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FDA recalls organic alfalfa sprouts: Specialty Farms, Nature’s Promise alfalfa sprout recall

Specialty Farms and Stop & Shop’s Nature’s Promise organic alfalfa sprouts have been recalled due to possible Listeria contamination.

The FDA has issued a recall for the organic alfalfa sprouts sold at retail stores in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont and New Hampshire.

Although no illness have been reported to date, Specialty Farms is voluntarily recalling certain Alfalfa sprout products with a best if sold by date of “8/3/2010” and “8/1/2010” that has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria Monocytogenes (LM).

This isn’t the first recall this year for alfalfa sprouts. In May, a recall was made for another brand of alfalfa sprouts distributed by Caldwell Fresh Foods for salmonella contamination. That recall was linked to multiple salmonella outbreaks in 10 states.

The following is information from the FDA press release for the recall of Specialty Brand organic alfalfa sprouts, including associated lot/UPC numbers:

Specialty-Farms, LLC is voluntarily recalling Specialty Farms brand Organic Alfalfa Sprouts Blend and Organic Sprout Salad, 4 ounces plastic containers, both have a best if sold by date of 8/3/2010.

Specialty-Farms, LLC is also voluntarily recalling Stop & Shop brand Natures Promise Organic Alfalfa Sprouts 4 ounce container and 8 ounce bag and Natures Promise Organic Zesty Sprouts 4 ounce, best if sold by date of 8/1/2010, as noted below.

Brand Item Description UPC
Specialty Farms Organic Alfalfa Sprouts Blend 509800108
Specialty Farms Organic Sprout Salad 8192400024
Brand Item Description UPC
Natures Promise Organic Alfalfa Sprouts (4 oz) 8826704741
Natures Promise Organic Alfalfa Sprouts (8 oz) 8826704102
Natures Promise Organic Zesty Sprouts (4 oz) 8826703903

Specialty-Farms, LLC voluntarily recalled sprouts on July 29, 2010 after laboratory analysis found positive results from retail samples. No illnesses have been reported.

All products dated 8/4/2010 and beyond are not included in this recall

Specialty-Farms, LLC is currently in the process of determining exactly where this potential LM contamination could be occurring in its facility and is immediately remedying the potential sources as they are identified. Specialty Farms, LLC hopes to return to full sprout production soon.

Returns/Refund Information

Consumers who have purchased this product are urged to return them to the point of purchase for refund and may contact Specialty-Farms, LLC with questions at (203) 366-6919 between the hours of 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. EST.

What is Listeria Monocytogenes?

Listeria Monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Lm infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Source:  http://www.examiner.com/x-38702-Product-Recall-Examiner~y2010m7d30-FDA-recalls-organic-alfalfa-sprouts-Specialty-Farms-Natures-Promise-alfalfa-sprout-recall


Nursing Home Negligence

Falls in Nursing Homes

Litigators who work with cases involving long term care know how significant the issue of falls can be. Falls are the leading cause of injury and death by injury in adults over 65. Approximately half of the 1.6 million nursing home residents in the U.S. fall each year, and a report by the Office of the Inspector General found that about 10% of Medicare skilled nursing residents experience a fall resulting in significant injury; and, more than 1/3 of hospital falls result in injury. In the rehab setting, rates are often higher – for example, fall rates among stroke patients have been shown to be very high. Immobility and falls can lead to poor outcomes.

Fear of falling is defined as a geriatric syndrome. It not only occurs in older adults who have fallen, but in those with impaired mobility and is associated with decreased physical ability and depression. Care of older adults requires that clinicians be aware of the myriad of issues related to falls including knowledge of this syndrome, increased risk and interventions needed to prevent injury related to falls.

Just about every resident in a long term care setting, including assisted living and sub-acute rehab, is at risk for falling. Between medications, functional and medical issues and advancing age, older adults in most settings are prone to falling.

There are well established standards of care related to fall prevention; but, as I continue to review records related to issues like falls, I am amazed at how often these basic standards are not being practiced. The basics of a fall prevention program include assessment and ongoing reassessment of risk, ensuring a safe environment, medication review, providing therapy as needed, individualized interventions, and staff education.

Basic nursing practice includes assessment, planning (Care plan), putting interventions in place and then evaluating outcomes to determine if those interventions are appropriate and effective. Assessment includes completing fall risk assessments on admission and then as needed. Very often, the fall risk assessments completed by nurses in LTC are inaccurate. The tools utilized in long term care typically include these risk factors: history of falling, use of ambulatory aids, gait/balance issues, medications, secondary diagnoses (i.e. diabetes) and mental status. Care planning is the next step in nursing care - it is the standard of care that as the resident’s status changes, assessments and care plans must be updated, and often, are not. For example, with each fall, there should be updates, or if there is a new diagnosis, i.e. stroke, or worsening dementia, updated interventions should be put into place, with ongoing evaluation of effectiveness.

Care planning and interventions very often are generic and not individualized. For example, a toileting schedule that includes only after meals and before bedtime may not be appropriate. If a resident has issues with constipation or incontinence, this may lead to the need for more frequent toileting to prevent falls. The “make certain call bell is within reach” for residents with dementia is an example of a generic intervention. Older adults with dementia may not recognize a call bell or remember to use it. The debate about use of bed and chair alarms go on – they are a part of an individualized care plan, not a solution to preventing falls. Often, I see delays in putting interventions in place, i.e. with the resident who is incontinent NOT being put on a toileting plan immediately. The other common issue I see when reviewing records is the lack of updating care plans as the resident’s status changes – with every fall, with worsening dementia, physical decline, or new medical diagnosis (i.e. Parkinsonism).

Nurses reviewing records need to pay attention to the MDS, risk assessments, care plans and Interdisciplinary notes with attention to where the standard of care is not being met.
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