Menu

Put Safety First When Planning to Pack Food-to-Go

MONDAY, Oct. 14, 2019 — Whether you’re tailgating, cooking for a potluck or bringing in a treat for co-workers, keep safety in mind to avoid food-borne illnesses.

Safe handling is always important, but it’s an even bigger priority when you’re away from your kitchen, without the benefit of your fridge and oven to control food temperatures. The key is to plan ahead to keep food safe until eaten. The golden rule is to keep cold foods cold — below 40 degrees, and keep hot foods hot — above 140 degrees.

Keeping cold food cold means you’ll need to use a cooler with cold packs or lots of ice, and keep it in the shade. Foods that don’t need to be stored in the cooler include whole fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and peanut butter and jelly.

If you’ll be cooking, such as grilling, at the venue, carry raw food in its own cooler, double wrapped in plastic to contain any juices. Bring disposable wipes for hand washing. If you’re taking food to a friend’s home for a BBQ, for instance, keep meat and poultry refrigerated until ready to put on the grill. Since food may brown before it’s cooked through, test with an instant-read thermometer for safety.

Best Internal Temperature for Cooked Meats

  • Red meat: 145 degrees
  • All ground meat: 160 degrees
  • Poultry: 165 degrees

If cooking in batches, place cooked meats off to the side of the grill rack or in a 200-degree oven until serving. And, of course, never use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry.

One final note: Any leftover food is safe to take home only if it was kept in a cooler, and the cooler still had ice in it.

More information

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has more tips on food safety when you’re cooking on-the-go.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Experts’ Guide to Trampoline Safety

SUNDAY, Sept. 15, 2019 — If you own or use trampolines, you need to take steps to prevent injuries, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) says.

While trampolines are fun and can help improve coordination and strengthen the musculoskeletal system, serious injuries can occur without proper safety measures.

In 2018, nearly 314,000 trampoline-related injuries were treated in U.S. emergency departments, doctors’ offices and clinics, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

A recent article in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons noted that a higher percentage of fractures have been linked to trampoline and jump parks than home trampolines.

“Many injuries come from multiple people jumping at once,” AAOS spokesman and pediatric orthopedic surgeon Dr. L. Reid Nichols said in an academy news release. “To limit injuries, ensure only one participant on a trampoline at a time. … Ensure rules are implemented and followed. Check also with your insurance rider before purchasing a home trampoline.”

The AAOS offered the following trampoline safety tips:

  • Don’t let children younger than 6 years old use trampolines and remove trampoline ladders after use to prevent unsupervised jumping.
  • Regularly check equipment and discard worn or damaged equipment if replacement parts aren’t available.
  • Make sure that supporting bars, strings and surrounding landing surfaces have adequate protective padding. See that the padding is in good condition and properly positioned.
  • Don’t depend only on safety net enclosures for injury prevention; most injuries occur on the trampoline surface.
  • Ensure that there are spotters when participants are jumping. Somersaults or high-risk maneuvers should not be done without proper instruction and supervision, and should be attempted only with protective equipment, such as a harness.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on trampoline risks.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: September 2019

More News Resources


Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Safety of Vaping Cannabis Oil Challenged as Hospital Cases Continue

Vaping is marketed to both tobacco and marijuana smokers as the safer alternative to smoking. But as hundreds of cases of vaping-related illnesses pop up across the country, state and federal health officials are gaining traction in their messaging about the unknown dangers of vape products.

“Vaping products contain more than just harmless water vapor. They are marketed as a ‘safe’ alternative to smoking, but the long-term health effects of vaping are still unknown,” the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment notes on its website.

As vaping receives criticism from government officials, much of the heat has been directed at nicotine vaping — allowing marijuana vaping products to escape largely unscathed. However, vaporizing marijuana products now covers a larger span than just the plant’s flower, with THC and CBD oil vape cartridges rising in popularity thanks to their convenience — and that’s where recent reports of danger come in.

On September 4, the New York Times reported that one of the two deaths linked to vaping-related illnesses occurring in recent weeks happened after a person consumed a legally purchased cartridge containing THC oil from an Oregon dispensary. Oregon health officials declined to name the brand or store associated with the product that the now-deceased individual was vaping, according to ABC News, adding that they’re still figuring out what, exactly, led to the person’s death.

“We don’t yet know the exact cause of these illnesses — whether they’re caused by contaminants, ingredients in the liquid or something else, such as the device itself,” said Dr. Ann Thomas of the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division said in a release. But the problem isn’t just in Oregon.

Marijuana Deals Near You

Just one day later, September 5, the Washington Post reported that Food and Drug Administration officials found oil derived from vitamin E in numerous samples of cannabis oil that had been consumed by some of those that have fallen ill across the country, including cases in New York, where marijuana sales are still illegal. After testing nicotine products that could have been linked to the recent health issues, the FDA found nothing unusual, according to the Post.

