Kate Gosselin: use a meat thermometer and maybe you won’t give your kids Salmonella poisoning

Earlier this week on Jon and Kate plus 8, or whatever it’s called, newly single Kate took to the grill for apparently the first time and was terrified of poisoning her brood.

“Dear chicken, please do not give us sammonella. Love Kate.” (Salmonella — dp)

Cara gets bloody chicken. Kate laughs this off and says “oops” in the interview chair. … Ashley confirms the raw chicken. ??????

Stick it in. And don’t poison your kids.

NPSA fights back

The National Patient Safety Agency is fighting back media accusations. They’re not literally fighting, like my favorite mother of eight, Kate, and her soon to be ex-husband, Jon. The NPSA is fighting accusations saying they have endorsed the complete removal of alcohol based hand sanitizer from all clinical areas (see barfblog post: Drunk on Sanitation). In fact, the NPSA advocates the use of alcohol based hand sanitizer, but it should be concentrated in specific areas of the hospital (i.e. patient rooms and clinical areas).

Jon and Kate Plus 8: Petting zoo for kids, just petting for Jon

Kate Gosselin of Jon and Kate Plus 8 was on the Today Show this morning addressing husband Jon’s alleged affair, while TLC ran re-runs of the popular reality show. 

This morning’s re-run was an episode I’ve seen before, where the Gosselin gang visits the Pittsburg Zoo. There was plenty of petting, including little Alexis’s chance to pet a real live “aldergator” (a.k.a. alligator), yet no noticeable handwashing.

Wash those hands Gosselin gang. That means you, too, Jon.

Bad TV, good advice

TLC, the same channel that’s home to the popular show Jon and Kate Plus 8, aired I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant last night, and I’m embarrassed to say I watched it. 

Before commercial breaks the show posed questions to viewers, one of which was: True or false, pregnant women should not consume unpasteurized milk or cheeses? I answered true, and I was correct.

Pregnant women should avoid certain foods including unpasteurized milk, or foods made with it as these foods may contain Listeria, which can cause premature delivery, miscarriage, still birth, or serious health problems in a newborn. In addition to unpasteurized milk, some soft cheeses, luncheon meats, refrigerated smoked seafood and soft serve ice cream should be avoided. A full list is available from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, here

That’s Kate Gosselin, TLC’s ratings booster, right, while pregnant with sextuplets.

Is Diet Coke Plus really a plus?

It’s no secret.  The obesity epidemic is still raging in the United States.  Documentaries such as Super Size Me and TV shows like Big Medicine have helped to bring the public’s attention to the obesity problem in the US, but there is still a long way to go to encourage consumers to adopt proper eating habits and exercise regiments.

There have been quite a few fad diets out there that guarantee the latest “quick fix” for a spare tire around the waist or love handles.  The health food market has also exploded with new products offering few calories and added vitamins and minerals.  Consumers are also looking for products not only to help them lose weight, but also stay healthy by consuming products, like functional foods, to help prevent cancer.  Functional foods, any fresh or processed food claiming to have a health-promoting and/or disease-preventing property beyond the basic nutritional function of supplying nutrients, are also being researched and developed by many scientists.

Functional foods are fast becoming a part of everyday life.  Two-thirds of adults made an effort to buy more fortified foods in 2006 – up 17% over 2005. One-third of young adults age 18–24 regularly drink energy beverages, and more than half of mothers of preteens bought organic foods last year.

With the majority (69%) of Americans pursuing a preventive lifestyle and 27% taking a treatment approach, not surprisingly, products that offer specific health benefits that make it easier for consumers to address their individual needs are enjoying explosive sales growth.

How does the market classify whether or not a food is considered functional food? The FDA regulates food products according to their intended use and the nature of claims made on the package. Five types of health-related statements or claims are allowed on food and dietary supplement labels:
    * Nutrient content claims indicate the presence of a specific nutrient at a certain level.
    * Structure and function claims describe the effect of dietary components on the normal structure or function of the body.
    * Dietary guidance claims describe the health benefits of broad categories of foods.
    * Qualified health claims convey a developing relationship between components in the diet and risk of disease, as reviewed by the FDA and supported by the weight of credible scientific evidence available.
    * Health claims confirm a relationship between components in the diet and risk of disease or health condition, as approved by FDA and supported by significant scientific agreement.

