Archive for the ‘Food Alerts’ Category

People urged to avoid peanut butter products

September 18, 2009

People urged to avoid peanut butter products

Postby John Sutton on Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:28 pm

WASHINGTON – Federal health authorities on Saturday urged consumers to avoid eating cookies, cakes, ice cream and other foods that contain peanut butter until authorities can learn more about a deadly outbreak of salmonella contamination.

Most peanut butter sold in jars at supermarkets appears to be safe, said Stephen Sundlof, head of the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety center.

“As of now, there is no indication that the major national name-brand jars of peanut butter sold in retails stores are linked to the recall,” Sundlof told reporters in a conference call.

Officials are focusing on peanut paste, as well as peanut butter, produced at a Blakely, Ga., facility owned by Peanut Corp. of America. Its peanut butter is not sold directly to consumers but distributed to institutions and food companies. But the peanut paste, made from roasted peanuts, is an ingredient in cookies, cakes and other products that people buy in the supermarket.

“This is an excellent illustration of an ingredient-driven outbreak,” said Dr. Robert Tauxe, who oversees foodborne illness investigations for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So far, more than 470 people have gotten sick in 43 states, and at least 90 had to be hospitalized. At least six deaths are being blamed on the outbreak. Salmonella is a bacteria and the most common source of food poisoning in the U.S., causing diarrhea, cramping and fever.

Officials said new illnesses are still being reported in the outbreak investigation.

The Kellogg Co., which listed Peanut Corp. as one of its suppliers, has recalled 16 products. They include Austin and Keebler branded Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers, and some snack-size packs of Famous Amos Peanut Butter Cookies and Keebler Soft Batch Homestyle Peanut Butter Cookies. Health officials said consumers who have bought any of those products should throw them away.

Peanut Corp. has recalled all peanut butter produced at the Georgia plant since Aug. 8 and all peanut paste produced since Sept. 26. The plant passed its last state inspection this summer, but recent tests have found salmonella.

Health officials are focusing on 30 companies out of a total of 85 that received peanut products from the Georgia plant. Sundlof said Peanut Corp. is a relatively small supplier on the national scene.

The Midwest supermaket chain Hy-Vee Inc. of West Des Moines, Iowa, said Saturday it was voluntarily recalling products made in its bakery departments with peanut butter because they had the potential to be contaminated with salmonella. The recall covered seven states: Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota.

The outbreak has triggered a congressional inquiry and renewed calls for reform of food safety laws. For example, the FDA lacks authority to order a recall, and instead must ask companies to voluntarily withdraw products.

“Given the numerous food-borne illness outbreaks over the past several years, it is becoming painfully clear that the current regulatory structure is antiquated and ill-equipped to handle these extensive investigations,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who chairs a panel that oversees the FDA budget.

Seattle-area lawyer William Marler, who specializes in food safety cases, said the government shouldn’t wait for the results of more tests to request recalls.

“At least 30 companies purchased peanut butter or paste from a facility with a documented link to a nationwide salmonella outbreak,” said Marler. “The FDA has the authority actually, the mandate to request recalls if the public health is threatened. Instead, the FDA has asked the companies to test their products and consider voluntary recalls. It is just not enough.”

Health officials in Minnesota and Virginia have linked two deaths each to the outbreak and Idaho has reported one. Four of those five were elderly people, and all had salmonella when they died, although their exact causes of death have not been determined. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the salmonella may have contributed.

An elderly North Carolina man died in November from the same strain of salmonella that’s causing the outbreak, officials in that state said Friday.

The CDC said the bacteria behind the outbreak — typhimurium — is common and not an unusually dangerous strain but that the elderly or those with weakened immune systems are more at risk.

John Sutton
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Salmonella in 42 states

September 18, 2009

Salmonella in 42 states

Postby John Sutton on Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:50 am

Federal officials have not yet identified the cause of a salmonella outbreak striking almost 400 people in 42 states, but state officials in Minnesota said Friday they believe peanut butter may be involved. On Friday, the Minnesota Department of Health said preliminary laboratory testing found salmonella bacteria in a 5-pound container of King Nut brand creamy peanut butter. The tests have not linked it to the type of salmonella in the national outbreak, but additional results are expected early next week.

Minnesota officials did not immediately identify the company that manufactures the peanut butter or say where else it is distributed.

The product apparently is not sold in grocery stores, but is distributed in Minnesota to long-term care facilities, hospitals, schools, universities, restaurants, delis, cafeterias and bakeries.

State officials urged establishments that have the product to avoid serving it, pending further instructions as the investigation progresses.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that 399 cases have been confirmed nationally, with about one in five of victims hospitalized. They have not confirmed any deaths associated with the outbreak.

