Category Archives: ~ FDA/USDA ~~ Alerts & Safety

a list of recent recalls as published by the FDA /USDA~ Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts

USA.gov … Beware of Skin Lotions Tainted with Mercury


a repost… mercury poisoning via skin care products and food is still a real issue

A Mysterious chemical found in dead cat’s brain reopens debate over mercury poisoning disaster

In February 2020, The Minamata poisoning has been considered a textbook example of how inorganic mercury turns into organic mercury, and how a toxic substance propagates up the food chain to humans. by Victoria Dinh, 

AND in January of 2019

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is warning the public of skin creams containing mercury. Mercury has been found in some skin creams made, altered, or sold in Mexico and other countries.

In one case, an individual in Texas was diagnosed with mercury poisoning after using a product purchased in Mexico that was labeled as Pond’s skin cream. The mercury was not added by the original manufacturer but by a third party, presumably in Mexico. A similar case of mercury poisoning through skin cream has recently been identified in California, and Texas has had others in the past. Skin creams containing mercury claim to lighten the skin, treat acne, or fade freckles, blemishes, and age spots.

Mercury is dangerous and can cause adverse health effects in both adults and children. Products containing mercury are especially of concern for pregnant women or nursing mothers, because mercury may be passed on to fetuses and infants.

Clinical Presentation:

The symptoms associated with mercury poisoning are often non-specific, and thus, pose difficulties for diagnosis. Due to this, it is often misdiagnosed and leads to clinical treatments that do not address the underlying mercury poisoning.

General symptoms of mercury poisoning may include shaking, tremors, impaired balance or coordination, headaches, hypertension, depression, insomnia, weight loss, fatigue, nervousness, irritability, anxiety, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, or numbness or tingling in hands, feet, lips.

In children, prolonged exposure to mercury poisoning may present as excessive salivation or thirst, gingivitis, irritability, anorexia, poor muscle tone, leg cramps, hypertension, rash, peeling or flaking skin, or pink extremities (e.g. hands and feet).

Long term exposure to mercury may cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract, nervous system and kidneys. Symptoms may present as extreme fatigue, muscle aches, weakness, and sores in the mouth, in addition to the symptoms listed above.

Recommendations for Clinicians:

Health care providers should:

  • Ask patients suspected of mercury poisoning if they use skin creams purchased in Mexico or other countries.
  • If the product was not purchased from a major retailer in these countries, or was unsealed upon purchase, urge patients to stop use immediately.
  • Ensure the skin cream container is tightly closed, isolated in a sealed bag, and labeled, “Mercury: Do Not Touch”.
  • Contact the Texas Poison Center Network at 1-800-222-1222 for queries about mercury poisoning medical management.

If a patient is suspected of using skin creams containing mercury, DSHS recommends healthcare providers conduct mercury analysis on blood and urine specimens.

Recommendations for Public:

People should only purchase skin care products in original, sealed containers sold by reputable retailers.

Individuals who believe they may have been exposed to mercury through skin creams should contact their healthcare provider, or the Texas Poison Center Network at 1-800-222-1222.

If individuals have skin cream products containing mercury in their home, then the closed containers should be discarded at a household hazardous waste facility. If there is not a household hazardous waste facility available in their community, then the product may be tightly closed, placed in a sealed and labeled bag, and discarded with household garbage.

To find a household hazardous waste facility near you, please visit:    https://www.tceq.texas.gov/assets/public/assistance/hhw/hhw_contacts.pdf

For More Information:

To report cases, questions about proper disposal of products containing mercury, or for questions about medical management related to mercury poisoning, please contact:

Texas Poison Center Network
1-800-222-1222

or

DSHS Environmental Surveillance and Toxicology Branch
512-776-7268
epitox@dshs.texas.gov

Mercury in Skin Creams Fact Sheet

DSHS News Release

Cinco de Mayo: How to Prepare Shredded Meat and Poultry Safely ~ repost


photo showing fajitas on a plate with meat and veggies with guacamole, salsa and cheese on the side.Dishes popular for Cinco de Mayo include Chimichangas, Fajitas and tacos.

In the U.S. and aboard, many will celebrate Cinco de Mayo by hosting large parties, cooking delicious traditional Mexican foods and drinking margaritas.

Among the most popular Cinco de Mayo dishes are Chimichangas, Fajitas and tacos. These dishes usually contain shredded beef, chicken and pork cooked in delicious sauces and spices. If you are thinking of making one of these dishes, then this blog is for you!

While there are many excellent recipes, below is the most basic way to handle and prepare shredded meat and poultry safely.

Before You Start Cooking with your Slow Cooker

Before heading to the store, check your slow cooker manual to find out how much meat the pot can hold. Some smaller cookers can only hold three pounds of meat, while others may fit up to ten pounds.

At the grocery store, buy the meat of your choice (beef, chicken or pork), place it in a plastic bag and bring it home within two hours; or one hour when the room temperature is above 90 °F. Use chicken within two days and cuts of red meat cuts, such as beef and pork within 3-5 days.

Slow Cooking Your Meat Base for Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Always start with a clean cooker, clean utensils and a clean work area. Wash hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before food preparation.

Add thawed meat and desired amount of liquid and spices suggested in your recipe, such as broth, water or barbecue sauce. Keep the lid in place, removing only to stir the food.

When you’re ready to shred the meat, use either a clean large, shallow bowl or platter and two clean forks to pull the meat apart. This meat can be used for any of the Cinco de Mayo recipes we mentioned, so get creative!

For more information on slow cookers: Slow Cookers and Food Safety

For more information on cooking for large groups: Cooking for Large Groups

Can a Dietary Supplement Treat a Concussion? No


Some companies are marketing untested, unproven, and possibly dangerous products that claim to prevent, treat, or cure concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.

Learn why dietary supplements can’t treat concussions and why using them for this purpose can be dangerous. Read the Consumer Update to learn more.


FDA Logo

Traumatic Brain Injury: FDA Research and Actions


 

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can happen to anyone. And these types of injuries, which include concussions, contribute to a substantial number of emergency room visits (and even deaths) each year. As fall activities begin, learn about TBI and the FDA’s research and regulatory activities.