Blog & News

fish-at-fish-marketAround 90 percent of seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported, but just 2% of imported seafood is being inspected in the United States. This is an alarmingly small percentage, as half of all imported seafood comes from farms and is not wild-caught, according to the Government Accountability Office. Foreign farm-raised seafood is often kept in unsanitary and cruel conditions, and is pumped full of undesirable substances, such as antibiotics to keep sick seafood alive, and steroids to make the seafood grow bigger, faster.

Seafood can be rejected if it contains banned antibiotics, steroids, chemical dyes, bacteria, or is putrid or decomposed; but since imported seafood isn’t being widely tested, what can U.S. consumers do to protect themselves?

  • Try to find seafood that is wild caught, rather than farm-raised.
  • Look for a label on the seafood that indicates it was wild caught or harvested in the United States, as domestic seafood gets inspected more frequently and thoroughly than imported seafood. Buying domestic seafood also helps protect American fisherman and seafood farmers from losing their livelihood.
  • Make sure the seafood looks healthy and doesn’t have an overly fishy odor.
  • Follow safe food handling, storage, and preparation practices

Second to seafood being rotten upon arrival, the most common reason for seafood being rejected is banned antibiotics, with bacteria like salmonella and campylobacter coming in third. These organisms can infect consumers with antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, and sicken up to 400,000 Americans every year. CitroBio Fresh Food Wash can be used on produce, seafood, sushi, and meat of all types to help remove contaminants from food. Purchase on Amazon now.

avocado-listeriaThere is a new warning for avocado lovers from federal officials. The US Food and Drug Administration is advising people to wash avocados before eating them, even though the skin does not get consumed. When avocados are prepared, bacteria and dirt are pushed on to or into the fruit, and can contaminate the avocado.

Recently, a study done by the FDA showed that approximately 1 in 5 (17.73%) of avocado skins were infected with Listeria monocytogenes. A handful (<1%) of avocado skins also contained Salmonella. Listeria can cause an infection called Listeriosis that results in about 260 deaths annually. The infection is especially dangerous to an unborn fetus, so pregnant women are advised to avoid any foods that may contain Listeria.

According to the FDA, the only way to prevent bacteria and dirt from transferring from the peel to the insides is to wash the skins thoroughly before prepping. Wash carefully with cool running water, and scrub the avocado with a produce brush. For an extra level of protection, use CitroBio Fresh Food Wash to further remove dangers that could be lurking on the surface of avocados before peeling or slicing. Dry the avocados with a paper towel before preparing.

When properly washed and prepared, avocados are a safe, nutritious and delicious part of a healthy diet. One of the most versatile ways to fit more avocado into your day is to make guacamole. Click here to see our favorite guacamole recipe. Click here to buy CitroBio Fresh Food Wash for food safety on Amazon today.

Monday, 21 January 2019 14:54

A Fruit and Vegetable Safety Refresher

aubergines-bio-cabbage-5205Most people know the importance of ensuring raw meat is handled properly for food safety, but lately, it seems that produce has more often been the source of foodborne illnesses and recalls. This makes sense if you think about it, as many fruits and vegetables are consumed raw, without the benefit of cooking to kill off unwanted bacteria. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, but with all of the news about contaminated produce, it’s easy to worry about protecting your family from food poisoning. Here are some ways you can cut down on the risk of foodborne illness from produce:

When choosing produce:

  • Select items that are not bruised or damaged
  • Look for produce that is local. The less hands that have touched it in transport, the better.
  • Separate fruits and vegetables from meat, poultry, and seafood in your cart and bags
  • Only select pre-cut fruits and vegetables that were stored on ice

At home:

  • Wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces (cutting boards, etc) before preparing food
  • Clean fruits and vegetables before eating, cutting, or cooking under running water
  • Wash the outside of produce before cutting, even if you don’t plan on eating the peel or rind
  • Cut any bruised or damaged areas before preparing or eating
  • Dry fruits or vegetables with a clean paper towel
  • Refrigerate fruits and vegetables you have cut or peeled within 2 hours

Avoid high risk foods such as sprouts and melon if you have a weakened immune system

Review more tips for food safety here. Buy CitroBio Fresh Food Wash for food safety on Amazon today.

