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ASQ Quality News today



 



Takata Failed to Report 2003 Air Bag Rupture to NHTSA

Tuesday

Japanese air bag supplier Takata Corp. said it failed to inform the U.S. auto safety agency of a 2003 rupture of one of its air bag inflators in Switzerland, according to an internal Takata report released by U.S. regulators on Friday. Takata also said in the report that its U.S. arm, not the parent company, was largely responsible for designing, testing and producing tens of millions of defective air bag inflators. The National Highway Traffic



U.S. Official Says Inadequate EU Emissions Testing Was Widely Known

Tuesday

Europe's car emissions tests have been seen as inadequate for decades, a top U.S. regulator told European Union (EU) lawmakers on Monday, saying much stronger enforcement will be needed to stop cheating by automakers like Volkswagen . Testifying before a European Parliament committee investigating foul play on diesel-car emissions tests, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Christopher Grundler said new EU testing rules were far from enough. "The European test cycle has been acknowledged quite



Multistate E. Coli Outbreak Leads to Meat Recall

Tuesday

Beef products are probably the cause of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened seven people in four states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). From June 27 to Sept. 4, seven people ages 1 to 74 from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts contracted E. coli O157:H7. No deaths have been reported, but five of the seven have been hospitalized, the CDC reported. The CDC, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and



Great Job Reducing Readmissions, Hospitals—But It’s About to Get Harder

Tuesday

Don't be surprised if the pace of improvement on readmissions slows. Hospitals and other providers will have to work smarter to keep making progress. If unnecessary hospital readmissions are, as some suggest, the low-hanging fruit in the pursuit of better healthcare, hospitals should get ready to pluck less and less. Hospital administrators have had years-four since Medicare's Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program took effect, and six since the Affordable Care Act spurred a slew of other initiatives to



‘Natural’ Labels Often Push the Limit

Tuesday

Food makers, FDA seek uniform standard for confusing term that can have many definitions Each year, the Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) approves about 100,000 product labels before they can be sold to consumers. But the job of the FSIS and its sister agency, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has become more challenging as food makers add popular buzzwords such as "natural," "humanely raised," "cage free," "grass fed" and "antibiotic free" to food



Used Coffee Ground Waste May Have Health Use

Monday

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the U.S.—which makes for a perky population—but it also creates a lot of used grounds. Scientists now report in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering an innovative way to reduce this waste and help address another environmental problem. They have incorporated spent coffee grounds in a foam filter that can remove harmful lead and mercury from water. Restaurants, the beverage industry and people in their homes



Supplier: No Listeria in Product Before Going to Blue Bell

Monday

A supplier of cookie dough that Blue Bell Creameries blamed for a possible listeria contamination of some of its ice cream said Thursday that its product tested negative for the pathogen before it was sent to the Texas-based company. Blue Bell announced Wednesday it was recalling select flavors of ice cream distributed across the South and made at its Sylacauga, Alabama, plant after finding chocolate chip cookie dough from a third-party supplier—Iowa-based Aspen Hills Inc.—that was



Tesla Update Halts Automatic Steering Feature If Driver Takes Hands Off Wheel

Monday

Tesla Motors says a software update to its Autopilot system will disable automatic steering if drivers don't keep their hands on the wheel. The update also adds multiple features, including improved radar, better voice commands and an industry-first temperature control system that helps prevent kids and pets from overheating. Tesla started moving the update to Model X SUV and Model S sedan owners Wednesday night over the internet. Tesla's Autopilot system, which was unveiled last fall, uses cameras



South Korea Demands More Checks on Batteries for Galaxy Note 7

Monday

Samsung has also promised to help consumers swap faulty phones for new ones Samsung Electronics on Thursday was ordered to carry out more safety checks of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones before they go back on sale following an unprecedented global recall after defective batteries caused some of the phones to burst into flames. Under a recall plan agreed to by the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards, Samsung's battery supplier will have to X-ray test every



Wells Pharmacy Network Recalls Hundreds of Products

Monday

A major recall has been issued for all sterile products recently produced by the compounding pharmacy Wells Pharmacy Network. The recall was prompted by concern from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "over a lack of sterility assurance," according to the recall announcement issued Thursday. "Administration of a drug product intended to be sterile that has microbial contamination may result in infections that may be serious and life-threatening," the announcement said, adding, "no vial or



