A summary of important health news from the past week.
Health care has been a topic of debates through the presidential primaries. Democratic candidates are debating the option of single-payer systems in which a single entity, usually the government, pays for all health care for the population. Like Medicare, this kind of system still allows for private clinics and facilities. Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders is in favor while candidate Hillary Clinton does not. While some argue that it will widen coverage, others argue it will result in higher taxes for the middle class.
Dole Listeria Outbreak
12 people have been hospitalized in the past six months, due to a listeria outbreak linked to Dole packaged salads. One Michigan resident died of listeria, according to the CDC. As a result, Dole has shut down its processing facility in Springfield, Ohio and withdrawn its packaged salads produced there. Currently, there is no indication that packaged salads from other Dole locations are contaminated.
After further investigation and growing concern, the C.D.C. has issued a travel alert for eight more destinations, including St. Martin, Barbados, and Samoa. The travel alert is especially important for pregnant women; Zika virus does not always show symptoms in those infected, but can result in severe birth defects on babies born to infected mothers. Brazil is currently experiencing a Zika outbreak that has affected hundreds of babies, and the bug borne illness is spreading.
One dead in listeria outbreak; salad suspected
Adding to the plethora of food recalls, the FDA and CDC recently announced an outbreak of listeria. The cases are proposed to be linked to packaged salads sold under different names, but originating from a facility in Springfield, Ohio run by Dole. Out of the 12 infected, the one death came from Michigan, while the others infected were located in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. The CDC is warning against buying and eating salads packaged by Dole, or named, 'Fresh Selections,' 'The Little Salad Bar,' 'Simple Truth,' 'The Market Side,' or 'President's Choice.' If you have purchased Dole products, look for the 'A' pictured on the manufacturing code, and throw the item away.
Rules to make school lunches healthier are working, study finds
After much apprehension surrounding the 2012 federal school lunch standards, the data is out. Researchers have found that 46% of students are still eating school lunches compared to the 47% of students before the new school lunch legislation went into effect. Additionally, the foods really are healthier, even though they cost more than previous lunches. Researchers found increased vitamins and nutrients in the new meals and more fruits, vegetables and whole grains on students’ plates. Part of the pushback on healthier school lunches was the worry that the food would end up in the trashcan. However, school food waste levels have not changed, which presumably means that kids are eating the same amount of food as before but now including more healthy foods.
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