Salmonella-Tainted Peanut Butter Still Making People Ill
Federal health officials say they're concerned that, nearly two months after the initial recalls of salmonella-tainted peanut products, some consumers still aren't aware of the problem, MSNBC.com reports. The nationwide salmonella outbreak, which has sickened 683 people in 46 states, has been linked to unsafe practices at the Peanut Corp. of America's peanut processing plants. Recalls have been issued for more than 3,400 peanut products. An analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found an association between salmonella infections and consumption of Kellogg's Austin or Keebler peanut butter crackers, which use peanut paste from the Peanut Corp. of America; about half of new confirmed cases of salmonella infections occur in people who ate these crackers, according to MSNBC.com. Kellogg recalled the products in January, but some people may still have them at home in cupboards and pantries. Consumers should browse the Food and Drug Administration's list of recalled peanut products and discard any items on the list.
Explore whether irradiating food can help zap the salmonella outbreak. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the CDC's Division of Foodborne, Bacterial, and Mycotic Diseases, told U.S. News why the salmonella outbreak is raising such loud alarms. Here's how to reduce your risk of becoming ill. Also, try getting updates via Twitter and Facebook to track the effects of the salmonella outbreak online.
How Electronic Medical Records Could Make Your Life Safer and Easier
We'll all soon have electronic medical records, given the $19 billion tagged for a big rollout of the long-touted paperless systems in the economic stimulus plan. Healthcare experts say EMRs will make medicine safer, more efficient, and more cost-effective, and three quarters of the public say they're all for it, U.S. News's Nancy Shute reports. But will the electronic records really be better than the chaotic paper-based system we've got now? Here's the latest, gleaned from research on health IT in the current edition of the policy journal Health Affairs and a meeting of EMR superstars in Washington, D.C. The bottom line: Electronic medical records are essential, but they're far from simple. "As a software guy, I'm really optimistic about what technology can do to improve healthcare around the world," said Peter Neupert, a Microsoft vice president. "And as a software guy, I think: Holy crap, this is really going to be hard to do."
Here are 6 ways electronic medical records could make your life safer and easier. EMRs pose many potential privacy problems and may increase the risk of medical identity theft. Half of people say they'd use a personal medical record from a third party like Microsoft or Google.
With Greener Races, Athletes Try to Tread Lightly on the Earth
The Council for Responsible Sport estimates that the athletes participating in the 2007 Ironman World Championship in Hawaii produced greenhouse gases equivalent to the yearly carbon footprint of 972 average U.S. homes. But there's a growing movement to "green" this kind of event, Katherine Hobson reports. ReSport, as the Council for Responsible Sport is known, has developed a list of standards for races based on criteria such as handling of waste, climate impact, and the materials used in finishers' awards and T-shirts. Depending on how much event organizers do, events can be certified at four different levels. Jeff Henderson, executive director and cofounder of ReSport, says there is a "growing sensibility that races could do better." Events as large as the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco, with 20,000 participants, have been certified.
When developing a workout routine, it might be a good idea to consider the environmental impact of your fitness regimen. And consider these 7 tips for making your exercise routines and races as green as possible.
—January W. Payne
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