Tuesday, July 13, 2010
They said nearly one of every 25 traceable outbreaks of foodborne disease between 1998 and 2008 began with one of the increasingly popular dips, which are made using onions, tomatoes, peppers, avocados, herbs and other ingredients.
"Possible reasons salsa and guacamole can pose a risk for foodborne illness is that they may not be refrigerated appropriately and are often made in large batches, so even a small amount of contamination can affect many customers," said Magdalena Kendall or the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.
"Awareness that salsa and guacamole can transmit foodborne illness, particularly in restaurants, is key to preventing future outbreaks," Kendall, who worked on the study, said in a statement.
"Salsa and guacamole often contain diced raw produce, including hot peppers, tomatoes and cilantro, each of which has been implicated in past outbreaks."
Kendall and colleagues analyzed all outbreaks of foodborne illness reported to the CDC. None were associated with salsa or guacamole before 1984, they found, but by 1998 to 2008 the two dips accounted for 3.9 percent of outbreaks traced to restaurants.
"We want restaurants and anyone preparing fresh salsa and guacamole at home to be aware that these foods containing raw ingredients should be carefully prepared and refrigerated to help prevent illness," Kendall said.
In March a coalition of consumer and public health groups said foodborne illnesses cost the United States $152 billion in health-related expenses each year.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill a year ago to reorganize the convoluted U.S. food safety system, but the Senate has yet to act, despite broad bipartisan agreement on the issue.
The CDC estimates that 76 million people in the United States get sick each year with foodborne illness and 5,000 die.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Researches analyzed data gathered in the first Gallup World Poll, which included more than 136,000 people in 132 countries who were surveyed in 2005-2006. The respondents, who rated their lives on a scale of zero (worst) to 10 (best), were asked about positive or negative emotions experienced the previous day, whether they felt respected, whether they had family and friends they could count on in an emergency and how free they felt to choose their daily activities, learn new things or do what they do best.
Like other studies have found, the analysis revealed that life satisfaction -- the belief that your life is going well -- increases as income increases, individually and in the country overall. But researchers also found that although overall positive feelings increased somewhat along with rising income, these feelings were much more strongly linked with other factors, such as feeling respected, enjoying autonomy and social support from friends and family and having a fulfilling job.
"The public always wonders: Does money make you happy? This study shows that it all depends on how you define happiness because, if you look at life satisfaction, how you evaluate your life as a whole, you see a pretty strong correlation around the world between income and happiness," Ed Diener, a senior scientist with the Gallup Organization and a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Illinois, said in a university news release. "On the other hand, it's pretty shocking how small the correlation is with positive feelings and enjoying yourself."
According to Diener, this was the first study to differentiate between life satisfaction and day-to-day positive or negative feelings that people experience.
"Everybody has been looking at just life satisfaction and income," he said. "And while it is true that getting richer will make you more satisfied with your life, it may not have the big impact we thought on enjoying life."