Press Releases

 

Entries in Food Safety (58)

Tuesday
Nov262013

NH DHHS - Food Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

Concord, NH – During this busy holiday season, the Department of Health and

Human Services’ (DHHS) Food Protection Section wants to remind everyone to

follow some important food safety practices to avoid foodborne illnesses,

such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter.



According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there

are 31 pathogens known to cause foodborne illness. Every year there are an

estimated 48 million cases of illness, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000

deaths in the United States due to foodborne diseases. Symptoms can vary

depending on the illness, but some common symptoms are diarrhea, abdominal

cramps, and nausea. It is difficult to say with certainty which microbe is

causing a given illness without laboratory testing.



“Don’t let germs ruin your holiday activities by not taking proper

precautions against foodborne disease,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of

Public Health at DHHS. “There are simple tips for safe food preparation

that we should all be following every day, not just at holidays, but large

gatherings and people cooking outside their comfort zone can present an

opportunity for bacteria to be introduced into our food.”



The following simple precautions should always be followed by cooks and

food service workers to reduce the possibility of anyone becoming sick:

Separate: Use a separate cutting board for cooked foods and raw foods

and always wash them after use. Do not cut raw vegetables on the same

cutting board as raw meat. Avoid cross contamination. Wash any

utensil after preparing one food item before going on to the next

item.

Clean: Always wash hands before touching any food. Wash hands and

surfaces often during food preparation and afterward.

Cook: Make sure all meats are thoroughly cooked by using a meat

thermometer: turkey, stuffing, and casseroles to 165ºF; veal, beef,

and lamb roasts to 145ºF; and ham, pork, ground beef, and egg dishes

to 160ºF. When reheating, leftovers should be thoroughly heated to

165ºF.

Chill: Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours. The

refrigerator should be maintained at 40ºF or lower and the freezer

should be at 0ºF or lower. Keep hot foods

hot, 140ºF or hotter, and cold foods cold, 40ºF or below. Never

defrost food at room temperature. Thaw food in the refrigerator, in a

cold-water bath, or in the microwave. When using a microwave, meat

must be cooked immediately after. Marinate foods in the refrigerator.

Report: Report suspected foodborne illnesses to the NH Department of

Health and Human Services by calling 603-271-4496. Often calls from

concerned citizens are how outbreaks are first detected. If a public

health official calls you to talk about an outbreak your cooperation

is important, even if you are not ill.



For more information, visit www.usda.gov , www.cdc.gov , www.befoodsafe.org ,

www.holidayfoodsafety.org  or www.dhhs.nh.gov . To report a foodborne

outbreak, call the Division of Public Health Services at 603-271-4496.

Wednesday
Nov132013

NH DHHS - New Hampshire Residents Reminded Not to Use Recalled OxyElite Pro Supplement

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services is reminding residents to stop

using any supplement labeled OxyElite Pro because it has been linked to

hepatitis (disease of the liver) and liver failure. USPLabs LLC of Dallas,

TX, is voluntarily conducting a national recall of all lots and sizes of

OxyElite Pro dietary supplement products (listed below). These products

contain Aegeline, a synthesized version of a natural extract from the Bael

Tree. There is an ongoing investigation related to this product being

conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Hawaii Department of Health

(DOH).



The dietary supplement, used for weight loss or muscle building, is

distributed across the country, though cases have been concentrated in

Hawaii. The Hawaii DOH and the CDC have reported 56 patients affected with

acute hepatitis in 13 states. One death and two liver transplants in the

U.S. have been linked to the use of this product.



“It is important that all consumers who may have purchased these

supplements discontinue using them and return them to the place where they

were purchased,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS.

“At this time, DHHS does not know what retailers received these products,

so we are asking retailers to check their stock and remove these products

from their shelves. We will provide additional information as we receive

it.”



