According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fresh produce was the most significant source of foodborne illness in 2005. Click here for more information In 2000, the CDC reported that the occurrence of foodborne disease increases during the summer months for all foods, including fresh produce. They report the number of reported produce related outbreaks annually doubled between 1973-87 and 1988-92.
The article sites three major reasons for the increased incidence: increased foreign imports and the handling methods and ready-to-eat packaging of those produce products, modified atmosphere packaging, to keep produce looking fresh longer which “…may open a window of opportunity for pathogens to grow,” and “…poor hygiene practices and inadequate inspections at produce-processing plants, according to a report issued in March by the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Energy and Commerce.”
According to ASM’s (American Society of Microbiology) Microbe magazine (June, 2008), “Foodborne outbreaks attributable to leafy greens such as lettuce, cabbage, and spinach increased substantially during the past 35 years, and continue to cause public health problems throughout the United States.”
Google Blogs Alert for E. coli testing: E. coli Outbreak is Growing: Posted on: Wednesday, 18 June 2008, 06:00 CDT. Subscribe to Google Blogs Alert for E. coli testing and you will find that ground water contamination and, more importantly, runoff water may be spreading E. coli across your lawn and your children or pets may be transporting thousands of E. coli and Coliform bacteria into your home.
E. coli and Coliform bacteria are fecal bacteria. High populations of urbanized wild animals and hillside dog walking areas contribute to the E. coli and Coliform population on your lawn. In the movie the War of the Worlds, the microbes took down the alien invaders when the military could not.
As E. coli and Coliform levels go up in our food and in our environment people are getting ill; people die from this in America today. E. coli infection usually causes diarrhea, which can be bloody, and appears within two to eight days after infection. People who have symptoms should contact their doctors.
Government regulation is needed and welcomed in the battle against E. coli; however the rate of E. coli and Coliform infestations are moving much faster than the wheels of government, as per the CDC’s report of incidence doubling as presented above.
Today much of the country is being flooded; flooding spreads E. coli and Coliform bacteria. Multiple Water Watch Groups in 25 states (1/2 of the United States) report E. coli counts in excess of 90% above safe levels in the water. Well water should be tested periodically; however, after flooding testing should be mandatory.
Foreign human and pet foods move into the United States in massive volumes both fresh and processed. The budget constraints are such that rigorous testing and monitoring cannot be accomplished. Possibly the model of the Water Watch Groups should find fertile ground as Food Watch Groups.
As my readers and obesity counseling clients change their eating habits in an effort to get their Candida yeast infestations, their overweight or obesity, and their other Candida infection symptoms under control, I see many of them moving towards a healthy consumption of more fruits and vegetables. My experience with molds, yeasts, and bacteria personally, in the field and in my laboratory prompts me to bring to attention information about these healthful foods which frequently harbor Bacteria or Fungus.
All fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains are habitat to Bacteria or Fungi: one or the other will dominate the territory of the various foods we eat. The main difference between Bacteria and Fungus is the time factor to resulting death after exposure and contraction. Bacteria is fast; untreated it can lead to death, in days, weeks, months. Fungus is insidious and slow compared to bacteria and a wide range of its symptoms is normally not attributed to it, thereby allowing it to grow unchecked for years. Fungus is a contributing factor to morbidity, often named as a secondary cause of death (COD); however, fungal infections take a long time to kill you.
My personal experience with the Fungus Candida had a dramatic effect on my life and the conditions caused by Candida; my morbid obesity was cured by a dietary change to reduce the yeast infestation in my body, and a variety of other Candida yeast symptoms such as chronic fatigue, moodiness, fogginess, and just feeling older than I should cleared up as well.
Unfortunately, E. coli, Salmonella and General bacteria, which multiply at a much faster rate than Fungus, are a greater and more immediate health threat. My laboratory (Florida Institute of Mold/Florida Institute of Yeast Optimum Recovery Laboratories) has been working with Micrology Laboratories’ E. coli media, an EPA approved media for Water Watch Groups. Our recent culturing of fresh pre-washed packaged salad mix* yielded high amounts of General bacteria, Coliforms, and E. coli. (Photographic results of these tests are available on line at ecolitest.com.) The food we eat is going to have Bacteria or Fungi, and it is important to know what health threat each type of food has, and how to reduce that threat.