Minnesota health officials also said an elderly woman who died there had the illness at the time of her death, but it’s not clear that salmonella was the cause.

The report of peanut butter contamination comes almost two years after ConAgra recalled its Peter Pan brand peanut butter, which was eventually linked to at least 625 salmonella cases in 47 states.

Nationally, all the current illnesses began between Sept. 3 and Dec. 29, but most of the people grew sick after Oct. 1.

Most people develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment.

Officials say steps to protect against the illness include careful handling and preparation of raw meat, and frequent hand washing.

CDC officials say the cases in the current outbreak have all been genetically fingerprinted as the Typhimurium type, which is among the most common forms of salmonella food poisoning.

Frozen Battered Meat Warning

September 18, 2009

Frozen Battered Chicken and Possibly Other Frozen Meats Warning

I have received several emails on this and I have experienced it myself as well.
We bought a package of what looked like battered covered baked chicken strips.
They were battered, but in small writing was a warning that these are not pre-cooked.
I have never seen frozen meat like this before. It looks like it has already been battered and fried, the outer part looks golden brown.
Please everyone; check what is in your freezer or the freezers of the elderly and the handicapped.
These foods need to have more warnings on them than just that little one we saw.
Chicken needs to have an internal temperature of 160 degrees F to be safe enough to eat.
Wether you cook this on the stove, in the oven or in a microwave check to make sure it is done.
It is still a safe food to eat as long as you are sure it is completely done.
Pass this on to others, it was the same price as the other chicken we usually buy, but that chicken was cooked. Almost the same packaging this is very deceptive.
Being a culture set in our ways, we tend to let our guard down when it comes to what looks familiar to us.
I can’t name the name of the company although I would love to, I can only send out this warning.
Look at all the packaging before you buy no matter if it is even the same packaging and make sure it is what you want.
If you, your family or someone you know is used to having things pre-cooked and you just cook these items for a minimal time, you can get sick.
Don’t let this latest deceptive ploy cause you, your family or anyone you know any harm.

Consuming Kids

September 18, 2009

Consuming Kids: Protecting our Children from the Onslaught of Marketing and Advertising.
by Susan Linn

This book was brought to my attention from someone who read the fast food dangers section, since then I have seen a show called Your Total Health where they did an experiment with some children and the gimmicks advertisers use to get kids to eat there products. It is a sad time indeed when a child would rather pick out a rock to eat because it has shrek or scooby-doo figure on it instead of a banana, and yet corporate America doesn’t beleive they are doing anything wrong with there advertising. Proof that greed is more important than you or your kids are. Here is more on

Consuming Kids: Protecting our Children from the Onslaught of Marketing and Advertising.
by Susan Linn

Anyone with kids knows how determined they can be when it comes to getting things they really, really want. And with all that parents have to worry about nowadays, sometimes it’s easier to just give in to them. That corporations understand and consciously play upon the “nag factor” when marketing to children is just one of the facts psychologist Susan Linn offers up in Consuming Kids: Protecting Our Children from the Onslaught of Marketing and Advertising, now out in paperback. Kids are indeed a lucrative market, having a say in some $600 billion worth of purchasing decisions. And American corporations spend about $15 billion a year on marketing to them.

An exposé of the children’s marketing industry in the mold of Fast Food Nation, Linn’s book presents evidence of the harm being done not only to kids but families by marketers whose only concern is the bottom line and who don’t think too much about the larger implications of what they’re doing, even though many of them are parents themselves. A puppeteer who regularly appeared on Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, Linn alleges that the children’s marketing industry is making kids fat, unimaginative, materialistic, and insensitive. What’s more, they’re becoming sexualized at increasingly younger ages. Children’s marketing also interferes with home life by subverting parental authority. Perhaps most distressing, the virtually unchallenged corporate takeover of the flow of information in schools and elsewhere in the public arena bodes ill for society in that it short-circuits the informed dialogue vital to achieving true democratic consensus.

The standard response to whistle-blowers like Linn is that it’s really a matter of individual responsibility. Parents can just say no, the argument goes. But Linn counters that parents and their kids are outgunned at every turn. There’s a correlation between decreased public funding for the arts, culture, and education and the rise of corporate influence and unbridled consumerism among the young. Marketers use product extensions and tie-ins to create seamless webs of enticement, continually bombarding kids with promotional messages from the time they get up until the time they go to bed. Corporate logos adorn every piece of clothing, trademarked characters invade every play space, and media and point-of-sale partnerships link various marketing pitches together. It’s no wonder kids are susceptible to becoming consuming machines.