According to the CDPHE, vitamin E oil can be used as a thickening ingredient in vaping liquids. The Post article notes that health officials warn that inhalation can lead to the “kinds of respiratory symptoms that many patients have reported: cough, shortness of breath and chest pain.”

As states with both regulated and illegal cannabis sales grapple with seemingly toxic vaping products, Colorado cannabis industry representatives point to the state’s regulatory framework as a reason that products are more trustworthy here.

“Manufacturers in Colorado have pumped out hundreds of millions of cartridges in the market with literally no adverse effects like those in the papers that you’re reading,” says Kevin Gallagher, founder of the Colorado Cannabis Manufacturers Association, a trade organization for cannabis extraction and infusion companies.

According to Gallagher, any legitimate concentrate manufacture shouldn’t have to worry about vitamin E if they’re not cutting corners. “Do due diligence on where you are sourcing your ingredients. If you are cutting your vape cartridges with anything other than cannabis-derived entities, you’d better do your darn research,” he warns.

The CDPHE says it is aware of the discovery of vitamin E oil in vaping samples across the country, but still views the vitamin E link as a lead, and not a definitive answer.

“We continue to work with the CDC and FDA to look at all possible links to the illness, including nicotine, THC, CDB, synthetic marijuana and other compounds. At this point, a potential link to vitamin E oil is preliminary, and it would be premature to issue warnings before we know the cause of the illness,” Elyse Contreras, an environmental epidemiologist for CDPHE, says in a statement to Westword.

The department has not yet determined the exact product that caused the two confirmed cases of vaping-related illnesses in Colorado, but is advising against purchasing cannabis e-cigarette products off the street or modifying or adding to products that were bought legally in a store.

Although marketed as a safer alternative to smoking, questions remain about the safety of vaporizing plant matter and oil. Smoking is the devil we know, but public health officials want tobacco and marijuana users to show caution with vaping.

“There has not been enough research to know if using a vaporizer is safer than unfiltered smoking of marijuana,” reads a section of the state health department’s frequently-asked-questions guide to marijuana and methods of use. The section points to studies that have produced mixed results, with some showing potentially less-hazardous effects of vaping marijuana when compared to smoking, while others point to concerning side effects that health officials have seen in these vaping-related illnesses across the country.


Toke of the Town

Heat Bakes the Nation, Here Are Some Safety Tips

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The heat is on.

Across two-thirds of the United States, over 115 million Americans live where some level of heat alert is already in effect, and 290 million will see temperatures soar past 90 degrees at some point in the next week, USA Today reported Wednesday.

As a dome of high pressure settles over much of the eastern and mid-Atlantic states, the heat indexes (the real-feel temperatures) in many places will top 100 and approach 110 degrees or higher, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.

What to do when the temperatures soar so high that heat-related illnesses start to take their toll? One expert offers some sage advice.

“Weekend athletes exercising in the heat need to remember to keep ahead of their fluids. It’s vital to stay ahead of your thirst during these heat extremes, not just to drink when you are thirsty,” said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“Taking breaks is essential when intensely exercising in the heat for more than one hour. This includes rest, finding shade from the sun, and drinking water mixed with sugar and electrolytes. Salty pretzels, fruit and nuts are always a good option if you don’t have access to a drink with sugar and electrolytes,” Glatter noted.

If you exercise in the heat, try to do so early in the morning when humidity and heat from direct sunlight is low.

During heat waves, seniors are at greatly increased risk for heat stroke due to their reduced ability to sweat and therefore cool their bodies. They also may be taking medications to treat blood pressure, which can reduce their ability to sweat, Glatter said.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. Call 911 in such cases.

Medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin) do not reduce high core body temperatures, and could even be harmful. Patients need rapid cooling to reduce high core temperatures.

Along with blood pressure medications, antihistamines and medications to treat anxiety and depression may also increase the risk for heat stroke by reducing a person’s ability to sweat, Glatter noted.

Continued

“Hypertension, coronary artery disease and kidney disease — common in the senior population — all elevate the risk for developing heat stroke, due to reduced cardiac reserve and plasticity of blood vessels. These are major risk factors for heat stroke,” he explained.

During heat waves, check on seniors to see how they’re feeling. Make sure they have access to air conditioning, plenty of cool fluids, and create a heat response plan to help reduce the risk of heat stroke, Glatter advised.

Children are also at increased risk for heat stroke because they can’t regulate their body temperature as well as adults, and they may not drink enough in hot weather.

Everyone should drink plenty of cool fluids in the heat. Water is the best choice, but low-sugar sports drinks are recommended if you’re working in the heat or exercising for more than one hour. Don’t drink alcohol or sugary drinks, such as soda, in the heat because they can cause dehydration due to excessive water loss, Glatter said.

