Author Archives: SC DHEC

Food Recall Alert: P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Meals Due to Potential Presence of Foreign Material

More than 2 million pounds of P.F. Chang’s frozen meals have been recalled.  ConAgra Foods has expanded a voluntary recall of P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Brand products due to the potential presence of small metal fragments (2-9mm) in the sugar used in the sauce. This voluntary action has been taken because of impacted sugar from a supplier.

Foodborne foreign objects that are not hard and sharp and less than or equal to 7mm in length may cause minor injuries such as temporary reflexive choking and irritation of the gastrointestinal system.

There have been no reports of adverse reactions or injuries due to consumption of these products to date.

An initial recall was issued on July 7, 2016 after a ConAgra employee observed metal fragments while dispensing sugar from a supplier for a P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Brand sauce ingredient. On July 14, 2016, ConAgra Foods was notified that the initial recall needed to be expanded to include additional P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Brand meals.

Products covered by this recall were distributed in the U.S.  No other ConAgra Foods are impacted by this recall and these products are not served in P.F. Chang’s restaurants. Meals in P.F. Chang’s restaurants are made fresh every day and in every restaurant.

Visit the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website for specific product names and information.

Consumers who have purchased these items are advised not to consume them and return them to the store where originally purchased. ConAgra Foods is cooperating with both the FDA and USDA on this recall and is working with customers to ensure the packages are removed from store shelves and are no longer distributed. Consumers with questions should call our Consumer Affairs hotline at 1-800-252-0634, open 9 am through 7 pm CDT, Monday through Friday.

Embrace All Aspects of Health During Women’s Health Week

How many times do we try to eat right, exercise, eliminate stress factors and get a good night’s sleep  with no success?  Well that stops this week!  May 12-18 is National Women’s Health Week.  Use this week to start a routine to keep your mind, body and spirit healthy.

CDC Women Exercise Class Photo

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), taking these steps can lead to better health:

 

By the Numbers

According to the 2018 South Carolina Health Assessment, here are some health findings about women in South Carolina.  Read the full assessment for more statistics.

  • The prevalence of South Carolina women delaying medical care due to cost was higher than South Carolina males.
  • Non-Hispanic Black women experienced a higher rate of new cases of late-stage breast cancer than non-Hispanic White women. South Carolina ranks 19th in the nation for new cases of breast cancer.  White women are diagnosed at a higher rate than Black women; however, Black women die at a higher rate (almost 50% higher).  In 2015, there was a total of 4,077 new cases of breast cancer, of these, 1,306 were diagnosed as late-stage.
  • In 2016, 75% of South Carolina women aged 50 to 74 years old received a mammogram within the last two years.
  • South Carolina ranks 19th in the nation for new cases of cervical cancer. Black women are diagnosed at a higher rate than White women and also die at a higher rate.  There were 216 new cases of invasive cervical cancer in 2015.
  • In 2016, approximately 90% of women aged 21 to 65 years old reported having a Pap smear within the past three years.
  • Every year, more than 195,000 women in South Carolina are victimized by sexual violence, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner.

If you are not as healthy as you would like to be at your current age, it is never too late to start!  View the Healthy Living by Age page to gauge your health from ages 20s-90s.  Think you’ve got your health covered?  Find out your health score.

Be Sun Safe: May is Skin Cancer Prevention Month

Sundress and shorts season has officially begun.  Are you protected?  According to the 2018 South Carolina Health Assessment, melanoma of skin (skin cancer) is the 5th leading cause of new cancer cases in the state (see below).

Skin Cancer Table

Did you know that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States with nearly 5 million people treated each year?  Skin cancer is caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and other sources such as tanning beds.  Anyone can get skin cancer, but it can be cured if found and treated early.  Talk to your doctor if you notice any unusual moles or changes to your skin.

Whether you are taking a trip to the beach or doing some much-needed gardening, it is important to protect your skin from the sun.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours
  • Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck
  • Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block UVA and UVB rays
  • Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) or 15 or higher, and both UVA and UV protection
  • Avoid indoor tanning

Being in the sun does not have to be worrisome.  Just make sure you protect yourself. Visit the CDC for more fun safety tips and  follow their  hashtag #SunSafeSelfie for pictures of people all over the world who are taking action to protect themselves from the sun – and having fun while doing it!

DHEC Employees Win Big at the 2019 Palmetto Gold Nurse Awards and Gala: 12 Employees Honored

In its 18th year, the Palmetto Gold Nurse Awards Gala recognizes exemplary Registered Nurses throughout South Carolina who are constantly raising the bar in healthcare.  Through a nomination and selection process, 100 nurses are chosen each year and honored at the Gala.  To date, over 1400 nurses have been honored with this award.  This year, DHEC is proud to have 12 of our own recognized.

The gala was held on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.  Join us as we congratulate our 2019 Palmetto Gold Recipients!

Hurricane Season is Coming: Get Prepared During Hurricane Preparedness Week

Hurricane season officially begins on June 1st, but it is best to start early and get prepared!  Established by the National Weather Service, Hurricane Preparedness Week educates about the impact of hurricanes and informs people about ways to protect their homes and businesses.

Hurricanes are inevitable in South Carolina.  Follow these tips to prepare:

  • Have an Emergency Kit: Your emergency kit should have equipment, such as flashlights, generators, batteries, and first aid, etc.
  • Write or Review your Family Emergency Plan: Discuss means of contact, where you will go, and what you will do in an emergency.  Prepare for health concerns for those with chronic illnesses.
  • Review insurance policies: Understand your insurance coverage for your health, home and personal property.
  • Get familiar with the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast language: Understand the meaning of NWS watches, warnings, advisories, and outlooks.

The CDC’s guide , Preparedness and Safety Messaging for Hurricanes, Flooding, and Similar Disasters, is a tool that discusses every potential issue when preparing for a water-related natural disaster.  For more information about what to do before a tropical storm or hurricane, visit:  https://www.weather.gov/safety/hurricane-plan

For local emergency preparedness updates, visit the South Carolina Emergency Management Division‘s website.