A practicing child-development psychologist, Linn assumes a behaviorist model of advertising and its effects on individuals. That is, she sees the process strictly as one of stimulus and response — corporations hold out cheesy rewards to children who like laboratory mice learn to navigate mazes of parental constraint to get at them. She cites study after study showing the relationship between media consumption and disconcerting child behavior. There’s a lot of validity to Linn’s fears about the vulnerability of impressible young minds to the power of suggestion, but it sometimes seems a bit over-determined. For example, Linn doesn’t factor in studies, like Michael Schudson’s classic Advertising, the Uneasy Persuasion, that challenge the supposed unilateral power of advertising’s effectiveness. (There’s a famous quip by Philadelphia department store magnate John Wanamaker who said he knew that half his advertising budget was being wasted, but he could never figure out which half.) There’s also what media-studies types call “reception theory”, the idea that consumers, even youngsters, put their own meanings onto commercial messages and products, redirecting them for their own purposes, like the safety pins and work boots of the punks and skinheads studied by researchers such as Dick Hebdige.

Consuming Kids is shot through with value judgments, presuming the worst intentions on the part of marketers, as one might expect from a polemic whose goal is to goad the reading public into action. Linn’s accusing finger even points to her own discipline, which in many respects has adopted a means-ends rationale toward the psychology of consumption in part because that’s where the money is. This is understandable on one level — corporations fund research to find out what makes people want to buy, and that’s not necessarily the same as looking out for the public interest. But it is sobering to learn that the American Psychological Association dumped social responsibility from its code of ethics in 2003.

Linn’s psychological perspective is well researched, and it begs to be augmented by sociological analysis. Consumption is the necessary other of production. The vast abundance of supply, made possible by modern manufacturing, meant having to stimulate the desire to consume far beyond the satisfaction of purely physical needs. Advertising arose to perform this motivational function. As more and more stuff was being made, broader and deeper markets had to be created to absorb it all. Supply-side theorists have something called Say’s Law — basically it states that if you make it, they will buy. You can’t control consumption on a broad social level without somehow changing the conditions of production. Linn’s prescriptions at the end of the book are admirable: she calls for parents to limit their children’s television viewing, demands that professionals advocate for the public good, recommends government policies to regulate advertising to children and expand the public sphere, etc. But they can only provide relief for the symptoms, not a cure for the disease.

— 17 November 2005

Below is a link to the book via Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1400079993?ie=UTF8&tag=thecookinginn-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1400079993″‘)

Fast Food Dangers

September 18, 2009

Fast Food Dangers

I have had several people inform me about sugar on the hamburger patties at different fast food restaurants. One of these people is on that low carb diet so they take the buns off and it was at this time they found sugar was sprinkled on the hamburger patty itself.

Remember a lawsuit a while back regarding a restaurant where the patron said they were getting fat from the food? I thought then that you are the one who has control of what you eat and the amount you eat. However, I now believe that the sugar is what everyone is craving, it is in everything now where it used to not be included. Now these places are adding more sugar so you want their food more. It is not enough that they are trying to kill people by all the fat, now they are trying to kill people by all the sugar. It is only a matter of time before all these unhealthy ingredients overwhelm our bodies; there is only so much our bodies can absorb. People you need to realize that you are just another number to these places. They don’t really care that they are killing you; you are profit for them. As one place says 100 million burgers sold, soon it will be 100 million killed. They don’t care, as soon as you die there is another to take your place. While you are getting fat around the waist, they are getting fat in the billfold.

You have a choice, live healthier and examine your food when you buy it and pay attention to how you feel with this food, let your friends know that these places are a danger to there health. You all have a chance of living a good and healthy life, learn what is out there that can hurt you and avoid it. Sure fast food is convenient, you can make the same thing healthier yourself and you stand a better chance of living a long and healthy life.

Remember the statistics, if your 15 years old now, your generation is expected to start dying before you reach 40 years of age. This is because of the food you are eating, your lack of exercise and your staying in front of a TV or computer screen all day. Don’t waste your life, make something of yourselves and most importantly, be more educated on what you are eating. The sad truth is that these companies don’t care about you nor does it seem the government offices that are supposed to monitor these places care about you. It’s all about money, your the expendable source, another will follow after your dead and this cycle will continue. It is time to give greed the boot, there is no reason why you can’t live a healthy life, and this should be one of your goals.

Try eating in moderation. Don’t eat fast food everyday, try just once a week and see how you feel. Fast foods these days is like a drug, it is time to wean yourself off of this fast food drug, it won’t be easy but you will persevere. Friends don’t let friends die from fast food.

If you have something you would like to add, please email us at info@thecookinginn.com; again we are sorry the forum is locked, but we weed out several spammers a day who would otherwise bring there garbage into the forum. Like the fast food places, they have no morals either.

John Sutton
Nov 19, 2006