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Archive for December 27th, 2009

Beef Recall in Six States

Posted by feww on December 27, 2009

Oklahoma firm recalls 112 tons of beef products in six states

Following an outbreak of E. coli, National Steak and Poultry of Owasso, Oklahoma, said it was recalling 248,000 lbs (112,000 kg) of beef products in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota  and Washington state.

The company said it was recalling the meat products voluntarily and as a precautionary measure because it thought some of its beef products might be linked to a series of E. coli outbreaks in those states.

Although the company refused to confirm any contamination had occurred at its production facilities, it said they “will err on the side of being cautious” by recalling the products.

“This is the first recall in our company’s nearly 30-year history,” the firm said in a recorded message on a consumer helpline.

National Steak and Poultry of Owasso package frozen beef and poultry, marinated beef and poultry products as well as fully cooked meats.

Ecoli bacteria
An image of E.coli bacteria provided by the USDA. The bacteria can cause diarrhea, dehydration, kidney failure and death.The Agriculture Department, which oversees meat safety in the US, said it concluded  “there is an association between the fresh ground beef products and illnesses in Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts,” after a cluster of food-borne illnesses in New England was reported, and a New Hampshire resident had died consuming ground beef that may have been infected with the deadly E. coli bacteria. More images

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a physician.

SAFE PREPARATION OF FRESH AND FROZEN GROUND BEEF

From: USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline

  • Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry. Wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water. Immediately clean spills.
  • Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry and egg products and cooked foods.
  • Consumers should only eat ground beef or ground beef patties that have been cooked to a safe internal temperature of 160° F, whether prepared from fresh or frozen raw meat products.
  • Color is NOT a reliable indicator that ground beef or ground beef patties have been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7.
  • The only way to be sure ground beef is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature.
  • Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase or one hour if temperatures exceed 90° F. Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking

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Posted in E coli outbreak, E.coli O157:H7, food safety, Foodborne Illness, tainted beef | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Mayon Volcano UPDATE: 27 Dec 09

Posted by feww on December 27, 2009

20 million m³ of lava spewed since Dec 14

Mayon edifice remains inflated despite voluminous lava extrusion

Highlights of news, observations, official and unofficial reports:

  • Renewed high level of activity in the past 24 hrs
  • At least 9 tephra explosions
  • Tephra (ash, lapilli and volcanic bombs) ejected to maximum height of about 1 km above the summit
  • 44 volcanic earthquakes
  • 297 rock fall events
  • 20 million m³ of lava extruded since Dec 14 [Unofficial figure]
  • Edifice remained inflated despite voluminous lava flow during the past two weeks
  • SO2 average daily emissions down to 2,304 tons per day due to brief clogging the previous day
  • Water-rationing regime has begun at the makeshift evacuation centers (mostly local school classrooms)

The following Bulletin was released by The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) today:

Mayon Volcano Bulletin 14 released on 27 December 2009

Mayon Volcano (13.2576 N, 123.6856 E) continued to exhibit a high level of activity during the past 24-hours observation period. Nine ash explosions accompanied by rumbling sounds were observed during times of good visibility, seven of which occurred from 4:20 AM to 5:49AM today. The explosions produced dirty white to brownish ash columns with lava fragments that reached heights from 800 to 1000 meters above the summit.

The seismic network detected 44 volcanic earthquakes and 297 rock fall events related to the detachment of lava fragments at the volcano’s upper slopes. Flowing red hot lava and rolling incandescent lava fragments temporarily slowed down after the 10:52 A.M. explosion earthquake yesterday and resumed early morning today after the 4:20 A.M. ash explosion. The apparent brief lull was also reflective of the decrease in the sulfur dioxide emission rate from the previous 8,993 tonnes per day to yesterday’s measurement of 2,304 tonnes per day.

Electronic tilt meter measurements at the northwest slope of Mayon Volcano (elevation 800m ASL), indicate that the edifice remained inflated despite the high volume of lava extruded since the start of the eruption on December 14, 2009.

Alert Level 4 remains hoisted over Mayon Volcano, meaning a hazardous eruption is possible within days.  Thus, PHIVOLCS-DOST reiterates that the Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) from the summit of 8-km on the southern sector of the volcano and 7-km on the northern sector should be free from human activity.  Areas just outside of this EDZ should prepare for evacuation in the event hazardous explosive eruptions intensify.  Active river channels and those perennially identified as lahar prone in the southern sector should also be avoided especially during bad weather conditions or when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall.  PHIVOLCS–DOST is closely monitoring Mayon Volcano’s activity and any new significant development will be immediately posted to all concerned.

For previous entries, additional information, photos and links to Mayon Volcano see links below:

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Posted in Mayon activity, mayon edifice, Mt Mayon, Philippines volcanoes, SO2 emissions at mayon | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »