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Fed Up With Food Allergies?

Food Giant Sysco Under USDA Investigation

They’re us. The Census Bureau, which gathers statistics house by house, reports that Americans on food stamps are 49% white, 26% African-American and 20% Hispanic. The Pew Research Center, a nonprofit polling firm, found in a July survey that self-identified liberals, moderates and conservatives who receive food stamps are in a statistical tie. A lot of people who commented on the column wanted to regulate what foodstuffs program participants can buy — often not realizing that alcohol and prepared foods are banned. And many respondents bashed food stamp recipients, declaring they should “get a job,” “stop having kids on my dime” or giving a variation on such cliches. “Chiefpr” writes to one reader who’s been out of work: “Get training to better yourself and DO NOT have kids until you can feed them. But do not demand I do all that and support you …” But the truth refutes the cliches: Feeding America says participation in SNAP, or the food stamp program, “historically follows unemployment with a slight lag.” Speier slams GOP slashing food stamps Mayor Booker: Food stamp living is hard Unemployment increases food stamp rolls, not people with children who go looking for aid. And unemployment has been abnormally high because of the recession that began under the previous president. In fact, USA Today found that “under President George W. Bush, the number of recipients rose by nearly 14.7 million . Nothing before comes close to that.” With employment increasing, “the Congressional Budget Offices projects SNAP participation to begin declining in 2015.” Shaun Kirkpatrick commented: “There was a work requirement for welfare. Bill Clinton did that during his welfare reform that most working people applauded. To make sure he got the votes and make Republicans look greedy and evil, Obama removed the work requirement …” Kirkpatrick’s perception is prevalent on the Web. But that information comes from a 2012 Mitt Romney political ad that got it dead wrong .

Won’t foot food bill: States

and Canada. Inspectors with the CA Dept. of Public Health were the first to respond in July with an investigation that has uncovered at least 21 sheds throughout California used by Sysco to store food. In September, Canadian health officials launched an investigating that uncovered 15 facilities in Ontario. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said these facilities are now being assessed. Rep. Sam Farr, D-Santa Cruz is the ranking member of the Appropriations subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and Food and Drug Administration. Farr called Syscos food storage practices a huge violation of public trust. Were very concerned because this Sysco problem violates the trust the growers have in growing the safest food in the world and the producers of meat and poultry in abiding by the federal laws that are the toughest in the world, Farr told NBC Bay Area The problem is the handlers and what happens in the time it leaves the security of the grower or producers and gets to the restaurants. Farr said the NBC Bay Area investigation exposed a major flaw in food handling practices by a company that should be an industry leader. I think this is going to require the transportation industry and the handling industry to upgrade those protocols and if they wont do it themselves then government will do it for them, Farr said. The problem is one food safety experts have warned about for years, calling for stronger enforcement to protect food as it travels from farm to fork. Everyone has to start questioning whats going on in the industry, food safety expert Dr.

Donna Brazile takes on food stamp critics

A man waits to apply for food stamps in Florida. Donna Brazile says many people have misconceptions about food stamps.

And that’s easier said than done. In one of the latest efforts to manage food allergies, UCLA researchers created a portable device still in prototype stage that attaches to your smartphoneand analyzes food right on the spot for allergens. Until that’s in the real world, here are some tips on avoiding allergens when you or loved ones are away from home: Dining out: Talk to everyone and ask a lot of questions. Your server, the chef and even the restaurant manager should know about your food allergy. You should know exactly what’s in your dish and how it was prepared. Explain cross-contact danger: Some studies say more than 20% of restaurant staffers think picking an allergen (nuts, for example) off a dish renders it safe. Your best bets: Order simple options (baked potato or steamed vegetables) and skip dessert (often a source of hidden allergens). Avoid buffets and fried foods, where cross-contact is high. On a plane: Forget airline food (pack your own) and sanitize your seat and tray table. Passengers with nut allergies who took these precautions had significantly lower odds of a reaction, reports a new study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.Also, don’t use airline pillows or blankets and consider telling those seated nearby about your food allergy. At camp: The number of kids who suffer from food allergies has increased dramatically in recent years, a new government report shows.

Though 22 states participated in the meeting, three BJP-ruled ones Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh did not send their ministers. Food minister K V Thomas said, “States have their opinion and we have ours. We will resolve the issue.” He said a committee has been formed to address concerns. He added about 50% states including BJP-ruled ones will launch the scheme by this year-end. Earlier, leading the attack, Uttar Pradesh food minister Rajendra Chaudhary charged the government with bringing the law “hurriedly” for political gain and “hosting the notification on the web” without putting in place a system to ensure that the poor got foodgrain and there was no diversion of subsidized grains to the open market. “Include states’ concerns in your list of concerns,” he added. Chaudhary asked the Centre to bear 100% additional expenses on all accounts including transportation, handling, commission to ration shop owners and setting up of consumer redressal mechanism. He also sought funds in advance for implementation of the law. UP is the biggest gainer of the central law. Another state government official said that when the Centre is using the scheme for political dividend and can spend huge on food subsidy why can’t it pay little more for other expenses. UPA’s new-found friend JD(U) did not leave the opportunity to put forward its list of demands. Bihar food minister Shyam Rajak said the Centre should bear the entire expenditure on end-to-end computerization of the distribution system.

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