Author Archives: RitaGlynnSmith

About RitaGlynnSmith

This is my personal blog space to talk about all the stuff I ponder. I don't care who reads it. It's just a fabulous way of putting thoughts into the ether. The business side of me can be found at where I present that I am a virtual Marketing department for small businesses that have genuine marketing needs. They may need help putting a roadmap in place, or help revisiting the business plan. They may want a website that they can work themselves. I do that. I built social marketing and web design using Wordpress. The site is shared across social media, and we focus on using the Blog. I use Photoshop and Illustrator to create original artwork and designs, and create unique brand logo designs. I love what I do for a living.


FDA Investigating Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Infections

April 10, 2018

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local partners, are investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses.

Fast Facts

  • The FDA is in the preliminary stages of investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses.
  • The CDC reports that 17 people in 7 states have become ill.
  • The 17 illnesses occurred in the time period of March 22, 2018 to March 31, 2018.
  • The FDA’s Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation (CORE) network is working with federal, state, and local partners to determine what people ate before they became ill, where they bought it and consumed it, and to identify the distribution chain of these foods — all with the goal of identifying any common food or points in the distribution chain where the food might have become contaminated.
  • The information available at this time does not point to any particular food item, therefore the FDA is not recommending that consumers avoid any particular food product. We will share more information as it becomes available.
  • Consumers who have symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 infection should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care. Although many infections resolve in 5-7 days, they can result in serious illness, including a potentially serious condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome.


What is the Problem and What is being Done About It?

The FDA and the CDC, along with state and local health officials, are investigating an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 infections. There are 17 cases in 7 states: Connecticut (2), Idaho (4), Missouri, New Jersey (6), Ohio, Pennsylvania (2), and Washington. The 17 illnesses occurred in the time period of March 22, 2018 to March 31, 2018.

No specific food item has been identified as a likely source of the infections at this time. CORE is working with federal, state, and local partners to determine what people ate before they became ill, where they bought and consumed it, and to identify the distribution chain of these foods — all with the goal of identifying any common food or points in the distribution chain where the food might have become contaminated.

In a typical traceback effort, CDC and the FDA identifies clusters of people who became ill, especially in different geographical regions and works to trace the food eaten by those made ill to a common source. In situations where there is no packaging available for the reported or suspect product that may help conduct a traceback, FDA scientists and investigators work with federal and state partners and companies to collect, review and analyze hundreds–sometimes thousands–of invoices and shipping documents. This process is labor-intensive, but also dependent on the availability and quality of records.


What are the Symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 Infection?

The symptoms of Shiga toxin-producing (STEC) E. coli infections vary for each person but often include severe stomach cramps and bloody diarrhea. If there is fever, it is usually not very high (less than 101 degrees Fahrenheit /less than 38.5 degrees Celsius). Most people get better within 5–7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening.

Around 5–10 percent of those who are diagnosed with STEC infection develop a potentially life-threatening complication, known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

Symptoms of HUS include fever, abdominal pain, feeling very tired, decreased frequency of urination, small unexplained bruises or bleeding, and pallor. Most people with HUS recover within a few weeks, but some suffer permanent damage or die. People who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately. Persons with HUS should be hospitalized because their kidneys may stop working (acute renal failure), but they may also develop other serious problems such as hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and neurologic problems.

Who is at Risk?

People of any age can become infected with Shiga toxin-producing (STEC) E. coli. Children under the age of 5 years, adults older than 65, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness, including HUS, but even healthy older children and young adults can become seriously ill.

What Do Restaurants and Retailers Need To Do?

Retailers, restaurants, and other food service operators should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures. It is recommended that they wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling food.

  • Wash and sanitize display cases and refrigerators regularly.
  • Wash and sanitize cutting boards, surfaces, and utensils used to prepare, serve, or store food.
  • Wash hands with hot water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.


What Do Consumers Need To Do?

Consumers should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures. It is recommended that they wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling food. Consumers should be sure to always cook foods to the proper temperature. See the Minimum Cooking Temperatures chart for more details.

Who Should be Contacted?

People who think they might have symptoms of an E. coli infection should consult their health care provider.

