Archive For The “Health” Category

U.S. Food Supply is Among the Safest in the World

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 By USDA AMS

SWASHINGTON  – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published the 2017 Pesticide Data Program (PDP) Annual Summary. The Summary shows more than 99 percent of the samples tested had pesticide residues well below benchmark levels established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Each year, USDA and EPA work together to identify foods to be tested on a rotating basis. In 2017, tests were conducted on fresh and processed foods including fruits and vegetables as well as honey, milk and bottled water. AMS partners with cooperating state agencies to collect and analyze pesticide residue levels on selected foods. For over 25 years, USDA has tested a variety of commodities including fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat, poultry, grains, fish, rice, specialty products and water.

USDA tests a wide variety of domestic and imported foods, with a strong focus on foods that are consumed by infants and children. EPA relies on PDP data to conduct dietary risk assessments and to ensure that any pesticide residues in foods remain at levels that EPA has determined to be safe. USDA uses the data to help U.S. farmers improve agricultural practice and to enhance the department’s Integrated Pest Management Program.

The annual pesticide residue results are reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and EPA in monthly reports as testing takes place throughout the year. FDA and EPA are immediately notified if a PDP test discovers residue levels that could pose a public safety risk.

The 2017 data and summary can be found on the Pesticide Data Program page on the AMS website. Printed copies may be obtained by contacting the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, Science and Technology Program, Monitoring Programs Division by e-mail at amsmpo.data@ams.usda.gov.

For more information about pesticides and food, please visit the EPA website and the FDA website.

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Imperfect Fruit is As Good As Grade 1 Avocados At Index Fresh

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bA30y Index Fresh

Riverside, C.A. — California-based avocado marketer, Index Fresh is talking about imperfect fruit, those less than perfect avocados. The ‘So Good – Grade 2 Avocado’ brand has a few blemishes on the outside, but taste just as good as a Grade 1 avocado.

There are a lot of reasons why an avocado may be deemed ‘imperfect’ and marked as Grade 2 fruit. An avocado with sun damage or other scarring on its skin doesn’t always mean blemishes or brown spots on the inside.

“The inside of an imperfect avocado will be the same as the inside of a fruit you buy at the grocery store,” said Bailey Diioia, Ventura Field Representative for Index Fresh.

For Index Fresh, Grade 2 avocados are as precious as any other. So, these are marketed to the food service sector keeping in mind that what’s on the inside matters the most. After the bins from the fields arrive at an Index Fresh facility, the team sorts through them and hand-grades the avocados before packing them up for customers.

The avocado company partnered with Vevian Vozmediano (@VevianVoz), Personal Chef and Lifestyle Coach, for easy and delicious recipes using the ‘less than perfect’ fruit. “Imperfect fruit is actually perfect for so many recipes and the mango salad with avocado dressing is an excellent example of how we can use these avocados,” she said.

About Index Fresh

Index Fresh is a worldwide marketer of avocados, sourcing from all major growing regions around the globe, including California, Mexico, Peru, and Chile. Through its dedication to quality, consistency, and innovation, Index Fresh continues to be a leader in the industry.

Headquartered in California, the company has facilities spread across Texas, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Ohio, Colorado, and Illinois. Early this year, Index Fresh also started operations at its new packing, bagging, and ripening facility in Pharr, TX.

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Strawberries Could Help Reduce Harmful Inflammation in the Colon

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A335by The American Chemical Society

BOSTON — Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a set of painful conditions that can cause severe diarrhea and fatigue. Treatments can include medications and surgery. But now researchers report that a simple dietary intervention could mitigate colonic inflammation and improve gut health. In this case, a strawberry — or rather, less than a cupful of strawberries — a day could help keep the doctor away.

The researchers are presenting their results recently at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS, the world’s largest scientific society, is holding the meeting here through Thursday. It features more than 10,000 presentations on a wide range of science topics.

“The sedentary lifestyle and dietary habits of many people in this country — high-sugar, high-animal-fat, but low-fiber diets — may promote colonic inflammation and increase the risk of IBD,” says Hang Xiao, Ph.D., who led the study.

In 2015, 3 million adults in the U.S. reported being diagnosed with IBD, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. IBD includes both Crohn’s disease, which can infect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, and ulcerative colitis, which is characterized by inflammation of the colon and rectum. People with IBD also have a higher risk of colorectal cancer.

