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Old 07-03-2009, 11:51 AM   #11
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While I have no doubt that you are correct that that is a major contributor, I would be willing to bet that improper food handling is also a contributing factor. The thing is, there is no way to know. Only a doctor can diagnose food poisoning. We can assume though, that food is not kept in conditions that 1st world countries would consider sanitary and while I personally do think that peoples systems adjust to what they are used to (IE: people in those countries can tolerate food held in poor conditions much better than some of us would handle it) there is no denying that diarrhea is a major symptom of food poisoning and they way food is handled in those countries is a prime example of how to get food poisoning. Can we know for sure what percentage is from food and what percentage is from poor waste management and what percent is from other things? Nope we can't know for sure. We can make certain assumptions though and knowing that poor food handling contributes to food poisoning and diarrhea is a major symptom of food poisoning we can assume that a certain percentage of those with it got it because of their food.
Agreed. But even with those conditions, most societies where this is a daily concern are still surviving and managing to have normal lives. What I'm saying is that they are not dying in huge numbers from food related illnesses. And of course I understand that those with weakened immune systems everywhere are at risk. It just seems to me that the vast majority of people everywhere seem to be able to live just fine with common sense food preparation. Food caused illnesses exist but are not the dire threat the Food Police would have us believe.
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Old 07-03-2009, 11:53 AM   #12
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What I'm saying is that they are not dying in huge numbers from food related illnesses.
This I can not agree with. We do not know what they are dying from. Large numbers of these people do die every day. Without a blood test (or maybe it is a stool test, I always forget) we can not rule out food poisoning as the culprit.
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:15 PM   #13
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While food poisoning may not be a "big deal," it's definitely no picnic (slight pun intended). Anyone who's ever had it knows how miserable it can be.

Why not just take common sense precautions? It's not all that difficult.

And btw, the common refrain that all of this is just hype and gee, people have managed to survive all this time strikes me as a little specious and reminds me of the whole "Back in my day we kids [insert dangerous activity] and lived to talk about it."
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:44 PM   #14
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One reason there's more news about food-borne illnesses is that there's better monitoring and research than in the past.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, food poisoning strikes 76 million Americans every year, with 300,000 ending up in the hospital and 5,000 dying. Salmonella infections can be fatal in the young and elderly.

I find the attitudes expressed by some to be astounding, particularly when it comes to exposing their families to unnecessary risks on the flawed premise that "it ain't killed me yet."
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:51 PM   #15
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While food poisoning may not be a "big deal," it's definitely no picnic (slight pun intended). Anyone who's ever had it knows how miserable it can be.

Why not just take common sense precautions? It's not all that difficult.


And btw, the common refrain that all of this is just hype and gee, people have managed to survive all this time strikes me as a little specious and reminds me of the whole "Back in my day we kids [insert dangerous activity] and lived to talk about it."
Agreed. I did say that common sense should prevail. But I think the Food Police go too far in scaring the bejabbers out of us. It's not just food poisoning. It's "don't eat fat; don't eat sugar; wine is good for you, no wait - it's bad; eat your spinach, don't eat spinach - it's contaminated; coffee is bad - no, wait it can be good for you in certain quantities; take your vitamins - no don't, nothing's been proved that they help; do your sit-ups for flat abs - oh never mind, they don't really work - etc, etc. It makes my head spin.

A factoid here Out of approx. 967 million people in Africa, 700,000 died in 2008 of food poisoning. That's .007%. And many of those poisonings were about pesticides and contamination at the initial production level. It's AIDS and malaria that are killing so many.

And I have had probably what was food poisoning if that's the only thing that causes diarrhea absent any other obvious cause. And no it wasn't a picnic, but neither was the cyst on my face, the bone fragment that pushed through my inner jaw, the gall bladder that had to be removed, or the time I sprained my ankle badly. All of which I chalked up to the business of living. OK I can't resist this - **** HAPPENS!

I tried to go out of my way NOT to be specious or make sweeping generalizations. But I do think there are a lot of things like the "Back in my day" arguments have more than a kernel of truth to them. We are so bombarded with warnings about every aspect of our daily lives we have lost sight of a basic fact. We are ALL going to die. It's just when and what of that is up in the air.
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:22 PM   #16
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Laury, you say you agree that common sense should prevail. Common sense is based on the knowledge we have at any given time. We simply know more today than we did before. And one thing we know, to get back to your first post and what seems to have started you on this topic, is that we should reheat marinades before using them on cooked food. That doesn't seem too scary to me.

As for the idea that we're all going to die, well, sure. So should I smoke up a storm and not wear my seat belt then?
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:40 PM   #17
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I'd rather have someone "scare the bejabbers" out of me than be left in the dark. If the USDA discovers a problem with pistachios or bagged spinach, I want to know. And now that I'm a big boy, I don't get scared -- I just avoid those things until the problem is resolved.

I can't quite imagine the "food police," as you so mockingly call them, NOT telling us about a problem they've discovered, or not monitoring the food chain at all. Doing so, and warning the public about actual problems, keeps the mortality rates low.

Finally, the problem you bemoan is more the fault of the media, which sensationalize (or should I say Michael Jacksonize?) such news. That's hardly a reason to criticize the CDC, USDA, and other "food police" who do us all a great service.
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:45 PM   #18
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A factoid here Out of approx. 967 million people in Africa, 700,000 died in 2008 of food poisoning.
Most food poisoning goes unreported in the US. You can imagine if that is true here how many fewer cases are reported in Africa.
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:48 PM   #19
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And btw, the common refrain that all of this is just hype and gee, people have managed to survive all this time strikes me as a little specious and reminds me of the whole "Back in my day we kids [insert dangerous activity] and lived to talk about it."
It is arguments like that which never made sense to me. People will say, we have always done xyz and we are still here. Well sure you are. What about those that did it who are not here?

It is like someone from Japan saying that they had Atomic bombs dropped on their country and they survived. Yes the people who survived survived. The people who did not died.
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Old 07-03-2009, 03:13 PM   #20
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It is arguments like that which never made sense to me. People will say, we have always done xyz and we are still here. Well sure you are. What about those that did it who are not here?

It is like someone from Japan saying that they had Atomic bombs dropped on their country and they survived. Yes the people who survived survived. The people who did not died.
It's the "Russian Roulette" fallacy: I pulled the trigger yet I'm here to tell you about it, so I think I'll do it again!
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