Recall Alert: 135K Pounds of Chicken Recalled Due to Listeria Contamination

Dayton Daily News

August 22, 2019

By Natalie Dreier


Tip Top Poultry, Inc., along with the United States Department of Agricultures Food Safety and Inspection Service, has announced a recall of more than 135,000 pounds of fully cooked chicken products.


The recall was issued due to potential listeria contamination.


The chicken is frozen, diced and was produced on Jan. 21, 2019, which is also the pack date on the labels, according to the FSIS.


The label also has establishment number P-17453 in the USDA mark of inspection on the case.


The chicken was sent to hotels, restaurants and institutions across the country.


Listeria can cause listeriosis that can affect older adults, people with weakened immune systems, pregnant woman and newborns.


It can cause gastrointestinal issues, fever, muscle aches, confusion, headaches and convulsions, government officials said.


Anyone who has the affected products in their freezers is being instructed not to use them and either throw the food away or return it to the place from where it was purchased.


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Automating Artificial Intelligence for Medical Decision-Making

States News Service

August 7, 2019

By Rob Matheson


MIT computer scientists are hoping to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence to improve medical decision-making, by automating a key step thats usually done by hand and thats becoming more laborious as certain datasets grow ever-larger.


The field of predictive analytics holds increasing promise for helping clinicians diagnose and treat patients. Machine-learning models can be trained to find patterns in patient data to aid in sepsis care, design safer chemotherapy regimens, and predict a patients risk of having breast cancer or dying in the ICU, to name just a few examples.


Typically, training datasets consist of many sick and healthy subjects, but with relatively little data for each subject. Experts must then find just those aspects or features in the datasets that will be important for making predictions.


This feature engineering can be a laborious and expensive process. But its becoming even more challenging with the rise of wearable sensors, because researchers can more easily monitor patients biometrics over long periods, tracking sleeping patterns, gait, and voice activity, for example. After only a weeks worth of monitoring, experts could have several billion data samples for each subject.


In a paper being presented at the Machine Learning for Healthcare conference this week, MIT researchers demonstrate a model that automatically learns features predictive of vocal cord disorders. The features come from a dataset of about 100 subjects, each with about a weeks worth of voice-monitoring data and several billion samples in other words, a small number of subjects and a large amount of data per subject. The dataset contain signals captured from a little accelerometer sensor mounted on subjects necks.


In experiments, the model used features automatically extracted from these data to classify, with high accuracy, patients with and without vocal cord nodules. These are lesions that develop in the larynx, often because of patterns of voice misuse such as belting out songs or yelling. Importantly, the model accomplished this task without a large set of hand-labeled data.


Its becoming increasing easy to collect long time-series datasets. But you have physicians that need to apply their knowledge to labeling the dataset, says lead author Jose Javier Gonzalez Ortiz, a PhD student in the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). We want to remove that manual part for the experts and offload all feature engineering to a machine-learning model.


The model can be adapted to learn patterns of any disease or condition. But the ability to detect the daily voice-usage patterns associated with vocal cord nodules is an important step in developing improved methods to prevent, diagnose, and treat the disorder, the researchers say. That could include designing new ways to identify and alert people to potentially damaging vocal behaviors.


Joining Gonzalez Ortiz on the paper is John Guttag, the Dugald C. Jackson Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and head of CSAILs Data Driven Inference Group; Robert Hillman, Jarrad Van Stan, and Daryush Mehta, all of Massachusetts General Hospitals Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation; and Marzyeh Ghassemi, an assistant professor of computer science and medicine at the University of Toronto.


Forced feature-learning


For years, the MIT researchers have worked with the Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation to develop and analyze data from a sensor to track subject voice usage during all waking hours. The sensor is an accelerometer with a node that sticks to the neck and is connected to a smartphone. As the person talks, the smartphone gathers data from the displacements in the accelerometer.


In their work, the researchers collected a weeks worth of this data called time-series data from 104 subjects, half of whom were diagnosed with vocal cord nodules. For each patient, there was also a matching control, meaning a healthy subject of similar age, sex, occupation, and other factors.


Traditionally, experts would need to manually identify features that may be useful for a model to detect various diseases or conditions. That helps prevent a common machine-learning problem in health care: overfitting. Thats when, in training, a model memorizes subject data instead of learning just the clinically relevant features. In testing, those models often fail to discern similar patterns in previously unseen subjects.


