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Oregon Worker Dies After Falling Into Meat Grinder

An Oregon man contracted to clean a meat processing plant died last week when he fell into a machine at the facility.

Hugo Avalos-Chanon, age 41, of Southeast Portland died late Friday night after becoming entangled in a blender at the Interstate Meat Disrtibutors, Inc. plant in Clackamas, OR, reported the Oregonian.

Interstate Meat Distributors was cited in October of 2012 for multiple violations of worker safety standards, among them that a table saw did not have a hood to protect against arm injuries, nor was a rotating blade “guarded to prevent inadvertent contact.”

However, these violations were corrected at the time of inspection, noted the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSHA) of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, which conducted the investigation.

And a spokesperson for Oregon OSHA told the Oregonian that it’s “way too early to say” whether the cause of Avalos-Chanon’s death was linked to the violations cited in that report.

Avalos-Chanon worked for a cleaning company that had been contracted to clean the Clackamas facility. At around 11:45 pm Friday, emergency workers responded to a call from the plant, and arrived on the scene to find him entangled in a blender used to regulate fat content in ground beef, according to the Oregonian. 

His body was extricated from the machine the following morning and the plant continued normal operation that day.

According to deputy medical examiner for the state, Dr. Cliff Young, Avalos-Chanon died of “blunt force injuries and chopping wounds,” reported the Oregonian.

Mesaros said OSHA’s investigation into the incident could take up to six months.

This incident is not the first negative one to be linked to Interstate Meat. In 2007, ground beef from the company was named as the source of an E. coli outbreak that sickened 8 people in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

The company recalled approximately 41,000 pounds of ground beef for potential E. coli contamination that year.

 

Food Safety News

Letter From the Editor: A Year After Bill Keene’s Passing

It was a year ago that we lost Dr. Bill Keene, Oregon’s senior state epidemiologist, to acute pancreatitis at age 56. We missed him in 2014. He was posthumously awarded the 2014 NSF Food Safety Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award last April in Baltimore.

Keene was a guy who did his job with passion and humor. He was never limited by somebody else’s expectations. He was a dogged and determined investigator who was usually thinking outside the box.

We shared an interest in history. He had a foodborne illness museum in his office. When I published a list of the deadly foodborne illness outbreaks in history, he began helping me fine-tune it.

I was invited to speak to the California’s environmental health officers in Sacramento, and, as I was being introduced, my phone went off. It was Keene, who had discovered that we had overlooked a deadly outbreak that occurred nearly 100 year ago in Chicago. My audience did not mind waiting a moment so I could make the addition, and more than one explained it to others by saying, “Bill Keene’s talking to him before we get started.”

Bill traveled and was both known to his colleagues and open with the media. It got me thinking about where we are with state health departments. Because of the late Bill Keene and the extraordinary efforts of “Team Diarrhea,” conventional wisdom for several years was that Oregon and Minnesota were tops in capacity to combat foodborne illnesses.

Well, maybe it’s time to re-think the conventional wisdom. The second National Health Security Preparedness Index, a project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), is out. The index measures how prepared state health departments are to handle emergencies, but it looks at the capacities in such detail that it can also be used to compare specific items for many functions.

For example, many of the items that we think are important to food-safety investigations fall under the Index’s “health security surveillance” section. That’s where they note the number of state epidemiologists per 100,000 population and whether state public health labs are tied into certain data and management systems.

On these surveillance measures, the top performers for 2014 were South Carolina, New York, Michigan, Massachusetts and Hawaii. There are several other parts of the Index, including incident and information management, healthcare delivery, national preparedness level, countermeasure management and community planning and engagement.

When I first learned of the Preparedness Index, I thought it might be one of those designed to give every state a star for something, but it does end up with a range of performances and there is a lot of information for comparing one state to another. When all measurements are tallied, the Index has Utah, New York and Virginia on top.

It’s not the end-all, or even enough to cause me to think that Oregon and Minnesota are not still the best. That’s because being the best is not just about the assets kept in the barn, but the experience that’s available once the fire alarm goes off.  That’s why Bill Keene was so good at what he did.

What’s good is that ASTHO is willing to come up with measurements and come up with a way to spur more competition by the states. We’d like to see future reports specifically address outbreaks of disease as just as much of a preparedness challenge as a storm or a plane crash.

And what would be especially nice to see following my musings on the new Index report would be your thoughts on the subject. Which one or two states do you think are best at investigating foodborne illness outbreaks and why?

