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Corona Recalls Select Packages after Glass Particles Found

Corona Recalls Select Packages after Glass Particles Found


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Corona Recalls Select Packages after Glass Particles Found

Constellation Brands Beer Division, the company which distributes Corona Extra to the United States, announced a voluntary recall of “select packages in the US containing 12-ounce clear glass bottles of its Corona Extra beer that may contain small particles of glass,” the company announced in press release on Saturday, August 15.

The recall applies to 12-ounce, clear bottles in select 6-pack, 12-pack, and 18-pack packages containing bottles with the production codes listed on Corona’s website.

The recall was announced after quality control inspections found defects in “certain bottles that could cause small particles of glass to break off and fall into the bottle,” produced at one of four glass plants run by a third party manufacturer. The company believes that less than one percent of bottles produced from the plant may be affected, but is recalling all packages that may contain defective bottles.

The following Corona products are not being recalled and are safe to consume:

Corona Extra cans

Corona Extra 24-pack loose bottles

Corona Extra 24-ounce. bottle

Corona Extra draft beer

Corona Light bottles

Corona Light cans

Corona Light draft beer

Corona Familiar

Coronitas

For the latest food and drink updates, visit our Food News page.

Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.


Stella Artois Recalls Beer That May Contain Broken Glass

Stella Artois has announced a voluntary recall of select 11.2-ounce bottles of the brand&rsquos beer after finding that they may contain particles of glass. The recall applies to Stella Artois six-, 12-, 18-, and 24-packs as well &ldquoBest of Belgium&rdquo multi-packs and Stella Artois Légère 6- and 12-packs.

Because of a packaging flaw in some 11.2-ounce bottles, glass can break off and possibly fall into the beer. Anheuser-Busch, the company that owns Stella Artois, says that the recall impacts less that 1% of Stella Artois glass bottles sold in North America annually, and the number of bottles that are actually affected will be far less than this.

"The safety of our consumers is our top priority. While the number of potentially-affected glass bottles is very small, we are recalling these Stella Artois packages as a precautionary measure," said Christina Choi, Global Brand VP, Stella Artois in a statement on the company's website.


Stella Artois recalls select packs that may contain particles of glass

Pic:istock/frankljunior

The recall was issued after the detection of a glass packaging flaw in some bottles ‘that may cause a small piece of glass to break off and possibly fall into the beer’.

The recall applies to Stella Artois 6-packs, 12-packs, 18-packs, 24-packs, "Best of Belgium" multi-packs in the US and Canada, and Stella Artois Légère 6-packs and 12-packs in the US.

The recall affects packs containing 11.2 ounce (330ml) bottles and does not affect other Stella Artois packaging formats, such as cans or draft or bottles of any other production codes.

“We made the decision to voluntarily recall certain packages potentially containing the affected 11.2-ounce (330ml) bottles as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of our consumers,”​ says a statement from the brand.

“The recall is limited in scope to bottles from one third-party production facility that produces a fraction of Stella Artois bottles. This recall impacts less than 1% of Stella Artois glass bottles sold in North America annually, and affected bottles will be far less than this.”

Stella Artois adds that its technical team has been working with the glass bottle supplier to ensure the packaging flaw has been addressed and is actively working with its distributor and retail partners to remove potentially affected packages from retail.


Cheeseburgers

Ready to get really mad? Think back to this recall that ruined your favorite BBQ food forever. People went mad in 2003 after the first American case of mad cow disease was officially diagnosed in Texas. Since then, there have been major recalls on American hamburger meat that has been suspected of contracting Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), aka mad cow disease. When humans consume meat infected with BSE, they can develop a fatal brain disease known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease that severely alters behavior and movement. The most recent recall happened in 2014 when over 4,000 lbs of beef products were recalled from supermarkets across the nation—most notably Whole Foods.


Stella Artois recalls products sold in Canada for possible glass particles

Stella Artois issued a voluntary recall on Monday due to possible particles of glass found in some products sold in Canada.

The recall covers select packages of 330-mL bottles of Stella, including those in six-packs, 12-packs, 18-packs, 24 packs, “Best of Belgium” multi-packs in the U.S. and Canada, as well as Stella Artois Légère six-packs and 12-packs sold in the U.S. The codes for the affected Canadian production batches can be found below.

Stella Artois recalls products sold in Canada for possible glass particles Back to video

Packaging dates can be found on the back label of bottles and on the side of the cardboard cartons for the 12-, 18- and 24-packs.

“The recall does not affect other Stella Artois packaging formats, such as cans or draft or bottles of any other production codes,” read the notice.

The products are being recalled after a packaging flaw was detected which could cause a small piece of glass to break off and possibly fall into the beer.

The company said the recall is limited to those from a third-party production facility that produces only a fraction of Stella Artois bottles – less than 1 per cent of Stella Artois glass bottles sold in North America – and that the affected bottles with glass particles found inside will be far less than this amount.

“The safety of our consumers is our top priority. While the number of potentially affected glass bottles is very small, we are recalling these Stella Artois packages as a precautionary measure,” said company spokeswoman Christina Choi .

“Our team of technical experts has been working with our third-party glass bottle supplier to ensure this packaging flaw has been addressed.”


Outbreaks

Recent Outbreaks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posts food safety alerts and investigation notices for multistate foodborne disease outbreaks. Click on the link below for a list of the latest outbreaks.

What Is an Outbreak?

A foodborne outbreak occurs when two or more people get the same illness from the same contaminated food or drink. When an outbreak is detected, public health and regulatory officials work quickly to collect as much information as possible to find out what is causing it so they can take action to prevent more people from getting sick. This action includes warning the public when there is clear and convincing information linking illness to a contaminated food. Federal, state and local officials may investigate an outbreak, depending on how widespread it is.


