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Loblaw recalls chicken nuggets over salmonella concern

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Jul 13th, 2017

President’s Choice Pub Recipe Chicken Nuggets was recalled on July 12, 2017. CFIA
Loblaw Companies Ltd. says it is recalling select packages of chicken nuggets out of what “an abundance of caution.”

The grocery chain says some packages of President’s Choice pub recipe chicken nuggets may expose consumers to salmonella if the nuggets are improperly handled.

Loblaw says the recalled nuggets bear a best-before code of “2018 MR 15” and were sold prior to Wednesday in most of the country at Loblaw stores and at affiliated outlets such as No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, Dominion, Provigo and others.

According to Health Canada guidelines, salmonella can be avoided if consumers properly follow cooking instructions and cook frozen raw, breaded chicken products to an internal temperature of at least 74 C (165 F).

Loblaw says all affected products have been removed from store shelves.

Customers can return the product to any store where President’s Choice products are sold for a full refund, with or without a receipt.

Click here for more information on the recall.

Power restored for downtown Toronto residents after 9-hour outage

NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, Jul 13th, 2017

The lights from the CN Tower can be seen behind dark buildings at CityPlace during a power outage on July 12, 2017. CITYNEWS/Bertram Dandy
Toronto Hydro has restored power to thousands of downtown residents after the lights went out at seven condo towers.

The power went out around 6 p.m. on Wednesday at CityPlace, near Lake Shore Boulevard and Lower Spadina Avenue. The power was out for about nine hours.

According to a tweet from the CityPlace residents association, there was a ‘switch gear failure’ at 249 Queens Quay W. That’s the address of the Radisson Hotel. Feeders at Front and Windsor streets were repaired, and power came back on at CityPlace just after 3 a.m. on Thursday.

A generator is seen outside CityPlace during a power outage on July 12, 2017. CITYNEWS/Bertram Dandy



Man rescued after getting stuck between 2 downtown buildings

NEWS STAFF | posted Wednesday, Jul 12th, 2017

Firefighters worked for hours to rescue a man who was stuck between two buildings in downtown Toronto on Tuesday night.

Emergency crews got a call around 8:15 p.m. about the incident on Sherbourne Street, just south of Queen.

Toronto Fire said the man had apparently fallen from a roof and got stuck between two buildings around 5 p.m., but the investigation is ongoing.

Firefighters broke through a thick brick wall to get to him and finally got him free around 11 p.m.

Paramedics took him to hospital, but it’s not clear how serious his injuries are.

Sherbourne was closed to traffic for the rescue, but has since reopened.


Some kids may be allergic to certain sunscreen ingredients: doctors

SHERYL UBELACKER, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Jul 12th, 2017

Isabella Critchell, 7, left, A.J. Conklin, 7, right, and Isabella’s sister Ava Critchell, 4, play in the sand on the beach on June 25, 2008, in Truro, Mass. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Samantha Critchell
It’s summer, the kids are out of school, and that means getting them outside — to the playground, the sports field, or lakeside at a cottage or camp. But such activities also mean exposure to the sun and the damage its penetrating rays can do to children’s tender and vulnerable skin.

Dermatologists say sunscreen can be one of the best ways to protect youngsters from painful burns and subsequent DNA damage, but with recent media reports about a spate of adverse reactions, many parents may be wondering whether they should be slathering their kids with the products before sending them outdoors.

“Overall, sunscreens are very safe,” said Dr. Jennifer Beecker, national chairwoman of the Canadian Dermatology Association’s sun awareness program, noting that they need to have a sun protection factor, or SPF, of 30 or more.

Still, the Ottawa dermatologist said sunscreen should be used as an adjunct to other protective measures, including seeking shade, avoiding sun exposure during the peak hours of 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and covering up with clothing, a hat and sunglasses.

“Those are always the preferred methods in children and those are the ideal methods in children under the age of six months,” she explained. Sunscreen is not recommended for babies under six months because safety data have not been established for that age group.

“Above six months, obviously (apply sunscreen) as much as possible, but then there are some areas that can’t be protected, such as the hands or the face, and so in those areas we suggest using a limited amount of sunscreen.”

Concerns about using sunscreen on young children recently hit the headlines when a number of parents claimed their youngsters had suffered burns and blisters following application of Banana Boat products.

As of last week, Health Canada had processed 139 consumer complaints about the lotions made by U.S.-based Edgewell Personal Care, with 133 of those received since May 11.

A Health Canada spokesperson said a review of the company’s certificates of analysis — laboratory documents confirming a product meets specifications — and available test results identified no problems.

However, the agency is now conducting its own screening of Banana Boat samples to identify “all drugs present, whether they appear on the label or not,” the spokesperson said. Analysis to quantify all active ingredients is also underway.

