Recently, there has been an outbreak of Norovirus making its rounds through the general population. Norovirus is particularly contagious because it can be spread in many ways: through general contact, food, on surfaces, and more. This month, Norovirus has also been confirmed on cruise ships as well (Ocean Princess and Anthem of the Seas), which can be particularly concerning because of the close quarters and the ease of which an outbreak can spread.
To prevent spreading or contracting the Norovirus, always remember to wash your hands carefully with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers, and always before eating, preparing, or handling food. Carefully wash fruits and vegetables before preparing and eating them. Cook oysters and other shellfish thoroughly before eating them.
Noroviruses are relatively resistant. They can survive temperatures as high as 140°F and quick steaming processes that are often used for cooking shellfish. Food that might be contaminated with norovirus should be thrown out. Keep sick infants and children out of areas where food is being handled and prepared.
When you are sick, do not prepare food or care for others who are sick. You should not prepare food for others or provide healthcare while you are sick and for at least 2 days after symptoms stop. This also applies to sick workers in settings such as schools and daycares where they may expose people to norovirus.
To prevent poisoning from food-borne bacteria and viruses, it is important to practice good food safety techniques and thoroughly wash and clean fruits, vegetables, seafood, and meat. CitroBio Fresh Food Wash can be used on produce, seafood, sushi, and meat of all types to remove contaminants. To learn more about CitroBio, click here.
Did you know? In addition to being an all-natural, non-GMO fertilizer, Rapid Growth Activator also helps control diseases, insects, and fungus for all types of plants, trees, and turf. If you are having issues with bugs ruining your garden, give RGA a try!
Some of the organisms that RGA helps control include:
RGA is an effective all-natural alternative to harmful chemical pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers. It is available in small 5-lb pails suitable for home use. Enjoy more colorful flowers, a higher yield of fruits and vegetables from your home garden, and a thick, lush, green lawn. To purchase RGA, click here.
Did you know? Rapid Growth Activator is not just for farmers. RGA is for use by anyone, on all agricultural products, including grass, turf, trees, plants, flowers, vegetables, fruits, and more. 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.
Rapid Growth Activator:
Our formula contains the perfect combination of beneficial soil bacteria, nutrients and vitamins to create the best possible solution for your crop. RGA is produced by a natural fermentation process. The proprietary strains of natural soil present in this formula are grown in a laboratory under strict sterile media and high standards.
RGA is available for purchase in small quantities. Click here to purchase RGA now.
A recent study showed that the USDA’s projections for Florida Orange productions are steady at 69 million boxes, which was the predicted amount in December. While orange production is holding steady, grapefruit has dropped significantly from 11.5 million boxes predicted in December to an estimated 10.8 million boxes.
While Florida Grapefruit is showing a 16% decline in production over the 2014-15 season, this drop is less significant than the Florida Orange production, which is down almost 29% over last season.
“A decline in grapefruit was not unexpected given the overall trend the industry has experienced due to citrus greening. However, the continuity reflected in today’s orange forecast is encouraging,” said Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus.
Citrus greening disease is the main cause of the decline in the Florida Citrus industry over the past decade. RGA Rapid Growth Activator is an all-natural, eco-friendly "green" product specially formulated to enhance citrus and agricultural production. Our field studies demonstrate efficacy even in citrus trees damaged with HLB (citrus greening).
When RGA is used on healthy and diseased citrus trees, it has been shown to provide enumerable benefits to the soil and the plant. Benefits of RGA Rapid Growth Activator include:
Glazing, or the application of a protective layer of ice surrounding a piece of fish or meat, has long been used as a mechanical barrier between the food product and the air. Glazing is achieved by spraying the product with, or dipping it into, clean seawater, potable water, or potable water with approved additives. Without glazing, the oxygen in the air in a freezer or refrigerator will react with a product’s fats and potentially cause it to rot or succumb to freezer burn. Glazing is also a physical barrier that protects products from damage during production, packaging, transport, and retail.
