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

The Jensen Farms Cantaloupe Outbreak: How to Avoid Repeating a Tragedy

Last summer a family-owned farm in Colorado became the focal point of the largest foodborne illness outbreak in the US in 25 years. Tragically, cantaloupe contaminated with Listeria bacteria sickened 146 people in 28 states, killed 30 and caused one pregnant woman to miscarry, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The

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

Can the U.S. Avoid a Foodborne Outbreak from Contaminated Sprouts?

Forty people died and more than 3,500 became ill this spring as a result of ingesting E. coli-contaminated vegetable sprouts grown on a German organic farm.  Investigators do not know the source of the extremely virulent strain of E. coli, but one thing is certain:  Making sprouts safe for consumers has been a concern and