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Old 03-01-2008, 09:37 PM   #11
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"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.
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:45 PM   #12
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thanks k.t.e.

i had the same reaction to the article, but was trying to find the words in a nice enough way of saying just what you said. you summed it up well.

i've heard that about lemon wedges before, and worse stuff about the mints and nuts and other bowls of things offered in restaurants or pubs. fecal matter, urine, and lots of other "tasty" things have been found in those bowls. anything that is handled by anyone, from the workers to the customers is at risk for being contaminated.

ya just gotta hope that local health inspectors catch the really bad violators and i can go on blissfully eating out.
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:01 PM   #13
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My MIL sent that to me a few weeks ago. Tonight we went out to dinner with them. When we got our drinks my wife and I got lemon in ours. MIL asked, did you get the link I sent you. All I said was "yes" and continued to drink my drink with the lemon in it.
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Old 03-02-2008, 12:43 AM   #14
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I am so happy that this stuff doesn't bother me.

So happy!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you really want to ruin your day, go research what is acceptable in canned foods, packaged foods, etc...
Insect parts, fecal matter, metal... there are acceptable limits for all of them and more.
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Old 03-02-2008, 12:58 AM   #15
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I had an entomology prof tell us that most people who are allergic to chocolate are not per se but allergic to the protein components from the flotsam and jetsam of insect particles (most notably roaches) that contaminate the chocolate. Now, istn't that more info than you wanted to know? Who has a Snickers?
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Old 03-02-2008, 08:00 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie E View Post
"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.
Hi Katie,
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.
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Old 03-02-2008, 09:55 AM   #17
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I've reached a point here lately at which, after handling things like a menu, shaker of chili powder, my setup (to roll it out and display the silverware), etc., I then go wash my hands thoroughly.

I don't do this every time I go out to eat, and am not always quite so thorough. The particulars vary based on various factors, as the point is simply to reduce my exposure somewhat w/o living in a plastic bubble.

After hearing about the lemon slice issue from someone else who caught that story, it was not a big leap for me to pass on the slice of lemon when I went out to eat last night.

I figure if I can continue to eat restaurant food as often as several times weekly after reading Kitchen Confidential, there must be some limits to my timidity.
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:12 AM   #18
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actually No, I don`t want lemon in my drink, but have you ever noticed how Offended they get if you ask if you can just suck their fingers instead!?
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