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You have all heard of the Salmonella food outbreaks and scares that pop up all around this country and in many other places around the world, but how many of you know that “Salmonella” is not a disease as such?  That would be called Salmonellosis.

 

Salmonella is a genus of Gram-negative, non-spore forming, and motile enterobacteria with flagella which protrude in all directions (peritrihous).  Salmonella gets it’s energy from oxidation and reduction reactions using organic sources.  Most species of Salmonella are facultative anaerobics and are found around the world in  many different locations both  in warm blooded and coldblooded animals alike, and, believe it or not, human beings.  Some of the diseases attributed to Salmonella include typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, and food borne Salmonellosis.

Samonella infections are all zoonotic.  They can be transmitted from humans to animals and from animals to humans.  Common strains are Salmonella Enterica Subsp., Enterica Serovar Typhi, or Salmonella Typhi.  Enteritis Salmonella can cause diarrhea, and infants, small children, the elderly, and people suffering from suppressed immune systems can become very seriously ill will need antibiotic treatment to rectify the problem.

There are an estimated forty thousand cases of Salmonella infections reported annually within the USA.  Salmonella can survive for weeks outside of a living organism.  Sunlight accelerates their death rate, as does being heated to a temperature of fifty five degrees for a period of one hour, or to sixty degrees for a period of not less than half an hour.  To guard against Salmonella food must be heated to at least seventy five degrees for a minimum of ten minutes.  Freezing does not kill salmonella .

Sources of Salmonella infections can be caused by injestion of unclean foodstuffs especially in institutional kitchens and restaurants, polluted surface water or stagnant water, improperly thawed poultry, or uncooked eggs from Salmonella infested birds.  Suspected foods contaminated by Salmonella outbreaks are taken off shop selves and returned to the manufacturer and should not be ingested.

The Salmonella in peanut butter found inside the products of the Peanut Corporation of America, has become one of the worst food borne Salmonella outbreaks in US food history and has been put down to criminal negligence.
Salmonellosis usually develops within twelve to seventy two hours after the person becomes infected with salmonella and Salmonella infections normally resolve in about seven days with oral liquid treatments.  Antibiotics such as ampricillin, ciproflaxacin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazale are the best treatments for Salmonella infections which spreads to the intestines.  Some Salmonella patients have developed Reiter’s Syndrome which can lead to chronic arthritis and antibiotic treatments tend to have little effect on whether or not the patient develops arthritis from the Salmonella infection.

Beef, pork, milk, poultry, and eggs are the main host carriers of Salmonella, but any  type of food can become contaminated by this bacteria.  Eating raw or undercooked eggs, poultry, or meat can be a good method of contracting a Salmonella infection, as can cross-contamination of foods.  Symptoms of Salmonella infections may include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramping.  Laboratory tests are required to determine the presence of Salmonella and its specific strain.

Milk pasteurization, farm animal hygiene, cleaner slaughterhouse regimes, cleaner vegetable and fruit harvesting and packing operations, and better educational training standards of food industry workers in basic food handling and restaurant safety inspection procedures, may all help prevent Salmonella outbreaks from happening.
US Government Departments, such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, monitor the frequency of Salmonella infections in the Country, and help local and State Health Departments investigate outbreaks and devise controls and measures to lessen cases from happening.

 

The Food and Drug Administration inspects imported foods, milk pasteurization plants, promotes better food preparation techniques in restaurants and processing plants, as well as regulates the wrongful use of certain types of antibiotics as food animal growth inducers.  The United States Department of Agriculture monitors the health of food animals, inspects egg manufacturing plants, and the quality of slaughtered and processed meats.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency regulates and monitors drinking water supplies for safety.

The following steps can be taken to help prevent outbreaks of Salmonellosis:  cook poultry, ground beef, and eggs thoroughly at hot temperatures, avoid cooking oversized batches, do not eat or drink raw eggs or unpasteurized milk, wash hands after handling raw meat or poultry, and if foods in restaurants are served undercooked such as meat, eggs, and poultry send them back and have them cooked some more.
Salmonellosis is preventable by adopting correct food hygiene measures.

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In our modern world there’s no question that we all live longer and healthier lives than our forefathers. In saying that we have to remember that life has, in many ways, greater demands on us and we need to stay super fit to remain competitive. Our environment is constantly churning out poisonous chemicals  that react with Free oxygen in our bodies. These chemicals cause damage which we call free radical damage. Free radicals also play a crucial role in areas of food hygiene both directly and indirectly.

Many types pf anti oxidants are used in the food industry. These anti oxidants play a number of roles. Some are used to counter bad odors in food. These odors can come from a number of different causes. Poultry, especially turkey often has unpleasant odors even though the meat itself is not contaminated.  A lot of this has to do with the way the animal is reared.