CitroBio is a citrus extract food processing aid that it can be used throughout the entire seafood process. It can be added to glazing compounds to provide additional protection against pathogens. Use CitroBio for safer, cleaner seafood (and to extend shelf life) in the following ways:
All seafood can be treated through entire packaging process prior to freezing. Our actual customers are treating with CitroBio:
To learn more about CitroBio, contact us here.
Did you know there are many cases of food poisoning, foodborne illness, and recalls that are not mentioned in the media? Recalls especially are so frequent that it would be impossible to report every single item that is removed from shelves for health and safety reasons.
Fortunately there are several resources online that provide complete listings of important recalls and up-to-date food safety information. Below please find a list of sites to monitor for this information:
If you are concerned about food health, it is important to remember to practice good food safety such as frequent hand washing, using separate surfaces to cut raw meat and produce, and cooking food to a proper temperature before consuming. For more information about food safety practices, visit this easy-to-remember tips site.
CitroBio Fresh Food Wash can be used on produce, seafood, sushi, and meat of all types to remove contaminants. To learn more about CitroBio, click here.
As consumers become more aware of the damaging effects of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, many golf superintendents are looking toward a natural, biological management system to control disease and pests. Rapid Growth Activator provides biological turf management that is all-natural, eco-friendly, and "green."
RGA significantly reduces the use of fertilizer on golf courses, while increasing disease resistance. It contains naturally occurring soil bacteria, fungi, and microbial nutrients that promote the conversion of organic or inorganic fertilizers into plant available forms, thereby improving nutrient availability.
Expect beautiful, thick greens and less maintenance dollars being spent to keep your golf course in spectacular condition.
Rapid Growth Activator:
Did you know that green beans are among the riskiest vegetables to eat? A recent study from the Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability Center showed that green beans fall into the "very high risk" category due to being contaminated with toxic pesticides. One of the chemicals it was most often contaminated with is acephate (and its by-products) which are associated with nausea, dizziness, and nervous system damage.
Other examples of produce that were found to show high concentrations of pesticides include:
To lower risks such as cross-contamination and food poisoning, it is important to practice good food safety techniques and thoroughly wash and clean fruits, vegetables, seafood, and meat. CitroBio Fresh Food Wash can be used on produce, seafood, sushi, and meat of all types to remove contaminants.
CitroBio Fresh Food Wash:
To learn more about CitroBio, click here.
Thanks for visiting RGA Rapid Growth Activator at Booth 98 at the Florida Citrus Show. We were glad to meet you and share the real results we have with RGA Rapid Growth Activator. Our latest citrus tree studies of treated trees show an increase in new white root growth, indicating a healthier vascular system when treated with Rapid Growth Activator. The vascular system is the first line of defense against pests and disease.
RGA works from the roots up to fight citrus greening and improve the vascular health of all plants, including citrus trees. If you were not able to pick up one of our brochures at the show, click here to download a PDF. We would be happy to visit your grove to create a personalized treatment plan for you, or send you a sample of Rapid Growth Activator. Click here to contact us.
Top 5 Benefits of RGA:
RGA will be exhibiting at Booth 98 at the Florida Citrus Show January 27-28, 2016 at the Havert L. Fenn Center in Ft. Pierce, Florida. The Florida Citrus Show has been around for many years. This year the presenters will be discussing updates on weed, disease, and insect control strategies; as well as fertilization, irrigation and food safety.
Real data, real results, real rejuvenation
We are excited to show the benefits of treating citrus trees with RGA Rapid Growth Activator! Our latest studies show a 55% reduction in fruit drop in RGA treated vs. non-treated trees. The roots of treated trees show an increase in new white root growth, indicating a healthier vascular system when treated with Rapid Growth Activator.
