Monday links

Don’t have time to scour the internet for the latest animal science, food safety, and agriculture news? Relax, we’ve got it covered.

Animal Science:

Pig-to-person spread of flu a concern — Ohio State University The spread of influenza among pigs is common at fairs and other gatherings, and protective measures including cutting the length of […]

The truth about copper poisoning from Moscow mules

Photo by Ted Eytan

Head out on the town this summer and you’ll probably see it at some outdoor patio: a beverage clutched in the hands of someone who looks quite trendy, lime slices floating among ice cubes, condensation glistening on a cool, copper mug. The Moscow mule.

Moscow mules — not from Russia […]

Farm animals help prevent asthma and allergies in kids, study finds

In the past, we’ve talked about how household pets can lead to healthier babies. But cats and dogs aren’t the only animals linked to better health in youngsters. New evidence from researchers in Switzerland suggests that interaction with farm animals can help prevent asthma and allergies.

“Early childhood contact with animals, and the consumption of […]

Putting the “no” in Norovirus

Illustration by Alissa Eckert, courtesy the CDC

Quick, imagine your ideal date. Is it followed by nausea and vomiting? What about cramps, a fever or diarrhea? We’re going to guess, “no.”

Unfortunately, sometimes dinner leads to foodborne illness, particularly from the prolific norovirus, which causes around 50% of all food poisoning cases.

The virus […]

How milk banks keep donated breast milk safe for babies, part 2

In the first part of this post, we reviewed what breast milk banks are and how they help provide infants with nourishment in many cases.

To keep infants safe, milk banks screen and test milk from donors before passing it along to the hospitals that administer the milk.

What can make donated breast milk unsafe?

[…]

How milk banks keep donated breast milk safe for babies, part 1

Like the generous individuals who donate blood, bone marrow or organs, those who donate breast milk can improve the lives of those in need — in this case, premature babies and other newborns with health issues, like allergies or digestive problems, that might depend on donated breast milk.

In 2009, Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, […]

Science: Gut bacteria may protect from Listeria

To food industry sanitation experts, there isn’t a term much scarier than “Listeria.” Especially lately, “Listeria monocytogenes.” Scores of recall notices hit the news on a regular basis.

The bacteria can cause severe illness in people who eat food contaminated with it, and causes great difficulties for food producers. It’s a hardy, adaptable organism that […]

Fridge vs. no fridge, part 2: Eggs

In yesterday’s blog post, we looked at why sometimes milk must be refrigerated, while other times, it can be stored at room temperature. Today, we’ll tackle the same question, but for eggs.

Like with milk, the general trend is that the U.S. refrigerates its eggs, while Europeans are happy to store them on the kitchen […]

Fridge vs. no fridge, part 1: Milk

You can tell a lot about somebody based on what they do with their milk when they get home from the supermarket.

It may seem like a strange detail, but in different countries, unopened milk either does or does not need to be kept cold. So if you know whether a person zips home from […]

Germany faces largest E. coli outbreak since 2011

Since December, Germany has been up against its largest E. coli O157 outbreak in years. At least 30 people have become sick, resulting in the loss of one life.

The culprit? It’s believed to be ground or minced meat being sold at multiple stores within the country.

“Based on the investigations to date, we suspect […]