Health Highlights: June 13, 2014

HealthDay + More

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Work Schedule Changes Could Reduce Air Traffic Controllers' Fatigue: Study

Changes in air-traffic controllers' work schedules could help prevent fatigue that increases the risk of aircraft collisions, according to a federal government study.

The National Research Council study expressed concern about putting controllers on five eight-hour shifts over four days. Controllers like this schedule because it gives them 80 hours off afterward, USA Today reported.

However, this type of schedule likely leads to fatigue during the final midnight shift, according to the study. It also noted that budget cuts prevent the Federal Aviation Administration from monitoring controller fatigue and investigating ways to reduce fatigue.

"From a fatigue and safety perspective, this scheduling is questionable and the committee was astonished to find that it is still allowed under current regulations," the 12-member committee wrote, USA Today reported.

They also said it's difficult to determine the proper levels of staffing. The study was ordered by Congress in 2012 after a number of incidents in which air traffic controllers fell asleep on the job.


Beef Products Recalled Over Mad Cow Concerns

More than 4,000 pounds of beef products are being recalled by a Missouri company due to the slight chance that they may expose people to mad cow disease, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says.

The products were produced by Fruitland American Meat and distributed to restaurants in New York City and Kansas City, Mo., and a Whole Foods distribution in Connecticut, the Associated Press reported.

The beef products could contain parts of the cow's nervous system that can carry properties related to mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy -- BSE). There is no indication that the cattle used to make the beef products showed signs of the disease, the USDA said.

BSE can cause a fatal brain disease in people who eat tainted beef. There have been no reports of problems among people who ate the recalled products, according to the USDA.

The agency's Food Safety and Inspection Service uncovered the potential problem while reviewing the company's slaughter logs, and said it may be due to the way that employees determined the age of cattle, the AP reported.

This is a Class II recall, which means there is a "remote probability" of health problems among people who consume the recalled products, which include quartered beef carcasses stamped with the establishment number "EST. 2316" inside the USDA mark of inspection, and 80-pound cases containing two cryovac packages of bone-in "Rain Crow Ranch Ribeye" with the establishment number "EST. 2316" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The following production dates are printed on the boxes of the recalled beef products: 9/5/13, 9/10/13, 9/11/13, 9/26/13, 10/2/13, 10/3/2013, 11/8/13, 11/22/13, 12/17/13, 12/26/13, 12/27/13,1/16/14, 1/17/14, 1/23/14, 1/31/14, 2/13/14, 2/14/14, 2/21/14, 2/28/14, 3/8/14, 3/20/14, 4/4/14 or 4/25/14.


Major U.S. Brewers to Post Beer Ingredients Online

The ingredients of some beers made by MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch will be posted online, the companies say.

Thursday's announcement by the United States' largest brewers came after a blogger known as the Food Babe petitioned the companies to be more "transparent." Vani Hari's online petition received 40,000 signatures in 24 hours, ABC News reported.

Hari alleges that some beers contain ingredients such as artificial flavoring, high-fructose corn syrup and stabilizers, which have been linked to problems such as allergies, gastrointestinal problems, obesity and hyperactivity.

Propylene glycol -- a foaming ingredient used in aircraft de-icing fluid -- is also used by big brewers, along with fish bladders during brewing for clarity, according to Hari, ABC News reported.