IoT Success: Sharing Data, Analytics Fuels Growth

Friday

The internet of things (IoT) is more than a series of sensors on the factory floor or inside the dashboard of self-driving cars. It's also about the data these devices collect and what companies and their IT departments are doing with all the information that they are accumulating. The issues of IoT data and what to do with it is the focus on a recent report from the MIT Sloan Management Review titled, "Data Sharing and



Robot Rides May Force Error-Prone Human Motorists Off the Road

Friday

New rules of the road for robot cars coming out of Washington this week could lead to the eventual extinction of one of the defining archetypes of the past century: the human driver. While banning people from driving may seem like something from a Kurt Vonnegut short story, it's the logical endgame of a technology that could dramatically reduce—or even eliminate—the 1.25 million road deaths a year globally. Human error is the cause of 94 per



Samsung in a Rush to Snuff Fallout From Galaxy Note 7

Friday

After initial stumble, recall is being praised for its transparency Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 problem has burned it in the stock market and among some smartphone users, but a strong pivot into crisis management may minimize the damage. The South Korean electronics giant's evolving strategy in coping with igniting batteries in what was a top-selling product—and taking quick steps to notify customers—offers a playbook on how to effectively handle a recall, consumer advocates say. Samsung last week announced



Required Unique Identifiers for Medical Devices: Hospitals Must Catch Up

Friday

While the FDA is requiring more medical devices to have a unique identifier, many electronic health records aren’t yet equipped to log them. Intermountain Healthcare is one of very few healthcare organizations able to easily let providers know which patients have a particular implantable device. A supply chain software program feeds data about medical devices into Intermountain's electronic health record system. The software uses the Food and Drug Administration's new unique device identifier system, which was created



How to Manage Top Talent, Curb Job Hopping

Friday

In a good economy, employees realize they don't have to settle for poor leadership. Job-hopping is a trend that continues to affect organizations of all sizes. It is not unusual for a top-performing software manager, for instance, to say, "I've been with the company for two years and my performance reviews have been outstanding, but I'm taking this job offer. I'm afraid that if I stay with this company, I will stagnate." In response, some leaders might



Scientists Developing New Method for Detecting E.Coli in Food

Thursday

Scientists looking for traces of E. coli O157:H7 contamination in foods soon could have a new detection method on their hands—turning off the lights to see if the bacteria glow in the dark. Purdue University researchers have engineered a bacteriophage called NanoLuc—a virus that only infects bacteria—to produce an enzyme that causes E. coli O157:H7 to emit light if infected. The process can shave hours off traditional testing methods, which can be critical when stopping the



Chipotle Founder Touts Improvements to Food Safety

Thursday

The founder of Chipotle is trying to reassure customers that it's safe to eat the food. In a video posted Wednesday to the Chipotle website, Steve Ells says he's made good on his promise to improve food safety protections, including advancements in farming, stricter restaurant inspections and a system that tracks ingredients through the supply system. Outbreaks of E. coli, norovirus and salmonella sickened hundreds of customers beginning last year. "We failed to live up to our own



Restaurant Chains’ Efforts to Limit Antibiotics Graded

Thursday

Report says progress made in avoiding drugs critical to human health Panera Bread and Chipotle Mexican Grill passed with flying colors, but KFC and Olive Garden were among the laggards in commitments to eliminate medically important antibiotics from their meat and poultry supply chains, according to a new report. Strong progress nonetheless was made across the top 25 fast-food and casual dining retailers, suggesting that public pressure has helped slow the meat and poultry industry's routine use



Blue Bell Recalls Cookie Dough Ice Cream Over Listeria Concerns

Thursday

Blue Bell ice cream is back in hot water. The Brenham, Texas-based company is once again worried about potential listeria contamination. Blue Bell said Wednesday that it is recalling packages of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. The company said a batch of edible cookie dough that Blue Bell gets from a third-party supplier, Aspen Hills, may contain listeria—a bacteria that can be deadly for the young, sick or elderly. Both companies say no illnesses have been reported. Blue



Millions in United States Exposed to Chromium-6 in Tap Water, New Report Says

Thursday

A national review suggests more than 200 million Americans are being exposed to dangerous levels of chromium-6, a carcinogenic chemical made famous by the movie “Erin Brockvich.” The real-life lawsuit the film is based upon led to requirements in the state of California restricting the amount of the chemical permitted in water. Analysis of water from around the country suggests millions of Americans—including those in California—are being exposed to the chemical, according to a report from the



