Cookies and Milk and E. coli

Milk and cookies may seem harmless. It’s not. On Friday, Nestlé Toll House recalled refrigerated cookie dough products due to risk of E. coli contamination, suspected to have sickened 66 people in 28 states. Health officials say the elderly, pregnant women and anyone with a compromised immune system should avoid the raw cookie dough. E. coli can lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome, resulting in kidney damage and even death; HealthDay News reports.

Yuck. I may have a cookie from time to time, but milk! No way. Our food safety is a mess. We all remember the spinach-E. coli crisis in 2006 and then this year’s melamine contaminated milk. Oh, and don’t forget. In February, a study found 20% of Japan’s chicken is tainted with salmonella.

In related news, Nestlé shut down the cookie dough plant linked to E. coli, as a result 200 workers were laid off. So far, a total of 86.4 million cookies' worth of dough has been recalled.

Via CNN.

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Health-Points: Friday 3.27.09

  • On the flipside, kids who get plenty of exercise have less depression. In adults, exercise releases endorphins helping people feel more upbeat, same goes for children. A study printed in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology divided overweight, sedentary kids, ages 7 to 11, into two exercise groups, one for 20 minutes a day and the other for 40 minutes, revealing as exercise increased so did the psychological benefits; via Booster Shots.
  • More love for vitamin D. New research in the Archives of Internal Medicine found daily supplements of vitamin D may reduce the risk of various bone breaks. The study, involving 42,279 adults, ages 65 and older, linked vitamin D with a 14% lower risk of non-vertebral fractures and 9% less risk of hip fractures. However, low-dose vitamin D supplements did not decrease the chance of fracture; via NutraIngredients.

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China, Lethal Punishments for Toxic Milk

In a swift and harsh act of justice, China has sentenced 2 men involved with the milk-melamine crisis to death and another man to life in prison. With 6 fatalities and 300,000 babies suffering kidney disease from ingesting baby formula tainted with melamine, a pesticide, China sought an abrupt and decisive end to a national embarrassment and has since taken steps to improve food safety; via BusinessWeek.

Initially China encouraged citizens to breast feed in order to avoid tainted formula and the United States Food and Drug Administration urged consumers not to buy Chinese-made baby formula. And recently research discovered exposure to melamine can cause painful kidney stones.

In 2007, the U.S. quarantined 6,000 hogs contaminated with melamine and cyanuric acid, an ingredient in bleach and herbicides.

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Melamine Linked to Kidney Stones

Chinese milk products tainted with melamine, a chemical used in making plastic, ignited a frenzy this fall, sickening thousands of children and contaminating foods like green beans, candy and baby formula. And now, a new study in International Journal of Clinical Chemistry and Diagnostic Laboratory Medicine claims melamine exposure alone is enough to cause kidney stones and the greater the exposure, the larger the stones. Scientists compared various urine samples from children who consumed tainted milk; via Reuters.

The hubbub over melamine prompted the FDA to open an office in Beijing, China to sure up food safety regulation and imports to the United States.

Via The New York Times.