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Old 09-15-2011, 10:04 PM
 
103 posts, read 344,928 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livecontent View Post
We must emphasis that all agricultural products and livestock products are, by nature, can be contaminated with pathogens. I think it is poor policy to continue to recall food products and at the same time fail to educate the consumer of the proper handling of food.

Cantaloupe and Melons are grown in an environment where listeria bacteria is very common. It is really impossible to completely eliminate the total risk. We must strictly enforce rules in food service establishments that these products must be fully washed and brush scrubbed before they are cut. I have seen too many times food service workers just rinsing melons under water and many times not even doing that useless washing. The work surface and utensil also must be cleaned.

The same approach must be emphasised strongly for home consumers. I wash my cantaloupe in warm dish soap water and scrub them with a brush. It is nonsense when the FDA does not want to recommend this procedure because they are concerned about the health hazards of liquid dish soap. Well, if that is the case, they should announce not washing any dishes, pots or glasses with the soap, as I sure some residue remains. It appears that over many generations that the risk of these soaps are much less than the risk of deadly pathogenic infections.

Appropriate cautions should be enforced for other food products and especially meat. Ground meat products should also be cooked fully. There is no way that one can fully ascertain that a dead ground animal can be free of pathogens. Heat is the weapon that should always be used. We should, again, strongly, educated the consumer at home.

Mass recalls of products may be necessary but doing that without enforcement of food handling and education to the consumer is just continue a wasteful and costly system.

I have bought Rocky Ford Cantaloupe and I will continue to buy them but I practice what I preach and clean the products. It is a shame that an industry and jobs are being threatened with these constant recalls when we can minimize the problems with proper enforcement and education.

In addition, I strongly support radiation of products that cannot be effectively cleaned for consumption and are at high risk of contamination. It is ridiculous to hear all these scare tactics from people who do not and cannot understand.

Livecontent
You are spot on with your comment. Care does need to be taken. I still wonder if the problem may actually lie with the shipper/distributor. What did they ship it in? Or, once it was received at the distributor level...how was it handled? Not so sure Jensen is the problem...they may be the fall guy! It puzzles me why there are no cases in Prowers, Baca (or Otero) counties. Surely locals are consuming that cantaloupe. Could it be the problem did not originate at the grower level?
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:49 AM
 
103 posts, read 344,928 times
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Default Just a thought.....then off to Bronco game (have to leave early!!)

Just another thought on the cantaloupe recall.....

Haven't seen an updated County list in Colorado since this one from Dept. of Health, but as of Sept. 12 the list of Counties reporting cases of listeria (according to Channel 7 Denver) included Larimer, Boulder, Adams, Douglas, Arapahoe, Denver, El Paso, Jefferson and Weld.

Does it seem odd that if it were the growers of the cantaloupe (Jensen Farms in Granada...some 80 miles east of Rocky Ford)....that the local counties of Prowers and Baca don't have a disproportionate number of cases? Instead...none at all. To me, this points to the fact that the source of infection most likely happened far down the line from the original grower.

Otherwise, the locals who either purchase or "night pick" the cantaloupe from the fields would begin to show up in the count. I would imagine there are some 60 year olds in that region that frequent a field at night....I know there are some in this area that still do..old habits are hard to break.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Fort Collins, CO
166 posts, read 359,104 times
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I saw a news story where they showed the farmer voluntarily destroying his crop because some of the fruit there was tested positive for the funk.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:35 AM
 
Location: The 719
13,736 posts, read 21,585,157 times
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Well if you saw it, I'm sure you've got a link to back that up.

In any case, It's my understanding that the bacteria can be in any soil... or even the outer skin of the fruit, but never get onto the part we eat if we process it and clean it properly.

Anybody hear how the woman's husband at Memorial Hospital is doing?
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Fort Collins, CO
166 posts, read 359,104 times
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It was on television, not online, but I will see if I can find it.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Fort Collins, CO
166 posts, read 359,104 times
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Listeria Strain Linked To Specific Colorado Farm - Video - KMGH Denver (http://www.thedenverchannel.com/video/29211201/index.html - broken link)

that's the story i saw. So sad for all involved.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:57 PM
 
103 posts, read 344,928 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juliemac View Post
Listeria Strain Linked To Specific Colorado Farm - Video - KMGH Denver (http://www.thedenverchannel.com/video/29211201/index.html - broken link)

that's the story i saw. So sad for all involved.

