* The humble alfalfa sprout, the mainstay of healthy eaters everywhere, is an efficient carrier of salmonella. Researchers tracked down the culprit of an 1995 outbreak in North America to a consignment of contaminated alfalfa seed that had been shipped from the Netherlands. Around 20,000 people were infected during the prolonged outbreak, and researchers warn that alfalfa sprouts should be considered high risk until the sprout producers incorporate a "kill step" to eliminate the bacteria (JAMA, 1999; 281: 158-62).
* Children who use a lot of sunscreen cream and oil are more likely to have freckles and so may be at higher risk for developing skin melanoma, researchers surmise. They speculate that sunscreen use may encourage children to stay out in the sun longer (J Natl Cancer Inst, 1998; 90: 1873-80).