Health Highlights: Oct. 27, 2014

Health Highlights: Oct. 27, 2014

Health Highlights: Oct. 27, 2014

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

More Than 31,000 Pounds of Chicken Products Recalled by Company

More than 31,000 pounds of frozen chicken products have been recalled by a Pennsylvania company because of concerns about contamination with staph bacteria.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the contamination was discovered during a sampling program conducted by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. The company, Murry's Inc., is based in Lebanon, Pa.

Staphylococcus aureus bacteria can cause food-borne illness and staph infections, the USDA said in a news release. Symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea, and they usually develop within a few hours of when the contaminated food has been consumed.

The recalled products include Bell & Evans gluten-free chicken breast nuggets (12 ounces) and Bell & Evans gluten-free chicken breast (10.5 ounces), according to the USDA. All products have Aug. 9, 2015 expiration dates.

During a phone interview Sunday on "PBS NewsHour Weekend," Murry's Inc. Chief Executive Officer Ira Mendelson said no other company products were affected by the reported contamination.

"Even having knowledge of one box being contaminated, we felt a voluntary recall would be necessary," Mendelson said during the interview. No cases of food poisoning have been reported since the recall was issued on Saturday, according to Mendelson and the USDA.

Consumers with questions can call Murry's customer service, at (717) 273-9361.


Surgeons Transplant First Non-Beating Heart

Surgeons in Australia say they successfully transplanted a heart that had stopped beating for up to 20 minutes.

Until now, heart transplants have only been able to use still-beating hearts from brain-dead donors. But a surgical team at St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney took a non-beating donor heart and revived it in a machine called a "heart-in-a-box," BBC News reported.

In this device, the heart is kept warm and bathed in a nutrient-rich fluid that helps minimize any damage to the cardiac muscle.

Michelle Gribilas, 57, suffered from congenital heart failure and was the first person to receive such a heart. She told the BBC, "Now I'm a different person altogether. I feel like I'm 40 years old -- I'm very lucky."

Two more successful non-beating heart transplants have followed her case, the hospital said.

Experts believe the "heart-in-a-box" technique, also known as machine perfusion, might lead to a 30 percent increase in the availability of a variety of organs for transplant.

"This breakthrough represents a major inroad to reducing the shortage of donor organs," Peter MacDonald, head of the heart transplant unit at St. Vincent's, told the BBC.
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