Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

9 Everyday Foods That Could Kill Your Cat

Owning a pet of any kind brings joy, companionship and most of all — responsibility. So, even if you’re experienced with animals, it’s your job to make sure your felines are healthy and happy. One of the easiest ways to monitor your pet’s well-being is closely monitoring a diet that’s toxin-free in order to keep your furry roommate’s tummy out of harm’s way.

If you’re one of the 85.8 million people that own a cat, then you know it’s not often you have to watch everything that goes into it’s mouth, since cats are generally very fussy eaters. While our claw-equipped fur pillows might express some curiosity every time you make a tuna sandwich — that doesn’t mean you should feel inclined to make two.

With that said, here’s a few of the most common human foods that could actually be fatal to felines. So, take note to ensure that culinary curiosity doesn’t kill your cat.

1. Tuna & Poke

What can it do?

Although poke maybe be delicious, it’s not the best treat for your cat.

Actually, in excess tuna — and other fish—  in general is considered to be borderline unhealthy for cats because tuna doesn’t contain the nutrients cats need for a healthy digestive system.

Too much tuna for cats can lead to malnutrition. Additionally, poke is usually made with freshly squeezed lemon or citrus juice, which can cause vomiting, stomach irritation, and other digestive issues for our feline companions.

2. Fish & Poultry With Bones

What can it do?

Be careful if you feed your cats chicken or fish that might contain bones, as cats can easily choke on them. Fish bones are somewhat flexible, and can easily be consumed by a hungry kitty.

But let’s err on the side of caution here.

3. Alcohol

What can it do?

One teaspoon of alcohol can put a five pound cat into a coma, according to the ASPCA. Cat livers don’t operate as efficiently as the human liver  — which means wine, beer or spirits can cause serious health problems.

So, even if you and your cat are relaxing after a hard day at work, and you feel inclined to pour a little of alcohol into his or her bowl —  don’t.

However, if you feel like your cat just needs to, “wine” about their day of sleeping and watching birds, this cat wine will provide a healthy alternative.

 

4. Caffeine

@tania_crystal0126 (instagram)

What can it do?

Even small amounts of caffeine can cause rapid breathing, heart palpitations, and muscle tremors in cats.

Caffeine can be found in an array of products — even decaf coffee, teas, and other beverages — without consumer knowledge.

Since caffeine isn’t a nutrient, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t require food manufacturers to list caffeine as food nutrition labels.

5. Chocolate

What can it do?

While dogs are more likely to get into a stash of indulgent chocolate before a cat does, it’s still a good idea to keep it out of kitty’s reach.

Theobromine is an alkaloid found in chocolate, which can cause everything from vomiting and diarrhea.

It’s estimated that more than 200 mg of theobromine can also cause cardiac failure.

 

6. Grapes & Raisins

@bordeauxwinelovers (instagram)

What can it do?

While grapes and raisins might seem like harmless treats for your cat, it’s a silent killer.

However, it’s unknown exactly what compound in grapes and raisins that make the fruit toxic to cats. If ingested, grapes have been known to cause kidney failure in them.

7. Candy, Gum, Toothpaste, or anything with Xylitol

What can it do?

Every diet soda you drink contains Xylitol, which is a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener in a lot of common foods. However, it will be anything but sweet to your inquisitive cat.

Xylitol can increase in the insulin circulating through your cat’s body, which will cause the cat’s blood sugar to drop, and can also lead to liver failure.

8. Baking Dough

What can it do?

Imagine your cat’s tummy as a tiny oven — if it eats uncooked dough, it will begin to expand inside.

This will obviously result in some discomfort to your four-legged friend, so be sure to keep baking dough out of kitty’s claws and jaws.

9. Raw Meat

What can it do?

Raw meat is never safe to eat due to the harmful bacteria, like salmonella, E. Coli and even listeria — which can cause an array of health issues for humans and their pets.

Always make sure your meat is covered and out of reach, you never know when kitty will hop up on the kitchen counter to investigate.

Categories
News

FDA Warning Letter Reveals Whole Foods Isn’t As Sanitary As You Think

Adding to the list of controversy surrounding Whole Foods Market this year, the grocery chain received a warning letter from the federal Food and Drug Administration explaining that inspectors found “serious violations” at one of their main packaging facilities.

Specifically, inspectors discovered that Whole Foods North Atlantic Kitchen in Everett Massachusetts  had “failed” in many areas of food prep, leading to unsanitary and improper food handling procedures taking place inside the facility.

The letter, dated June 8, addressed to Whole Foods co-founder, John P. Mackey, and Whole Foods C0-CEO, Walter Webb, detailed the violations persistent with FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP).

On Feb. 10, 2016, inspectors found that a facility employee was, “mixing ready to eat pesto pasta directly under an area in the Assembly Room where condensate from ceiling joints was dripping onto the surface below,” according to the letter.

Another incident reported by an FDA inspector on Feb. 16, claimed that an employee was using sanitizer and other chemicals to clean surfaces and returned to handling food — without washing hands or changing gloves. Inspectors reported this multiple times throughout the visit.

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 12.33.27 PM

Additionally, the inspection revealed that Whole Foods, “failed” to properly sanitize equipment that was used in food preparation and apparently swab samples of the equipment showed exposure to, “non-pathogenic listeria” in a vegetable chopping machine.

The FDA informed Whole Foods of these violations on Feb. 26, which Whole Foods responded to with a written letter, listing steps that would be taken to rectify these violations.