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The 2018 romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak continued to grow this past month, as the CDC announced that a total of 52 people had been affected in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2018. Nineteen people ended up in the hospital, including two who experienced kidney failure. Fortunately, no deaths were reported.

Hydroponically and greenhouse grown lettuce was not affected by the outbreak. Romaine lettuce that is considered safe is now being sold with a harvested date on the labels, letting consumers know it was harvested after the outbreak was identified. The affected lettuce was grown in California near Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Ventura. Consumers are still being advised to avoid romaine lettuce harvested from that region as the investigation is ongoing, and a common grower or distributor has not been identified.

Lettuce can be a key part of a healthy diet. When choosing produce, try to find products that are grown as locally as possible. This does not guarantee their safety, but it does limit the amount of people and companies that have been involved in getting it to you, and generally means it has been sitting around for a shorter amount of time. When preparing food, remember to follow the most important food safety rule: wash all produce thoroughly. CitroBio Fresh Food Wash helps to control pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria and more. Buy on Amazon today.

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The CDC has warned to not eat romaine lettuce, as it may be contaminated with E. coli. Thirty-two people, including 13 who have been hospitalized, have been infected with the outbreak strain in 11 states, according to the CDC. One of the hospitalized people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially life-threatening form of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported. People have become sick in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has identified an additional 18 people who have become sick with the same strain of E. coli in Ontario and Quebec. The US Food and Drug Administration, which is also investigating the outbreak, cautions that if you have any romaine lettuce at home, you should throw it away, even if you have eaten some and did not get sick. FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Tuesday, Nov. 20 that it is “frustrating” that the FDA cannot tie the outbreak to a specific grower, but “we have confidence that it’s tied to romaine lettuce. Most of the romaine lettuce being harvested right now is coming from the California region, although there’s some lettuce coming in from Mexico,” he said.

Symptoms of E. coli infection, which usually begin about three or four days after consuming the bacteria, can include watery or bloody diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, according to the CDC. Most people infected by the bacteria get better within five to seven days, though this particular strain of E. coli tends to cause more severe illness. People of all ages are at risk of becoming infected with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, according to the US Food and Drug Administration, which is also investigating the outbreak. Children under 5, adults older than 65 and people with weakened immune systems, such as people with chronic diseases, are more likely to develop severe illness, but even healthy children and adults can become seriously ill.

Review our tips for food safety here. Buy CitroBio Fresh Food Wash for food safety on Amazon today.

 

Monday, 19 November 2018 00:00

Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips

thanksgiving-turkeyIt’s soon to be the most wonderful time of the year! Thanksgiving is a holiday full of tradition, but it also can be a giant pathogen fest if you’re not practicing food safety throughout grocery shopping, storing, preparation, and cooking. The holidays are also unfortunately timed right in the middle of cold and flu season, meaning anyone preparing food for your party or potluck may have germs and/or viruses clinging to their fingers while preparing food. Be sure to wash hands thoroughly before cooking, and after handling any raw meat, and don’t feel bad reminding others to do so, as well.

Here are some other tips and tricks to remain healthy during the holidays:

  • Thaw turkey safely - in a refrigerator, or in a sink of cold water changed every 30 minutes, or in the microwave
  • Separate and store foods correctly — keep meat, seafood, poultry, and eggs separate from other foods
  • Wash hands before and after preparing food, after touching raw meat, eggs, or unwashed produce
  • Thoroughly cook food to a safe internal temperature
  • Put food away before two hours have passed sitting on the counter
  • Do not eat raw dough or batter (sorry!)
  • Avoid foods that may contain listeria if pregnant, elderly, or have a compromised immune system

From all of us at CitroBio, Happy Thanksgiving! We hope your holiday is safe and enjoyable. Click here to read more turkey cooking tips.

