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Six ingredients commonly found in gum, soda, candy banned by the FDA

Just in time to squash your Halloween fun, the Food and Drug Administration has nixed six synthetic flavorings commonly found in candy, soda, baked goods, booze, and gum. The ingredients in question have all been shown to directly contribute to cancer in animals. They included synthetically-derived benzophenone (also used in rubber reusable food containers), ethyl acrylate, eugenic methyl ether (methyl eugenol), myrcene, pulegone, and pyridine. Even if you’re an avid label checker, these names probably don’t look familiar to you. Since they fall under the umbrella of proprietary “artificial flavors,” the manufacturers don’t have to print them in the ingredients list, according the FDA. The additives are known to contribute floral, cinnamon, mint, citrus, mango, pineapple, garlic, roasted onion, and woody flavors, according to a petition.  The ingredients were proven to cause cancer in laboratory animals by the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ National Toxicology Program. But no…

FDA warns of dangers associated with eating foods prepared with liquid nitrogen

Well, it was fun while it lasted. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration just sent a piece of your summer fun up in a cloud of smoke. The FDA issued a safety alert on Thursday warning consumers about potential dangers associated with eating food containing liquid nitrogen.  Liquid nitrogen laced foods such as cereals, ice cream, and cheese puffs have become popular in recent years because they “emit a misty or smoke-like vapor,” according the the FDA alert. This vapor leaves the consumer with the ability to briefly blow smoke out their nose and mouth to look like a dragon. The foods, often called “Dragon’s Breath” or “Heaven’s Breath”, are commonly served at fairs and festivals, as well as mall kiosks and some ice cream shops, the FDA said. The alert said serious injury, including internal organ damage, can result or eating such foods. Individuals with asthma could be especially at risk. “The FDA…

How to tell you have food poisoning and what may have caused it

Summer is a big season for food poisoning. All of those backyard parties and picnics can lead to some pretty questionable food handling habits. One in six Americans — about 48 million people — will deal with some type of foodborne illness this year, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That means you’ve ingested bacteria, viruses or parasites that can really do a number on your body. But how do you distinguish funky food from a safe snack, and how do you know it’s not some other ailment? Food poisoning symptoms According to the Mayo Clinic, your food poisoning symptoms will differ depending on what your food was contaminated with, as well as your age. Very young or elderly people, pregnant women and those with weaker immune systems or chronic diseases face a high risk in contracting a foodborne illness, but food poisoning can affect anyone. Here are some…

Major retailers recalling 207 million eggs after salmonella outbreak

More than 200 million eggs are being recalled after the Food and Drug Administration said they could be contaminated with salmonella. The agency said there have been 35 reported cases of illness, including 11 hospitalizations. No deaths have been reported. The FDA said that the outbreak could be traced to a single facility in Hyde County, North Carolina belonging to Rose Acre Farms in Seymour, Indiana. The farm is now recalling nearly 207,000,000 eggs that were sold at a variety of retailers and restaurants including Walmart, Publix, Food Lion and Waffle House. The recalled eggs were distributed in Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. These are the affected egg brands: Coburn Farms Country Daybreak Crystal Farms Food Lion Glenview Great Value Nelms Sunshine Farms Waffle House For a full list of products, visit the FDA’s website here.  Salmonella is a bacteria infection that can cause…

Calorie counts on most fast food menus are now required

You know that fast food is totally terrible for you, but if you had nutrition information in front of your face while you ordered, would you practice some restraint? The next time you head to a Taco Bell or even Coldstone Creamery you’ll be tested. Starting May 7, the Food and Drug Administration will require any food outlet with more than 20 locations to list the calorie counts for each menu item — every restaurant from Auntie Annes to Chick-fil-A, Orange Julius and Panera are affected. And the information won’t be posted exclusively online, or in some dark corner of the restaurant either. The calorie counts will be front and center on the menu, so you won’t be able to throw caution to the wind and order those Doritos Locos Tacos and hope for the best. You’ll know exactly the size of the caloric gut-bomb you’re eating. It’s an Obama-era policy that…

