Here we go again and at the worst possible time of year we are having a food recall because of 32 people sick in 11 states due to e-coli. At the time of year when everyone is partaking in eating festivities, a case of food poisoning will change the Ho Ho Ho to OHHHH OHHH OOHH.
Don’t bother locking yourself in the Dooms Day shelter for this, it’s not going to protect you. All that food you have stored up was prepared by somebody. You need to understand Escherichia Coli aka (E-Coli) and how to prevent it to remain healthy from this one.
The Food and Drug administration is telling everyone to throw away any recently purchased OCT 2018 Romaine lettuce until they can pinpoint the source of the contamination. They currently can not link the outbreak to any common grower, supplier, distributor or brand.
The Center of Disease Control estimates 48 million Americans get sick from food borne illnesses each year and another 3000 American get sick enough to die from it. The US Dept of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service reports it can take anywhere from 1 to 10 days to show symptoms of the illness.
Signs of e-coli are mild belly pain which increases to severe stomach cramps, vomiting and often bloody diarrhea. There are several good internet sites to go to follow-up on theses symptoms and how to treat them.
Most minor cases of e-coli will resolve itself in 5 to 7 days if it continues, seek appropriate medical help. Dehydration and having a hard time (straining) urinating are good indications of needing additional medical help. DO NOT use antibiotics without consulting a doctor first as you may be making the situation worse to include kidney failure.
You planned for the asteroid, you planned for the arriving immigrant caravan and now a little bacteria is going to try to take you out. Quick lets plant our a garden and grow our own produce that will save us. Not so fast Farmer Brown, you have to understand how you contract the bad Pathogenic e-coli which makes you sick. You run the same risks whether you purchase or grow your own food.
There are 6 types of bacteria that cause problems and so many ways to be exposed but good old food preparation hygiene habits are what is needed to keep you safe and healthy.
The Center for Disease Control web site and the FoodSafety.gov website is a good place to start.
It is always suggested that you wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and running water to wash the bacteria away.
Wash when ever you:
Visit petting zoos, animal exhibits, handle your pets or work with animals.
Before and after preparing food, or when preparing different meal items or dishes
Handle unpasteurized foods, dairy products and unpasteurized apple cider
Handling fruits or vegetables
Changing diapers, cleaning up pet waste or litter boxes
Avoid swallowing water when swimming in lakes, ponds, and kiddy pools.
Avoid eating under cooked food or meat .
There’s several dangerous food preparation mistakes to avoid.
Tasting food to see if it is still good. Once its in your mouth your contaminated. Use the FOODSAFETY.GOV safe food storage chart instead
Never thaw food on the counter. Bacteria grows quicker when exposed to thawing. Thaw on ice, in the fridge or in the microwave. Bacteria spreads rapidly at room temperature.
Never put cooked meat back on a plate that held raw meat this causes cross contamination.
Never wash poultry, meats or eggs. You can risk spreading or splashing the bacteria onto other kitchen surfaces.
Never eat uncooked flour, eggs or raw cookie dough
Letting food cool before refrigerating, if it is perishable refrigerate within 2 hours or sooner in higher room temperatures
Never marinade meat or seafood on counter. Always marinade in the refrigerator. Never pour raw meat marinade onto the cooked meat. Boil the marinade first or throw it away.
Never eat UNDER cooked meat, poultry, seafood or eggs. They must be cooked at high enough temperatures to kill bacteria
Always wash your hands vigorously for 20 seconds before preparing food. If you have a problem figuring out 20 seconds YouTube has videos of “Wash my hand songs” to help you.
From the farmer that grows it, through the cook who prepares it, to the person who eats it, we all have a responsibility to practice healthier food preparation hygiene.
As always, Stay safe and healthy my friends.