Monday, 12 November 2018 18:38

Cheese Recalled Due to Risk of Listeria

Sprout Creek Farm of Poughkeepsie, New York has recalled 132 wheels of "Margie" cheese. Margie cheese is a soft, white rind, cow's milk cheese. The wheels weigh 1 pound, and are packaged with a green round label, wrapped in white milk paper. They can be identified with the lot number make date of 10-9-18 and best by dates of 12-9-18.

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The recalled batch of Margie cheese, consisting of 132 wheels, was distributed to the following locations, which have all been notified of the recall and instructed to dispose of the cheese:

Hudson Valley Harvest 750 Enterprise Dr, Kingston, NY 12401
Mohonk Mountain House 1000 Mountain Rest Rd, New Paltz, NY 12561
Olsen and Company 81 Partition St, Saugerties, NY 12477
Gossetts Market 1202 Old Post Rd, South Salem, NY 10590
Tannat Wine and Cheese 4736 Broadway, New York, NY 10040
Sheep and Wool Fest Rhinebeck, Dutchess County Fair Grounds
Adams Fairacre Farms 765 Dutchess Turnpike, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
Stinky Brooklyn 215 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Ocean House Oyster Bar & Grill 49 N Riverside Ave, Croton-On-Hudson, NY 10520

The recall was issued following the results of a routine US Food and Drug Administration inspection of Sprout Creek Farm's cheese production facility. Samples from the inspection were found to contain Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause Listeriosis. Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

Review our tips for food safety here. Buy CitroBio Fresh Food Wash for food safety on Amazon today.

Tuesday, 06 November 2018 00:00

CitroBio's Favorite Guacamole Recipe

avocado-guacamoleAvocados have quickly increased in popularity in the past several years. A healthy fat, avocados are a fabulous part of a balanced diet. Guacamole is an easy, crowd-pleasing way to fit more avocado into your day. Read on to see how easy it is to make this healthy, yummy dip!

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe Hass avocados, washed, peeled and pit removed
  • 1/4 Red onion, washed and grated
  • 1 Tablespoon cilantro, washed and chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon garlic powder (or fresh garlic, crushed or minced)
  • Juice of 1 lime (wash first)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 small tomato, washed, seeded and chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons salsa verde
  • 1/2 Teaspoon hot sauce (Cholula is our favorite!)
  • 1 Jalapeno - washed, removed and chopped (optional) or use a few picked jalapeno slices

Instructions

  • Mash avocado in a large bowl using a fork. Add lime juice, salt, hot sauce, and garlic powder and continue mashing until you like the consistency.
  • Stir in the onion, cilantro, tomato, salsa verde, hot sauce, and jalapeno.
  • Taste and season as needed.
  • Serve immediately or cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Keeps for 2-3 days in the fridge.

Enjoy! Click here to buy CitroBio on Amazon.

 

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Concerned about food safety? Buy CitroBio Fresh Food Wash for food safety on Amazon today.

Hy-Vee, Inc., is voluntarily recalling six meat and potato products due to possible contamination with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. Hy-Vee operates more than 240 retail stores in eight Midwestern states, including Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The recall was made after Hy-Vee's supplier, McCain Foods, announced it was recalling its caramelized mushrooms and fire-roasted tomatoes.

Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Hy-Vee is recalling the following products from all of its stores. All impacted products have a "Best If Used By" date of Oct. 22, 2018, or sooner:

  • Hy-Vee Bacon Wrapped Cowgirl Chicken Grillers – 8 ounce each
  • Hy-Vee Fire Roasted Tomato, Spinach, Mozzarella Twice Baked Potato – 5 ounce each
  • Hy-Vee Cowgirl Chicken Griller Patty – 6 ounce each
  • Hy-Vee Gourmet Steakhouse Mushroom & Swiss Burger – 6 ounce each
  • Hy-Vee Ground Beef Sliders Mushroom & Swiss – 2 ounce each
  • Hy-Vee Ground Beef Sliders Mushroom & Swiss – 12 count, 30 ounces

Customers who purchased any of these products with these dates should not consume them. Customers are being asked to discard these items or return them to their local Hy-Vee store for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Hy-Vee Customer Care representatives 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-772-4098.

Concerned about food safety? Review our tips for food safety here. Buy CitroBio Fresh Food Wash for food safety on Amazon today.

