Danielle Garrand of CBS reports that parents have been encouraged to check their children’s Halloween candy for years to ensure the tasty treats are safe for kids to eat. This spooky season, Pennsylvania police are urging caregivers to be on the lookout once again — for drug-laced edibles.
“During this Halloween, we urge parents to be ever vigilant in checking their children’s candy before allowing them to consume those treats,” wrote the department. “Drug laced edibles are package like regular candy and may be hard to distinguish from the real candy.”
The authorities included photos of the edibles labeled as “Nerds Rope” with warning labels dubbing the items “for medical use only.” The label also urged those who may use the product to “keep out of reach of children and animals.”
The candy manufacturer that produces Nerds, Ferrara Candy Company, issued a statement saying it is “working with the relevant authorities.”
Hate is a strong word, but when it comes to food poisoning outbreaks that kill little kids and others, it’s not a scare, it’s real.
A scare implies former scream-queen Jamie-Lee Curtis flogging yoghurt that makes people poop.
That’s a food scare.
See how many times the N.Y. Times can use the word scare in its opening paragraphs:
The European Union on Monday notified the food safety authorities in Britain, France, Sweden and Switzerland to be on the lookout for contamination in eggs after a food scare in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
Anna-Kaisa Itkonen, a European Commission spokeswoman, said, “We do not know if the eggs are contaminated or not, but because of these notifications, it’s now up to the national authorities to check.”
The scare over contaminated eggs, which began in Belgium, has led supermarkets there and in Germany and the Netherlands to clear shelves of the product as the crisis entered its third week.
The removal of eggs from shops was prompted by the discovery of the insecticide fipronil in some shipments. The contamination is thought to have been caused by the mixing of the insecticide with a cleaning agent used at chicken farms. The scare began July 19 when the government of Belgium said that fipronil had been found in eggs produced there.
Major supermarket chains in Belgium, including Delhaize and Colruyt, have stopped selling eggs from affected farms. In the Netherlands, one poultry producer declared bankruptcy on Friday as a result of the insecticide scare, according to an industry group.
The Dutch consumer safety authority has published a guide on identifying the tainted eggs through a 10-digit serial number stamped on the shells. The country’s biggest supermarket chain, Albert Heijn, stopped selling many eggs last week, but the company said that eggs were back on sale as normal on Monday. In the Netherlands, an estimated nine million chickens from about 180 farms have been affected.
In Germany, the supermarket chain Aldi withdrew all eggs from sale after the authorities said that about three million eggs imported from the Netherlands had been affected. Since then, fipronil contamination has been found at four farms in the German state of Lower Saxony.
Fipronil is toxic in large quantities and can damage kidneys, liver and lymph glands. The Belgian and Dutch authorities are investigating how the contamination happened.
The Dutch poultry association said that farmers had no idea that cleaners were using the substance. Aalt den Herder, the group’s secretary, said the risk had been overstated.
“It was never an issue of human health, it was an issue of consumer confidence,” he said.
Belgian authorities have now admitted they began investigating pesticide contamination in eggs in early June – several weeks before the public was made aware of a food safety scare affecting several European countries.
Kathy Brison, of the Belgian food safety agency, said on Sunday that a Belgian farm alerted authorities to a possible contamination in June, and they began investigating and alerted Belgian prosecutors.
German authorities are frustrated by the apparent delay in informing European neighbours.
German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt plans to speak to his Belgian counterpart about the issue on Monday.
And where would a risk communication failure be without the UK Food Standards Agency, who today reported, “We have no evidence that eggs laid in the UK are contaminated or that Fipronil has been used inappropriately in the UK. 85% of the eggs we consume in the UK are laid here.
“The number of eggs involved represents about 0.0001% of the eggs imported into the UK each year. Our risk assessment, based on all the information available, indicates that as part of a normal healthy diet this low level of potential exposure is unlikely to be a risk to public health and there is no need for consumers to be concerned. Our advice is that there is no need for people to change the way they consume or cook eggs or products containing eggs.”
Sounds good if they’re all getting “laid here.”
Going public: Early disclosure of food risks for the benefit of public health
NEHA, Volume 79.7, Pages 8-14
Benjamin Chapman, Maria Sol Erdozaim, Douglas Powell
Often during an outbreak of foodborne illness, there are health officials who have data indicating that there is a risk prior to notifying the public. During the lag period between the first public health signal and some release of public information, there are decision makers who are weighing evidence with the impacts of going public.