Mayhem: Public Notification - Undeclared Drug Ingredients

ISSUE: FDA is advising consumers not to purchase or use Mayhem, a product labeled as a dietary supplement that is promoted to increase appetite and muscle growth, because it contains an undeclared corticosteroid and antihistamine. FDA laboratory analysis found that Mayhem contains dexamethasone, a corticosteroid commonly used to treat inflammatory conditions, and cyproheptadine, a prescription antihistamine used for seasonal allergy treatment.

Consumers are advised that corticosteroid use can impair a person’s ability to fight infections, cause high blood sugar levels, muscle injuries and psychiatric problems. When corticosteroids are taken for a prolonged period, or at high doses, they can suppress the adrenal gland and cause withdrawal symptoms with abrupt discontinuation. Antihistamines may cause drowsiness and affect mental alertness.

In addition, these undeclared drug ingredients in Mayhem may cause serious side effects when combined with other medications.

BACKGROUND: Mayhem is manufactured by Chaotic-Labz and is sold in some retail stores and on various websites, including www.chaoticlabz.com

RECOMMENDATION: Consumers taking Mayhem are urged to immediately consult with their health care provider to safely discontinue use of this product. This risk of withdrawal from corticosteroids should be assessed by a health care professional. Only licensed health care professionals can evaluate patients for the risk, or confirm the existence, of adrenal suppression.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/index.cfm
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

Epidural Corticosteroid Injection: Drug Safety Communication - Risk of Rare But Serious Neurologic Problems

Including methylprednisolone, hydrocortisone, triamcinolone, betamethasone, and dexamethasone

ISSUE: FDA is warning that injection of corticosteroids into the epidural space of the spine may result in rare but serious adverse events, including loss of vision, stroke, paralysis, and death. The injections are given to treat neck and back pain, and radiating pain in the arms and legs. The effectiveness and safety of epidural administration of corticosteroids have not been established, and FDA has not approved corticosteroids for this use.

FDA is requiring the addition of a Warning to the drug labels of injectable corticosteroids to describe these risks.

BACKGROUND: To raise awareness of the risks of epidural corticosteroid injections in the medical community, FDA’s Safe Use Initiative convened a panel of experts, including pain management experts to help define the techniques for such injections which would reduce preventable harm. The expert panel’s recommendations will be released when they are finalized. FDA will convene an Advisory Committee meeting of external experts in late 2014 to discuss the benefits and risks of epidural corticosteroid injections and to determine if further FDA actions are needed.

RECOMMENDATION: Patients should discuss the benefits and risks of epidural corticosteroid injections with their health care professionals, along with the benefits and risks associated with other possible treatments. See the Drug Safety Communication for a Data Summary and additional information for both patients and healthcare professionals.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/index.cfm or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

Reumofan Plus: Recall - Undeclared Drug Ingredient

Reumofan Plus USA, LLC and Reumofan USA, LLC is recalling "Reumofan Plus" Tablets, Lot# 99515, exp. 09/16, because they contain undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients: methocarbamol, dexamethasone, and diclofenac. The recall was initiated after it was discovered that the product was distributed in packaging that did not reveal the presence of the active pharmaceutical ingredients, making it an unapproved drug. One illness has been reported to date in connection with this problem.

Samantha Lynn Inc. is voluntarily recalling 500 lots of Reumofan Plus Tablets to the consumer level due to findings of undeclared drug ingredients. The FDA sample analysis has found the product to contain methocarbamol and diclofenac. The affected Reumofan Plus lots may include the following lot number(s): 99515 ex096 and expires: 2016. The product is marketed in a green bottle containing 30 lavender round tablets and is distributed nationwide via the internet.

FDA is issuing an updated alert that Reumofan Plus and Reumofan Plus Premium contain undeclared active ingredients found in prescription drugs that should be used only under the supervision of a health care professional.

Since June 1, 2012, when FDA first warned the public about the dangers of these supplements, the agency has received reports of fatalities, stroke, severe bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, dizziness, insomnia, high blood sugar levels and problems with liver and kidney functions,as well as corticosteroid withdrawal syndrome

Because of the possible risks, consumers should not buy or start using these products.

ISSUE: FDA is warning consumers that Reumofan Plus, marketed as a natural dietary supplement for pain relief and other serious conditions, contains several active pharmaceutical ingredients not listed on the label that could be harmful. An FDA laboratory analysis of Reumofan Plus found that it contains Diclofenac Sodium, a prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that may cause increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke, as well as serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including bleeding, ulceration, and fatal perforation (causing a hole) of the stomach and intestines, and Methocarbamol, a prescription muscle relaxant that can cause sedation, dizziness, low blood pressure, and impair mental or physical abilities to perform tasks such as driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery.

The Mexican Ministry of Health discovered that at least one lot of the product contains the corticosteroid dexamethasone, a drug that acts as an anti-inflammatory and immune system suppressant.

FDA has received multiple reports of adverse events associated with the use of Reumofan Plus, including liver injury, sudden worsening of glucose control, weight gain, swelling, leg cramps, and adrenal suppression.

BACKGROUND: Reumofan Plus is marketed as a natural dietary supplement for pain relief. Reumofan Plus is labeled in Spanish and promoted for treating arthritis, muscle pain, osteoporosis, bone cancer, and other conditions. The product is manufactured in Mexico by Riger Naturals and sold in some retail outlets, at flea markets, and on various internet sites. FDA has worked closely with the Mexican government on this matter. The Mexican Ministry of Health has issued a health warning to the public and ordered Riger Naturals to recall the product.

