A Guide to Safe Reusable Grocery Bag Use

Environmental consciousness and municipal “bag taxes” are curtailing consumer use of new plastic and paper shopping bags in many areas of the US. Consumers, myself included, are getting better at remembering to “BYOB”—“Bring Your Own Bag”—to the marketplace. In my view, this paradigm shift in American shopping is positive from the perspective of resource conservation.


Cantaloupe Contamination: What Consumers Can Do to Help Reduce their Risk of Foodborne Illness

The evidence is mounting that cantaloupe food safety deserves increased attention from both producers and consumers.  Three recent contamination incidents support the need for new approaches.  First, an unidentified farm in southwestern Indiana is believed to be the source of Salmonella-contaminated cantaloupe that infected 141 people in 20 states between July 7 and August 4,


Risky Behavior: Eat Raw Cookie Dough? Just Say No!

As delicious as it may be, unbaked, commercial, prepackaged cookie dough can make you sick. That’s the conclusion of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigative study of a 2009 E. coliO157 outbreak in 30 states. Seventy-seven patients, mostly female and under the age of 19, contracted gastrointestinal illness between mid-March and early


Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Dog Food

At least fourteen people in nine states have been infected with Salmonella Infantis as a result of contact with contaminated dry dog food, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Although no deaths have been reported, five of the patients were hospitalized.  Those infected range in age from less


Rocky Ford Cantaloupe Growers Association Highlight Safety and Transparency

Spring cantaloupe planting is under way in Colorado, and following a tragic foodborne disease outbreak last year, growers are determined to regain consumer confidence. In 2011, over 30 people died and at least 146 were sickened during a Listeria outbreak traced to contaminated cantaloupe blog. Jensen Farms, the source of the Listeria outbreak, is located near


Drinking Water and Chlorine Odor

How would you describe your tap water? A rich bouquet of earthy flavors? Sulfurous with a hint of chlorine? Or simply divine? The aesthetic properties of your tap water depend upon your local natural water supply source, how your water is treated, and how it is delivered to you. In the case of private well


Thanksgiving: Keeping it Healthy for Everyone

Thanksgiving is almost here and across the country cooks are gearing up for one of the most spectacular feasts of the year. But as food preparations begin, is there enough focus on holiday food safety? Last year at this time the Water Quality & Health Council conducted a survey that found Americans are more concerned


Pet Products and Salmonella Contamination

It is part of the daily routine in millions of American homes: Feeding the family pet; tossing the puppy a treat during training; administering a prescribed pet supplement. Not quite as routine are recommended precautions to avoid serious foodborne illnesses that may result from contact with these pet products.


Listeria Outbreak in Jensen Farms Cantaloupes: Lessons Learned

Bacterial contamination recently turned a nutritious, beta-carotene-rich melon into an agent of foodborne illness for some unfortunate consumers. The Denver Post reports October 26 that the multi-state outbreak, traced to Rocky-Ford brand cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms in Holly, Colorado, has caused 28 deaths and that the Colorado cantaloupe industry will be subjected to stronger


Reducing Pharmaceuticals in the Water Supply

Today’s pharmaceuticals play a major role in helping consumers keep chronic conditions under control, manage pain, promote healing or fight disease. According to a 2010 report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics on the use of medicine in the United States, almost 4 billion prescriptions were filled in 2010. However, an estimated one-third of