The dietary consumption of fruits and vegetables has been associated with a lowered risk of IBD. To establish an effective and practical approach to decrease colonic inflammation in both IBD patients and the general population, Xiao and his team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst focused on strawberries due to their wide consumption. According to Yanhui Han, a Ph.D. student who conducted the study, most of the previous reports focused on the effects of purified compounds and extracts from strawberries. “But when you only test the purified compounds and extracts, you miss out on a lot of other important components in the berries, such as dietary fiber, as well as phenolic compounds bound to the fibers, that can’t be extracted by solvents,” he says. He adds that it also makes sense to study the effects of whole berries because people mostly consume the whole fruits rather than their extracts.

In their experiment, Han and Xiao used four groups of mice — a group of healthy mice consuming a regular diet, and three groups of mice with IBD consuming a regular diet, a diet with 2.5 percent whole strawberry powder or a diet with 5 percent whole strawberry powder. Xiao says they tried to feed the mice doses of strawberries that would be in line with what a human could reasonably consume.

The researchers found that dietary consumption of whole strawberries at a dose equivalent to as low as three-quarters of a cup of strawberries per day in humans significantly suppressed symptoms like body weight loss and bloody diarrhea in mice with IBD. Strawberry treatments also diminished inflammatory responses in the mice’s colonic tissue.

But decreased inflammation wasn’t the strawberry’s only conferred benefit during this study. Colonic inflammation adversely impacts the composition of microbiota in the gut. With IBD, the abundance of harmful bacteria increases, while levels of beneficial bacteria decrease in the colon. Following the dietary treatments of whole strawberries, the researchers observed a reversal of that unhealthy microbiota composition in the IBD mice. Xiao’s team also obtained experimental data that indicated strawberries might impact abnormal metabolic pathways in the IBD mice, which in turn could lead to the decreased colonic inflammation they observed.

Next, the team will try to validate their findings in IBD patients. While eating three-quarters of a cup of strawberries a day could be beneficial for those looking to enhance their gut health, Xiao advises patients to consult with their doctors before changing their diets. He also suggests avoiding this type of nutritional intervention if one is allergic to the fruit.

The researchers acknowledge funding from the USDA.

The American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, is a not-for-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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New Campaign Highlights the Performance-Boosting of Potatoes

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A32By Potatoes USA

DENVER — The Potato industry is making a strong statement about potatoes to demonstrate the performance-boosting benefits of America’s favorite vegetable.  Potatoes USA, the nation’s potato marketing and research organization, worked with its members to identify a nutrition-based lifestyle benefit that challenges consumers’ preconceived notions about potatoes.  Extensive research led to a strategy based on a key truth: Potatoes fuel performance.  Most people don’t consider the potato a performance food and are surprised to learn about all of the nutritional benefits. 

Potatoes provide the energy, potassium and complex carbohydrate people need to perform at their best. A medium-size, 5.2-ounce potato with the skin on has, 26 grams of carbohydrate, 620 mg of potassium, and is more energy packed than any other popular vegetable.  Potatoes also contain many other important nutrients that athletes seek such as 27 mg vitamin C, 2 g fiber and 3 g complete protein.1  

Adequate energy intake supports optimal body functions and carbohydrate is the primary fuel for your brain and a key source of energy for muscles.2  And with the skin on potatoes have more potassium than a medium-size banana. Potassium is an important electrolyte that aids in muscle, cardiovascular and nervous system function.

Potatoes USA is bringing its “performance” strategy to life in a new campaign that shows how potatoes fuel athletic performance and poses the question: “What are you eating?” The campaign is based on the idea that consistently beating your personal best isn’t just about how you train, it’s about what you eat.

“The potato undeniably works in the athlete’s favor,” says Blair Richardson, Potatoes USA President/CEO. “The message is clear: If potatoes can fuel elite athletes, they can fuel your active life, too.”

While the campaign features athletes it is not about marketing only to them. It is about showing the power of the potato through people who can influence consumers to think about potatoes differently.

The campaign is being executed through a variety of mechanisms including race sponsorships—including a year-long partnership with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, advertising, influencer marketing, social media and industry engagement.

