Company Who Recalled Bad Beef Was Warned Before!

Last week, a meat processor recalled over 800,000 pounds of beef due to salmonella. And now, a new report accuses the company of dragging unconscious cattle, which can raise cows' risk of contracting E. coli and salmonella.

Records show the company was also slapped with an animal handling citation last year after US Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspectors found workers at the Fresno plant were using electric prods to cajole cattle through a narrow chute prior to slaughter. The visit, carried out in March 2008, followed in the wake of the biggest beef recall in US history that was linked to a separate Californian slaughter facility.

The company, a subsidiary of Cargill, was admonished after three cows were stunned when they refused to move “so that they could be pulled through the restrainer to be shackled, hung and bled," said the USDA report.

Under USDA regulations, use of a cattle prod is considered humane when used properly on walking animals. It is understood that dragging unconscious cattle could increase the risk of animals contracting salmonella and E.coli as cow hides can pick up bacteria from feces than can collect around the chute.

This shouldn’t surprise you. Food producers cut corners all the time. That peanut butter scare in January, turns out the guilty company had been scolded for mildew before the recall.

Via Food Production Daily.

Image credit: jcarwash1

Recalled Ground Beef Linked to Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella

Aren’t you glad you don’t eat hamburgers? Yesterday, US Department of Agriculture issued a warning that more than 800,000 pounds of beef products from a California producer have been recalled due to an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant salmonella.

The US authorities said it had raised the alarm after being contacted by Colorado health officials about an ongoing investigation into an outbreak of Salmonella Newport.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) announced last week that it was involved in a nationwide investigation with the USDA and other state authorities to investigate cases of salmonella infections that were “resistant to several commonly used antibiotics”.

While reports of illnesses have come from nine states, the majority of those affected were in Colorado – with ground beef pin-pointed as the most likely cause for the 21 people sickened in the state, said the CDPHE.

Whoa! That’s a pretty big recall. The last big one was the 400,000 pounds recalled for E. coli contamination. I wonder what they do with it all. Maybe that's how you make hotdogs.

Via Food Production Daily.

Image credit: bluemoose

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.

Image credit: CookingOnTheSide.com

Rocking Out to Food Safety!

Food safety is a serious matter. Between salmonella and E. coli, we’ve got our hands full, but that doesn’t mean we can’t rock and roll! Check out Salmonella and the Pathogens belting out a silly version of "Heartache Tonight” by The Eagles:

 

 

I’m an Eagles fan, so my heart is with the original, but food music is pretty popular nowadays. For example, this funny looking guy can make wind instruments out of carrots, asparagus and broccoli. Clearly, he has way too much time on his hands.

Via SeriousEats.

Image credit: foodsafetymusic

Flies and Chicken Poop Spreading Super Bugs!

New findings in the journal Science of the Total Environment claim flies flitting around chicken crap help spread drug-resistant superbugs. Test samples matched antibiotic-resistant bacteria on houseflies and poop found at intensive poultry-farming barns in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Flies spread all sorts of nastiness, such as cholera and salmonellosis. As many as 30,000 flies buzz in and out of poultry-houses every six weeks; Reuters reports.

In December, a study revealed trucks transporting chickens along highways leave behind a trail of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, setting up a health risk for people traveling these routes and individuals living nearby. Then last month Japanese researchers determined 20% of their poultry is contaminated with salmonella. Other countries only post 4% to 9%.

In the U.S. we eat sick or injured animals all the time. Warning! This video is graphic, but you’ll see how cattle ranchers and slaughterhouses feed us cows with infected tumors, chickens living in feces and pigs pumped with antibiotics. No, no human health risks there!

Via ChooseVeg.com.

Image credit: roblisameehan

Health-Points: Friday 3.6.09

  • More gross news from the infamous peanut plant responsible for the deadly salmonella outbreak stemming from contaminated peanut butter, investigators claim dead mice and rodent droppings were found throughout a Texas plant run by the company; from Reuters.

Image credit: pivellone

Health-Points: Friday 2.20.09

  • At 66 years old rock and roll immortal, Sir Paul McCartney, isn’t slowing down. In fact, the newly named Fireman does Yoga six times a day. He does eye Yoga, something he picked up during a recent trip to India. It involves various eye movements to keep the eye muscles strong; from Healthy Hollywood.

Image credit: The Herald Sun

Yuck! Bugs in the Tomato Juice?

Salmonella in peanut butter is gross! But there’s something much creeper lurking in our food. The FDA calls them “natural contaminants” and they’re found in everything from curry, tomato paste, mushrooms and beer, stuff like bug eggs, mites, parasites, sand, grit and even rodent hair. A can of mushrooms may contain more than 20 maggots per 100 grams, curry is allowed 100 or more bug pieces per 25 grams and an 18-ounce jar of peanut butter can have roughly 125 milligrams of grit or 5 rodent hairs; The New York Times reports.

Good excuse to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Just be sure to wash them. Pesticide residue can ruin your day, i.e. boosting cancer-risk. Raw milk is another gross food too. To date, 26 states prohibit the sale of raw milk for human consumption. Cows’ stomachs host a variety of nasty buggers, like salmonella, E. coli and listeria. All can kill you.

Yucky, I just puked in my mouth a little. The bug remnants thing reminds me of the FDA’s crackdown on using crushed beetles to make foods red and purple.

Image credit: joka2000

Japan's Chickens 20% Salmonella

Amid a salmonella-peanut butter outbreak in the United States, this news from Japan, upcoming research found one-fifth of minced chicken from Japan was contaminated with salmonella. The analysis, conducted by a professor of veterinary microbiology at Tenshi College in Sapporo, Japan, examined 820 samples of chicken with a confirmed place of origin and determined 163 were tainted with salmonella. Japan’s 20% is very high, compared to the 4% to 9% uncovered during similar testing in Britain, Italy and Spain; The Asahi Shimbun reports.

Perhaps worse, right here in the U.S. a previous study revealed poultry trucks rumbling down the road leave behind a trail antibiotic-resistant bacteria, specifically Enterococcus, which is harmful to people’s health and puts residents living alongside roads traveled by chicken trucks at risk.

Oh man, all this talk about poultry trucks and salmonella is rekindling my fear of melamine milk and E. coli spinach. Eek!

Via TreeHugger.

Image credit: hddod

Health-Points: Wednesday 2.4.09

  • Investigators reveal the chopped peanuts, imported to the Blakely, Georgia plant, responsible for the salmonella-peanut butter outbreak contained a putrid substance later identified as metal fragments. And officials claim the FDA failed to adequately analyze the adulterated peanuts; from the Associated Press.
  • Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, is imploring America’s food processors to willingly cut sodium in foods by 25% over the next 10 years or NYC will impose laws on salt similar to those on smoking and calorie-content; via The New York Times.
  • Speaking of New York City, a bakery in Greenwich Village started selling racist cookies in honor of our new president called “drunken negro head” cookies, igniting a firestorm of angry customers. The dope who knows the place said he is not racist, it’s all for fun and the cookies are art; from the Gothamist.

Image credit: teresia