In an emailed statement, Banana Boat Canada said its sunscreens fall within a neutral pH range and cannot cause chemical burns, but noted that some people may have a sensitivity to a particular ingredient that can be triggered or exacerbated by the sun.

“This type of photoallergic reaction can result in an exaggerated skin rash or sunburn. In more severe cases, blistering may also develop,” the company said. “We suggest consumers carefully test the product before use or consult their physician in advance if concerned about the possibility of sensitivity to certain ingredients.”

Related stories:

Health Canada testing Banana Boat sunscreen products as complaints mount

Health Canada investigating reports of babies burned by Banana Boat sunscreen

Health Canada looking into complaints about Banana Boat sunscreen

Dr. Cheryl Rosen, a dermatologist at Toronto Western Hospital, agreed that testing a sunscreen on a small patch of a child’s skin is a good idea. If the product is tolerated, parents can then try the lotion on a larger area of the skin and see if there are any adverse reactions outdoors in the sun.

“We don’t know whether they would react to the sunscreen if they didn’t go out in the sun or if it’s only in combination with the sun,” she said.

“We do know that there are some compounds that can cause a problem in combination with ultraviolet A, so if you use the product (indoors) … you might not have a problem. But if you go outdoors and get sun exposure, there may be a reaction.”

While not a common occurrence, Rosen said some people are sensitive to one or more ingredients in sunscreens.

“It could also be an allergy to a part of the sunscreen that’s not a UV absorber. It could be to a fragrance or a preservative or some other compound used in making up a lotion or a cream.”

Beecker advises parents to use sunscreens for kids that are fragrance-free and made with minimal preservatives. One common skin product preservative she suggests avoiding is methylchloroisothiazolinone, which is known “to have a very high rate of allergy.”

Cosmetic creams, including sunscreens like Banana Boat, often contain tocopheryl acetate — a combination of vitamin E and acetic acid that can be a skin irritant in some people.

Even so-called “natural” plant-based ingredients like aloe, chamomile and feverfew may cause problems because they can act as “photo sensitizers,” causing some people to become more susceptible to the sun’s rays.

“I have a big problem with (them) because we see so many reactions … people become allergic all the time,” said Beecker.

But despite the potential for adverse reactions in children who may have sensitivities, Rosen stressed that the risk of skin damage from the sun “is worse than the risk of sunscreen use.”

“You don’t want little kids to be burning,” she said. “Sun damage, some of it can be repaired, but it also can build up over time, and so the sun damage that we see in an older person is not from that particular summer, it’s from all the summers of their life.”

And that damage can lead to skin cancer, including potentially deadly melanoma, the seventh most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada and one whose incidence has risen significantly over the last several decades. The Canadian Cancer Society now predicts that one in 56 males and one in 74 females in this country will develop melanoma in their lifetime.

“That’s a lot of people,” said Beecker, underscoring the need for kids to be well-protected from the sun.

“Because we know that damage when you’re a child carries through for the rest of your life.”

Road closures start Wednesday for Honda Indy

NEWS STAFF | posted Wednesday, Jul 12th, 2017

Will Power, of Australia, races during the Honda Indy Toronto in Toronto on July 17, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch
The roar on the lakeshore will begin affecting traffic in downtown Toronto starting Wednesday.

As of noon, the southbound lanes of Strachan Avenue will be closed between Lake Shore Boulevard and Fleet Street, in preparation for the Honda Indy.

At 8 p.m., Lake Shore will be shut down both ways from Strachan to British Columbia Drive.

Both closures will be in effect until 11 p.m. on Sunday, Toronto police say. The only access to Ontario Place will be from the foot of Strachan.

The TTC will also divert several routes to accommodate the race, including the 511 Bathurst streetcar, 29 Dufferin bus, 509 Harbourfront streetcar and the 510 Spadina streetcar.

The 31st edition of the Honda Indy revs up on Friday, with the race on Sunday afternoon.

‘O Canada’ performance at MLB’s All-Star Game draws criticism – again

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Jul 12th, 2017

Canadian pop singer Jocelyn Alice singing “O Canada” at the All-Star Game in Miami on July 11, 2017. Screengrab via Sportsnet.
The singing of the Canadian national anthem at Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game is once again coming under fire.

Canadian pop singer Jocelyn Alice was widely criticized by baseball fans on social media Tuesday night after she seemed to giggle during her rendition of “O Canada” before the mid-summer classic in Miami.

The Calgary native best known for the singles “Jackpot” and “Bound to You” apparently giggled after she sang the words “God keep our land.” She recovered and finished the verse.

TV cameras were focused on Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak when Alice made the noise and he quickly glanced at the singer.

