COHOUSING-L digest 276
From: barbara keppel (
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 15:22:20 -0700 (MST)
Food safety

Joani Blank wrote
>3, E. (escherichia?) coli is in the intestinal tracts of mammals and
>humans, and does show up ground red meat from time to time.  I believe
>recent outbreaks have been traced to meat processing plants, not to bad
>food handling practices at restaurants or in people's homes.

That's the way it used to be, but there have been some changes. E coli has now
been found in sprouts, like alfalfa, mung bean, etc., both organic and other. 
Apparently, even if we sprout our own organic seeds at home, we might get e 
coli. Last I read, dunking them in boiling water for a minute was the 
recommended practice.

I don't have a degree in Public Health, but I worked for several profs of 
preventive medicine from the Harvard School of, and that has certainly 
affected my thinking and behavior for the past 45 years.

I don't know if we're underreacting, overreacting, or right on target. What I 
think is reasonable prudence rules the day for me because I have arthritis 
which means my immune system is already compromised. More of my friends than I
used to think possible have arthritic, MS, cancer, fibromyalgia, etc., which 
means there are lots of folks around who also have compromised immunity. 

Most of us are victims of multiple kinds of environmental degradation which 
subject us to more stress than we might have had years ago. And, due to 
widespread use of antibiotics in animal feed, for humans, etc., there are new,
hardier, strains of old organisms and fewer medications that work when an 
infection breaks out. I think it was the CDC that reported many cases of "flu"
are actually cases of food poisoning/infection. So, it's a balancing act. I 
support safe food preparation instruction for everybody and hope that's enough
to make most kitchens safe most of the time.

After taking a Red Cross first aid course recently, I'm supporting first aid 
training for everyone too. All of our class are more prevention minded than we
were before.  

Bobbi Keppel
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