CDC Warns of continued salmonella spike as people mishandle backyard birds

At least 372 people in the US, 36% of them children, were diagnosed with salmonella infections linked to backyard chickens, ducks and geese from Jan. 4 to May 3, according to the CDC, and the actual number of infections is likely significantly higher. That follows a record 895 human infections last year as backyard bird ownership gains popularity, and CDC veterinarian Megin Nichols urges people to learn more about safe handling guidelines, including not allowing fowl inside the home, washing hands after handling birds or their food and water dishes, and closely supervising children around birds.

Click here for full article from CNN


Women Who Breastfeed For 6 Months May Reduce Their Risk Of Developing Endometrial Cancer, Research Suggests

Reuters (6/1, Crist) reports that research suggests “women who breastfeed their babies for the recommended six months may also be lowering their own risk of developing endometrial cancer.” Investigators found, “in the analysis of data from 17 past studies…that women who had ever breastfed their children were 11 percent less likely than women who had children but didn’t breastfeed to be diagnosed with endometrial cancer.” The data indicated “longer breastfeeding seemed to further lower endometrial cancer risk, though there was little extra benefit past 6-9 months of breastfeeding.” The findings were published in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Group Says Children Under One Year Old Should Not Be Given Fruit Juice

The New York Times (5/22, Saint Louis, Subscription Publication) “Well” blog reports that the American Academy of Pediatrics is “advising parents to stop giving fruit juice to children in the first year of life, saying the drink is not as healthful as many parents think.” The AAP has “toughened its stance against juice, recommending that the drink be banned entirely from a baby’s diet during the first year.” Meanwhile, the new report, published online in Pediatrics, also “advised restricting fruit juice to four ounces daily for 1- to 3-year-olds, and six ounces a day for 4- to 6-year-olds.”

        The NPR (5/22, Hobson) “Shots” blog reports Steven Abrams, an author of the guidelines, says, “We want to reinforce that the most recent evidence supports that fruit juice should be a limited part of the diet of children.”


Recipe for Fudge Pecan Ripple Layer Cake

We Celebrated Another Birthday at the Office

Recipe for Fudge Pecan Ripple Layer Cake

A sweet cream cheese layer bakes atop these fudgy cake layers: then when you assemble, frost, and serve the cake, the cream cheese appears as swirly ripples in each slice.


½ cup shortening                    1 ½ cups sugar

2 large eggs                            1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup cocoa                         1 ½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt                       1 ½ cups buttermilk

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese softened


2 Tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

1 1/3 cups cocoa

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 large egg

2/3 cup butter, softened

¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted

5 ¾ cups sifted powdered sugar


GREASE 2 (9-inch) round cake pans; line with wax paper. Grease and flour wax paper. Set aside.

BEAT shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add 1 ½ cups sugar, beating well. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

COMBINE flour and next 3 ingredients; add to shortening mixture alternate with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix at low speed after each addition until blended. Beat 3 more minutes at high speed, stopping once to scrape down sides. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Spoon cream cheese mixture evenly over batter

BAKE at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

BEAT 2/3 cup butter at medium speed until creamy. Combine powdered sugar and 1 1/3 cups cocoa; add to butter alternately with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons mile, beginning and ending with powdered sugar mixture. Beat until spreading consistency. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla. Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with toasted nuts. Yield: 1 (2-layer) cake