Food Safety News

15 Postal Workers Hospitalized After Eating Potluck Leftovers

At least North Carolina 15 postal workers were taken to the hospital Thursday after consuming food from a Veteran’s Day potluck.

Dozens of employees at a U.S. Post Office on West Pointe Drive in western Mecklenberg County began experiencing nausea, diarrhea and vomiting after eating leftovers from a potluck held Tuesday evening, according to local NBC affiliate WCNC.

The source of the illnesses has yet to be determined. Over 200 people attended the potluck, many of them contributing dishes, which will make the source of the infections hard to trace.

Food from the potluck was refrigerated Tuesday night, and then served again Wednesday, according to WCNC. Some workers complained of stomach pains after eating the leftovers that day.

None of those sickened have a life-threatening illness. 

Food Safety News

Investors abandon Fairway after Q2 loss widens

Stock in Fairway Group Holdings was down by nearly 10% Friday, after the retailer reported a wider than expected quarterly loss and suspended financial guidance as a rebuilding commences under new CEO Jack Murphy.

Murphy, who was appointed to his role in September, in his first remarks to the financial community late Thursday said it was too early on to remark on specific strategies but intended to craft “very detailed marketing and merchandising plans” focused on improving same-store sales and enhancing processes for the New York-based specialty retailer. “There’s a lot of work to do here at Fairway, but there’s also a tremendous amount of opportunity,” Murphy said. He did not take questions from analysts.

As reported previously, Fairway’s sales in the second quarter improved by 5.9%, but comps were down by 3.9% as a result of new competition — in particular a Brooklyn Whole Foods store affecting sales at Fairway’s Red Hook store — and losses mounted to $ 17.2 million as a result of price investments, inflation that was not passed along to shoppers, and increased shrink. Earnings and revenue were below analyst predictions.

Ed Arditte, co-president and CFO, said, “We’re actively reviewing all operational activities in the company and we believe that halting guidance is the appropriate action for us at this point.”

Fairway stock closed Friday at $ 2.46 per share, down by 9.56%, its lowest close since it began trading in April 2013.

Supermarket News

Dozens Sickened After Attending Convention Banquet in California

The San Mateo Health System is investigating the source of apparent food poisoning that sickened attendees at a NAACP convention in Redwood City, CA, this past weekend.

Health officials said that 12 people were taken to the hospital by ambulance and several more transported themselves to hospitals after a banquet dinner closing the 27th Annual NAACP California Hawaii State Convention held at the Sofitel Luxury Hotel from Oct. 23-26.

Former Oakland Mayor and Assemblyman Elihu Harris was reportedly one of the attendees hospitalized.

The San Mateo health department would not provide an estimate of how many people were sickened in total, but reports indicate that the number was at least 50 and possibly as many as 100 suffered from vomiting and diarrhea.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that convention attendees were throwing up in the hotel lobby by 10:30 p.m. on Saturday night.

Sandra Pinto Duhamel of Accor Hotels, which operates the Sofitel, said in a statement, “While we do not know the cause of the illness, we are cooperating with Health Department officials at this time. We remain very concerned about the well-being of the guests who became sick and wish them a speedy recovery.”

In 2008, 62 people attending a Redwood City-San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce event at the same hotel were infected with Norovirus.

Food Safety News

Ancient Europeans intolerant to lactose for 5,000 years after they adopted agriculture

By analysing DNA extracted from the petrous bones of skulls of ancient Europeans, scientists have identified that these peoples remained intolerant to lactose (natural sugar in the milk of mammals) for 5,000 years after they adopted agricultural practices and 4,000 years after the onset of cheese-making among Central European Neolithic farmers.

The findings published online in the scientific journal Nature Communications (21 Oct) also suggest that major technological transitions in Central Europe between the Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age were also associated with major changes in the genetics of these populations.

For the study, the international team of scientists examined nuclear ancient DNA extracted from thirteen individuals from burials from archaeological sites located in the Great Hungarian Plain, an area known to have been at the crossroads of major cultural transformations that shaped European prehistory. The skeletons sampled date from 5,700 BC (Early Neolithic) to 800 BC (Iron Age).

It took several years of experimentation with different bones of varying density and DNA preservation for the scientists to discover that the inner ear region of the petrous bone in the skull, which is the hardest bone and well protected from damage, is ideal for ancient DNA analysis in humans and any other mammals.

