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Clif Kid provides seasonal health-friendly trick-or-treat option for parents

BY Michael Johnsen

EMERVYVILLE, Calif. — Clif Kid on Tuesday announced that its Full Moon Brownie Zbar, will be available for a limited time for families looking to give trick-or-treaters something a little more healthy this Halloween. Full Moon Brownie combines a chocolate brownie with white chocolate chips in a snack bar made with organic ingredients and baked whole grains, plus 12 vitamins and minerals specific for kids.

“Halloween can be a spooky time for parents who are torn between the sugary treats of the season and their kids’ nutritional needs,” stated Jennifer Yun, brand director for Clif Kid. “With Full Moon Brownie Zbar, Clif Kid gives parents a nourishing alternative that their kids will love for its great flavor, without compromising on nutrition.”

Zbar provides 8 g to 11 g of whole grains and 12 vitamins and minerals. Each bar also is USDA-certified organic and contains no high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, trans fats, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

Full Moon Brownie is replacing the popular Spooky S’mores seasonal flavor, which has been added to the permanent Zbar line.

Full Moon Brownie is available now, while supplies last, at select grocery and natural retailers across the country at a suggested retail price of 89 cents.

 


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FDA commits to retail food safety

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has launched an initiative that is designed to assure the safety of food sold at retail.

The Retail Food Safety Action Plan is designed to improve the way managers of food establishments (i.e., food stores, restaurants, schools and other foodservice opertaions) conduct food safety operations in their facilities and assure that personnel are trained on measures to keep food safe. Additionally, the initiative will expand the oversight of these establishments by federal, state and local public health agencies.

What’s more, the FDA announced that it has released a supplement to the 2009 FDA Food Code, which includes a new and modified recommendations, including:

  • Requiring that food establishments have a certified food protection manager on staff;

  • Among the established duties of the person-in-charge, all operating procedures required by the Food Code are developed and implemented; that it can be verified that all employees are informed about their obligation to report certain health conditions that relate to transmission of foodborne illness; and that any food the establishment receives after operating hours is delivered in a manner that does not create a food safety hazard;

  • Requiring that food establishments have a plan for responding to and properly cleaning-up after an employee or other individual becomes physically ill in areas where food may be prepared, stored or served;

  • Clarifying appropriate exceptions to the prohibition of bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods prepared in the establishment;

  • Clarifying the requirements for the safe storage and display of ground and whole-muscle meat and poultry;

  • New requirements for devices used to generate chemical sanitizers on- site in the food establishment;

  • Establishing clearer guidelines for the amount time a food establishment should be given to correct violations of different types of provisions in the Food Code.

In line with the new action plan, the FDA has entered a cooperative agreement with the National Association of County and City Health Officials, whereby FDA and NACCHO will promote the use of best practices by local authorities and develop tools to strengthen retail food safety oversight and implement FDA’s Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards for retail food regulatory programs.

For more information, visit FDA.gov.


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Study: Smoking poses greater heart disease danger for women

BY Michael Johnsen

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Women who smoke have heart attacks at younger ages and are more likely than men to suffer complications months after a cardiac event, according to a new University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center study released Tuesday.

Although fewer women than men smoke in the United States, the gender gap is decreasing and the U-M findings suggested the toll of smoking is greater on women’s health.

“Smoking is not good for men or women but our analysis shows that women who smoke do worse six months after a heart attack than men,” stated senior study author Elizabeth Jackson, cardiologist at the U-M Cardiovascular Center. “We were not able to look at the basic biological mechanisms that would account for this, but other studies can give us some ideas."

Smoking reduces circulation by narrowing the blood vessels and contributes to an atherosclerotic build-up of plaque in the arteries. Cigarette smokers are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease than nonsmokers.

“The differences in outcomes among women smokers may reflect inherent biological differences between genders, or possibly less aggressive medical management of women that’s been described by other investigators,” stated lead author Michael Howe, cardiology fellow at the U-M Health System. “Either way, it clearly emphasizes the need for increased physician awareness and vigilance, in women in particular, after an acute coronary event.”

The good news is that when you stop smoking, your risk of heart disease and stroke can be cut in half just one year later, and continues to decline until it’s as low as a nonsmoker’s risk, according to the American Heart Association.


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