RGA is a natural soil product produced by a natural fermentation process. When it is used on healthy and diseased citrus trees, it has been shown to provide enumerable benefits to the soil and the plant. Benefits of RGA Rapid Growth Activator include:
Fresh fruits and vegetables are a crucial part of the human diet. These foods are dense in nutrients and vitamins that are essential to health. It is important to know how to safely handle produce to help ensure that harmful bacteria and viruses, such as E. coli and salmonella, do not enter the body and cause foodborne illness (also known as food poisoning).
Harmful bacteria that may be in the soil or water where produce grows can touch fruits and vegetables and contaminate them. Fresh produce may also become contaminated after it is harvested, such as during storage or preparation. Farmers have a responsibility to get un-contaminated food to consumers, but from there, it is important for consumers to follow food safety guidelines.
It is important to:
To reduce the risk of food poisoning, consider using a food wash. CitroBio Fresh Food Wash is available for home use. CitroBio is a citrus extract wash for Seafood, Meat, Poultry, Cheese and Produce. It extends shelf life and has proven effectiveness against E. Coli, Salmonella and Listeria, among other pathogens. It does not change color or flavor but gives a better quality and appearance, no rinsing is necessary. Our ingredients are FDA/GRAS approved (Generally Recognized As Safe). CitroBio has been professionally tested, is completely biodegradable and soluble in water, oils and waxes.
To date there is no actual cure for citrus greening disease or HLB. Since the disease is insect vectored, it is almost impossible to control the spread from infected groves. Many groves are just abandoned while some groves burn trees. Others implement an advanced nutrition program applying trace nutrients to the leaves or to the roots, which in some cases has helped infected trees maintain yields.
Antibiotics and other known drugs or compounds that are safe for human consumption are also being tested for their ability to suppress the bacteria. A number of promising compounds have been identified and are already approved for use on food crops. They could be tested on actual field trees soon but remain expensive and impractical solutions.
Citrus trees are propagated as a scion (trunk and branches) grafted onto a rootstock. Seventeen rootstocks have been identified by the University of Florida that seem to tolerate the HLB infection well, and these are all being tested throughout the state. In lieu of antibiotics or new genetically modified crops, one tactic to fight citrus greening is to focus on root health. (Source: FoodNutritionScience.com)
In many cases of HLB, poorly developed root symptoms are observed. This is not a surprise since citrus greening is a vascular disease. Ensuring the best soil and root health is essential to preventing diseases such as citrus greening. RGA Rapid Growth Activator has performed several root health studies in trees infected with citrus greening disease. Results show treated trees show significant new white root growth, new shoots on trees, and less fruit drop than untreated trees. Click here to see our root health studies.
Last week, 19 people across seven states were sickened from an outbreak strain of E. coli, which was linked to chicken salad from Costco made with rotisserie chicken. This outbreak was serious, causing two people serious kidney problems and five people hospitalizations.
The CDC is investigating the outbreak, which was mostly contained in the West with Colorado, Montana, and Utah making up the majority of the illnesses. The rotisserie chicken has been identified as the source of the outbreak. People who purchased chicken salad or rotisserie chicken from Costco prior to November 20th were advised to throw it away immediately.
This E. coli outbreak falls on the heels of the Chipotle incident, where more than 40 people fell ill with E. coli food poisoning after eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill in six different states. The outbreak was coast-to-coast, including California, Ohio, New York and Minnesota. Forty-five people got sick, with 16 people hospitalized.
With more and more consumers wanting fresh, non-processed foods, foodborne illnesses are on the rise. While such products are generally healthier, cooking and processing can kill pathogens that make people sick. The source of Chipotle’s outbreak is not confirmed, but is thought to be produce or another perishable item, since high heat kills E. coli and it is not likely that all of the affected restaurants undercooked their meat.
Plain water is good for removing dirt and loose debris from produce, but for reducing contaminants and controlling bacteria, as well as extending the shelf life of food, we recommend CitroBio Fresh Food Wash. 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.
This September, we partnered with a golf course in Davenport, Florida, that was having problems with its greens. The greens were declining with fungal and nematode disease pressure. They then developed Pythium Disease after heavy rains and high humidity nearly destroyed several greens.
