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

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

Can a Dietary Supplement Treat a Concussion? No!


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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.


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


In the U.S. and abroad, 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

5 Foods Americans Eat that Are Banned Around the World- a repost from 2016-


by The Daily Meal |

The United States government has set several rules and guidelines in place to protect us from eating potentially harmful foods. Several dishes considered real delicacies in other parts of the world, like haggis in Scotland or fugu (puffer fish) in Japan, are banned from the U.S. food market because of potential health risks. But looking at the issue from a reversed angle, there are actually several common foods eaten in America that are banned in other parts of the world.

RELATED: 11 Banned Ingredients We Eat In the U.S.

The shocking truth is that many of our favorite foods, like boxed mac and cheese and yogurt, include ingredients that other countries have established as potentially harmful for health, and therefore are banned. Clearly, mac and cheese on its own isn’t poisonous in any way, but the yellow food colorings #5 and #6 have been shown to cause hypersensitivity in children, and are therefore banned in countries including Norway, Finland, and Australia. For yogurt and other milk products, it is the rBGH and rBST that some countries are concerned with – these growth hormones are banned in several regions including the European Union, Canada, and Japan because of their potentially dangerous impacts on the health of both humans and cows.

RELATED: 10 Foods and Drinks Banned in America

Though the studies and investigations showing the possible dangers of these ingredients are not to be taken lightly, food manufactures in America surely are not trying to poison the American people. Different countries have different policies and politics when it comes to food, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) assures that it is monitoring the safety of all ingredients available for American consumers. The varying food-safety laws around the world are good reminders for all of us to be aware of what ingredients are in our foods, and not to panic, but to use common sense and mild precaution when choosing what foods we eat.

RELATED: 150 Foods Worth Traveling For

1. Olestra (aka Olean)

Olestra is a zero-calorie fat substitute created to make healthier snacks such as fat-free potato chips. But olestra has been shown to cause side effects in the form of gastrointestinal problems, as well as weight gain – instead of weight loss – on lab rats. The U.K. and Canada are two places that have banned this fat substitute from their food markets.

2. Brominated Vegetable Oil

Brominated vegetable oil (BVO), is vegetable oil, derived from corn or soy, bonded with the element bromine. It’s added to many sodas and sports drinks prevent the flavoring from separating and floating to the surface. But bromine has also been shown to alter the central nervous and endocrine systems, causing skin rashes, acne, loss of appetite, fatigue, and cardiac arrhythmia. The chemical is banned both in Europe and Japan.

RELATED: 101 Best Hotel Restaurants Around the World 2013


3. Synthetic Hormones rBGH & rBST

These two growth hormones can be found in dairy products such as yogurt and milk. The controversy with cows injected with these hormones is that several studies cite rBGH as a cause of cancer. Due to these reports, many consumers in the U.S. choose to buy organic milk and dairy products, as well as those labeled “rBGH free,” and the hormone is totally banned at milk and dairy farms and in dairy products in the European Union, Australia, Canada, Israel, and New Zeeland.

RELATED: 13 Breakfast Plates Around the World

4. Azodicarbonamide

This chemical azodicarbonamide can be found in boxed pasta mixes, breads, frozen dinners, and packaged baked goods, and is added as an instant bleaching agent for flour. In Singapore, Australia, and most European countries, this chemical is banned due to reports of it causing asthma. Azodicarbonamide is also a chemical used in foamed plastics, like yoga mats.

5. BHA and BHT

Found in cereals, nut mixes, chewing gum, butter spreads, and many other foods in need of preservation, BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are commonly used preservatives. The National Toxicology Program’s 2011 report on carcinogens states that BHA can trigger allergic reactions and hyperactivity and “is reasonably anticipated to be a human hazard.” The preservatives are both banned in parts of the European Union and Japan, and the U.K. doesn’t allow BHA in infant foods.

Click here to see more Foods Americans Eat That Are Banned Around the World

 

This article is from 2016. I am not sure if things have changed or the list updated… please let me know

U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) 2016


Whatever your complexion, it’s important to use products that will help your skin and not damage it. But as you wade through the beauty aisles, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cautions that you should avoid skin creams, beauty and antiseptic soaps, and lotions that contain mercury.

How will you know if mercury’s in the cosmetic, especially one that’s marketed as “anti-aging” or “skin lightening”? Check the label.

Read the Consumer Update to learn more.

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