SAN FRANCISCO: Products from a large ice-cream distributor have been recalled by the Food and Drug Agency (FDA), due to possible health risks to consumers.
The company, Helados La Tapatia, based in Fresno, voluntarily recalled all ice cream products, popsicles, fruit bars/cups and bolis due to a possible health risk from Listeria monocytogenes.
FDA INSPECTION PROGRAM
Although no illnesses have been reported to date, the possible health risk was identified following a routine inspection by the FDA, which revealed the presence of the bacteria on certain food processing equipment.
The company distributes the products in retail stores across Arizona, California, Nevada, Washington, Guam and in Canada. The products are sold under the brand names of Helados La Tapatia and Icesations.
Production of the items has been halted as the FDA and Helados La Tapatia investigate the issue. The company has been coordinating closely with regulatory officials since the recall on Thursday.
Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
Consumers who have purchased any of the products are asked to return them to the store of purchase where they can get an exchange for a full refund.
Customers can also contact the company Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (559) 441-1105 or (855) 893-1171.
Worried consumers can also contact the company at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Label examples of recalled products can be viewed on the FDA website via this link
SAN FRANCISCO: All things Apple will be on the menu this week as tech fans flock to the Macworld/iWorld 2014 event in San Francisco.
The event, taking place at Moscone Centre North, highlights the intersection of creativity and technology coming out of the Apple-products marketplace.
Tens of thousands of attendees are expected to pass through the doors, from app developers and enterprise IT professionals, to Apple-product consumers of all ages.
As well as the chance to see cutting-edge, new products and applications, there will also be a series of presentations from tech luminaries, including Robert Scoble, Shel Israel and Robyn Miller.
Visitors will have access to more than fifty tech-talks as well as the opportunity to get a first glance at more than a hundred products that will debut in 2014.
"This year's event is about celebrating and showcasing the innovation being driven by the Apple developer community -- the most passionate and creative technology ecosystem in the world," said Paul Kent, vice president and general manager of Macworld/iWorld.
A dynamic expo floor will feature hundreds of companies showcasing the latest in software, hardware, peripherals, accessories and applications for the Apple products platform.
A full list of exhibitors can be found at http://macworldiworld.com/expo-hall.
SIX 'ABOUT TO BREAK' 2014
"On display will be some of the most cutting-edge apps, wearable devices, software and peripherals attendees have ever seen, including six of the hottest new products poised to break in 2014," Kent added.
Attendees will also have access to many different 'how to' and 'industry-insight' sessions. These will be used, as Kent explains: "To equip the next generation of innovators and inspire them to greatness".
Macworld/iWorld will take place in San Francisco from March 27-29 at Moscone Center North.
More info is available on the Macworld/iWorld website available at this link.
SAN FRANCISCO: Beer goggles may take on a reverse meaning as new study links occasional alcohol consumption with a reduced risk of developing a visual impairment.
According to the study published online recently in Ophthamology, a journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a physical, active lifestyle and occasional drinking can reduce the risks of problems with vision.
The researchers found that over 20 years visual impairment developed in 5.4 percent of the population, but varied based on lifestyle behaviors.
The study indicates that 11 percent of non-drinkers (those who have not consumed alcohol in the past year), developed visual impairments, while in comparison, only 4.8 percent of occasional drinkers actually developed vision impairments.
Occasional drinkers were classed as those who have consumed alcohol in the last year, but who reported fewer than one serving in an average week. According to the researchers, after adjustment for age, the figures show a 49 percent decrease in odds of developing visual impairment in occasional drinkers compared to those who consumed no alcohol at all.
RESULTS MAY BE UNCLEAR
However, the researchers do caution of a limitation to their study, which is present in all epidemiological research. That is that the findings may be due, in part, to unmeasured factors related to both lifestyle behaviors and development of visual impairment. The data does not prove that these lifestyle behaviors are directly responsible for increased or decreased risks.
"While age is usually one of the most strongly associated factors for many eye diseases that cause visual impairment, it is a factor we cannot change," said Ronald Klein, M.D., MPH, lead researcher for the study.
"Lifestyle behaviors like smoking, drinking and physical activity, however, can be altered. So, it's promising, in terms of possible prevention, that these behaviors are associated with developing visual impairment over the long term. However, further research is needed to determine whether modifying these behaviors will in fact lead to a direct reduction in vision loss."
For more information about how lifestyle choices can affect eye health, visit the Academy's public education website www.geteyesmart.org.
SAN JOSE: An officer with the San Jose Police Department (SJPD) has been arrested and charged with a rape that occurred while he was on duty.
Officer Geoff Graves was arrested yesterday for one count of felony, sexual assault that occurred in September of 2013.
Following a five-month investigation by SJPD's Criminal Investigation Detail (CID), evidence was presented to the Santa Clara County District Attorneys Office who filed one count of forcible rape.