RGA was applied with a spray boom on the greens at a rate of 1/2 lb per acre. The application was applied in mid-September, 2015. RGA was watered in for ten minutes after the boom application via standard irrigation. The results were stunning: spots that were devoid of grass are thick and lush again, and the grass was greener, thicker, and brighter than ever.
Rapid Growth Activator (RGA) was specifically formulated to re-establish beneficial microbial populations and provide soil with the necessary components to promote vigorous growth. RGA:
Although Citrus Greening Disease has taken a heavy toll on citrus production in Florida, citrus growers on the Gulf Coast of Florida aren’t experiencing as tough of a loss as some other regions of Florida. It is thought that this is due to this region of Florida having a better soil profile that maintains water and nutrition better than other parts of the state.
Many citrus groves in the Gulf Coast region are flourishing. "Overall, the well-maintained groves in the region appear to have adapted to HLB by improving tree health and productivity," noted nursery owner Phil Rucks in a recent issue of Gulf Coast Growers News.
Replanting new trees will help the future of the citrus industry in Florida, but can be financially difficult for many growers. Even with replanting, young trees can be particularly vulnerable to weather changes, and disease. Soil and root health is critical to continuing to maintain strong trees and groves. To maintain the health of root systems, consider Rapid Growth Activator. RGA provides enumerable benefits to both the soil and the plant. Specifically, the microbial system will promote root growth and enhance root architecture. These aspects are crucial for diseased trees and young trees.
A healthy root minimizes nutrient leaching, aids in nutrient cycling, enhances nutrient absorption thereby stimulating plant growth and increasing resistance to abiotic stress. Click here to see our root health studies.
This week has not offered a feeling of positivity in the Florida citrus industry as forecasting for the 2015-2016 growing season was adjusted down about 7.5 percent Tuesday from the initial prediction made a month ago by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The new prediction reflects a 24% decline from last year's harvest.
The numbers are the lowest that have been announced since the 1963-1964 season. “This reduced forecast underscores the magnitude of the challenge facing the Florida citrus industry,” Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus, said in a statement.
What is contributing to the decline of the citrus industry? Several factors, including less farming land as massive development has picked up following the 2008 recession; but the main culprit of decline is the dreaded citrus greening disease, or HLB.
RGA Rapid Growth Activator is an all-natural, eco-friendly "green" product specially formulated to enhance agriculture production. Proudly made in U.S.A. Studies available demonstrate efficacy even in citrus trees damaged with HLB (citrus greening).
RGA provides enumerable benefits to both the soil and the plant. Specifically the microbial system will promote root growth and enhance root architecture. These aspects are crucial for diseased trees and young trees. A healthy root minimizes nutrient leaching, aids in nutrient cycling, enhances nutrient absorption thereby stimulating plant growth and increasing resistance to abiotic stress.
Citrus trees are not hardy in cold conditions, and even the strongest, most established trees need additional help in winter. When frost is expected, a little preparation goes a long way to maintain the health of a citrus tree. One of the most important things is to try to keep the roots of the tree warm and healthy.
For larger/older trees, preparing for freezes involves several steps:
For trees that are still somewhat small:
For very young trees:
Pile about a foot of soil on the trunk for extra several degrees of cold protection. Soil is dark and will absorb sunlight, keeping roots warm. This is called "banking" trees and may be done in the fall before the chance of frost for the best level of protection. Tree trunks can also be wrapped with tree wrap blankets.
Get on offense this winter with RGA Rapid Growth Activator. RGA helps maintain the root system of trees, which is very important in the colder winter months, even in warm climates. Start now before the winter months to protect your profits and help your trees stay healthy and strong. Click here to learn more.
November is quickly getting underway and it’s almost time for Thanksgiving chefs to head to the grocery store to select the star of the show: the Thanksgiving turkey. There are two ways to purchase a turkey - fresh or frozen. Learn more about the differences below.
