Originally Posted by Katie E
"Everything involves a particle of risk," said Mr. Merriweather (Martin Balsam) in Little Big Man.
Because a news report aired with this information, I don't think we should become hesitant to deprive ourselves the pleasure of eating out. I'm a realist, in that I can't imagine that every food handler in every food establishment practices pristine sanitation 100% of the time. And, given this, I don't see hospitals crammed to capacity with sick diners.
Sadly (my opinion), I think Americans have become overly obsessed with sanitizing things. Everything gets spritzed, wiped and doused with sanitizers. Our bodies don't get the opportunity to build natural defenses as a result.
Just my take on this report.
I agree with paragraph 1, and would add that practices of pristine sanitation don't exist.
If we go back to Michael's scenario about the waitress, this is no different than what you will find in every public building you enter, except that in a restaurant there is at least an attempt to follow reasonable sanitizing practices. Check out the door knobs on any public bathroom. Check out the books at the library. Food at the grocery.
We are awash in microorganisms everywhere, and we do have generally good immunity to them as we begin to grow.
The biggest misconception about food poisoning is that you are likely to get it from ingesting a small amount of a pathogenic organism. If this were generally true, we would all be sick all the time.
It takes relatively large numbers of bacteria to cause illness normally. This happens when hazardous food is held at temps in the danger zone long enough to allow them to multiply sufficiently to produce an adequate dose.
Lemons are not a hazardous food. The PH is too low to support bacterial growth. Bacteria will survive on lemons and there is bacteria on your lemon in your house right now. But bacteria won't proliferate in that environment.
Now viruses are a different story. And I makes sense to use gloves when directly handling any food for in a public setting. But there again, most people will not be carriers of a pathogenic virus at any given time.
As to the over-sanitizing making our immune systems weak, IMO this is not what is happening.
What we do see happening is that incomplete sanitation allows some bacteria to survive and these bacteria are less susceptible to the same chemical, so we use a stronger one and the same thing happens. Bacteria can mutate very quickly. In hospitals they are called "super bugs", but they are really high resistant strains of what used to be a simple bacteria that was easily killed by penicillin.
This happens a lot with flu strains as well, which is why it is hard to come up with a really effective vaccine.
Anyway, I'm not afraid of Lemon in my tea.