The Health News – 19 August 2016

Overview:
• British organisation NHS Blood and Transplant launched the “Missing Type” campaign, asking people to drop three letters — A, O and B — from their name. In Australia, one blood donation is needed every 24 seconds and around 100,000 new donors are needed in the next year alone, according to the Australian Red Cross who have joined the international drive.

• Sydney TAFE food technologist Vera Szopen warned bacteria such as Listeria had been known to cause fatalities and was particularly dangerous for pregnant women. One of the common ways to avoid food poisoning is to look at food labels, although they can be confusing. Dietician Lisa Ren explained the differences between common terms, “Best before means it’s not really a food safety risk [to eat after this date] but the quality may be decreased. ‘Use by’ is around whether the food can be unsafe.”

• The Federal Opposition has seized on reports some disability service providers have gone without payments under the National Disability Insurance Scheme, suggesting the Government is dragging its feet and being secretive about a review into the problem. It stems from a problem with the website established by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), with NDIS providers and participants having been unable to process their payment applications.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  19th of August 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-18/why-are-the-letters-a,-b-and-o-missing/7762632

Letters are disappearing from signs, landmarks and company logos as part of a global initiative to encourage people to donate blood.

British organisation NHS Blood and Transplant launched the ‘Missing Type’ campaign, asking people to drop three letters — A, O and B — from their name.

The letters highlight the main blood types in danger of going missing due to low blood donation levels.

In Australia, one blood donation is needed every 24 seconds and around 100,000 new donors are needed in the next year alone, according to the Australian Red Cross who have joined the international drive.

Some concerns have been raised …[that] the growing fashion for body art is affecting blood donations, with thousands of recently inked people being put on a waitlist by the Red Cross every year.

The campaign will run for a week and involves 21 countries.

Photos of the missing letters has been widely shared on social media under the hashtag #MissingType.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-18/everything-you-need-to-know-about-food-poisoning/7760076

Should you drink milk if it is past its use-by date yet still smells pretty fresh?

Many bacteria that cause food poisoning already exist in the guts of animals or in raw food.

The point at which they can make someone sick depends on the person’s immune system and how much the bacteria has multiplied under certain conditions, such as food not being stored below 5C.

Viruses can also be spread by food and make you sick, such as hepatitis A spread on unwashed salads or oysters raised in contaminated water.

The more common bacteria include salmonella — which can contaminate foods such as poultry, eggs, milk or vegetables …

Sydney TAFE food technologist Vera Szopen warned bacteria such as Listeria had been known to cause fatalities and was particularly dangerous for pregnant women.

One of the common ways to avoid food poisoning is to look at food labels, although they can be confusing.

[Food] labels are governed by Food Standards Australia and both advise people on whether a food product is too old to eat and help legally protect food manufacturers if somebody gets sick.

Dietician Lisa Ren explained the differences between common terms.

“Best before means it’s not really a food safety risk [to eat after this date] but the quality may be decreased,” …

“Use by is around whether the food can be unsafe.

“What’s interesting is that a product with a shelf life greater than two years, …doesn’t even need a best-before date … [for example] canned products.”

Ms Ren warned against the sniff test.

“Some bacteria we use to help ferment food are good, such as those producing yogurt, cheese, salami,” she said.

“So those things, when you could smell it or it has a bad taste, could be bacteria but not necessarily harmful stuff.”

But what could hurt us will not necessarily have a strong pong.

“That’ll blow away the washing and smelling again theories,” Ms Ren said.

“I think I’m guilty of using yogurt and milk one day beyond its use-by date, but after looking into it for this [interview] maybe I won’t be.”

The key message is to be aware of both the risks and take some basic everyday measures.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-18/government-response-to-ndis-payment-problems-criticised-by-labor/7760822

The Federal Opposition has seized on reports some disability service providers have gone without payments under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), suggesting the Government is dragging its feet and being secretive about a review into the problem.

Some providers have reported going up to eight weeks without receiving payment for their services.

It stems from a problem with the website established by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), with NDIS providers and participants having been unable to process their payment applications.

Earlier this month, Social Services Minister Christian Porter and Assistant Minister for Disability Services Jane Prentice announced a review into the technical issues.

Shadow disability services minister Jenny Macklin said providers were coming to her claiming they still had not been paid, and said the delay in fixing the issue was unacceptable.