In the News: New Human Carcinogens Revealed, Food Poisoning Myths Debunked, Bacteria Found in Chain Coffee Drinks

Seven more substances officially labeled carcinogenic. In the 14th Report on Carcinogens, released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 248 carcinogens were listed, included seven new additions. Five viruses, including Epstein-Barr virus, Human immunodeficiency virus type 1, and Merkel cell polyomavirus were included on this year’s list since they have been linked to over 20 types of cancer, including skin cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, eye cancer, and others. This report highlights the importance of prevention strategies, since these infections can often be fatal.  (CNN)

Nine food poisoning myths debunked. With al fresco dining in full swing this season, it’s important to separate fact from fiction in terms of food poisoning. While many people assume food poisoning can’t happen to them, it actually impacts 48 million people annually so it’s important to take precautionary measures. Another assumption is that food poisoning attacks cause sickness quickly. In reality, some bacteria take 12 to 48 hours to make themselves known, while others can take one to eight days to strike. Another myth is that if food is hot or cold enough it’s not in the danger zone. The only way to know for sure if your food is in the danger zone (between 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit) is to use a thermometer to be sure. Keep this checklist handy the next time you’re feeling ill to determine if you have food poisoning.  (TODAY)

Fecal bacteria found in chain coffee drinks. The BBC’s consumer-affairs Watchdog program has found fecal bacteria in ice at Starbucks, Costa Coffee, and Caffe Nero in the United Kingdom. While they found trace amounts, when measured the levels were found to be alarming, causing companies to have to rethink their ice handling tactics. What’s worse, the bacteria found in these cafes was considered to have human disease potential, making it not just unsanitary but potentially dangerous to consumers. These findings underscore how important hygiene practices are for all kinds of eating and drinking establishments. (CNBC)