NEWS WATCH: CONSUMERS ADVISED TO AVOID RAW OYSTERS FROM PNW...THOUSANDS OF CALIFORNIA CATTLE PERISH IN HEAT...KROGER ROLLS OUT DISNEY LINE OF PRODUCTS

CONSUMERS ADVISED TO AVOID RAW OYSTERS FROM PNWation last week advised consumers to avoid eating raw oysters harvested in the Pacific Northwest as a result of a string of illnesses associated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illness. Since the oysters are distributed nationally, consumers also were advised to return oysters in the shell to the retailers from

CONSUMERS ADVISED TO AVOID RAW OYSTERS FROM PNW

ation last week advised consumers to avoid eating raw oysters harvested in the Pacific Northwest as a result of a string of illnesses associated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illness. Since the oysters are distributed nationally, consumers also were advised to return oysters in the shell to the retailers from which they were purchased. Until the threat of Vp from oysters in the region has passed, the FDA advised people to thoroughly cook oysters from that area before eating. Cooking destroys the bacteria, thereby eliminating the risk of illness. Authorities said most of the illnesses reported have occurred in the Pacific Northwest, though some have turned up in New York state. In Washington state, authorities were identifying and closing areas where people had become sick. State officials had initiated a recall of all shell stock oysters - oysters in the shell - harvested from areas that were closed within the state. In recent months, there has been an unusual increase in bacterial illness associated with eating raw oysters from the region, the FDA said. While Vp can cause mild gastrointestinal disorders in healthy people, older people and those with weak immune systems are at risk for more serious illnesses.

THOUSANDS OF CALIFORNIA CATTLE PERISH IN HEAT

MODESTO, Calif. - California dairy producers last week requested federal disaster assistance for heat-related losses that could cost up to $1 billion, according to published reports. After two weeks of temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, milk production has dropped from 10% to 40%, said Michael Marsh, chief executive officer of Western Union Dairymen, based here. More than 16,000 dairy cows have perished so far because of the heat. Stress during lactation affects milk production and a number of cows will not be bred in time to calve again in 9 to 12 months, further extending the time until production returns to normal, Marsh explained. "The economic repercussions of the heat experienced in the past few weeks are widespread and will be felt by California's dairy farm families for many months to come," Marsh said in a statement. Several California counties declared emergencies that allow for on-farm and landfill disposal of carcasses, which is illegal under normal circumstances.

KROGER ROLLS OUT DISNEY LINE OF PRODUCTS

CINCINNATI - Kroger Co. here is rolling out an exclusive new line of Disney Magic Selections-branded products featuring Disney and Disney-Pixar characters on fresh and shelf-stable foods. The initial rollout includes fruits, cheeses and yogurts, while additional foods to be introduced throughout the year will include fresh and frozen meals, cut vegetables with dip, snacks and dry groceries, officials said. About 100 items will make up the new line, which will include naturally healthy foods and snacks formulated to offer lower levels of calories, fat and sugar. The line will be integrated throughout Kroger's banners, officials said. Signs and aisle displays will feature images of Mickey Mouse as "Chef Mickey" and "Farmer Mickey" promoting fresh meals and fresh produce.