food contamination -

Tips on Avoiding Foodborne Illness During Tailgating Season

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on September 10, 2012

It’s finally here, the moment that people from across the entire country have been waiting for:  football season is upon us!  This weekend saw the NFL kick into gear with a number of high-quality games, and the NCAA season is already a couple weeks old.  The onslaught of football also brings a tradition just as important as the game itself:  tailgating.  But even though tailgating can be a great way to prepare for your team’s upcoming game, it’s important to take a few precautions so as to preserve safety.  A new report offers tips on making sure your game day is enjoyable and safe from foodborne illness.

Foodborne illness is a real threat whenever raw meats are being cooked, but the threat becomes especially dangerous while tailgating, as corners tend to be cut in such situations.  Don’t make that mistake.  You should always use a meat thermometer to make sure that your meat is cooked properly, especially if you’re using a grill that you’re not overly familiar with.  165 degrees is a good rule of thumb for chicken, while a slightly lower temperature is tolerable for ground beef.

One of the easiest ways to prevent foodborne illness is by keeping your various food components separated from one another.  The marinade you use to soak raw meat in should not be the same marinade you coat the meat with as you cook.  Separate the two into separate containers.  The same goes for everything else.  Raw meat should be packed separately from drinks and ready-made dishes like pasta salad.  The utensils you use should also be separated into two categories:  those you use to handle raw meat, and those designed for the finished product.

Proper sanitation should be a necessary step for any meal, yet many people neglect to properly wash their hands while tailgating.  Bring a hand sanitizer along to disinfect your hands after you’ve handled raw meat.  Dishes should also be quarantined in a plastic bag once raw meat has been removed; that way, you won’t mistakenly use that same dish and get both the meat and your hands potentially contaminated.

Finally, a few measures can be taken to promote safety once the cooking has actually been completed.  Food shouldn’t be left out for longer than a couple hours, as that’s all it would take for bacteria to settle in.  Even an hour isn’t advisable on swelteringly hot days.  Perishable foods should be refrigerated up until they’re ready to be consumed.  You should also set up a garbage station away from the food.

Enjoy the game!

FDA’s second annual Reportable Food Registry review released

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 20, 2012

The second annual edition of the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Reportable Food Registry review was released recently. The Reportable Food Registry is a program requiring food manufacturers and distributors producing or importing food in the United States to report any potentially harmful food products currently being sold in the country. The review lists more than 880 reports of potentially dangerous food products being sold for human or animal consumption, including nearly 230 primary reports concerning specific products. This number is significantly reduced from the previous year’s registry review results. In the inaugural year of the program, 2,240 reports were filed, but the number of primary reports remained consistent. The large difference between the years can be attributed to the larger number of secondary reports the FDA received during the first year of the Reportable Food Registry program. Amended reports became more common in the second year, however, with nearly 175 reports needing correction after they’d been released, as compared with about 140 reports in the program’s first year. According to the registry review, the FDA has become more efficient in handling complaints and announcing food recalls since the Reportable Food Registry program was launched.

As a Ventura personal injury attorney, I hope this program will make consumers safer from potentially contaminated food products. If you or someone you care for has been harmed or made ill by a recalled product, please consider contacting a personal injury lawyer in Long Beach.

Seafood Listeria Risks Prompt FDA to Shut Down Yamaya USA

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 11, 2012

Another company is having its production shut down due to widespread safety issues that contributed to the contamination of their products.

This time, the firm in question is Yamaya USA, a Torrance-based importer and producer of a variety of fish items.  That company has entered into what’s known as a consent decree with the Food and Drug Administration.  The Justice Department has filed a complaint for permanent injunction on the FDA’s behalf, and under the terms of the new decree, Yamaya has to correct numerous safety violations before they can resume production of seafood at their facility.

Among the company’s alleged violations are a failure to follow the FDA’s current good manufacturing practice, a failure to comply with seafood hazard analysis critical control points regulations, and continued preparation of seafood in an environment that promotes the contamination of listeria monocytogenes.  This can contribute to listeriosis, which is a hazard to newborns, pregnant women, and persons with weakened immune systems.

Before Yamaya can ramp work up again, they must destroy their current food cache, clean the facility until it is no longer contaminated with listeria, hire a food safety expert to put in place prevention plans, and hire an independent party to conduct tests over the next five years.