It's understood that Graves surrendered himself to police and was later booked into the Santa Clara County Jail.
Graves, a serving officer for the last six years was placed on paid administrative leave when the SJPD was made aware of the allegations against him.
The charges against Graves relate to a response officers made to a family disturbance on September 22 last year. Officers arrived to find a male and a female subject having a verbal argument. The female involved in the call to police was relocated by officers to a hotel room.
Officer Graves later returned to the same hotel room, where the woman alleges that he forcibly sexually assaulted her.
The incident did not come to the attention of the SJPD until October 15. They initiated a criminal investigation into the allegation and an arrest warrant was issued against Officer Graves.
Chief Esquivel of the SJPD said this was an extremely serious allegation.
"Please know that once I became aware of this incident, we quickly and proactively initiated a criminal investigation in cooperation with the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office," Esquivel said.
"If proven true, the officer will be held accountable," The police Chief added.
In a statement to the media Esquivel also said that while the incident is very troubling, it is an isolated incident and by no means should be seen as a reflection of all SJPD officers, whom he said " perform their duties with honor and professionalism on a daily basis".
SAN FRANCISCO: The police department in San Francisco will be paying special attention to motorcycle safety for the rest of the year in an effort to eradicate deaths and injuries.
Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists and where motorcycle crashes occur. Officers will be will be looking for violations made by drivers and riders alike that can lead to motorcycle crashes.
The SFPD say they will be cracking down on both those operating regular vehicles and motorcycles who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, making illegal turns, or any other dangerous violation.
Motorcycle fatalities saw a phenomenal drop of 37 percent from 2008 to 2010, but then rose 23 percent by 2012. The good news was that although there was a total of 375 collisions last year, non of those included a loss of life. This operation is aimed at cutting those collisions and keeping deaths at zero.
Data from the SFPD breaks down the figures for motorcycle collisions in 2013 as follows:
Collision data reveals that primary causes of motorcycle crashes include speeding, unsafe turning and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs.
The San Francisco Police Department is also reminding all motorists to always be alert and watch out for motorcycles, especially when turning and changing lanes. Drivers should be aware that motorcycle lane splitting is not illegal if done in a safe and prudent manner. Motorcycle riders should consult the Lane Splitting General Guidelines to learn more – www.ots.ca.gov/lanesplittinggeneralguidelines.pdf.
FUNDING AND TRAINING
Funding for the clampdown program will be provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Riders can get training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information and training locations is also available by calling 1-877 RIDE 411 or 1-877-743-3411.
The message to all drivers and motorcyclists is: share in the responsibility and do your part by safely “sharing the road.”
SAN FRANCISCO: The fire department in San Francisco estimate that it would require almost $10 million in order to meet its state regulations regarding ambulances and paramedics.
Incidents of calls for assistance not being able to be met by the present service have increased by 500 percent since 2008 according to city supervisor and former Fire Commission member, London Breed.
MEDIC TO FOLLOW
According to a recent audit of services, it was noted that an increasing number of medical calls are classified “medic-to-follow”, when first responders arrive on scene but without a paramedic. They do eventually arrive on the scene, but times may vary according to Breed.
"They are happening an average of eight times each day. I have heard reports of patients being forced to wait 15, 25, even 40 minutes for an ambulance to transport them to the hospital," she said.
Supervisor Breed will raise the concerns at today's meeting of the Board of Supervisors and ask the Mayor, Ed Lee, if he intends to make more funding available in this year's budget. She also says that the fire department is well below the service level that it is obligated to provide under the “Exclusive Operating Area” with the state.
"Remaining out of compliance could seriously jeopardize jobs within the fire department, revenue to the department, and overall public safety," she adds.
The fire department say that it would cost them around $9.8 million to provide new vehicles and crews to meet those regulations, a figure that Breed says is likely high, as it does not account for the new revenue that increased emergency medical services capacity will generate.
"I have asked the Budget and Legislative Analyst to assess the net-net figure. Nonetheless, whether it is $4 million or $9 million, I think San Franciscans deserve a reliable emergency medical system".
SAN FRANCISCO: The Municipal Transport Agency's (MTA's) proposed plan to hike up fares on the F-Line streetcar are proving an unpopular choice to raise extra revenue.
In an effort to raise output on the line by 10 percent the MTA has put forward a plan to triple the current two-dollar fare to six-dollars.
This would bring the price for a one-way trip on the famous line that runs from the Castro District, down Market Street towards the Ferry Building and on to Fisherman's Wharf to the same level as the city's historic cable-car routes.
But the idea isn't gaining much momentum from commuters and visitors to the city who have voiced concerns over the proposed hike. The Market Street Railway Company, who work to preserve the cars that run on the world famous line have also voiced concerns over the MTA's idea.