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Concerned about food safety? Protect your family - Buy CitroBio Fresh Food Wash for food safety on Amazon today.

 

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2018 – Prime Deli Corporation, a Lewisville, Texas establishment, is recalling approximately 217 pounds of ready-to-eat salad with bacon products that contain a corn ingredient that may be contaminated with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The ready-to-eat salads with bacon were produced on October 13. The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF only)] 

  • 11.2-oz. clear plastic clamshell packages containing “7-ELEVEN™ BISTRO SOUTHWEST STYLE SALAD WITH BACON” and best by date of “Tuesday 1016”.
  • 9.6-oz. clear plastic clamshell packages containing “7-ELEVEN™ BISTRO SOUTHWEST STYLE SALAD WITH BACON” and best by date of “Tuesday 1016”.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 13553” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations in Texas.                               

The problem was discovered on October 14, 2018 when Prime Deli Corporation received notification that the corn used in the production of their Southwest Style Salad with Bacon was being recalled by their corn supplier due to Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella concerns.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.  

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.

Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ refrigerators. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.           

Media and consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Luis Aguilar, Prime Deli Corporation Quality Assurance Manager, at (817) 360-8483.

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

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Listeria is a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women and their newborns. People outside of this risk group are less commonly affected.

Review our tips for food safety here. Buy CitroBio Fresh Food Wash for food safety on Amazon today.

hamThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Wednesday a North Carolina-based company has issued a recall for approximately 89,096 pounds of ready-to-eat ham products that may be contaminated with listeria.

Johnston County Hams of Smithfield, North Carolina, produced the ready-to-eat-deli-loaf ham items from April 3, 2017 to October 2, 2018. The products were shipped to distributors in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and New York.

The following products are subject to recall, the FSIS says:

  •  Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “JOHNSTON COUNTY HAMS, INC. COUNTRY STYLE FULLY COOKED BONELESS DELI HAM.”
  •  Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “Ole Fashioned Sugar Cured The Old Dominion Brand Hams Premium Fully Cooked Country Ham” with Sell-By dates from 4/10/2018 to 9/27/2019.
  •  Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “Padow’s Hams & Deli, Inc. FULLY COOKED COUNTRY HAM BONELESS Glazed with Brown Sugar.”
  •  Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “Premium Fully Cooked Country Ham LESS SALT Distributed By: Valley Country Hams LLC” with Sell-By dates from 4/10/2018 to 9/27/2019.
  •  Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “GOODNIGHT BROTHERS COUNTRY HAM Boneless Fully Cooked.”

The products that are subject to recall have the establishment number “EST. M2646” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

On September 27, the FSIS was notified that a person with listeriosis reported eating a ham product produced at Johnston County Hams. After working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and public health and agriculture partners, FSIS determined there is a link between the listeria illnesses and ham products produced at the company.

An investigation identified four listeriosis-confirmed illnesses, including one death, between July 8, 2017 and August 11, 2018. FSIS collected two deli ham product samples from the Johnston County Hams facility in 2016 and early 2018.

Listeria is a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women and their newborns. People outside of this risk group are less commonly affected.

Review our tips for food safety here. Buy CitroBio Fresh Food Wash for food safety on Amazon today.

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Tuesday, 25 September 2018 14:44

Gardening Tips in the Fall

FlowersThere’s something magical about the fall season: the leaves, the weather, the boots… and most importantly for gardeners: the harvest! It’s time to pick many different fruits and vegetables such as peaches, grapes, watermelons, apples, pears, corn, pumpkin, and more. In addition to harvesting, it’s a great time to plant cooler-season foods and ornamentals. Read on to learn what you should be planting this time of year.

Pansies, blooming bulbs, garlic, natives/perennials, salad greens, peas, and radishes all are ready to be planted in the fall. Garlic will be ready in the summer, bulbs will pop out in the spring, pansies will provide color into the early winter, and salad greens will grow well into November or December in many zones.