Considering how dangerous a contamination is, I would think as a personal injury lawyer in Riverside that firms would take the threat more seriously.  I hope for the company’s sake that they can address the problems quickly, and as a San Diego personal injury attorney, I hope for the consumer’s sake that any food they eat is safe.

Portland Shellfish Shut Down by FDA For Safety Breaches

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 11, 2012

Another plant is being shut down by the Food and Drug Administration until they can correct numerous safety flaws.

This time, the factory in question is a seafood processing plant in Portland, Maine.  The aptly named Portland Shellfish company based out of that city was shut down by the FDA because the company has exhibited a number of violations of various safety and health regulations and laws at the federal level.

The company will not be able to reopen for business until they demonstrate to the FDA that they have addressed their concerns.  Doing so would entail the safety procedures and plans in place being updated to ensure that their seafood is fit for consumption.

The letter that the FDA sent to the company points to how, in February, a shrimp conveyor belt tested positive for the bacteria known as listeria, which can cause listeriosis.

In addition to the plant shutdown, Portland is required to recall and destroy an estimated $25,000 in shrimp and lobster.  The president of the company believes the FDA is going too far with its punishment.

This isn’t the first time a shutdown of Portland Shellfish has happened.  A similar production halt was administered by the FDA in January 2011.

As a personal injury lawyer in San Bernardino, I’m still shocked by how many companies fail to follow important safety procedures.  It’s my hope that this company gets its safety issues worked out, and I hope as a Ventura personal injury attorney that no one suffers an illness due to this or any other contamination.

FDA Halts Del Bueno Cheese Production Until Issues Addressed

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 9, 2012

A Washington manufacturer that fell afoul of the Food and Drug Administration has agreed to keep its products away from consumers until the items can be proven safe again.

Beginning in 2009, the Washington State Department of Agriculture and the FDA uncovered a wide variety of sanitary issues at a processing facility run by Del Bueno, a cheese manufacturer.  Following these discoveries, a number of their products then tested positive for listeria monocytogenes in 2010.  This can cause listeriosis, which can bring about infections, fever, and diarrhea, and is particularly dangerous to pregnant women, the elderly, and young people.

Now, Del Bueno has entered into what’s called a consent decree of permanent injunction with the FDA.  The company must now create a program dedicated to combating listeria contamination and prove that it has worked.  This includes destroying all items currently in their facility, getting samples tested by an independent lab, and having an independent sanitation expert on hand.  Only by following these directives and submitting to a future recall should the need arise can the entity resume business as usual.

The products produced and distributed by Del Bueno were available at restaurants and retail outlets throughout the state of Washington.

It’s sad that a company has to shut its doors, but as a Riverside personal injury attorney, I think it’s better that an issue gets corrected than commerce win out over safety. It’s my hope as a San Jose personal injury lawyer that the contamination becomes nonexistent and the consumer can remain safe.

Water Contact Prompts Recall of Planters Cocktail Peanuts

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 6, 2012

Sometimes product recalls can become just plain nutty.

Today, Kraft Foods has announced a recall of 3,000 cases of Planters Cocktail Peanuts.  The affected items were available in 12 ounce containers and had a UPC of 2900007212.  The date on the bottom of the package should read January 9, 2014.

These items were available in retail outlets all across the country, as well as Puerto Rico.  They were not sold in Canada.

The reason for the recall has to due with the peanuts’ exposure to water.  Apparently, this water was not supposed to come into contact with food during the production process.

There’s no word on what an illness or exposure to this water would entail in terms of a negative reaction in the consumer.  Kraft Foods has said that the recall is simply a precautionary measure, as they have not received any reports of illness in conjunction with this particular product.

Consumers are being advised to immediately discontinue consumption of the peanuts.  Kraft has expressed that persons can bring them back for a complete refund at the place they were obtained.  They may also trade it in for another product.

I’m glad as a Bakersfield personal injury attorney to see a company be proactive with a safety recall.  The old adage is true:  it’s better to be safe than sorry.  This is a credo I like to spout whenever I get the chance as a personal injury lawyer in San Jose.

FDA bans fewer OJ shipments for illegal fungicide

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 6, 2012

The presence of carbendazim, a fungicide prohibited by American health regulations, has prompted the United States Food and Drug Administration to prevent just three additional shipments of imported orange juice within the past month.