“Never leave a child or a senior in a parked car in the hot sun. In temperatures as low as 70 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the interior of the car can reach 90 to 100 degrees in as little as 20 to 30 minutes. When it’s 90 degrees outside, the interior can heat up to 110 to 120 degrees in 30 minutes and be lethal in that short time frame,” Glatter said.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Lenox Hill Hospital, news release, July 17, 2019;USA Today

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

‘); } else { // If we match both our test Topic Ids and Buisness Ref we want to place the ad in the middle of page 1 if($ .inArray(window.s_topic, moveAdTopicIds) > -1 && $ .inArray(window.s_business_reference, moveAdBuisRef) > -1){ // The logic below reads count all nodes in page 1. Exclude the footer,ol,ul and table elements. Use the varible // moveAdAfter to know which node to place the Ad container after. window.placeAd = function(pn) { var nodeTags = [‘p’, ‘h3′,’aside’, ‘ul’], nodes, target; nodes = $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(‘ + pn + ‘)’).find(nodeTags.join()).not(‘p:empty’).not(‘footer *’).not(‘ol *, ul *, table *’); //target = nodes.eq(Math.floor(nodes.length / 2)); target = nodes.eq(moveAdAfter); $ (”).insertAfter(target); } // Currently passing in 1 to move the Ad in to page 1 window.placeAd(1); } else { // This is the default location on the bottom of page 1 $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(1)’).append(”); } } })(); $ (function(){ // Create a new conatiner where we will make our lazy load Ad call if the reach the footer section of the article $ (‘.main-container-3’).prepend(”); });

Pagination

\n’ + ‘{preContent}’ + ‘

\n’ + ‘{preForm}’ + ‘\n’ + ‘{postForm}’ + ‘

\n’ + // .nls-content ‘{postContent}’ + ‘

WebMD Health

Study Casts Doubt on Safety of Herbal Drug Kratom

By Dennis Thompson        
       HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The herbal supplement kratom regularly causes serious side effects and doesn’t appear safe for use, a new study argues.

Kratom, made from the leaves of a Southeast Asian plant, is usually used to treat pain and addiction. But poison control center data shows it has been tied to seizures, withdrawal, hallucinations, agitation and rapid heart rate, researchers report.

Kratom is “probably not something that’s safe enough to be available as an herbal supplement,” concluded lead researcher William Eggleston, a clinical assistant professor with the Binghamton University School of Pharmacy in New York.

Kratom contains compounds that act on the opioid receptors in the brain and the body, according to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.

And while it’s a legal herbal supplement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already issued a warning against using kratom. The FDA has called the drug “opioid-like” and cited concerns that it might pose an addiction risk.

In the new study, poison control centers received more than 2,300 calls related to kratom between 2011 and 2018.

Those calls increased from 18 in 2011 to 357 in the first seven months of 2018, according to stats drawn from the U.S. National Poison Data System.

The research team zeroed in on 935 cases where kratom was the only substance involved.

About 56% of cases involved kratom taken as a pill, capsule or powder, and in nearly 9 in 10 cases people ate the kratom that had affected them.

The most commonly reported adverse effects were agitation (in almost 20% of cases), rapid heart rate (17%), drowsiness (14%) and vomiting (11%), the data showed.

Severe side effects included seizures (6%), hallucinations (5%), respiratory depression (3%), and coma (2%).  Cardiac or respiratory arrest was reported in 0.6% of cases.

The researchers also identified four cases of neonatal abstinence syndrome, where babies were born addicted to kratom after their mothers took the supplement during pregnancy. They said it caused two deaths.

The National Poison Data System statistics indicated that kratom has a lower risk for fatal overdose than opioids like heroin or fentanyl, Eggleston said.

Continued

“The risk for things like serious respiratory depression is probably less with kratom than it is with other opioids,” Eggleston said. “We saw a very low incidence of this in our data.”

However, other studies also have shown that users can experience withdrawal symptoms, Eggleston said.

“That suggests that patients could develop a dependence or a substance use disorder, as you would with other opioids,” Eggleston said. “To me, that exceeds what I would consider a reasonable risk for an herbal supplement you can buy at a local convenience store or head shop.”

Kratom proponents argue that the new study is flawed because it relies on poison control and medical examiner data, which tags kratom as the main suspect and could fail to consider other possible explanations.

“If a person dies and the tox screen identifies kratom in the bloodstream, that is labeled as a kratom-associated death,” said Mac Haddow, a senior fellow on public policy at the American Kratom Association. “It is just as plausible you could identify caffeine in the bloodstream as a result of drinking a cup of coffee that morning.”

