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View Diary: NY Times: Ga. Peanut Plant "Cited Repeatedly" For Unsanitary Conditions (222 comments)

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  •  According to the CDC (7+ / 0-)

    While the food supply in the United States is one of the safest in the world, CDC estimates that each year 76 million cases of foodborne illness occur and more than 300,000 persons are hospitalized and 5,000 die from foodborne illness.

    Food Safety CDC

    The beatings will continue until morale improves. -8.50, -6.92

    by ferallike on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:09:00 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  But where did the food come from? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiaD, ferallike, kurt

      76 million cases of foodborne illness.  But is this food prepared at home? Food bought at the store and improperly prepared at home?  Badly packaged food?  Unless you can split the data out reasonable, it doesn't really say anything about the nation's food supply.

      In fact, depending on where the most illness is coming from we might be able to conclude:

      1.  That the US is populated with terrible home-cooks.  For your own safety you should eat out!
      1.  Eating out is fraught with danger. For you own safety eat in!

      Based on your quote we can determine whatever we want!

      •  a decent amount of it is probably... (7+ / 0-)

        ...people who don't wash their hands before preparing food and before eating.

        Hand washing is basic sanitation and prevents many many illnesses.

        After you use the bathroom.

        Before you begin preparing food.

        After you handle raw meat, particularly if you are then going to handle vegetables (wash hands after handling raw meat, before handling vegetables).

        Before you eat.

        After you blow your nose.  (Know what's really gross?  People who blow their nose at the table while others are eating.  Eww...)

        After you get home from work.  

        •  My favorite.... (7+ / 0-)

          food poisoning blog is barfblog for food poisoning from Kansas State (which has an excellent food safety program).  They discuss how often people make themselves and others sick though not cooking food thoroughly enough, testing temperature of cooked meat, failing to wash hands and cutting boards, failing to test temperature of refrigerators etc.  There is a lot to having a culture of food safety (which McDonalds actually does have) to prevent food born illnesses.  And the supply chain is a big deal.  McDonalds is quite strong on that.

          You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

          by murrayewv on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 04:01:36 PM PST

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          •  but food safety doesn't start in the kitchen (7+ / 0-)

            it starts on the farm. A lot of the nasty bugs wouldn't exist in the first place if we raised our animals in the right way and fed them the right foods. And from that point they would be less likely to reach the consumer if meatpackers slowed down their lines to reasonable speeds and actually tested for microbes. It's only AFTER all that stuff that it reaches the consumer and makes them sick if the consumer undercooks it.

            •  Yeah, but people ARE careless (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              OrangeClouds115, murrayewv, G2geek, RiaD

              and ignorant and stupid.

              If we weren't, there wouldn't be a need for PSAs to educate us on properly food handling, cooking and storage.  Food can become contaminated at any point.  Universal Precautions are always a good idea.

              Proud member of the Cult of Issues and Substance!

              by Fabian on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 05:44:52 PM PST

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              •  hey i'm not saying we should all eat (5+ / 0-)

                tuna salad that we left on the counter overnight. I'm just saying it's pathetic that food safety is seen as primarily the consumer's responsibility and not as everybody's responsibility from farm to fork.

                •  Consumers are lucky! (5+ / 0-)

                  We don't have the gubmint looking over our shoulders, ready to raid our kitchens.

                  That's mostly snark.  Now that I think about it, I've learned most of my hard facts about food safety via PSAs and the internet.  Other than that, it's wash stuff and keep it in the frig or freezer.  Treat raw meat as a biohazard until it is cooked thoroughly.

                  Proud member of the Cult of Issues and Substance!

                  by Fabian on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 05:58:11 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  all of the above. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hardhat Democrat, RiaD

                  We know how to produce food that's clean and safe.

                  We know how to do just about everything it would take to create paradise on earth.  

                  If someone wants to wipe their rear end with their bare hands and then eat a meal without washing their hands first, fine with me if they get a Darwin award.  People who don't do the bare minimum to take care of themselves deserve to exit the gene pool, and in times past, the gene pool would be happy to oblige.  

                  What's infuriating is when stupidity on one hand, and greed on the other, cause other people to exit the gene pool who are quite smart enough to take care of themselves.  

                •  You will find it hard.... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RiaD
                  to tell the bacteria they shouldn't start using your food as a carbon source just because you take it home to eat.

                  there are billions of bacteria and other single celled organisms on all your food.  Yes, even if you irradiate it and kill them all, as soon as you open it up, more bacteria land on it and start consuming your food.  Mostly, people can tell the food is bad because the spoilage bacteria or mold make it pretty unappetising to us.  

                  So it is the consumers responsibility, the manufacturers responsibility and the farmer's responsibility to keep the food as safe as possible.  And to not eat food that is stored or cooked incorrectly is part of the deal.

                  You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

                  by murrayewv on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 06:03:03 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  yes (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    murrayewv

                    NOT solely the citizens responsibility.
                    & this relaxation in inspections/closing of facilities that do not comply is leaving more & more of that burden on citizens.

                    Liberal/Blades 2012
                    The hippies had it right all along...it's about time...the culture as a whole sent out a big, wet, hemp-covered apology.MMorford

                    by RiaD on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 07:48:02 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  barfblog.... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              OrangeClouds115, RiaD, SnowCountry
              covers fork to farm.  It is quite interesting.

              You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

              by murrayewv on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 05:56:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Barf blog, heh... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            murrayewv, RiaD

            With a name like that, it's gotta' be interesting, I'll go check it out.