RECOMMENDATION: Consumers who are currently taking or who recently stopped taking Reumofan Plus are urged to consult a healthcare professional immediately. Health care professionals are urged to ask their patients about use of Reumofan Plus and other products marketed as dietary supplements when patients present with unexplained symptoms that suggest NSAID toxicity, depression, or the use or abrupt discontinuation of corticosteroids. Additionally, health care professionals should evaluate patients who have used Reumofan Plus for drug and disease interactions involving diclofenac, methocarbamol, and corticosteroids, and consider whether a corticosteroid taper regimen may be appropriate in those who have used Reumofan Plus.


Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/index.cfm or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

Reumofan Plus Dietary Supplement Relabeled and Sold as “WOW”: Public Warning - Undeclared Drug Ingredients

ISSUE: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning the public that the potentially harmful dietary supplement product Reumofan Plus is being relabeled and sold under the name &ldquoWOW.&rdquo The product is being marketed to treat arthritis, muscle pain, osteoporosis, bone cancer, and other conditions. FDA laboratory analysis confirmed that &ldquoWOW&rdquo contains the same prescription drug ingredients that are in Reumofan Plus, including dexamethasone (a corticosteroid), diclofenac sodium (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), and methocarbamol (a muscle relaxant). These ingredients have the potential to cause serious injury.

BACKGROUND: FDA warned the public of the harm of Reumofan Plus on June 1, 2012, and again on August 21, 2012. Since June, FDA has received dozens of adverse event reports, many of them serious, from consumers who used Reumofan Plus. The reports include liver injury, severe bleeding, corticosteroid withdrawal syndrome, adrenal suppression, stroke, and even death.

Reumofan Plus and &ldquoWOW&rdquo products are sold on various websites, including Gonepainfree.com and Browerent.com. The products are manufactured by Riger Naturals S.A. In addition to websites selling &ldquoWOW,&rdquo FDA has become aware that various websites, including Reumofanusa.com, owned by Reumofan USA, LLC, continue to sell Reumofan Plus even after previous FDA warnings. Please see the link to the FDA public warning for product photos.

RECOMMENDATION: Consumers currently taking or who have taken Reumofan Plus or &ldquoWOW&rdquo should immediately consult a health care professional. Health care professionals are urged to ask their patients about the use of Reumofan Plus, &ldquoWOW,&rdquo and other similar products marketed as dietary supplements when patients present with unexplained symptoms that suggest NSAID toxicity, psychiatric changes, or the use or abrupt discontinuation of corticosteroids.
Additionally, health care professionals should evaluate patients who have used Reumofan Plus and/or WOW for drug and disease interactions involving diclofenac, methocarbamol, and corticosteroids, and consider whether a corticosteroid taper regimen may be appropriate.
Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of Reumofan Plus products and &ldquoWOW&rdquo to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/index.cfm
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178.

Previous Related Safety Alert:
[08/21/2012 - Reumofan Plus MedWatch Safety Alert - FDA]

Reumofan Plus: Recall - Undeclared Drug Ingredient

FDA is issuing an updated alert that Reumofan Plus and Reumofan Plus Premium contain undeclared active ingredients found in prescription drugs that should be used only under the supervision of a health care professional.

Since June 1, 2012, when FDA first warned the public about the dangers of these supplements, the agency has received reports of fatalities, stroke, severe bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, dizziness, insomnia, high blood sugar levels and problems with liver and kidney functions,as well as corticosteroid withdrawal syndrome

Because of the possible risks, consumers should not buy or start using these products.

ISSUE: FDA is warning consumers that Reumofan Plus, marketed as a natural dietary supplement for pain relief and other serious conditions, contains several active pharmaceutical ingredients not listed on the label that could be harmful. An FDA laboratory analysis of Reumofan Plus found that it contains Diclofenac Sodium, a prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that may cause increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke, as well as serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including bleeding, ulceration, and fatal perforation (causing a hole) of the stomach and intestines, and Methocarbamol, a prescription muscle relaxant that can cause sedation, dizziness, low blood pressure, and impair mental or physical abilities to perform tasks such as driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery.

The Mexican Ministry of Health discovered that at least one lot of the product contains the corticosteroid dexamethasone, a drug that acts as an anti-inflammatory and immune system suppressant.

FDA has received multiple reports of adverse events associated with the use of Reumofan Plus, including liver injury, sudden worsening of glucose control, weight gain, swelling, leg cramps, and adrenal suppression.

BACKGROUND: Reumofan Plus is marketed as a natural dietary supplement for pain relief. Reumofan Plus is labeled in Spanish and promoted for treating arthritis, muscle pain, osteoporosis, bone cancer, and other conditions. The product is manufactured in Mexico by Riger Naturals and sold in some retail outlets, at flea markets, and on various internet sites. FDA has worked closely with the Mexican government on this matter. The Mexican Ministry of Health has issued a health warning to the public and ordered Riger Naturals to recall the product.

RECOMMENDATION: Consumers who are currently taking or who recently stopped taking Reumofan Plus are urged to consult a healthcare professional immediately. Health care professionals are urged to ask their patients about use of Reumofan Plus and other products marketed as dietary supplements when patients present with unexplained symptoms that suggest NSAID toxicity, depression, or the use or abrupt discontinuation of corticosteroids. Additionally, health care professionals should evaluate patients who have used Reumofan Plus for drug and disease interactions involving diclofenac, methocarbamol, and corticosteroids, and consider whether a corticosteroid taper regimen may be appropriate in those who have used Reumofan Plus.


Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/index.cfm or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

Reumofan Plus: Recall - Undeclared Drug Ingredient

ISSUE: FDA is warning consumers that Reumofan Plus, marketed as a natural dietary supplement for pain relief and other serious conditions, contains several active pharmaceutical ingredients not listed on the label that could be harmful. An FDA laboratory analysis of Reumofan Plus found that it contains Diclofenac Sodium, a prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that may cause increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke, as well as serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including bleeding, ulceration, and fatal perforation (causing a hole) of the stomach and intestines, and Methocarbamol, a prescription muscle relaxant that can cause sedation, dizziness, low blood pressure, and impair mental or physical abilities to perform tasks such as driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery.