Battery grown turkeys are reared in very crowded conditions. There is a lot of dust in the air and the turkeys droppings accumulate as deep litter  more and more until the turkey is literally walking on a layer of droppings that can reach one foot in thickness. In these conditions the birds feathers are constantly in contact with droppings and as you know the feathers pass through the skin into the  lower lawyers of tissue. In conditions such as these there is absolutely no way that the meat of the turkey will not be affected by the conditions in which the turkey is forced to live.

It is for this reason that the poultry meat industry uses antioxidants to counter the odors of turkey meat.

Other reasons for using anti-oxidants in the food industry include to increase the shelf  life of products by using natural anti-oxidizing substances that will help to prevent chemical reactions within the meat that can cause bacteria to begin to develop.

So antioxidants play a crucial role in the food industry which has very clear implications for food hygiene by preventing the development of undesirable qualities within potentially vulnerable products and by lowering the risk of contamination through the neutralization of free radicals that help harmful bacteria to develop.

At a personal level we can lower the risk of free radical harm by making sure that we have a sufficient intake of natural antioxidants. By providing our bodies with a constant supply of antioxidants we fortify the anti-oxidizing systems already in place within our bodies. This makes the fight against disease easier for our natural defenses.

In this lens I will talk about and give you ideas on how you can slow down free radical damage, quite considerably By making drinks from fruits, vegetables, and herbs that are all readily available to us in our grocer’s store or which we can grow in our gardens, it we are lucky enough to have access to a plot of land.

Vegetables, Fruits And Herbs For Making Health Drinks.

 Here’s a list of products that you can use to make anti-oxidizing drinks:

Fruits:
Kiwi, Persimmon, Noni, Papaya, Cranberry, hibiscus (a flower), blueberry, blackberry, red currant, elderberry, Black currant, bilberry Carob, acai berries, Strawberry, Apple, Passion fruit, Tamarind, red grapefruit.

Vegetables:
Broccoli, carrots, peas, snow peas, alfalfa sprouts, sunflower sprouts, bamboo sprouts, red cabbage, tomatoes, pumpkin, sweet potato, green cabbage, red peppers, pine nuts, wheat grass, onions, Spring Onions, garlic, beetroot, asparagus, aloe Vera, hops, Fennel Kale.

Herbs and Spices:
Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Basil, oregano, wild hyssop, coriander, parsley, dill, tarragon, mint, Louisa, melissa, lemon grass, ginger, aniseed, cumin seed, cardamon seed, caraway seed, vanilla pod, Clove.

Note: The dry seeds need to be re hydrated before use. Do this in water that has ice in it in the fridge.

Aloe Vera and carob come in the form of concentrates which can be bought at health food stores or at really good department stores or hypermarkets.

The first recipe that I would like to tell you about is really great for people who suffer from stomach problems and it contains a few things not in the product list above.

I like to prepare this drink on a base of carrot juice because it is gentle on the stomach.

Ingredients:
carrots, ginger, aloe vera, lemon grass, stevia (best from “sunrider”),

Extract juice from carrots and a decent sized piece of ginger. Add about 25ml. of aloe vera concentrate, extract juice from lemon grass, add about 10 drops of stevia per glass. MIX AND DRINK.
For optimal results this recipe should be taken 3-4 times a day. Stevia is a natural sweetener and has the added benefit of speeding up the recovery of stomach lesions.

Fruit Detox Drinks

*Here’s another of my recipes that’s really tasty.

Ingredients: Persimmon, Kiwi, Papaya, Passion fruit.

This recipe is a tropical delight and it doesn’t matter how much of which to put in. Just use as much as you have or experiment to find your favorite combination.

*Another favorite of mine is mixed berries. This can be a little expensive if the berries are out of season so go by what you can afford.

Red currant, Bilberry, Blackberry, blackberry and Cranberry,

Mix in a blender, Blitz and then pass through juicer or just drink.

*A real favorite is a strange combination to many people but it works really well.

Ingredients:
Carob, Tamarind, Carrot juice And Acai Berry (a Brazilian palm fruit).

The secret here is to use the carob to sweeten the mixture. Just put everything through the Juice extractor and stir well or blend.

*The next recipe involves hibiscus flowers which should be bought dried from your health food store. Put a couple of tablespoons of hibiscus in boiling water and leave to stand until the water is dark red.

To this add red grapefruit, apple juice and elderberry juice or juice of any other berry.

So I’ve given you a few ideas for great detoxifying drinks but really you can mix anything out of the list I gave you in any combination. A general rule of thumb when making your mixes is to mix different colors. The different colors have different antioxidant groups in them. Also, try to make your drinks as pulpy as possible, that way you are also taking advantage of the dietary fiber within the fruit.

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Are you really sure that your favorite snacks are actually manufactured by the companies who’s names are on the wrapping?

