When South Carolina lifted its capacity restriction on restaurants, the rule change implied that the state believed full dining rooms and kitchens staffed to provide for them were safe for patrons and workers. But the agency charged with overseeing food safety is keeping its inspectors out of restaurants as a protective measure.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control will continue to conduct inspections virtually for as long as “South Carolina is considered to be at high risk for the spread of COVID-19,” which means there is no set date for the resumption of on-site graded inspections, according to spokeswoman Laura Renwick. Read more...
Meijer, in conjunction with Eagle Produce, LLC in Aguila, AZ., is announcing a voluntary recall of whole cantaloupe and select cut cantaloupe fruit trays and bowls. The recall is part of a sampling investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and is due to the potential risk of Salmonella.
Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others 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 (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis. Read more...
The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is advising consumers to avoid juices, smoothies, and sea moss gel purchased from Health is Wealth Nutrition Center located at 1674 Cranston Street in Cranston.
According to RIDOH, it is because of the potential for processing, storage, and control issues with these products. Read more....
What’s it like to be a local health inspector during a global pandemic? Sometimes, the job can feel like whack-a-mole.
Framingham Health Inspector Camille Griffin walked past the line of masked customers waiting to get into Trader Joe’s toward the employee counting those who entered and exited the grocery store.
Griffin, who wore her periwinkle health department-issued zip-up and badge, asked in a perky voice to see the manager.
She was there for her first in-person inspection of the Worcester Road store since the pandemic began. The visit was prompted by the second complaint received by the Health Department about overcrowding and lack of social distancing in the grocery store’s aisles since August.
As she walked around the store on her way to meet the manager for the unannounced inspection, Griffin clutched her clipboard.
She noticed the yellow chains the store had installed to ensure aisle traffic flowed in a single direction. She assessed the space between customers reaching for food on shelves. She eyed the grocery store’s employees to see if they were wearing masks, and if those masks fully covered their noses and mouths. Read more....
Wismettac Asian Foods, Inc., Santa Fe Springs, CA is issuing a voluntary recall for Shirakiku brand imported Dried Fungus (also known as Black Fungus or Kikurage) because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others 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 (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis. Read more...
Imagine you’re a U.S. Navy Sailor out to sea in 5th Fleet, Naval Forces Central Command region. During deployment, you’re enjoying lunch in the galley with your shipmates. As you look down at your food, you appreciate the fact that you have fresh lettuce and tomatoes on your hamburger.
The taste reminds you of home and being back in America. You feel good knowing that you have food that makes you feel recharged and able to do the mission.
However, what you don’t realize is that when your ship resupplied at sea, a U.S. Army veterinary food inspection specialist evaluated all of the food you and your shipmates consume to keep you safe from foodborne illnesses and other dangers....read more
Outbreak Investigation of Salmonella Potentially Linked to Tailor Cut Produce Fruit Mix, Winter 2019
December 6, 2019FDA and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) are investigating an outbreak of illnesses caused by Salmonella Javiana in Pennsylvania. Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicate that fruit mix with cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, and grapes from Tailor Cut Produce of North Brunswick, New Jersey, are a potential source of this outbreak.
RecommendationFood service and institutional food operators should not sell or serve the fruit mix with cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, and grapes prepared by Tailor Cut Produce.
Tailor Cut Produce reports that their products may be found in restaurants, banquet facilities, hotels, schools and institutional food service establishments in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Because this fruit mix may have been distributed to nursing homes, schools, hospitals and other facilities that cater to vulnerable populations, it is important that these facilities do not sell or serve this fruit medley. Please consult with your distributor to confirm the source of the fruit mix used in your operation.
Background The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) reports that it is investigating 31 laboratory-confirmed illnesses of Salmonella at four healthcare facilities in southeast Pennsylvania. Salmonella Javiana has been identified among cases at three of four facilities. According to the Pennsylvania DOH the epidemiologic evidence collected thus far indicates that this fruit mix is a potential source of the illnesses. The state’s review of invoices shows that a common food eaten by many case patients was the fruit mix with cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, and grapes from Tailor Cut Produce.
FDA has activated a team to coordinate its outbreak investigation. On December 6, 2019, the FDA and the Pennsylvania DOH shared the results of the investigation thus far with the firm, and the firm’s leadership stated that they would work with FDA to implement a recall of this product.
FDA will continue its investigation and provide updates as more information becomes available. Read the full article....
Euphoria Fancy Food Inc. of Brooklyn, NY is recalling some of its packages of “CAPITAN K” salmon slightly salted pieces because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
“The contamination was discovered after sampling by New York State Department of Agriculture and Market Food Inspectors and subsequent analysis by Food Laboratory personnel revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in some 7.05 oz vacuum packages of ‘CAPITAN K’ salmon slightly salted pieces,” according to the company’s recall notice posted by the Food and Drug Administration. Read more...
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS, Contact: Elaine Lidholm, www.vdacs.virginia.gov
For Release: Aug. 22, 2019
Contact: Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686
Virginia Agencies Investigating Reports of Illness among Men Who Took Dietary Supplement V8
(Richmond, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) is advising consumers not to purchase or use a product sold under the name V8, which is a supplement promoted for male sexual enhancement. As of Aug. 21, 2019, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) had received three reports in the metro Richmond area of patients experiencing severe hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar) after taking V8 pills. The patients required emergency care.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia include irritability, anxiety, shakiness, hunger, profuse sweating and/or a racing heartbeat. Anyone experiencing severe hypoglycemia should seek immediate medical attention. Individuals and healthcare professionals should contact one of Virginia’s three Poison Control Centers at 800.222.1222 about adverse events and side effects to products.
Preliminary laboratory analysis has identified several compounds within the pills that could result in severe hypoglycemia. Testing is ongoing. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported an emerging trend of over-the-counter products containing hidden active ingredients that are harmful.
VDH, VDACS, the VCU Poison Center and the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services are collaborating on this investigation. VDACS Food Safety Specialists are actively seeking this product at convenience stores and other retail locations and will remove and destroy any product located.
Clinicians should report adverse events or side effects to FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Reporting Program.
Photo available from VDACS on request.
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MedWatch link: www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/
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The Ohio Department of Agriculture this weekend issued a public health alert after Kroger stores at Austin Landing and Cornerstone sold fresh yellowfin tuna steaks linked to four Scombroid poisoning cases in Montgomery and Franklin counties.
The fish labeled “Tuna Yellowfin Steak Fresh Wild Caught” with sell-by dates of Sept. 3 and Sept. 5 was purchased from three different Kroger stores: 5400 Cornerstone North Blvd. in Centerville; 10101 Landing Way in Austin Landing, Miami Twp., and at a Gahanna store in suburban Columbus. The product was both with and without sesame ginger seasoning. Read more....