CDPH in the News
Tough to swallow: Sysco fined $19.4 million for unsafe food storage practices
from Fleet Owner
Food distribution giant Sysco Corporation has agreed to pay $19.4 million in fines and restitution for storing food in unrefrigerated and unsanitary buildings in California. The settlement includes $15 million in penalties, $3.3 million to fund four California Department of Public Health investigator positions for five years, a $1 million donation to food banks across California and $127,000 in costs.
Eight Hospitals Fined $775,000 for 10 Disastrous Mistakes
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced last week that it had fined eight hospitals a total of $775,000 for 10 incidents, and like the list released last October, it included safety violations that resulted in serious injury and death. Fines ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 were meted out to medical centers in five counties for incidents including the improper mixing of medications and surgical materials left behind in a patient. Some of the cases date back to 2012, but have only recently been closed.
California Department of Public Health Reports No Confirmed Cases of Ebola in the State
from Sierra Sun Times
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is working with local health departments and health care providers statewide to identify patients who have traveled to countries affected by Ebola. CDPH is directing health providers to follow protocols established by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the diagnosis and treatment of these patients. People returning from the affected areas who may be at high risk for Ebola should be isolated and their blood sent to CDC for testing. Some low-risk patients, like the one from Sacramento, may be tested out of an abundance of caution. CDPH works with local health departments and hospitals to arrange for proper specimen shipment and Ebola virus confirmatory testing. There are currently no confirmed cases of Ebola in California. There have been no patients admitted to California hospitals who are considered to be at high risk of Ebola according to CDC criteria.
On Calif. coast, biotoxins cause deadly sea lion seizures, seafood scare
from Aljazeera America
Peppa, the name given to a rescued sea lion, is like many of the animals crowding the six pens at Marine Mammal Center’s San Luis Obispo Operations, which has brought in as many as 20 seizing sea lions a day in the San Luis Obispo area since June. Earlier this spring, its partner rescue center in Monterey experienced a similar boom. Of those rescued at both sites, half succumb to the seizures within days. The culprit? Domoic acid, a deadly neurotoxin produced by algae, that appeared at record high levels along California’s Central Coast this spring and summer, closing fisheries and taking the lives of many marine mammals. But domoic acid also poses a grave risk to humans, which is why the California Department of Public Health closed certain fisheries up the coast in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties in April after high levels of the acid were reported by a team of marine scientists at University of California, Santa Cruz, that has been monitoring domoic acid for 14 years.
Man accused of infecting another person with HIV charged with misdemeanor
from ABC10 News
Team 10 is uncovering new information about a man charged with willfully exposing another person to HIV. The accuser, who did not want to be identified, says he is devastated but trying to focus on taking care of his health. Team 10 also contacted the local and state public health departments. A spokesperson said health officers can alert someone if they have been exposed to HIV without consent from their sexual partner. A spokesman with the California Department of Public Health said that California has a dual HIV/AIDS reporting system. That means both health care providers and laboratories are required to report cases of HIV/AIDS by name to the local health officer.
New test unveiled to quickly detect mercury in skin-lightening creams
California Department of Public Health (CDPH) scientists have reportedly identified a new method of screening product samples to determine mercury contents in skin-lightening creams. According to Gordon Vrdoljak of CDPH, some of the creams have been found to contain mercury levels as high as 210,000 parts per million (ppm) despite the U.S. limit of 1 ppm. "If people are using the product quite regularly," he said in an August 13, 2014, press release from the American Chemical Society (ACS), "their hands will exude it, it will get in their food, on their countertops, on the sheets their kids sleep on."