According to Professor Ron Pinhasi from the UCD Earth Institute and UCD School of Archaeology, University College Dublin, the joint senior author on the paper, “the high percentage DNA yield from the petrous bones exceeded those from other bones by up to 183-fold. This gave us anywhere between 12% and almost 90% human DNA in our samples compared to somewhere between 0% and 20% obtained from teeth, fingers and rib bones.”

For the first time, these exceptionally high percentage DNA yields from ancient remains made it possible for scientists to systematically analyse a series of skeletons from the same region and check for known genetic markers including lactose intolerance.

“Our findings show progression towards lighter skin pigmentation as hunter and gatherers and non-local farmers intermarried, but surprisingly no presence of increased lactose persistence or tolerance to lactose” adds Professor Pinhasi.

“This means that these ancient Europeans would have had domesticated animals like cows, goats and sheep, but they would not yet have genetically developed a tolerance for drinking large quantities of milk from mammals,” he says.

According to Professor Dan Bradley from the Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin, co-senior author on the paper, “our results also imply that the great changes in prehistoric technology including the adoption of farming, followed by the first use of the hard metals, bronze and then iron, were each associated with the substantial influx of new people. We can no longer believe these fundamental innovations were simply absorbed by existing populations in a sort of cultural osmosis.”

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University College Dublin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Fruit and vegetables at Russian retail after embargo

Photo Report on Russian retail
Fruit and vegetables at Russian retail after embargo

Seven weeks have passed since the imposition of Russian retaliatory sanctions on US, EU, Norway, Canada and Australia. Seven weeks Russia has been living under the conditions of embargo on import of fruit, vegetables and food from the above-mentioned countries.

The changes in the range of products, importers, prices and availability are illustrated below.

Central stores of four leading in Russia retail networks have been investigated. They are Karavan (Penza local retail chain), Dva Gusya (chain of Penza Commercial Alliance), Perekrestok (Russian Federal Retail chain) and SPAR (Dutch retail chain); all located in the city of Penza.  

KARAVAN (Penza Local Retail Chain)
Range-wise, in the stores of this chain the embargo has come unnoticed for the customers. There is hardly any fruit or vegetable that the locals would not be able to find in the stores. Even, the cauliflower that has been recently considered extinct, is available at a reasonable price (1.3 EUR/kg), production of Russia.

However, there are still plenty of fruit and vegetables imported from the European Union: grapes from the Netherlands, apples from France and Germany, nectarines from Spain

Nevertheless, many products have been substituted by imported from other countries. However, some of new fruit and vegetables do not look very attractive, e.g. the kiwi from Iran, or pears from Argentina. 

DVA GUSYA (Penza Commercial Alliance)
This supermarket presents a wide range of local domestic products that are cheaper than imported ones, usually in high demand and of better taste. However, are subject to season.

Due to different suppliers, the prices of imported products differ a lot from the previous shop, where Iranian kiwifruit and lemons cost 1.6 Euro/kg and 2.3 Euro/kg respectively. Here the imported from Turkey nice-looking kiwis cost 4.6 Euro/kg and slightly bigger lemons – 3.9 Euro/kg.

PEREKRESTOK (Russian Federal Retail Chain)
In Perekrestok the difference in the range of products is obvious. The first thing that catches the eye is the variety of exotic fruit and vegetables: from Chilean pineapples to Chinese pomelo.

Alongside with carefully and beautifully organized domestic production (which is not produced in Penza, but in other regions of Russia).

Moreover, some forbidden goods are quite easy to find in this supermarket, e.g. the Italian olives at 7.5 Euro/kg and 6.3 Euro/kg, depending on the colour.

SPAR (Dutch Retail Chain)
In SPAR the contrast of prices is quite high. One could hardly find any fresh production from embargoed countries. The majority imported from Europe fruit and vegetables are substituted by supplies from Serbia, Morocco, Turkey, Uzbekistan.

Red stamps on the price tags inform the customers of the price reduction that can be spotted on a significant number of goods. For example, the sultana grapes from Turkey now cost 1.1 Euro/kg, which saves you 0.2 Euro. 

The difference in price and measure units is well-demonstrated below in the example with garlic. Three bulbs of Chinese garlic cost 0.37 Euro, whereas a kilo of Russian garlic costs 1.8 Euro. 

