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

Notebook: Is it really elementary?

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Girls indoor track Lakers second at MVITA meet

first_img Tags: Cazenoviagirls indoor track by Kurt WheelerThe Cazenovia girls indoor track team put on their best performance of the season in their first appearance among their old Mohawk Valley rivals last Friday night.The Lakers scored 61.5 points to finish second among 30 teams at Utica College’s Hutton Dome. Only Class AA Fayetteville-Manlius (164) outran the girls as they beat out large school competitors Rome Free Academy (56) and Utica Proctor (51) along with Class B rival Clinton (51). Johnson was also brilliant throughout the meet, leading the team with a personal best of 44.39 seconds in the 300 to finish fourth. She also added a fifth place, 7.89-second effort in the 55-meter dash. Grace Dolan ran a sectional qualifying time of 1:50.54 to earn fourth place in the 600-meter run, her best ever.Knapp also contributed to the team’s fourth place showing in the 4×400 meter relay with Molly Dolan, Ainsly Schug and anchor Melanie Michael (1:07.3 leg) finishing in 4:34.99.Michael also led the team in the 55-meter hurdles, earning fourth in 9.66 seconds with teammate Katie Whitney also scoring in a personal best, sectional qualifying time of 10.09 seconds.Cazenovia’s distance runners also contributed to the team’s strong showing. The 4×800 meter relay placed sixth in their best time of the season as Ava Hartley, Carley Lounsbury, Melanie Michael and Molly Hart clocked a 10:59.20.Hart also scored in the 3,000-meter run with her best time of the year (11:33.64) while Hartley led the team in the 1,000-meter run (3:27.78). Claire Braaten also scored for the team in the 1,500 with a season best time of 5:29.07.Lili Gavitt led the Lakers in the field events, earning a fourth place finish in the high jump at 4’8″ with Katie Pavelchak also clearing the sectional standard of 4’6′ Ava Gavitt hit a career best of 32’8 1/2″  in the triple jump to place fifth with Bonnie Pittman also achieving a personal best of 30’7 1/2″ to qualify for sectionals.Claire Edwards led Cazenovia in the throws, tossing a career best of 30’11” (state qualifier eligible) to place sixth in a competitive field. Lili Sorbello led the team in the weight throw (23’9″) while Lounsbury had her best pole vault of the season (7 feet) to qualify for sectionals.Overall, the Lakers scored in 13 of 16 events as they achieved 17 sectional performances and two state qualifier performances along with a host of season-best efforts.Cazenovia hopes to peak at the right time with the OHSL Championship coming up on Jan. 29 and secctional meet on Feb. 8. The squad will wrap up its regular season this week as they would make up the DiMao Invitational at Colgate (snowed out in December) on Tuesday and return to OCC for the Bob Grieve Memorial Meet on Saturday.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story center_img Cazenovia competed in the Utica-based eastern league for a decade before shifting back to Syracuse-based meets at SRC Arena two years ago.Senior sprinter Chloe Smith led the Lakers, scoring in three events including a second place finish in the 55-meter dash (7.79 seconds) and a third place effort in the long jump (15 feet 5 1/2 inches).Smith led the 4×200 meter relay with a season best 27.8-second leg. Grace Dolan, Riley Knapp and Savannah Johnson also ran excellent legs to help the Lakers finish second in 1:53.64, fast enough to earn a bid to the state qualifying meet.last_img read more

