24 August, 2010

Spotlight News of the Week

Massive egg recall in the US due concerns over Salmonella enteritidis contamination:
On August 18, the FDA announced a recall of eggs from Wright County Egg over concerns about Salmonella enteritidis contamination. On August 20, the FDA expanded the recall to include eggs from Hillandale Farms in Iowa. The recall now includes about 550 million eggs. Although that’s a lot of eggs, it’s actually a small portion of the 80 billion eggs sold each year.

Salmonella enteritidis most often causes diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. It can be serious in children, the elderly, and immunocompromised. Although the CDC does not know exactly how many people were sickened by these eggs, they do know almost 2000 cases have been reported recently, compared to 700 in the same period lat year. The recalled eggs may be responsible for most of the observed increase in cases.

Both farms are linked to Austin "Jack" DeCoster, whose egg operations have been cited for numerous safety and health violations in the past. From an interview with a Cornell University food safety expert at Cornell University, one article reported the source of the outbreak could be rodents, shipments of contaminated hens, or tainted feed. He further explained in the piece, “Both plants could have a rodent problem, or both plants could have gotten hens that were already infected, or feed that was contaminated.”

To tell if your eggs that have been recalled, you can check the FDA website.

Additional news highlights:

2009 figures available for notifiable diseases:
Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a scary sounding disease is really rare or somewhat common. The CDC collects information on notifiable diseases, and they have released the totals for 2009. Check out their web site to see disease information by region or state. For example, Florida has had 4 deaths due to Eastern Equine Encephalitis so far this year, and Michigan just reported its third case. Looking at the CDC’s numbers you can see that the entire country only had 4 cases for all of last year.

Second wave of death in the aftermath of Pakistan flood:
As rain continues to fall on an already ravaged Pakistan and official death count continues to rise, UN officials now warn of a “second wave of death” from water-borne diseases. The country’s water source has been badly contaminated by the flooding and in the absence of clean water, victims, especially children, are at increased risk of contracting water-borne illnesses such as cholera, diarrhea, and dysentery. Reports have already come in detailing deaths due to diarrheal diseases, not to mention the countless case reports of acute respiratory infection and skin diseases. WHO estimates that 3.5 million children are at risk of diseases and projects that up to 1.5 million cases of diarrheal disease could occur over the next 3 months.

No comments:

Post a Comment