The Mexican Ministry of Health discovered that at least one lot of the product contains the corticosteroid dexamethasone, a drug that acts as an anti-inflammatory and immune system suppressant.

FDA has received multiple reports of adverse events associated with the use of Reumofan Plus, including liver injury, sudden worsening of glucose control, weight gain, swelling, leg cramps, and adrenal suppression.

BACKGROUND: Reumofan Plus is marketed as a natural dietary supplement for pain relief. Reumofan Plus is labeled in Spanish and promoted for treating arthritis, muscle pain, osteoporosis, bone cancer, and other conditions. The product is manufactured in Mexico by Riger Naturals and sold in some retail outlets, at flea markets, and on various internet sites. FDA has worked closely with the Mexican government on this matter. The Mexican Ministry of Health has issued a health warning to the public and ordered Riger Naturals to recall the product.

RECOMMENDATION: Consumers who are currently taking or who recently stopped taking Reumofan Plus are urged to consult a healthcare professional immediately. Health care professionals are urged to ask their patients about use of Reumofan Plus and other products marketed as dietary supplements when patients present with unexplained symptoms that suggest NSAID toxicity, depression, or the use or abrupt discontinuation of corticosteroids. Additionally, health care professionals should evaluate patients who have used Reumofan Plus for drug and disease interactions involving diclofenac, methocarbamol, and corticosteroids, and consider whether a corticosteroid taper regimen may be appropriate in those who have used Reumofan Plus.


Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/index.cfm or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

American Regent Injectable Products: Recall - Visible Particulates in Products

  • Methyldopate HCL Injection, USP 5ml Single Dose Vial
  • Caffeine & Sodium Benzoate Injection, USP, 250 mg/mL, 2 mL Single Dose Vial
  • Ammonium Molybdate Injection, USP (Molybdenum 250mcg/10 mL) 10 mL Single Dose Vial
  • Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection, 4 mg/mL, 1 mL Single Dose Vials 5 mL and 30 mL Multiple Dose Vials
  • Bacteriostatic Sodium Chloride Injection, USP, 0.9%, 30 mL Multiple Dose Vials
  • Concentrated Sodium Chloride Injection, USP 23.4%, 30 mL Single Dose Vials and 100mL Pharmacy Bulk Packages
  • Sodium Thiosulfate Injection USP 10%
  • Potassium Phosphates Injection, USP

[UPDATED 06/07/2011] Methyldopate HCL Injection, USP 5ml Single Dose Vial recalled.

[UPDATED 05/06/2011] Caffeine & Sodium Benzoate Injection, USP, 250 mg/mL, 2 mL Single Dose Vial recalled.

[UPDATED 04/27/2011] Ammonium Molybdate Injection, USP (Molybdenum 250mcg/10 mL) 10 mL Single Dose Vial recalled.

[UPDATED 03/18/2011] Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection products recalled.

[UPDATED 03/17/2011] Concentrated Sodium Chloride Injection products recalled.

ISSUE: Recall initiated because some vials exhibit translucent visible particles consistent with glass delamination. Potential adverse events after intravenous administration include damage to blood vessels in the lung, localized swelling, and granuloma formation.

BACKGROUND: Glass delamination can occur with high pH solutions when the surface glass from the vial separates into thin layers, resulting in glass particles with a flaky appearance.

RECOMMENDATION: Hospitals, Home Health Care Agencies, Emergency Rooms, Infusion Centers, Clinics and other healthcare facilities should not use the recalled American Regent products. Recalled products should be immediately quarantined for return. Refer to Press Releases for specific lot numbers recalled.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/index.cfm or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

[06/06/2011 - Press Release, Methyldopate HCL Injection - American Regent]
[05/05/2011 - Press Release, Caffeine & Sodium Benzoate Injection - American Regent]
[04/26/2011 - Press Release, Ammonium Molybdate Injection - American Regent]
[03/16/2011 - Press Release, Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate - American Regent]
[03/15/2011 - Press Release, Bacteriostatic Sodium Chloride - American Regent]
[03/15/2011 - Press Release, Concentrated Sodium Chloride - American Regent]
[02/04/2011 - Press Release, Sodium Thiosulfate - American Regent]
[02/03/2011 - Press Release, Potassium Phosphates - American Regent]


Norovirus

Produce, shellfish, ready-to-eat foods touched by infected food workers (salads, sandwiches, ice, cookies, fruit), or any other foods contaminated with particles of vomit or feces from an infected person.

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds, particularly after using the bathroom and before, during, and after preparing food.
  • If you work in a restaurant or deli, avoid bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat foods.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces contaminated by vomit or diarrhea (use a bleach-based household cleaner as directed on the label). Clean and disinfect food preparation equipment and surfaces.
  • If you are ill with diarrhea or vomiting and for two days afterwards, do not cook, prepare, or serve food for others.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables and cook oysters and other shellfish thoroughly before eating them.
  • Wash clothing or linens soiled by vomit or fecal matter immediately. Remove the items carefully to avoid spreading the virus. Machine wash and dry.

COVID-19 Light Therapy: Old quackery repurposed

Quacks love light therapy for everything, whether there’s good evidence or not that it works for the condition treated. COVID-19 is no exception.

[Orac note: Orac regrets that there hasn’t been a new bit of Insolence, either Respectful or not-so-Respectful, in nearly a week. The universe got in the way. Fortunately, to get started again, Orac has found a tasty bit of woo called COVID Light Therapy. He also hopes to get back on a more regular posting schedule (or even more frequent than what has been the norm the last few weeks) beginning on Monday, right after the Easter holiday.]

