Tuesday, August 23, 2016

2 Farmers Warned For Drug-Tainted Meat

The US Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, last week made public the official warning letters sent to 2 dairy farmers whom the agency accuses of trying to sell meat tainted with drugs.

Wayment is accused of selling a cow found with penicillin many times higher than allowed.
Warning Letter to
O. Scott Wayment
In its letter to O. Scott Wayment of Ogden, Utah, the agency discloses that a multi-day inspection of the O. Scott Wayment Dairy uncovered numerous violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

The inspection was apparently prompted after Wayment sold for slaughter a dairy cow that was ultimately found to have far more penicillin in its kidney tissue than allowed by US guidelines. Tests performed by the USDA found 5.7 parts per million; the current maximum allowed is 0.05.

The inspection, which took place over several days in February and March turned up--in the agency's words--"conditions that are so inadequate" that animals that have been given medications not only could, but likely would be sold for food. Wayment's allegedly shoddy record keeping failed to identify the drug given to the cow and the dosage. The records also failed to note any timeframe for withholding milk produced by the animal.

Wayment is also accused of an unapproved, off-label use of the antibiotic.

Warning Letter to
Phillip Thompson 
Also sent a warning letter was Phillip Thompson of Union Bridge, Maryland. Thompson's dairy was also the target of an inspection that was apparently initiated after Thompson tried to sell a dairy cow with high levels of both an antibiotic and a pain killer in its kidney tissues.

According to tests done by the USDA, the tested tissues held 2.95 parts per million of ceftiofur and 0.16 parts per million of flunixin. The current legal limits for the antibiotic ceftiofur is 0.4; the limit for the painkiller flunixin is 0.125.

The inspection of the dairy also found "inadequate" holding conditions and dubious record keeping. Thompson, says the agency kept no records for which animals he sent to the auction yard and had in place no way to track his inventory of the drugs he used to treat his cows. Both drugs (and others) were found to have been used in an unapproved off-label manner.

Both farmers were given the standard 15 working days to correct the alleged violations or respond to the FDA's warning letter.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Rains Force Closure of AL Shellfish Waters

Oyster beds in AL are now closed due to potential bacterial contamination.
Health officials in Alabama announced last week they were closing all shellfish waters in Baldwin County in Mobile County.  This includes, they said in the official press release about the closures, Areas I, II, III, IV, V and VI.

The closure is being blamed on the recent rain falls that may have increased bacterial contamination in oyster beds in the area. Officials did not name the exact bacteria they fear.

There was no timetable given for when the oyster beds might be reopened.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Listeria Found AGAIN In Flying Food Facility

Listeria was found in a Flying Food Group facility in 2011. Now it's been found again.
Screengrab of Flying Food Group website
The US Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, has made public its December warning letter to Flying Food Group and its Harbor City general manager, Ieta Maiava. What it reveals is stomach churning.

The FDA inspected that particular facility in late April and mid May of 2015. As a result of that inspection FDA investigators determined that not only is the bacterium Listeria again present in the facility but that it's virtually identical to the Listeria found back in 2011.

Agents also observed multiple incidents that they say violate the FDA's Good Manufacturing Practice food regulations. Examples of those GMP violations include:

  • A crate of raw spinach, which was to be eaten raw, was found placed directly on the floor.
  • A "significant buildup of food debris" was found in a production area. (What exactly that production area was, was redacted from the letter.)
  • Tables used at the facility were designed in a way that, allegedly, made them difficult to clean.
The company was given the standard 15 working days to respond.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Florida Wants To See Your Healthy Valentine Treats

Screen grab of Florida Department
of Health's Facebook page
Health officials in Florida want to see your pictures of healthy Valentine's Day treats--and they're holding a contest to encourage you to post those pictures to social media.

In a press release announcing the contest, the agency explained that this event will be the first in a long line of interactive contests designed to help Floridians be healthier.

The contest, which began February 1, will run through February 15. Florida residents are encouraged to submit their own pictures of healthier Valentine's Day treats.

Participants will also be able to vote on their favorite submissions by "liking" their favorite posts.

It isn't just for fun, though. The winner, who will be announced February 22, will get a four-pack of day passes to local state parks.

