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Listeria Concerns Trigger New Blue Bell Ice Cream Recall

Blue Bell Ice Cream 1

Blue Bell Ice Cream announced Wednesday that it is recalling two ice cream flavors over concerns they could be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes. The recall is the first the Brenham, Texas, ice cream manufacturer has launched since a listeria outbreak in April 2015 linked to its facilities and products nearly destroyed the company. The Blue Bell products recalled Wednesday are Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough half-gallon and pint sizes and half-gallon containers of Blue Bell Cookie Two Step. Both products contain cookie dough that could be contaminated with listeria. Although the new recall comes as Blue Bell continues to ... Read More

Florida Construction Company Faces Heavy Penalties For Endangering Workers

Working on the Wall

Federal safety regulators have hit a Jacksonville, Fla.-area construction company with nearly $200,000 in penalties for “willfully exposing” workers to hazards that could easily lead to serious injury and death. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said it conducted two separate inspections of Chris Sawdo Construction job sites in Northeast Florida – one in St. Augustine and another in St. John’s. Inspectors at the job sites observed construction workers installing roofing sheathing and doing other roofing work without any protection from falls. The observations prompted formal inspections under the agency’s Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction. The ... Read More

Florida Family Blames Samsung Note 7 Phone For Incinerating Jeep

Galaxy Note 4, Samsung - wikimedia

A St. Petersburg, Fla., family whose Jeep became engulfed in flames on Labor Day believes a newly purchased Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is to blame. Nathan Dornacher told WTSP Tampa Bay that he and his family were dropping some things off at the house on Labor day and left the Samsung smartphone on the center console of the Jeep Grand Cherokee charging. When Mr. Dornacher went back outside he discovered the inside of the vehicle was on fire. Within minutes, the fire had spread from the dash to the entire vehicle, leaving it a skeleton full of ash and melted ... Read More

Florida Pain Clinics Pay $7.4 Million To Settle Billing Fraud Case

Pills - Stethoscope on Money

Coastal Spine and Pain, an operator of 10 pain-management clinics in the Jacksonville, Fla., area, has agreed to pay the U.S. government $7.4 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging its clinics performed medically unnecessary and costly drug screening procedures to boost its reimbursements from Medicare and other federal health care programs. The settlement relates to Coastal’s routine use of “quantitative drug tests,” which identify and count particles of illicit drugs in a patient’s urine. The use of these very specific and extremely costly tests is appropriate only when there is reason to doubt the results of more general ... Read More

Damaged Pipeline Releases Crude Oil spill Off Louisiana Coast

oil spill, Louisiana coast - image courtesy WWLTV, WWL

A ship performing excavation work off the Louisiana coast struck an oil pipeline Monday morning, setting off an oil spill that released more than 5,000 gallons of crude. The U.S. Coast Guard said that the pipeline, owned by Harvest Pipeline Company, discharged about 5,300 gallons of crude oil 590 miles south of New Orleans and 12 miles east of Grand Isle after it was damaged by a vessel operated by Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company. The Coast Guard received a call about the oil spill just after 10 a.m. Monday. Coast Guard officials said Great Lake Dredge and Dock ... Read More

Florida Eye Doctor Pays $1 Million To Settle Whistleblower Medicare Fraud Allegations

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A Florida eye doctor has agreed to pay the U.S. government $1 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit brought by a whistleblower who accused her of fraudulently billing federal health care programs to support a lavish lifestyle. Lori Moore, a former employee of Dr. Monique Barbour and her Clear Vue eye clinic in Lake Worth, Fla., told WPTV West Palm Beach said that after a number of years, she started becoming suspicious of the numbers. “Upcoding, bundling, billing for services that were never rendered. When you start running down how many patients she sees in a day … ... Read More

Researchers identify drug compound that can stop Zika from damaging fetal brain cells

Zika virus mosquito - Wikipedia image

Existing drug compounds can stop the Zika virus from replicating in the body and from damaging fetal brain cells that lead to neurological birth defects, scientists from Florida State University, Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have found. “We focused on compounds that have the shortest path to clinical use,” said FSU Professor of Biological Science Hengli Tang. “This is a first step toward a therapeutic that can stop transmission of this disease.” Researchers identified two different groups of compounds that could potentially be used to target Zika. One can stop the virus from replicating and ... Read More

Gas Plant Explosion Kills Worker, Rocks NW Florida Town

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A major explosion destroyed part of a nitrous oxide manufacturing facility Sunday afternoon, killing one person and sending a shockwave through the community of Cantonment, Fla., about 50 miles southeast of Mobile, Ala. The blast reportedly ripped through a plant owned by Airgas, a Pennsylvania-based distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases and other products. According to NorthEascambia.com, the Ascend Performance Materials facility supplies a mixture of gases to Airgas, which uses them to produce nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas.” State investigators say the blast came from nitrous oxide tanks in the loading bay, WEAR TV Pensacola reported. ... Read More

FDA gives emergency approval to Zika diagnostic test

Zika virus mosquito - Wikipedia image

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued emergency authorization to drugmaker Roche for a test to diagnose the Zika virus in an effort to stop the spread of the mosquito-borne virus in the U.S. An outbreak of Zika was identified in Brazil last year and has spread to the Americas, causing a rash of concern. Pregnant women who contract Zika are at risk of delivering babies with microcephaly, a birth defect marked by an unusually small head that can cause neurological problems including death. As of last week, 2,517 Zika cases have been reported in the United States, 29 of ... Read More

Vegetable recall announced by Country Fresh due to possible presence of Listeria monocytogenes

vegetable

Nearly 30,000 cases of various fresh-cut vegetables are now under recall by Country Fresh LLC due to potential Listeria contamination. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Listeria monocytogenes are responsible for causing serious and sometimes fatal infections in both young children and frail or elderly adults, especially those with weakened immune systems. The recalled vegetable products were shipped to retailers in the following states with the Country Fresh and store brand labels: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Each recalled vegetable product should have “BEST IF USED BY” dates ranging from ... Read More