Instead of learning features that are clinically significant, a model sees patterns and says, This is Sarah, and I know Sarah is healthy, and this is Peter, who has a vocal cord nodule. So, its just memorizing patterns of subjects. Then, when it sees data from Andrew, which has a new vocal usage pattern, it cant figure out if those patterns match a classification, Gonzalez Ortiz says.


The main challenge, then, was preventing overfitting while automating manual feature engineering. To that end, the researchers forced the model to learn features without subject information. For their task, that meant capturing all moments when subjects speak and the intensity of their voices.


As their model crawls through a subjects data, its programmed to locate voicing segments, which comprise only roughly 10% of the data. For each of these voicing windows, the model computes a spectrogram, a visual representation of the spectrum of frequencies varying over time, which is often used for speech processing tasks. The spectrograms are then stored as large matrices of thousands of values.


But those matrices are huge and difficult to process. So, an autoencoder a neural network optimized to generate efficient data encodings from large amounts of data first compresses the spectrogram into an encoding of 30 values. It then decompresses that encoding into a separate spectrogram.


Basically, the model must ensure that the decompressed spectrogram closely resembles the original spectrogram input. In doing so, its forced to learn the compressed representation of every spectrogram segment input over each subjects entire time-series data. The compressed representations are the features that help train machine-learning models to make predictions.


Mapping normal and abnormal features


In training, the model learns to map those features to patients or controls. Patients will have more voicing patterns than will controls. In testing on previously unseen subjects, the model similarly condenses all spectrogram segments into a reduced set of features. Then, its majority rules: If the subject has mostly abnormal voicing segments, theyre classified as patients; if they have mostly normal ones, theyre classified as controls.


In experiments, the model performed as accurately as state-of-the-art models that require manual feature engineering. Importantly, the researchers model performed accurately in both training and testing, indicating its learning clinically relevant patterns from the data, not subject-specific information.


Next, the researchers want to monitor how various treatments such as surgery and vocal therapy impact vocal behavior. If patients behaviors move form abnormal to normal over time, theyre most likely improving. They also hope to use a similar technique on electrocardiogram data, which is used to track muscular functions of the heart.


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Seven Steps to Power Innovation in Your Industry

States News Service

August 21, 2019

By Kaihan Krippendorff


The concept of innovation often brings to mind visionary leaders or companies whose creativity and experimentation may seem out of reach. But associations can fuel innovation in their field by bringing together creative thinkers among their staff and members.


Recently, I analyzed the most transformative innovations of the last three decadesthe big projects that significantly changed society, such as the internet, email, MRI scans, and DNA sequencing. I found, contrary to common belief, that innovations like these were not developed by entrepreneurs but rather employees, and they werent started by individual companies, but rather an industry.


Take wind energy, for example. Amid the 1973 oil crisis, a Danish carpenter named Christian Riisager grew interested in developing a large windmill that could generate enough power to be commercially viable. He designed one that could produce 22 to 55 kilowatts of power. He built and sold a few of these, but he never launched a company to refine his design so it could be mass-produced.


Instead, a group of innovators from Tvind, a Danish school, collaborated to build the worlds largest electricity-producing wind turbine based on Riisagers original design. Their work was backed by other technology firms, including Vestas, Nordtank, Bonus, and, later, Siemens.


This kind of industry-wide community development is common in medical innovation (examples include magnetic resonance imaging, antiretroviral treatment for AIDS, and stents) and in many other technological innovations like email, media file compression, and open-source software. Innovation more often comes from the collaboration of corporate and institutional employees than from small teams of mavericks.


This presents an enticing opportunity for associations and their leaders to be the catalyst of innovation for their industries. Who else has the power to inspire and coordinate the kind of activity across a sector, in pursuit of a common goal, that can lead to humankinds most important innovations?


Innovation more often comes from the collaboration of corporate and institutional employees than from small teams of mavericks.


Steps in the Journey


No matter where they happen, innovation journeys have characteristics in common, including seven steps from the conception of an idea to its realization. If you understand them and put in place the right kind of influence to move the process forward, you can unlock a new era of positive change.


Step 1: Intent. The journey begins by activating intent in leaders and employees who have demonstrated an innovative spirit in your industry or field. To do this, try using a carrot-and-stick approach: Lay out a compelling vision for the future (land a man on the moon) while simultaneously creating a case for change (the Soviet Union may beat us to the moon).