People with questions about food safety can call the FDA at 1-888-SAFEFOOD or consult the website:

Additional Information

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Alice and Ralph

and other honorable mentions

Ralph and Alice are busy prepping the nest. They are not in residence, yet. They are customizing first. Every morning they show up with their little list of “to do’s” and spend the day doing it. Then comes evening – they roost elsewhere. We’re so happy they like the location and nest. They are totally at ease.
Did I mention that our walkway gardens are a favorite for the rabbits to have their babies. Drives me friggin nuts. With all the landscaping available to them … they pick our walkway. I have tried to discourage them … but they know us and ignore me.  Just the other day, I was in the garage and I heard banging on the gate.  I walked out and there was Rabbit.  She wanted to come into our patio and I’m like … no.  She’ll probably have them in last years nest.  Last year we ended up with six babies running all over the place. I’d walk out on my patio (nest in walkway, but our patio and our friends, next door, are the neighborhood the first explore.  Last year I ended up having to rescue 2 … and I’m like (talking to the divine) what the frig? You know I can’t handle this type of stuff anymore!!! You know I’m neurotic about this crap. ENOUGH!!!!!  Just like the rabbit…the divine ignores me.
[And that’s how I found out – years ago – that the divine also has a warped sense of humor.  When we first moved here … we had birdfeeders over the place.  We spent hours and hours just watching them come and go, take a bath, have arguments, little pool parties… and I have always considered our home, the closest thing to heaven I would experience on planet earth.  And then Isaboe arrived – our resident Cooper’s Hawk – in 2003. I believe she was displaced by the Cedar Fire Complex… and has never left. She has given us more than 40 chicks – successfully raised to juvenile and leaving the area (there is always one that is last, the ‘runt’, I think a female, who mom has to force to learn to feed/hunt by actually leaving the complex. She runs away for a while.  The baby calls for mom non-stop and then will start taking little trips but always returning at night. Then one day… finally… it gets quiet again except for the songbirds and we know she has left.  Shortly thereafter, Isaboe will return and announce her arrival. I always greet her. We have a complicated relationship. In all these years, we only had to rescue one of her babies. 
BTW, once we realized we had a predator in residence, all the feeders were removed (weened) … [said to my husband that I had an “issue” with setting the birds (and other creatures that consumed seed) up for attack by a predator.  (Izzy would do a fly-by and snatch.)  We have the birdbath (that she also uses along with the crows, the owls, the raccoons, and anything else that visits us at night) in a position where no ambush can occur.  That’s why I was insistent we get another tree after the HOA took down our liquidambar.  The birds lost a perch close to the birdbath and had to fly a distance to safety across the commons. High risk for interception.  In a successful legal challenge to the HOA, we planted two trees … one, a camphor, is about 20′ tall now, and the liquidambar we planted just a few years ago – in the same area as the one they took down, is now just shy 15′ (maybe) providing the perfect hangout for the little guys and hummers. In the Camphor, we get flocks of bluebirds, cedar waxwings, goldfinches, orioles, phoebe’s, towhee’s,  that hop, skip and a jump into the “pool”.  And yes … I rinse with fresh water no less than 3 times a day. It’s the least I can do. 
We have the eager kids perched, in waiting.  Husband will be filling the bath for the late day plunge.. and they fly in,  land, act surprised to see the big human with the hose (not) … and fly back to the trees.  It’s their way of saying “hurry up”.  The hummers will come over and do fly-throughs.  
The minute we stop and step back they fly in. We call them “pool parties”.    

How do we DISARM America?

We cannot create a proviso that gun owners, sport shooters and hunters are all OK … but only semi-automatic weapons are the problem. Those are the very people who buy them – sports shooters, gun owners and hunters all use semi-automatic weapons.  Semi-automatic pistol, semi-automatic rifle, semi-automatic shotgun.  Lots and lots of semi-automatics out there used and purchased by gun owners, sport shooters and hunters.
I think a vast majority who are opposed to semi-automatics – in their mind’s eye – envisualize the AR 15 when they use the words semi-automatic. Hand guns are semi-automatic too.
[The term semi-automatic means 1 squeeze on the trigger, one shot fired and performs all steps necessary to prepare it to discharge again—assuming cartridges remain in the firearm’s feed device. A hand gun is a semi-automatic weapon.  One squeeze one shot.]
WHEN someone says they want a ban on all semi-automatic guns but they have no problem with gun owners, sport shooters and hunters – does that mean they don’t plan on infringing on those groups “pleasure” or are they saying no one is permitted to own a gun.
If we stopped all gun manufacturing to the general public – right now – we’d still have too many in our country – about 700,000 conservatively.
If you still permit gun enthusiasts, sport shooters, hunters to buy and own semi-automatics … you will not make a bit of difference out there.
The only exception should be the military and para-military … and every weapon must be accounted for (yeah they need to account for them).
The gun mfgs are obligated to comply with the law, and are permitted to manufacture and sell semi-automatic weapons for the general market – not automatic (except for the military).
What no one is talking about is the AFTER-MARKET VENDORS who provide the KITS to change these weapons very easily to make them automatic weapons. Continual firing. SHUT THEM DOWN TOO.
Everyone is looking at the AR-15, M16, in their mind’s eye when they are thinking of semi-automatic rifles. The assault weapons contracted by the military with the gun mfgs has the option – with the flip of a switch – to go from semi-automatic (1 shot at a time) to fully automatic (unload a clip with one pull).
And when someone says they don’t have a problem with hunters  – who kill – that person has no problem with killing.  Except if it is a human. KILLING IS KILLING IS KILLING IS KILLING.


