We’re still in the very earliest days of January which means lots of folks are currently rocking New Year’s resolutions to avoid junk food and eat lots of lovely fruits and veggies. If you’re one of those people (and even if you’re not, really) you should probably go ahead and avoid romaine lettuce for at least a little while. Citing a recent E. coli outbreak that has struck at least 13 states as well as Canada, Consumer Reports is advising everyone to get their fix of greens elsewhere.
“Over the past seven weeks, 58 people in the U.S. and Canada have become ill from a dangerous strain of E. coli bacteria, likely from eating romaine lettuce,” the group says. “Five people in the U.S. have been hospitalized and one has died.”
The CDC has been keeping a close eye on E. coli outbreak and says this particular strain can result in some extremely severe symptoms as well as kidney failure and death. Consumer Reports notes that while they can’t be certain that romaine lettuce is the cause, it seems to be the one link between all known cases of E. coli thus far. Children and the elderly are more vulnerable to the bacteria’s destructive potential, but everyone is at risk.
Thus far, health officials in the United States and Canada have avoided releasing information on where the potentially contaminated lettuce came from. With several documented cases and multiple deaths already resulting from the E. coli spread, you can be sure that food safety experts are attempting to nail down the companies that are producing and selling the dangerous veggies, and more specific information is likely to follow in the coming days.
For now, without any actionable information on what brands to avoid, the best advice is just to avoid all store-bought romaine lettuce, including salad mixes and bagged lettuce, regardless of the brand or what state you live in.
“Do not buy romaine lettuce and don’t use any that you may have in your refrigerator until there is more information on the source of contamination,” Consumer Reports warns. “Consumers should also check salad blends and mixes, and avoid those that contain romaine.”
Scientists just invented an edible pill that can tell you when you’re about to fart
Farts are a natural, healthy byproduct of your digestive system, and everyone has them from time to time, but as funny as flatulence is, how, when and why gas forms in you can reveal a lot about your body’s inner workings. Now, researchers from RMIT University and Monash University have published a new paper revealing the invention of an electronic fart tracker that you can swallow like a pill. Isn’t the future great?
The scientists developed the pill — which was created as a more versatile and comfortable alternative to sticking a tube where the sun don’t shine — to be able to detect and track the production of gasses in a human digestive tract. The idea being that if science can pinpoint where and why gas is forming it could paint a more detailed picture of how our organs process foods, and even detect issues with certain diets. The research was published in Nature Electronics.
After first testing prototypes of their gas-detecting pills in pigs (whose digestive system is a lot like that of a human), the researchers pushed on with a pilot program using human volunteers. The pill itself about the size of a large fish oil capsule or vitamin, and contains a wireless transmitter, antennas, batteries, and a gas sensor that detects whatever gasses pass through the membrane casing.
For their tests, the scientists asked volunteers to swallow the pill while maintaining a specific diet that varied from test to test. High fiber prompted a spike in oxygen levels in the colon and abdominal pain in the volunteer, and followup testing of the subject’s feces revealed bacteria that have been previously linked to unhealthy digestion. By contrast, an extremely low-fiber diet resulted in the pill remaining in the subject’s body for over three full days (compared to 23 hours in the high-fiber test) and the gas levels were starkly different.
The research is still ongoing, but the team has already set up a company in the hopes of commercializing the invention. Modern medicine already leans so heavily on technology that it’s not hard to imagine tiny swallowable gadgets becoming commonplace, but that may still be many years out.
Snoop Dogg And Jack In The Box Have Created $4.20 Pothead Combo Meals
Recreational marijuana use has been legal in California for less than ten days, but there are already signs that it might be the greatest thing to ever happen to the Golden State.
According to Black Enterprise, one example of that is Snoop Dogg’s Merry Jane company teaming up with Jack in the Box to give stoners and weed enthusiasts “Merry Munchie Meals” that will only cost… $4.20 naturally. The special combo box includes “two tacos, five mini churros, three crispy chicken strips, a half serving of curly fries, a half serving of regular fries, and a small soft drink.”
Sounds like it’s also a great meal for pregnant women.
Jack in the Box CMO Iwona Alter is thrilled with her restaurant’s new partnership with the rapper and game show host.
“Jack’s Munchie Meals have been successful for us because of the authenticity of how we speak to our customers,” Alter said. “This partnership is one more way for us to connect with them – whether you’re at a concert, up late playing video games or pulling an all-nighter. We are about welcoming all of our guests, no matter what they’re craving or why they’re craving it.”
Merry Munchie Meals are only going to offered at a few Southern California Jack in the Box locations for a limited time, but don’t worry, it’s only a matter of time before McDonald’s picks up the slack when the Munchie Meal run comes to an end and brings back the McRib.
Zagat May Be Sold By Google
Google acquired the popular U.S. restaurant review guide Zagat back in 2011 for $151 million. According to a new report, the company is now thinking about selling this property. The company is said to have held informal talks with several companies about selling Zagat. It’s also claimed that any deal is likely going to involve the Zagat brand name and website.
Zagat reviews are incorporated by Google in its restaurant listings. The website, Zagat.com, is maintained by a small team at Google. It features articles about restaurants in major cities.
It’s going to be a change in strategy for the company if it does decide to offload Zagat. It once had ambitious plans for this property which were headed by ex-Googler Marissa Mayer who later went on to become the CEO of Yahoo.
Once Google started focusing more on its Google+ social network, Zagat became less of a priority for the company. This effort many be part of Google’s parent company Alphabet’s move to offload small non-core assets in order to focus more on the core businesses in its portfolio.
Sources mentioned in the Reuters report claim that it’s unclear how much Google is asking for Zagat and that there’s no certainty if it’s even going to agree to a sale. A spokeswoman for the company declined to comment on the report so there’s no word as yet from the company about this.
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