Those who disregard pediatricians’ recommendations and space out their kids’ vaccination schedules may want to consider inoculating their youngsters from measles. The disease is infecting its highest numbers since 1996, spreading to 214 children throughout the country. [More]
Remember the diarrhea nightmare vessel that sickened 450 passengers a few weeks back? Once it got back home, Celebrity Cruises delayed the next trip by a day so that it could perform a “full cleaning.” It didn’t help much, though: CNN says that about 10% of passengers on the next sailing got sick, and about 19% of passengers on the current sailing are now sick. [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]
When gastrointestinal illness hits a cruise ship, there’s nowhere to run or hide, as nearly 450 passengers and crewmembers aboard the Celebrity Cruises ship Mercury have discovered. Celebrity Cruises says they they’re still investigating what caused the outbreak, but the symptoms include “upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea,” according to their spokeswoman. [More]
Turtles remain a popular pet with kids. In 1975 the U.S. banned the sale of ones smaller than 4 inches, but the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) estimates almost 2 million were being kept as pets as of 2006. They’re also responsible for one of the slowest outbreaks of salmonella we’ve seen in recent years.
At some point, we’re going to have to stop referring to every red-hued outbreak map as being zombie-like, but this is not that point. It’s nearly Halloween, the #2 movie in the nation is Zombieland, and yesterday the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis warned that unemployment may exceed 10% before the end of the year. This is the appropriate way to view unemployment today.
Before you bite into that juicy hamburger, you might want to better understand how the meat industry creates, tests (or doesn’t test), then distributes ground beef. A detailed investigation by Michael Moss at the New York Times proves eating it is “still a gamble. Neither the system meant to make the meat safe, nor the meat itself, is what consumers have been led to believe.”
The House of Representatives just passed the bipartisan Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009. If enacted, the legislation would strengthen the FDA, increase inspections of food facilities, and hopefully ensure that tragedies like the Peanut Corporation of America salmonella outbreak become a thing of the past.
Hepatitis A is an extremely contagious disease that can be passed along by food service workers who don’t thoroughly wash their hands — and that may have been the case at a Milan, Illinois McDonald’s according to the Quad City Times.
Is it any surprise that after the past few years of outbreaks and recalls, almost no one trusts products from food manufacturers anymore? IBM recently completed a survey of shoppers in the 10 largest cities, and found that a lot of consumers want more information than they currently can get about their food choices.
How can you tell you’ve made it on the Internet? How about if you’re turned into spambait? MSN Money reports that scammers are taking advantage of the sudden interest in swine flu by using it in subject lines to get people to open messages and download attachments. Don’t do it! Tell your friends and relatives not to do it, either!
Everyone’s still unsure whether the H1N1 Swine Flu is a mild outbreak or something worse, but in the meantime you can amuse yourself with this grim Google Map of suspected and actual cases around the globe. It will give you something to do until the time comes when you have to decide between joining Randall Flagg or Mother Abagail.
Raw alfalfa sprouts have been linked to salmonella outbreaks across the country, according to the FDA. Recent salmonella cases have been diagnosed in Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, and West Virginia, and the FDA is linking this outbreak to salmonella infections a few months ago in other states, including Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska. (Photo: Erin Collins)
Texas has issued the largest fine in the state’s history to the peanut company blamed in the salmonella outbreak: $14.6 million. [AP]
Our sister blog at ConsumerReports.org notes that “current salmonella outbreak caused by tainted peanuts could drag on for as long as two years,” according to the FDA. The Peanut Corp of America may be history, but because peanut butter has such a long shelf life, and because they’re still adding products to the recall list, there may be food items lurking in pantries across the U.S. that are loaded with disease-causing peanuty badness.