Three months out, families still displaced: It’s been three months since Hurricane Harvey ravaged Southeast Texas, but the devastating impact lingers. In the Beaumont area, where rain levels topped 60 inches in late August, displaced residents living with other, more fortunate neighbors has become standard practice. As of Sept. 25, Pierce Harrington had only two other families living in his Lumberton, Texas, home. In the initial aftermath of Hurricane Harvey — which devastated not only Houston proper but also points like this farther east, particularly nearby Beaumont, Orange and Port Arthur — he took in three displaced families to join his own. READ MORE

PUBLIC HEATH

Americans don’t eat their fruits and veggies! On the heels of our country’s very own secular harvest festival, the Center for Disease Control released new data indicating just how few people are actually regularly eating the fruits of the harvest. The CDC regularly publishes data on the health of the country, and, appropriately for the season, last week’s ominous-sounding Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report includes information on the fruit and vegetable intake of the American people. READ MORE

FOOD SECURITY

Moratorium urged on new Atlantic salmon fish farming: Citing the potential of a threat to native salmon populations, a county executive in the state of Washington has asked the county’s council to enact a six-month moratorium on new Atlantic salmon fish farming facilities along the county’s unincorporated marine shoreline on Puget Sound.The proposed moratorium is the latest political response to the August collapse off Cyprus Island of Canada-based Cooke Aquaculture’s marine net pen, spilling Atlantic farm-raised salmon into the home waters of wild Pacific salmon. READ MORE

Slave labor ‘endemic’ in Brazil’s poultry sector: Thousands of people are victims of forced labor and inhumane work conditions in Brazil’s burgeoning poultry and meat sectors, with some having to work 20 hours a day, a new report has suggested. Slave labor in Brazil’s poultry sector is “endemic,” according to a report led by the Washington-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) that called for improved working conditions, enforced labor rights and implementation of work contracts. READ MORE

WATER SAFETY

Despair in a world without water: Summer is always scorching in Amman, Jordan, but last July was particularly brutal for Tarek el-Qaisi, a mechanic who lives with his family in the eastern part of the city. First, a gang of thieves tapped into the power lines across from his home, and the electricity provider cut off the entire street for a fortnight. Then a nearby sewage pit backed up, enveloping his apartment with a sickening stench. The sudden loss of his water supply, however, has left him nearly hopeless. Jordan could be the first country to run out of water, but it likely wouldn’t be the last; two out of every three people may  face water shortages by 2025. READ MORE

Beer calls attention to toxic algae in Lake Erie: A brewery in Ohio is making a batch of green-colored beer called “Algae Blooms” to draw attention to the toxic algae that’s been fouling Lake Erie. Maumee Bay Brewing Company says water is the main ingredient in its beers and access to clean water is essential. The Toledo brewery uses the city’s tap water sourced from Lake Erie. Algae outbreaks over the past summers have become an ongoing threat to drinking water. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

Salmonellosis likely caused by employee: Two Burger King restaurants in Bemidji, Minn., temporarily closed last week after more than two dozen people contracted Salmonella after eating there. The Minnesota Department of Health has confirmed 27 cases and received reports of four more probable cases. Most were identified in September, but victims may have been exposed before then. Two additional cases came to light this week, prompting the closures. Once the department identified the outbreak in September they put “stringent” interventions in place, which did not stop the outbreak. The health department believes the outbreak is caused by employee illness rather contaminated food, so each employee must be tested twice for Salmonella before going back to work. READ MORE

ANIMAL FEED SAFETY

FDA warns about ‘bone treats’: Stuff your dog’s stocking with knickknacks. Paddywhacks, even. But — you’ve likely guessed it by now — avoid giving the dog a bone, at least a “bone treat.” The FDA released a report this month that warns against giving dogs what it refers to as “bone treats.” These treats are different from the uncooked butcher bones that come from meats or meat products approved for human consumption, the FDA says. Rather, the treats are full or partial pieces of animal bone that are processed and packaged for sale in groceries, pet stores and online retailers. READ MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

Christmas tree sticker shock: If you’ve been hit with sticker shock at the Christmas tree lot, you’re not alone. Prices are up nationwide. The National Christmas Tree Association told ABC that this year saw a spike of up to 10 percent. That’s significant on an item this expensive; prices can veer up to $300 for huge, 13-foot balsam tree. And that spike is on top of a smaller spike last year. What’s going on? READ MORE