Concern About Salmonella Leads to Widened Pistachio Recall
Because of concern about potential salmonella contamination, Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Calif., has expanded its recall to include all of its roasted-in-the-shell pistachios and roasted shelled pistachios produced from nuts that were harvested in 2008, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The recall also includes Setton's raw shelled pistachios produced last year that weren't roasted before being sold. The company at first limited its recall to certain lots of roasted pistachios but widened it after an FDA and California Department of Public Health investigation found salmonella in "critical areas" of Setton's facility. The recalled pistachios were used as ingredients in many different types of food; the FDA launched a searchable database of recalled products and advised consumers to avoid eating pistachios or any food containing them unless it's certain the pistachios were not handled by Setton.
The most recent major salmonella scare involved tainted peanut products. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Foodborne, Bacterial, and Mycotic Diseases, told U.S. News why that outbreak raised such loud alarms. You can read more about how to reduce your risk of becoming ill and how irradiating food could help zap a salmonella outbreak. Also, try getting updates via Twitter and Facebook to track the effects of salmonella outbreaks online.
To Find a Good Hospital Near You, Look Online
Need a good hospital in your community? Want more to go on than your doctor's recommendation? Conduct your own online checkup first. Death rates, adherence to accepted safety practices, and patient satisfaction are among the kinds of information you may be able to tap, report Avery Comarow and Sarah Baldauf. Then you should talk over your findings with your referring physician; the data can be revealing but may need interpreting or may have limitations that are not obvious. Also, browse a list of 65 of the best of the good community hospitals. Learn how to find a good hospital by contacting people and organizations you know, and explore U.S. News's list of America's Best Hospitals.
Sorting Out Sweeteners: Agave, Corn Syrup, Sugar, and More
Just check the label of your favorite cereal or beverage, and you're likely to see sweeteners show up many times, in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, cane syrup, maple syrup, fructose, molasses, honey—and even agave, the latest trendy caloric sweetener, which is derived from a plant native to Mexico, Katherine Hobson reports. These are all in addition, of course, to plain old table sugar, or sucrose. You might also find some food labels or manufacturers hinting that their source of sweetness is more healthful than the others. Since "healthy" can be an awfully fuzzy claim, let's put it bluntly. "All of these are empty calories that offer you no nutrition," says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. That doesn't mean they're forbidden, just that they should be eaten in moderation, she says.
—January W. Payne
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