Statement from Vermont Agriculture Secretary Allbee regarding nationwide egg recall

first_imgEnsuring a safe food supply is our top priority here at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. Accordingly, we protect consumers by maintaining aggressive food safety programs on both the retail and farm levels.‘According to FDA reports, the eggs implicated in this nationwide recall were produced in Iowa. We trust those statements to be true, however to err on the side of caution, our staff of food safety inspectors remain on the lookout for recalled eggs at the retail level. To date, none of the recalled eggs have been found in Vermont, nor have any human cases of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) been reported to the Vermont Department of Health been linked to the recalled eggs.‘As a result of the pro-active work done on Vermont egg farms, coupled with food safety measures taken at the retail level, there have been no human cases of SE related to Vermont produced eggs reported. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets is committed to this effort to ensure a safe and wholesome product.’Eggs, like meat, poultry, milk, and other foods, are safe when handled properly. Shell eggs are safest when stored in the refrigerator, individually and thoroughly cooked, and promptly consumed. Eggs should be kept refrigerated until they are used.Cooking reduces the number of bacteria present in an egg; however, an egg with a runny yolk still poses a greater risk than a completely cooked egg. Undercooked egg whites and yolks have been associated with outbreaks of SE infections. Both should be consumed promptly and not be kept warm or at room temperature for more than 2 hours.What are the specific actions I can take to reduce my risk of a SE infection?1. Keep eggs refrigerated.2. Discard cracked or dirty eggs.3. Wash hands, cooking utensils, and food preparation surfaces with soap and water after contact with raw eggs.4. Eggs should be cooked until both the white and the yolk are firm, to a temperature of at least 140 degrees, and eaten promptly after cooking.5. Do not keep eggs warm or at room temperature for more than 2 hours.6. Refrigerate unused or leftover egg-containing foods promptly.7. Avoid eating raw eggs, especially by young children, elderly persons, and persons with weakened immune systems or debilitating illness.For additional information contact: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/SalmonellaEggs/(link is external)Source: Vt DOAlast_img read more