Note: 1 Russian Ruble = 0.02 EURO
 

Publication date: 9/29/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Parnell Brothers Taken Into Custody by Federal Marshals After Convictions

On Friday, U.S. marshals escorted brothers Stewart and Michael Parnell from the C.B. King U.S. Courthouse in downtown Albany, GA, to the Crisp County Jail in Cordele, GA, where they spent their first night in prison. The two men will likely remain in the lockup until at least Monday, when they might be able to post secured bail bonds of up to $ 150,000 so they can be released until sentencing.

Both Stewart and Michael Parnell were convicted earlier Friday in Albany’s U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia on multiple federal felony counts stemming from a deadly Salmonella outbreak that began almost six years ago.  They were then transported to the Crisp County Jail, 44 miles to the northeast.

Stewart Parnell

A third defendant, Mary Wilkerson, the former quality control manager for the Peanut Corporation of America’s Blakely, GA, processing plant responsible for the Salmonella contamination, was allowed to go home. She was found guilty on one of two counts of obstruction of justice.

The 60-year-old Stewart Parnell and his 55-year-old brother were together convicted on a total of 97 federal felony counts. Upon hearing the jury verdicts, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Dasher asked to have the brothers jailed until sentencing. He said that, because of their ages, the expected sentences of 27-33 years would be the equivalent of life sentences.

Dasher’s inference was that the Parnell brothers have every reason to flee before sentencing. Since their February 2013 indictment, they’ve been free on unsecured $ 100,000 signature bonds and also surrendered their passports. U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands gave the pair until 5 p.m. EDT Friday to come up with $ 150,000 bonds secured with cash or property. Neither made the deadline.

When they do bond out, they will lose certain other freedoms. Stewart Parnell’s pilot’s license was permanently revoked, and neither man will be able to travel outside their home state of Virginia without permission.

Earlier Friday, both Parnell families and Wilkerson’s met the jury verdict with emotional outbursts. Stewart Parnell simply put his head down on the defense table.

The verdict was also an emotional moment for outbreak victims and their families who have sought justice in the case. In the tight third-floor Georgia courtroom, those two groups were never far from one another during the eight-week trial that began last July 28 when prospective jurors were first summoned.

The government took 26 days during the trial to call 46 witnesses and introduced more than 1,000 documents as evidence. At no point did the government charge the defendants with being responsible for the deaths or injuries that resulted from the outbreak.

However, prosecutors did demonstrate that the PCA executives were involved in a large conspiracy involving shipments fraud and wire fraud, in addition to obstruction of justice. The government painted a picture of company officials so anxious to ship peanut butter and peanut paste that concerns about food safety fell to the wayside.

Stewart Parnell was convicted on numerous counts of putting misbranded and adulterated food into interstate commerce.

Prosecutors piled the evidence high with layer upon layer, showing emails, lab reports, shipping documents and other records. The government had help in the trial from two former PCA executives with whom they reached plea agreements — Samuel Lightsey, the former Blakely plant manger, and Daniel Kilgore, the former Blakely operations manger.

In their deals with the government, Lightsey will get no more than six years in jail, and Kilgore, no more than 12. Given the outcome of the trial, the two will likely serve much less time than that. Together, they testified for about 10 days and clearly delivered for the prosecution.

Jurors were likely convinced by some of the emails, especially the ones in which the Parnells seemed unmoved by whether or not any one product shipment was contaminated. “Just ship it,” read a Stewart Parnell email about a peanut load held up for a lab test. “I cannot afford to (lose) another customer.”

(Dallas Carter, Food Safety News’ courthouse observer, assisted in this report.)

Food Safety News

Mercy Goes After Big Cheese With Video Taken at NM Dairy

The Los Angeles-based Mercy for Animals has a knack for uncovering animal abuse, often in isolated places, that is the kind imposing enough stress and pain to also be a food safety concern and egregious enough to bring condemnation by world-renowned animal-welfare experts.

A week ago, the group shared its latest undercover report and video with the New Mexico Livestock Board. Ray E. Baca, executive director of that state law enforcement agency, told Food Safety News the “workers’ mistreatment of dairy cattle as seen in (the) online video” is now the subject of a Livestock Board investigation.

Baca said the board “takes allegations of animal cruelty very seriously.” Upon completion of the investigation, it will make a report to the Chavez County District Attorney’s Office, which will decide if anyone should be prosecuted.

The investigation involves the Winchester Dairy located near tiny Dexter, NM, about a half-hour south of Roswell, NM. It was there that the undercover video was taken, and Mercy documents the location in a separate video released to the media showing that its operative was present at the dairy as recently as August.