About Potatoes USA
Potatoes USA is the nation’s potato marketing and research organization. Based in Denver, Colorado, Potatoes USA represents more than 2,500 potato growers and handlers across the country. Potatoes USA was established in 1971 by a group of potato growers to promote the benefits of eating potatoes. Today, as the largest vegetable commodity board, Potatoes USA is proud to be recognized as an innovator in the produce industry and dedicated to positioning potatoes as a nutrition powerhouse.  

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Build a Better Bowl of Mushrooms during September

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MushroomBy The Mushroom Council

Redwood Shores, CA – Big bowl. Small bowl. Rice bowl. Grain bowl. No matter the preferred bowl, you can always make it a better bowl with mushrooms.

For Mushroom Month, the Mushroom Council will be devoting September to reminding consumers and chefs about the health and taste benefits of making mushrooms the main ingredient in your favorite bowl build.

“Bowls are continuously ranking among the most trending foods among both foodservice and consumers, and there are plenty of reasons why,” said Bart Minor, president of the Mushroom Council. “For consumers, it’s the ultimate convergence of convenience and the globalization of cuisine. At foodservice, you couldn’t ask for a less expensive, more filling dish on the menu – after all, it’s mainly grains, veggies, and not a lot of meat.”

“When it comes to great bowls, mushrooms are the answer,” Minor added. “You need umami in a bowl build, and mushrooms will bring that meaty, satisfying umami flavor.”

Throughout Mushroom Month, the council’s “Build a Better Bowl with Mushrooms” campaign will engage with consumers, influencers and menu developers through a variety of activities, including:

  • “Build a Better Bowl” recipes and videos sharing simple ideas for crafting delicious bowls starring mushrooms recipes.
  • A September 26 Facebook Live session featuring Melissa d’Arabian demonstrating how to build a better bowl using mushrooms. Viewers who stay tuned throughout the whole segment will have a chance to answer a secret question to be entered to win special prizes.
  • The Council spotlighting its Top 5 Bowls at Restaurants Nationwide, with chefs sharing why mushrooms are a must in their bowls. Restaurants include Bubu’s Zen Bowl (Denver, CO), Radio Room’s Barley Buddha Bowl (Portland, OR), ediBOL’s Ginger Sesame Bowl (Los Angeles, CA), Nourish Café’s Golden Gate Bowl (San Francisco, CA), and Sweetfin Poké Miso Eggplant & Shimeji Mushroom Bowl (Santa Monica, CA).
  • Media outreach nationwide spotlighting favorite bowls.
  • Social media “bowl polls” allowing audiences to vote for their favorite bowl of the week. Audience members who vote will be entered to win weekly giveaways.

For more information, visit the Mushroom Council’s Build a Better Bowl with Mushrooms feature at MushroomCouncil.com.

About The Mushroom Council:

The Mushroom Council is composed of fresh market producers or importers who average more than 500,000 pounds of mushrooms produced or imported annually. The mushroom program is authorized by the Mushroom Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act of 1990 and is administered by the Mushroom Council under the supervision of the Agricultural Marketing Service.

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American-Grown Pistachio Consumption Increases Globally

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pistachioby American Pistachio Growers

FRESNO, Calif. — American-grown pistachio consumption numbers are up globally and have increased substantially in international markets between 2015 and 2017.  This is according to a report released recently by California State University, Fresno (CSUF) Department of Agricultural Business, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.

The trend is welcomed by nutrition experts who tout the virtues of pistachios for their health properties. According to nutrition expert Mike Roussell, Ph.D., “Pistachios are the perfect addition to any eating plan for health-minded individuals as they offer a number of health benefits which result from their strong nutritional values, key amino acids, healthy fats, minerals like magnesium, and dietary fiber.”

The United States remains the largest producer of pistachios in the world with approximately 99 percent grown in California, where climate and precision agricultural practices produce high quality nuts. Paired with the fact that approximately 70 percent of pistachios grown in the U.S. are exported, this data shows how popular the nut is worldwide.

This increase in demand is likely due to global health trends and a growing body of scientific research that ties pistachios to a wide range of benefits, including weight management, blood sugar control and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

“We’re finding that not only is overall consumption of U.S. pistachios increasing, but consumers are also broadening their consumption timeframe,” said American Pistachio Growers (APG) Vice President of Global Marketing Judy Hirigoyen. “While nuts have traditionally been consumed during winter months and holidays, we’re seeing increases during spring and summer months as consumers learn about the health attributes pistachios have for athletic individuals and weight management.”