Juliemac..thanks for finding the link. In listening to the report....he did destroy the crop, but I heard no confirmation of finding infected ones on the farm as of yet. In fact, as they said on the report, most of the cases are generally tied to processing. One "expert" did say it was likely (but no actual confirmation) it could be the grower because of the widespread outbreak in States; however, it would still seem likely that if the point of infection were at the farm, there would be a much more dense infection rate in Prowers and Baca Counties in Colorado....when there to date have been none.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:17 PM
 
5,091 posts, read 13,206,233 times
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I have been eating Cantaloupe, everyday, in protest. These stupid people and their stupid fears and their stupid ideas about food. The bacteria is part of nature. Cantaloupes need to be scrubbed with a brush because the surface is rough and catches bacteria which is sticky and you need soap to help break the adhesion to the surface.

There is no way to guarantee that cantaloupe will be free of pathogens. It will be in the ground. It can be on the surface of the product. It can be contaminated in harvesting, packing, and shipping. It can be contaminated at the retail warehouse or the retail shop or by a previous customer who likes to touch all the products and give a good squeeze. Your defense against all this is to properly prepare the product and add an extra measure of protection.

We, who take food preparation seriously, learn HAACP (Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points). That is in food manufacturing, processing and restaurants that an extra step is taken to further assure a product is safer at critical points in food processing. Those same principles can and should be applied to at home food preparation. These concepts of food preparation must be taught to the consumer.

I give you a good example. I just bought some pre-cut sliced ham and turkey. It comes in a zip lock package. Before I even open the package, I thoroughly wash the outside. I do that to help further assure the inside product is not contaminated by the previous customer who touched all the packages. He may have visited the bathroom and never washed his hands. What many times happens the consumers get sick and the manufacturer is the first to blamed--which he should; but there are other source of contamination. By washing I minimize the threat. I cannot assure against all hazards, unless I fully cook the sliced lunchmeat and serve it hot--but sometimes we do accept some risks for taste and convenience.

There are these people with their raw food movement. You want to be totally safe, eat no raw food and eat all food fully cooked and hot. Of course, many raw foods are very healthy and it would be boring to cook all foods--we would never have lettuce or fresh tomato on our burgers. However, if we can process the food at home, at best we can, then we can better assure our safety--but we got to know how.

Livecontent

Last edited by livecontent; 09-20-2011 at 07:25 PM..
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
19,093 posts, read 8,996,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livecontent View Post
I have been eating Cantaloupe, everyday, in protest. These stupid people and their stupid fears and their stupid ideas about food.
Gee, maybe you ought to chill out just a tad. I'm 62. Have eaten cantelooe since being a kid. My grandmother never washed them before cutting. Neither did my mother. Neither did my father, and he was a chef in civilian life and a mess hall supervisor (tech sgt) in military life. And, when I worked in the grocery store as a kid, there were no guidelines in the deli about washing them first. I'M NOT SAYING THEY WERE RIGHT...I'm saying it was not standard operating procedure for most people over the years.

It does take time to teach people, and I'm sure most people have little awareness of the problem.

I've learned. I will change my procedures.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:57 PM
 
5,091 posts, read 13,206,233 times
Reputation: 6913
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
Gee, maybe you ought to chill out just a tad. I'm 62. Have eaten cantelooe since being a kid. My grandmother never washed them before cutting. Neither did my mother. Neither did my father, and he was a chef in civilian life and a mess hall supervisor (tech sgt) in military life. And, when I worked in the grocery store as a kid, there were no guidelines in the deli about washing them first. I'M NOT SAYING THEY WERE RIGHT...I'm saying it was not standard operating procedure for most people over the years.

It does take time to teach people, and I'm sure most people have little awareness of the problem.

I've learned. I will change my procedures.
I am in my sixties and I agree what you described is what did happen. People did get sick and some died but it was not always ascribed to the problems of listeria. The death rate was and is today very low compared to those who consume and got sick. Today people get more medical care, more lab testing is available and there is more communications between health providers, government and industry and with media everything becomes more instantaneous and known.

Yes, you are correct. It does take time to teach people and to change happens What bothers me there is little emphasis or none at all, from the government and the media, about proper handling with the current problem with cantaloupe and that is part of the reason people are not aware.

I know very well what old cooks and chefs have done and still do. Unfortunately, there is no requirements in most municipalities for licensing and training food preparers. Here in Denver, there is a very minimum required food safety course for a food handlers permit but not in any other municipality. I think it should be mandatory in all States and all Cities.

Livecontent
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