In the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, with respect to the antivaccine movement, I’ve liked to repeat the mantra that “everything old is new again” or that “there is nothing new under the sun.” The reason, of course, is that, when it comes to antivaccine tropes and disinformation, everything old really is new again, with old antivax pseudoscience, distortions of science, and just plain misinformation, disinformation, and lies repurposed for COVID-19 vaccines and COVID-19 itself. It turns out that the same thing is true for dubious treatments and outright quackery. Be it homeopathy, acupuncture, or any other scientific nonsense, quackery is being furiously repurposed for COVID-19. Nowhere have I seen a better example of this phenomenon than with a website I found last week, COVID Light Therapy. To give you an idea what this light therapy, a.k.a. “photobiomodulation” (PBM) for COVID-19, I thought I’d start out with a screen shot from the website:

This is basically exactly what it looks like. This “light therapy” involves shining red or infrared light externally or into the nose or mouth. As for the blurb above, the only thing I can see that is true is that the therapy is likely noninvasive and probably safe. As for its use for “improved circulation,” well, all I can say is that infrared light is basically the application of heat more than anything else.

But how? How, you ask, does shining a red or infrared light up your nose prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19, at least according to the Photonic Therapy Institute? Glad you asked. On the COVID Light Therapy website, I found this handy-dandy, super-science-y looking diagram that I took the liberty of taking a screenshot of:

As you might imagine, that reference at the bottom used as support for COVID Light Therapy was like catnip to me—irresistible. So I looked it up and found it here. The first thing I noticed was that it’s a review article from October. The second thing I noticed was that all of the studies included in the review were in animal models, with not a single clinical study in humans included among the 17 studies reviewed. The third thing that I noticed was that most of the papers had nothing to do with COVID-19. There were papers about acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) induced by bowel ischemia (lack of blood flow) and reperfusion, by LPS (a component of endotoxin from bacteria involved in causing the metabolic derangements seen in septic shock), formaldehyde or ovalbumin sprayed into the lung, or by tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). The most recent paper was from 2018, long before the pandemic, and none of them even involved other coronaviruses, such as MERS or SARS.

Finally, I also noticed a figure in the paper that looks suspiciously like the figure above only without humans:

The rest is all speculation about COVID-19 light therapy like this:

Photobiomodulation is an innovative approach in this regard. It is a non-invasive approach in which the LEDs or low -level lasers are used to produce the red or near- infrared (NIR) light absorbed by the cellular photo-acceptors. This light absorption produces the ROS, such as singlet oxygen, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and superoxide [33], [34], [35] . These ROS affect many cellular processes, such as proliferation, differentiation [12], [13], [36], [37], [38] , adenosine triphosphate (ATP) formation [39], [40] and also can reduce the inflammtion [10] . So, PBM is a helpful approach when the cellular function is impaired especially by the hypoxia [41] . Previous studies have shown the advantages of the PBM including anti-inflammatory effects and acceleration of the wound healing [10] . These features operate alongside the general effects of the PBM for balancing the metabolic, analgesic, and immunomodulatory conditions. One advantage of this approach is that it is applied locally without any systemic side effects on the other organs [31] . Based on the aforementioned advantages of the PBM and the current lack of established treatments for COVID-19 disease, it seems that the PBM could be helpful in controlling the COVID-19 disease as an alternative or adjunctive treatment, particularly in the severe cases with ARDS.

Again, while there are papers to suggest that PBM can have all these effects, the only evidence is in cell culture or animal models, and there is no good clinical evidence to suggest that the products being sold on the COVID Light Therapy website do anything to prevent or treat COVID-19. Indeed, even the corresponding author, Reza Fekrazad, only suggests that randomized clinical trials of PBM to treat COVID-19 might be indicated and that the infrared light can reach the lungs through the skin, subcutaneous tissue, and muscle when used externally in patients who are prone and on a ventilator. He also suggests an intravenous approach(!) or irradiating lymphoid tissue, such as what is found in lymph node basins.

Earlier in the pandemic (last April, to be specific), Fekrazad published an article also suggesting that light could be used to treat COVID-19 in which his language was a bit more…flowery:

In conclusion, COVID-19 disease is very unknown, and scientists in any area must manage the most dramatic challenge of the century, in any way possible. As we move forward, we should synchronize our speed with the progression of this disease, or even progress faster than it, so it does not take more lives in the future while challenging humanity. According to mechanisms mentioned earlier, we are referring to the capabilities of PBM and photodynamic therapy. The best use is a combination of both methods, as mentioned earlier. The present treatments are focused on virus removal, tissue oxygenation, and reduction or inhibition of cytokine storm caused by severe inflammation. With a combination of these two methods, we can achieve these goals with minimal interference with pharmaceutical methods and battle this disease with biophysical agents. Of course, in the future, the use of a different modality of PBM and aPDT can be evolved and, by using monoclonal antibodies we could target lung tissue specifically. It can even be improved by using Nano technology, making new photosensitizers in Nano scales, and pasting them to the target tissues to obtain better results.

To sum up, this Nano particle, which can be called neither live nor non-live, is perhaps a flick or inspiration proud and intoxicating human knowledge should attain the highest point of growth and excellence and be severely challenged so that a revolution in science is created and it warns the human beings to be prepared for the tougher challenges coming in future. We should help each other out in any field, see each other as one, be holistic, get out of our rooms and aquariums, and take a more holistic look at science so that the ship of life on this beautiful planet continues its tranquil journey to a beautiful horizon, and be prepared to face any kind of natural or unnatural turbulence.

PDT stands for photodynamic therapy and can involve targeting a light-sensitive molecule to specific cells, either with an antibody or by other means, and then shining a light on the cells once the light-sensitive compound is in the cells, to therapeutic effect. PDT is not quackery, but, again, Fekrazad’s article then was totally speculative.