In total the FDA has prevented 30 orange juice shipments from being imported into the United States since the government health regulator began its testing program at the beginning of this year, according to a recent FDA press release. That number includes two shipments from Costa Rica; 14 shipments from Brazil; 12 shipments from Canada, which utilizes Brazilian juice in its orange juice products; and one shipment apiece from Poland and the Dominican Republic.

The recent reduction in product banning would suggest that foreign exporters have begun testing orange juice product shipments for traces of carbendazim and sending these shiments to locations that allow the fungicide if they test positive for residues greater than the ten parts per billion ratio allowed by the FDA standard. The FDA began testing for the presence of carbendazim when Minute Maid and Tropicana, the two highest selling orange juice brand names in the United States, informed the agency they had detected small quantities of carbendazim in their products.

As a Fresno personal injury attorney, I am hopeful that the FDA’s new stricter testing policy will help to prevent any consumer illness that might result from the presence of an illegal fungicide in American food products. If you or someone you care about has been made ill by improperly manufactured food products, please consider contacting a Bakersfield personal injury attorney.

Mansfield ShopRite Recalls Ground Beef That Contains Plastic

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on March 7, 2012

With all the national recalls that get announced on a regular basis, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that local recalls can affect consumers as well.

Mansfield, New Jersey, is the site of one such local recall.  Specifically, the ShopRite in that area has announced a recall of all ground beef products made in the store and put on sale yesterday, including store-processed meatloaf mix.  If the meat item purchased does not contain ground beef, then it is okay, but all ground beef products could be hazardous.  The issue is that the ground beef might have tiny pieces of plastic within.

Purchasers have been advised to check the labels for date of sale and to determine if their item contains ground beef.  They can then return it to the ShopRite to receive a replacement item or a full refund.

In the mean time, ShopRite is utilizing their Price Plus Club system to inform loyalty members of the recall if they’ve purchased the item.  So far, there have been no reports of injuries or complaints in conjunction with this recall.

As a personal injury attorney in San Bernardino, I’m glad to see this shopping market be proactive and try to stop any problems before they can happen.  I think many companies could take a page out of their playbook.  Too often as a Bakersfield personal injury attorney I’ve seen dozens or hundreds of incidents get reported before a recall occurs.

Canadian Milk Product Recalled Due to Cleaning Solution Contaminent

By PSB Admin on January 27, 2012

Food and cleaning solutions do not mix.

This combination can be deadly if not corrected, and today Montreal-based Saputo has announced a recall of a milk product sold in Ontario and Aylmer, Quebec, because the product in question may be contaminated with a cleaning solution.

The recalled item is called Neilson Trutaste two percent Microfiltered Partly Skimmed Milk.  It comes in four liter bags and bears the UPC code 066800 00404 4.  The best-by date on the tab reads February 12.

Even though the milk in question may smell normal and look normal, drinking it is another matter.  Ingesting the product may lead to an upset stomach, nausea, or vomiting.  The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has already reported one incident of a negative reaction to the item, and they are continuing to monitor the situation.

As a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles, I understand how vital a recall can be to food safety.  When you go shopping for products for your family to share around the dinner table, they need to meet a certain safety standard.  That standard doesn’t involve cleaning products intermingled with food or drink, obviously.  As a Los Angeles personal injury attorney, I’m glad to see this recall take place before more people could be affected.

Anytime Sandwiches Recalled Due To Listeria Risk

By PSB Admin on January 27, 2012

I have another recall to report to you this morning, this one involving a possible contamination of a food product, which makes it an especial cause for concern.

According to reports, the M.E. Thompson Company of Jacksonville, FL., has announced a recall of a sandwich product called Anytime Deli Turkey and Ham Sub Footlong Sandwiches.  The affected items have an expiration date between January 19 and January 22, so really, if you have the item in your possession, you probably shouldn’t be eating it at this point anyway.  The recalled sandwiches were shipped to convenience stores in Florida and Southern Georgia on January 2 and 3.  White butcher wrap distinguishes the product.

A sampling from the Florida Department of Agriculture showed that the sandwiches could be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes.  Listeria can cause serious, at times fatal infections to elderly people, children, or anyone with a weak immune system.  No illnesses have been reported at this time.

As a San Diego personal injury lawyer, I’m very concerned about food safety.  When you eat a product, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting ill because of said product.  Since I’m a personal injury lawyer in San Diego, I think it’s great to see recalls get issued before someone becomes unnecessarily ill or worse.

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