Being Bled Dry
Thanks to the long awaited storm that hit us last week, the New York Blood Center reports that its supplies reached a "critically low" level this week. As of yesterday, for three particular blood types, the Center had less than a two-day supply. This is apparently less than half of what they consider a safe amount of reserve. This is a result of canceled donations last Wednesday where the Center received less than half of what they expected that day. The NY/NJ metro area needs at least 2,000 donations a day to keep reserves at a safe level. And because the storm also pummeled other parts of the Northeast as well as the Midwest, other states aren't able to donate and bail us out. To find a place where you can donate, click here.

It's Not Peanut Butter Jelly Time (or 2111 is Not a Joke)
Because of the pittance of a salary that hospital residents receive, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are on heavy rotation in the Gothamist Health lunch (and, sadly, dinner) schedule. So we were especially saddened to hear that the latest food contamination scare centers around Peter Pan and Great Values brands' peanut butter. Almost 300 people in 40 states have fallen ill from the salmonella that has somehow found their way into jars of the stuff.

This is the first such case involving peanut butter and most of the infections have taken place in a handful of states, including New York. There is a nationwide recall of all samples beginning with the serial number 2111, although the FDA advises avoiding ALL Peter Pan Peanut Butter. This can be found on the lid. While salmonella infection has a spectrum of clinical symptoms, the most common from food borne sources include the typical gastrointestinal maladies: fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. The last major outbreak of salmonella food poisoning in the United States was in November and was linked to tomatoes. So if you eat Peter Pan or Great Values brand peanut butter, throw it away or return it to ConAgra Foods for a refund and stick to mayonnaise sandwiches for now.