Frozen turkeys, those chilled at or below 0°F, are actually fresher than “fresh” turkeys. Frozen turkeys are flash-frozen immediately after being butchered, and many turkeys that are labeled as “fresh” have actually been frozen and defrosted. Turkeys that have been chilled between 0°F and 26°F can be called hard-chilled or not previously frozen. A turkey may only be labeled “fresh” if it has never been chilled below 26°F.
When ordering a fresh turkey, be sure to pick it up from the store only a day or two in advance of Thanksgiving. A fresh turkey may only last 1-2 days; be very sure to comply with the “Use By” date to avoid contamination and food poisoning.
For maximum food safety, it is preferred to thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator. Place the turkey in its original wrapper on a cookie sheet in the fridge. Put the turkey as far back as it will go in the refrigerator. Never defrost a turkey at room temperature. For each five pounds of turkey, 24 hours of thaw time will be required in the refrigerator (a 20 lb turkey will take 4 full days). To tell if your turkey is thawed, use a digital-read food thermometer - you want a 40-45°F reading throughout.
If you have forgotten to place your turkey in the refrigerator to thaw, there is a speedy method to defrost the bird - by immersing in cold water in its original wrapping. The water must be changed once the water temperature reaches 40-45°F, or every 20-30 minutes. It will take 30 minutes per pound (approximately) to thaw the turkey, and it must be cooked immediately following this thawing method.
In addition to safely thawing, remember to use all basic food safety practices when handling raw turkey. Using CitroBio Fresh Food Wash when safely thawing and preparing Thanksgiving turkey controls bacteria, as well as extends the shelf life of fresh turkey. There is no need to rinse after applying CitroBio. CitroBio Fresh Food Wash does not alter the taste, appearance, or smell of turkey. It can also be used to clean kitchen utensils and cooking surfaces to reduce the threat of cross-contamination throughout the Thanksgiving meal preparation and cleanup. Click here to order CitroBio Fresh Food Wash for home use.
Seafoods, like other foods, can contain illness-causing bacteria and viruses. These microorganisms come from a variety of means including the environment, pollution of the water, or contamination.
Contamination may be caused by many things including seafood handlers, equipment on boats and food processing factories, or the natural environment. Cooking fresh seafood to an internal temperature of 140°F helps to kill bacteria and viruses, but these microorganisms can cause illness when they are present in seafoods consumed raw, or in processed seafoods.
Cross-contamination of seafood can be prevented through good sanitation, personal hygiene, and seafood handling practices. Food handlers should be certain to:
CitroBio Fresh Food Wash is effective in controlling bacteria, as well as extending the shelf life of seafood. There is no need to rinse after applying CitroBio to seafood. CitroBio Fresh Food Wash does not alter the taste, appearance, or smell of seafood. CitroBio can also be used to clean utensils and cooking surfaces to reduce the threat of cross-contamination throughout the food processing industry. To learn more, click here.
Currently in Texas, the citrus industry is wearily watching citrus greening, or HLB, creep into the state’s citrus crop and is trying to maintain the health of its trees. There are currently two large areas where HLB has been discovered: around Houston and at the southernmost tip of Texas. The Texas Department of Agriculture is carefully monitoring the situation and has issued a quarantine for the areas pictured. Citrus plants, leaves, or twigs are not allowed to be moved outside of the quarantine area to prevent the spread of citrus greening disease (HLB).
Citrus greening disease does not infect humans or animals, but has debilitated millions of citrus crops around the world. Citrus greening disease is named for the green, lopsided, and bitter fruit it causes trees to produce. HLB can be diagnosed by blotched, streaked or spotted leaves; fruit that is misshapen or retains a green color at the bottom; and bitter taste. Most trees infected with citrus greening die within a few years.
Facts about citrus greening and how it harms the citrus industry:
If your citrus crop is suffering and showing fruit drop or signs of disease, contact us to learn more about RGA Rapid Growth Activator. RGA is a natural defender against citrus greening disease/HLB. Anyone can use RGA, from citrus farms to the casual gardener. View our field studies here.