Tag Archives: FDA

Electric toothbrush causing injuries

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Electric toothbrushes are touted by dentists as better for your teeth resulting in less torture to your gums. The problem is – there’s one toothbrush that’s causing parts to pop off in your mouth and chip your teeth. The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers about the Arm & Hammer Spinbrush also known as the Crest Spinbrush.

According to the FDA, there have been reports of chipped / broken teeth, cuts to the mouth and gums, broken pieces that have been swallowed and caused choking, and injuries to the face and eyes.

“In some cases, the brush head popped off to expose metal pieces underneath that can – and have – poked individuals in the cheek and areas near the eyes, causing injuries,” said FDA consumer safety officer Shumaya Ali.

The following models are part of the FDA warning: Spinbrush ProClean, Spinbrush ProClean Recharge, Spinbrush Pro Whitening, Spinbrush Sonic, Spinbrush SONIC Recharge, Spinbrush Swirl, Spinbrush Classic Clean, Spinbrush for Kids, and Spinbrush Replacement Heads.

The FDA says during an inspection at the manufacturer, Church & Dwight Co., the government found consumer complaints that were not reported to the FDA.

To prevent injury, test the brush outside of your mouth before you use it. Look for loose brush bristles and report any. You can report injuries to the FDA at 800-FDA-0178 and the manufacturer can be reached at 1-800-352-3384 or 1-800-561-0752.

Menu changes may impact what you eat

I went to a popular sandwich shop the other day, and was ready to order my usual sandwich when I noticed the calories listed beside the product on the menu board. I was stunned at how many calories were in my favorite sandwich. I usually skip the cheese and the mayo, but even with those missing items the calorie count was still going to be high. Did I really want to consume 1000 calories at lunch?

It’s a question many of us will be asking ourselves more and more as restaurants begin to post nutritional contents on the menu board. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA estimates Americans consume an estimated one-third of all their calories on foods made outside the home. The FDA thinks consumers are unaware of or inaccurately estimate the calories in food, so a rule will require restaurants or food businesses that are part of a chain with 20 or more locations display certain nutritional information to consumers. Even drive-through boards will be required to post this information. Other nutritional facts like fat, carbs, and sodium will need to be made available upon request.

The FDA plans to issue final rules by the end of 2011, but many states are preempting the federal legislation and passing their own. With so many states already passing rules, sometimes tougher than the federal one, restaurants are making the changes to all their locations now.

Before the disclosure can become law, restaurants are announcing changes to their menu adding healthier options. Just this week, 19 restaurant chains said they’re adding healthier options to the children’s menu as part of an initiative by the National Restaurant Association.

The restaurants include: Au Bon Pain, Bonefish Grill, Burger King, Burgerville, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Chevys Fresh Mex, Chili’s Grill & Bar, Corner Bakery Cafe, Cracker Barrel, Denny’s, El Pollo Loco, Friendly’s, IHOP, Joe’s Crab Shack, Outback Steakhouse, Silver Diner, Sizzler, T-Bones Great American Eatery and zpizza.

“Kids LiveWell” is a first-of-its-kind voluntary initiative that shows the restaurant industry’s commitment to offering healthful menu items for children, with a focus on increasing consumption of fruit and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy, and limiting unhealthy fats, sugars and sodium,” said Anita Jones-Mueller, MPH, and founder of Healthy Dining.

The restaurant will offer an entrée, side, and beverage with 600 calories or less, offer an individual item with 200 calories or less, and display or make available upon request the nutrition information for one of the healthy food choices.

Calories will be another thing to consider beside the price of an item. What will be the price you pay for eating that item? You will no longer be able to have blinders on. The cold hard facts will be staring you in the face.

Do you know what’s on your produce?

When you walk in the grocery store, you are greeted by an array of colors from deep purple eggplant to yellow lemons.  The colors always seem to shine. Have you ever wondered why?

A wax coating is added to the fruit during packaging to maintain the freshness.  The wax holds the moisture inside the apple and keeps it looking shiny and fresh at the grocery store.  It’s to appease consumers who buy with their eyes.

The Food and Drug Administration approves the use of food grade wax, but requires distributors and grocers disclose the wax to you.  The FDA tells consumers to look for signs at the grocery store like the one to the left.  However, we found they’re hard to find.  We only found them at three locations we visited.  Five other grocers, and the West Side Market did not have the signs.

As a result of our investigation, stores are taking action.  Consumers will see signs during their next shopping trip.

In our hidden camera investigation, many grocers told us that organic food was wax free.  However, that’s not the case.  The USDA says certain waxes may be used on organic produce.

To read more on this issue, click here.

Wax put to the test
We visited an apple farm in Northeast Ohio to see how the wax is applied.  Apples naturally have wax on them.  If you pick one from the orchard and rub the dust and debris from the orchard off on your pant leg, you will notice the apple shines.  During production, that natural wax is removed.  The apple is washed and scrubbed to remove the debris from the orchard.  Then, a food grade wax is added to the apple to replace the natural wax that’s lost.

We took three apples from the orchard to see if waxed produce really holds up better. We took a naturally waxed apple, washed apple, and an apple with the food grade wax on it.  We set them up in three locations at NewsChannel 5.  Our promotions team wanted to speed up the decay, and placed lights over the apples. We instantly saw decay, but it was on the washed and waxed apple.  We believe this is because of the direct light. The decay is happening right where the lights shine on the apple.

In our second test, we put three apples in a boiler room. There’s no sunlight, but it’s a little warmer back there with all the old machinery that runs in that room.  About a week into the test, we noticed the washed apple began to decay. The waxed one is holding up great.

In our third test, we put three apples on a window sill.  There is not a noticeable difference between the apples at this point, although the washed one is softer to the touch.

Click here to see the results of our three unscientific tests.