Trees also need attention in the fall, as many places experience drought-like conditions over the winter and watering isn’t available everywhere in the winter. It’s important to get trees the hydration they need before the ground freezes. Run a hose out to trees and soak the ground underneath the canopy of the tree. Soak one tree every day until all trees have been soaked before a freeze.

When the weather has cooled down, it’s the perfect time to fertilize your lawn. Double check directions for your particular grass and zone, but in general, fall is a great time to prep the lawn for the following season. Maintaining a healthy root system is important.

Fall is a good time to apply RGA to lawns as well. RGA isn't just for large-scale agricultural usage. Use Rapid Growth Activator at home to enhance your yard and flowers, and to grow larger, more vibrant, and more delicious fruits and vegetables at home. Click here to learn more.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018 13:41

Enjoy Local, Seasonal Fall Fruits and Vegetables

fall-foods-citrobioDid you know that local foods promote a safer food supply? The more steps there are between you and your food’s source, the more chances there are for contamination. Food grown in distant locations has the potential for food safety issues at harvesting, washing, shipping, and distribution. Local food spends less time in the cycle from farm to table, and is less likely to be spoiled or contaminated by the time it gets to the consumer.

Here are some other solid reasons to eat local foods, according to Michigan State University Extension:

  • Locally grown food is full of flavor. When grown locally, the crops are picked at their peak of ripeness versus being harvested early in order to be shipped and distributed to your local retail store. Many times produce at local markets has been picked within 24 hours of your purchase.
  • Eating local food is eating seasonally. The best time to eat foods is when they can be purchased directly from a local grower. They are full of flavor and taste better than the ones available in the winter that have traveled thousands of miles and picked before they were ripe.
  • Local food has more nutrients. Local food has a shorter time between harvest and your table, and it is less likely that the nutrient value has decreased. Food imported from far-away states and countries is often older, has traveled and sits in distribution centers before it gets to your store.
  • Local food supports the local economy. The money that is spent with local farmers and growers all stays close to home and is reinvested with businesses and services in your community.
  • Local food benefits the environment. By purchasing locally grown foods you help maintain farmland and green and/or open space in your community.
  • Local growers can tell you how the food was grown. You can ask what practices they use to raise and harvest the crops. When you know where your food comes from and who grew it, you know a lot more about that food.

So what's in season in the fall? Apples, beets, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cranberries, grapes, kale, parsnips, squash, pears, pomegranates, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes, to name a few. Enjoy these fruits and vegetables after washing thoroughly with CitroBio Fresh Food Wash to reduce contaminants. Now available on Amazon!

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The FDA has documented the first confirmed evidence of the Cyclospora parasite in fresh herbs grown in the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration has been carrying out a special testing program for herbs, which usually don’t undergo a “kill step” such as cooking before they are consumed, to obtain baseline estimates for the prevalence of contaminants. During these special testings, they found Cyclospora on fresh cilantro at a farm in the United States.
 
The cilantro was embargoed and staff from the FDA have been working with the farmer to ensure proper steps are taken to prevent the contamination of further crops. To date, there haven’t been any illnesses documented from the contaminated cilantro, and the recent outbreaks of Cyclospora at McDonald’s and in Del Monte vegetable trays are not related.
 
The special testing program has also found Cyclospora on two samples of fresh cilantro from Mexico. The FDA refused entry for the shipments and is following up with the Mexican farms to help avoid contamination in the future. Basil and parsley contaminated with Cyclospora have also been found in recent years.
 
Cyclospora is a microscopic parasite of humans. The parasite, when ingested, can cause an intestinal illness called cyclosporiasis. Most people infected develop diarrhea, loss of appetite, stomach cramps, fatigue, and more. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times if not properly treated.
 
Review our tips for food safety here. Buy CitroBio Fresh Food Wash for food safety on Amazon today.

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The FDA and CDC are investigating a multi-state outbreak of cyclosporiasis illnesses linked to salads from McDonald's restaurants in August 2018. As of August 16, 2018, nearly 500 cases were confirmed of Cyclospora infection. The FDA is reviewing information to try to confirm how the problem occurred.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a public health alert on foods (beef, pork, and poultry salads and wraps) that were distributed by Caito Foods in Indiana, containing chopped romaine lettuce sold by Fresh Express. The FDA confirmed the presence of Cyclospora in a sample of Fresh Express salad mix containing romaine lettuce and carrots, which had been distributed to McDonald’s.

