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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.

watermelon

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.

 

Wednesday, 16 May 2018 13:08

The Dangers of Raw Milk

instagram-issuu-raw-milkRaw milk is a new food fad among organic-loving, health-conscious shoppers, but at what price? Fans of raw milk say it is milk as nature intended: nutrient-rich with natural probiotics that aid in digestion and boost the immune system. Raw milk seems like a good idea considering the popularity of farm-to-fork foods, but pasteurization, or the process of heat-treating milk to kill harmful pathogens, is a necessary step to maintain food safety. 

Pasteurization kills pathogens such as E. coli, salmonella, listeria, and campylobacter that are found in the gut and poo of even healthy cows. Raw milk relies heavily on skilled farmers and cross-contamination prevention to be remotely okay for humans to consume, and most raw milk will be found with a label that reads "for animal consumption only," because raw milk is not FDA approved for humans to drink.

US food Safety officials have called raw milk "playing Russian roulette," and between 2009 and 2014, raw milk and raw milk cheese caused the vast majority of all illnesses linked to dairy products that were contaminated. Based on those figures, raw milk is 840 times more risky than pasteurized milk.

Most recently, raw milk from the Pool Forge Dairy in Pennsylvania was linked to listeriosis, an infection caused by the pathogen Listeria. Listeriosis in pregnant women can cause harm to the unborn baby, and can lead of life-threatening complications in the very young and the elderly. You can view more information about this issue here.

lettuce-growing-blogEating well has never been easier with all of the options available to consumers today. Farmers markets, organic produce co-ops, and grocery delivery services make it much simpler to make healthy choices to feed your family. Unfortunately, with all of the automation in food processing today, and the volume that is being produced, there are more chances for cross-contamination and a higher likelihood that a foodborne illness outbreak will occur. The most recent romaine lettuce E.coli outbreak was a grim reminder of the dangers lurking in prepared produce products. There are several steps you can take to help keep your family safe:

Grow it!
The ultimate way to ensure that your produce is clean and healthy is to grow it yourself! Even if you don’t have a backyard to use, container and indoor gardening has never been more accessible with the affordable products available online today. You can even grow produce hydroponically, with no soil at all!

Choose local
Locally-sourced produce has gone through less steps to get to you, which means less hands touching the produce, less time spent in transit, and reduced chances of cross-contamination. Local produce is more likely to have been produced on a smaller farm, and though it may not say organic because that distinction is expensive and costly to receive, it may have been grown organically. Ask your farmer’s market about the origins of the produce to be sure.

Store correctly
Store produce physically away from raw meat and other potential contaminants. Make sure produce that is required to be cold is kept cold. When in doubt, refrigerate it!

Beware of cross-contamination
Cross-contamination can occur when preparing produce. Make sure to thoroughly wash hands and clean surfaces before preparing produce. Use separate knives and containers for produce and meat or eggs. Never re-use a surface or container that held raw meat without sanitizing first.

Wash wash wash that produce!
Good old cold running water is one of the best ways to reduce the chances of becoming ill from pathogens that can be found on produce. For an extra layer of protection, try CitroBio Fresh Food Wash. It is effective against contaminants such as E.coli, Salmonella, and Listeria. Click here to purchase!

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Eggs Contaminated with Salmonella

Rose Acre Farms in North Carolina voluntarily recalled 207 million eggs earlier last week after more than 20 consumers became ill from a suspected salmonella poisoning. The recall is the largest of eggs in the U.S. since 2010, when more than 550 million were recalled from two Iowa farms, according to the website Food Safety News. Eggs sold at Publix locations in Florida are now part of the massive recall.

Unhealthy conditions were found several times during inspections of the Rose Acre Farms facility in Hyde County, North Carolina, that allowed for the “proliferation and spread of filth and pathogens throughout the facility that could cause the contamination of egg processing equipment and eggs,” according to a report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A review of the farm’s pest control records flagged an ongoing rodent infestation, with rodents, dead carcasses and baby mice observed, along with workers who weren’t following proper sanitary practices.

Romaine Lettuce Recall

This is the second major recall this month, as there is also a nationwide recall of chopped romaine lettuce due to a potential E.coli contamination risk. At this time, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified, so the CDC is advising that people anywhere in the United States who have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce at home, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.

Before purchasing romaine lettuce at a grocery store or eating it at a restaurant, confirm with the store or restaurant that it is not chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. If you cannot confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it.

Be sure to thoroughly cook any eggs to a food safe temperature to avoid a salmonella infection, and to always wash fresh foods before preparing or consuming. To purchase CitroBio Fresh Food Wash for food safety, click here.

Thursday, 29 March 2018 19:19

Easter Egg Food Safety Tips

easter-eggsThis weekend is Easter, and many people will be enjoying a wonderful holiday dinner with their families. The most common proteins in Easter meals are lamb, ham, and eggs. Eggs are very nutritious and are the most perfect protein, but they come with their own set of food safety rules that should be followed to avoid foodborne illness. 

