Conagra Brands Recalls over 700k pounds of Spaghetti and Meatballs

Conagra Brands Recalls over 700k pounds of Spaghetti and Meatballs

spaghetti and meatballs recall 6.12.17

Conagra Brands Recalls over 700k pounds of Spaghetti and Meatballs

Conagra Brands, Inc announced they are recalling over 700k pounds of spaghetti and meatballs products due to ‘misbranding and undeclared allergens’. The US Department of Agriculture’s FSIS (Food Safety Inspection Service) determined the products contained milk which is a known food allergen.

The products were produced in January 2017 and affect 8 different branded products. The following are items with the package code 2100701200:

  •  Del Pino’s Spaghetti and Meatballs made with pork, chicken and beef in tomato sauce
  •  Hy-Top Spaghetti and Meatballs made with pork, chicken and beef in tomato sauce
  •  Food Hold Spaghetti and Meatballs made with pork, chicken and beef in tomato sauce
  •  Essential EVERYDAY Spaghetti and Meatballs made with pork, chicken and beef in tomato sauce
  •  Libby’s Spaghetti and Meatballs made with pork, chicken and beef in tomato sauce
  •  Hannaford Spaghetti and Meatballs made with pork, chicken and beef in tomato sauce
  •  Food Club Spaghetti and Meatballs made with pork, chicken and beef in tomato sauce
  • Also included is Chef Boyardee ‘Mini pasta shells and meatballs made with pork, chicken and beef in tomato sauce’ (package code 2100700500).

If you have purchased these products, FSIS encourages you not to consume them. They should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

Source: FSIS

Medical Errors Now Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S.

Medical Malpractice

Medical Errors Now Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S.

A recent study led by a research team at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, shows that ‘medical errors’ are now the third leading cause of death in the U.S., behind cancer and heart disease. For the purpose of the study, ‘medical errors’ was defined as someone dying as a result of the care received versus the disease for which they were seeking care. This included bad doctors, miscommunication between departments, administering the wrong drug or the wrong amount of a prescribed drug, etc.

The report, which researched studies from the years 2000-2008, estimates an average of 700 wrongful deaths a day. That’s nearly 251k deaths per year ranking above other preventable causes such as accidents (136k) and suicide (42k). Some speculate the cause is a lack of standardization with regards to health care. Others believe that without federal requirements in place to report errors, hospital lack the ability to track, investigate and subsequently train for improvement.

This study shines a light on a serious issue that hospitals are not addressing with the general public. Hopefully, it will force it a change.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of medical error or malpractice, please Contact Us for a complimentary case consultation. Source:

What you will never find at your doctors’ home

Medical Malpractice

What you will never find at your doctors’ home

There are a lot of dangerous products out there, some of which are in your own home. You hear warnings all the time, but it can be hard to know just how risky products actually are. Emergency room doctors see a lot of product injuries, which is why thought it would be a good idea to see what products they find so hazardous they won’t have them in their own homes.

Here are some of their answers:

  • Trampolines. They cause many serious upper-body fractures, broken femurs and neck injuries. Parents develop false assurance with nets around the trampolines, but they do little to protect from serious injuries.
  • Button batteries. Although increasingly common in many products, these shiny and tiny objects are very attractive to kids. Once swallowed, they can get stuck and battery acid can cause serious injuries and life-long disabilities.
  • Swimming pools. Even kids who are able to swim can drown. Having a pool at your home can be even more risky considering that it is not always under supervision.
  • Power washers and extension ladders. Many times emergency room doctors see falls from high ladders that result in serious injuries. Power washers can also result in penetrating injuries or severe lacerations due to people not realizing how powerful the water flow is.
  • Guns. Even the most pro-gun doctors have seen enough accidental shootings and suicides to not want guns in their homes.
  • Styrofoam microwave soups. These products can get extremely hot. They often get left on the counter where toddlers and young children are prone to grab and receive scalding burns.
  • Old pain medication. Having these pills lying around can result in overdoses. Just one too many can kill a child.
  • High chairs that pull up to the table. These products often result in falls and trauma in young children.

Although these products can be used safely, most emergency room doctors don’t recommend having them due to the amount of injuries they see in trauma centers. If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a product defect, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.

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Sodas could be contributing to aging


Sodas could be contributing to aging

A new study revealed that soft drinks could be playing a large role in the aging process due to the fact they encourage cell death. The study was completed by researchers at the University of California in San Francisco. Researchers found that soda consumption can decrease lifespan by up to 4.6 years.

The study compared 5,000 DNA samples of American adults between the ages of 20 and 65 to see if there were similarities between drinking soda and telomere length. Telomeres are protective caps of DNA that cover the chromosomes. They found that individuals who consumed sodas regularly showed shorter telomere than normal. The results held despite matter of age, race, income, or education level. They study was done on individuals who do not have diabetes. Because the study was limited to adults, this telomere shortness may also be more rapid in children who consume soft drinks.