Cyclospora is a microscopic parasite of humans. The parasite, when ingested, can cause an intestinal illness called cyclosporiasis. Most people infected develop diarrhea, loss of appetite, stomach cramps, fatigue, and more. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times if not properly treated. If you’ve consumed salads or wraps from McDonald’s in the past two months and experienced intestinal illness, contact your doctor to make sure you don’t have cyclosporiasis.

Review our tips for food safety here. Buy CitroBio Fresh Food Wash for food safety on Amazon today.

people-health-risk

Foodborne illnesses are an enormous burden on public health and society. Each year over 48 million Americans (approaching 20% of the population) fall ill to food poisoning. A small percentage of these are due to foodborne outbreaks, when a certain food has been targeted as tainted, but most are due to cross-contamination, or not following food safety guidelines, and are preventable. It's important to prevent these illnesses and deaths for many reasons, one of which is that they are contributing significantly to the cost of healthcare, and lost wages and labor for employers.

Foodborne illness is most harmful to certain groups of people; particularly, the very young and the elderly. Children younger than age 4 have the highest incidence of lab-confirmed infections that are often preventable by simply washing hands more often and avoiding putting contaminated objects in the mouth. The elderly have reduced immune systems and are at greater risk of falling seriously ill to intestinal pathogens that are commonly transmitted through foods.

Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent food poisoning and avoid getting sick. Read some of our tips here and be sure, as always, to thoroughly wash foods before cooking or consuming. Click here to buy CitroBio Fresh Food Wash on Amazon.

Monday, 25 June 2018 14:41

Enjoy Fresh Melon Safely this Summer

It's summertime! Melon is one of those quintessential summertime snacks. It's healthy and delicious, and everyone enjoys it, from babies to grandparents. Periodically, melon is seen in the news for not such a fun reason: it is a potentially hazardous food, or a food that has the ability for bacteria to grow and thrive. It's important to take precautions before buying, eating or serving any type of melon.

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Why is melon a harbor for pathogens? One reason is that grown on the ground, a host of bacteria. Contaminants such as E. coli can be introduced to the "meat" of the melon if the outside has a small cut or tear, or isn't thoroughly washed before slicing, as the knife pushes microscopic bacteria through the fruit. Since melon is often sold pre-sliced, that is another time that cross-contamination can be a factor. If the surfaces, knives, or cutter's hands are contaminated, the entire batch of cut fruit can be affected. There have also been recent cases of Salmonella infection linked to pre-sliced melon. One major thing you can do to prevent foodborne illness from melon is to buy them whole, and wash and slice them yourself.

Melon is almost always served cold, so it misses the important step of cooking to avoid foodborne illness. Listeria is a common contaminant of melons that can thrive under refrigeration, so unless you have thoroughly inspected, washed, cut, and safely stored a melon yourself, you may want to avoid it for the very young, the very old, and pregnant women. Again, try to purchase a whole melon whenever possible, and make sure it doesn't have any cuts, tears, or blemishes.

There are many different types of pathogens that can infect a melon, but there are many ways you can protect your family from becoming ill from consuming it. Melon is still a great food source so long as precautions are followed when selecting, preparing, and storing. As with any food, it's important to follow food safety rules to help keep your family safe from foodborne illness. For washing melon thoroughly, we recommend warm water, as well as CitroBio Fresh Food Wash. Learn more about CitroBio here.

Monday, 18 June 2018 17:57

Be Food Safe at the Grill this Summer

grilling

Summer is the time of year that the grills come out and people enjoy cooking outside. Grilling is a great way to make extra delicious food in a super healthy way, but it comes with its own set of unique food safety challenges. Make sure you follow these rules to keep everything food safe!

