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Posts about Dangerous products

Recalls: A stool that collapses, an infant blanket that's a choking hazard

Posted by: Alejandra Matos Updated: October 29, 2013 - 5:54 PM

Two Minnesota-based companies recalled two children's products Tuesday, according to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Target recalled 69,000 units of a Circo-brand sitting stool after seven reports of the stools breaking or

collapsing and causing a child to fall. In five of the incidents, bumps, bruises and cuts were reported, according to the CPSC.

Minnetonka-based BreathableBaby LLC recalled 15,000 units of their wearable infant blankets, BreathableSack because the zipper pull tabs and sliders can detach, posing a choking hazard.

Only those blankets marked with a manufacture date of 04/17/2012 from Lot No. 124 are being recalled.

Violations before food poisoning outbreak included illegal guinea pig slaughter

Posted by: Alejandra Matos Updated: October 8, 2013 - 4:01 PM

The owner of New York Plaza Produce, which was the source of a salmonella outbreak in August, obtained guinea pigs from an unlicensed supplier and "slaughtered live guinea pigs in the back warewashing area of the meat market," according to a Minneapolis inspection report.

Nieves Riera was issued a $1,000 citation on Oct. 1 for five violations related to the Ecuadorian Independence Festival held on August 11 on Lake Street where more than 80 people who fell ill after eating salmonella-tainted food, including guinea pig meat, that Riera served.

The outbreak was the largest documented incident of food-borne illness at a single event in Minnesota since 167 prison inmates got sick in 2009, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Health.

The five violations were discovered in an inspection of the market four days after the festival. There were three "critical" violations, one pertaining to cooking food at an unlicensed facility and two others related to the handling and purchasing of the guinea pigs. 

"Nieves Riera obtained guinea pigs from an unlicensed supplier. The guinea pigs were sold at the Ecuadorian Festival," the compliance officer noted in the inspection report. "Cooked pork was purchased from a Minneapolis Meat Market. The pork was resold at the Ecuadorian festival. The source of the pork is not an approved wholesaler."

According to the report, Riera stated that she slaughtered the live guinea pigs in the back area of the meat market. "This is not a slaughter house and live animals are not allowed on the premises," the report says.

Riera must pay the $1,000 fine by Oct. 31. She could not be reached Tuesday.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture, which licenses the market, is still investigating the incident. No data, including previous inspection or incident data, has been released by the department. 

Business that sold tainted guinea pig meat, other dishes, could face sanctions

Posted by: Alejandra Matos Updated: August 22, 2013 - 1:54 PM

The host of the Ecuadorian Independence Festival who obtained permits for the event from the city of Minneapolis could face sanctions for selling unapproved and mishandled food.

The permit to host the Aug. 11 festival was issued to Nieves Riera, who is the vendor that is the suspected source of an outbreak of salmonella that sent 81 people to area hospitals.

Matt Laible, a spokesman with the city of Minneapolis, said late Wednesday that the city could issue fines, revoke permits or take other steps.


The New York Plaza Produce store, where the festival was held, was closed Thursday. 


Health officials are still investigating what exactly caused 81 people to fall ill after eating guinea pig and other Ecuadorian dishes from the vendor.

Guinea pig file photo by Steve Rice. Shop photo by Alejandra Matos

81 people sickened by guinea pig meat, other food at Minneapolis festival

Posted by: Alejandra Matos Updated: August 21, 2013 - 5:10 PM

Dozens of people, including children, fell ill from suspected salmonella poisoning after eating guinea pig meat and other dishes from a vendor at an Ecuadorian festival in Minneapolis Aug. 11, health officials said Wednesday.

At least 81 people went to Hennepin County Medical Center and Minneapolis Children’s Hospital with severe gastrointestinal symptoms after eating food served by one of the festival's vendors. The Minnesota Department of Health said numerous ill individuals have tested positive for salmonella.

Bill Belknap, spokesman for Hennepin County Public Health, said some of those who fell ill ate a traditional Ecuadorian dish that contained guinea pig meat, but others who didn't eat that dish also got sick. All of those who got sick were treated and released.

“It was most likely a bad food item or items being poorly handled,” Belknap said. “The diseased organism that originated somewhere got spread to other food items by cross contamination.”

Belknap said they first heard about the illnesses a few days after the Ecuadorian Independence Day festival. Belknap would not identify the vendor.

Burned if you do, burned if you don't

Posted by: Jane Friedmann Updated: July 5, 2013 - 12:02 PM


Don't use sunscreen spray near an open flame or you may find yourself on fire.


That's the message from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which received five reports last year of people doing just that and sustaining burns serious enough to warrant a trip to the hospital.

In each of the incidents the fire occurred after the sunscreen had already been applied and the victim neared an ignition source, such as a lighted match. In one case, the victim began welding after applying the sunscreen.

Though the specific products involved in the incidents were recalled, other sunscreen sprays contain a flammable ingredient such as alcohol. Sunscreen spray is not the only product to worry about. Spray insect repellants, hairspray and even non-spray sunscreens may contain a flammable ingredient.

Read the full warning here.


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