Health Buzz: Salmonella Infects Salmon and Peanut Butter

Could you become a victim of dating violence? Plus, reducing the rice in your diet

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Hundreds are Sick from Dutch Smoked Salmon; More Peanut Products Recalled

Salmonella-tainted smoked salmon has sickened more than 100 Americans and about 200 Dutch, prompting a major recall, Dutch health officials announced today. The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, a Dutch government agency, also said the affected salmon came from the Dutch company Foppen, which sells fish to many major supermarkets, both in the Netherlands and worldwide. The Associated Press reports that Foppen is investigating the outbreak. The salmonella bacteria can cause fever, vomiting, and diarrhea among those infected.

Meanwhile, in the United States, another major recall has been expanded. Peanut butter and other nut products made by New Mexico-based Sunland Inc. are being pulled from the shelves of many large grocery stores. Last month, about 30 people across 19 states became sick from salmonella bacteria in Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter—one of the brands manufactured by Sunland. Over the past week, the recall has extended to products sold at Whole Foods Market, Target, Safeway, Fresh & Easy, Harry and David, Sprouts, Heinen's, and many more stores, reports the AP. Sunland is now also recalling other nut products, such as almond and cashew butters, as well as tahini, and blanched and roasted peanut products.

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  • Could You Become a Victim of Dating Violence?

    It's difficult to fathom the full atrocity of what happened to Yeardley Love. In May 2010, Love, a star lacrosse player at the University of Virginia, was killed by her ex-boyfriend, George Huguely V, just weeks before graduation. She was found facedown in a bloody pillow after Huguely allegedly broke into her bedroom, shook her, and wrestled with her after a long day of drinking. Love was only 22 years old. In an instant, her potential, her promise, her future—all gone.

    "Yeardley was extremely kind to everyone. She was caring, she was so much fun, and she lit up the room when she came in," says her mother, Sharon Love, who lives in Baltimore. "If she had lived, she would have blossomed and done so much good in the world. But she never got the opportunity."

    It's perhaps the most high-profile example of young love gone wrong since 2009, when pop star Chris Brown attacked his then-girlfriend Rihanna while en route to the Grammys. Photos emerged showing Rihanna's battered face: heavy welts above her eyes, scratch marks around her mouth and on her cheeks, a bruised lip. The incident changed both of their lives, personally and professionally. [Read more: Could You Become a Victim of Dating Violence?]

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    • Reducing the Rice in Your Diet

      The recent Consumer Reports article on the high content of inorganic arsenic in rice created quite an understandable stir, writes U.S. News blogger Tamara Duker Freuman. Inorganic arsenic is a known carcinogen (cancer-causing substance), and the possibility that we may be inadvertently consuming more of it than we realize is concerning.

      Arsenic is a metal that occurs naturally in soil in trace amounts, but its concentration can be increased significantly from a variety of environmental pollutants. The use of arsenic-containing fertilizer, for example, can cause soil to have higher concentrations of arsenic, and adjacent groundwater can be contaminated with runoff from these soils. Here in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency sets limits for arsenic content in public water, but no government agency monitors or regulates arsenic content in food.

      While excessive arsenic levels in rice are of concern to everyone, they may be particularly problematic for people on a gluten-free diet for whom rice is arguably the staple grain. It's used in place of wheat for everything from breads and cereals to pastas and pancake mixes. Depending on which brands of rice-based products you're consuming and in what quantities, you may be getting more than you bargained for. [Read more: Reducing the Rice in Your Diet]