Shorter telomere lengths are commonly associated with high risk for heart disease and diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Sodas and sugar-sweetened beverages have been proven to result in obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  A more shocking result showed that consuming 20 ounces of soda a day or more shortened telomere length at the same rate as smoking tobacco. Regular exercise lengthens the telomere caps about the same rate that sodas shorten them, the study also found.

In order to live a long and healthy life, we suggest cutting the amount of sodas you consume and adding in regular exercise.

Source: Tech Time

Cucumbers Recalled for Salmonella Outbreak

Foodborne Illness Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Cucumbers Recalled for Salmonella Outbreak

Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce is voluntarily recalling cucumbers labeled under the “limited edition” brand due to a salmonella outbreak.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 285 cases of salmonella that can be traced back to cucumbers in 27 different states. One of the reports includes a death as a result of the cucumbers. The cucumbers were sold in stores between August 1 and September 3, 2015. The states affected include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

Whole Foods, who said they did not carry the affected cucumbers, is still taking all of its cucumbers purchased in the month of August off the shelf. Red Lobster, a seafood chain restaurant, is following Whole Foods by discarding all of its cucumbers as well.

The affected cucumbers were grown in Mexico and are currently being tested by state health and agriculture authorities. Consumers can return any purchased cucumbers for a full refund or exchange.

If you or someone you know has been injured or has died as a result of a product or foodborne illness, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.

Pool Safety: Protect yourself from Recreational Water Illness

Pool Safety - LAAPS

Pool Safety: Protect yourself from Recreational Water Illness

Pools are a fun activity for all during the warmer months. Although they can be a great alternative if you don’t have a beach nearby, they can also carry bacteria and germs which can cause recreational water illnesses.  Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs) are caused by germs which contaminate swimming pools, hot tubs and water parks or other bodies of water. RWIs can also be caused by chemicals that evaporate from the water and cause indoor air quality problems. As a result, RWIs can cause infections, the most common being diarrhea. Preventing RWIs requires participation by not just the pool staff but also from swimmers. Even though they cannot eliminate the issue altogether, together they can make changes and steps in order to make the pool a healthier place to swim. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has put together a list of steps to help protect yourself from these illnesses. Remember to always swim your LAAPS!

  • L-Look at the pool and its surroundings.
    • Is the water clear and clean? Can you see straight to the bottom of the pool?
    • Are the slides and equipment smooth? They should not be sticky or slippery.
    • Does the pool smell? Although you should be able to smell some odor due to the chlorine, the pool should not have a strong chemical smell.
    • Are all of the pool pumps and filters working?
  • A-Ask questions of the pool staff.
    • What is their training? Are they certified?
    • Are chlorine and pH levels checked at least twice per day?
    • Are the levels checked when the pool is most heavily used?
    • Is trained staff available on the weekends?
    • What was the health inspection grade for the pool?
  • A-Act by being proactive and educating others.
    • Learn about RWIs and educate others on what you know.
    • Urge pool management to spread the word about RWIs.
    • Check the pool water yourself for adequate free chlorine (1-3 parts per million) and pH (7.2-7.8) levels. You can buy test strips at local home improvement stores.
  • P-Practice healthy swimming behaviors.
    • Keep urine, fecal matter, sweat, and dirt out of the water.
    • Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.
    • Shower before you get in the water.
    • Do not swallow the water.
    • Every hour take everyone in your family out for bathroom breaks. Check diapers and change them in the bathroom or diaper changing area – never pool side. Reapply sunscreen and drink plenty of fluids.
  • S-Safety is always important.
    • Keep an eye on children at all times. Children can drown in seconds and in silence.
    • Don’t use air-filled swimming aids in place of life jackets or preserves.
    • Protect against sunburn by using sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and both UVA and UVB protection. Always reapply after swimming.

Stay safe this summer and remember your LAAPS! If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a public pool or waterpark, contact our law offices today for a free consultation. Source: CDC
updated: 6.5.17

Jeni’s Spendid Ice Creams Stops Production After More Listeria Discovered

Safety First - The Cooper Firm

Jeni’s Spendid Ice Creams Stops Production After More Listeria Discovered

Jeni’s Spendid Ice Cream has once again stopped the production of all of its products after listeria, a life threatening bacteria, was found at one of the company’s facility in Ohio. Although the ice cream had not been contaminated, the company still chose to stop production.

Jeni’s previously recalled all of its products, destroyed its stock, and closed all 20 of its stores for a listeria outbreak a few weeks ago. The company discovered the listeria again in the facility after reopening and producing ice cream on May 13. CEO, John Lowe felt confident that no contaminated product left the facility. The company had to close down the shops temporarily due to the fact that the kitchen did not have enough products to keep them stocked. It has also halted shipping its products to retail stores and individuals across the country.

The company is now investigating how the listeria reappeared in the facility. The last contamination came from a machine that loaded the ice cream into pint sized containers. The company then cleaned, disassembled and implemented testing of the machines and products every day.

Jeni’s is not the only company that has had issues with listeria this year. Blue Bell Creameries was crippled after listeria contaminated its plants. It has not removed all of its products from stores for the first time ever. There have been 10 illnesses and three deaths linked to the contaminated Blue Bell products. There have, however, been no illnesses linked to Jeni’s recall.