Could junk food be advertised with health claims?  Diet Coke Plus was introduced in 2007 by The Coca-Cola Company as an alternative to Coca-Cola Classic.  The ingredient list includes the following added vitamins and minerals: magnesium sulfate (declared at 10% of the Daily Value (DV) for magnesium in the Nutrition Facts panel), zinc gluconate (declared at 10% of the DV for zinc), niacinamide (declared at 15% of the DV for niacin), pyridoxine hydrochloride (declared at 15% of the DV for vitamin B6), and cyanocobalamine (declared at 15% of the DV for vitamin B12).

Diet Coke Plus has just come under fire for using the word “plus” in their product name.  According to the FDA, Diet Coke Plus is “misbranded … because the product makes a nutrient content claim but does not meet the criteria to make the claim.” Muhtar Kent, the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company received a warning letter from the FDA last week detailing regulations for using the word “plus” and Diet Coke Plus’ abuse of the word, along with the statement that the “FDA does not consider it appropriate to fortify snack foods such as carbonated beverages.”

I’ll be honest; I’ve bought Diet Coke Plus at the grocery store.  I might’ve been trying to rationalize my caffeine addiction.  It said Plus, it must be ok to drink.  If they ever come out with an Organic Coke I’m sure people will be clamoring to buy it, supposing that it will be “all natural”.

The FDA has allowed Coke 15 days to prepare a letter detailing the actions that Coke plans to take in response to the warning letter, including an explanation of each step being taken to correct the current violations and prevent similar violations.  “We take seriously the issues raised by the FDA in its letter,” Coke spokesman Scott Williamson said in a prepared statement.  “This does not involve any health or safety issues, and we believe the label on Diet Coke Plus complies with FDA’s policies and regulations. We will provide a detailed response to the FDA in early January."

Poop on Mushrooms? Sara Snow on Jon and Kate Plus 8

While I was working with the TV on this afternoon, I heard Sara Snow, Television host and Green Goddess, telling Kate Gosselin of Jon and Kate Plus 8 that mushrooms should not be washed. Kate, who is raising her family on organic food believing it will make her young twins and sextuplets healthier and stronger, was clearly put off by Sara’s advice. She said the family doesn’t normally eat mushrooms, but she was willing to follow directions. Sara told her to just wipe off the mushrooms with a damp paper towel.

While the stir fry cooked, the dialog was enlightening:

Sara to Kate: “In my opinion, if there’s a little bit of dirt left on there, it’s fine. It’s not gonna hurt anyone.”

Kate to camera: “She taught me how to clean them, which was a little disturbing to me.”

Jon in Kate’s ear: “Fungi!”

Kate to Jon: “There was dirt on them. Active dirt. And she said you don’t wash mushrooms.”

Jon to Kate: “It’s not dirt.”

Kate: “I know that.”

Jon grins: “Poopadoop.”

Kate: “I know. You see. That’s why he doesn’t eat them, he claims.”

Kate to Sara: “I don’t know if I like to eat dirt, Sara.”

Kate to camera: “I was essentially merely just wiping the poop off of them and that concerned me that I didn’t get every last speck.”

Sara responds to Kate: “I let all sorts of things fall into my food and I’m not worried about it.”

Is Sara crazy? Is Kate right? Sara concludes, “By the time it all cooks down you won’t even notice it’s there. I’ll cover it up nicely.”

That’s the point, really. If you’re cooking your mushrooms, you can kill the nasty microbiological matter. But would you pop them in your mouth raw? Neither Sara nor Kate visibly ran to the sink to wash with soap and water after touching the Poopadoop Mushrooms. In the next scene everyone was heading to the table to eat.