Using a hidden camera, Mercy’s operative recorded workers abusing the cows, even stabbing them with screwdrivers and dragging “downer” cows with a tractor in some of the most sickening video seen since the one showing a front-end loader shoving cows into the kill box at a Chico, CA, slaughterhouse emerged in 2010. (That undercover investigation, carried out by the Humane Society of the United States, resulted in the largest beef recall in history from the supplier to the National School Lunch Program.)

Since Mercy revealed the Winchester video, the dairy fired the workers who are shown abusing cows in the video and apparently temporarily shut down operations and relocated its cows. And yesterday, Mercy launched a public relations campaign regarding the disturbing incident.

The immediate targets of the campaign are the nation’s top pizza chains such as Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s. That’s because they get much of their cheese from Denver-based Leprino Foods, the world’s largest producer of mozzarella. Mercy’s website now carries its slickly produced “Slice of Cruelty” campaign aimed at sharing the sickening abuse video with activists (and consumers).

Mercy’s PR experts know their social media strategy will usually bring a response from corporate targets in fairly short order. By early afternoon on Wednesday, Leprino Foods, noting that the company “cares deeply about the health and welfare of the animals on the farms that supply our milk,” announced that because of the animal abuse, it had terminated all shipments from Winchester Dairy. “Leprino Foods is not receiving any milk from this operation,” the company said.

At the same time, Leprino expressed confidence in New Mexico dairy farmers. “This incident does not reflect the daily care and comfort that New Mexico dairy farmers provide their cows,” the Leprino statement said. “The farm has taken quick and decisive action. Information about the incident was immediately shared with the proper New Mexico authorities, who are conducting an investigation so that the individuals responsible can be held accountable for their actions.”

Meanwhile, Tim McIntyre, vice president of communications for Domino’s, said that while no act of cruelty can ever be condoned, this was an isolated incident at one dairy farm out of 47,000 in the U.S. He said Mercy should be thanked for bringing the behavior of the workers to light, but he also noted they have been fired, the report is being thoroughly investigated, and the dairy has moved its herd to the care of other farms.

“What we do know is it is not an issue with our cheese supplier (Leprino’s),” McIntyre said.

Mercy last mixed it up with a state’s dairy industry early this year in Idaho where it unsuccessfully opposed a new agricultural protection law designed to prevent these sorts of undercover investigations. In its attempts to prevent passage of the law, Mercy released additional video from its 2012 undercover investigation of Bettencourt Dairy showing workers sexually molesting animals.

That upset the Idaho Dairymen’s Association, which said it showed that Mercy’s goals are more about hurting the dairy industry and its brands than protecting animals. Bettencourt fired the five workers involved in that incident, and they were subsequently convicted of animal abuse but apparently without the molestation video ever figuring in the criminal investigation.

Release of the sexual molestation video also backfired on Mercy as the Idaho Legislature joined Utah, Iowa and Missouri in passing what critics call “ag-gag” laws making it illegal to go undercover and shoot video of animal agricultural operations without permission from the owner. (North Dakota, Montana and Kansas have earlier versions of agricultural protection laws that were passed in 1990-91.)

Idaho’s new law is currently being challenged by other animal-rights groups and media organizations for its potential violations of the First and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

This time, however, Mercy’s PR professionals say their video evidence “was immediately turned over” to New Mexico officials. They also vetted the serious nature of the abuse by having it reviewed by arguably the world’s best-known animal-welfare expert, Colorado State University’s Dr. Temple Grandin.

She said that kicking and shocking the cows and holding them above the ground was “definitely abusive” and that the bellowing indicated the animals were in “severe distress.” Grandin also sees the blame going beyond the fired workers to “mismanagement” for failure to provide proper training and equipment.

Nathan Runkle, the president of Mercy, blamed Leprino Foods for allowing “a culture of cruelty to flourish in its cheese supply chain.”

Livestock abuse like that depicted on the video is a misdemeanor under New Mexico law and can become a felony with repeat offenses, or if the animal cruelty involves “intentionally or maliciously torturing, mutilating, or poisoning an animal or maliciously killing an animal.”

Only after the investigation is complete will the New Mexico Livestock Board or the Chavez County District Attorney’s Office have more to say, according to Baca.

