Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Baby Got Bacteria

I know I've said this before, but I'll say it again: you never hear of tainted M&M's or Oreo cookies being recalled:
It could take weeks before health officials know exactly which pistachio products may be tainted with salmonella, but they've already issued a sweeping warning to avoid eating the nuts or foods containing them.
The FDA learned about the problem March 24, when Kraft notified the agency that routine product testing had detected salmonella in roasted pistachios.
I love this:
Kraft and the Georgia Nut Co. recalled their Back to Nature Nantucket Blend trail mix the next day and expanded the recall to include any Planters and Back to Nature products that contain pistachios Tuesday. [emphasis added]
"Back to Nature." I guess we should remember that just because something is "natural" doesn't mean it's healthy. After all, salmonella bacteria are 100% natural. Think about it won't you? Thank you.

LiveScience today has the lowdown on salmonella (not an April Fool's joke):
Salmonella are a group of different strains of bacteria that can contaminate almost any food, causing diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. Scientists are still learning why the microbes are so problematic. One reason is that they have evolved tricks to get around the human immune system.

Infamous for clinging to cutting boards even after they've been washed, salmonella is now known also to lurk inside you, multiplying quietly, then striking only when it has built up a formidable and sickening force.

Scientists also just learned that salmonella find protection inside amoebas — which are ubiquitous on land and in water — perhaps one reason they spread so effectively.
And dig this:
Last week we learned that salmonella sent into space became more virulent in the zero-g environment.
Dang; and I thought I could save money by keeping the gravity in the house turned down. Oh, and it just gets worse:
Reptiles, including turtles, are prone to pack salmonella on their skin.
Guess I'll have to do something about all the turtles in the kitchen. And as for hanging out with Gamera, guess not anymore. So much for being the friend to children.

All kidding aside, though, and even though one doesn't want to go freaking out unnecessarily, the Centers for Disease Control has everything you need to know to prevent salmonellosis, which is actually pretty easy, and pretty common sense. Still, I guess it means no more chicken sushi.

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