An outbreak plagues a shelter housing fire evacuees: Norovirus has broken out at a Butte County shelter housing Camp Fire evacuees, and an outbreak is suspected at a second shelter. Fifteen to 20 people staying at Neighborhood Church of Chico have become ill, and lab tests have confirmed they have norovirus. Fire evacuees staying at another shelter are also showing symptoms of the virus, but lab tests have not yet confirmed it. The virus is common when people are in close contact, and the best way to stop its spread is hand washing, food safety and isolation of those who are sick. READ MORE
ISIS says fires are retribution for bombings: One of the many media groups supporting ISIS operations online claimed that the deadly wildfires in northern and southern California are retribution for coalition bombings in Syria.The image circulated online by Al-Ansar Media uses a photo of a burning building and misspells the state “kalifornia.” In the past, ISIS has recommended arson as a terror tactic. Read more HERE and HERE.
Devastating storm decimates Chilean fruit crops: Hail and rain storms that struck Chile’s south central zone earlier this week have caused losses estimated to run as high as $200 million, with $100 of that loss in cherries. The 20 to 30 minutes storm was the worst in 50 years and caused losses ranging from 10 percent to 100 percent, according to the president of producer association, Fedefruta. READ MORE
Dairy farmers flock to insurance: After just a month on the market, dairy farmers in 248 counties in 24 states have purchased Dairy Revenue Protection (Dairy-RP) in insurance. The bulk of that insurance is reportedly for the first quarter of 2019. Some 2.7 billion pounds of milk have been covered, reports John Newton, chief economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation. READ MORE
Public doesn’t need to know, USDA says: The public doesn’t need to know which turkey plants have been found to be contaminated with a deadly strain of Salmonella that has infected people in 35 states, federal officials said yesterday in a strongly worded statement. A link from an establishment to an illness has not been made, so it would be grossly irresponsible and reckless to associate producers with an outbreak investigation, USDA’s statement said. READ MORE
MIT researchers develop food-safety system utilizing RFID tags: Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a wireless system that leverages the cheap RFID tags already on hundreds of billions of products to sense potential food contamination — with no hardware modifications needed. With the simple, scalable system, the researchers hope to bring food-safety detection to the public. READ MORE
Nope, these supplements won’t improve your memory: Two dietary supplements promoted as improving memory using Ginkgo biloba contained either none of the ingredient or a lower amount than advertised, a government watchdog said Wednesday. The products tested for Ginkgo biloba contained other, unknown ingredients, according to a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Because it couldn’t identify those ingredients, “the safety of the substitute ingredients could not be determined by the laboratory,” the GAO said. READ MORE
Company wants to alter cattle’s genetic traits: Cows that can withstand hotter temperatures. Cows born without pesky horns. Pigs that never reach puberty. A company wants to alter farm animals by adding and subtracting genetic traits in a lab. It sounds like science fiction, but Recombinetics sees opportunity for its technology in the livestock industry. READ MORE
Tickborne disease soar: New government research shows that tickborne diseases like continue to rise. The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that in 2017, state and local health departments reported a record number of cases of illnesses spread by ticks. Cases of Lyme disease, ; spotted fever rickettsiosis, including , anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and tularemia all increased last year. READ MORE
Animal welfare group sues USDA over ‘humane’ label: The Animal Welfare Institute has sued USDA for failing to mandate third-party audits of food label claims such as “humane” and “sustainable.” The animal activist group, in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, accuses USDA of an unreasonable delay in responding to the organization’s 2014 petition for rule making. READ MORE
Winter storm menaces: A winter storm that’s already responsible for several deaths will bring a messy mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain to portions of the central and eastern U.S. over the next two days. Power outages, travel headaches and school closings are all likely as the storm strengthens. Read more HERE and HERE.
Are you taking pumpkin pie on a plane? Airlines and the TSA are not just expecting big crowds, but record-setting crowds during this year’s Thanksgiving travel. Before you ever get to the gate, you have to get through security, and this Thanksgiving, airlines and airports are bracing for massive crowds—so if you’re transporting food, store it correctly so you won’t slow down the process. READ MORE