Besides being available for purchase online, these products were

distributed by GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, and Vitamin World stores. The list of

recalled products includes:



OxyElite Pro Super Thermo capsules

2 count capsules UPC #094922417275

10 count capsules UPC #094922417251

10 count capsules UPC #094922417268

21 count capsules UPC #094922426604

90 count capsules UPC #094922395573

90 count capsules "Pink label" UPC #094922447906

180 count capsules UPC #094922447852





OxyElite Pro Ultra-Intense Thermo capsules

3 count capsules UPC #094922447883

3 count capsules UPC #094922447876

90 count capsules UPC #094922395627

180 count capsules UPC #094922447869





OxyElite Pro Super Thermo Powder

Fruit Punch 0.15 oz UPC #094922417237

Fruit Punch 0.15 oz UPC #094922447517

Fruit Punch 4.6 oz UPC #094922426369

Fruit Punch 5 oz. UPC #094922447487

Blue Raspberry 4.6 oz UPC #094922426376

Grape Bubblegum 4.6 oz UPC #094922447500

Green Apple 4.6 oz. UPC #094922426499





Symptoms of all types of hepatitis are similar and can include fever,

fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine,

clay- or gray-colored bowel movements, joint pain, yellow eyes, and

jaundice. Consumers who experience these symptoms and have used this

dietary supplement should contact their health care provider.



For more information, visit the Food and Drug Administration website at

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/. Consumers can contact USPLabs at

1-800-890-3067 (Monday–Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST) or info@usplabsdirect.com.

Adverse reactions may be reported to the FDA MedWatch Adverse Event

Reporting program at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/getforms.htm, or by

calling FDA’s MedWatch Hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088. To reach the DHHS

Division of Public Health Services, please call 603-271-4496.

Sunday
Oct272013

NH DHHS Provides Updates to Boston Salads Recall

Concord, NH – The recall of prepared deli salads by the Boston Salads and

Provisions Company, Inc. of Boston due to possible Listeria monocytogenes

contamination has been expanded to include additional products. Yesterday,

approximately 223,000 pounds of chicken salad products were recalled that

were made between August 23 and October 14 for sale in New Hampshire and

Massachusetts. Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has called

for the recall of an additional approximately 80,000 pounds of other

salads, including seafood, shrimp, tuna, and potato salads, made for sale

by early November for distribution in Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts,

Connecticut, and Maine.



“Thankfully no illnesses have been reported related to this recall as

Listeriosis can be a serious infection, especially for pregnant women and

seniors,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at the New

Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. “We will continue to

monitor this recall and continue our surveillance efforts for any possible

cases. We will keep the public informed if there are any further

developments including locations in the State where these products were

distributed.”



The salads range in containers sizes from 1 to 30 pounds and come under the

brand names Boston Salads, Market Sources, Price Chopper, Dietz & Watson,

Northern Haserot, Costa Fresh Fruit Ideas, and Rachael’s Gourmet.

Additional recalls may occur as the investigation continues.



A list of recalled products to date is available at the U.S. Department of

Agriculture’s Food Recall website at

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/current-recalls-and-alerts

and the FDA’s recall website at

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm372319.htm.



Infection with Listeria can produce such symptoms as fever, muscle aches,

and sometimes nausea and vomiting. If the infection spreads to the central

nervous system, symptoms can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss

of balance, or convulsions. Listeriosis can be treated with antibiotics, so

anyone who suspects they may have the illness should contact their

healthcare provider.



Consumers who have purchased any of the suspect products are urged not to

consume them and to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Questions may be addressed to Boston Salads at 617-541-9046 Monday through

Friday between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. For questions about Listeriosis,

contact the DPHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 271-4496. For more

information about Listeriosis, visit http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/index.html

Saturday
Oct262013

NH DHHS - Food Items from Massachusetts Recall Sold in New Hampshire

Concord, NH – Boston Salads and Provisions Company, Inc., a Boston

establishment, is recalling approximately 223,000 pounds of ready-to-eat

chicken salad products due to possible contamination with Listeria

monocytogenes according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s)

Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The products were produced

between Aug. 23, 2013, and Oct. 14, 2013, and shipped to wholesalers for

further distribution to retail locations in Massachusetts and New

Hampshire. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

is not aware of any illnesses in the State related to this recall.