Doctors Say No Codeine for Children

Wednesday

The American Academy of Pediatrics has strengthened its warnings about prescribing codeine for children because of reports of deaths and risks for dangerous side effects including breathing problems. The academy's advice, published in a report today in its medical journal, Pediatrics , mirrors warnings from the Food and Drug Administration about using codeine for kids' coughs or pain. Studies suggest it is still commonly prescribed by doctors and dentists despite the risks and lack of evidence that it



VA Quits Sharing Data on Care at Its Facilities

Wednesday

The Department of Veterans Affairs over the summer quietly stopped sharing data on the quality of care at its facilities with a national database for consumers, despite a 2014 law requiring the agency to report more comprehensive statistics to the site so veterans can make informed decisions about where to seek care. For years, the VA provided data on a number of criteria to the Hospital Compare website run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid



Tesla Fixes Software Bug That Exposed Hacking Vulnerabilities

Wednesday

Tesla Motors has released a software update to fix bugs that allowed Chinese "white-hat hackers" to break into the Model S' control system remotely and disrupt actions including turn signals, seat positions, displays and the door lock system. "Our realistic estimate is that the risk to our customers was very low," a Tesla spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday. "But this did not stop us from responding quickly." Cybersecurity researchers from Keen Security Lab, a unit of



Surviving a Bad Diagnosis: Medicine’s Most Serious Failure

Wednesday

Diagnostic error is one of medicine’s most serious failings. Peggy Zuckerman was on her way to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl back in 2004 when her doctor called. Blood work she'd had in preparation for minor surgery showed she was dangerously anemic, he said, and she needed to get to the emergency room. Instead of enjoying "Madama Butterfly," Zuckerman spent that night and the next at the hospital, getting three blood transfusions, an endoscopy and



Drugmakers Pledge to Clean Up Antibiotic Factories, Curb Overuse

Wednesday

Thirteen leading drugmakers promised on Tuesday to clean up pollution from factories making antibiotics and take steps to curb overuse of the medicines as part of a drive to fight the rise of drug-resistant superbugs. The industry announcement coincides with a high-level meeting on antimicrobial resistance as part of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Companies that have signed up to the scheme include leaders in both branded and generic drug production, including Pfizer, Merck,



U.S. Government Releases Safety Guidelines for Self-Driving Cars

Tuesday

The federal government is paving the way for self-driving vehicles to become commonplace on U.S. roads. Tuesday morning, the Department of Transportation will release guidelines for the testing and deployment of automated vehicles. Government officials say autonomous vehicles will make transportation safer, more accessible, more efficient and cleaner. The new guidelines detail how the vehicles should perform, and include a model for state policies. Traditionally, the federal government has regulated vehicles, and states have handled drivers. But



VW Has Fixed Less Than 10 Percent of Rigged European Diesel Cars

Tuesday

Volkswagen (VW) is making slow progress on fixing cars equipped with illicit engine software in Europe, having repaired less than 10% of the 8.5 million affected models, the company said on Monday. Germany's KBA motor vehicle authority has approved proposed fixes that would resolve the problem in about 5.1 million vehicles, said the VW manager in charge of the European diesel recall necessitated by the emissions cheating scandal that has engulfed the company. "Ten percent of



U.S. Agency Orders Corrective Action After Gas Pipeline Spill

Tuesday

Fuel supplies in at least five states are threatened by a gasoline pipeline spill in Alabama, and the U.S. Department of Transportation has ordered the company responsible to take corrective action before the fuel starts flowing again. Colonial Pipeline Co. must conduct testing and analysis on the failed section of the pipeline, according to the department's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Agency, which is investigating the spill in rural Alabama. The company has acknowledged that between 252,000



Eggo Waffles Recalled Amid Listeria Fears

Tuesday

About 10,000 cases of Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat Waffles are being voluntarily recalled in 25 states because they could be contaminated with the bacteria listeria, Kellogg Co. announced Monday on its website. The Michigan company said it has received no reports of illnesses and learned of the potential problem after routine tests. No other Eggo products are affected by this recall. Listeria can cause serious infections in children, the frail or elderly, and anyone with a weakened



Here’s Why the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Batteries Are Exploding

Tuesday

Samsung only said that the Galaxy Note 7 batteries were exploding due to a manufacturing defect. But a new report reveals the real reason behind the explosions. Samsung's nightmarish-run with the Galaxy Note 7 isn't showing any signs of ending soon. Despite acknowledging the issue with the batteries and announcing a recall, reports about exploding the Galaxy Note 7 continue to surface online. Though Samsung mentioned a manufacturing defect caused the batteries to explode, it didn't