Step 2: Needs. Once you have activated intent, the next challenge is to identify the needs and critical stakeholders of the innovation project. Ask: What compelling need or needs will rally your industry into action? Creating a broad, industry-wide vision for change can help guide partners in a common direction.


Step 3: Options. Encourage people to explore numerous options for meeting the need youve identified. An initial innovation may spur others. Indeed, research shows that when an industry experiences a surge in influential patents (patents that are then built upon by other patents), they initiate a period of increased productivity. There are many routes to innovation. This is the time to explore different approaches to meeting your defined need.


Step 4: Value blockers. Every innovation will create secondary innovation challenges as the industry adopts the new approach. These value blockers can impede an innovations ability to realize its full value. Some people will use these as excusesreasons to give up trying. But if you can reframe them instead as additional problems to solve, you can motivate people to persevere. Be alert for any value blockers to innovation in your industry and look for ways to reframe them as new challenges to solve.


Step 5: Actions. Most industry-wide innovations were not born out of careful or rigorous analysis but rather from bold thinking and actionspecifically, small, inexpensive tests. The software industry was the first to take this practice of experimentation seriously, introducing an approach to product development that we now call lean or agile. This approach has expanded and taken hold across numerous sectors, from manufacturing to financial services, and its a key factor in teams that drive innovation. Consider what your association can do to encourage agility and experimentation in your industry.


Step 6: Team. Thirty years ago, innovations were developed primarily through large, formal research and development teams. But as the pace of change accelerates across nearly every sector, such large-group innovation is struggling to keep up. Instead, we see innovation work transitioning to small cross-functional teams that can more quickly test and develop an idea. In pharmaceuticals, for example, a team composed of drug manufacturers, payors, distributors, and pharmacies have rallied around creating a blockchain-based system that can better ensure drug safety.


Step 7: Environment. Keep in mind that all of these steps can take place only in an industry environment that encourages innovation. My study points to four levers your industry can pull to liberate innovators:

  • Leadership: Do leaders in your industry prioritize innovation?
  • Talent: Does your industry attract would-be innovators?
  • Structure: Do your industrys structures provide innovation resources and create a willingness to take risks?
  • Culture: Do the cultural norms in your industry encourage innovativeness, risk-taking, proactivity, and customer-centricity?

Follow these seven steps and your association can engineer a new era of innovation in your industry that creates new jobs, energy, and value.


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Jaguar Land Rover Develops Advanced 3D Head-Up Display

AutoCar

August 21, 2019

British carmaker teams up with University of Cambridge to launch new safety and entertainment system in concept form


Jaguar Land Rover is developing a 3D head-up display that looks to serve as both a safety feature and point of passenger entertainment.


Developed in a joint venture with the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics (CAPE) at the University of Cambridge, the technology primarily looks to improve driver reaction times by projecting augmented reality alerts into the drivers line of sight.


JLR engineers claim that the use of a 3D display serves to improve reaction times by allowing the driver to react more naturally to hazards and prompts. The tech can be used to warn drivers of lane departure and upcoming hazards as well as give sat-nav directions and improve visibility in challenging conditions.


Head and eye tracking technology would ensure users can view the 3D effects without the use of cinema-style glasses; however, its currently unclear whether drivers and passengers that are unable to view 3D effects in films due to eye-related issues will be able to use the technology.


Aside from safety, JLR also claims the displays could offer entirely unique and personal entertainment for passengers in a fully autonomous future. Movies, journey details and local landmarks are all potential points of 3D development.


Valerian Meijering, Human Machine Interface & Head-Up Display Researcher for JLR says that the technology not only provides a much richer experience for customers, but also forms part of our Destination Zero roadmap; helping us to towards a safer, more intuitive and smarter future.


Destination Zero, a concept championed by JLR, is the utopian vision of a safer, healthier and environmentally friendly automotive futurea concept in which this 3D technology holds a reserved place.


Another concept in which it holds a place is that of the companys Smart Cabin venture, the hope of creating a personalized space inside the vehicle for driver and passengers with enhanced safety, entertainment and convenience features. There is currently no indication of when this technology might appear as a working concept.


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23,000 Super Jumper Trampolines Recalled Over Fall, Injury Hazards

Dayton Daily News

August 6, 2019

By Kelcie Willis


Super Jumper Trampoline is recalling 23,000 of its products due to an issue with the legs of the trampolines that can result in falls or injury hazards.


