Tag Archives: Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Prunus cerasoides

Botanical Name : Prunus cerasoides
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus: Cerasus
Species: P. cerasoides
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms:
*Prunus majestica Koehne
*Prunus puddum Franch.

Common Names: Wild Himalayan cherry or Sour cherry

Habitat : Prunus cerasoides is native to E. Asia – Himalayas from Himachel Pradesh to S.W. China and Burma. It grows in the forests, 1200 – 2400 metres. Forests in ravines at elevations of 700 – 3700 metres in western China.
Description:
Prunus cerasoides is a deciduous Tree growing to 30 m (98ft 5in). It has glossy, ringed bark. When the tree is not in flower, it is characterised by glossy, ringed bark and long, dentate stipules.

The tree flowers in autumn and winter. Flowers are pinkish white in color. It has ovoid yellow fruit that turns red as it ripens.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present. Requires an open sunny sheltered position. Not very hardy in Britain but it succeeds outdoors in the milder areas of the country. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – requires 2 – 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Layering in spring.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Seed.

Fruit – raw or cooked. Acid and astringent, they are only occasionally eaten raw but are more often cooked. The fruit is about 15mm in diameter and contains one large seed. Gum – chewed. Obtained from the trunk, it can be employed as a substitute for gum tragacanth, see Astragalus spp. Seed – raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter – see the notes below on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
The fruit is astringent. The juice of the bark is applied externally to treat backaches. Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being.
Other Uses:
Beads; Dye; Gum; Wood.

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit. The seeds are used as beads in necklaces and rosaries. Wood – moderately hard, strong, durable, aromatic. The branches are used as walking sticks
Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_cerasoides
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+cerasoides

Prunus caroliniana

Botanical Name : Prunus caroliniana
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Species: P. caroliniana
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Laurocerasus caroliniana. (Mill.)Roem.

Common Names: American Cherry Laurel, Carolina laurelcherry, Laurel Cherry, Cherry laurel, or Carolina cherry

Habitat : Prunus caroliniana is native to the lowlands of Southeastern United States, from North Carolina south to Florida and westward to central Texas. The species has also escaped into the wild in a few places in California. It grows on deep, well-drained rich moist bottomlands, bluffs or streambanks.
Description:
Prunus caroliniana is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree which grows to about 5–13 meters (16–43 ft) tall, with a spread of about 6–9 meters (20–30 ft). The leaves are dark green, alternate, shiny, leathery, elliptic to oblanceolate, 5–12 cm (2–4.5 in) long, usually with an entire (smooth) margin, but occasionally serrulate (having subtle serrations), and with cuneate bases. Reproductively mature trees have entire margins, whereas immature ones often have subtle serrations. The twigs are red to grayish brown, slender, and glabrous.

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Fragrant white to cream-colored flowers are produced in racemes (stalked bunches) 5–8 cm (2–3 in) long in the late winter to early spring. The fruits are tiny black cherries about 1 cm (0.5 in) in diameter, which persist through winter and are primarily consumed by birds (February – April).
It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
Characteristics:
The leaves and branches contain high amounts of cyanogenic glycosides that break down into hydrogen cyanide when damaged, making it a potential toxic hazard to grazing livestock and children. Due to this, it is considered highly deer-resistant. When crushed, its leaves and green twigs emit a fragrance described as resembling maraschino cherries or almond extract..

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Pest tolerant, Screen, Standard, Street tree, Woodland garden. Requires a well-drained moisture retentive soil.   Succeeds in a hot dry position. Succeeds in light shade but fruits better in a sunny position. Thrives in a loamy soil, doing well on limestone.  Prefers some chalk in the soil but apt to become chlorotic if too much is present. Fairly wind-resistant[200]. One report says that this species is tender in most of Britain, whilst another says that it succeeds in climatic zone 7 (tolerating frosts down to about -15°c). A fast-growing but short-lived tree. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Special Features:North American native, Naturalizing, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Propagation:
Seed – requires 2 – 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Layering in spring.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Seed.
The fruit might be edible. It has a thick skin and a thin dry flesh[82] and is not edible. It is slightly toxic to humans. The fruit is about 13mm in diameter and contains one large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter – see the notes below on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being.
Other Uses:
Dye; Hedge; Hedge; Shelterbelt; Wood.

Amenable to trimming, this plant can be grown as a screen and hedge. It can also be used in shelterbelt plantings. A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit. Wood – hard, heavy, strong, close grained. The trees are seldom large enough for the wood to be exploited commercially.

Known Hazards: The leaves and young branches of this species contain considerable quantities of hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+caroliniana
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_caroliniana

Listeriosis

Definition:
Listeriosis is a bacterial infection caused by a Gram-positive, motile bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes,which is often found in soil and is present in most animals. It’s transmitted to humans through contaminated food.

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Healthy people rarely become ill from listeria infection, but the disease can be fatal to unborn babies and newborns. People who have weakened immune systems are also at higher risk of life-threatening complications. Prompt antibiotic treatment can help curb the effects of listeria infection.