This isn’t the first time “O Canada” has triggered controversy at all-star baseball games.

Remigio Pereira of The Tenors attracted plenty of online fury at last year’s game in San Diego when he sang, “We’re all brothers and sisters, all lives matter to the great,” instead of, “With glowing hearts we see thee rise, the True North strong and free.”

Pereira left The Tenors months later after the other members of the quartet said he’d acted as a “lone wolf” in a statement posted to their social media accounts.

In 2009, a recorded version of “O Canada” was played over the loud speakers at St. Louis’s Busch Stadium instead of a live performance before Sheryl Crow sang the American anthem.

Toronto police concerned about motorcycle safety

NEWS STAFF | posted Tuesday, Jul 11th, 2017

A woman was killed in a motorcycle crash on the Bayview Extension on July 8, 2017. CITYNEWS
Toronto police say motorcycle safety is becoming a concern following two serious crashes in the GTA, and they’re asking drivers of other vehicles to be more aware as they make turns and lane changes.

A 35-year-old woman was killed and a 20-year-old man has life-threatening injuries following two separate collisions on Saturday evening.

In the fatal crash, Toronto police said the woman’s motorcycle went under a car as that driver did a U-turn on the Bayview Extension.

In the other crash, the motorcyclist was heading south on Kipling Avenue, approaching Clement Road north of Eglinton Avenue. At the same time, a 79-year-old man was heading north on Kipling. As that driver turned left onto Clement, the vehicles collided.

Const. Clint Stibbe told 680 NEWS that drivers need to look out for motorcycles.

Toronto considers lifting ban on backyard chickens

BRENNAN DOHERTY, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jul 11th, 2017

Marci Babineau feeds her chickens at her home in Montreal, Sunday, June 5, 2011. Chickens are permitted in Babineau’s area, in an upscale municipality on Montreal island. Backyard chickens remain an underground movement in most North American cities amid concerns about smell, sanitation and noise. The CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Some Toronto residents with a hankering for their own fresh eggs could soon be in luck if city council approves a pilot project that would lift a ban on backyard hens.

Four Toronto wards would be part of the project and comes as part of a motion to review the city’s list of prohibited animals, which currently includes chickens.

A survey included in a city staff report filed in May suggested that lifting the ban on chickens could be a popular move.

“There’s a lot of benefits, for sure,” said Coun. Justin Di Ciano, whose west-end ward will be part of the pilot project. Home-raised chickens are a healthier alternative to store-bought eggs, he said, and they keep away pests. He also characterized them as a “cruelty-free” alternative to factory-farmed eggs.

Toronto resident Andrew Patel – who has raised hens in his backyard since 2011 despite the ban – said he’s pleased at news.

“I think a pilot project is probably the best way to pass a safe and effective bylaw,” Patel said, adding that such a bylaw wouldn’t be difficult to implement. “We’re talking about a couple of people raising a few hens, for non-commercial purposes on private property,” he said.

Meanwhile, several municipalities in Ontario, including Kingston, Brampton, Niagara Falls and Caledon, all allow residents to keep chickens in backyard coops.

In Brampton, for example, current bylaws surrounding chickens state that coops must be no less than eight metres from any dwelling, store or adjacent property, and at least two metres from the side boundary of the property where it’s kept. Bramptonians also can’t keep chickens inside their home, and must keep any chicken waste in airtight containers “in a manner that will not create a public nuisance or health hazard.”

But chickens in Toronto could attract – and be at the mercy of – other critters known to haunt Toronto, a local expert said.

Dan Frankian, a bird and animal control specialist, said that leaving chickens to roam free in a backyard during the day could attract the attention of scavengers. “Once the chickens are running around, the food is, too,” Frankian said, which could attract raccoons and coyotes. Raccoons in particular love eggs, he said, and can break into locked boxes or cages with ease.
“Standard chicken wire is not strong enough to hold those guys,” Frankian said.

But Patel said he has never had a problem with urban wildlife. “Raccoons aren’t brain surgeons – they can’t pick a lock or open a hackproof door,” he said. “So I don’t think it’s an issue that can’t be navigated.” He said his six hens are stored in a coop protected by hardwire, which has smaller holes than a chicken-wire coop.

A survey from a recent city staff report says chickens are among the most complained-about animals on Toronto’s prohibited list, alongside sheep, snakes and birds. Objections range from noise to smell.
But Patel said when hens are cared for properly and their bedding is changed, there is no smell. And he added that roosters, not hens, crow.

The pilot project was originally supposed to have been proposed at City Hall on Friday, but was deferred after news came of deputy mayor Pam McConnell’s death.

It will be re-introduced at council’s next meeting in October.

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