Susruta Majumdar, an associate professor with the St. Louis College of Pharmacy in Missouri, said the new study adds a bit more evidence regarding kratom’s safety, but agreed that its reliance on poison control center data makes for a flawed approach.

Based on available data, Majumdar said, kratom probably is safer that prescription and illicit opioids, but “I think we are getting to a point where we can say it’s addictive.”

Majumdar added that he believes kratom-related deaths are not caused by kratom alone, but kratom combined with other substances.

“People are on multiple drugs, and it’s the synergy between those drugs that is causing the toxicity,” Majumdar said.

Eggleston said he does not advocate a ban on kratom, since studies suggest it might have a role in treating chronic pain and addiction.

Instead, clinical trials are needed to assess kratom’s usefulness and establish its safety at certain doses, Eggleston said.

“Our research is not coming from a place where we want to hinder access,” Eggleston said. “We want the public to have all the information they need and be transparent, so they know what works and what’s safe.”

The study findings were published July 9 in the journal Pharmacotherapy.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: William Eggleston, Pharm.D., clinical assistant professor, Binghamton University School of Pharmacy, State University of New York; Charles “Mac” Haddow, senior fellow, public policy, American Kratom Association; Susruta Majumdar, Ph.D., associate professor, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, St. Louis, Mo.;Pharmacotherapy, July 9, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

‘); } else { // If we match both our test Topic Ids and Buisness Ref we want to place the ad in the middle of page 1 if($ .inArray(window.s_topic, moveAdTopicIds) > -1 && $ .inArray(window.s_business_reference, moveAdBuisRef) > -1){ // The logic below reads count all nodes in page 1. Exclude the footer,ol,ul and table elements. Use the varible // moveAdAfter to know which node to place the Ad container after. window.placeAd = function(pn) { var nodeTags = [‘p’, ‘h3′,’aside’, ‘ul’], nodes, target; nodes = $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(‘ + pn + ‘)’).find(nodeTags.join()).not(‘p:empty’).not(‘footer *’).not(‘ol *, ul *, table *’); //target = nodes.eq(Math.floor(nodes.length / 2)); target = nodes.eq(moveAdAfter); $ (”).insertAfter(target); } // Currently passing in 1 to move the Ad in to page 1 window.placeAd(1); } else { // This is the default location on the bottom of page 1 $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(1)’).append(”); } } })(); $ (function(){ // Create a new conatiner where we will make our lazy load Ad call if the reach the footer section of the article $ (‘.main-container-3’).prepend(”); });

Pagination

WebMD Health

Many Smokers Switch to Vaping While Pregnant, But Safety Issues Remain

MONDAY, April 29, 2019 — Are many women who smoke switching to e-cigarettes during pregnancy?

That’s the suggestion from a new study that finds close to 4% of pregnant American women are vaping, and the rate of e-cigarette use is actually higher among pregnant women than women who aren’t pregnant.

The researchers also found that e-cigarette use in pregnancy was highest for women who also used conventional cigarettes.

“Pregnant women may erroneously think that e-cigarette vaping is safer” than traditional smoking, said obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Jennifer Wu, of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She wasn’t involved in the new research.

However, Wu stressed that “babies face the same risks from nicotine exposure [with vaping], which include brain and lung damage and increasing risks of sudden infant death syndrome.”

The new study was led by Wei Bao, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Iowa. His team analyzed data from more than 27,000 women, aged 18 to 44, who took part in a U.S. health survey between 2014 and 2017. Nearly 1,200 of the women were pregnant when they took part in the survey.

There was good news: The survey showed that conventional cigarette use was much lower among pregnant women (8%) than among those who weren’t pregnant (14%).

However, the research also showed that the rate of e-cigarette use was higher for pregnant women (3.6%) than those who weren’t pregnant (3.3%).

The researchers also found that 39% of pregnant women who were current conventional cigarette smokers were also current e-cigarettes users, according to the study published April 29 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Patricia Folan directs the Center for Tobacco Control at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y. Reading over the findings, she stressed that vaping is in no way harmless to the fetus.

“The substances in e-cigarettes can have a damaging effect on the brain and lungs of the unborn baby,” she explained. “Some studies have shown that the flavorings in e-cigarettes also can harm the developing child.”

But young women may not be aware of that.

“The pervasive advertising of these vape products has caused many to perceive these devices as a ‘safe and effective'” means of quitting smoking, she said. But neither the safety nor the effectiveness of e-cigarettes — especially when consumed while pregnant — has yet been shown, Folan added.

All of this supports the need for “more studies related to e-cigarettes and pregnancy, and more widespread education about the potential harm related to their use,” she said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on e-cigarettes and pregnancy.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: April 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Study Reaffirms Safety of Hepatitis C Meds in Liver Cancer Patients