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  1. lettuce - photo by Lulucmy on Unsplash

    FDA Releases Investigation Report Following Fall 2020 Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Illnesses Linked to Leafy Greens

    Apr 15, 2021

    Summary from FDA website:

    "As part of our ongoing efforts to combat foodborne illness, today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published a report on the investigation into the Fall 2020 outbreak of Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli (STEC) O157:H7 illnesses linked to the consumption of leafy greens grown in the California Central Coast. The report describes findings from the investigation, as well as trends that are key to understanding leafy green outbreaks that are linked to the California Central Coast growing region, specifically encompassing the Salinas Valley and Santa Maria growing areas every fall since 2017."

    Click here to read the full article

  2. Baby eating - photo by hui sang on Unsplash

    FDA Releases Action Plan for Reducing Exposure to Toxic Elements from Foods for Babies, Young Children

    Apr 15, 2021

    Summary from FDA website: 

    "Protecting one of our most vulnerable populations, babies and young children, is among the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s highest priorities. Today, we’re announcing a new action plan, Closer to Zero, that sets forth our approach to reducing exposure to toxic elements in foods commonly eaten by babies and young children to the lowest possible levels. Although the FDA’s testing shows that children are not at an immediate health risk from exposure to toxic elements at the levels found in foods, we are starting the plan’s work immediately, with both short- and long-term goals for achieving continued improvements in reducing levels of toxic elements in these foods over time.

    We recognize that Americans want zero toxic elements in the foods eaten by their babies and young children. In reality, because these elements occur in our air, water and soil, there are limits to how low these levels can be. The FDA’s goal, therefore, is to reduce the levels of arseniclead, cadmium and mercury in these foods to the greatest extent possible. We are also sensitive to the fact that requiring levels that are not currently feasible could result in significant reductions in the availability of nutritious, affordable foods that many families rely on for their children. Our plan, therefore, outlines a multi-phase, science-based, iterative approach to achieving our goal of getting levels of toxic elements in foods closer to zero over time."  

    Click here to read the full article

In the Spotlight

Practice Social Distancing - Photo by DICSON on Unsplash

By: Drew Barkley

One year ago, community transmission of COVID-19 in the United States led several states to impose stay-at-home orders to reduce person-to-person transmission of the virus. As the year went on, messaging on hand hygiene, mask wearing, and social distancing were stressed as public health measures that were our best tools for combatting COVID-19. While the measures used to prevent the spread of COVID-19 varied from state to state, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted life as we knew it and changed the way we have been living our daily lives since then. Early on, there was speculation that these newly emphasized public health measures would reduce the spread of other diseases as well. Hand washing had always been recommended but not always followed. One year since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we now have the data to begin looking at how the reaction to the pandemic impacted the spread of other communicable diseases.

Click here to read more.