Food in the News

Just in Time for New Year’s Eve, Getting High Makes Headlines

liquorWhat and how much can you drink and still be a safe driver?  Is holiday drinking good or bad for your health? Should designated drivers eschew alcohol and drink energy drinks instead for a feel-good New Year’s Eve?   Researchers have some answers to these important questions.

Don't Eat These Specialty Meats!

specialty meats recall

SECOND UPDATE on Yauk Specialty Meats Recall, December 16:

Yauk’s Specialty Meats is expanding its recall to include an additional products produced under insanitary conditions, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The products being recalled now are in addition to the various meat and poultry products that were recalled on Dec. 9 and Dec. 12, 2013.


The products subject to this expansion of the recall can be identified by the establishment number “Est. 20309” inside the USDA Mark of Inspection and include these brands:



  • “Corner Post Meats” hams and bacon
  • “Old Style Sausage” Smoked Andouille Sausage
  • “Old Style Sausage” Smoked Kielbasa Sausage



UPDATE on Yauk Recall: December 12

Yauk’s Specialty Meats, a Windsor, Colorado establishment, is expanding its recall to include an undetermined amount of various meat and poultry products that were produced under unsanitary conditions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The products being recalled are in addition to the approximately 90,000 pounds of various meat and poultry products that were recalled on Dec. 9, 2013.


Products subject to this recall expansion bear the establishment number “Est. 20309” or “P-20309” inside the USDA Mark of Inspection.  To see the list of brand names involved in this recall, click on the link listed under "sources" below.

Ready-to-Eat Chicken Salad and Wraps Recalled

food recallIt's another large recall with a resulting foodborne illness outbreak. On November 10,  Glass Onion Catering, a Richmond, California company recalled 181,620 pounds of ready-to-eat salads and sandwich wraps (with fully-cooked chicken and ham) that may be contaminated with the bacteria E. coli O157:H7, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced.


FSIS said that it is uncommon to find E. coli 0157:H7 in poultry products. Since this is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause serious illness, FSIS is advising anyone who has the possibly contaminated product to discard it. 

Recent Recalls on Ready-to-Eat Products, Turmeric Spice Powder, Organic Cheese, and Ground Beef

food recall

Oct. 26: Secondary Recall on Reser's Fine Foods

Reser's Fine Foods, Inc. initiated a recall of select products on October 22, 2013 due to the potential of selected products being contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. On October 26, 2013, Reser's expanded its initial recall to cover a broader group of products.  n response to the expanded recall, Taylor Farms Florida, Inc. ("TFFL"); Taylor Farms Illinois, Inc. ("TFIL"); Taylor Farms Maryland, Inc. ("TFMD"); Taylor Farms Texas, Inc. ("TFTX"); and Taylor Farms Tennessee, Inc. ("TFTN") are voluntarily issuing a secondary recall on a limited number of deli products that contain components implicated in Reser's expanded recall.  To see the new list, click here.

Update on Reser's Fine Foods recall (Oct. 26, 2013):

For the latest list of products involved in this recall, click here. 


Recalls are actions taken to remove products from the market because they are a health risk. Recalls may be issued on a firm's own initiative, by government request, or by a government order under statutory authority.  Among the batch of recent recalls, one is a whopper--involving more than 100,000 pounds of product.  Another recall was due to the discovery of high levels of lead in a spice.  If any of the following recalled products are currently in your kitchen, discard the item or return it to the place of purchase for a refund.

Major Salmonella Outbreak Traced to Chicken

raw chicken

Update on Foster Farm Tainted Chicken Outbreak,  10/14/13


The number of foodborne illnesses has now climbed to 320 people in 20 states. 


On October 12, the USDA announced the first recall related to this product.  Costco's El Camino Real store in  South San Francisco has withdrawn 9, 043 units (about 39, 755 lbs.) of rotisserie chicken products because the may be contaminated with a strain of Salmonella Heidelberg.  The specific products subjected to this recall are the following:

The Shutdown: How Government Furloughs Could Affect Our Food

people eatingIt's often quoted as "a pox on both your houses," but, to be precise, in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the dying Mercutio said, "A plague o' both your houses."  Either way, the curse seems a natural response to the government shutdown caused primarily by the two houses of Congress.  If you also partially blame Obama, you need to add a third house, the White House.  Whomever you want to blame, if the partial shutdown drags on and on, it's likely to have a partial adverse effect upon our food supply.


Even if there is a temporary compromise on the budget, when we get to the question of raising the debt ceiling in a few weeks, we could be facing another government shutdown. These threats to our food supply and health are receiving much media attention.  Let's investigate the specifics.

All about Snacking

apple and bananaDo Americans snack a lot? How much? Which is better--to limit oneself to 3 square meals a day or to snack?  What are some common mistakes Americans make when choosing snacks?  This article will provide answers to these questions, and some of the answers may surprise you.

Contamination of Oysters, Fish, and Spices

oystersClimate change may be sickening our oysters.  Industrial pollution in Asia may be contaminating our seafood.  The pepper shaker on your table may be harboring salmonella.  What follows supplies the details and suggests how you should respond.

Chobani Greek Yogurt Recalled!

food recall

Update on Chobani yogurt recall:  September 10, 2013

It seems that we have another foodborne illness mystery on our hands.  There have been 89 complaints of illness from consumers who consumed Chobani's recalled yogurt.  However, the mold (Mucor circinelloides) that Chobani detected in the yogurt is one that's not generally considered a foodborne pathogen. Supposedly, it can cause spoilage (a bad taste, runny texture, etc.) but usually not the symptoms--cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting--that some consumers are reporting.


However, Chobani and an independent food scientist agree that the moldy product might cause someone with a compromised immune system to become ill.  And perhaps there is another culprit in Chobani's yogurt that has yet to be discovered.  According to the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, the FDA is discussing quality control and food safety checks with Chobani.

What's New? Flavor-Enhanced Produce; Just-Add-Water Beer; Liquidglide Bottle Coating

berriesHow can we make healthful food taste better?  How can we lighten the weight of take-along beer?  And how can we effortlessly get ketchup out of a bottle?  The answers have already been invented. Let's start with light waves on produce because we think the idea is truly brilliant (excuse the pun).


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