Food Safety News

Pineapple market looks up after a difficult August

Mario de Goede: “Demand for crown-less pineapples steadily increases”
Pineapple market looks up after a difficult August

After a mediocre month in August the pineapple market has picked up again. “At this moment sales are moving along, especially with the bigger sizes. Prices vary for the different sizes from 6.50 to 9 Euro,” says Mario de Goede van Cool Fresh International. Due to rain there were some problems with the quality of the pineapples in August, but now the pineapples are in perfect condition to be sold. “Right now supply is still limited, but in the coming weeks more will come this way. I trust that the market will develop well.”

In 2013 Cool Fresh started a project to lower the costs of the crown-less pineapples and increase their worth. By removing the crowns of the pineapples Cool Fresh had calculated that two more pineapples could fit into each box. That is 160 extra pineapples per pallet and 3,200 extra pineapples per container. “This could have a huge impact on the returns of growers, and also on the environment and food safety. By removing the crowns we eliminate a notorious breeding ground for mould in the pineapples,” explains Mario.

Cool Fresh introduced the new crown-less pineapples under the motto ‘Let’s go topless’. “Demand is steadily climbing. More and more customers are becoming interested and a few retailers are picking it up as well,” follows Mario. “We improved the presentation with a new, unique label so that we could present a real consumers product. For a specific part of the market we see a good future for crown-less pineapples.


For more information:
Mario de Goede
Coolfresh
[email protected]
Direct office: + 31 88 3 777 138
Mobile: +31 623 931 499

Publication date: 9/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Peanut, Almond Butters Recalled for Possible Salmonella Contamination After Four Sickened

Six brands of peanut butter and almond butter have been recalled for possible Salmonella contamination. The recall, announced Tuesday, includes peanut and almond butter products sold by Kroger, Safeway, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

nSpired Natural Foods Inc. is voluntarily recalling certain retail lots of Arrowhead Mills Peanut Butters, MaraNatha Almond Butters and Peanut Butters, and grocery store brand nut butters after routine testing by the Food and Drug Administration.

The company stated that it has received reports of four illnesses that may be associated with these specific products.

The butters are packaged in glass and plastic jars and include the following:

