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2012 Hygiene & Health News

Salmonella Bacteria Prompt Peanut Product Recall

November 5, 2012

Contamination of ready-to-eat foods is most likely to occur during food processing or food handling and is a primary reason for food safety regulations. For example, ready-to-eat foods contaminated with Salmonella bacteria can cause salmonellosis. In some individuals, Salmonella infection can cause severe conditions if symptoms do not clear within 4-7 days. For most individuals, this type of food poisoning can cause:

  •  gastrointestinal distress
  • dehydration
  • fever
The FDA has announced that Sunland, Inc. of Portland, New Mexico appears to be linked to a large, multi-state outbreak of salmonellosis. This producer may have mistakenly released potentially contaminated peanuts and peanut products (namely peanut butter) to other food manufacturers and retail sellers in several states this year, including Target, Trader Joe's, and Smucker's.
FDA Recall of Peanut Products by Sunland, Inc.

Smucker's Uncrustables Sold to Schools Recalled

Trail Mix Recall

October 29, 2012

Food manufacturers are required to share information about their ingredients with customers via product labels. Regulated allergens include wheat, soybean, milk, egg, fish, shellfish, peanuts, and tree nuts. These ingredients must be declared for safety reasons because these eight ingredients are the most common foods to cause allergies.

Select bulk trail mixes sold by Tropical Valley Foods have been recalled for not declaring one or more of the following allergens on their labels: soybean, peanuts, and tree nuts.

Allergy Alert for Tropical Valley Foods

Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Act of 2004 (FDA)

Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Update

October 27, 2012

Meningitis is an infection of brain and spinal cord membranes. Its symptoms and consequences can be severe. Viral and bacterial meningitis are the more common forms of the disease. Symptoms may include severe headache and a stiff neck, paired with nausea and sensitivity to light and can develop rapidly. 

Fungal Meningitis is rare and symptoms progress more slowly after infection (up to 42 days).

A drug production facility in Framingham, Massachusetts (New England Compounding Center) appears to be linked to a large, multi-state outbreak of this more rare form of Meningitis. This facility may have mistakenly released potentially contaminated vials of a steroid painkiller injection (methylprednisone acetate) to clinics in at least 18 states. The facility recalled the drug and all its other products created since January 2012. To date, over 300 cases and 25 deaths in 18 states have been reported.

The CDC reports that two black mold species (Exserohilum rostratum & Aspergillus sp.) are the primary potential pathogens in this outbreak. 

CDC report on Fungal Meningitis Outbreak