All recounted animal torture as their first violent act.

Animal abuse is often the first sign of serious disturbance among adolescent and adult killers.

When counselors at several federal penitentiaries evaluated inmates for levels of aggression, 70% of the most violent prisoners had serious and repeated animal abuse in their childhood histories.

Troubled children are much more likely to mistreat animals.  While less than 5% of U. S. children are estimated to have intentionally hurt an animal, for children at mental health clinics, animal cruelty rates range from 10 to 25%.  Prof. Frank Ascione at the University of Denver and Prof. Arnold Arluke at Northeastern University estimate that one in four children and adolescents with conduct disorder have abused animals.  Children who have been physically abused and exposed to domestic violence are at even higher risk.  In an assessment of 1433 children ages 6 to 12, Ascione found that among abused children, 60% had abused animals. 

Improving diagnosis.  Mental health professionals seldom ask routinely about animal abuse. Increasing awareness of the need to do so can pick up early indications of the problem.

Cross reporting. Since animal abuse and domestic violence are linked, child protective services and animal welfare groups are training together to recognize and report both human and animal victims.

Ensuring treatment. Several states are mandating evaluation and counseling for individuals convicted of animal abuse.

When we keep animals safe from harm, we also help keep children and adults safe.

Exultation of Killing

Is there a distinction between killing, killing and killing

We have saturated our lives with violence and gore – in the news, in the movies, in video games, in hunting, in dog fights, in cock fights, in our agriculture industry, in wildlife “management”  … on TV, in films, on Facebook, on YouTube, and in some warped, twisted, insane, way… we call the blood fests “entertainment” or “business as usual”.

I keep hearing media mentioned the long history and culture of our country and its relationship with “guns” … and yet no one says —- yeah, but you can’t look backward and make any comparison – our world in every sense is different. The culture of death has been nurtured.  You have magazines that worship the killing of animals, skinning and disemboweling, of a beautiful animals that was slaughtered for no reason other than the person wanted to kill.

You have an industry that is churning out weapons en masse …  and accessibility for anyone who passes a cursory “check” … that are more deadly, more sophisticated, and designed expressly to do the greatest damage possible.  Again, the collection and ownership is considered “a right” and I say – why would anyone want to have that weapon to start with?  Where are you going to use it? How are you going to use it? What motivates you to want this type of weapon.

How can we wonder why we have students who have just been part of, and witnessed, a mass killing and yet calmly speaking to the media about it in a dispassionate tone.  That is staggering.  No one, especially a young person, should be so detached that their response is so unemotional.  I didn’t see “shock” … I saw distance.

Yes – it is a gun … and for me it is more than just about a gun – it is a reflection of the VIOLENT CULTURE OF DEATH IN THIS COUNTRY and the glorification of it.

We have GLORIFIED KILLING and DEATH … and we have made it “acceptable”.


That “Killer” Smile

Animal Cruelty and Human Violence

American Journal of Psychiatry and Psychology Today … the medical community is starting to re-evaluate the mental stability of those who take pleasure in hurting and killing animals … Zoosadism is pleasure derived from cruelty to animals. It is part of the Macdonald triad, a set of three behaviors that are considered a precursor to psychopathic behavior.

The FBI has found that a history of cruelty to animals is one of the traits that regularly appear in its computer records of serial rapists and murderers, and the standard diagnostic and treatment manual for psychiatric and emotional disorders lists cruelty to animals as a diagnostic criterion for conduct disorders.

But don’t take my word for it… maybe you’ll listen to the  National District Attorneys Association.

The LInk