Whenever we forget how massively inter-connected our food supply is, a huge national recall of prepared foods comes along and reminds us. This time, the reminder comes from Minnesota-based manufacturer Parkers Farm Acquisition, LLC, which packages salsa, cold pack cheeses, peanut butter, and pepper spreads under its own name and also store brands. Some of their products were contaminated with the very nasty foodborne pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes.
The bad news is that 181,620 pounds of chicken and ham salads sold in popular retail outlets like Walgreens, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s has been recalled due to possible contamination with E. coli bacteria. The good news, if such a thing is possible, is that this isn’t yet another iteration of the massive and scary Foster Farms salmonella recall from last month. [More]
Mmm, listeria! Last week, Reser’s Fine Foods recalled 109,000 cases of refrigerated ready-to-eat salads, dips, slaws, and other items that you generally serve cold and don’t reheat enough to kill off all bacteria. Now they’ve expanded that recall to include meat-containing products like chicken and ham salad and baked beans with beef. [More]
The shopper loyalty cards that your grocery store provides can have a higher purpose than giving you discounts, profiling your shopping habits, and racking up points for rewards programs. Loyalty card data can also help track down the source of foodborne pathogens, retaining records of specific brands and items that customers probably won’t remember. Trying to find the source of a mysterious salmonella outbreak, the CDC mined grocery loyalty card data to narrow the source down to specific brands of Italian cured meat. [More]
It may seem like a minor inconvenience when you’re home sick with some kind of foodborne illness, but the overall cost of these illnesses to our economy is huge–and staggering when you consider how many foodborne illnesses are preventable. A new study from the Produce Safety Project, a Pew Charitable Trusts initiative, shows that foodborne illness costs $152 billion nationwide each year in medical care and quality of life. [More]
Americans should have more poop in their diets, writes a doctor at Slate. Like superbugs and anti-bacterial products, we’ve become too successful at cleansing our food supply of all manner of contaminants—so that kids, for example, “have zero experience with routine gut infections, and when they encounter one that has slipped past our pipes and filters, the result can be catastrophic.”