Everything I always wanted to know about ecoli...

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Christina R., Apr 2, 2005.

  1. Christina R.

    Christina R. Well-Known Member

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    Just wanting more information in light of the situation in Florida with the petting zoo. Granted it probably was crowded, unsanitary, care on a shoestring type situation (when housed at night), but the more I know the less mistakes I'll make.

    Here's what I know ecoli is in our intestines (hence poop), hence also in animal feces. It is good bacteria (actually known as vitamin K) in our intenstines when it is doing its job, but the probelm comes in when feces comes in contract with food products.

    Here's my concerns... I wash Corabelle like mad when I milk her, keep everything sanitized, but she is a cow and poop comes with the territory. I use paper towels, wash my hands all the time, etc. etc. How concerned do any of us need to be or is it a matter of the factors I mentioned at the beginning of this post?

    Thanks!
     
  2. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Ever get slapped in the face by a tail? Ever get a splatter in your face, maybe you slipped? I've been wacked in the face, i've had a flying turd slap me in the face (manure spreader, the person spreading had the gate too high, yeah he thought it was funny). So, i'll bet you have it in your system. The local fair here in Washington county, NY had an outbreak. One child died, but NOT ONE farmer got sick. I found that interesting, why? Well farmers are exposed to it, and likely are immune to it. I mean heck, I've dealt with cows, maybe pulled a calf. Rinse my hands off, but don't wash, maybe itched my chin, or something. But we heard about that outbreak in Florida, it likely is due to the peoples immune systems inability to fight it, never exposed to it till then.


    Jeff
     

  3. Momof8kiddoes

    Momof8kiddoes Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I dont have any info on the ecoli, but Jeff, your theory is a very interesting one. Ive heard things, like all these antibactirial soaps being bad because we dont build up a natural immunity to this stuff...so it sounds fair to say that this might be the case with ecoli. Interesting...would love to hear others input on this...
    Mary F.
     
  4. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Not all ecoli is bad. Ecoli 0157 is the one that makes people very sick. Not all cows have ecoli 0157, but most will have it at some time or another. It is safest to assume that they do.

    I think that a vet can test your cow for ecoli 0157, but just because they are positive/negative today doesn't mean it won't change tomorrow.

    Jena
     
  5. Christina R.

    Christina R. Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all. Jena if a cow is positive for that ecoli, what does it mean for her milk? Is it then only a problem if the milk comes in contact with it? Jeff hit the nail right on the head, which is why I started wondering about all this. I can be as careful as I want to be, but Corabelle is a cow which means her poop and I meet on a daily basis. What does this mean for others who drink her milk? I do see the sense in the immunity idea.
     
  6. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    There was an interesting article in the March issue of ACRES U.S.A. talkng about grass fed cattle not having E. coli in their intestines, and directly linking E. coli to the feeding of grain, especially soybeans, to cattle. The article mentions the butchering of animals as a way for this particular coli to be transmitted to the beef. There is manure on the hide and in the animals hair while it is being skinned, and there is always the chance that an intestine will be cut while the animal is being evicerated.

    I guess one is exposing themsleves to coli just by being on a farm or around animals. My son was telling me that people who keep their toothbrushes in the bathroom are constantly exposing themselves to their own feces, and that if a toothbrush is in the bathroom more than a couple of days there is human feces on it.

    Does this mean we are in a world of ****?
     
  7. AnnB

    AnnB Member

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    Nobody's mentioned the other MAJOR risk factor that all of them had in common -- they ate at the concessions at the fair! It's easy to blame the animals when "city kids" get sick, and petting zoos have been a PETA target for some time.
    But it seems to me that a lot more thought should have been given to the possibility of it having been food-borne. Fair food is notorious for causing illness.

    Ann B
     
  8. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Haggis, I was thinking of the same article. I'll probably get blasted for this, but the research backing up that article is just more evidence that cows shouldn't be eating grain :soap:
     
  9. 38-72

    38-72 Member

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    Be careful - cow crap can be dangerous. Along with pathogenic E. coli H-0157, the are several other micros that can make you or someone else very sick. And, they may even cause death, a very terrible way to die.

    As for raw milk, be careful. Public Health folks figured out how to prevent milk borne illness a long time ago via pasteurization. Ya, I've heard all about the bad things that pasteurization does to milk, but the one thing it doesn't do is put your life in danger.
     
  10. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

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    One of our neighbors is in the hospital, reportedly critical, reportedly from an E Coli infection. :-( I have not met hr, but DH has traded equipment with her husband adn knows the family. But that's all we know ... not how she is doing or how she got sick. :-(
     
  11. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    The local fair had its contamination via the water supply. Major rainstorm ran off into a well. The well was not supposed to be used, 30' deep and was not tested. An accident gone wrong, someone lost a kid, they sued and won. I beleive 7million, didn't bring their kid back, but im sure the money is handy.

    edit: The grain link to e-coli is an interesting thing. Lets say that is 100% true, it could be due to the fermentation, or the bacterial growth from the grain. I've noticed in heavily grained animals, corn kernals in the manure etc. Gotta wonder how much simply "rots", creating bacteria..


    Jeff
     
  12. melwynnd

    melwynnd living More with Less!

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    What is your experience with raw milk? Do you know someone who has become ill from it?

