FoodSnark Reporting Food Poisoning News and Safety Information in Time for the Holidays

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With the holiday season in full swing, parents are concerned about the lead content of the toys Santa is bringing. helps families take greater precaution to keep kids safer from food poisoning this holiday season and into the new year.

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RSS, a new blog with a mission of educating consumers about the dangers of food poisoning, reports on the how to give turkeys a proper roasting, ways to avoid food poisoning this holiday season, and information on the latest food recalls, all with a dash of humor.

Freelance writer Amy Derby, a former corporate paralegal who now makes her living blogging for lawyers, launched the FoodSnark blog on December 8, 2007 after learning one of her elderly neighbors had been hospitalized from complications due to salmonella poisoning.

Derby's first concern was that her nearly 90-year-old neighbor had eaten a contaminated Banquet pot pie. Although the woman hadn't eaten a pot pie, she had recently indulged in some risky holiday treats including homemade eggnog, raw cookie dough and a home made fruit cake mailed to her by a relative from another state.

Derby has been researching and writing about food poisoning issues for several months, since she began blogging for law firms representing food poisoning victims. Her work has led her to a personal concern about consumer safety when it comes to food.

"Average consumers can't identify the symptoms of food poisoning, nor do they really know how to protect themselves and their families," Derby said. "People see the USDA's stamp of approval and assume a food is safe. They might hear about major food recalls, but many don't realize those recalls often only happen after multiple people have been sickened or killed."

Derby's combines education with humor in a way she hopes will engage teen readers as well as adults. As she touches on in a recent post about ConAgra's relabeled Banquet pot pies, it is often teens who are preparing their own meals without knowing the risks they're taking simply by nuking an after-school snack.

Statistics show that in the U.S. alone, 350,000 people each year are hospitalized for food poisoning, and more than 5,000 die. Many of these are children, whose young bodies go through painful kidney failure, hallucinations and seizures. While the government could be doing more to protect the nation's food supply, it is ultimately up to consumers to protect themselves and their children.

"If can help keep one kid out of the hospital this holiday season," Derby says, "I'll consider that my Christmas present."

For additional information about, contact Amy Derby or visit

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