NOTICE, E Coli outbreak in Spinich

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by MWG, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. MWG

    MWG Well-Known Member

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  2. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    You know, I have been thinking about this... I think for everyone's safety we need to chip every head of lettuce and every back of spinach.'


    :rolleyes:
     

  3. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    They won't say it but I bet it came from the "guest worker" that doesn't know anything about hygiene. The worker was picking then needed the bathroom. Went and mistakingly didn't wash his hands. In those packing plants they hire the lowest payed workers. Some immagrants don't use Paper If you know what I'm say'in. Thats why in many areas of the world it's really fround upon/ very insulting to offer the left hand in a hand shake.

    I don't think they will bring it up on TV. DO YOU?
     
  4. MWG

    MWG Well-Known Member

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    No, probably not. But they might do a story on how NAIS will fix it!

    :)
     
  5. doohap

    doohap Another American Patriot

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    Must say, it did cross my mind while reading the article, how this could certainly be construed as "convenient." Of course, we don't know ...
     
  6. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    I saw this on the news while eating a spinach quiche!! Luckily cooking it kills the bacteria
     
  7. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Did you say quiche??? Real Men don't eat quiche.


    I have to admit that I DO eat quiche though and am not a REAL MAN either I suppose. LOL.
     
  8. Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith Well-Known Member

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    I always KNEW that the elders around me when I was growing up were wrong when they told me I needed to eat spinich. It should be banned from all grocery stores, home gardens, and never planted again!!!!!!! Wouldn't that keep us "safe"?

    *The above is dripping with sarcasm."

    I heard that the person who died from eating the spinich was Popeye. I guess we won't be hearing anymore "I yam what I yam." ;)
     
  9. FiddleKat

    FiddleKat Mother,Artist, Author Supporter

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    YUCK!! :hand:
     
  10. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Commentary from the infectious disease society mailing list--an article from the NYT followed by their expert comments. (anyone who wants more information on the kidney failure aspect, look up keywords 'hemolytic uremic syndrome').--suburbanite

    <http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/15/us/15spinach.html?ex=1158984000&en=547686c1bb34d27d&ei=5070&emc=eta1>


    Consumers should avoid eating fresh bagged spinach after an outbreak
    of _E. coli_ in 8 states killed 1 person and sickened at least 49,
    federal health officials announced Thu night, 14 Sep 2006. The
    outbreak involves a virulent strain of _E. coli_ known as O157:H7,
    which produces a toxin that can lead to bloody diarrhea, kidney
    failure and, in rare cases, death.

    State and federal health officials have used genetic screening tools
    to confirm that all 50 people sickened by the disease suffered from
    the same bacteria, said Dr. David Acheson of the Center for Food
    Safety and Applied Nutrition at the FDA. But health officials still
    have no idea which food manufacturer may be to blame. The 1st case
    was reported on 23 Aug 2006 and the most recent on 3 Sep, Dr. Acheson
    said. "It's increasing by the day," Dr. Acheson said. "We may be at
    the peak, we may not. We're giving preliminary data here."

    Dr. Acheson said the FDA became aware of a possible outbreak on Wed,
    13 Sep 2006. But delays are common as information is gathered and
    compared, he said. "It takes quite some time for someone to be
    exposed, get sick, get sick enough to see the doctor, have it
    examined, have a sample sent to a lab, have it confirmed positive and
    have it be put in the public health system," Dr. Acheson said.

    Dr. Acheson described the outbreak as "significant." It is broadly
    distributed across the country. Twenty cases -- including the only
    confirmed death -- occurred in Wisconsin. There were 11 cases in
    Utah, 5 in Oregon, 4 in Indiana, 3 each in Idaho and Michigan, 2 in
    New Mexico and 1 in Connecticut, he said. Most of those affected have
    been women. Although this strain of _E. coli_ commonly affects
    children, many patients have been older than 20, Dr. Acheson said.

    Health officials are by no means certain that bagged spinach is the
    culprit. When patients have a confirmed case of the disease, health
    officials ask the victims many questions about what they ate over the
    previous weeks. Bagged fresh spinach is the only food that patients
    so far have had in common, Dr. Acheson said. Asked if consumers
    should also avoid bagged salads, Dr. Acheson answered somewhat
    tentatively, saying, "At this point, there is nothing to implicate
    bagged salad."

    The CDC estimates that the O157:H7 strain causes 73 000 infections
    and 61 deaths a year in the USA. The bacteria can live in cows'
    intestines without making the animals sick, and most infections in
    people come from eating undercooked hamburgers (cooking to at least
    160 degrees Fahrenheit destroys the bacteria and the toxin they
    produce). In 2002, 19 million pounds of raw beef were recalled
    because of O157:H7 contamination.

    In a notorious outbreak in 1993, 4 children died from the infection
    after eating contaminated Jack in the Box hamburgers. Raw milk and
    unpasteurized cheese can also spread the bacteria. Outbreaks have
    been linked to petting zoos where children touched farm animals that
    carried the bacteria.

    Produce can also become contaminated by animal wastes or unsanitary
    water, and outbreaks have been caused by sprouts, lettuce, and
    unpasteurized fruit juice or cider. In 1996, 1 child died and 66
    others became ill after drinking unpasteurized Odwalla apple juice.

    Thorough washing should make it safe to eat most produce raw, except
    for alfalfa sprouts.

    But Dr. Acheson advised consumers to avoid bagged spinach altogether,
    although he noted that thorough cooking killed the bacteria.