Wisconsin volleyball team heads to beach

first_imgJAKE NAUGHTON/Herald photoEvery spring the University of Wisconsin volleyball team prepares for the upcoming season by working on conditioning and deciding which players will replace the graduating seniors.While the Badgers are again doing both of those things this spring, the team has a different approach to their training.UW hit the ground running during a trip to San Diego over spring break. While the team was out in California, head coach Pete Waite put his players through three hours of conditioning and stretching before they faced San Diego State in a five-game match, and Wisconsin won four of the five matches against the Aztecs.“It was more about getting our bodies realigned. We did a lot of different kinds of stretches combined with conditioning that made our hips aligned with our legs,” senior middle blocker Audra Jeffers said. “Now people are out here making a lot stronger movements and getting to different balls. We definitely are seeing a change and, with different drills that we have been doing, more stamina from everybody.”Once the Badgers got back to Madison they began a training program different from any they had ever been through. Instead of practicing five days a week in the UW Field House on the hard court, Waite now has alternated his training schedule, switching back and forth between the hard court and the sand court they have set up in an empty warehouse off campus.“It makes you a lot quicker, and you can see the court so much better,” junior outside hitter Brittney Dolgner said about training in sand. “Your teammates can see the court better, and they can tell you what kind of shots to hit, blocking, and serving and everything.”In the short time the players have been training on the beach, Waite has already noticed the improvements in his players when they bring the game back to the Field House.“Their ball control is much better,” Waite said. “You got people who are middle blockers and never play back row are back there passing and playing defense. You got the defensive specialists who normally don’t get to hit have to pass and then go hit. You have Nikki Klingsporn who, as a setter, usually doesn’t hit. She’s back there passing and hitting.“All of their games are going to be much more balanced. It really has been motivating them to be stronger and better, and it has been fun to watch.”For the players, alternating between the beach and the hard court has made spring practice more exciting, as the sand has broken up the sometimes monotonous schedule this time of year.“It definitely does (make spring more exciting),” Dolgner said. “It makes school go faster, too, which is nice. You are always looking forward to a different kind of practice that you are not used to. We’ve never done the beach thing, so it makes it a lot faster and a lot of fun.”“It’s almost like cross training,” Waite said. “You’re not bored with one thing where you are going five days a week just in the same spot. The sand is very different.”One of the main reasons the Badgers are training in the sand this season is to prepare for the third annual AVCA/CBS Collegiate Beach Championship, which they will participate in April 18-20 in San Diego. And while Waite already sees how training in sand has improved his team, he sees the move to the sand as a way volleyball is becoming even more of a year-round sport.“The coaches association is talking about a beach spring season,” Waite said. “A lot of schools would have beach tournaments, and players would go from the hard court to sand. It would increase television exposure because it’s a whole new sport out there, and it’s very big at the pro level. We are trying to push for it, and it is something that is really showing [to be] improving our team also.”Another reason for the training this spring is so the Badgers don’t suffer another letdown in the NCAA Tournament like they did last year in a loss to Iowa State at home in the second round.“I still think about it for sure,” Jeffers said about their second-round defeat. “Nobody wants to end a season like that. It’s great to have one more year where we could end on a good note.”“They were dealing with a lot of injuries that made it hard for them to be as good as they can be at the end,” Waite said. “That’s very tough. The big part of what we are doing is making sure they are all healthy at this point. Getting them healthy and making them stronger. That’s what they are doing right now.”While the rotation is not set yet, the rapid improvement in his players this spring will help Waite better prepare his team to move forward without one of the most successful senior classes in school history.?The quintet of Taylor Reineke, Jackie Simpson, Jocelyn Wack, Megan Mills and Amanda Berkeley led the Badgers to two Elite Eight appearances and 99 wins in four years. However, the training program UW is going through this offseason will make the transition easier for Waite.“We’ve got a number of people who had a good amount of court time last year,” Waite said. “Now it’s just stepping up and filling in the new roles. We’re seeing a lot of improvements in our first two months. They are doing really well. They are playing well as a group and as individuals.”last_img read more