According to a recall notice on the Super Trampoline website, the companys Super Jumper 14- and 16-foot trampolines and trampoline combos are being recalled. The 14-foot trampolines have four U-shape legs and the 16-foot trampolines have six U-shape legs.


There have been 97 reports of injuries from metal legs breaking.


The trampolines were sold online at Wayfair.com, Amazon.com, Hayneedle.com and Overstock.com from June 2011 through June 2019 for $200 to $400.


The Consumer Product Safety Commission has approved the recall. Under the recall, the company will provide reinforcement clamps for the trampolines as part of a free kit. Customers should immediately stop using the affected products and contact Super Jumper for a free repair kit.


Consumers can get the free kit by filling out and sending the recall customer information sheet at the Super Jumper website. Kits may take one to three months to process. A replacement trampoline or refund will not be provided if the clamps are installed.


Consumers can contact Super Jumper at 866-757-3636 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time Monday through Friday or email recall@superjumperinc.com They can also visit the Super Jumper website.


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Recall Issued for Certain Sandwiches and Salads Sold at Target and the Fresh Market

Dayton Daily News

July 22, 2019

Elevation Foods is voluntarily recalling several egg-based products sold at Target and The Fresh Market due to possible Listeria contamination.


The company is recalling containers of Archer Farms-brand egg salad; Freskt-brand egg salad, tuna salad and Thai lobster salad; and Archer Farms-brand deviled egg sandwiches that were produced on June 18.


Elevation Foods found the problem after products tested positive for listeria when checked by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Elevation Foods said it is continuing to investigate potential sources of the problem.


According to the Food and Drug Administration, the products were manufactured at Elevation Foods Knoxville, Tennessee facility. The company believes that fewer than 1,087 cases of the products have been shipped to retailer warehouses across the United States.


No illnesses have been reported.


How to identify the recalled product: Check the use by dates that are printed on the side of containers and the lot number, which can be found on the side or lid. The recall applies to only products that match the lot numbers and use by dates below.

  • Archer Farms-brand Egg Salad packaged in a 12-ounce clear, square plastic container, Lot Number W1906042A, Use By 12AUG2019 (printed on the side of each container) UPC 085239018682, distributed nationwide.
  • Freskt-brand Egg Salad packaged in a 32-ounce clear, square plastic container, Lot Number W1906042, Use By 12AUG2019A (printed on the side of each container).
  • Freskt-brand Tuna Salad packaged in a 5-pound white, round plastic container, Lot Number W1906054, Use By 02AUG2019A (printed on the side of each container).
  • Freskt-brand Thai Lobster Salad packaged in a 5-pound white, round plastic container, Lot Number W1906041, Use By 02AUG2019A (printed on the side of each container).
  • Archer Farms Deviled Egg Sandwich Half Sandwich with Bacon, UPC 220505000002, distributed nationwide.
  • Archer Farms Deviled Egg Sandwich on Multigrain, UPC 498780203566, distributed nationwide.


For more photos and additional recall details on these affected products, please click on the official company announcement here.


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Recall Alert: Relpax Migraine Medication Recalled Due to Potential Microbe Contamination

Dayton Daily News

August 19, 2019

By Natalie Dreier


Migraine sufferers who use Relpax may want to check their medicine cabinets.


Pfizer Inc., the manufacturer of the medication, along with the Food and Drug Administration have announced a recall of the treatment due to potential microbiological contamination.


Relpax is used to treat migraines with and without aura in adults, according to the FDA.


Two lots of 40 mg tablet packages could have Genus Pseudomonas or Burkholderia contamination and are labeled AR5407 and C4565.


If you take the medication and it is contaminated with the microorganisms, the bacteria could enter the bloodstream and could result in serious, life-threatening infections, the FDA said.


There is also a risk of gastrointestinal distress without a serious infection, but that discomfort is temporary, the FDA said.


Pharmacies and hospitals that have dispensed the affected medication have been instructed to inform their patients. If you have questions, you can call Stericycle Inc. at 877-225-9750 for details on how to return the medication and get reimbursement for the cost of the medication.


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No-Deal Brexit Risks Food, Fuel and Drugs Shortages, Leaked U.K. Files Say

New York Times

August 19, 2019

Britain would face shortages of fuel, food and medicine if it leaves the European Union without a transition deal, jamming ports and requiring a hard border in Ireland, according to government documents leaked to The Sunday Times of London, a scenario Brexit opponents have long warned about.