If you're a Florida resident and would like to take part in the Valentine's Day photo contest you can find the complete list of rules here.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Garden of Life Recalls Raw Meal Products - Salmonella

People in a handful of states believe the contracted Salmonella poisoning from Garden of Life Raw Meal Shakes.
Image of recalled Garden of Life
shake product provided by the company.
Garden of Life has announced that it is recalling 4 flavors of its Raw Meal Organic Shake product because they could be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.

In its press release about the recall, Garden of Life says that no actual Salmonella has yet been found but discloses that the US Food and Drug Administration are investigating claims of illnesses linked to the products.

“In an overabundance of caution we are taking this extreme measure because we want to ensure that you never have to wonder about the purity of any Raw Meal product.” said company president, Brian Ray.

If you believe you might have any of the recalled shakes in your home, you'll want to check the product descriptions, lot numbers and expiration dates provided by the company. The products being recalled are:

  • RAW Organic Meal Tray; Lot  47214800; Expiration 9/12017 
  • RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size; Lot 47198800; Expiration 9/1/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Full Size; Lot 47214600; Expiration 9/1/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Full Size; Lot 47215500; Expiration 9/1/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Full Size; Lot 47215501; Expiration 9/1/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size; Lot 47216100; Expiration 9/1/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size; Lot 47225500; Expiration 9/1/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size, Lot 47225900; Expiration 9/1/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size, Lot 47249200; Expiration 9/1/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai 10 CNT Tray; Lot 47183201; Expiration 9/30/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size; Lot 47198601; Expiration 9/30/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Half Size; Lot 47206000; Expiration 9/30/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size; Lot 47225600; Expiration 9/30/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Half Size; Lot 47225800; Expiration 9/30/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Half Size; Lot 47226200; Expiration 9/30/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Half Size; Lot 47226400; Expiration 9/30/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Full Size; Lot 47236000; Expiration 9/30/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Vanilla 10 CNT Tray; Lot 47248000; Expiration 9/30/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Full Size; Lot 47248901; Expiration 9/30/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size; Lot 47253900; Expiration 9/30/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Half Size; Lot 47257401; Expiration 9/30/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size; 47226000; Expiration 10/1/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size; 47216200; Expiration 10/31/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size; Lot 47225601; Expiration 10/31/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size; Lot 47226100; Expiration 10/31/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Half Size; Lot 47226201; Expiration 10/31/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Full Size; Lot 47226300; Expiration 10/31/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Full Size; Lot 47246500; Expiration 10/31/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Full Size; Lot 47247600; Expiration 10/31/17 
  • RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Half Size; Lot 47247800; Expiration 10/31/17

Monday, February 1, 2016

Wegmans Confirms $200 Coupon Is Hoax

Screen shot of false social media post
promising $200 in Wegmans groceries.
Wegmans has officially confirmed that the coupon for $200 of free groceries is a hoax. The company also said that it is working with social media giant Facebook to remove stories about the bogus coupon.

The story, which is still findable as of 2:30 p.m. this afternoon, links to a scam website.

If the story pops up in your social media stream you are, of course urged not to click the link, share it your within your own social media circles or provide any information to the website.

As of yet, there is no word on exactly what maliciousness might be behind the false story.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Alabama Focuses on Johnny Ray's As Source Of Salmonella Outbreak

At least 4 confirmed cases of Salmonella are tentatively linked to Johnny Ray's in Pelham, AL.
Johnny Ray's Facebook page captured
January 11, 2016.
The Alabama Department of Public Health, or ADPH, announced Friday that it was looking into a Salmonella outbreak in Pelham, Alabama, and is turning its focus onto Johnny Ray's barbecue and burger joint.

In its press release about the outbreak, the agency explained that 4 salmonellosis patients have a meal at Johnny Ray's in common. Two of them have a matching, and rare, Enteritidis serotype.

Other possible cases of Salmonella poisoning are also being looked into.

On Friday, the restaurant was closed by emergency order. That order was apparently prompted by inspections that took place on at least 3 different occasions:

  • December 15, 205
  • December 22, 2015
  • January 6, 2015
What, if anything, was discovered in those inspections was not disclosed.

The owners of Johnny Ray's have not, as far as I can tell, commented on the ADPH investigation.