Listeria bacteria can survive refrigeration and even freezing. That’s why people who are at higher risk for serious infections should avoid eating the types of food most likely to contain listeria bacteria.

The symptoms of listeriosis usually last 7–10 days. The most common symptoms are fever and muscle aches and vomiting. Nausea and diarrhea are less common symptoms. If the infection spreads to the nervous system it can cause meningitis, an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of meningitis are headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions

Symptoms:
If you develop a listeria infection, you may experience:

*Fever
*Muscle aches
*Nausea
*Diarrhea
*Loss of appetite
*Lethargy
*Jaundice
*Vomiting
*Respiratory distress (usually pneumonia)
*Shock
*Skin rash
*Increased pressure inside the skull (due to meningitis) possibly causing suture separation

Symptoms may begin a few days after you’ve eaten contaminated food, but it may take as long as two months before the first signs and symptoms of infection begin.

If the listeria infection spreads to your nervous system, signs and symptoms may include:

*Headache
*Stiff neck
*Confusion or changes in alertness
*Loss of balance
*Convulsions

Symptoms during pregnancy and for newborns ;

During pregnancy, a listeria infection is likely to cause only mild signs and symptoms in the mother. The consequences for the baby, however, may be devastating. The baby may die unexpectedly before birth or experience a life-threatening infection within the first few days after birth.

As in adults, the signs and symptoms of a listeria infection in a newborn can be subtle, but may include:

*Little interest in feeding
*Irritability
*Fever
*Vomiting

Causes:
Listeria bacteria can be found in soil, water and animal feces. Humans typically are infected by consuming:

*Raw vegetables that have been contaminated from the soil or from contaminated manure used as fertilizer

*Infected meat

*Unpasteurized milk or foods made with unpasteurized milk

*Certain processed foods — such as soft cheeses, hot dogs and deli meats that have been contaminated after processing

*Prepacked salads (unless they’re thoroughly washed)

*Pâté made from meat, fish or vegetables

*Blue-veined or mould-ripened cheeses

*Soft-whip ice cream from ice-cream machines

*Precooked poultry and cook-chill meals (unless thoroughly reheated)

*Poor food hygiene and storage practices also increase the risk of someone developing listeriosis

Unborn babies can contract a listeria infection from the mother via the placenta. Breast-feeding is not considered a potential cause of infection.

Risk Factors:
Pregnant women and people who have weak immune systems are at highest risk of contracting a listeria infection.

Pregnant women and their babies
Pregnant women are significantly more susceptible to listeria infections than are other healthy adults. Although a listeria infection may cause only a mild illness in the mother, consequences for the baby may include:


*Miscarriage
*Stillbirth
*Premature birth
*A potentially fatal infection after birth

People who have weak immune systems
This category includes people who:

*Are over 60
*Have AIDS
*Are undergoing chemotherapy
*Have diabetes or kidney disease
*Take high-dose prednisone or certain rheumatoid arthritis drugs
*Take medications to block rejection of a transplanted organ

Complications:
Most listeria infections are so mild they may go unnoticed. However, in some cases, a listeria infection can lead to life-threatening complications — including:

*A generalized blood infection (septicemia)

*Inflammation of the membranes and fluid surrounding the brain (meningitis)

Complications of a listeria infection may be most severe for an unborn baby. Early in pregnancy, a listeria infection may lead to miscarriage. Later in pregnancy, a listeria infection may lead to stillbirth, premature birth or a potentially fatal infection in the baby after birth — even if the mother becomes only mildly ill.

Diagnosis;
In CNS infection cases, L. monocytogenes can often be cultured from the blood, and always cultured from the CSF. There are no reliable serological or stool tests.

Treatment:
Bacteremia should be treated for 2 weeks, meningitis for 3 weeks, and brain abscess for at least 6 weeks. Ampicillin generally is considered antibiotic of choice; gentamicin is added frequently for its synergistic effects.

Prognosis:
Listeriosis in a fetus or infant results in a poor outcome with a high death rate. Healthy older children and adults have a lower death rate.Overall mortality rate is 20–30%; of all pregnancy-related cases, 22% resulted in fetal loss or neonatal death, but mothers usually survive

Prevention:
The main means of prevention is through the promotion of safe handling, cooking and consumption of food. This includes washing raw vegetables and cooking raw food thoroughly, as well as reheating leftover or ready-to-eat foods like hot dogs until steaming hot.

Another aspect of prevention is advising high-risk groups such as pregnant women and immunocompromised patients to avoid unpasteurized pâtés and foods such as soft cheeses like feta, Brie, Camembert cheese, and bleu. Cream cheeses, yogurt, and cottage cheese are considered safe. In the United Kingdom, advice along these lines from the Chief Medical Officer posted in maternity clinics led to a sharp decline in cases of listeriosis in pregnancy in the late 1980s

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/listeriosis.shtml
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001380.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/listeria-infection/DS00963/DSECTION
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listeriosis

http://abbybatchelder.com/blog/2009/03/02/is-it-safe-to-eat-deli-meats-and-hot-dogs-during-pregnancy/

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