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John Bisnar
John Bisnar
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New Salmonella And Botulism Scare

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Salmonella in cantaloupes and botulism in baby food.

The scare of tainted food continued in a more widespread way Saturday with the recall of fresh cantaloupe and selected jars of organic baby food manufactured by Dole Fresh Fruit Co.

The company recalled thousands of cartons of imported cantaloupes after the fruit tested positive for salmonella, the same type of bacteria involved in the nationwide peanut butter recall earlier this week, according to the Healthday Web site (www.healthday.com).

Dole officials said Friday that they are recalling about 6,104 cartons of Costa Rican cantaloupes distributed to wholesalers in eastern United States and Quebec between Feb. 5 and Feb. 8, according to an Associated Press new report. There have been no known reports of illnesses as a result of this contamination.

On Wednesday, ConAgra Food Inc. recalled its Peter Pan peanut butter as well as several jars of Wal-Mart’s Great Value peanut butter after those brands became linked to a salmonella outbreak that has sickened 300 people across 39 states.

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday also warned consumers not to use certain jars of Earth’s Best Organic 2 Apple Peach Barley Wholesome Breakfast baby food because they may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism, which is a bacterial illness that can become fatal.

According to the FDA (www.fda.gov), the Hain Celestial Group of Melville, N.Y., initiated a recall on Feb. 9 of 4,072 cases of individual jars and 38,298 variety packs. The company has temporarily suspended production and distribution of the baby food to help identify and deal with the source of the problem.

For more information about all these contaminated products and recalls, visit FDA’s Web site. The Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) also has some useful information about these specific problems as well as general information about food-borne illnesses.

But here’s one question that bothers me to no end – what the heck is going on with the country’s food production and distribution? Since the E.Coli outbreak with the leafy greens early this year, it’s been one outbreak after another.

To me, this is just a symptom of the inefficacy of our food safety standards and a lack of supervision and enforcement on the part of the government agencies involved – right from the federal agencies down to our local school district. Food safety just doesn’t seem to be a priority any more. Why not?

At Bisnar|Chase we counsel and represent people who have suffered food-borne illnesses. Contact us for a free consultation.