    [Byline: Gardiner Harris]

    --
    ProMED-mail
    <>

    [The investigation will continue to better elucidate the source of
    this outbreak. It is likely that the reason that the cases have been
    in adult women relates to the fact that, whatever the vehicle is, it
    is ingested more by this cohort than by children. Spinach would fit
    that profile. ProMED thanks Brent Barrett & Carla Rosenfield for
    submitting similar reports. - Mod.LL/JW]

    ******
     
  11. DixyDoodle

    DixyDoodle stranger than fiction

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    Hey, wait a minute! Are you implying that everyone in North America is way more particular about hygiene? Please! Just walk down the street, you'll see people in the US as well as Canada picking their noses, or butts.....maybe you could go into a washroom and count how many people, NOT counting 'foreigners', don't wash their hands? This is hardly just a "guest" problem.

    People can be nasty no matter what their heritage.

    I'm wondering, though, why the food officials can't figure out who the producer is? Are the bags or boxes not marked? Strange.

    And here I buy those "pre-washed, ready-to-eat" mini carrots, and eat them straight from the bag. Arg, I think I'll rinse them off from now on. We had a simliar scare here with bean sprouts.

    Well, yeah, try to get kids to eat spinach. I guess in this case, it was better that they did not. So much for those healthy salads. :(

    DD
     
  12. Jay1

    Jay1 Active Member

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  13. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    <<They won't say it but I bet it came from the "guest worker" that doesn't know anything about hygiene. >>

    I don't think it's very likely to come from a worker, they wouldn't be healthy enough to work if they were carrying that strain of E coli. Manure from grain fed cattle spread on the field though...
     
  14. shellyr44

    shellyr44 Well-Known Member

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    This is why they say buy locally grown produce in the summer. To buy any salad fixins in a bag is scary. What I don't grow in my garden I buy from farmers markets. I have learned alot this summer about what to buy and what not to buy.
     
  15. lgslgs

    lgslgs Well-Known Member

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    Here's what grosses me out about salad in a bag - it's moist food that's stored in a bag! Kind of like a cheap incubator.

    You can be sure that a lot of that product then sat at the front of the store display, or in a warm car, or on somebody's kitchen counter while the e. coli multiplied like microbes in a petrie dish.

    And this might just be my own whacked out way of thinking about it, but I really do wonder how many light cases of e. coli would be no big deal at all if folks weren't in a panic and racing off to doctors, or medicating themselves with Pepto Bismal at the first sign of the runs.

    The body is pretty good a cleaning itself out when it needs to. I might be way to naive about this but I really an not worried about a bit of e. coli on fairly fresh veg, not stored and incubated in a warm plastic bag plastic, zooming in one end of me and out the other as long as I have a healthy immune system.

    That said, I will never forget the time I got nasty food poisoning from scrambled eggs in a restaurant where I was one of the cooks! (I wasn't the egg cook, though.) We'd crack out all of the eggs in the morning, mix and add cream, and this one batch must have sat on the counter too long on a warm day. The next 24 hours were no fun at all, but my body did a very impressive job of self cleaning. Maybe if I had health insurance at the time and was in the habit of going to doctors I'd have been more concerned about it.


    But back to the original thought. Damp veg sitting around in plastic bags for days on end. Then often eaten without washing because it says "pre-washed".

    Ugh. Sounds as healthy as licking out the inside of a pair of damp shoes.

    Lynda
     
  16. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I always get a laugh from this, ever see any sinks or sanitizing soap at a farmers market. For that matter ever see anything more than a porta-john? The sellers cut their produce for you to sample with the same pocket knife they cleaned their fingernails and their battery cables with.
     
  17. Trixie

    Trixie Well-Known Member

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    Didn't they have a scare about bagged salads not long ago?

    Also, the sickness from green onions some time back was blamed on the lack of hygiene of the workers in the field. At least, that is what I heard.

    I don't think you have to be ill with E Coli to spread it - I won't get graphic here - but could happen as others have stated.

    It certainly could come from fresh cow manure on the fields - bottom line, it is just scary.


    As for chipping our veggies, a few years ago, I heard a congressperson state that the government might need to begin to regulate people growing their own vegetables, since so many people might not know how to do it properly.

    YOu know something else to think about - while this was domestically raised produce - we get a huge amount of our produce from foreign countries. How do we know how that produce is handled.

    I one read an article along of the line of 'so you think your job is bad'. It was the story of the divers who go down into the storm/sewer drains in Mexico City to unclog them and keep them running. They said the drains run 10 miles outside Mexico City and are pumped onto the fields of veggies out there. We are talking raw human waste here.
     
  18. MWG

    MWG Well-Known Member

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    Maybe that is how I got sick in Mexico City! It was a great weight loss program though ~ 23 lbs in 6 weeks! I don't know, I am not a dirt and germ freak but you do bring up a great point on the bagged veggies.
     
  19. DixyDoodle

    DixyDoodle stranger than fiction

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    Ewww......but I'm sure you're correct that some do. Small farmers markets don't exactly have hand-wash stations do they, unless they are near an arena or something. And I'm sorry, using hand gel sanitizers is not the same thing. Please wash your hands before touching my veggies.

    I wonder how many times each of us has had a case of illness from e. coli and not known it? They say much of the time you just get diarrhea and never realize you were really poisoned.

    Give a thought to just how many people handle that food you buy at the farmer's market or grocery store. How many people sneezed over it, picked their nose then touched it, put it back after it rolled across the dirty floor, what it was grown in.....ewwwww......

    DD