A box of Honey Smacks cereal

Salmonella confirmed in manufacturing facility: Some retailers are still selling recalled Kellogg’s Honey Smacks responsible for an expanding nationwide Salmonella outbreak, spurring the FDA to once again urge consumers to not buy or eat the cereal. Investigators have laboratory confirmation that the outbreak strain of Salmonella Mbandaka is in the manufacturing facility and in unopened packages of the cereal. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

Venezuelan crabmeat causes vibriosis: Fresh crabmeat exported from the failed socialist state of Venezuela has sickened 12 people in three states and the District of Columbia with Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections. Four of the ill have required hospitalization. The CDC is now warning consumers not to eat fresh crab meat if there is any possibility it originated in Venezuela. READ MORE

McDonald’s removes salads in 14 states: McDonald’s Corp. has removed salads from 3,000 restaurants in 14 states after the products were linked to gastrointestinal illnesses in Iowa and Illinois. The CDC said late Friday that 61 people in seven states had become ill from cyclosporiasis linked to McDonald’s salads, with two hospitalizations. The FDA said it is working with McDonald’s to identify common ingredients and trace them through the supply chain. Cyclosporiasis is caused by a parasite that is usually spread by eating feces-contaminated food or water. READ MORE

Japan will accept sheep, goat meat: U.S. sheep and goat meat has regained access to Japan, after an absence of nearly 15 years, USDA announced. Japan was a primary market for American lamb before Japan banned U.S. sheep and goat meat exports in December 2003 after bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was detected in the U.S. cattle herd. READ MORE

Are foodborne illnesses increasing? The question of whether foodborne illnesses are on the rise is complicated. The answer is “in some ways yes, in some ways no, and we only have theories as to why.” But there were three significant outbreaks reported last week, and, possibly, the beginnings of a salvo. READ MORE

WATER SAFETY

Troubled water district is no more: Residents of working-class neighborhoods in Compton and Willowbrook in California have long fought an uphill battle against their local water district, which over the years has been accused of mismanagement, nepotism, bad service and, most recently, sending brown, smelly water through their taps. Now, county authorities have voted unanimously to dissolve the troubled Sativa Los Angeles County Water District agency. READ MORE

DC residents asked to boil water: Late last week, DC Water in the District of Columbia was advising tens of thousands of residents and businesses in a major portion of the city not to drink or cook with tap water without boiling it because of a contamination risk. The warning was initiated because an open valve caused a drop in pressure for some customers, making contamination a possibility. No contamination was confirmed. READ MORE

ANIMAL FEED SAFETY

Big Heart investigation continues: An investigation into pentobarbital adulteration in canned, wet pet food manufactured by Big Heart Pet Brands Inc. remains “open and ongoing” according to a spokesperson for FDA. Big Heart is a wholly owned subsidiary of J.M. Smucker Company Inc. On Feb. 16, FDA alerted pet owners to the possible presence of pentobarbital in certain canned dog foods, including Gravy Train, Kibbles ’N Bits, Ol’ Roy and Skippy products, after a media outlet reported having found the chemical in several samples of Gravy Train canned, wet dog food. READ MORE

FOOD SECURITY

No more meat for you (if you work for WeWork)! Co-working giant WeWork Cos. has told its 6,000 global staff members that they will no longer be able to expense meals including meat, and that the company won’t pay for any red meat, poultry or pork at WeWork events. Although the anti-meat stance is significant for the New York-based company, it’s far from the first startup to promote alternatives to animals. READ MORE

RESTAURANT SECURITY

Waitress attacked: A waitress required 15 stitches after she was attacked by four women she last week at an Applebee’s in Henry County, Ga., police said. The women beat and punched the waitress and stabbed her in the forearm with a steak knife, McDonough police Maj. Kyle Helgerson told AJC.com. They allegedly took her tip money before they skipped out on a $62.57 bill. READ MORE

PUBLIC HEALTH

H5N1 could cause a pandemic: One of the largest studies of the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus genetic sequences from poultry and wild birds has found 39 distinct substitutions with the possible ability to increase the pandemic potential of the virus. The U.S.-based group looked at 925 viral samples of H5N1 from Egypt collected between 2005-2015. Egypt has been the epicenter of human H5N1 infections, with more confirmed cases than any other country. H5N1 has a high human fatality rate but is not yet well-adapted to human hosts. READ MORE

Monsanto under attack: Monsanto faced a major setback last week when a federal judge allowed expert witnesses to testify that its weed killer Roundup causes cancer, opening up a floodgate for thousands of lawsuits to come. The agrochemical company has been engulfed in a trial with a man who believes he became sick with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup for more than two years as a groundskeeper for a school district outside of San Francisco. Some 4,000 more people are looking to sue over similar allegations. READ MORE

Poison oak, maybe? A California community is itching for answers after several neighbors reported getting rashes and what appears to be a bizarre allergic reaction. Many of the incidents happened at a time when several wildfires broke out nearby, which made many wonder if the smoke in the air caused the complaints on the skin. READ MORE

Ticks adding territory: Citizen scientists found ticks capable of transmitting Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses in dozens of places across the United States where the pests had never previously been recorded, a new study reports. All told, disease-carrying ticks were detected in 83 counties where they’d never been found before across 24 states. READ MORE

JUST INTERESTING

Starbucks will actually increase plastic use: By ditching plastic straws, Starbucks will actually be increasing its plastic use, a blogger for Reason magazine points out. As it turns out, the new nitro lids that Starbucks is leaning on to replace straws are made up of more plastic than the company’s current lid/straw combination. Starbucks does not deny this, but stresses that its new lids are made of recyclable plastic. As the blogger points out, many customers may fail to recycle. READ MORE

How to detect nerve gas: University of Texas at Austin researchers have devised a simple way to hunt difficult-to-find deadly nerve agent weapons by using two items found in most American homes. Legos and a smartphone are two of the key components to this ingenious MacGyver-worthy device. READ MORE