Due to the fact that each product has been swabbed and tested before it left the facility, Jeni’s is confident that no products sold or consumed in the past few weeks were contaminated.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of foodborne illness, contact our law offices today for free consultation.

Source: New York Times

BPA-Free vs EA-Free: Court Battle Reveals Shift In Opinion

Safety First - The Cooper Firm

EA-Free vs. BPA-Free

There may be a new standard for plastics after a researcher’s discovery regarding its safety. While BPA-free is something that most consumers look for when purchasing plastics, “EA-free” may be an even better option. EA-free means the product is not only free of BPA, or bisphenol A, but also free of other chemicals that mimic the hormone estrogen.

A recent legal battle has arisen between the chemical company Eastman Chemical who creates Tritan plastic and a scientist with business interests in the plastics industry over EA-free products. Tritan was developed as a tough, high temperature chemical resistant, dishwasher-resistant product. When developed, Tritan did not contain BPA, which increased its popularity at the time.  Around the same time, the FDA was still trying to decide if BPA posed a risk. George Bittner, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Texas at Austin, had determined long before Tritan was developed that BPA was not the only harmful chemical that could act like estrogen in plastics. Bittner founded PlastiPure, a company which made plastics without estrogen chemicals. He also founded CertiChem, a company that test plastics for estrogenic activity. As the word spread to consumers, people started demanding the products be free of any estrogenic activity.

In response, Eastman added “EA-free” to Tritan’s description. PlastiPure then released marketing information stating that Tritan products were not free of estrogenic activity. Eastman filed legal action against PlastiPure claiming the company had shared misleading statements. The federal jury ended up siding with Eastman, and PlastiPure and CertiChem were required to change their marketing. In December 2014, an appeals court upheld the ruling.

After the lawsuit, Bittner’s companies decided to get its message out by publishing articles and papers about estrogenic plastics that specifically highlight products like Tritan. This is allowed due to its scientific context. Consumers must now do their own research based on the safety agency’s opinions and other companies’ scientific research. The The FDA issued a statement at the end of 2014 that products made with BPA are safe, which you can read here.

Source:  NPR

What the FDA is doing about unreliable labels

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Foodborne Illness Attorney - The Cooper Firm

What the FDA is doing about unreliable labels

If you have a severe food allergy, you are probably very aware of food labels. When food labels are not reliable, the result can be severe and even deadly. The Food and Drug Administration calls these allergens not listed on labels, “undeclared allergens.” They currently account for 44% of food requested by the FDA.

Even if you are extremely careful in everything you consume, if something is misleading, it could cause you illness or severe injuries. This year alone, there were over 70 recalls for food products. Although no one keeps track, dozens of reactions are associated with recalls from 2005-2010. Those are just those that are reported. The FDA is now working to reduce the amount of recalls for undeclared allergens. Many times, mistakes are made because the manufacturers use the wrong label. When products are similar and made with different ingredients this can occur more frequently. The use of computerized labels, which are printed directly on packaging, are prone to more errors even though they save companies money. The FDA hopes to reduce this issue by working with the industries to make simple changes to improve excellence and accuracy.

The foods most often involved with undeclared allergens are bakery products. These products include snack food, candy, dairy products and dressing. The most common allergens are typically milk, wheat and soy. By exploring new ways to test allergens, the FDA hopes to keep them out of foods to begin with. The FDA is also requesting that if consumers are aware of undeclared allergens that they contact the FDA, who says they read every complaint.

If you or someone you know has experienced severe sickness or even death as a result of incorrect labelling or from foodborne illness, contact our office today for a free consultation.

Source: FDA, NBC News

5 things not to do in the Emergency Room


5 things not to do in the Emergency Room

A Harvard University analysis found that of more than 90,000 U.S. emergency room visits, one in four heart-attack patients waited 50 minutes or more to be seen by a physician. Experts attribute the long wait to too many patients and too few beds. Experts say that emergency rooms could be better organized.

If you find yourself in an emergency room that has long waits and rude employees, consider the following advice about what not to do while in the ER:

1. Don’t forget to call your doctor on the way to the ER;

If the ER doctor hears from a fellow physician, they are more likely to respond or do something to help. It also helps to put you on the radar.

2. Don’t use an ambulance unless you really need to;

Many people thing that if you ride into the ER from the ambulance that they will take you directly back, but this is not the case. They may still admit you to the waiting room if you are better off than another individual.

3. Don’t be quiet;

Asking for the person in charge may help you. If someone says “Wait,” but you really need help. Make sure you speak up and say something about it.

4. Don’t get angry, don’t lie; and

While it may be easy to raise you voice or treat people poorly because of your pain, it will not get help any faster. It also upsets the staff who may treat your poorly in return.

5. Don’t forget the phone.

If no one is helping you, and you are in severe pain and need help, look for a house phone, dial zero, and ask for the hospital administrator on call. Hospital Administrators do not like to hear that people are unhappy and can get you help faster.

Source: CNN

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