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Bahamas agency responds to concern on Romaine Lettuce Recall

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Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc. has recalled a limited number of cases of organic romaine hearts, citing the potential for Pathogenic non-O157 E. coli, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

#TheBahamas – November 25, 2020 – BAHFSA wishes to inform the general public that the recent Romaine Lettuce Warning being circulated on social media by Fox News, is a dated post.

However, there have been no lettuce recalls in 2020.

Issued statement Nov 24, however there is a “limited” recall by Dole on its organic Romaine Lettuce products according to US Food & Drug Administration

The latest lettuce recall was announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on November 21, 2019 in relation to Missa Bay, LLC, a Swedesboro, N.J. establishment that recalled approximately 75,233lbs of salad products that contained meat or poultry because the lettuce ingredient may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

The salad production dates were from October 14 – 16, 2019 that bear the establishment number “EST. 18502B” inside the USDA mark of inspection. A complete list of the products that were recalled can be found at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/7f4bf949-abbe-4bed-b1c9-9c9760c38c33/rc-115-2019-retaillist.pdf?MOD=AJPERES along with the product labels, at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/b35d8943-d386-49cf8f80-6854159dc7f6/115-2019-labels.pdf?MOD=AJPERES. The items were shipped to 22 US State distribution locations. A product sample was collected and individual ingredients in the salad were tested and confirmed a positive result for E. coli O157:H7.

Most persons infected with STEC O157:H7 develop diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting. Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe.

If you or anyone in your family become ill as a result of consuming any contaminated products, contact the nearest health professional and inform the Ministry of Health Surveillance Unit.

The use by dates have been past but Importers are still asked to ensure none of these products remain in their freezers and sold to the public. If any consumer has bought and is still in possession of any of the listed products in their freezers, they too are asked to discard them immediately.

Please send all concerns and queries to bahfsa@bahamas.gov.bs Note the Recall Classification below:

Class I : This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

Class II: This is a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.

Class III: This is a situation where the use of the product will not cause adverse health consequences.

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Bahamas News

FBI and Bahamas looking into woman’s death  

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Dana Malcolm  

Staff Writer  

 

 

#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – The FBI is investigating a woman’s ‘suspicious’ death on a Carnival Cruise ship in February.  The unnamed woman and her husband boarded the Carnival Sunshine on February 27th, for a trip to the Bahamas, but she was dead before they arrived in the port in The Bahamas.

The FBI said Carnival’s team had administered life saving measures when the woman was reported unresponsive, but they were unsuccessful.  The body and the woman’s husband were released to the Bahamian authorities when the cruise arrived in the country.  

In a statement shared with US media houses, Carnival Cruises claimed the death has been a natural one.  The Nassau Guardian said a source told them the police findings had concurred with that assessment saying it was a “normal sudden death of a tourist who wasn’t feeling well.” 

The FBI was waiting for the cruise and when it got back to South Carolina on March 4th, they immediately boarded and began to investigate the room based on ‘evidence of a crime.’  The FBI also searched the couple’s car.   

No updates have been shared to contradict the currently established cause of death.   

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Bahamas News

Why Sargassum Matters

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

 

#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – “If you don’t like it, go to another beach!” Is what Aaron John, an Education Officer from The Bahamas National Trust jokingly tells our news team about sargassum blooms; his quip, motivated by the necessity of nature when pit against the notion that there is a real threat when the stinky seaweed makes its annual appearance. 

John can admit, he says, that Sargassum isn’t very pretty but life isn’t all about aesthetics and in this instance that ugly patch serves a purpose. 

“We love our sandy beaches, but in order to keep them we need Sargassum. When storms come, they wash away all the sand off the beach but sargassum acts as a mulch to protect the sand from water erosion. It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t feel good but we need it.”

He said it also provides a habitat for small crustaceans, crabs, and insects that are all necessary to our ecosystem and islanders have  found use for the weed.

“Historically, (in The Bahamas) we have been using sargassum as fertilizer, especially in the family Islands as far back as I know,” he said. “Birds don’t go on the beach unless there is Sargassum and what do they do? they feed – it’s beautiful.” 

He encouraged residents to just leave it be if they came across it.

Sargassum isn’t harmful to humans, except for people with respiratory issues who may find the rotten egg smell triggers asthma. Despite this, it’s not advisable to walk through the weeds which may hide sharp rocks and bottles or vulnerable animals.

Experts say Sargassum blooms began to increase in size around 2011 and have continued to get bigger and bigger since. This year‘s bloom is around 5000 miles long and 300 miles wide and visible from space.

“I know it’s not a general outlook, but I would like to change the perspective on sargassum,” John said, pointing out The Bahamas National Trust is actively working to decrease alarm over the less worrisome events like sargassum as it raises the profile on the environmentally devastating. 

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Bahamas News

Lease agreement approved for diaspora office     

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Dana Malcolm  

Staff Writer 

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos’ Bahamas Diaspora Office is moving closer and closer to opening day, following the Cabinet’s approval for the signing of a lease agreement.  

The lease will be signed with FINCEN ltd in the Bahamas.  Several weeks ago, Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration confirmed to our news team that the location had been found and was being finalized; now a lease is approved at the Cabinet level.  

The interest in the TCI from TC Bahamians was evident in the diaspora meetings held in early February.  The two meetings held in Nassau and Grand Bahama were completely full and over-subscribed by hundreds.  

It’s interest which the Government hopes will translate to real life population growth, bolstering the local population before the native population ‘goes extinct’.  

The Opposition PDM is on the record with what it feels is a far more viable solution to a dwindling native population; seek out the country’s own citizens and bring them back home. 

Cabinet did not state when the office will open. 

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