FDA details mess in Texas plant tied to Salmonella cases

first_img The problems in the Peanut Corp. of America’s (PCA’s) Plainview, Tex., plant are detailed in a seven-page inspection report posted online yesterday by the FDA. The Plainview plant was the second of two PCA facilities tied to the outbreak, which involves at least 677 illnesses in 45 states. The Plainview plant blanched, split, granulated, and roasted peanuts, according to the FDA. After the discovery of unsanitary conditions there, Texas officials on Feb 12 ordered PCA to shut the plan down and recall all products made there. PCA filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Feb 13 and a week later said the filing barred it from communicating with customers. As a result, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the FDA are collaborating to handle the recall, according to Sebastian Cianci, an FDA spokesman. Cianci said all products made at the Plainview plant since Jan 1, 2007, are subject to a Class I recall, meaning consuming the products could lead to serious health problems. Products made at the plant before 2007 are subject only to a “market withdrawal,” a classification the agency uses when a product has a minor violation that would not trigger FDA legal action, he said. Six dead mice in a crawl space above the ceiling over the kitchen and blanching area of the plant The DSHS is notifying all the parties that received products from the Plainview plant since Jan 1, 2007, Cianci said. Once that task is done, the FDA will check how all of those businesses responded to the notices, he said. “From a regulatory standpoint we can’t reach the same conclusion [concerning Class I status] at this point regarding the product manufactured in this time frame, before 2007,” Cianci said. Several roof leaks that allowed rainwater to drip into peanut processing areas Buildups of “peanut fines, meal, chunks, or paste (some gooey other solidified)” on numerous pieces of processing equipment The inspectors also found various other problems: Mar 4, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Inspectors at a Texas peanut processing plant tied to the current nationwide Salmonella outbreak found dead mice, mouse droppings, roof leaks, gooey buildups on equipment, and other sanitation problems, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Storage of recalled peanut products from the Blakely plant among Plainview products awaiting shipment to customers, without separation and labeling to guard against inadvertent shipment of the recalled Blakely products Also, he noted that a private laboratory hired by PCA found Salmonella in peanut meal and granulated peanuts from the plant. He said the FDA was still working on determining the precise strain of Salmonella in those samples. Cases in the current outbreak were first linked to the Plainview plant in mid-February, when the outbreak strain was found in an opened jar of peanut butter from a case-patient in Colorado. The peanut butter had been made by Vitamin Cottage, a natural-foods retail chain, from peanuts that came from the Plainview facility. Later the strain was found in a jar of Vitamin Cottage peanut butter from another patient, Cianci said today.center_img Texas officials on Feb 12 reported finding dead rodents, rodent excrement, and feathers in a crawl space above a production area of the Plainview plant. The newly released FDA report offers more details. It says inspectors found abundant evidence of mice in processing areas of the plant, including: The outbreak, which publicly surfaced in early January, has been blamed mainly on PCA’s processing plant in Blakely, Ga. But in February, the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium was found in products from the Texas plant. However, “Whether it’s a market withdrawal or a recall, it still equates to a product coming off the shelf,” he added. The total number of products recalled because of the current outbreak stood at 3,076 today, according to the FDA. A failure to operate ventilation equipment in a way that minimized the risk of contamination of food and food-contact surfaces See also: A dead mouse stuck to a glue trap in a room off the kitchen FDA list of recalled productshttp://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/peanutbutterrecall/index.cfm Rodent pellets on a countertop, under a sink, and in cabinets in various rooms in the kitchen area The report did not describe the peanut products that had been shipped to Plainview from the Blakely plant. A PCA e-mail that surfaced during a Feb 11 congressional hearing on the outbreak indicated that tons of raw peanuts had been shipped from Blakely to Plainview but did not mention any processed products having been shipped there. FDA update on outbreak investigationhttp://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/MajorProductRecalls/Peanut/default.htm In addition, the FDA and the DSHS each tested samples of peanut meal from the Plainview plant during their investigation and found the outbreak strain, Cianci said.last_img read more