Personally, I’m not particularly convinced. Besides Fekrazad’s ideas being totally speculative, more importantly, there’s the same problem involved with this particular therapy as there is with another light-based therapy that I discussed not too long ago, the Healight. (As you might recall, the clinical evidence published for Healight was not exactly what I would refer to as compelling.) Specifically, the problem is that light only treats local areas, the organ or anatomic structures being hit by the light beam, and one would expect the same to be true of “COVID Light Therapy.” I discussed in detail in two articles why Healight is highly implausible from a scientific standpoint. COVID Light Therapy is even more implausible by far.

None of this stops the sellers of COVID Light Therapy from making some rather overblown claims. First, they claim their magic light can prevent COVID-19:

  • PBM stimulates production of Nitric Oxide (NO) throughout the body
  • NO becomes the primary immune system after Interferon is shut down by COVID-19 virus
  • Red Light also denatures the spikes (corona) on the virus
  • Reduces chance of infection

Then they claim that their COVID Light Therapy can treat COVID-19:

  • Reduces pain (inflammation)
  • Suppresses the over production of inflammatory cytokines
  • Improves immune response
  • Reduces chance of severe infection
  • Spikes on virus are sensitive to red light — Reduces viral load in nasal cavity

And then they claim that COVID Light Therapy can help you recover from COVID-19, the implication being that it might prevent “long COVID,” the constellation of chronic debilitating symptoms that many patients who have recovered from the disease are reporting:

  • Reduces pain (inflammation)
  • Improves breathing
  • Enhances tissue healing
  • Restores energy and stamina
  • Reduces brain fog and nerve pain
  • Helps with emotional relief

So how is this “light therapy” administered? COVID Light Therapy offers three methods:

  • Intranasal: “The COVID-19 virus is understood to replicate in the nasal passages – and to be susceptible to Red light. Introducing Red Light directly into the sinuses has been shown to rapidly reduce viral load.”
  • Pad-based: “Contouring the delivery of Red & Near-Infrared light directly to the areas affected by COVID-19 with Red & Infrared Light Therapy pads is the most effective method to saturate tissue for the reduction of inflammation.”
  • Targeted: “Activating acupoints with targeted Red Light (aka Photopuncture) delivers systemic responses by the whole body. Using a torch-style light on specific points is fast and portable. These tools can also be used in the sinus passages.”

If I hadn’t strongly suspected that COVID Light Therapy was nonsense before, that last bit cinches it! Basically, what is being offered is an unholy union of COVID Light Therapy and acupuncture, with acupuncture points being the “target” for the light beams. I mean, seriously: How is this different from a form of quackery I first wrote about nearly a decade ago called “Esogetic Colorpuncture“? You might recall that this particular form of woo involved shining colored lights on acupuncture points “in order to energize powerful healing impulses in our physical and energy bodies,” or, as I quoted at the time:

Esogetic Colorpuncture involves colored light, infrared frequencies, ultraviolet frequencies, brain wave frequencies, sound, and crystal treatments as indicated by Kirlian Energy Emission Analysis to gently unlock and release emotional trauma and energetic blocks which often underlie our illnesses.

OK, Esogetic Colorpuncture is a bit more amusing, but at their hearts Photopuncture is no different than Esogetic Colorpuncture, and proposing to shine colored lights on acupuncture points to prevent or treat COVID-19 should be on its face just plain ridiculous. Admittedly it isn’t as ridiculous as “biopuncture,” which involves combining homeopathic remedies with acupuncture and using acupuncture needles to inject such remedies into acupuncture points, but it’s nonetheless plenty ridiculous.

I went looking the website for any actual evidence that COVID Light Therapy could work. (What can I say? I’m a physician-scientist. It’s what I do.) Those behind the website did provide a list of articles from the peer-reviewed literature about light therapy, photodynamic therapy, etc., but few of the articles had much relevance to COVID-19, and many dated back to before the pandemic. One article is a news report from May that describes a company called Steriwave that had proposed using light to “sterilize” the nasal passages of COVID-19, while another is a press release from another company, Ondine Biomedical, Inc. One might be forgiven nearly 11 months ago for thinking that might help, but we know now that SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, can get deep into the lungs. Then there’s a case report from August that is, as most such reports are, completely unconvincing that this is anything other than confusing correlation with causation.

As for the rest of the papers “supporting” COVID Light Therapy, they’re all very speculative, making connections that might or might not be valid, such as noting that laser light therapy can induce nitric oxide, which can inhibit viral replication. It also doesn’t help that “low level laser light therapy” (LLLT) shows up on a lot of websites promoting “anti-aging” treatments, along with rather amazing claims about how it will decrease wrinkles and rejuvenate skin as well as to cause hair regrowth in men, and one review article about the latter indication impressed me only with how poor the studies included were.

It didn’t help my acceptance of light therapy that the Biophotonic Therapy Institute, which is apparently selling these devices, boasts:

By applying infrared, red and blue light pulsed at specific frequencies, circulation increases and the body’s production of nitric oxide is activated. Nitric Oxide, the “miracle molecule” provides multiple benefits to the body by regulating blood pressure and blood flow to organs, preventing harmful clots and combating arterial plaque, reducing oxidative stress and aiding nerve communication.

The application of light also increases ATP (adenosine tryphosphate) production. ATP is the fuel produced by the mitochondria in your cells. It is the fuel your body runs on. All food must be converted to ATP to be used as energy. Enhanced ATP production results in greater cell energy, regeneration and renewal.

Here’s a hint: Increase ATP levels do not necessarily translate to greater “regeneration and renewal,” nor is greater “regeneration and renewal” always a good thing. After all, cancer cells have a lot of ATP because they’re metabolically quite active. Don’t get me wrong. There are apparently some indications for light therapy of this sort, but, wow. It’s hard to take seriously an organization that offers “training” for “certified light therapists” (CLTs) with this in its FAQ:

Q – How do I know if light therapy does not require to be licensed in my state?

