CDC report reveals thousands of previously undisclosed Covid-19 cases in food workplaces

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an updated report on the spread of Covid-19 among food manufacturing and agricultural workers on Monday, revealing thousands of previously unreported cases and reiterating the disproportionate impact that the virus has had on workers of …

CDC updates Covid-19 numbers at meat plants but uses weeks-old data

As of May 31, more than 16,000 meat and poultry processing workers in 23 states had contracted Covid-19, and 86 had died of the disease, said a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Tuesday. Nearly 90 percent of the affected workers were identified as Hispanic, Black, or Asian. According to more up-to-date data, however, the numbers for infected and deceased workers are actually much higher. (No paywall)

Biden calls meatpacking plant conditions ‘inhumane and downright immoral’ 

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden joined a chorus of voices demanding stronger workplace protections for meatpacking workers at a virtual town hall on Monday. Workers – falling ill from covid-19 – deserve a safer workplace, higher pay, and immigration protections, lawmakers …

In CDC report on ‘fast food,’ Sweetgreen and McDonald’s are treated as equals

A much-publicized report from the Centers for Disease Control released earlier this month found that more than a third of Americans eat fast food daily. But what wasn't included in the media coverage was that the study’s definition of "fast food" includes fast-casual restaurants, such as the custom-salad chain Sweetgreen, as well as coffee, bagel, and even ice cream shops. Such a broad definition, well beyond the burger-centric drive-through that the term "fast food" calls to mind, raises questions about how much the CDC data actually reveal about American eating habits.

Chicken is top among food categories in CDC analysis of food-borne illnesses

Chicken is America'a favorite meat, with per capita consumption approaching 110 pounds per person this year, roughly twice as much as beef. Five CDC scientists who analyzed U.S. outbreaks of food-borne illness in recent years say chicken caused the largest number of illnesses when outbreaks were ranked by food category.

CDC chief, entangled in ‘complex financial interests,’ resigns

Two days after he was sworn into office, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar accepted the resignation of CDC director Brenda Fitzgerald, whose six-month tenure at the agency ended in a warren of “complex financial interests” that prevented her from doing her job, said the HHS.

CDC director bought tobacco shares after taking office

Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “bought shares in a tobacco company one month into her leadership of the agency charged with reducing tobacco use,” reported Politico.

U.S. gives short shrift to agro-defense and the risk of zoonotic diseases

The average American consumes more than a half-pound of meat each day, yet the country devotes limited thought or funding to protecting its livestock from diseases that could disrupt production or infect humans, said former Sen. Joe Lieberman during a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing.

Rural Americans use seat belts less, have higher death rate

The traffic death rate on rural roads is 2.6 time higher than the urban rate; 1.8 vs 0.7 per 100 million miles, say CDC researchers in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Seat belt usage is 14 percentage points lower among rural motorists than city residents, said the scientists, noting, …

White House taps Georgia state health official to head CDC

President Trump plans to appoint the Georgia state public health commissioner, Brenda Fitzgerald, as the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the Washington Post. Fitzgerald is president-elect of the organization representing public health agencies and "has strong ties to Republican leaders," including Health Secretary Tom Price, a former Georgia congressman, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, said the newspaper.

Raw milk or cheese involved in most cases of dairy-borne illness

More and more states are allowing the sale of unpasteurized milk, a trend that raises public health concerns, according to research published in the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Are Americans losing their taste for sugary drinks? Maybe not.

A pair of studies released by the Centers for Disease Control indicate that children and adults consume roughly the same amount of calories from soda and other sugary beverages, such as sports drinks, as they did at the start of the decade, says the Washington Post. "Rates have stalled at well above the recommended limit."

Higher mortality in rural America than cities, CDC finds

A CDC study found "a striking gap in health between rural and urban Americans," says the agency's director Tom Frieden. Rural Americans are more likely than city-dwellers to die from the five leading causes of death – heart disease, cancer, accidental injury, chronic lower respiratory disease and stroke – which account for more than 60 percent of deaths, according to the study published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report

Dozens sickened by eating raw dough, FDA says

Dozens of people across the country have become ill by eating raw dough contaminated with a strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, the FDA said. The doughs had been made with General Mills flour produced in a Kansas City, Missouri, facility.

CDC blames backyard poultry flocks for salmonella outbreak

Seven separate outbreaks of salmonella this year have been linked to backyard chicken flocks, resulting in 66 hospitalizations, the CDC said. One person who was hospitalized also died, though salmonella was not considered a factor in the death.

General Mills recalls 10 million pounds of flour in food illness probe

The 10th-largest U.S. food processor, General Mills, is recalling 10 million pounds of wheat flour because it might be linked to an outbreak of food-borne illness, said NBC News. “It’s a huge recall of a item not normally linked with outbreaks of food-borne illness, but state and federal health …

Eating organic won’t keep you safe from pesticides, but it helps

What kind of produce you eat makes all the difference in your pesticide exposure, says a paper out by Consumer Reports. For example, “eating one serving of green beans from the U.S. is 200 times riskier than eating a serving of U.S.-grown broccoli.”

More than one-third of adults in U.S. are obese

More than one-third of adult Americans - 36 percent - are obese and so are 17 percent of youth, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a "Data Brief," the agency says there was no significant change in rates over the past couple of years after a steep climb in the early 2000s. Obesity is associated with chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Obama seeks $1.2 billion to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria

"The Obama administration wants to double the amount of federal funding dedicated to combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria," says the Washington Post, based on comments from White House officials in advance of the fiscal 2016 budget request.

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