Asante tears ACL, likely out for full 2013 season

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on August 8, 2013 at 7:54 pm Contact Trevor: tbhass@syr.edu | @TrevorHass Syracuse forward Tony Asante tore his left anterior cruciate ligament and will likely miss the entire 2013 season.Asante said he tore the ligament playing in a summer league in New Jersey two weeks ago and will have surgery in the upcoming weeks. He told The Daily Orange the news Thursday with a forlorn expression on his face, stopping to chat in the Manley Field House parking lot. Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre confirmed the injury on the phone Thursday night.“Tony’s an important part of what we’re doing,” McIntyre said, “and he’s coming off a good spring and good summer.”McIntyre said he’ll look into who will replace Asante in the starting lineup over the next few weeks. For now, though, he said his main responsibility is to take care of Asante and help him recover.“Basically we’ll just let the swelling go down,” McIntyre said, “we’ll see the docs, and then we’ll get him all squared away so he can start his recovery.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThat recovery could take quite some time. The average torn ACL healing time is close to a year. If all goes according to plan for Asante, he’ll get another year of eligibility and enter his senior season in 2014.Originally from Ghana, Asante joined the Orange in 2012 after playing with Monroe College for two years. Last season he tied for third on the team in points (14) and finished second in goals (5) as the Orange flew from the Big East cellar to its best season in school history.Asante had two three-point games as Syracuse advanced to the Sweet 16 before falling to Georgetown in penalty kicks. The Orange finished the season ranked No. 17 in the country, thanks in large part to Asante.His natural goal-scoring ability was evident early on, when he ripped off a streak of four games in a row with a goal. Asante’s shiftiness around the net and ability to outwit the goalie helped ignite the Orange.He thrived off Ted Cribley and Louis Clark’s passes and was extremely crafty inside the box.The loss means McIntyre’s missing yet another critical player in his lineup from a year ago. After Clark, Cribley and Lars Muller graduated and leading scorer Jordan Vale transferred to UCLA, Asante’s injury places the Orange in an even more difficult situation.Despite those losses, though, Syracuse still looks poised for another stellar season in its first year in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Midfielder/forward Alex Halis and midfielder Mike Koegel highlight one of the best recruiting classes in SU history. The Orange also returns star goalkeeper Alex Bono, midfielders Stefanos Stamoulacatos and Nick Perea and defenders Jordan Murrell and Skylar Thomas, among others.While McIntyre said Asante is a big loss, he’s confident his team will be able to move forward and thrive.“He’ll certainly be missed,” McIntyre said, “but it will now give someone else an opportunity to step up and contribute.” Commentslast_img read more

