Prelims Level
Mains Level
Prelims Syllabus : Science & Technology, Health Mains Syllabus : GS-II- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. GS-II- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Context:

  • At least three lots of MDH sambar masala were recalled from retail stores in California this week after tests by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showed positive for salmonella.

What is Salmonella?

  • Salmonella is a group of bacteria that can cause food-borne illnesses known as salmonellosis.
  • According to estimates by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Salmonella causes 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalisations and about 450 deaths in the United States every year. In a majority of these cases — roughly 1 million — food is the source of the illness.
  • Individuals who develop salmonellosis may show symptoms such as nausea, diarrhoea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12-72 hours after contracting the infection. Usually, the illness lasts for 4-7 days, and most people recover without treatment.

WHO on Salmonella:

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) identifies Salmonella as one of four key global causes of diarrhoeal diseases.
  • Diarrhoeal diseases are the most common illnesses resulting from unsafe food, the WHO says, with 550 million people falling ill each year, including 220 million children under the age of 5 years.
  • Every year almost 1 in 10 people fall ill and 33 million of healthy life years are lost due to foodborne diseases, according to the WHO.
  • The WHO says Salmonella can pass through the entire food chain from animal feed, primary production, and all the way to households or food-service establishments and institutions.

What Is the Issue?

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has found the Salmonella Bacteriain three batches of MDH’s sambar masala.
  • This product was tested by FDA through a certified laboratory to be positive for Salmonella, USFDA added in the release.
  • It has now urged consumers to return the contaminated masala packets to the place of purchase for a full refund.
  • The recall was initiated after it was discovered by the FDA that the salmonella contaminated products were distributed.
  • This is not the first time that the American regulator has flagged problems of salmonella contamination in MDH products.

About US FDA:

  • The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices; and by ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.
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