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Archive for the ‘FDA’ Category

U.S. FBI Cost $500 Per Head in Healthcare, Losses

Posted by feww on March 3, 2010

Press Release: Safe Food for a healthy Life

Foodborne Illness Costs Nation $152 Billion Annually – Nearly $39 Billion Loss Attributed to Produce

Washington DC – Acute foodborne illnesses cost the United States an estimated $152 billion per year in healthcare, workplace and other economic losses, according to a report published today by the Produce Safety Project (PSP).

The study, Health-Related Costs from Foodborne Illness in the United States, was written by Dr. Robert L. Scharff, a former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) economist and current Ohio State University assistant professor in the department of consumer sciences. The study estimates that more than a quarter of these costs, an estimated $39 billion, are attributable to foodborne illnesses associated with fresh, canned and processed produce.

The FDA has announced that it will propose before the end of the year mandatory and enforceable safety standards for the growing, harvesting and packing of fresh produce. These will be the first nationwide safety standards for fresh fruits and vegetables.

“An up-to-date cost analysis of foodborne illnesses is critical for FDA officials and lawmakers to craft the most effective and efficient reforms,” said Jim O’Hara, PSP director. “A decade ago, we spent more than $1.3 billion annually to try to reduce the burden of foodborne illness and today we are spending even more. We need to make certain we are spending limited funds wisely and hitting our target of reducing sicknesses and deaths, and this study gives us a yardstick to measure our progress.”

Produce (fresh, canned and processed) accounts for roughly 19,700,000 of the reported illnesses documented, at a cost of approximately $1,960 per case and $39 billion annually in economic losses. California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania were the states most impacted by foodborne illness cases related to produce.

In additional to national data, the report includes data at the state level.

“The contribution of this study is that it provides more complete estimates of the health-related cost of foodborne illness in the United States by summing both medical costs (hospital services, physician services, and drugs) and quality-of-life losses (deaths, pain, suffering, and functional disability) for each of the major pathogens associated with foodborne illness,” said Dr. Scharff. “This cost includes both expenses to the person made ill such as pain and suffering losses and costs to others in society such as outlays by insurance companies that pay medical expenses.”

Scharff based his analysis on the economic principles currently used by FDA and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) economists in their cost analyses. In addition, to account for uncertainty he utilized confidence intervals and sensitivity analysis.

The cost of foodborne illness is calculated on both an aggregate level and a pathogen-specific level. To view a full copy of the report and the state-by-state data analysis, simply visit http://www.producesafetyproject.org and click on the Health-Related Costs report.

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http://www.producesafetyproject.org.

Interactive Map: Annual Health-Related Costs of Foodborne Illness for Each State

Related Links:

Posted in FDA, food hygiene, Food Regulations, food safety, salmonella | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Listeria Prompts Food Recall

Posted by feww on February 20, 2010

Queseria Bendita Recalls Queso Fresco, Panela, and Requeson Because of Possible Health Risk

Food Recall – Firm Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 19, 2010 – Queseria Bendita of Yakima, Wash., is recalling three types of cheese, Queso Fresco, Panela, and Requeson, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.


Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Source: koolielu.edu.ee

The Queso Fresco, Panela, and Requeson cheeses are sold at Queseria Bendita’s retail store and were distributed in Washington and Oregon, where they are sold in Hispanic markets.

The Queso Fresco is packaged in one- and three-pound vacuum packed wheels; the Panela is vacuum packed in one- and three- pound sizes; and the Requeson is packed in eight-ounce and one- pound clear plastic tubs.

Each cheese has a green label identifying the type of cheese, the Queseria Bendita brand name, and a date code up to and including “Apr 30 2010”.

To date there is one confirmed illness in Washington related to the recalled product. Other illnesses in Washington and Oregon may also be related.

The public health investigation of the illnesses led to sampling and testing of the cheeses. The testing revealed the contamination of the product with Listeria monocytogenes.

The company has ceased production and distribution of the product while the Washington State Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the firm investigate the source of the problem.

Consumers who have purchased the product are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-509-574-8587 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Listeria monocytogenes bacteria

Listeria monocytogenes bacteria is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria often experience fever, severe headaches, stiffness, diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria can result in miscarriage or stillbirth among pregnant women.


Source: Bacterial Meningitis. Image may be subject to copyright.

Group B Streptococcus, Escherichia coli, and Listeria monocytogenes comprise the most common causes of meningitis in neonatals. About 17,500 cases of bacterial meningitis are reported in the U-S annually. (Source)

Company Contact:
Queseria Bendita
512 S. 3rd St.
Yakima, WA 98901
Sandra Aguilar 509-574-8587

Other Recent Food Recalls

Listeria Related Links:

Posted in FDA, food recall, health risk, Queseria Bendita, Washington | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »