Health Buzz: FDA Proposes Rule to Make Animal Food Safer

How to treat your teeth: 4 steps to pearly whites; Plus, the vegan marathoner: from 250 pounds to 26.2 miles

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The FDA Is Proposing Preventative Measures to Make Food for Pets and Livestock Safer

For the first time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing preventative safeguards for animal foods. The FDA announced today its proposal of the Preventative Controls for Food for Animals rule, which would create regulations for the manufacturing, processing, packaging and holding of animal food. "Unlike safeguards already in place to protect human foods, there are currently no regulations governing the safe production of most animal foods. There is no type of hazard analysis. This rule would change all that," states Daniel McChesney, director of the Office of Surveillance and Compliance at the administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine, in a FDA consumer health update. Under this rule, the FDA would also monitor other controls, which would require facilities to perform analyses of potential hazards and implement safety plans. While this proposed rule focuses on preventative measures aimed at animal food safety, at this point, the FDA typically steps in when it's suspected that there's contaminated food circulating the market.

In the FDA consumer health update, McChesney explains that both humans and animals benefit from safer pet food. When bacteria like Salmonella creeps into a bag of dog food, it can sicken both the pet and owner who handles the kibbles, and when livestock consume contaminated food, diners may become sick.

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  • How to Treat Your Teeth: 4 Steps to Pearly Whites

    Funny how National Dental Hygiene Month falls at the same time as Halloween. The annual candy blitz, as you well know, is not the greatest news for growing, or grown-up, teeth. But never fear! You can still have a few treats – as long as you know the right tricks.

    "Only a ghoul's gonna keep candy from kids," says Richard Price, a spokesman for the American Dental Association and retired Newton, Mass.-based dentist. Plus, the occasional indulgence is less of an issue than frequent consumption, he says. But you can minimize the damage by encouraging kids to avoid the gummy foods that stick to the teeth and give plaque fertile ground. Following the same principle, let your kids eat their treats after they've brushed their teeth, which removes food particles that can mix with sugar to produce plaque. (And it's doesn't hurt to brush a second time after the treat is consumed.) The key, whether it's Halloween or anytime of the year, is to keep your teeth and mouth clean. "All dental disease is preventable," Price says. To brush up on your dental health, follow these four principles:

    1. Brush and floss your teeth. Aim for a "nice, gentle 90-degree angle to the gum," says Kevin Sands, a Beverly Hills, Calif. dentist whose clients include the Kardashians, Miley Cyrus and Robert Downey Jr. (They're pictured on his website.) Brushing too hard can wear down the enamel and cause gum irritation, says Sands, who recommends the Sonicare brand of electric brushes. "If you're flossing your teeth and brushing, you're removing that debris that things can stick to," which leads to staining as well as plaque, Sands says. [Read more: How to Treat Your Teeth: 4 Steps to Pearly Whites]

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    • The Vegan Marathoner: From 250 Pounds to 26.2 Miles

      They say pain is nothing but weakness leaving the body, writes U.S. News blogger Kimatni Rawlins. I wholeheartedly agree and believe that every weak atom in my frame must have been jettisoned during a 26.2 mile journey though Richmond, Virginia on November 10, 2012 – one day after my 39th birthday. The marathon was a first for me and a testament of strength, will and endurance while operating on a vegan diet. With November marking the two-year anniversary of eating only plant-based foods, I am truly amazed at how quickly my figure and performance numbers have changed for the better.