Category Archives: Food

Sabra Warning About Potential Of Listeria In Hummus

Sabra Dipping Company  warns of hummus products potentially contaminated with listeria.    Click here for the list of items and recall information.

We found some good information on the Medical News Today site about listeria and an article on listeria treatment, prevention and research:

Fast facts on listeriosis:  Here are some key points about listeriosis. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.

  • Listeriosis is an infection caused by Listeria monocytogenes
  • An estimated 260 Americans die of listeriosis yearly
  • Roughly 20-30% of listeriosis infections are fatal
  • Initial listeriosis symptoms are similar to those caused by flu
  • Only immunosuppressed individuals and pregnant women are at risk of a serious case of listeriosis
  • Listeriosis can lead to septicemia or meningitis
  • Pregnant women are 20 times more likely to be infected with Listeria than the general population
  • Listeria monocytogenes can survive in a wide range of environmental conditions
  • Listeriosis is very difficult to treat.

Here are additional  links for more information:

China Test Water Supplies And The Results Are Stifling

Compliments of NY Times 

More than 80 percent of the water from underground wells used by farms, factories and households across the heavily populated plains of China is unfit for drinking or bathing because of contamination from industry and farming, according to new statisticsthat were reported by Chinese media on Monday, raising new alarm about pollution in the world’s most populous country.

After years of focus on China’s hazy skies as a measure of environmental blight, the new data from 2,103 underground wells struck a nerve among Chinese citizens who have become increasingly sensitive about health threats from pollution. Most Chinese cities draw on deep reservoirs that were not part of this study, but many villages and small towns in the countryside depend on the shallower wells of the kind that were tested for the report.

“From my point of view, this shows how water is the biggest environmental issue in China,” said Dabo Guan, a professor at the University of East Anglia in Britain who has been studying water pollution and scarcity in China.

“People in the cities, they see air pollution every day, so it creates huge pressure from the public. But in the cities, people don’t see how bad the water pollution is,” Professor Guan said. “They don’t have the same sense.”

The latest statistics are far from the first about the damage done to China’s underground water reservoirs and basins by runoff from farming and industry. Still, the numbers, which were issued recently but given extensive coverage by the Chinese news media only on Monday, revived concern.

“Does China have any clean underground water?” asked an online commentary by National Business Daily, which had earlier brought widespread notice to the data. “The recently published truth is alarming.”

Exactly how much of the alarm was justified was unclear.

Ma Jun, an environmentalist who is a director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs in Beijing, noted that the survey measured water sources relatively close to the surface, and that many cities get their water from reservoirs that are hundreds or even thousands of feet deeper.

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Internal Email: Michigan ‘Blowing Off’ Flint Over Lead in Water

Compliments of NBC 

Six months before Michigan’s governor declared a state of emergency over high lead levels in the water in Flint, his top aide wrote in an email that worried residents were “basically getting blown off by us.”

“I’m frustrated by the water issue in Flint,” Dennis Muchmore, then chief of staff to Gov. Rick Snyder, wrote in the email to a top health department staffer obtained by NBC News.

“I really don’t think people are getting the benefit of the doubt. Now they are concerned and rightfully so about the lead level studies they are receiving,” Muchmore said.

“These folks are scared and worried about the health impacts and they are basically getting blown off by us (as a state we’re just not sympathizing with their plight).”

The problem began in April 2014 when Flint switched from Detroit’s water supply to save money and began using water from the Flint River, which has a high salt content.

That corroded the pipes it flowed through and lead from those pipes — which had been undisturbed by Detroit’s less corrosive water — leached into the system.

Marc Edwards, a professor at Virginia Tech who has been testing Flint water, says treatment could have corrected much of the problem early on — for as little as $100 a day — but officials in the city of 100,000 people didn’t take action.

“There is no question that if the city had followed the minimum requirements under federal law that none of this would have happened,” said Edwards, who obtained the Muchmore email through a Michigan Freedom of Information Act request.

Even after tests in February 2015 showed alarming levels of lead in a Flint home, officials publicly assured residents there was no threat.

Pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha didn’t buy it. She began an independent study and discovered that lead levels in children had doubled or even tripled since the city switched its water supply.

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