From FoodSafety.gov: If eggs aren’t handled properly, they can make people ill due to Salmonella, an organism that causes food poisoning, also called foodborne illness. Salmonella, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, and fever, can be found on both the outside and inside of eggs that look perfectly normal. In otherwise healthy people, the symptoms generally last a couple of days and taper off within a week. But some people such as pregnant women, young children, older adults and persons with weakened immune systems are at risk of severe illness from Salmonella. In these at-risk individuals, a Salmonella infection may become serious. That’s why it’s important to handle fresh eggs properly and these tips explain how to do so.

Refrigerate Eggs Promptly: Keeping eggs adequately refrigerated prevents any Salmonella in the eggs from growing to higher numbers which makes them more likely to cause illness.

  • Buy eggs only from stores that keep them refrigerated.
  • At home, keep eggs refrigerated at 40°F (4°C) until they are needed. Use a refrigerator thermometer to be sure.
  • Refrigerate unused eggs or leftovers that contain eggs promptly.

Keep Clean: The outside as well as the inside of eggs can be contaminated.

  • Wash hands and all food contact surface areas (e.g., counter tops, utensils, dishes, and cutting boards) with soap and water after contact with raw eggs.
  • Discard cracked or dirty eggs.

Cook Eggs Thoroughly: Cooking reduces the number of bacteria present in an egg; however, a lightly cooked egg with a runny egg white or yolk still poses a greater risk than a thoroughly cooked egg. Lightly cooked egg whites and yolks have both caused outbreaks of Salmonella infections.

  • Eggs should be thoroughly cooked until both the yolk and white are firm. Recipes containing eggs mixed with other foods should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160ºF (71ºC).
  • Eat eggs promptly after cooking. Do not keep eggs warm or at room temperature (between 40 to 140ºF) for more than 2 hours.
  • For recipes that call for raw or lightly cooked eggs, consider using pasteurized shell eggs or pasteurized egg products.

Separate: Never let raw eggs come into contact with any food that will be eaten raw.

Eating Out: Avoid restaurant dishes made with raw or lightly cooked, unpasteurized eggs. When in a restaurant, ask if they use pasteurized eggs before ordering anything that might result in consumption of raw or lightly cooked eggs, such as Hollandaise sauce or Caesar salad dressing.

Please contact us with any questions you may have about keeping your family safe from foodborne illness. We are happy to help! Click here to purchase CitroBio Fresh Food Wash for Food Safety.

sproutsOn February 28, 2018, the CDC announced that there was an outbreak of Salmonella linked to sprouts that were served at a restaurant in the midwest, as well as a grocery store. Ten people have been infected with Salmonella as a result of the outbreak. Following the outbreak, the FDA collected samples from the growers and suppliers and have consistently received negative results, so it appears the outbreak is over.

Raw sprouts are one of the more dangerous foods to consume with regard to food safety. The biggest contaminators are E. coli and Salmonella, but Listeria can also be an issue. If you experience nausea, diarrhea, fever or stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after consuming sprouts, they are likely the culprit.

There's no reliable way to see or smell if your sprouts are harboring unpleasant bacteria. Fortunately, proper washing and cooking of sprouts will kill the harmful bacteria. Those with weakened immune systems, children, the elderly, and pregnant women should not eat raw or lightly cooked sprouts. Sprouts should be thoroughly washed and cooked to ensure bacteria is killed.

In addition to proper cooking, be sure to maintain food safety standards when handling or consuming sprouts. Only buy fresh sprouts that have been properly refrigerated. Don't buy sprouts that smell musty or appear slimy. Wash your hands thoroughly before consuming sprouts. Consider washing sprouts in a solution like CitroBio Fresh Food Wash.

CitroBio Fresh Food Wash preserves texture, color, and freshness of food, while inhibiting the growth of bacteria. It extends the shelf life of whole and fresh cut food and is made with FDA/GRAS ingredients. It is colorless, tasteless and odorless on food, and made in the U.S.A. Click here to purchase CitroBio on Amazon.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018 00:01

Is Romaine Lettuce No Longer Safe to Eat?

romaine-lettuceIn late November and early December, people across Canada and the United States become ill following the consumption of romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli. There were 42 cases of E. coli across Canada reported, and 25 in the United States. Several people were hospitalized, and two individuals died as a result of complications from the E. coli poisoning. Canada identified romaine lettuce as the culprit, but the United States wasn’t able to pin down a specific type of produce and cautioned consumers about all “leafy greens.”

The good news is, as of January 2018, romaine lettuce and leafy greens have been deemed safe to eat again. The last illness was reported on December 12, 2017. Why, however, do these food poisoning outbreaks keep happening? The answer is cross-contamination. E. coli bacteria live naturally in the intestines of cattle, poultry and other animals. Commonly, when produce is tainted by E. coli, it is due to coming into contact with infected animal feces. Lettuce and other leafy greens can become contaminated by bacteria in the field by soil, contaminated water, animals themselves, or manure.

