To Foil Salmonella, Cook Your Tomatoes
Washing tomatoes doesn't make them safe to eat, Nancy Shute reports. Salmonella doesn't just lie on the surface of plants, so it can't be washed away or killed by sterilizing solutions commonly used in produce processing. But canned tomatoes are fine, and so are fresh tomatoes that have been cooked to the boiling point, since heating past 160 degrees kills pathogens.
The Food and Drug Administration last week alerted consumers nationwide that a salmonella outbreak has been linked to eating raw, red tomatoes. The agency says that raw, red plum; raw, red Roma; or raw, red round tomatoes should be eaten only if they originate from certain states. Otherwise, stick to eating cherry or grape tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes, or those with the vine still attached.
A New Approach to Managing Diabetes
Some people with type 2 diabetes might want to rethink how they manage their disease, based on a trio of new studies showing that tightly controlling blood glucose levels doesn't reduce cardiovascular disease in people at high risk, perhaps because they have high blood pressure or are overweight, Michelle Andrews reports. Reaching blood pressure and cholesterol goals rather than blood glucose targets may be more important in preventing heart attack and stroke in these people, say experts. In those who are newly diagnosed with diabetes and are not already in the high-risk category, intensively managing blood sugar may be effective at reducing heart risk.
Products Containing BPA Are Safe, FDA Says
While small amounts of bisphenol A, or BPA—used in baby bottles, certain plastic water bottles, and even containers for canned foods—may be released as plastics break down, the exposure level is safe, according to the Food and Drug Administration. An FDA official told a House subcommittee that the agency sees no reason to advise people to stop using BPA-containing products, the Associated Press reports. The House subcommittee is also looking into the safety of phthalates, widely used as softening agents in certain plastics.
U.S. News offers tips on how to avoid contact with BPA and provides a list of resources for locating BPA-free products. And Adam Voiland describes why products containing phthalates are also a concern and gives advice for how to avoid exposure to the chemical.
Memory Loss Linked to Sleep Disorder
Having sleep apnea may lead to memory loss, suggests a new University of California Los Angeles study. Researchers used MRI to scan patients' brains. They found that brain structures called mammillary bodies were nearly 20 percent smaller in the 43 patients with sleep apnea than in the 66 people without the disorder. The results are expected to be published in the June 27 issue of Neuroscience Letters. Drops in oxygen that sleep apnea patients experience may lead to brain injury, the researchers say.
—January W. Payne