Use separate utensils and plates for raw and cooked food

After carrying raw food out to the grill, make sure you place the dirty plate in the sink or dishwasher to be sanitized before it is reused. A separate clean plate should be used to transport the food back inside once it has been cooked. Never reuse the same plate unless it has been properly cleaned in between. Once the food has been cooked, thoroughly wash your tongs or utensils or use different ones for serving cooked food.

Keep cold foods at the proper temperature

Food can quickly spoil when they’re outside in the sun. Be sure your grill is hot and ready before bringing food outside to be cooked. Raw food should go directly on the grill once it’s been brought outside.

Use a thermometer

You may think you know what “done” looks like, but sometimes in the outdoor lighting it can be hard to tell. Use a food thermometer to check that foods are at the proper temperature before they come off the grill, and give them the correct amount of time to rest before cutting and serving. You can view a chart of temperatures and resting times here.

At CitroBio, we are committed to food safety. Learn more about how our food wash controls pathogens and helps maintain healthy, safe food.

melonThere has been a recent recall on pre-cut fruit salad containing melon in the US. The melon was sold at Costco, Jay C, Kroger, Payless, Owen’s, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, Walmart, and Whole Foods/Amazon. Produced at Caito Foods in Indiana, the melon has been distributed to Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio. The CDC reported that 60 people in five states in the Midwest have become ill. 66% of the infected were hospitalized. The FDA is investigating what happened to incite the contamination, but so far, the exact reason is unknown.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Throw away any cut melon that was purchased at the listed locations. With contamination of prepared products becoming more of an issue, many consumers are choosing to buy whole foods and prepare them in their own kitchens to control the risk of cross-contamination. When preparing melon, remember that washing the outside thoroughly before cutting into it is key, since melons are grown on the ground. Germs like E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria can be present on the rind. To safely enjoy melon:

  • Wash the melon thoroughly before cutting with a clean knife
  • Cut melon on a washed and sanitized cutting board that is used only for produce
  • Place cut melon directly into a clean container
  • Store cut melon in the refrigerator at proper temperature (less than 41 degrees F)
  • Use cut melon within three days
  • Consume cut melon within two hours if it has been sitting out at room temperature

For washing produce, give your family an extra layer of protection with CitroBio Fresh Food Wash. CitroBio helps to control bacteria and contaminants without altering the smell, taste, or appearance of food. Click to purchase on Amazon!

food-cateringCaterers have a particular interest in maintaining food safety in their operations. One bout of foodborne illness can close a catering operation down permanently. Most recently, the Plain Nuts Catering & Deli in Georgia has shut down after catering an event that made at least 70 people ill, with four admitted to the hospital. Lab tests confirmed Salmonella infections were present in multiple attendees of events catered by the company in May. Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult to make sure food is safe throughout the catering process. Here are some tips to help ensure food safety for caterers:
 
Investigate Suppliers
Ensure you are receiving fresh foods by checking the food safety certifications of your food suppliers. This is especially important for foods that are common food safety offenders, like sprouts, melon, and meat. This is arguably the most important step in food safety for caterers. Inspect foods thoroughly before preparing.
 
Sanitary Preparation
Follow all of the most important food safety rules, such as wearing gloves; regular hand washing; using separate cutting surfaces, storage containers, and utensils for raw meat; and making sure everyone involved in the preparation of food understands all of the rules of avoiding cross-contamination. Training staff to follow these rules is critical in this industry with a traditionally high turnover. Check local laws to ensure you are following all rules for sneeze guards, food safety measure documentation, and food allergies.
 
Maintaining Temperature
Throughout the food prep and transportation process, foods must be kept at the proper temperatures of above 140 degrees F for hot foods, and below 40 degrees F for cold foods. Ensure there is a backup system in place for refrigeration and heating elements while in transport and while serving. All foods must be kept in food-safe containers that can be sanitized between uses. Check food regularly with a thermometer to ensure the proper temperature is maintained. Throw away any foods that are found to be in the "danger zone."
 
At CitroBio, we are committed to food safety. Learn more about how our food wash controls pathogens and helps maintain healthy, safe food.

 

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Citro Industries, Inc.
7614 15th Street East
Sarasota FL 34243

1.800.332.1647
CitroBio uses FDA/GRAS
approved ingredients!

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