Did you think that fake merchandise from the Far East only referred to wrist watches, CD’s, DVD’s and designer Labels?  If you have never thought about this question in depth, it may be time to do so. It has recently been discovered that many of the world’s favorite snacks are being fraudulently copied by various companies in the Far East.

World famous snacks are being produced to look and taste exactly the same as the original product.
Even “last sell my dates”, “dates of production”, company details and list of ingredients that must be printed by law on the wrapping of every product are carefully planned to coincide with the production details of the original companies’. Everything is planned right down to the last detail so as to elude the suspicions of government inspectors, retailers and consumers alike.

All of the companies that manufacture these fraudulent products are 100% sure that you the consumer will not be able to taste the difference between their fakes and the original product because they are identical in every way to the original.

Import companies all around the globe are tempted and lured by the prospect of lower prices and higher profit margins. Both the shops that sell the products and you the consumer are completely unaware of the conspiracy.  After all, you are getting a completely identical product in every way, right?

Wrong! In fact you are actually getting more than you paid for. The added ingredients come in the form of potentially dangerous  bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, listeria. These and other forms of microorganisms have been found in snacks that have been copied in the Far East. Tests to discover such activities have been carried  out by several government health authorities and by the quality control departments of the companies whose products have been copied and whose reputations have been damaged.

We also need to realize that international standards organizations such as ISO, GMP or HACCP will have nothing to do with companies that are faking the products of other reputable and responsible companies. This means that there is no control or information about how these products are produced. Hygiene standards are likely to be low and cleaning regimes may be waved.

Original manufacturers such as Nestle, Cadbury’s, Hershey’s and many other companies go to great length’s to ensure that you are buy a safe and hygienic product. They test all the ingredients that go into a product and they also test the all the parameters of the production of the final product. A large part of the cost of the product goes to cover the cost of quality control. With fake products, hygiene and quality may be the last thing on the mind of the manufacturer.

Reputable food companies now find that they now have to contend with this snack piracy on a continual basis. They are also finding that they, who had no part in the production of these imitation products, now have to continually check for fakes on shop shelves around the world and take responsibility for the correction of such infringes upon the reputation of their own company name.

In several countries, authorities were alerted to counterfeit snacks on the shelves of shops when complaints of food contamination were gathered from hospitals. After indentifying snacks as the cause importers were forced to recall all of the offending products and are now having to answer to legal allegations by national health and safety authorities. Several such companies now face loosing their import licenses, receiving hefty fines and being given periods of jail time.

Practices such as these are common in our day and age. Activities like these are responsible in part for the increase in the instances of food poisoning around the world.
Could this be the wake up call you have been waiting for regarding the quantity of snacks you eat?

asian-1238668_1920If you are like me you like shellfish in all forms, shapes and sizes. I just cant get enough shellfish, particularly shrimps, squid and lobster. Personally, I think that shellfish are one of the best food sources available. They are almost all protein, no fat and almost zero cholesterol. What could be better?

But wait. Before you let yourself dash off to the nearest seafood restaurant here are a few things that you should know about your favourite tasty morsel. Shellfish are one of the most dangerous of all forms of food. That’s right, you heard me well, one of the most dangerous and for several reasons.

Firstly, even if you are one hundred percent sure that the shellfish in question is completely fresh, there is still the question of seafood allergies to consider. Shellfish have one of the highest counts of allergic reaction rates per capita. The reason for this is precisely because shellfish are constituted primarily of protein. Most of our immune responce reacts to proteins and the reason for that is because our antibodies are themselves proteins and they are designed to seek out foreign invaders who’s skeletal walls are made of protein.

One of our antibodies, which is known as “I.G.E” causes very acute responses of the immune system. One such immune response is anafilactic shock. If a protein from a shellfish is recognized as an alien threat and becomes attached to I.G.E. antibodies, a potentially fatal chain of reactions may be set into effect.

So, say a person would like to try shellfish for the first time, how could he test if he has an allergic response? One simple option is to take a piece of the shellfish after it has been cooked and to rub it onto the inside of the lower lip. If you are allergic the lip will either swell up, tingle or produce a burning sensation. One may also feel internal side effects such as tightness of breath, facial swelling, excessive salivation,sweating and drop in blood pressure which may cause vomiting , dizziness or red rashes over extensive areas of the body. If that is the case, seek medical treatment immediately in a hospital and don’t go anywhere near shellfish, they are not for you.

Up to now I have talked about allergic reaction to the protein in fresh and untainted shellfish. There is, however a different kind of allergic reaction that one can get from shellfish. It may be of little consequence to the sufferer how he got his allergic reaction but the difference is important from medicinal and scientific perspectives. One may  suffer an allergic reaction to bacterial toxins and/or to waste products of bacteria within the shellfish itself. This is important because the person affected from such bacterial substances may not be allergic to shellfish at all per say and had it not been for the bacterial activity, no reaction would have been encountered at all.