Watch your black licorice intake, FDA warns

This week as you’re snacking on Reese’s cups and Snickers in a post-Halloween candy coma, remember there is one candy you really can overdose on — black licorice. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encourages people to remember during this candy-centric time of year, that if you enjoy snacking on this old-fashioned favorite, to do it in moderation, particularly if you are over 40. FDA experts say glycyrrhizin, a sweetening compound found in black licorice that can cause potassium levels to fall in the body. With low potassium levels, some people will experience lethargy, abnormal heart rhythms or even congestive heart failure. If you’re a fan of back licorice, the FDA offers advice: No matter your age, don’t eat copious amounts of black licorice at a time. If you develop any of the symptoms listed above such as an irregular heartbeat or muscle weakness, stop eating the black licorice immediately…

Major grocers nationwide issue recall of fresh-cut vegetables

If you’ve gone to a grocery store lately, you’ll want to take a look at your fresh-cut vegetables because they may be under recall. Mann Packing issued the recall due to a fear that some of its minimally processed vegetables may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. No illnesses have been reported, but one positive result showed up during a random sampling by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Major grocers including Whole Foods, Walmart, Target, Trader Joe’s Albertson’s, Meijer and others all issued voluntary recalls of Mann products after receiving the results. Affected products were sold throughout the United States and have “best if used by” dates between October 11 and October 20. Mann Packing Co. has posted a full list of products under recall on its website. Broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts were the most commonly affected foods, while a large number of vegetables trays made the list as well. “As an…

Love as defined by the US Food and Drug Administration

The FDA has effortlessly done what has eluded poets and musicians for centuries: they’ve defined love. Despite what home chefs know about the care that goes into a great dish, a Massachusetts bakery has been told by the government that the word “love” should not be listed in the ingredients section of its granola because love is not an ingredient. Not only is it not an ingredient, it turns out, the one thing humans have travelled across oceans for, longed for and started wars for, is none other than “intervening material.” The official Food and Drug Administration inspection said: Your Nashoba Granola label lists ingredient “Love.” Ingredients required to be declared on the label or labeling of food must be listed by their common or usual name. “Love” is not a common or usual name of an ingredient, and is considered to be intervening material because it is not part of the…

Multi-state Salmonella outbreak linked to papayas sickens more than 200

A recent string of salmonella outbreaks may bring an early end to tropical summer fruit salads. Federal officials verified they have linked four separate salmonella outbreaks — totaling 215 illnesses — in recent months to papayas imported from Mexico. The outbreaks were reported from 26 different states. The majority of the outbreaks were initially concentrated in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and the South with New Jersey, Virginia and Texas reporting the highest number of instances. The salmonella scare has since spread to Arizona, Colorado and California. One Californian recently died, bringing the death toll to two. The other, a New Yorker, died after contracting salmonella in July. One California-based producer, Bravo Produce, issued a papaya recall after investigators traced bacteria to shipments from Tijuana. As standard procedure and in accordance with confidentiality laws, the FDA wouldn’t release the names if the retailers who sold the problematic produce. Instead, consumers are left to check their…

Listeria leads to Edamame Recall in 33 States

Edamame is the perfect low calorie snack and sushi accompaniment, but if you’ve purchased any pods in recent months, you may want to think twice. A possible listeria contamination has led to the necessary recall of the soybeans in 33 states, According to the FDA. Luckily, it’s not all edamame brands. The at-risk packages were produced by Advanced Fresh Concepts Franchise Corp. between January 3 and March 17, 2017. The contaminated packages were discovered by the company during a random check at one of their facilities. States who received these packages in question include: AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, ME, MI, MN, MS, NC, NH, NM, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, and WY. Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections is those with weakened immune systems such as children, pregnant women and older adults. Healthy…