Another Food Recall!

nancy_drew(5 nw chgo burbs)March 31, 2009

Here we go again! We've had a tomato scare and farmer after farmer suffered. We had a peanut scare, and peanut farmers went broke. Now it's pistachios... and all of this inside of a year, a year where the economy is at it's worst in at least a generation. I really do feel for the farmers!

It makes me wonder about growing own food. How I be absolutely sure about whether or not my garden is contaminated. We have a huge Canada Geese population, along with the raccoons, squirrels, etc.

Is anyone else wondering the same thing?

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Since I don't "process" anything, I'm guessing it's got something to do with that, and to answer the direct question, no, I'm not concerned about my own garden.

I have no idea what's involved in 'processing' food supplied by farmers, but I know I'm not doing it at my house. I grow, pick, wash, cook. That's my "process."

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 1:06PM
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nancy_drew(5 nw chgo burbs)

Salmonella is from animal waste. Tomatoes are not "processed". The salmonella is coming from the wash off of animal waste. Let's say you have a cat that uses your garden for a litter box... you're a farmer who has run off from his barn into his corn field... a chicken coop too close to the lettuce... a heavy rain that floods... there are a lot of ways BESIDES processing that food becomes contaminated!

Processing may cause salmonella to be found in meat, but not veggies!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 3:59PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Nancy, it can be more complicated than that. The NY Times article this morning said raw pistachios had come into contact with roasted pistachios and cross contaminated those (normally the pathogens that can be common on raw pistachios - birds? - are killed with roasting) ...and they were shipped for consumption, ice cream additive, cake mixes etc. Kraft Foods found the salmonella in their shipment - they are just one wholesale buyer who uses the nuts in a range of products.

The last tentative answer I read to the salmonella in tomatoes/green onions/cilantro several months ago was that wild pigs had crossed dairy or beef pastures, gone into the vegetable growers fields. With dirty feet, presumably.

"Contaminated foods are often of animal origin, such as beef, poultry, milk, or eggs, but any food, including vegetables, may become contaminated."

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 6:04PM
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Nancy: I think you're always safer growing your own food. You can't account for everything, but you pretty much know what you're growing in, your pesticides and, certainly, your cooking processes.

Wash well and cook as recommended. I can't imagine that your growing space could be any more contaminated than a 400 acre farm. My advice? Be diligent and watch the news to avoid the real issues.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 6:11PM
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or don't watch TV and live happily ever after
sometimes it is much easier not knowing what are you going to die from ;)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 12:02AM
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nancy_drew(5 nw chgo burbs)

I don't know about Linda. I just got over some pretty serious complications from the stomach flu, ended up in the emergency room for the night. I don't ever want to go through anything like that again, neither do the paramedics that carried me out of here. The body can go through amazing things when the electrolytes get screwed up! None of them pretty.

Food born illness scares the hell out of me, when you have another health issue, the stomach flu or food poisoning can be deadly. I'd rather die in a plane crash... although I've always wanted to

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 3:00PM
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I hear you, Nancy, being an emergency nurse myself.
Thankfully newspapers are always full of stuff that does not happen in real life all that often. % wise we see food poisoning rarely.
But I do grow my own veggies.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 10:18PM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

I wouldn't even feed the peanuts in the pantry to the birds for fear that brand might be next in line for being put on the contamination list. Had to pry them out of my father's hands to toss them...LOL.

I had to print out the ice cream brands/flavors he could NOT buy due to peanut contamination. Not all food markets are as good about getting things off their shelves in a timely manner as others.

Glad I didn't plan an Easter dessert that included pistachios...LOL. Just realized today I only have 1 week to get ready for Easter dinner.

When I'm here at his house I insist melons & other removable rind fruit be washed before cutting after reading about salmonella risk particularly coming from other countries. My father tells me I'm depriving his system of natural bacteria he needs to keep his body building immunities. At 81 I figure that's a dicey proposition for him since he already gets gastrointestinal side effects from meds he takes. He does whatever he wants when I'm not here...LOL.

He used to like Spinach sauteed with olive oil/garlic a few times a week but hasn't bought spinach since that contamination. Use wrung out frozen spinach in recipes now. He brings home Broccoli Rabe and/or Escarole for his fix of olive oil/garlic now.

He does like to buy whole beef roasts to grind himself for me to make Chili, Meatloaf and Hamburgers. Once he's done chopping I have him back away so I can take after every surface/instrument anywhere near the chopping with a bleach solution spritzer...LOL. We may be wrong but figure the less other people touched/processed it the better.

I'd rather take a lot of precautions with food handling & prep rather than spend a day/night in the ER because he's dehydrated and possible electrolyte imbalance from intestinal distress.

With an ex-brother-in-law (who still spends holidays/occasions with us)close to diabetic renal dialysis and a sister with Crohn's disease you just get used to being careful about food selection and prep. Underlying conditions warrant the extra precautions if you're preparing food for someone else.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 4:07PM
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nancy_drew(5 nw chgo burbs)

Linda, you are my hero! It takes a pretty amazing woman to do what you do. I honestly can't think of a more stressful job! It's the ER nurse that does the actual work for the patient, but unfortunately, they're probably the last to get get a thank you, or even see the end result when things go right... a healthy body walking out the door.

So... in case you haven't heard it recently, thank you so much for what you do!!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 8:57AM
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