Gov. Wolf, National Advocates Push for a Fairer Probation System

first_img November 18, 2019 Criminal Justice Reform,  Press Release,  Prison Reform Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf was joined by Deputy Secretary of Corrections Christian Stephens and national criminal justice reform advocates today in the Capitol Rotunda to push for commonsense probation reforms that address probation sentences and probation lengths.“Despite recent progress, Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system is still failing in some areas,” Gov. Wolf said. “Probation should assist Pennsylvanians with creating stability in their lives and instead, our excessively long sentences and cumbersome rules are causing Pennsylvanians to lose their jobs, employers are losing much-needed workers, families are losing support systems, and taxpayer money is being wasted on a system that is not improving lives or recidivism rates.”According to the Department of Corrections, one in 35 adults in Pennsylvania is under some form of post-incarceration supervision and that number has increased while the state’s crime rate has decreased. Pennsylvania is one of just eight states where probation can last up to the maximum sentence of an offense.Gov. Wolf encouraged the end of the practice of forcing Pennsylvanians to spend decades jumping through hoops and putting people into jail for minor probation violations like missing an appointment; to institute hard caps on the length of time a person can be on probation; and to find fitting, productive responses, like connecting people to treatment when they fail drug tests.“We have the opportunity to positively change the lives of millions of Pennsylvanians through criminal justice reform,” Gov. Wolf said. “And we already have – through bipartisan initiatives like the Clean Slate Law. I’m having some great discussions with members of the legislature on the best next steps, and I’m optimistic that by working together, we can create a fairer criminal justice system that gets Pennsylvanians back on track to productive, successful lives.”Last year, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections announced its participation in a Safe Streets & Second Chances reentry initiative aimed at reducing recidivism, which aligns with the governor’s criminal justice reform ideals. The DOC has been working with researcher Dr. Carrie Pettus-Davis from Florida State University to provide access to inmates from four state correctional institutions in Western Pennsylvania who were interested in participating in the pilot program.The 5-Key Model used in the Safe Streets & Second Chances model is a departure from some reentry models that are predominantly deficits-focused. This model focuses on the strengths and psychological well-being of formerly incarcerated individuals to ensure they will remain crime-free and contribute positively to society. Research indicates that a focus on strengths and well-being best maximizes public health and public safety.In addition to Dr. Pettus-Davis, Gov. Wolf was joined by Safe Streets & Second Chances Advisory Council Chair Mark Holden, Right on Crime’s John Koufos, Sen. Anthony Williams, Rep. Jordan Harris, and other legislators and criminal justice reform advocates.“We need an effective criminal justice system which protects people, preserves public safety, respects human dignity, and removes barriers to opportunity for people reentering society to have real second chances,” Mark Holden said. “The research of Safe Streets & Second Chances has found that we get better outcomes when we work together for bipartisan solutions to critical problems like housing, employment and probation reform in Pennsylvania. We look forward to working with Governor Wolf, the legislature and all constituencies to ensure that commonsense smart-on-crime and soft-on-taxpayer policy solutions are achieved for the Keystone state.”“Probation reform and smart criminal justice reform consistently lead to safer communities, and we are excited to see bipartisan innovation in Pennsylvania,” said John Koufos. “Our partners look forward to working with the Legislature as they release a probation bill before this session expires that will make Pennsylvania safer and more prosperous. Technical probation violations have been estimated to cost Pennsylvania taxpayers $100 million per year but are not making Pennsylvanians any safer. Pennsylvania is charting a new course by fixing this system, and we thank the legislature and the governor for working together on this critical issue.”“There are positive, commonsense changes that we can make to the probation system to balance the needs of those who have served time and are working to be part of our society again with the needs of our community and victims to be kept safe,” Rep. Sheryl Delozier, legislation co-sponsor, said.“Criminal justice reform is the civil rights issue of our time, and it’s an honor to stand with Governor Wolf whose support is invaluable,” legislation co-sponsor Rep. Jordan Harris said. “Our probation system is broken and rather than helping people get back to leading a productive life, it’s entrapping them like quicksand. I’m confident we can bring about real change for Pennsylvania and I look forward to continuing to work with Representative Sheryl Delozier as well as democrats and republicans across the aisle who recognize that probation reform is necessary to move Pennsylvania forward.”“At the end of the day, our role as elected officials is to make life better for the people of the commonwealth and that means providing more opportunity, less government, and safer neighborhoods,” said Sen. Camera Bartolotta, legislation co-sponsor. “Criminal justice reform helps achieve all three of these goals. That is why I am proud to be a prime sponsor of Senate Bill 14, legislation that will help reform our overly burdensome probation system from one that too often traps people in a cycle of incarceration, to one that offers opportunity and a path to a better life.”“We’ve worked for over a year with partners representing a wide array of ideologies in support of achieving long-overdue reform to our community supervision system,” legislation co-sponsor Sen. Anthony Williams said. “I look forward to continuing that work and getting a bill that ensures equitable and fair probation supervision to Governor Wolf’s desk early next year.” SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Gov. Wolf, National Advocates Push for a Fairer Probation Systemlast_img read more

Ebola Creeping into Northwestern Nimba

first_imgWith the Christmas and New Year celebrations just a few days away, the deadly Ebola virus is said to be raging in several towns and villages in Guinea bordering Nimba, posing a serious threat to lives and normal activities in Nimba County.The Daily Observer has learned that close to 20 persons died of Ebola in two Guinean villages close to the Liberian border and the Arcelor Mittal concession area.In the Guinean town of Nyanizoo, 13 persons allegedly died from Ebola within a week, while in Teo town, also in Guinea, five persons suspected of Ebola died.Teo and Nyanizoo are located at the border with Liberia around the Yarmin Administrative District, where Yekepa is situated.According to residents of Yekepa, relatives of those who died in Teo continue to cross over to Guinea to sympathize with their bereaved family. Some of the sympathizers are suspected of contracting the disease and are presently undergoing treatment at the Ganta ETU.A lady from Yekapa, who upon hearing the news of her relative’s death in Teo went there and brought back her 9yr old daughter who had been residing in Teo. A few days after they entered Liberia, the child became sick.  A day later, the mother too became ill and both of them were taken to the Ganta Ebola Treatment Unit where they were confirmed positive.People living around the border are blaming the national security for not doing enough to man the border and prevent illegal crossings.Most of the border posts near the concession areas and other parts of Nimba’s border with Guinea are said to be still active despite the closure of the border.In Ganta, illegal crossing intensified after some citizens of a town called Gbouyee opened their own crossing point to smugglers, but last week, the joint security in Ganta destroyed several rafts with no arrest made.News also filtering from the two affected Guinean towns said the citizens are still denying the existence of Ebola, blaming the deaths in the town to witch craft instead.Some Nimba citizens observe that because the border is so porous and without the presence of armed security, certain people continue to cross over in willful disregard of the closure.Meanwhile two Ebola positive cases from Yekepa are at the Ganta ETU while over 25 suspected cases were reported to be quarantined in a special camp built by Arcelor Mittal.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more