Pendergast has eyes toward the future

first_imgClancy Pendergast sits in a classroom on the first floor of the John McKay Center on a recent Friday afternoon. It serves as a rather appropriate setting, considering the 45-year-old defensive coordinator has some teaching to do.Looking up · USC Defensive Coordinator Clancy Pendergast has plenty of experience, including a yearlong stint with the Kansas City Chiefs. — Courtesy of Kansas City Star His lesson plan, as he points out, includes instructing USC’s defense to be aggressive, swarm to the ball, tackle and force turnovers. The primary goal, he says, is simply “to get our guys to play fast.”The checklist, of course, sounds a bit lengthy.It’s extensive, if only because the Trojans have particularly struggled on that side of the ball in recent years. Just last season, the unit allowed 394 yards per game (ranking 60th nationally) and 24.3 points per game (40th nationally). Most glaringly, in a Nov. 3 home game against Oregon, they gave up 62 points and 730 yards — the most points and yards given up in a single game in school history. It appeared to epitomize everything that had gone wrong with the group since the turn of the decade: slow reacting, slow adjusting — just slow, mostly.Not to mention two years earlier, in 2010, USC allowed, on average, 400 yards per game, the worst mark since the school first began tracking the statistic in the mid-1950s.Pendergast shrugs it off. He isn’t interested in discussing the numbers, not at length and not on this day anyway. In his mind, it’s irrelevant.“I had my own things going; I really didn’t look closely at what they did,” said Pendergast, who joined USC head coach Lane Kiffin’s staff on Jan. 18 after spending the last three seasons heading the defense at Cal. “I’m looking forward into the future and not back.”What Pendergast and Kiffin hope the future holds is this: that USC can adjust to the rising number of Pac-12 teams utilizing spread offenses — an obstacle the outgoing Monte Kiffin, the team’s de facto defensive coordinator, seemingly could not overcome. Teams such as Arizona, Oregon and UCLA all moved the ball with relative ease against the Trojans last season, employing spread systems that produced touchdown upon touchdown.“That’s what makes it so challenging to coach in the [Pac-12]: the diversity of offenses that you face,” Pendergast said. “That’s also one of the reasons I enjoy coaching in this league.”So, at present, with USC in its second week of spring practice, Pendergast is emphasizing a revamped defense. The program is breaking away from its traditional 4-3 defensive front, which utilizes four defensive linemen combined with three linebackers, in favor of a 3-4 scheme as part of that adjustment geared toward stopping speed in space.“It’s the way to go in this conference,” Kiffin said. “It’s why we made the change.”The exact defensive installation so far revolves around a “5-2” defense, a variation of the 3-4 that moves two linebackers up and closer to the line of scrimmage. Call it an aggressive approach, less reactive compared to the famed “bend but don’t break” Tampa-2 system favored under Monte Kiffin.Pendergast seems confident it’ll work.“It’s multiple and it’s flexible to use the personnel that we have,” he explained.He’s conveyed that message often in recent weeks. He emphasizes the personnel available and a willingness to play anyone at any age at any position — a link to USC’s defensive heyday in the mid-2000s under Pete Carroll, who frequently played underclassmen without a second thought.“The game’s about the players,” Pendergast said. “I don’t know any coaches who have ever blocked or tackled or had an interception. It’s a player’s game. Regardless of the style of offense, we want the best guys out there.”Players say they’ve warmed up to the approach.“He demands a lot out of the whole unit,” redshirt junior safety Josh Shaw said. “That’s what you want out of your [defensive] coordinator. Like I said, he’s hands-on. We’ve definitely responded well to him.”Pendergast also quickly cites his resume, which serves as a sign he can fix the Trojans’ ailments. During his first season with Cal, the Golden Bears jumped from seventh to first in the then-Pac-10 in total defense. And in 2008, as the defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals, Pendergast led his unit to fifth in the NFL in takeaways with 30 en route to a run to Super Bowl XLIII — a testament to his aggressive scheme.“The guy has a lot of insight,” Shaw added. “His knowledge is unbelievable.”For USC to bounce back in 2013, the team’s best hope is that his knowledge is as good as advertised.last_img read more

APS Board of Education Continues Search

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Alpena Public Schools’ Board of Education is making progress on their search for a new board member.The seat became vacant when board member Richard Matteson stepped down on may 15th. Since then, the board has received applicants, and three of those applicants will be interviewed in hopes of filling that seat.The board has 30 days to find a replacement. Letters of interest were accepted through last Friday. According to Board President Gordon Snow, interviews will likely be conducted by the full board of education the week of June 12th, an exact date has not been determined.Snow also says that one of the three candidates will likely be appointed to the board immediately following the interviews, which will be open to the public.The appointment is for the remainder of Matteson’s term, which ends on December 31st, 2018.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Alpena Recognizes World MS DayNext Fitness Friday: How Shakes Benefit Your Body and Helps With Weight losslast_img read more