HEALTH

Matrixx Initiatives recalls one lot of Zicam gel over contamination concerns

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — A single lot of a congestion-relief product has been recalled due to bacterial contamination found in a sample, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

Matrixx Initiatives launched a voluntary recall of one lot of Zicam Extreme Congestion Relief nasal gel Tuesday following the discovery of Burkholderia cepacia bacteria in a single sample taken from lot No. 2J23, which carries an expiration date of September 2015. The company has notified distributors and retail customers by FedEx letter and telephone, and is arranging for a the return of all recalled products, the FDA said.

The agency said that B. cepacia causes little risk to healthy people, but delivered in a nasal spray, it could colonize the upper airways and lead to respiratory infections in people with compromised immune systems or chronic lung conditions, such as cystic fibrosis. The bacteria are resistant to many antibiotics and could be difficult to eradicate in such people if infection occurs.


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Maddak introduces Built-Up Handle for arthritis sufferers

BY Alaric DeArment

WAYNE, N.J. — A new product makes gripping such things as eating utensils, pens and toothbrushes easier for people with arthritis.

Maddak announced the availability of the Universal Built-Up Handle, designed as a "do-it-yourself" product to enlarge the gripping surfaces of common household items.

"Most handles on traditional flatware have relatively small diameters, making them difficult, painful and sometimes impossible for a person with arthritis or other hand limitations to grasp," Maddak director of product management Kathleen Hanek said. "Increasing the diameter of the handle makes it easier to hold and helps reduce pain and cramping."

The product can be used on items with widths between 1/4 in. and 1 in. and measures 1-3/4 in. in diameter. Handles are sold in bags of four with a suggested retail price of $18.99.

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The Vitamin Shoppe to buy Super Supplements for $50 million

BY Alaric DeArment

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. — The Vitamin Shoppe will buy a Pacific Northwest-based supplement chain, the New Jersey-based company said.

The Vitamin Shoppe said it would buy Super Supplements for $50 million. Super Supplements operates 31 stores in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and the Vitamin Shoppe said the acquisition would expand its presence in the Northwest, where it already operates 17 stores. The transaction is expected to close on Dec. 31.

"Super Supplements shares our same values and commitment to health and wellness and will be a strategic and cultural fit for the Vitamin Shoppe," CEO Tony Truesdale said. "Super Supplements is an established retailer with a strong track record of providing a broad selection of high-quality products and a commitment to superior customer service. The expansion of our West Coast presence is an exciting step in our continued growth as a national specialty [vitamin, mineral and supplements] retailer."


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