CDC: Flu Shot Should Be Better This Season

En español | With flu season about to start, health officials reassured Americans that the new, updated flu vaccine now available should do a better job than last year’s. The 2014-15 flu season was particularly nasty, thanks to a major flu strain that changed after the vaccine had already been manufactured. As a result, last year’s vaccine was only 13 percent effective against the virulent H3N2 strain, causing the highest hospitalization rate among older adults that the Centers for Disease …

Beware The Fair: Swine Flu Cases From Pigs Increasing

Updated Aug. 10: It’s the season for visiting the local fair, but it might be safer checking out the blue-ribbon pies instead of the pigs: Federal health officials report a “big increase” in the number of people with swine flu after coming in close contact with sick pigs at county or state fairs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there are now 145 cases of the new H3N2 swine flu since July 12 — a significant jump from …

The Cruise Ship Virus — And How To Avoid It

The norovirus — a nasty little bug that causes stomach upset similar to food poisoning — sickened passengers and crew on three cruise ships sailing out of Florida and Louisiana this past weekend, requiring the ships to delay departure while they underwent special disinfection. Nearly 500 passengers got sick on two Princess Cruises ships based out of Fort Lauderdale, and about 200 fell ill on Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas, sailing from New Orleans, forcing all three ships to …

In The Raw: The Culprit In Cookie Dough Contamination

Holiday baking is in full force, but don’t be tempted to nibble on that raw cookie dough. Especially you, ladies. Two years ago, eating Nestle Toll House raw cookie dough sickened 77 people in 30 states, most of them women and adolescent girls. It was the first time packaged cookie dough had ever caused food poisoning. Now a lengthy investigation into that outbreak has found a likely — and surprising — culprit: The flour. After Nestle recalled 3.6 million packages …

Cold Cuts: Heat ‘Em Before You Eat ‘Em

So why are they called cold cuts? You might be asking that very question after hearing that federal food safety experts think  we shouldn’t be eating our cold cuts cold. Especially if you’re over 50. Luncheon meats like ham, turkey, salami and others can contain a dangerous bacteria called listeria. Even when refrigerated, the listeria in contaminated deli meats can multiply and grow. Older Americans and pregnant women are at particular risk of getting a serious infection called listeriosis if …