The forecasts compiled by the Cabinet Office set out the most likely aftershocks of a no-deal Brexit rather than the worst-case scenarios, the newspaper said.


Up to 85% of trucks using the main channel crossings may not be ready for French customs, meaning disruption at ports would potentially last up to three months before the flow of traffic improves, the documents suggest, according to the British news outlet.


The files show that the government also believed that a hard border between Northern Ireland, which is part of Britain, and Ireland, which will remain a European Union member state, would be most likely since current plans to avoid widespread checks would prove unsustainable, the report said.


Compiled this month by the Cabinet Office under the code name Operation Yellowhammer, the dossier offers a rare glimpse into the covert planning being carried out by the government to avert a catastrophic collapse in the nations infrastructure, the newspaper reported.


The file, marked official sensitiverequiring security clearance on a need to know basisis remarkable because it gives the most comprehensive assessment of the UKs readiness for a no-deal Brexit.


Prime Minister Boris Johnsons office told the newspaper that it did not comment on leaked documents.


But on Sunday, the cabinet minister in charge of no-deal planning, Michael Gove, said on Twitter that the leaked documents reflected a worst-case scenario and that the government had significantly accelerated its planning in the past three weeks.


He mocked a claim by one of the journalists behind the report that a more severe scenario had been discussed under the code name Black Swan, saying that was not a government document but a film about a ballet dancer.


A junior energy minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, also sought to play down the report in an interview with a British broadcaster.


I think theres a lot of scaremongering around and a lot of people are playing into Project Fear, he told Sky News when asked about the leaked government document. Weve got to prepare for no deal. We will be fully prepared to leave without a deal on Oct. 31.


There was pushback, too, from Gibraltar, the semiautonomous British territory on Spains southern coast, which was described in the report as likely to face economic damage from several months of serious delays at its land border in the event of a no-deal Brexit.


In a statement on Sunday, the government of the territory called the report out of date and based on planning for worst-case scenarios which the government of Gibraltar has already dealt with. The plans related to the flow of people, vehicles and goods across the frontier, especially foodstuffs, medicines and waste, it said.


Fabian Picardo, Gibraltars chief minister, added: We do not want a no-deal Brexit. We think it is bad for Gibraltar. We are, nonetheless, now ready for it.


Analysts say that Britain is heading toward a constitutional crisis at home and a showdown in Brussels as Mr. Johnson has repeatedly vowed to leave European Union by the current deadline, Oct. 31, without a deal unless it agrees to renegotiate the Brexit divorce. This week, he heads to Europe for his first official foreign trip as prime minister to meet with President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to make his case.


Mr. Johnson planned to tell Mr. Macron and Ms. Merkel that Westminster cannot stop Brexit and that a new deal must be agreed if Britain is to avoid leaving without one.


After more than three years of Brexit dominating European affairs, negotiators in Brussels have repeatedly refused to reopen the withdrawal agreement, which includes an Irish border insurance policy that Mr. Johnsons predecessor, Theresa May, agreed to in November.


Britains Brexit Secretary, Stephen Barclay, said on Twitter on Sunday that he had signed legislation that set in stone the repeal of the 1972 European Communities act, the laws that made Britain a member of the organization now known as the European Union.


Though his move was largely procedural, in line with previously approved laws, Mr. Barclay said in a statement: This is a clear signal to the people of this country that there is no turning back.


A group of more than 100 lawmakers have written to Mr. Johnson calling for an emergency recall of Parliament to discuss the situation.


We face a national emergency, and Parliament must now be recalled in August and sit permanently until Oct. 31 so that the voices of the people can be heard, and that there can be proper scrutiny of your government, the letter said.


The prime minister is coming under pressure from politicians across the political spectrum to prevent a disorderly departure, with the leader of the opposition Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, vowing this week to bring down Mr. Johnsons government in early September to delay Brexit.


It is, however, unclear if lawmakers have the unity or power to use Parliament to prevent a no-deal departure, likely to be Britains most significant move since World War II.


Opponents of no deal say it would be a disaster for what was once one of the Wests most stable democracies. A disorderly divorce, they say, would hurt global growth, send shock waves through financial markets and weaken Londons claim to be the worlds pre-eminent financial center.


Brexit supporters say there may be short-term disruption from a no-deal exit but that the economy will thrive if cut free from what they cast as a doomed experiment in integration that has led to Europe falling behind China and the United States.


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