For this study, trends were reviewed in China, South Korea, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom – seven nations considered to be primary trade partners for U.S. pistachios. Additionally, the study includes India as an important emerging market. For the report, CSUF researchers used data for total pounds of pistachios traded across borders accessed from the Global Trade Atlas (GTA).

Global Pistachio Consumption

Germany has no in-country pistachio production, but has seen 84.2 percent growth in consumption over a three-year period. The U.S. share of market in 2017 was 45.4 percent, up 16.1 percent since 2015.

Spain has new plantings of pistachios, most of which will come into production within the next two to three years. There has been a consumption increase of 29.8 percent since 2015. U.S. share of market in 2017 was 31.7 percent, an increase of 31.6 percent since 2015.

Italy produces the Bronte pistachio, prized for its dark green color. Consumption of in-shell pistachios over the past three years has risen 41.2 percent. U.S. share of market in 2017 was 31 percent, an increase of 41.2 percent over 2015.

France produces no pistachios, and has seen a 20.1 percent consumption increase over the past three years. U.S. share of market in 2017 was 42.6 percent, which is 1.7 percent lower than 2015 share, although overall volume for U.S. product is up.

United Kingdom produces no pistachios. Since 2015, there has been a 34.4 percent decline in overall pistachio consumption. However, the U.S. gained 219.6 percent share of market in 2017, with a share of 68.6 percent, thus more than doubling consumption of American pistachios.

South Korea has no pistachio production. There has been a 47.2 percent increase of pistachio consumption since 2015. The U.S. has maintained nearly 100 percent share of market in South Korea.

India’s pistachio market is dominated by Iran and other Middle Eastern countries, which have conducted pistachio trade with India for hundreds of years. However, the U.S. pistachio industry has seen its market share grow 146.7 percent over the past year. Overall consumption of the nut has increased by 49.6 percent over the past three years.

China has nominal pistachio production and is, by far, the largest consuming nation of pistachios. There has been an increase of 182.4 percent in consumption over the past three years. The U.S. share of the market totaled 96.6 percent in 2017, a 74 percent increase over three years.

About American Pistachio Growers

American Pistachio Growers is a trade association representing more than 800 members who are pistachio growers, processors and industry partners in California, Arizona and New Mexico. For more information, visit AmericanPistachios.org.

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New Study: Mangos Help Fight Constipation

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A2By The National Mango Board

ORLANDO, FL – Next time you suffer from constipation, you may want to consider grabbing a mango instead of reaching for a fiber supplement, suggests a new Texas A & M University pilot study published in the peer-reviewed journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. The researchers found that mango, which contains a combination of polyphenols and fiber, was more effective than an equivalent amount of fiber powder in relieving constipation – a chronic digestive condition that affects an estimated 20 percent of Americans.

“Our findings suggest that mango offers an advantage over fiber supplements because of the bioactive polyphenols contained in mangos that helped reduce markers of inflammation and change the make-up of the microbiome, which includes trillions of bacteria and other microbes living in our digestive track,” said corresponding author Susanne U. Mertens-Talcott, an associate professor in the department of nutrition and food science at Texas A & M University. “Fiber supplements and laxatives may aid in the treatment of constipation, but they may not fully address all symptoms, such as intestinal inflammation.

For the four-week study, 36 adult men and women with chronic constipation were randomly divided into two groups: the mango group ate about 300 grams of mango a day (equivalent to about 2 cups or 1 mango), while the fiber group consumed the equivalent amount of fiber powder into their daily diet (1 teaspoon or 5 grams of dietary psyllium fiber supplement).

Throughout the study, the participants’ food intake was assessed by a food questionnaire to ensure that their eating habits did not change. The food intake analysis revealed that the mango and fiber groups consumed equivalent amounts of calories, carbohydrates, fiber, protein and fat.

Measures of constipation severity were taken at the beginning and end of four weeks, and both the mango and fiber groups improved over the course of the study. However, mangos were found to be more effective in reducing the symptoms of constipation in the participants than fiber alone. Mango supplementation significantly improved constipation status (stool frequency, consistency and shape) and increased short chain fatty acids levels, which indicate improvement of intestinal microbial composition. Mango consumption also helped to reduce certain biomarkers of inflammation.

The researchers conclude that more research is need to determine the mechanism of action involved in the mango protective effect in constipation and which role mango polyphenols may play in supporting the beneficial effects of fiber.