To the best of our knowledge, as long as you clearly inform your clients that you are not a doctor or veterinarian and are correct with your language that you do not diagnose or cure any diseases, you do not have to be licensed in any state in the US at this time. That is one of the things we teach in our CLT program. As PBM grows in popularity, I am sure that, much like massage therapy, the various states and municipalities will eventually require licensing so that they can charge fees.

Yes, indeed! As long as you give your clients the Quack Miranda warning, you don’t need a license to shine a light on them to “cure” disease!

The best description I have read is “Light gives every cell the energy it needs to do its own job better!”

My only retort to this is that humans are not plants. (At least, most of us are not.) We do not get our energy through photosynthesis. None of this stops the Photonic Therapy Institute from offering courses to become a CLT for humans, horses, and pets.

But, hey, this is science, ma-an! On the COVID Light Therapy website, I found a link to what is presented as a “research study” run by something called the MMD Wellness Group:

Welcome to a pivotal and key research study, Photobiomodulation (PBM) and Inflammation. Given positive results it is anticipated that PBM will be nationally acknowledged as an effective intervention for symptoms of COVID-19, an inflammatory illness. The frist study focuses on using Photobiomodulation (PBM) on a regular basis to reduce inflammation expressed as pain and improved quality of life with individuals without COVID-19. Eventually A second Part of the study will be focused on individuals who have been infected with COVID-19 and are using PBM.

Preliminary results from informal testimonials show improvement with reduced symptoms in a very short time frame. Based on these early signs of positive effects our Institutional Review Board encouraged us to include how PBM effects COVID-19 symptoms in our study… and so we have.

Group A of the study captures the results from consistent use of PBM to remediate pain and discomfort, signs of inflammation, but COVID free. COVID-19 is an inflammatory illness and this data provides the backbone for the second category of study

Future Studies Group B and C are Temperarily Paused.

Thank you for participating.

I note that I just straight up cut and pasted the text above.

So let me get this straight. This “COVID Light Therapy” study doesn’t even yet study patients with COVID-19? Worse, it doesn’t have a control group and appears to rely on only subjective measures? Most acupuncture studies aren’t even this bad. At least, it sure seems that way, as I couldn’t find anything resembling a detailed protocol anywhere.

I searched ClinicalTrials.gov for “photobiomodulation,” and there were a number of studies there, including for Alzheimer’s disease, muscle performance, plantar fasciitis, and even breast cancer-related lymphedema. I even found four studies looking at PBM for COVID-19, which I found depressing. Two of these studies were completed so I searched PubMed to see if their results have been published yet. One of the studies was carried out in Massachusetts and had an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine doctor named Scott Sigman as its principal investigator (PI), who’s also shown up on TV promoting an unconvincing case report in which the patient, although mostly recovered, still has debilitating symptoms. In any event, reported preliminary results for ten patients showed significant differences in pulmonary outcomes, but it’s hard to know what to make of this given an open label trial in only ten patients. The other study was done in Brazil and looked at the use of LLLT on respiratory muscles in COVID-19. No results have been published yet, and the studies PI only has one publication listed in PubMed from 2014. The bottom line is simple. There is as yet no compelling evidence that LLLT is effective at treating or preventing COVID-19 to support the extravagant claims made on the COVID Light Therapy website. It’s possible that the treatment might have some beneficial effect, but there’s no convincing evidence yet, and the mechanisms proposed are so convoluted as to remain implausible to me.

The mention of an IRB, though, piqued my interest. Which IRB? Who would support a study that’s not even as good as, for instance, Dr. Sigman’s highly preliminary study based on rather underwhelming rationale? Then I found this letter to the IRB of the Institute of Regenerative and Cellular Medicine, which looks to be a for-profit IRB specifically designed for stem cell clinics to use to oversee their “clinical trials.” Given the way that such clinics have registered highly dubious and uninformative clinical trials in order to turn ClinicalTrials.gov into a marketing tool, this doesn’t look good. IRCM’s IRB is run by Dr. Barbara Krutchkoff, who is on the Board of Advanced Natural Health, where her bio states:

Her diverse educational background includes physics and computer science at the University of Florida, biomedical engineering graduate studies at Virginia Tech, a PhD in behavioral psychology and a Master of Psychology at University of Santa Monica. Barbara received her Doctorate in integrative medicine after studying dozens of healing modalities including Homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Energy Medicine, and Quantum Biofeedback.

She has taken numerous medical and data science courses online via major universities and at conferences throughout the world, and Stem Cell Fellowships at both A4M and UCLA.

Barbara is a board-certified Diplomat and Fellow of the AABRM and a member of the World Organization of Natural Medical Practitioners.

In other words, she’s a multiquackery quack, including a stem cell quack. Now get a load of the letter by Marcia Marye Denton of the MDD Wellness Group to this dubious IRB:

We are living in turbulent times, dangerous times, heartbreaking times. When we look at the standard safety measures to prevent COVID-19 infections we can only stand in awe and wonder at the efficacy of our face masks, efforts at social distancing and isolation/staying home.

What if we have an intervention that could mitigate if not protect us from this incredible stealthy virus, enhance our innate immune system…provide an intervention not just fragile prevention.

What if we have it and it is currently cleared as safe by the FDA for use to reduce pain and increase circulation …but is not yet cleared to reduce inflammation even though we see evidence of this all the time? What if a simple study shows just that! It reduces inflammation…and therefore could mitigate the effects of COVID-19 an inflammatory illness.

COVID-19 when not inhibited, explodes inside the body with unrelenting and devastating effects especially in the most vulnerable, elders and children…many times even leads to death.