“Despite this, FDA has serious concerns that our investigators found your firm operating under these conditions. Further, your response includes retraining of employees as a corrective action for most of the observed violations but you failed to mention adequate supervision over your specialized food processing operations and how retraining will ensure sustained compliance,” according to the letter.

However, the FDA was not convinced Whole Foods had corrected these violations, because the grocer failed to include any documentation proving that corrections had been made and wanted actual proof.

“We do not consider your response acceptable because you failed to provide documentation for our review, which demonstrates that all your noted corrective actions have been effectively implemented. This documentation may include photographs, invoices, work orders, voluntary destruction records of any affected products, certification of actions performed by contractors, and/or any other useful information that would assist us in evaluating your corrections,” the letter continued.

A document titled, “Guide for US FDA-Regulated Organizations— “How to Avoid and Respond to FDA Warning Letters—for Temperature, Humidity and other Controlled Environments,” found on www.wholefoodsmagazine.com, gives detailed suggestions about how to deal with and avoid these violations.

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 2.16.49 PM

While it is unclear if this document was meant for public consumption, it seems like a guide written to fool the FDA. Whole Foods Market has 15-business days to respond to the FDAs most recent letter, however, no reply has been reported at the time of this report.

Categories
Health

FDA Is Banning Certain Pizza Boxes We Use Cause They Might Kill Us

Pizza-Box-FDA

In a shocking development for pizza lovers, the Food and Drug Administration is saying that there are chemicals in your pizza boxes that may cause serious health problems.

Three substances are being banned by the FDA, specifically for the waxy pizza boxes designed to prevent grease and water from soaking in. The substances all contain perfluoroalkyl ethyl which are classed as aspoly and perfluoroalkyl substances.

These chemicals are said to increase health problems and increase the risk of cancer as they can stay in the body for years. Common household items like wax pastry bags and microwave popcorn bags may also contain the substances.

Numerous health groups filed a petition against the chemicals leading to the ban which went into effect Monday.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

FDA Recalls 6,215 Pounds of Serrano Chile Peppers, We See You Salmonella

Serrano-Chili-Recalls

We have yet another Salmonella scare, folks. This time the infection has reached about 6,215 pounds of serrano chile peppers. A random health test discovered that signs of the pathogen appeared in a batch of peppers distributed in Meijer stores in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky.

These batches may also be found at other grocery retailers like Walmart, Publix and Harris Teeter.

People with Salmonella poisoning may experience symptoms like fever, diarrhea, nausea, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. The illness affects children and the elderly more drastically because of their weaker immune systems and may result in hospitalization or death.

The Food and Drug Administration urges consumers to check with retailers from whom they’ve bought serrano chiles between Oct. 2 through Oct. 22 in the affected areas. So far, it’s confirmed that Meijer had a batch of contaminated peppers with the possibility of others stores as well.

More information about the recall can be found through the FDA.

H/T Consumerist

 

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

FDA’s Ban on Wooden Cheese Boards Could Devastate the US Artisan Cheese Industry

artisan-cheese

This could very well be the first sign of the cheesepocalypse. In a move that’s shaking the dairy world, the Food and Drug Administration issued a ban on the practice of aging cheese on wooden boards — including a majority of cheeses imported to the US. Aging cheese is a process that incorporates bacteria, enzymes, molds and environmental factors to add to the flavor of the final product. While this centuries-old process may sound unappetizing, it makes for damn good cheese.

It all started when the New York State Department of Agriculture asked the FDA if surfaces made from wood were an acceptable means to age cheese, according to Forbes. The branch chief of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutritions Dairy and Egg Branch replied:

The use of wooden shelves, rough or otherwise, for cheese ripening does not conform to [Current Good Manufacturing Practices], which require that “all plant equipment and utensils shall be so designed and of such material and workmanship as to be adequately cleanable, and shall be properly maintained.”

While the regulation does not directly mention wood, the FDA will likely argue that wooden boards never truly reach their standard of cleanliness in comparison to plastic and metal alternatives. Because nothing says artisan like a cold and sterile factory environment.

While major cheese manufacturers like Kraft will be unaffected — they don’t require the wood-aging process — smaller businesses who make artisan cheeses will most definitely be devastated. Time will tell whether or not the FDA will back down or ease up on this regulation.

Categories
Packaged Food

Moldy Applesauce Manufacturer Gets an FDA Warning

A warning letter was issued to Snokist Growers, a food processing company from Washington, for reprocessing moldy applesauce. The Food and Drug Administration are currently investigating the manufacturer after discovering that their products could possibly contain dangerous multicolored molds.

Snokist Growers distributes their products to baby food manufacturers as well as schools through the National Lunch Program. According to reports, Snokist products were blamed for the illnesses of nine North Carolina children earlier this year. The FDA continues to outline some of the other blunders the Snokist company has made during several different violations over the past year, including a 3,300 case recall for dented seals, instaces of bird feathers and feces within the facilities, fruit flies both alive and dead, and non food grade hydraulic fluid dripping from a pipe onto the housing of the apple slice conveyor [FDA].

Tough times ahead for this bunch, it seems.

 

via: Huffington Post Photo Credit: Benimoto

Categories
News

Packaged Food Nutritional Data to be Placed on Front-Packaging?

The latest word from the NY Times is that the Food and Drug Administration is making some effort to develop guidelines for the information that appears on the front of food packaging. Details on the labeling system were not clear, neither were any specifics regarding how obtrusive these “warnings” would be. It’s still up in the air whether they are discussing complete nutritional information to be placed on the front of packages, or if it would be simple highlights of key facts and ingredients (calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, so forth).