Salmonella patient count up as outbreak traced to wood ear mushrooms continues

Federal officials continue to report new illnesses in a 10-state Salmonella outbreak linked to imported, contaminated wood ear mushrooms, also known as kikurage or black fungus.

Officials reported yesterday there have been 43 patients confirmed in the outbreak, up from 41 in previous reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s epidemiologists and investigators at the Food and Drug Administration. No one has died, as far as agency authorities know. Four outbreak patients have been admitted to hospitals.

Inc., Santa Fe Springs, CA, has recalled Shirakiku brand imported dried fungus, also known as wood ear mushrooms, black fungus or kikurage, from restaurants in 31 states, the District of Columbia and one Canadian province.

The recall came following the California Department of Public Health’s discovery of the presence of Salmonella in the product. The manufacturer has been made aware of the issue, and is conducting an investigation to determine … Read more

In Times of Uncertainty, I Turn to the Cozy Instagram World of Sweet Potatoes

There’s nothing like a sweet potato covered in nut butter to start the day. | Elazar Sontag

It’ll make you feel better, too, I promise

It’s 3:50 a.m. and I’m awake, looking at pictures of sweet potatoes on Instagram. I like to sleep with the big window above my bed open so fresh air circulates all night, but lately that’s impossible as noxious smoke and wildfires consume California. The smell wakes me many nights, and there’s no point trying to go back to sleep before my overworked air purifier has had a full hour to pull the worst of it out of my bedroom. Until then, I lie in bed and scroll past photo after glorious photo of steaming, pillowy, ready-to-be-devoured Japanese sweet potatoes. I’ve stumbled into the depths of autumnal Japan Instagram, and I want to stay here forever.

Two weeks ago, I couldn’t have told you one thing … Read more

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup is rich, creamy, savory, and just like a warm hug in a bowl.  Classic fall flavor welcomes in the cooler weather with a perfect blend of spices and ingredients.

Serve it with a side of Parmesan Roasted Vegetables and Homemade Rolls for a perfect Autumn or winter meal.

Creamy, rich, and savory Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

This soup is guaranteed to warm you up from the inside out, with it’s velvety, smooth, rich flavor, it’ll be a family favorite.  The best part is it’s actually quite good for you. Packed with veggies, this tastes so good you’ll forget it’s practically healthy.

Butternut Soup is quick and easy. The most time consuming part is peeling and cutting your squash and veggies. But it’s well worth it and you can always use pre-chopped or shredded ingredients. It’s an awesome make ahead, and freeze for later soup. And it is excellent with any meal.… Read more

APHIS is making changes to national poultry plan

The National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) is getting an update to align with changes in the poultry industry and to incorporate new scientific information and technologies into the plan, according to USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

These updates, published in the Federal Register,  are consistent with the recommendations approved by representatives from across the poultry industry at the 2018 NPIP Biennial Conference, APHIS reports. The changes will take effect on Nov. 4 this year.

In this update, APHIS is:

  • creating a new U.S. Newcastle Disease (ND) clean program;
  • updating low pathogenic avian influenza regulations on indemnity and compensation;
  • creating an NPIP subpart specific to the game bird industry; and
  • clarifying and updating the program regulations to match current scientific information and technologies.

The ND Clean program and compartment status will focus on primary breeder egg-type chickens, meat-type chickens, and turkeys – the animals that provide the … Read more

More Than 19,000 Whole Foods and Amazon Employees Had Documented Cases of COVID-19

The sign at the checkout area in a Whole Foods Market reminds shoppers to respect social distancing guidelines by waiting behind the taped lines on the floor. | Shutterstock

Plus, Subway insists its bread is still bread, no matter what Ireland says, and more news to start your day

Amazon insists that approximately 20K is not as many infections as there could have been

On Thursday, Amazon released a report on the number of front-line employees, both at Amazon and at Whole Foods Markets, who contracted COVID-19 from March through September. Overall, there were 19,816 out of 1.37 million employees with “confirmed or presumed” cases, a positivity rate of 1.44%. However, Amazon insists this is a good thing, because — based on company analysis — far more people should have gotten it. “If the rate among Amazon and Whole Foods Market employees were the same as it is for the … Read more