Item Description Unit UPC Best By Date Range
Arrowhead Mills Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter 16 oz. 074333470328 31DEC14 thru 14MAY15
Arrowhead Mills Organic Creamy Peanut Butter 16 oz. 074333470526 31DEC14 thru 14MAY15
MaraNatha Roasted Creamy Almond Butter 16 oz. 051651060325 24DEC14 thru 17JUN15
MaraNatha Roasted Crunchy Almond Butter 16 oz. 051651092012 26DEC14 thru 06JUN15
MaraNatha Organic Roasted Creamy Almond Butter 16 oz. 051651060219 23DEC14 thru 04JUN15
MaraNatha Organic Roasted Crunchy Almond Butter 16 oz. 051651092036 04JUN15
MaraNatha Organic Raw Crunchy Almond Butter 16 oz. 051651092128 22DEC14 thru 01JUL15
MaraNatha Organic Raw Creamy Almond Butter 16 oz. 051651092173 14APR15 thru 01JUL15
MaraNatha Raw Almond Butter 16 oz. 051651092180 05APR15 thru 02JUL15
MaraNatha Organic Creamy Peanut Butter 16 oz. 051651092197 07APR15
MaraNatha Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter 16 oz. 051651092203 06APR15 thru 07APR15
MaraNatha No Stir Creamy Peanut Butter with Salt 16 oz. 051651092210 06JAN15 thru 20MAY15
MaraNatha Organic Creamy Peanut Butter with Salt 16 oz. 051651092326 03JAN15 thru 25JUN15
MaraNatha Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter with Salt 16 oz. 051651092333 02JAN15 thru 15MAY15
MaraNatha Organic No Stir Creamy Peanut Butter with Salt 16 oz. 051651092357 04JAN15 thru 27JUN15
MaraNatha Organic No Stir Crunchy Peanut Butter with Salt 16 oz. 051651092364 05JAN15 thru 28JUN15
MaraNatha Organic Raw Almond Butter 8 oz. 051651092630 13APR15 thru 30JUN15
MaraNatha Roasted Creamy Almond Butter 26 oz. 051651092890 04DEC14 thru 21APR15
MMaraNatha Organic Creamy Peanut Butter with Salt 26 oz. 051651092913 03JAN15 thru 25JUN15
MaraNatha Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter with Salt 26 oz. 051651092920 02JAN15 thru 25JUN15
MaraNatha No Stir Creamy Almond Butter 12 oz. 051651093682 12DEC14 thru 21JUL15
MaraNatha No Stir Crunchy Almond Butter 12 oz. 051651093699 17DEC14 thru 20JUL15
MaraNatha Organic No Stir Creamy Peanut Butter with Salt 16 oz. 051651093750 04JAN15 thru 10APR15
MaraNatha Organic No Stir Crunchy Peanut Butter with Salt 16 oz. 051651093767 05JAN15 thru 19MAY15
MaraNatha No Stir Creamy Almond Butter 12 oz. 051651093682 14DEC14 thru 14JUL15
MaraNatha No Stir Crunchy Almond Butter 12 oz. 051651093699 17DEC14 thru 18JUL15
MaraNatha Creamy Maple Almond Butter 12 oz. 051651093866 30MAY15 thru 31MAY15
MaraNatha Creamy Roasted Almond Butter 340 grams 051651093057 11DEC14 thru 02JUN15
MaraNatha Creamy Raw Almond Butter 340 grams 051651093064 07MAY15 thru 05JUN15
MaraNatha Organic Creamy Peanut Butter with Salt 500 grams 051651093309 03JAN15 thru 24JUN15
MaraNatha Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter with Salt 500 grams 051651093316 31DEC14 thru 15MAY15
MaraNatha No Stir Creamy Peanut Butter with Salt 500 grams 051651093408 20MAY15
MaraNatha No Stir Crunchy Peanut Butter with Salt 500 grams 051651093415 13MAR15 thru 28JUN15
MaraNatha Creamy Almond Butter No Salt 340 grams 051651093453 16DEC14 thru 11MAY15
MaraNatha Crunchy Almond Butter No Salt 340 grams 051651093460 16DEC14 thru 14MAY15
MaraNatha Creamy Almond Butter 737 grams 051651092869 08DEC14 thru 03JUL15
Kroger No Stir Creamy Almond Butter 12 oz. 011110791214 11DEC14 thru 05JUL15
Safeway Open Nature Almond Butter 12 oz. 079893113746 11DEC14 thru 03JUL15
Trader Joe’s Crunchy Raw Almond Butter 16 oz. 00919890 28DEC14 thru 18JUN15
Trader Joe’s Creamy Raw Almond Butter 16 oz. 00569958 27DEC14 thru 18JUL15
Whole Foods 365 Creamy Roasted Almond Butter 16 oz. 099482406578 23DEC14 thru 24DEC14
Whole Foods 365 Crunchy Roasted Almond Butter 16 oz. 099482406561 24DEC14 thru 26DEC14
Whole Foods 365 Organic Creamy Roasted Almond Butter 16 oz. 099482405960 23DEC14

 

The use-by date can be found on the top of the jar lid. The company is currently working with customers and retailers to remove and destroy products with the above use-by dates from store shelves and warehouses.

Products were distributed across the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates and Dominican Republic. The products also were available for purchase on the Internet.

Consumers are advised to dispose of the recalled product and contact nSpired at 1-800-937-7008 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. CDT for a replacement or refund.

Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and those with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (e.g., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

Food Safety News

Wisconsin Raw Milk Dairy Farmer’s Business Improves After Prosecution

What’s Wisconsin’s “raw milk outlaw” been up to since the state appeals court upheld his misdemeanor conviction on July 17 and imposed a $ 1,000 fine?

Well, according to a recent profile by the Wisconsin State Journal, Vernon Hershberger is back home on the farm with his 10 children building up membership in his raw milk buyers club called Grazin Acres LLC.

Since the Loganville, WI, raw milk dairy farmer was found not guilty 13 months ago of producing milk, operating a dairy plant, and selling food in a retail establishment, all without licenses, his raw milk business has increased by 25 percent to about 325 families.

All the charges stem from a 2010 raid on his dairy farm, including breaking the holding order the state Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection placed on products. That’s the only charge that resulted in a conviction by the Sauk County jury, and Hershberger lost on appeal.

Hershberger credits his business growth with the relationships he built while the state pursued charges against him, including jurors, sheriff’s deputies, and others. The State Journal reported that Hershberger has emerged from his confrontation with prosecutors as “the face of the growing raw milk industry in Wisconsin and the nation.”

The newspaper states that raw milk advocates believe there has been a dramatic fall-off in enforcement actions since the Hershberger trial. Because he was acquitted on the licensing counts, Hershberger came out against Rep. Sen. Glenn Grothman’s bill to ease restrictions on licensed raw milk dairies.