DOWN THE LINE
However, the MTA have said that this is only one of three different proposals that they are looking at in an effort to raise revenues, although it seems to be the one gaining the most media attention.
Whichever idea the MTA does decide to roll with, their proposals and agreed budget have to be finalized and then submitted to the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors by 1 May.
Their choice could be the difference between a green or red light.
CEO of salesforce.com, Marc Benioff is assembling a strong team of committed contributors from business and tech industries - all of whom are willing to join the fight against poverty in the San Francisco Bay Area
An ever growing group of business and technology companies have committed to joining forces and funds in an effort to fight poverty in San Franciso Bay Area.
The initiative is the brainchild of the Tipping Point Community, one of the Bay Area's leading poverty-fighting organization . Today they announced the launch of a special fund called 'SF Gives’ that aims to make available a fund of $10 million, created by a coalition of business and tech industry leaders around the Bay.
Initiated by salesforce.com Chairman and CEO, Marc Benioff, the SF Gives fund aims to build a coalition of 20 companies willing to commit at least half a million dollars each to fight problems associated with poverty. To date companies such as Box, Dropbox, Google, IfOnly, Jawbone, LinkedIn, POPSUGAR, Inc. and Zynga have already joined with salesforce.com as founding members of the campaign.
SF Gives will spearhead efforts to break the cycle of poverty by providing access to jobs, housing, education and health care in the Bay Area.
"We each have a role to play in shaping the future of our city," said Daniel Lurie, CEO and founder of Tipping Point.
"I am inspired that leading Bay Area companies are coming together to invest in the lives of our most vulnerable residents,” he added.
Mr Lurie said he hoped such actions would act as the catalyst in prompting other companies and individuals to sign up and give something back.
“They can give back to our community, where one in five people live in poverty,”
Salesforce.com chairman and CEO, Marc Benioff, said that the company was thrilled to be working with San Francisco's technology community and Tipping Point to help fight poverty.
"The SF Gives challenge builds on our commitment to giving back to the Bay Area community that has given us so much since our founding here 15 years ago,” Benioff said.
The Tipping Point board underwrites all operating costs, and 100 percent of every dollar donated will go directly towards effective education, employment, housing and health organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area.
TIPPING POINT AND SALESFORCE
Since 2005 Tipping Point has raised more than $60 million and has reached nearly 250,000 people in need. More information about Tipping Point community is available at www.tippingpoint.org.
Salesforce.com Foundation is a global leader in corporate philanthropy. Since inception in 1999, employees have committed more than 588,000 hours of their time to volunteer and pro bono projects.
For more information on the Salesforce.com Foundation visit www.salesforcefoundation.org.
Pedestrian safety was on the agenda at City Hall today as Mayor Ed Lee unveiled a new campaign (WalkFirst) to combat pedestrian casualties on our streets.
The Mayor was joined by Chief of Police, Greg Suhr, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and other city agencies as he announced the data-driven action plan and location maps to increase safety for people walking in San Francisco.
Also unveiled was a pedestrian awareness campaign that is now rolling out citywide to encourage road users to slow down and pay more attention to their surroundings.
According to today's announcement, San Francisco would see a total of $17million invested over the next five years for pedestrian safety projects at 170 locations across the city.
Mayor Lee said that people walking were among the most vulnerable road users, accounting for half of all traffic fatalities in the city. On average, 100 people are severely injured or killed in traffic collisions every year in San Francisco.
“Any pedestrian death or serious injury is one too many,” said Mayor Lee.
“San Francisco remains one of the most walkable cities in the world, and we all have a shared responsibility to protect and care for pedestrians. By looking out for each other and by driving more slowly and carefully, we can make a big difference in improving safety for people walking in San Francisco.”
“WalkFirst represents the City’s effort to improve pedestrian safety where it is most needed,” said Board President David Chiu.
“Given our City’s density, high impact and cost-effective approaches are necessary to make San Francisco safer and even more walkable.”
The necessity of this spending and the commitment to pedestrian safety was also shared by the Transportation Authority and District 11 Supervisor John Avalos, also chairman of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority said: “Achieving this goal will take a collaborative approach and sustained investment of resources, as well as continued leadership and new ways of doing business”.
Mayor Lee was joined by city partners including the SFMTA, San Francisco County Transportation Authority, Planning Department, Department of Public Health, Department of Public Works and the Controller’s Office.
Mayor Lee also endorsed “Vision Zero” – a goal of zero traffic deaths by 2024, which the SFMTA and SFPD have also adopted. This builds on the Mayor’s commitment to cut the number of people killed and severely injured on our streets in half by 2021, a primary goal of the San Francisco Pedestrian Strategy released in April 2013.
For more information on Walkfirst, go to: http://walkfirst.sfplanning.org.
For more information on the Mayor’s SF2030 Transportation Task Force Final Report, go to: http://www.sf-planning.org/index.aspx?page=3427.
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