            Re. testing the temps of refrigerators:  I have a refrigerator/freezer system I built myself to save energy ( 388 KWH / year, compared to 1,488 KWH / year for the old inefficient unit that came with the place), and I'm using digital thermostats.  The fridge section is set to 34 Fahrenheit (mmm, cold milk!), and the freezer section to -1 Fahrenheit (ice cream that doesn't harden like concrete).  

            Now we'll go see if my chosen settings are acceptable in terms of sanitation.

            Re. McDonalds:  I don't doubt they're clean as a whistle end-to-end.  Given the quantities of food they deal with every day, a) they can afford those kinds of measures system-wide, and b) they are undoubtedly aware of the comparative cost of not doing so.  

            Whatever criticism might be raised about fast food, it's OK to eat in moderation (me: 1 - 2 times / month), and you can always count on McD's for food that's reliable, consistent, and clean.  This is especially useful when away from home in an area where you don't know the local food sources and can't afford a "surprise" going off in your tummy-tum-tum.  

          •  poo on Celsius; and about hand towels. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiaD

            So they specify fridge temps in friggin' Celsius in a blog written in the US.  Poo on that.  They can use a conversion calculator themselves in order to save the rest of us the hassle of having to do so.  Barf.

            Anyway, looks like one of my sins so far in the kitchen is the hand-towel.  

            I keep paper towels around for emergencies; last time I bought 'em was years ago, I use so few.  And I refuse to be sucked into the culture of disposable.  So I use cloth hand towels for drying my hands and so on.  (I do not use them for dishes.  I use a sanitize cycle in the dishwasher, which adds up to less than 2 KWH per month.)  

            So the new solution is: buy two weeks' worth of plain white cloths and use them as if they were paper towels, and wash them with bleach in the "white" load.  Note: bleach tends to deactivate detergents, so to properly use bleach in the laundry, you need a) one wash cycle with detergent, then rinse, b) one more wash cycle with bleach only, then rinse, c) final rinse.  This increases the water consumption per load but I have other ways of dealing with that issue (and, shortly, you will too).  

            •  Embrace your regionalism..... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiaD, SnowCountry

              barfblog is written by scientists and we use C.  In many of the discussions for the public they use F.

              America should totally go metric and abandon the British system- they have.

              You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

              by murrayewv on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 06:09:07 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I use C... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                murrayewv

                ....for science discussions such as re. climate change.

                However, a blog published for a wide readership, talking about household infrastructure should use both.  

                And we were going to do metric in the 60s or 70s but the practical issues in manufacturing were too much at that time.

                Know what else we need to deal with?  The frequency of AC current.  60 Hz here, 50 Hz in Europe.  Bah humbug to that.  One standard.  

        •  So... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiaD

          (Know what's really gross?  People who blow their nose at the table while others are eating.  Eww...)

          We're supposed to sit there and let our noses run down our chins?  (Double eww.)

          Renewable energy brings national security.

          by Calamity Jean on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 05:27:36 AM PST

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          •  good manners (0+ / 0-)

            would be to excuse yourself to the restroom & tend to it there. If you have a consistently drippy nose you are too ill to be in public.

            Liberal/Blades 2012
            The hippies had it right all along...it's about time...the culture as a whole sent out a big, wet, hemp-covered apology.MMorford

            by RiaD on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 07:44:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  The CDC only provides an estimate of (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hardhat Democrat, Fabian, RiaD

        foodborne illness which includes, I believe the e-colis, salmonella, trichanosis, norovirus, etc. But they do not provide anything more explicit which I would think would be almost impossible since so many do not seek medical attention.
        My most recent possible foodborne illness was a Norovirus contracted at Virginia Hopsital Center in early Dec. which could have been contracted by just being in the ER with my Dad or it could have been the sandwich I had in the cafeteria.

        CDC norovirus

        CDC estimates that 23 million cases of acute gastroenteritis are due to norovirus infection, and it is now thought that at least 50% of all foodborne outbreaks of gastroenteritis can be attributed to noroviruses.

        Among the 232 outbreaks of norovirus illness reported to CDC from July 1997 to June 2000, 57% were foodborne, 16% were due to person-to-person spread, and 3% were waterborne; in 23% of outbreaks, the cause of transmission was not determined. In this study, common settings for outbreaks include restaurants and catered meals (36%), nursing homes (23%), schools (13%), and vacation settings or cruise ships (10%).

        I also got a nasty case of salmonella poisonong in the early 90s from "rescuing" a turtle from the middle of a residential roadway. The turtle thanked me by peeing down my leg. We didn't make the connection until my husband, while chatting with my mother-in-law who is an ICU nurse, mentioned that I was sick and then later in the conversation, that we had rescued a turtle. When she heard about the turtle pee, she yelled at my husband to get me to the ER ASAP.

        The beatings will continue until morale improves. -8.50, -6.92

        by ferallike on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 03:41:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nearly all US food poisoning (4+ / 0-)

        cases are caused by poop-contaminated food. The USDA and FDA seem to agree that this is just fine and dandy state of affairs. They put the burden on consumers to have to handle  food like chemical waste and their kitchens like toxic waste dumps rather than putting a stop to poor to filthy ag and processing practices.

        •  Exactly! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alizard, RiaD

          The USDA and FDA seem to agree that this is just fine and dandy state of affairs. They put the burden on consumers to have to handle  food like chemical waste and their kitchens like toxic waste dumps rather than putting a stop to poor to filthy ag and processing practices.

          Apologies for blockquoting basically your entire comment, but it's just perfect!

          Thank you, great comment!

          "it's time for consumers to turn into citizens" - RiaD

          by Hardhat Democrat on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 06:20:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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