Food Safety News

After 17 Months and 634 Confirmed Illnesses, CDC Declares Foster Farms-Linked Salmonella Outbreak Over

Seventeen months since the first illnesses appeared in March 2013, the Foster Farms-linked Salmonella outbreak has been declared over by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The final tally of confirmed illnesses came in at 634 people in 29 states and Puerto Rico. Of those cases, at least 241 people (38 percent) were hospitalized.

Illnesses connected to the California-based poultry producer hit its home state the hardest, with 490 cases counted in California alone. Other states with numerous cases included Arizona (25 cases), Washington (20) and Oregon (17).

CDC officials told Food Safety News that the number of Salmonella cases in the affected states has returned to the normal rate for this time of year.

Along with that, government tests on retail Foster Farms chicken meat have not shown evidence of the outbreak strains for several months now, said Dr. Matthew Wise, outbreak response team lead for the CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases.

In the time since the outbreak began, the U.S. Department of Agriculture asked Foster Farms to implement additional safety measures in its production plants to mitigate Salmonella contamination, but the agency did not have the legal authority to shut the plants down based on Salmonella contamination. Foster Farms did implement the requested safety measures.

“A lot of work has been done on the part of Foster Farms and the USDA to fix the problem,” Wise said. “We’re confident that positive changes have occurred.”

Wise added that, according to recent internal testing at Foster Farms, Salmonella levels on the company’s chicken products have seen “a pretty significant decline.”

From June 2012 to April 2013, Foster Farms chicken was implicated in another outbreak that sickened 134 people, predominantly in Washington and Oregon.

CDC estimates that, for every one confirmed case of Salmonella, another 29 go unreported. However, the most severe cases are typically those that end up being detected.

Salmonella is commonly found on raw poultry products, and Salmonella from poultry is assumed to cause a baseline level of illnesses continually. The outbreak linked to Foster Farms chicken elevated illness numbers above that baseline and prompted an investigation first announced publicly in October 2013.

Wise said that the agency continually monitors for new illnesses that might connect back to an outbreak like the one with Foster Farms.

“It’s been a long, complicated investigation into an unfortunate outbreak, but hopefully we’ve all learned something from it,” he said.

Persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg, by State as of July 24, 2014

Persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Typhimurium, by week of illness onset as of July 24, 2014

Graphics courtesy of CDC.

Food Safety News

Florida County Issues Health Alert After 58 Cryptosporidium Cases

The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County has issued a health alert for the county after 58 cases of a parasitic illness had been reported as of July 29.

Cryptosporidium is a parasite found in contaminated water, and can make people very sick. Symptoms include severe cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.

“It really has to do with coming in contact with contaminated fecal matter where this parasite lives,” said the department’s Maggie Hall on Thursday.

Cryptosporidium spreads easily in water, and since half the cases have come from public pools and water parks in Pinellas County, those facilities were alerted, and one was shut down as a precaution.

The disease can also be spread if hands are not washed after toilet use or changing diapers. From there, it can spread to surfaces, toys and food.

The highest rates of Cryptosporidium infection are in those younger than 18. The disease also can affect animals.

Hall suggested the following steps to prevent transmission of the parasite:

  • Take children on frequent bathroom breaks and check diapers often.
  • Change diapers in a bathroom and not at poolside as germs can spread to surfaces or objects in and around the pool and spread illness.
  • Shower before entering the water.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after changing diapers.

Food Safety News

Florida County Issues Health Alert After 58 Cryptosporidium Cases

The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County has issued a health alert for the county after 58 cases of a parasitic illness had been reported as of July 29.

Cryptosporidium is a parasite found in contaminated water, and can make people very sick. Symptoms include severe cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.

“It really has to do with coming in contact with contaminated fecal matter where this parasite lives,” said the department’s Maggie Hall on Thursday.

Cryptosporidium spreads easily in water, and since half the cases have come from public pools and water parks in Pinellas County, those facilities were alerted, and one was shut down as a precaution.

The disease can also be spread if hands are not washed after toilet use or changing diapers. From there, it can spread to surfaces, toys and food.

The highest rates of Cryptosporidium infection are in those younger than 18. The disease also can affect animals.

Hall suggested the following steps to prevent transmission of the parasite:

  • Take children on frequent bathroom breaks and check diapers often.
  • Change diapers in a bathroom and not at poolside as germs can spread to surfaces or objects in and around the pool and spread illness.
  • Shower before entering the water.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after changing diapers.

Food Safety News