Multiple agencies and analysts have lamented that there is not a common playbook or decision tree for how public health agencies determine what information to release and when. Regularly, health authorities suggest that how and when public information is released is evaluated on a case-by-case basis without sharing the steps and criteria used to make decisions. Information provision on its own is not enough.
Risk communication, to be effective and grounded in behavior theory, should provide control measure options for risk management decisions.
There is no indication in the literature that consumers benefit from paternalistic protection decisions to guard against information overload. A review of the risk communication literature related to outbreaks, as well as case studies of actual incidents, are explored and a blueprint for health authorities to follow is provided.
No food safety dramas for us in Brisbane (unlike those at the cider mill in Kansas, more about that later), but thanks to our Alaskan hockey-playing friend Andy and his family for their annual party.
I decided to go as a hybrid of the two things hockey players hate most — a goaltender and a linesmen (now that I have my stripes) — while Andy opted for the more traditional Jason-approach.
The girls went traditional goth — Amy was a bloody baker while Sorenne had some spider thing going on — and, proving some of my genes did get transmitted down the family line, grandson Emerson went as a robot with a pail oh his head.
For whatever reason, the Australian fiscal year goes from July 1 — June 30, with taxes required to be filed by Oct. 31.
So while North Americans were contemplating costumes, I spent the day finishing my taxes.
So is this drunk pumpkin, and this 1959 goalie mask, the first one ever used in a professional (ice) hockey game by Jacques Plante of the Montreal Canadians. I got one from Canadian Tire in 1968 and it hurt like hell every time I got hit in the head.
I relate these tales to the young goalies I now coach. They think I’m old, weird and scary.
“Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”
Those words of wisdom from Lindsay Lohan as Cady in the movie Mean Girls ring true, like the warning from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which recently identified thousands of illicit edible products have been seized in the form of candies, cookies, cereal snacks, and bottled soda, all containing varying amounts of concentrated tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive substance found in the marijuana plant. ?
According to the Sheriff’s Department, these items, packaged to resemble licensed commercial candy and snacks, are being produced locally in clandestine labs and residential kitchens. The items are packaged to be attractive to children and teens. Some items have no label to warn the consumer of their content, and many that are labeled do not contain a reasonable indication of drug content, recommended dosage, or instructions for use. Because their makers intend to remain anonymous, no contact information is listed.?
Some of the processes used to extract and concentrate the THC for the manufacture of these items include the use of chemical solvents, such as liquid butane, to extract THC from the plant material. We are concerned that the methods used to extract the drug may also extract any pesticide or fertilizer residue as well, carrying those potentially toxic chemicals into the items. We are currently pursuing additional testing of these items to better determine this possibility.
?Sheriffs Narcotics Detectives found that the places in which these items were manufactured were highly unsanitary, bringing the potential of other health hazards to users as well. It is the intent of the Sheriffs Department to seek and prosecute similar crimes in the Los Angeles area.
Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer, said,
“There are too many unknowns regarding the preparation and the amount of marijuana contained in these products. They can be easily mistaken for common foods due to improper labeling and packaging, leading to cases of intoxication from accidental ingestion of ‘pot cookies’ and ‘pot brownies’ that were thought to be ordinary, drug-free snacks. During the coming holiday, we urge parents to carefully screen their children’s treats to ensure that they are properly packaged and labeled, and are from trusted sources.”
Halloween in New Zealand doesn’t appear to be as hyped-up as North America. I’ve yet to see any houses decorated in Wellington, and the usual surplus of costumes and candy in grocery and department stores is nearly non-existent here. That won’t stop me however; I’ve already begun gathering the fixin’s for my costume.
Meanwhile, a South Carolina restaurant found a way to disguise its most recent bad inspection card – using Halloween decorations to hide the “C” assigned, reports The Item Online.
Hibachi Grill & Supreme Buffet on Broad Street has received an "A" inspection rating from the Department of Health and Environmental Control. The new grade replaces the "C" handed out on Tuesday for violations of the county health code, which inspector James Arthur said were numerous and serious.
The day after that inspection, the restaurant was cited for permit tampering, after an employee covered the downgraded inspection sticker with Halloween decorations.
Penalties range from a fine of $1,000 to permit suspension, said Arthur. The official notice will stay in the restaurant’s file at the health department, he added. They will not face consequences unless it happens again.
On Friday, the restaurant scored a perfect 100 points on their follow-up health inspection. The new sticker, which is unobscured, can be seen on the door, facing the parking lot.