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Ragú Sauces Recalled Over Potential Plastic Contamination

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Ragú Sauces Recalled Over Potential Plastic Contamination
Ragú Old World Style Traditional is one of three flavors named in a voluntary recall. Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0

Spaghetti with plastic sauce? That's what you might be eating if you pour one of three flavors of Ragú sauce over your pasta.

Mizkan America, the food company that owns Ragú, announced Saturday that it was voluntarily recalling some Chunky Tomato Garlic & Onion, Old World Style Traditional and Old World Style Meat sauces because they might be contaminated with plastic fragments, The Today Show reported.


"Mizkan America is taking this action out of an abundance of caution," the company wrote in a press release. "This recall is at the retail level and all impacted retailer customers have been notified of this voluntary recall prior to this press release."

The company said that no one had complained or reported injuries, and urged customers to check their kitchens for the recalled products.

"Mizkan America also asks consumers to examine their refrigerator and pantry inventory for the specific jars affected by this recall. Any recalled sauce should be discarded and not consumed," the company advised.

The affected sauces were produced between June 4 and 8. The details of the products are as follows:

Ragú® Chunky Tomato Garlic & Onion, 45 oz.
Flavor description: Ragú® Chunky Tomato Garlic & Onion
Cap code: JUN0620YU2
Best Use By Date: JUN0620YU2

Ragú® Chunky Tomato Garlic & Onion, 66 oz.
Flavor Description: Ragú® Chunky Tomato Garlic & Onion
Cap code: JUN0520YU2
Best Use by Date: JUN0520YU2

Ragú® Chunky Tomato Garlic & Onion, 66 oz.
Flavor Description: Ragú® Chunky Tomato Garlic & Onion
Cap code: JUN0620YU2
Best Use By Date: JUN0620YU2

Ragú® Old World Style Traditional, 66 oz.
Flavor description: Ragú® Old World Style Traditional
Cap code: JUN0420YU2
Best Use By Date: JUN0420YU2

Ragú® Old World Style Meat, 66 oz.
Flavor description: Ragú® Old World Style Meat
Cap code: JUN0520YU2
Best Use By Date: JUN0520YU2

"Consumers who have purchased the recalled Ragú® sauces with the outlined cap codes should call our Customer-Service Hotline to receive a replacement," Mizkan wrote.

The hotline number is 800-328-7248.

The recall comes about a week after Tyson Foods recalled around 190,757 pounds of chicken fritters because of possible plastic contamination.

Recalls were also issued for Pillsbury and King Arthur flour last week due to an ongoing E. coli outbreak, The Today Show further reported.

More than 14,000 cases of King Arthur Five-Pound Unbleached All-Purpose Flour were recalled June 13, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The next day, Hometown Food Company recalled two lot codes of its Pillsbury® Best Five-Pound Bread Flour, also due to E. coli risk, The FDA announced. The outbreak has sickened 17 people in eight states and sent three to the hospital, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. ALDI Baker's Corner All Purpose Flour is also implicated; the company issued a recall of five-pound bags in May.

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Just in time for Halloween, scientists at Cornell University have published some frightening research, especially if you're an insect!

The ghoulishly named ogre-faced spider can "hear" with its legs and use that ability to catch insects flying behind it, the study published in Current Biology Thursday concluded.

"Spiders are sensitive to airborne sound," Cornell professor emeritus Dr. Charles Walcott, who was not involved with the study, told the Cornell Chronicle. "That's the big message really."

The net-casting, ogre-faced spider (Deinopis spinosa) has a unique hunting strategy, as study coauthor Cornell University postdoctoral researcher Jay Stafstrom explained in a video.

They hunt only at night using a special kind of web: an A-shaped frame made from non-sticky silk that supports a fuzzy rectangle that they hold with their front forelegs and use to trap prey.

They do this in two ways. In a maneuver called a "forward strike," they pounce down on prey moving beneath them on the ground. This is enabled by their large eyes — the biggest of any spider. These eyes give them 2,000 times the night vision that we have, Science explained.

But the spiders can also perform a move called the "backward strike," Stafstrom explained, in which they reach their legs behind them and catch insects flying through the air.

"So here comes a flying bug and somehow the spider gets information on the sound direction and its distance. The spiders time the 200-millisecond leap if the fly is within its capture zone – much like an over-the-shoulder catch. The spider gets its prey. They're accurate," coauthor Ronald Hoy, the D & D Joslovitz Merksamer Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior in the College of Arts and Sciences, told the Cornell Chronicle.

What the researchers wanted to understand was how the spiders could tell what was moving behind them when they have no ears.

It isn't a question of peripheral vision. In a 2016 study, the same team blindfolded the spiders and sent them out to hunt, Science explained. This prevented the spiders from making their forward strikes, but they were still able to catch prey using the backwards strike. The researchers thought the spiders were "hearing" their prey with the sensors on the tips of their legs. All spiders have these sensors, but scientists had previously thought they were only able to detect vibrations through surfaces, not sounds in the air.

To test how well the ogre-faced spiders could actually hear, the researchers conducted a two-part experiment.

First, they inserted electrodes into removed spider legs and into the brains of intact spiders. They put the spiders and the legs into a vibration-proof booth and played sounds from two meters (approximately 6.5 feet) away. The spiders and the legs responded to sounds from 100 hertz to 10,000 hertz.

Next, they played the five sounds that had triggered the biggest response to 25 spiders in the wild and 51 spiders in the lab. More than half the spiders did the "backward strike" move when they heard sounds that have a lower frequency similar to insect wing beats. When the higher frequency sounds were played, the spiders did not move. This suggests the higher frequencies may mimic the sounds of predators like birds.

University of Cincinnati spider behavioral ecologist George Uetz told Science that the results were a "surprise" that indicated science has much to learn about spiders as a whole. Because all spiders have these receptors on their legs, it is possible that all spiders can hear. This theory was first put forward by Walcott 60 years ago, but was dismissed at the time, according to the Cornell Chronicle. But studies of other spiders have turned up further evidence since. A 2016 study found that a kind of jumping spider can pick up sonic vibrations in the air.

"We don't know diddly about spiders," Uetz told Science. "They are much more complex than people ever thought they were."

Learning more provides scientists with an opportunity to study their sensory abilities in order to improve technology like bio-sensors, directional microphones and visual processing algorithms, Stafstrom told CNN.

Hoy agreed.

"The point is any understudied, underappreciated group has fascinating lives, even a yucky spider, and we can learn something from it," he told CNN.

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