The other danger concerning shellfish is that of bacterial infection. Shellfish are a very easy target for bacteria because a) they contain a high percentage of water and b) they are made up of protein which are an excellent source of food for many dangerous forms of bacteria such as the clostridium genus. Shellfish become contaminated up to ten times more quickly than most other forms of food.

This means that we need to take great care when dealing with shellfish. Shellfish are safest when bought frozen. The reason for this is  they are caught by trawler ships which are really floating factories and they are frozen and packed within minutes of being caught on production lines which are maintained at a constant ambient temperature of four degrees celcius. In conditions such as these the likelihood of contamination is as near to zero as it is possible to get.

So how do you prepare frozen shellfish? My advise is not to thaw frozen shellfish. Boil water and throw them into the boiling water. Cook them until  your crustaceans have changed color and all of them have turned pinky orange in color. Take them out of the water without cooling them at all and after allowing them to drain mix instantly with your pre cooked sauce, while the sauce is still boiling. Serve sizzling hot.

Never allow shellfish dishes to cool and I strongly advise against re heating shellfish dishes, including Paella. Keep it simple and safe, thats the key. In the case of frozen clams, mussels, winkels and such like, discard any that have not opened during the cooking process.

When buying fresh shellfish you should always ensure that the creatures are still alive. If they don’t move, don’t buy. Shells like clams should be closed and you should see them tighten the pressure of the closure when you tap the shell. Do not buy any that don’t react. Personally I like to buy directly from the fishing boats right after they have docked. That way I am one hundred percent sure that they are absolutely fresh. Definitely do not by anything that is not stocked in crushed ice.

One trick that a lot of merchants use and you should look out for is to splash fresh sea water over shellfish and other forms of fish. The reason they do this is so that the merchandise had a fresh sea smell that will make it more difficult for you to recognize other bad smells that might be present on fish and shellfish that has not been stored properly and has been outside for an extended period of time. Watch out for this. If you sea a bucket of water near a stand, you will now know it’s purpose.

Shellfish should be cooked in a sauce which is tart, peppered and salted to taste. All of these qualities will lower the Ph of the shellfish and lessen the risk of bacterial growth.  Avoid adding leaf herbs to shellfish because leaf herbs have bacteria on them which may contaminate your food.

All spices and herbs, if used, should be fried in oil at the beginning of the preparation of the sauce. This way, any bacteria in the spice or on the herb will be killed by the heat of the oil.

Follow these basic principles and you should stay out of shellfish hell.

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WHO Finds E Coli in tomatoes in several palaces around the world, proving that vegetable are being grown on cheap sewer water.

People around the world may be at risk from tomatoes and other veg. grown on sewer water.  National health authorities who may be importing from certain countries will have to heighten their alert and inspect all vegetable imports, particularly tomatoes, cucumbers, citrus fruit, strawberries, melons and water melons, peppers and other types of staple veg. Water shortages and the heightened cost of fresh water in many regions is making crop growers  seek cheaper irrigation alternatives to avoid rising costs.

In view of this news, it may be wise for people travelling to warm arid climates or anywhere in the third world,  to avoid purchasing vegetables from open markets and roadside stands. Supermarket chains, hotels and established restaurants might be more careful about ruining there reputations through the purchase of contaminated foods.

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Doctors in Tel Aviv hosptials were shocked by the arrival of 85 people to hospital, all showing signs of some sort of classic toxin poisoning and allergic reactions.

Staff at the three Tel Aviv hospitals were further amazed to discover that all 85 people seemed to live in close proximity to one another. Toxicological tests were performed on blood and stool samples of all the victims. Labotatory staff were hightly surprized to find that all showed clear signs of  food mould poisoning.

All the patients were admisistered antidotes to the toxin and are expected to make a full recovery within several days.

Hospital authorities informed Tel Aviv police and public health officials about this potentially lethal development. Investigation of the patients by police showed one thing in common to all of them. All had bought flaky pastry products at a local bakery.

On investigation of workers and the owner of the bakery, police officials discovered that one of the workers had forgotten to put part of a consignment of pastry into the freezer and had left it in a service room for four days.

The pastry thawed and mould grew on the pastry rolls. Not wanting to throw the pastry out, the owner of the business had instructed staff to scrape the mould off as best they could and to use it for the manufacture of the days poducts.

The unsuspecting public eagerly bought the pastry and ate it suspecting nothing. Soon after all of them showed signs of food poisoning and arrived at three of Tel Avivs hospitals for treatment.

The department of public health in Tel Aviv are bringing charges against the bakery owner and have closed the bakery down until further notice.

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