    By the way, I doubt the Public Health folks went to small, family run dairies to test the safeness of milk. The huge dairies(you know, the ones with the money, and all the lobbiers(sp?)) use pasturization to make up for unsanitary conditions and to promote long storage life.

    Granny always said, if it doesn't spoil, it ain't really food!!! Kind of makes you wonder what Velveeta REALLY is :haha: !

    No one in our family has EVER gotten sick from our raw milk, in fact we don't get most of the illnessess that go around either.

    Sherry
     
  13. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

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    After DH's sister got meningitis as a toddler -- they started pasteurizing milk from their cows. While we milked, we pasteurized milk we brought up to the house, too since the kids were quite small. Our vet -- an all-natural organic kinda guy -- said in a herd situation he would definitely pasteurize. As for the milk we sold, we did our best to keep the cows healthy and all equipment cleaned -- we were inspected by teh dairy, the state board of health and federal inspectors on regular basis. The milk we sold was not pasteurized and homogenized etc. until the dairy tested it and bottled it.

    I'm glad ot report that our neighbor lady (the one with an E. Coli infection) made it through the night. Doctors said she made a remarkable turn around :D Yesterday they were afraid she was not going to survive. (Keep prayign, though ... she's not home yet!)
    We have no idea how she contracted the illness.

    Ann
     
  14. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Recently we obtained a book, naturally "curng" your animals from disease. Funny book, it isn't die hard organic. Either way, this is interesting, the whole "ship the cow if treated" on an organic farm, was decided by the consumer. I will guarentee it is the consumer who said "pasteurize". Then again, maybe its for shelf life. Same thing can be said about anything, one minute they say "dont drink wine, its bad", next second "drink it a little, it helps". Same people testing these things, "determining" the diseases, might not even know where it comes from. They seek out the "obvious" source. Maybe raw milk does carry those diseases, but then again, did they spread through other means? Also, milk off the store shelves can and does spoil, sometimes faster than others. Found it interesting cider we squeeze, not pasteurized, lasts longer than stuff boiled to a crisp. What I mean, it doesn't ferment, it seems to keep. The taste can't be beat either.



    Jeff
     
  15. 38-72

    38-72 Member

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    Sherry:

    Well 1st , my experience. I grew up on a small farm and it was my job to hand milk the family cow. I and my family drank raw milk everyday for years. And, we got sick and we blamed on the ”bug going around”.

    I also worked on the dairy farm down the road for during my high school years.

    I have a Science Degree in Bacteriology and Public Health from a major land grant university, Washington State University. I am a Public Health Sanitarian, with 30 years experience. I have, on a daily bases, inspected all types of food preparation facilities, including dairy farms and milk processing plants.

    I worked on food safety team that put a stop to major outbreak of Salmonella disease in children (100s of confirmed ill cases) that consumied raw milk products. The team developed an education program that included teaching folks how to do home pasteurization.

    Would I consume raw milk now? NO WAY! The world has changed, new drug resistant bacteria are cropping up everyday. When you get one of these bad boys, what is you Doc going to use to fight it? Why too much risk!!

    And Ya, I’ve heard all the old sayings.

    If it an broke, don’t fix it.

    That’s like saying you're not going to change the oil in your car until the engine fails because the oil went bad. An ounce of prevention is worth several pounds of cure.

    And, my daily newspaper has a list of people names that died, and you know I don't recall that they ever died before. What’s up with that?
     
  16. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    What was it I heard the other day? Something about a healthfood nut who only comsummed air because everything he might eat could kill him, but everything else can make him better.
     
  17. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it's not raw milk itself, but the handling and storage of the milk that causes the problem in the illnesses we hear about where groups of people get sick. The illnesses I remember hearing about involved milk that had been through a pipeline and was in a bulk tank when sampled. I know they use chemicals to disinfect everything, but it just seems like it would be impossible to always kill every pathogen in a system like that. My sister's family got Campylobacter from drinking bulk tank milk a few years ago. We all still drink raw milk, but only fresh, and only hand-milked.
     
  18. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

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    Some bugs are just tough to kill. I think Camphylobacter and Listeria are particularly nasty. (But, someone who knows more could probably enlighten us)

    When we milked, teh dairy tested for various classes of bacteria, including cold-tolerant ones that (as I recall -- I"ve slept since then) indicated problems with cleaning the equipment.

    I tell myself you can't disinfect dirt.

    We have very, very hard water and tended to get a lot of lime ("milk stone") deposits. We also had some quality problems at one time that resulted from trap in teh line not getting cleaned well enough.

    Although it was an automated system as far as cleaning and sanitizing the pipe line, milkers and bulk tank, there were a lot of variables -- water quality; water heat; water pressure; proper chemicals and proper concentration ...

    Also, I think we do tend to become immune to things we are exposed to. There were times I'd be sicker than a dog if I had worked with sick scouring calves -- one time had a fever close to 104 and lost seven pounds in two days (that's a lot for me!) but as time went by -- either I got better about washing my hands, the calves werent' carrying that bug around, or I became more immune to it. I don't really know.

    Those are my theories -- your mileage may vary :D

    But -- since our vet said to pasteurize -- you bet we did :haha: -- because we trusted his judgment.

    regards
    ann
     
  19. Christina R.

    Christina R. Well-Known Member

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    Isn't listeria a disease that really shows its symptoms in the cow (i.e. it is called circling disease because the cow will circle and circle)? What is the camph something or other bacteria that has been mentioned?