FSA survey shows date label confusion

A poll of adults in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland has revealed that half of them do not always check the use-by date on food before eating it.

Findings show that 44 percent view use-by dates as a useful guide and half of adults surveyed could not identify the correct definition for a use-by date. A use-by date relates to safety and can be found on meat and ready-to-eat salads. A “best-before” date is about quality and appears on frozen, dried and tinned foods.

Research also showed that 76 percent of adults have knowingly eaten food past the use-by date, with 37 percent cooking food for other people that is after this date. This rises to 43 percent of people aged 25 to 34 years old.

The online poll by Ipsos Mori was based on 2,132 respondents aged 16 to 75 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland between March 5 … Read more

Deaths in Dominican Republic linked to tainted alcohol

More than 25 people have died in the Dominican Republic after drinking adulterated alcohol, according to authorities.

The Ministry of Public Health reported 26 deaths and more than 80 people affected throughout the country. The agency called on the population to not drink illegally produced alcoholic beverages.

The outbreak of methanol poisoning began during the Easter holiday and has affected people in Distrito Nacional, Santo Domingo, Monseñor Nouel, Santiago and Puerto Plata.

Slightly more than half of those sick are men while a third fall in the 20 to 29 years old age group.

Ongoing investigation
Two possible sources have been identified; a homemade adulterated drink known as clerén and the other is a type of frozen cocktail. Clerén is an illegal alcoholic beverage without a health registration that is sold in bulk and consumed by poor people, because of its low cost.

Officials also believe some bottles of recognized … Read more

FDA announces ‘Closer to Zero’ plan to reduce toxic elements eaten by babies and young children

Janet Woodcock, the acting Commissioner of Food and Drugs, and Susan T. Mayne, director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) Thursday announced Closer to Zero, a new action plan for reducing exposure to toxic elements in foods commonly eaten by babies and young children to the lowest possible levels.

Their comments associated with the announcement included the following:

“Although the FDA’s testing shows that children are not at an immediate health risk from exposure to toxic elements at the levels found in foods, we are starting the plan’s work immediately, with both short- and long-term goals for achieving continued improvements in reducing levels of toxic elements in these foods over time.

“We recognize that Americans want zero toxic elements in the foods eaten by their babies and young children. In reality, because these elements occur in our air, water, and soil, there are limits to how … Read more

National hepatitis A outbreak mostly over in West, but continues in East

The national hepatitis A outbreak has not yet burned out. Since 2016, 35 states have reported 38,476 hepatitis A cases. Through April 2, 2021, 61 percent or 23,373 of the stricken have required hospitalization, and 365 have died.

The Division of Viral Hepatitis at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 2017 has actively assisted state and local health departments with hepatitis A cases. Nine states, mostly in the West, have declared their Hepatitis A outbreaks as over.

Person-to-person transmission of hepatitis A remains a problem in 26 states. Several groups continue to be more likely than others to become infected with hepatitis A. These include:

  • People who use drugs, injection, and non-injection.
  • Homeless people or those who are experiencing unstable housing.
  • Men who have sex with men. (MSM)
  • People in jail or recently incarcerated.
  • People with chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis, hepatitis B or C.

Hepatitis

Read more

Food Choice advances in Montana while New Hampshire may add raw milk products

That “Montana Local Food Choice Act” is out of committee in its second house, showing all the signs of a bill that will cross the finish line. The Montana Legislature plans to adjourn by April 28.

Senate Bill (SB) 199 passed the Montana Senate, 31-18, and has since cleared the House Human Services Committee. Any House amendments are due by April 16, so there is time for the Senate to consider them.

SB 199 is a “Food Freedom” measure to open more direct consumer purchases from producers. It is similar to the 2015 “Food Freedom” law adopted by the Wyoming Legislature.

Producers of raw milk, for example, would be permitted under SB 199 to sell directly to consumers without any licensing or inspection by any government.

SB 199 extends the state’s Cottage Foods law that Montana lawmakers passed in 2015. Small producers of raw milk, under the bill, would be … Read more