The research was supported in part by funds from the National Mango Board.

About the National Mango Board

The National Mango Board is an agriculture promotion group supported by assessments from both domestic and imported mangos. The board’s vision, to bring the world’s love of mangos to the U.S., was designed to drive awareness and consumption of fresh mangos in the U.S. marketplace. One cup of the superfruit mango contains 100 calories, 100 pecent of daily vitamin C, 35 percent of daily vitamin A, 12 percent of daily fiber, and an amazing source of tropical flavor.

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Reports: Organic and Conventional Produce is Safe, “Dirty Dozen” List Unsupportable

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A11aby The Alliance for Food and Farming

Watsonville, CA – According to the USDA and the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sampling data, 99 percent of residues on fruits and vegetables, when present at all, are well below safety levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

FDA sampling shows that 50 percent of the foods sampled had no detectable residues at all.    “In light of today’s “dirty dozen” list release, both government reports are good news for consumers and show that the “list” author’s contentions about residues and “dirty” produce are unfounded, unsupportable and, in fact,  may be harming public health efforts to improve the diets of Americans,” says Teresa Thorne, Executive Director of the Alliance for Food and Farming.

Thorne says peer reviewed research published in Nutrition Today shows that inaccurate statements regarding “high” residues associated with the annual “dirty dozen” release resulted in low income consumers stating they would be less likely to purchase any produce – organic or conventionally grown.   “For over two decades the authors of this list have inaccurately disparaged healthy and safe fruits and veggies to the detriment of consumers,” Thorne says.  “Since a farmer’s first consumer is his or her own family, providing safe and wholesome food is always their priority.  Consumers should be reassured by the farmers’ commitment to food safety and government reports that verify that safety year after year.”   Among the additional USDA/FDA findings:

  • Pesticide residues pose no risk of concern for infants and children.
  • The results provide consumers confidence that the products they buy for their families are safe and wholesome.

Further, a peer reviewed study found that EWG’s suggested substitution of organic forms of produce for conventional forms did not result in any decrease in risk because residues on conventional produce are so minute, if present at all. The same study states that EWG did not follow any established scientific procedures in developing their list. There are decades of peer-reviewed nutrition studies which show the benefits of eating a diet rich in fruits and veggies on health, Thorne explains.

These studies were largely conducted using conventionally grown produce. Thorne adds that health experts universally agree that a plant rich diet is important for everyone, but especially for children, pregnant women or those wishing to become pregnant.  “What I tell women routinely is all the data suggests you want to increase your intake (of fruits and vegetables) during pregnancy and for that matter before you even become pregnant to help optimize your chance of having a healthy child,” says Dr. Carl Keen,

Professor of Nutrition at the University of California, Davis whose research focuses on the influence of  the maternal diet on the risk for pregnancy complications. For those struggling with infertility, A 2018 study in human reproduction found females under 35 undergoing in vitro fertilization had a 65 to 68 percemt increased chance of success with a stronger adherence to the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes eating lots of fruits and veggies each day.

Further illustrating how low pesticide residues are, if present at all, an analysis by a toxicologist with the University of California’s Personal Chemical Exposure Program found that a child could literally eat hundreds to thousands of servings of a fruit or vegetable in a day and still not have any effects from pesticide residues.  “For strawberries, a child could eat 181 servings or 1,448 strawberries in a day and still not have any effects from pesticide residues,” Thorne says.   For consumers who may still have concerns, they should simply wash their fruits and vegetables.  According to the FDA, you can reduce and often eliminate residues, if they are present at all, on fresh fruits and vegetables simply by washing.   To learn more about the safety of all fruits and vegetables visitsafefruitsandveggies.com (Twitter and Facebook).

The Alliance for Food and Farming is a non-profit organization formed in 1989 which represents organic and conventional farmers and farms of all sizes.  Alliance contributors are limited to farmers of fruits and vegetables, companies that sell, market or ship fruits and vegetables or organizations that represent produce farmers.  Our mission is to deliver credible information about the safety of fruits and vegetables. The Alliance does not engage in any lobbying activities, nor do we accept any money or support from the pesticide industry.

A gift from the Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF) to the Illinois Institute of Technology, Center for Nutrition Research helped fund the research published in the peer review journal, Nutrition Today. However, the AFF was uninvolved in any facet of the study nor were we made aware of the study findings until after the paper was peer reviewed and accepted by the journal.