Case labels or packaging may bear the sell by dates ranging from

“9/13/2013” through “11/4/2013” as well as the establishment number

“P-17999” inside the USDA mark of inspection. Although product included in

this recall may be expired, FSIS is concerned that some product may be

frozen in consumer or retail freezers. The problem was discovered by

routine sampling which led to further testing and confirmation of product

contamination with Listeria. Additional recalls may occur as the

investigation continues.



A list of recalled products to date is available at the USDA’s Food Recall

website at

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2013/recall-061-2013-release

. If consumers have any of these products at home they are advised to

discard them immediately and not eat them.



“It is important that all consumers, including retailers who may purchase

larger containers for redistribution, check their freezers for this

product,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “We are

going to be keeping a close eye on this situation and continue monitoring

for affected products and possible cases of illness. We will keep the

public informed of any new developments.”



Infection with listeriosis can produce such symptoms as fever, muscle

aches, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. If the infection spreads to the

central nervous system, symptoms can include headache, stiff neck,

confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions. Listeriosis can be treated with

antibiotics, so anyone who suspects they may have the illness should

contact their healthcare provider.



For questions about listeriosis, contact the DPHS Bureau of Infectious

Disease Control at 271-4496. For more information about listeriosis, visit

http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/index.html. Since this may be an evolving

situation, consumers are advised to check the USDA’s website at

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/home for updates.



Below is a list of retail locations in New Hampshire that DPHS is aware

distributed the recalled items: Mr. Mike’s stores in Contoocook,

Fitzwilliam, Winchester, Dover, Bow, Manchester, Peterborough, Stoddard and

Jaffery

Dodges Country Store in New Boston

The Corner Deli & Pizza in Pelham

Exit 3 Travel Stop in Portsmouth

Phillips Academy Grill in Exeter

Lavallee Oil in Suncook

Dover Paint and Varnish

Newbury Quick Stop

Spofford Pizza

Willy B’s Take Out in Manchester

Tuesday
Oct152013

NH DHHS - NH Residents Urged Not to Use Recalled OxyElite Pro Supplement

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services is urging residents to stop

using any supplement labeled OxyElite Pro because it has been linked to

hepatitis (disease of the liver) and liver failure. There is an ongoing

investigation related to this product being conducted by the Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration

(FDA) and the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH).



The dietary supplement, used for weight loss or muscle building, is

distributed by USPlabs LLC across the country. The Hawaii DOH and CDC have

reported 45 patients affected in the state, of which 29 have been confirmed

to have acute hepatitis after taking the supplement. Cases in other states

have been reported as well but are still being investigated. The FDA is

analyzing samples of the product, inspecting manufacturing facilities, and

reviewing production and product distribution records. Because USPlabs LLC

has informed the FDA that it believes counterfeit versions of OxyElite Pro

are being marketed in the U.S., FDA is also investigating whether

counterfeit product is related to any of the cases.



“We are monitoring the situation and are not aware of any cases in New

Hampshire related to OxyElite,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public

Health at DHHS. “Our epidemiologists will continue to work with the FDA and

the CDC and will investigate reports from clinicians of possible cases

related to this recall.”



Symptoms of all types of hepatitis are similar and can include fever,

fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine,

clay- or gray-colored bowel movements, joint pain, yellow eyes, and

jaundice. Consumers who believe they have been harmed by using a dietary

supplement should contact their health care provider.





For more information, visit the Food and Drug Administration website at

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/ or the Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention website at www.cdc.gov . Call 603-271-4496 to reach the DHHS

Division of Public Health Services.