Experts Offer Advice On Bagged Versus Bulk Food Safety

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Convenience may be outweighed by safety when it comes to pre-packaged produce.

Although experts disagree on which is better there is some good advice to help avoid contamination and food poisoning:

Bruhn is also a staunch advocate of irradiation, which she says can ensure food safety.
She encourages consumers to take steps to avoid compromising bagged lettuce. Buy only bags kept very cold in the grocery store and pay attention to sell-by dates. Once you’ve got it home, open the bag and dump it directly into a clean bowl.
“Don’t stick your own hands in there,” she said.
She also urges home cooks not to re-wash bagged greens because of the possibility of cross-contamination with other bacteria already in the kitchen.
If you want to use bulk lettuce, make sure to clean it correctly, Bruhn said. First, wash your hands and also the sink with hot soapy water.
Then, break off each lettuce leaf individually, rinse it under cold running water while rubbing gently. Dry in a salad spinner or with paper towels, not with cloth towels, which may transmit bacteria.

103 Ill From Mango Salmonella Poisoning

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The CDC has alerted the public to an outbreak of salmonella poisoning from mangoes which has sickened 103 people in the United States, mostly in California, including 22 people in Canada.

Salmonella poisoning can cause mild illness in otherwise healthy people 12 to 72 hours after infection.

Symptoms include fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramping.

In those individuals with a weakened immune system salmonella can cause severe illness requiring hospitalization.

Once a specific source is identified, CDC said public health officials will offer advice and take steps to prevent illness.
However, CDC officials did confirm that the genetic fingerprint of the salmonella strain was identical to that found in the recalled mangoes that made people sick in Canada, which were identified as Daniella brand mangoes imported from Mexico.
A U.S. importer of those mangoes, Splendid Products of Burlingame, Calif., has voluntarily recalled nationwide shipments of Daniella mangoes with PLUs #4959, 3114, 4051, 4311 or 4584. Several U.S. grocery stores have pulled the fruit from their shelves, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday. They were sold at retail locations across the U.S. from July 12 to Aug. 29.

Cargill Recalls 30,000 Pounds Of Ground Beef Fearing Salmonella Contamination

According to a news release by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation is issuing an immediate recall of approximately 29,339 pounds of ground beef bases on concerns that it may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis.

The agency was made aware of the potential contamination during the course of an ongoing investigation of a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis involving 33 patients from seven states.

The recall includes 14 pound chub packages of “Grnd Beef Fine 85/15” and bears the establishment number “EST. 9400” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The meat was produced on May 25, 2012, and shipped to centers in Connecticut, Maine and New York for further distribution. The products are no longer available for purchase and the use-by date has passed, but the agency expressed concerns that the meat may still be present in consumers’ freezers.

According to a notification on the Cargill website, consumers with questions may review their ground beef recall information or call the company’s toll-free consumer relations line at 1-888-812-1646.

Proper handling is imperative when dealing with meat and meat products.

Food Safety Tips For Worry Free Memorial Day Celebrations!

Warm sunny skies, lazy weekends and friends and family around for celebrating good times could be a recipe for food poisoning as we prepare for summertime cookouts.

Meat on the grill, potato salads, seafood, dairy products and veggies are summer food staples that can become spoiled, cross-contaminated and rancid in the summer heat.

Safe handling, cleanliness, proper storage and proper temperature management are keys to safe celebrations.

48 million people in the U.S. will contract a foodborne illness this year and many of these cases will happen this summer.

Follow a few simple safe handling techniques to keep your family and friends safe and healthy.

Norovirus Spread In Re-Usable Grocery Bags

It is imperative to wash re-usable grocery bags.

There are actually a variety of bacteria and viruses, such as E-coli and salmonella, which can be spread through the use of grocery bags as they come in contact with so many bugs.

Raw meat, unwashed produce, and public surfaces in addition to the fact that many bags are made of fabrics which can harbor disease.

The simple solution is to wash and dry bags to eliminate any chance of contamination.

While the risk of contracting an illness from any particular reusable bag is low, Schaffner said, the Oregon study follows a 2010 paper by researchers at the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University that found large numbers of bacteria in reusable grocery bags, including 12 percent that were contaminated with E. coli.
When scientists stored the bags in the trunks of cars for two hours, the number of bacteria jumped 10-fold.

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