There’s a pretty nasty e. coli outbreak going on in Michigan and Illinois — apparently “industrial” sized bags of lettuce from a Michigan company called “Aunt Mids” have been contaminated. Among those affected were students at Michigan State and the University of Michigan and some inmates at Lenawee County Jail. [Michigan Department Of Community Health & Progressive Grocer] (Thanks, Alex!)
China’s chief quality supervisor was replaced today as the total number of children sickened from dairy products tainted with melamine (the same substance that was found in contaminated pet food last year) grew to 53,000. Nearly 13,000 children have been hospitalized and 4 have died. Products manufactured by 22 companies were found to contain melamine, says Bloomberg.
Remember melamine, last year’s pet-killing poison? It’s back with a vengeance, and this year it wants Chinese babies. As many as 10,000 may have consumed melamine-laced milk powder, according to authorities. Even worse, a New Zealand company detected the poison weeks ago but couldn’t convince local officials to issue a recall. Only after New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark demanded action did the Chinese recall the death milk.
For the first time ever, the FDA is going to allow manufacturers to irradiate produce at levels that can kill bacteria that causes food-borne illness, says the New York Times. The produce in question, spinach and iceberg lettuce, have, in recent years, been linked to widespread outbreaks of serious illnesses.
Whole Foods apparently never got that June memo to chuck Nebraska Beef contaminated with E. coli. The posh-man’s bodega announced yesterday that they are recalling the previously-recalled beef, which Whole Foods sold between June 2 and August 6. The contaminated beef has popped up in 24 states and sickened 49 people. Noted food safety litigator Bill Marler shows us that being a lawyer can be fun by posing six amusingly litigious questions for Whole Foods…
Reader Maya noticed that those GHB-laced toys (distributed in North America by Spin Master) that were recalled last year are back, and they’ve got a brand new name. Pixos!
The FDA still has no real idea where those salmonella tomatoes came from. They suspect both Mexico and Florida, but as you may have noticed: Florida and Mexico are kind of big. And there’s no real evidence aside from a guess by the FDA based on the “time frame” of the outbreak matching up with the harvest in those locations.
McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Burger King, Outback Steakhouse and Taco Bell have all pulled their fresh tomatoes after 145 people have become ill with salmonellosis, including 23 hospitalizations. The illnesses have been linked to certain types of tomatoes, but not all tomatoes, so here’s a helpful cheat sheet that will keep you salmonella-free:
Gourmet Boutique, of Queens, NY is recalling 286,000 lbs of possibly contaminated meat used in sandwich wraps and other ready-to-eat products, says the USDA. This is the second recall of this type for the company. In March they recalled 7,000 lbs of meat for possible listeria contamination.
If you like spinach you might not want to read a new report from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform called “FDA and Fresh Spinach Safety.”
The FDA is detaining shipments of “cantaloupe from Agropecuaria Montelibano, a Honduran grower and packer, because, based on current information, fruit from this company appears to be associated with a Salmonella Litchfield outbreak in the United States and Canada.”
Two years ago athletic shoe giant Reebok announced a recall of 300,000 lead tainted charm bracelets that were given away as free gifts with the purchase of children’s footwear.
There are some jars of Olivier brand Parmesan & Asiago Dip with Garlic & Basil floating around that are possibly tainted with botulism, so you’ll want to check your cupboards.
Consumer Reports takes issue with some of the statements CPSC chairperson Nancy Nord said in a recent speech:
Texas: 14,800 pounds of stolen ground beef may be contaminated with E. coli, says the USDA. So, uh, just for now, don’t buy any ground beef from the back of a truck. [Reuters]
The meat and poultry industries have learned that if you poison your customers enough times, they’ll eventually start losing trust in you—although, oddly, they won’t change their purchasing habits. That’s the takeaway from a study carried out by Meatingplace.com (snicker) and “its sister publication POULTRY” (ha ha WHERE’S CHRIS HANSON). However, no description of the study is provided other than that Zoomerang.com was used, so we’re not sure if the results are at all meaningful. We’re just glad the meat industry is starting to notice something’s wrong.
Parents are staying away from small toys this holiday season, says a survey from America’s Research Group, and planning instead to buy more expensive tech items.