What can be done to protect your family from E. coli? Proper food safety techniques will reduce the risk of an E. coli infection. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after handling food. When preparing lettuce, discard the outer leaves. Wash unpackaged lettuce with cool, fresh running water. Keep rinsing lettuce until all visible dirt has been washed away. Don’t soak greens in the sink, as your sink may be contaminated with bacteria. Use warm water and soap to wash all utensils, countertops, cutting boards, and storage containers to avoid cross-contamination. Lettuce should be used within seven days of purchase. Discard lettuce when the leaves become wilted or brown.

As you can see, it is very important to thoroughly clean produce before consuming. For extra protection, we recommend washing with CitroBio Fresh Food Wash which is effective against E. coli, listeria, salmonella, and other pathogens — click here to purchase on Amazon!

rte-meatCooked ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products are widely thought to be food safe by the general public, but they are actually quite subject to contamination by microorganisms. In particular, Listeria is a serious offender when it comes to contamination of RTE deli meat, which is why pregnant women are often told not to consume deli meat unless it is properly heated in a microwave first to kill any Listeria monocytogenes that may be present. Listeria can grow even under proper refrigeration, and may not make you feel sick at all, but can pass to an unborn baby. If it does make you feel sick, you will likely experience fever, headaches, fatigue, aches, nausea, and vomiting.

The microorganisms on RTE meat contaminate foods after the cooking step and may further grow during shelf-life, potentially spoiling or causing foodborne illness. Although many RTE meat manufacturers try to combat the potential meat spoilage by adding salt, fat, and chemical preservatives like nitrates, Listeria still can manage to grow on RTE meat products. The post-packaging decontamination technologies that are most effective have been found to depend on the type of product, so there is no one-size-fits-all treatment to ensure RTE meat is safe to consume.

To help keep your family safe from food poisoning by ready-to-eat meats, be sure to consume deli meat within 3 days of purchase or, in the case of prepackaged deli meat, within 3 days of opening and within the printed expiration date. Listeria can grow even under refrigeration. If you are pregnant, be sure to heat the meat in the microwave until it is steaming, at 165 degrees Fahrenheit, although it is safest to avoid deli meat and hot dogs altogether while pregnant.

CitroBio Fresh Food Wash is effective in controlling pathogens, as well as extending the shelf life of food. There is no need to rinse after applying CitroBio. CitroBio Fresh Food Wash does not alter the taste, appearance, or smell of food. To learn more, click here.

Thursday, 07 December 2017 21:22

Preventing Cross-Contamination While Traveling

instagram-issuu-template-citrobio-travelThe holidays are fast approaching! When traveling to see friends and family during cold and flu season, it is extra prudent to ensure that you are following good health and safety practices. There are a number of things you can do to help prevent yourself from falling ill during travel:

Wash your hands

The most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family is to wash hands. It sounds elementary, but thorough hand washing, including using warm water, soap, and scrubbing the front, back, and between the fingers for twenty seconds is the first line of defense against illnesses. Hand hygiene is essential to stop the spread of infection and can dramatically reduce your chances of diarrhea, vomiting, food poisoning, gastroenteritis, flu, norovirus, MRSA, or even hepatitis A.

Drink bottled water

Even when traveling within the United States, tap water quality can vary from place to place. Your gut may not have the right flora to protect you from various pathogens in the local water supply, so stick to drinking bottled water where possible. A bottle with a built-in filter is a good choice if you’re not sure if bottled water will be readily available.

Practice food safety wherever you go

Food contamination is one of the biggest causes of gastrointestinal problems and illness while traveling. You should always try to ensure that any food that is consumed while traveling (or anywhere!) is fresh, cooked thoroughly, and served hot. Make sure everyone who is preparing your food is wearing gloves, and that a separate person is handling the money (or that the person removes their gloves before handling money, and puts on a fresh pair before going back to serving food.) Some foods to avoid (JUST IN CASE!) are:

  •  Salads that may have been washed with local water
  •  Cut fruit and vegetables
  •  Hot foods in gas stations or airports that may have been sitting under a heat lamp for hours
  •  Buffets

There are an estimated 76 million cases of food poisoning in the United States every year. The thought of getting a viral infection from foods should not, however, keep you from enjoying food on the go. CitroBio Fresh Food Wash is effective in controlling pathogens, as well as extending the shelf life of food. There is no need to rinse after applying CitroBio. CitroBio Fresh Food Wash does not alter the taste, appearance, or smell of food. CitroBio can also be used to clean utensils, and cooking surfaces, to reduce the threat of cross-contamination. To learn more, click here.

Monday, 13 November 2017 16:25

Thanksgiving 2017 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.

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

1.800.332.1647
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