Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
Tropical fish, like red snapper and grouper, can accumulate one of the most poisonous toxins on Earth, known as ciguatera. A few bites of an infected filet can trigger strange neurological effects: painful intercourse, reversal of how you feel temperature and the sensation of your teeth falling out. And doctors say there’s a chance it spreads through sex.
The agency says trans fats, found in partially hydrogenated oils, raise the risk of heart disease. Even though food companies have drastically reduced their use of the oils, you can still find trans fat in microwavable popcorn, Crisco and all kinds of mass-produced baked goods.
An estimated 278 people in multiple states have been sickened by an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant salmonella linked to raw chicken. Despite stories suggesting otherwise, USDA says its work on the outbreak hasn’t been hampered by the federal government shutdown. CDC is calling back about 30 furloughed staffers to help with its response.
The agency said that the most problematic resistant bacteria are emerging in hospitals. But it also called bacteria that have become resistant to drugs used on the farm a “serious threat.”
The Food and Drug Administration recently announced a plan to try and prevent American food companies from importing contaminated produce from abroad. The case of the poisoned pomegranates from Turkey shows that our safety systems for imported food, however helpful, are not foolproof.
The mechanical process the meat industry uses to tenderize tough muscle fibers can also introduce dangerous pathogens into beef cuts. The thinking behind the proposed new labels: If you know your cut of meat has been mechanically tenderized, you’ll be inclined to cook it a little longer.
Consumers don’t have good tools for getting the hepatitis A out of frozen berries, aside from cooking them. Good hygiene by pickers and processors remains the best protection.
About 13 percent of U.S. women go on drinking binges each month, say officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The damage from binge drinking runs the gamut from death to unintended pregnancy. Public health officials say binge drinking can be curbed with greater awareness and thoughtful interventions.
Two years after a food safety bill became law, the FDA issues a rule to prevent foodborne illness in produce and one to require food manufacturers to have plans in place to prevent contamination. Foodborne illness sickens about 48 million Americans each year.