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Entries in Food Safety (61)

Sunday
Nov232014

NH DHHS - Four New Hampshire SalmonellaCases Identified

Part of Multistate Outbreak Linked to Bean Sprouts

Concord, NH – Four people in New Hampshire, so far, have been identified by

the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of

Public Health Services (DPHS) as being linked to a multistate outbreak

involving bean sprouts consumption in restaurants. As of November 21, 2014,

a total of 63 people have been infected with Salmonella Enteriditis in 10

states. Traceback from all of the establishments indicated that all

received bean sprouts from Wonton Foods, Inc. of Brooklyn, New York.



The firm is cooperating with public health and agriculture officials and

has reported that their last shipment of bean sprouts was on November 18,

2014. As of November 21, 2014, the firm has verbally agreed to voluntarily

stop the production and sale of their bean sprouts while they take steps to

prevent Salmonella contamination. The other states reporting cases include

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania,

Rhode Island, and Vermont. Illness onset dates range from September 30th to

November 8th. So far 11 people have been hospitalized, none in New

Hampshire, and no deaths have been reported.



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local

public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance to identify

additional ill persons and to interview them about foods they ate before

they became ill. This ongoing investigation is rapidly evolving, and CDC

and DPHS will update the public when additional information is available.



“The Division of Public Health Services will continue to investigate to

identify any other potential cases and has notified the New Hampshire

Grocers Association and the New Hampshire Restaurant and Lodging

Association so that the product is removed from consumption” said Dr. José

Montero, Director of Public Health at DPHS. “Sprouts are a known source of

foodborne illness, so if you are not sure of the origin of any sprouts, it

is best to throw them out rather than risk consuming a contaminated

product.”





The CDC is recommending that restaurants and other retailers do not sell or

serve sprouts produced by Wonton Foods, Inc. at this time. Consumers are

encouraged to cook any sprouts and children, older adults, pregnant women,

and persons with weakened immune systems should always avoid eating raw

sprouts of any kind due to their increased risk of illness from Salmonella.





Salmonella causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps usually 12 to 72

hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most

people recover without treatment. However, in some cases, the diarrhea may

be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients,

the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood

stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the patient

is treated promptly with antibiotics.





The DHHS Division of Public Health Services continues to follow this

outbreak closely, including investigation of any reported cases in close

coordination with the CDC and the FDA, and will provide updates as they

become available. For further information visit the CDC website at

http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/enteritidis-11-14/index.html, or to report a

suspected case contact the DPHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at

603-271-4496.

Sunday
Aug242014

NH DHHS Provides Update on Nut Butter

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

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) announces nSpired Natural

Foods, Inc. is voluntarily recalling certain lots of its nut butter

products. The lots include Arrowhead Mills® Peanut Butters, MaraNatha®

Almond Butters and Peanut Butters and specific private label nut butters

packaged in glass and plastic jars because they have the potential to be

contaminated with Salmonella. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDS)

alerted the Company to the potential risk following routine testing.

nSpired Natural Foods, Inc has received reports of four illnesses that may

be associated with these specific products. No cases of Salmonella linked

to this outbreak have been identified in New Hampshire.



"Since the range of products is broad and nut butters have a long shelf

life it’s important that people check their cupboards to see if they may

have some of this product at home," said NH Public Health Director Dr. Jose

Montero. "Most people recover from salmonellosis, but it has serious

implications for young children especially, who are also the most likely to

consume peanut butter products."



nSpired Natural Foods, Inc is working with consumers to remove them from

their homes, and retailers to remove and destroy the products from store

shelves and warehouses.



Products were distributed across the US, Canada, Hong Kong, United Arab

Emirates, and Dominican Republic. The products were also sold over the

internet. Consumers do not need to return the product; instead they are

urged to dispose of the recalled product and its container. Contact

nSpired Natural Foods, Inc at 1-800-937-7008 for a replacement, refund or

for general inquiries.



Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause serious and sometimes fatal

infections in young children, frail or elderly people and those with

weakened immune systems. Healthy people infected with Salmonella often

experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Some

cases may be more severe and may require hospitalization.



Consumers are advised to check the FDA website at

www.fda.gov/Food/default.htm  for updates on this recall and for a complete

list of the recalled products. Anyone with questions about salmonellosis

can call DPHS' Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496.

Wednesday
Jul022014

NH DHHS - Food Safety Tips for the Summer Season

Concord, NH – During this busy summer season of trips to the beach,

vacations, and cookouts, 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, Shigella, E. coli, and Campylobacter.



There are an estimated 48 million cases of foodborne disease, 128,000

hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths each year in the United States.



“Food is an important part of vacation and holiday gatherings but it needs

to be handled safely, especially during the warmer weather,” said Dr. José

Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “The basic rule is keep hot

foods hot and cold foods cold. It may be common sense, but it should never

be overlooked. Just like hand washing, the more we practice it the more

routine it becomes and the safer we all will be.”



A DHHS video on summer grilling food safety is available on YouTube at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWDyMOUTrfM. There are some simple

precautions everyone should always take to reduce the possibility of

becoming sick when preparing food, which include:

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

(especially meat) and always wash them after use. 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: Pork, lamb, veal, and whole cuts of beef should be cooked to 145

°F as measured by a food thermometer placed in the thickest part of

the meat, followed by a three-minute rest time before carving or

consuming. Hamburgers and other ground beef should reach 160 °F. All

poultry should reach a minimum temperature of 165 °F. Fish should be

cooked to 145 °F. Fully cooked meats like hot dogs should be grilled

to 165 °F or until steaming hot.

Chill: Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours. One hour if it

is a hot day over

90ºF. 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 the U.S. Department of Agriculture at

www.usda.gov  or

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/teach-others/fsis-educational-campaigns/grill-it-safe/grill-it-safe

, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at www.cdc.gov , the

DHHS website at www.dhhs.nh.gov , or www.befoodsafe.org .

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.