Photobiomodulation (PBM) (Light Therapy) is that intervention. The science of inflammation teaches us that if inflammation is reduced then pain is reduced…exactly what we, as Light Therapy Practitioners, have been providing for years.

The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that Photobiomodulation reduces inflammation simply by applying red and infrared wavelengths of light to the body. Using the HSCRP marker for inflammation, with a pre/post blood draw, a reduction can be easily measured.

With that data we will apply for an Emergency Use Authorization to promote the use of PBM as both an intervention and a prevention for individuals at risk for exposure to or infection of COVID-19. Given the EUA we do not run the risk of making false claims and being removed from the opportunity to provide profound benefit again in these turbulent time, dangerous times, heartbreaking times.

I must admit that I laughed out loud when I saw this pitch for a study of COVID Light Therapy. Where are the references? Where are the preliminary data, preclinical and/or clinical? Where is the mention that this “study” is “limited to Hope Counseling Staff and employees and their spouses”?

But, hey, maybe you’ve been convinced. Maybe you know you want to use COVID Light Therapy not just for COVID-19 but for lots of other things. Maybe you—yes, you!—want to buy the necessary equipment. Fear not! The COVID Light Therapy Package will only set you back $599, while the Red+ Photopuncture Torch Kit will only cost you $525. Hard up for cash? If you don’t mind leaving out the infrared light, you can get yourself a Red Photopuncture Torch Kit for a steal, just $299! What a bargain.

All I can say after reading all about COVID Light Therapy is the same thing I say all too often. Grifters gonna grift, and, in the age of COVID-19, everything old is new again.


July 2019 Food Recalls

Fresh Veggies from Trader Joe's and Green Giant

If you’ve recently bought fresh veggies from Trader Joe’s or the Green Giant brand, make sure they’re not included in a recent recall from Growers Express. The company announced a voluntary recall of fresh veggies, like spiralized zucchini and butternut squash, sold under the Green Giant and Trader Joe’s brands due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. Several smaller grocery chains sold products included in the recall, along with Trader Joe’s stores in 29 states.

Learn more about the Green Giant and Trader Joe&aposs veggie recall.


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I but at least 3 box’s of tea every week, and this was the first time I’ve gotten a box of 7 tea bags from a box of 20. I drink hot tea all day long every day because I love your tea, I guess you could say I’m a tea aholic.

I purchased one after not having one for some time. I injured my left hand trying to open it and it won't open. Seriously. I am worried I may have torn something so that tells you something. Apparently this has been a problem for 8 years and they will never correct it. Never again purchasing and highly suggest you don't so you can save money on a product that is practical to open.

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This tea smells of very strong and concentrated chemicals. I did not drink it neither did the rest of my family. I cannot describe the smell but it was horribly repulsive. Maybe a fishy smell. I just bought this tea but I am sure not to do so again. I used to love and drink Lipton tea.

I read a lot of the reviews on here and I don't know what is wrong with these people. Maybe they don't know how tea is supposed to taste. For years Lipton has always had a lot of Tannic Acid aka Tannin. It is a pungent tasting chemical that has a drying taste. In fact it is used to clot blood. It is the most present flavor in red wine. Try a glass of white wine and then a glass of red, that "dry," bitter flavor is tannin. You also taste it when eating grapes of any color because it is in the skins. Red wine allows for greater contact with the skins. Yes, some white wines are made with red grapes but the skins are not fermented with the juice.

Anyway, back to Lipton tea. I always hated that tannic flavor note and never drank it. I always bought Tetley, Salada, Red Rose, or Twinings. I recently had to buy Lipton because that was all the store I went in had. I was pleasantly surprised by the disappearance of the tannic acid. I will now buy Lipton more often. Lipton, thank you.

Recently Costco stopped carrying Lipton tea bags. I think I now know why. This was when lipton changed the packaging. I have no problem with the new packaging but the new taste is abominable. I switched to Tetley British at that time and was (and still am) very happy with their product, but with the COVID-19 pandemic Walmart ran out of stock, offering the new Lipton bags instead. I didn't suspect that the new Lipton bags are not only physically different but the taste is atrocious. Thank you lipton for producing a horrible brew you must have turned into sociopaths. So now I have to throw my packs of new lipton bags into the garbage. I hope I'm not violating hazardous waste disposal laws.

Weak taste. Tea greenish brown in color not rich brown as before. I have been drinking this product for about eight years. When I purchase the cold brew I generally buy 4 boxes at a time, boy I wish I hadn’t this last purchase. Which will be my last purchase unless Lipton wakes up. Has Lipton never heard of New Wave Coca Cola, duh.

For the last 3 years or so, Lipton has been packaging their teabags in a gold mylar "freshness pack" of 25 bags. When you open the gold pack, the 25 bags are loose inside. This is not useful, since I travel and cannot take a few bags with me. This is not useful either for cafeterias, hotels, and hospitals, where teabags are displayed in a basket for customers to select. I complained twice to Lipton, using the lot number on the box. I was traveling in California and noticed a huge pallet of Lipton tea at Grocery Outlet, selling for 1/2 price. I thought, "Good, they're getting rid of that awful packaging."

Back home, I bought a box at the grocery store--the outside of the box did not show the gold "freshness pack," so I thought Lipton had understood customers don't want it. I opened it and-darn!--there were the gold sleeves again. I thought to myself: "How many other customers like myself were fooled?" Lipton had taken the customer feedback, and instead of putting the bags in individual paper covers like before, they had only removed the information from the outside of the box! I believe the company was bought out by someone like the Koch Brothers perhaps. Someone who really hates people and loves money only.



Comments:

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  2. Blais

    Yes, it is quite

  3. Teryl

    wonderfully, this entertaining review



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