Call of the wild in Sabi Sand

first_imgThe main building at Kirkman’s Kamp is a fine example of the old colonial style.(Image: Chris Thurman)  It happens to everyone who encounters animals in the African bushveld, from the most experienced game ranger to the first-timer “on safari”.We see a giraffe munching on leaves and think of a baseball player chewing gum. Lionesses with cubs look to us like any human mothers of triplets would – exhausted, exasperated, while their broods run playfully over and around them.Spotting an elephant stripping the bark off a broken branch by rotating it carefully in his mouth, we find ourselves stuck between similes: is he like a craftsman, turning a piece of wood in a lathe; or a guy watching rugby on TV, working away at a tough stick of biltong?A group of young male buffalo, separated from the herd, remind us of a gang of moody, testosterone-filled teenage boys. A lone leopard, knowing no territorial boundaries and roaming over hundreds of kilometres, is Clint Eastwood or James Dean – an outlaw, a rebel without a cause.Those who like long words call this anthropomorphism: seeing human characteristics in things that aren’t human.Anthropomorphism is also what makes us pity the poor dung beetle, not only because of the unpleasant raw material Mother Nature gave him to work with, but because we see his daily struggle in terms of human endeavour. He can spend hours pushing a dung ball ten times his size up a hill, only to see it tumble down again – like Sisyphus who, in Greek mythology, was condemned to perform a similarly hopeless task for eternity as a punishment for disobeying the gods.The male, presenting his carefully crafted ball to a potential mate, may have his proposal rejected: a failed suitor. Or the female might take up his offer, and join him in making a little dung-centred home: the perfect picture of husband and wife cooperating in domestic bliss.But then there are sights that make us realise how irreconcilably different wild animals are to us. A lion at an impala kill, licking the dead animal’s neck with its rough tongue – not in a gesture of tenderness, but to soften the hide before taking the head in its mouth and cracking open the skull. A pack of hyenas chasing a leopard from a two-day-old buffalo carcass, before ripping into the rotting flesh with bloody abandon.And there are stories about animal behaviour that seem to take the survival instinct, or the law of natural selection, to extremes: lions killing the offspring of competing males, or entire prides abandoning weak cubs to save their energy for nurturing offspring that are more likely to prosper.Common groundWe sometimes think that this is what separates us from animals – but as we know all too well from the evidence of human selfishness and violence, we have much in common with a natural world that is “red in tooth and claw”.And yet, paradoxically, if we want to maintain some form of relationship with the animal kingdom we must overcome our “animalistic” impulses to destroy and, instead, desire to conserve. In the process, we might also learn how to treat our fellow-humans better.That is, I think, what lies at the heart of our collective fascination with “the bush”, and what makes game viewing a mentally, emotionally and spiritually invigorating activity. It’s the reason that a stay in the bush is top priority for most tourists to South Africa and, for South Africans, it’s the reason that our pristine savannah is a source of national pride.I was reminded of this on a recent trip to Kirkman’s Kamp in the Sabi Sand private game reserve, which shares a fenceless border with the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga.How far we have come, as even a brief acquaintance with the human history of the Sabi-Kruger area reveals. Just over a century ago, my great-great-uncle Harry Wolhuter was a game ranger in the newly-formed Kruger Park. His conservation efforts were stymied by a close encounter with two rogue lions: he was attacked, knocked off his horse and dragged almost 100 metres, before managing to stab one of the lions and climb a tree to escape the other.Heroic stuff, indeed, and Uncle Harry’s legend has been proudly recounted by many of his successors over the years; but I’d prefer to watch a lion from the safety of a jeep, thank you.Lion countryA lion-killing Harry of an entirely different sort was Harry Kirkman. In the 1920s, Kirkman was given the job of managing a cattle ranch called Toulon Farm, owned by the foolhardy souls at the Transvaal Consolidated Land and Exploration Company.Yes, that’s right: they decided to farm cattle in an area with what was then one of the world’s highest concentrations of lions. Go figure. It was left to Mr Kirkman to deal with the leonine menace – a job he was alarmingly good at, killing over 500 lions during his six-year stay at Toulon.Fortunately, however, the land was subsequently sold to more environmentally-minded owners. Years later, the homestead once shared by Harry and his wife became the centre of Kirkman’s Kamp. This lends the lodge a “colonial” atmosphere, with large verandas and sweeping lawns offering a different aesthetic to other Sabi Sand lodges.Style and architectural charm are one thing; the socio-economic legacy of colonialism and apartheid another altogether.The “human ecology” in rural Mpumalanga – as throughout the country – remains fragile. Many people, desperate for food or some form of income, turn to poaching.For this reason andBeyond – the company that manages Kirkman’s Kamp and other lodges in the Sabi Sand area – is attempting to address community needs: turning former poachers into trackers and rangers; helping schools and families to tend their own vegetable gardens; planting trees to provide shade in which plants can grow; and, crucially, undertaking educational initiatives to prevent the spread of HIV/Aids.It seems, then, that humans and animals have more in common than we think – and protecting wilderness areas is a matter of mutual interest. So perhaps anthropomorphism isn’t such a bad thing: if we see ourselves in animals, and see animals in ourselves, we might just survive as a species after all.last_img read more

HapagLloyd to Issue Fines for Misdeclared Hazardous Cargoes

first_imgzoomIllustration; Source: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license German shipping major Hapag-Lloyd revealed its plans to implement a penalty of USD 15,000 per container for misdeclared hazardous cargoes.The company said that the measure would be effective as of September 15, 2019, and was introduced “in the overall interest of safe operation onboard.”The move comes on the back of a major incident that occurred on one of the company’s containerships earlier this year. The 7,510 TEU vessel Yantian Express suffered a fire while sailing some 650 nautical miles off the Canadian coast in January 2019. A month later, the Yantian Express berthed in Freeport, Bahamas, for an evaluation process and cargo discharge preparation.Hapag-Lloyd explained that, in order to ensure the safety of its crew, ships and other cargo onboard, it holds the shipper liable and responsible for all costs and consequences related to violations, fines, damages, incidents, claims and corrective measures resulting from cases of undeclared or misdeclared cargoes.last_img read more