag School Lunches Blamed for Disease-Causing Bacteria

With healthier school lunch guidelines on the way, some parents might prefer to let their child buy lunch, especially with the recent findings that “sack” lunches can pose serious health threats for children.

According to ScienceNews.org, a recent study from the University of Texas, Austin found that bag lunches are likely to harbor bacteria that causes food borne illness. Researchers tested the temperature of 235 packed bag lunches with an electronic temperature gun to determine the safety of the food inside.

According to Science News, roughly 40 percent of lunches containing perishable foods arrived without ice packs and more than 90 percent of meals were packaged in thermally insulated plastic containers. Of the 618 perishable foods packed in lunch bags with a single ice pack, only 14 food items were deemed to be at an acceptable temperature, according to the report.

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How to Safely Handle and Grill Chicken

Whether you’re a grill aficionado or you only pull out your miniature Weber for special occasions, it’s important to eat plenty of protein as part of a balanced diet.  While most nutrition experts recommend eating lean meats, tofu, beans and quinoa, we often neglect those during the summertime in favor of grilled steaks, hot dogs and hamburgers.

Chicken is an easy alternative to red meat, which often has a lot of artery-clogging saturated fat. Chicken is versatile, grill-friendly and inexpensive, but when not handled or cooked properly, poultry can be a source of dangerous food borne illness.

Here are some important poultry-handling principles to follow this summer to ensure that all of your meals are safe and delicious.

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3 Easy Ways to Protect Your Family from E. Coli Contamination

A deadly E.coli outbreak that has afflicted Germany and other parts of Eastern Europe has sickened nearly 2,000 people to date. According to the New York Times, the deadly outbreak has been traced to tainted domestic sprouts and forced the closure of several farms in the Northern part of the country.

While this news might send some people running to empty their produce bins and avoid green vegetables, some public health experts are skeptical of these claims.

“We would want either epidemiological evidence or confirmed laboratory evidence,” Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of food-borne diseases for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, told the New York Times.

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Plan a Healthy and Fun Summer Picnic

If you’ve spent the long winter and rainy spring hibernating in your home, the summer months are the perfect time to plan an outdoor activity.

Before you pack your basket and head to the park with a pretty blanket, a Frisbee – and maybe even a bottle of wine –  use these tips to make your outing simple and satisfying.

Tip #1: Plan Ahead. If you’re planning a homemade picnic meal, prepare as much as you can the night before. You can chop, wash and dry fruits and veggies so they’ll be crisp, fresh and ready for salads or snacking. To save even more time the next morning, assemble sandwiches the night before your picnic – just hold the water-based ingredients, such as cucumber or tomato, otherwise you’ll end up with soggy bread. You could also make one of these 8 creative picnic salads.

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Rare Burgers Banned in North Carolina Restaurants

North Carolina may be a red state politically, but many meat eaters are blue in the face crying foul over a state ban on rare burgers in restaurants. The state now requires restaurants to cook their hamburgers to a temperature of 155 degrees, which health officials say is enough to kill unhealthy bacteria such as E. coli.

While North Carolina’s citizens are still allowed to eat their hamburgers anyway they wish at home, restaurants can’t go any lower than medium on the cooking chart. Word has it that this legislation has created somewhat of an underground red meat-eating movement, a bit like the speakeasies of Prohibition days, I suppose.

North Carolina restaurants can still serve steaks rare to customers since they don’t pose the same threat as ground meat. If contaminants exist on a piece of steak they are usually on the outside and killed during the cooking process. However, when beef is ground up the bacteria is mixed inside.

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Proper Planning is the Key to Eating Healthy While Camping

There’s probably not one person alive who hasn’t been camping. Sleeping under the trees, cooking over a fire, enjoying the fresh air of the great outdoors – what’s not to love? Camping is a great family and budget friendly activity;  it’s an inexpensive way to spend quality time together. Pack up the car, grab your sleeping bag and you are on your way. But what will you eat? If you are out for more than a few hours, you’ll soon discover that being outdoors works up a tremendous appetite. Many of the traditional camping foods are not so healthy, especially perennial favorites like grilled hot dogs, canned meat spreads and gooey s’mores. Is there a way to enjoy the benefits of the great outdoors without resorting to those admittedly easy to pack but maybe not so good for your diet foods?

Just as in your daily life, one of the main secrets to planning healthy camping meals is the need to take the time to plan and prepare your meals. It’s much easier to grab a pack of hot dogs and some buns and leave town, but a little bit of advance planning will help you avoid resorting to bags of chips and cold fried chicken.

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