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CDC Warns ‘Do Not Buy or Eat Romaine Lettuce from Yuma’ Due to E. Coli

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A2by Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Based on new information, CDC is expanding its warning to consumers to cover all types of romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region due to E. coli. This warning now includes whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce, in addition to chopped romaine and salads and salad mixes containing romaine.

Do not buy or eat romaine lettuce at a grocery store or restaurant unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.

Unless the source of the product is known, consumers anywhere in the United States who have any store-bought romaine lettuce at home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, throw out any romaine lettuce if you’re uncertain about where it was grown. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.

Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region.

The expanded warning is based on information from newly reported illnesses in Alaska. Ill people in Alaska reported eating lettuce from whole heads of romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region.

Highlights

  • Information collected to date indicates that romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region could be contaminated with E. coliO157:H7 and could make people sick.
    • At this time, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified.
  • Advice to Consumers:
    • Do not buy or eat romaine lettuce at a grocery store or restaurant unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma growing region.
    • Unless the source of the product is known, consumers anywhere in the United States who have any store-bought romaine lettuce at home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, throw out any romaine lettuce if you’re uncertain about where it was grown. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.
  • Advice to Restaurants and Retailers:
    • Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce.
    • Restaurants and retailers should ask their suppliers about the source of their romaine lettuce.
  • CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coliO157:H7) infections.
  • 53 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 16 states.
    • 31 people have been hospitalized, including five people who have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.
    • No deaths have been reported.
  • This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

April 20, 2018

Investigation Update

State and local health officials in Alaska interviewed ill people at a correctional facility in that state to ask about the foods they ate and other exposures before they became ill. Ill people reported eating romaine lettuce. Traceback investigations show that the lettuce ill people ate came from whole heads of romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region.

The new information from the investigation in Alaska along with other information collected to date indicates that romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region could be contaminated with E. coliO157:H7 and could make people sick. Read CDC’s advice to consumers, restaurants, and retailers.

This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide more information as it becomes available. The new Alaska cases will be included in the next case count update; they are not reflected on the epi curve and map for this posting.

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Dole and Marvel Equip Parents in Their Heroic Battle for Healthier Families

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A1by Dole Food Company, Inc

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Powerful news for families fighting the good fight of nutrition in the home: Super Hero help is on the way.

Starting March 1, Black Panther, Captain America, Black Widow and other Avengers will team-up on new products to help moms, dads and all citizens win more of their daily battles to adopt a healthier lifestyle including a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. The program continues through April 30, right before the epic release of Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War on May 4.

“Powering the Hero Within” is an eight-week healthy-eating alliance between Dole and Marvel that combines original Marvel character-inspired recipes and healthy eating tips with character images on millions of DOLE® Bananas and Pineapples in U.S and Canadian supermarkets continent wide.

Weary meal planners will find relief in the form of 30 original Dole fruit and vegetable recipes directly inspired by Black Panther, Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow and Thor. Created by Dole Chef Mark Allison and registered dieticians at the Dole Nutrition Institute (DNI), each recipe links to the powers and personalities of the character – from “Liberty Banana Sushi” for Captain America, “T’Challa Teriyaki Kabobs” for Black Panther and “Mighty Mini-BLT Bites” for Thor to “Power Punch Smoothie” for Hulk,“Stark Industries Banana Pie Oatmeal” for Iron Man and “Widow Bite Spider Rolls” for Black Widow.

“Dole is taking its cue from the Marvel Universe to honor some of the biggest superheroes of all – the moms, dads, grandparents, teachers, coaches and others committed to making the home a healthier place,” said Bil Goldfield, director of corporate communications for Dole. “Since we know that getting kids to eat healthy can often seem like a hero-sized challenge, we’re arming those on the front lines with the reinforcements they need to change family eating habits one great-tasting healthy snack, entrée or dessert at a time.”

In addition to those iconic Marvel characters featured on DOLE produce, the program includes a dedicated Dole microsite offering recipes, character details and a celebration of the healthy-living collaboration between Dole and Marvel.

For recipes and other information about “Powering the Hero Within,” go to www.dole.com/Marvel.

About Dole Food Company, Inc.

Dole Food Company, Inc., is one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Dole is an industry leader in many of the products it sells, as well as in nutrition education and research.

About Marvel

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy-five years.  Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing.

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