e. coli in europe, prevention

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by siduri, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. siduri

    siduri

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    I had heard of e.coli being a risk in industrially packaged ground meat in the US but the recent/current e.coli scare in europe has me concerned because it concerns vegetables.  Fine if they have it in those we cook, but it appears to be in vegetables we eat raw. 

    I suspect there is little to do about it but i wondered if any of you food chemists and safety experts could tell me if it can be washed away.  My son is living in Berlin, and Germany has had many cases.  Is something like amuchina, (sodium hypochlorite), able to kill it?  (Rinsing well after using it of course.)
     
  2. maryb

    maryb

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    From what I have heard it is inside the vegetables.
     
  3. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Siduri !

              From all I have managed to read and hear it seems like it is a different strain of E-Coli not the ones that are dominant here in the states or in meat. They are know stopping the sale and importation of some veges.

           As far as washing, if it is indeed inside the fruit or vege. I don't think it can be eliminated.  Most E-Coli as we know it  is a  product of rectal waste. Only way I could see it inside the fruit or vege is from water supply seepage . I can't think of any other way unless actually injected into it

          . Only true way to kill E coli is heat at a set temp for a set time. Salmonella can be stopped with  hypochloride solutions and peroxides

          . Although not the greatest  thing I would advise your son until this is solved to stick to canned veges.
     
  4. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    That is contrary to what I've read, seems they are narrowing the source down to some bean sprouts, but no one is completely certain at this point.

    The one fact that seems to have a consensus is that this is a new mutation that is worse than normal.
     
     
  5. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Pete correct me if I am wrong ,but I seem to remember back in the 80s there was an outbreak associated with some kind of sprouts I think Alfalfa.
     
  6. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I would advise your sons to stay away from eating raw vegetables right now.  Even I am staying away from raw veggies at the moment.  Cooked should be fine.  As far as I understand e-coli is inside the vegetable, there is only so much you can eliminate by peeling and washing, even if in a vinegar-based solution.  The contamination of e-coli may come from a contaminated water supply or manure.  I'm bummed out about not eating raw veggies but until this passes it's better to be safe than sorry.
     
  7. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    That sounds familiar.

    Though I understand the potential for, shall we call them, "natural contamination", i.e. water source(s), manure, random animals, my personal theory is a breakdown in personal hygiene somewhere along the line is usually the cause /img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif, with today's automation, it only takes one small source to spread through the whole operation.
     
     
  8. luc_h

    luc_h

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    It now appears that the outbreak was caused by bean sprouts from a German farm (not from Spain).

    E, Coli is never found <inside> vegetables unless it is punctured.  Usually peeling vegetables is sufficient to drastically reduce the amount of bacteria on the surface.

    Plant peels control the water on their surface that prevent bacterial growth.  That is the same as our skin where bacteria do not grow easily but when we cut our skin that barrier is broken.  

    This principle applies to veggies. 

    Bean sprouts, sprouts in general and soft tissue veggies like lettuce leaf pose a greater risk of bacterial contamination because they are often bruised and very wet.

    Water quality control at the farm level is critical to prevent contamination.  I suspected it was not fresh unpeeled cucumbers that would be the suspects (peeled and cut maybe) but sprouts make a lot of sens.

    Baby carrots would fall in the same hazardous veggy category as sprouts because they are essentially peeled and cut larger carrots to look like baby carrots.  Even caught a bag that was slimy?

    Luc H.
     
  9. siduri

    siduri

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    Thanks Luc.  I presume cooking kills the e coli?  hopefully this strain is not heat-resistant.
     
  10. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Not so fast! Sprouts may not be the source according to the latest reports from Germany...
     
     
  11. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Siduri

    In many cases bean sprouts are heavily used in oriental cuisine including stir fry's which are quickly cookesd and veges remain crisp. Tis to me is not thoroughly cooked. Canned sprouts are thorougly cooked.      Carrots in the bag get slimmy because they are old or held at wrong temps.
     
  12. panini

    panini

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    Siduri

    You need to get the internal temp to 160-170 to kill e coli.

    Then it has to be wrapped and put away properly. The quicker the heating the better

    Jeff
     
  13. siduri

    siduri

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    Thanks all. 

    will pass on the information
     
  14. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Today the headline is its not from sprouts, nor is it from Germany. By the time they find out what it is,  you will not be permitted to eat anything and everyone will die from starvation anyway???
     
  15. siduri

    siduri

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    Well, as far as i can see you just have to make sure all your food is cooked. 

    That's a lot better than when there was chernobyl! 
     
  16. brownedoff

    brownedoff

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    And we're now back to the conclusion that yes, it is German and yes, it is definitely beansprouts only.

    The reason beansprouts are so susceptible is that they are sprouted in body-temperature water, which is obviously ideal conditions for bacteria.

    The level of scare in parts of Europe other than Germany has been a bit silly to be honest as all people affected in other countries had just been to Germany.