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Old 12-22-2015, 05:19 AM   #21
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So stay away from restaurants that source locally at farmer's markets or local organic farms and go to Mickey D's and KFC instead?
I did not say that foods I like and food safety always go hand in hand. KFC and MD's are not on my list of places to eat, ever. If one is going to enjoy life, risks will have to be taken. Those of us who explore caves, climb mountains and kayak swift rivers do so as safely as we can but are taking risks to do so.

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Old 12-22-2015, 09:03 AM   #22
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Of course this is why in the early US hard cider was preferred to water or milk. A bit of alcohol seems to keep many bacteria at bay. Perhaps then if alcohol works against e-coli alcohol containing salad dressings here is a link to a post a blog on scientific american about alcohol and e-coli: Strong Medicine: Drinking Wine and Beer Can Help Save You from Cholera, Montezuma s Revenge, E. Coli and Ulcers 1 - Scientific American Blog Network
The post discusses cholera in Inverness in 1832 and alcohol. Perhaps then Cipotle should serve some straight vodka with their food.
That doesn't make any sense at all. Now tequila, that would make sense at a Chipotle.
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Old 12-22-2015, 09:24 AM   #23
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Attempting to be all natural, organic, non GMO, no antibiotics leaves a lot of territory to audit and verify in the area of food safety.
+1 That was my reaction. Living "natural" like our ancestors is great but one must remember it was once 'natural' to die at 45 years old too.

Being a survivor of e-coli in my bloodstream (really...almost died) I've become quite skittish paranoid now about all sorts of bacteria opportunities.
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Old 12-22-2015, 09:30 AM   #24
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Interestingly I read that Chipolte will be moving to cleaning and bagging produce at central locations, and bag it up. Which of course is what the big chains do.
As I recall, when e coli outbreaks at restaurants could be tracked to an identifiable source, many came about because uncooked food such as lettuce (or precooked food) came into contact with residue from raw meat during food prep.

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mpeirce: My Mom recently had a bad case of E Coli. She was sick enough that she had to go into the ER. They sent her home with some antibiotics. Then they called her back because her strain tested immune to the antibiotic she was prescribed. They put her on intravenous antibiotics and admitted her to the hospital for a day to observe her. Here white blood cell count was very high.

That was about two weeks ago and she's still not all better - but improving.
Certainly e coli bacteria are all over the place, but it seems that the strains that are most dangerous have acquired drug resistance due to the agricultural industry's cavalier attitude toward antibiotics. That makes nearly every slaughterhouse a potential haven for dangerous e coli.

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harley: I would assume, based on Midpack's chart, that the only way to be safe is to eat only foods produced by companies who's name start with T - Z. And maybe Q.
Qdoba must be OK, then ...
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:23 AM   #25
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Seeing as this affected customers nationwide, I don't see why you'd flag locally sourced foods as the problem. It also doesn't seem like they even have that many ingredients to worry about. It's probably the same old Lettuce / Tomato / Onion / Jalapeno from mexico problem.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:30 AM   #26
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What is your reaction to the E coli illnesses attributed to eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill during the past several months? As a retired food safety professional, I find it most irresponsible for this chain to be so poorly managed in the area of food safety.
my reaction? The CEO is too skinny.
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We call it the quality death spiral
Old 12-22-2015, 10:42 AM   #27
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We call it the quality death spiral

In manufacturing we called it the quality death spiral. When you shipped a defective part, the customers quality department would pay extra attention to your next several shipments and they would invariably find something else wrong, even though they normally would accept the product as is. So they would reject the next shipment as well and would do even more inspection and find even more problems. In Chipotle's case, I believe they occasionally had problems like this before, only now everyone has heightened awareness, and every problem is now being reported nationwide. There may actually not be any extra risk in their processes or product, just the focus on the issue. Its a death spiral. Tough to break the spiral. JMHO
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:42 AM   #28
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Of course this is why in the early US hard cider was preferred to water or milk. A bit of alcohol seems to keep many bacteria at bay. Perhaps then if alcohol works against e-coli alcohol containing salad dressings here is a link to a post a blog on scientific american about alcohol and e-coli: Strong Medicine: Drinking Wine and Beer Can Help Save You from Cholera, Montezuma s Revenge, E. Coli and Ulcers 1 - Scientific American Blog Network
The post discusses cholera in Inverness in 1832 and alcohol. Perhaps then Cipotle should serve some straight vodka with their food.
Wine, such as it was in ancient Rome and medieval Europe was the drink of choice specifically because it was less likely to kill you right away than was the available drinking water, especially in cities.
Benjamin Franklin supposedly once said, "In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, and in water there is bacteria"...I don't know if he really said that but I am willing to give him the credit.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:43 AM   #29
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10 years ago I was on a business trip in Silicon Valley and went out running on the various levees in the area for exercise.

What I saw appalled me to no end.

There are little pop up farms around there, right in the heart of tech country, that grow vegetables like lettuce, celery, etc. Running along the levee, on my right, were "shacks" where the migrant workers lived. On my left was a dry river, and toilet paper and feces everywhere. My goodness, I wish I had taken a picture of that!

Right there, in the heart of rich man's country, were migrant workers using the side of a levee as a toilet! This sounds unbelievable, but it happened.

Now imagine those workers doing their business, then walking across the levee to the field. They drag <whatever> into those lettuce and celery fields.

Suffice it to say, I'm not surprised we still have an E. coli problem with fresh produce.
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Old 12-22-2015, 11:00 AM   #30
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Don't fool yourself that you are safe from E-coli if you prepare your own food from the grocery store.

You might be ok if you cook everything and never eat a fresh raw fruit or vegetable.
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Old 12-22-2015, 11:01 AM   #31
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In manufacturing we called it the quality death spiral.
I once saw an interesting way to combat that.

A company produced an industrial product (not food) and they had the capability to ship an extraordinarily high quality. Let's call it 99.9999% pure.

But they had a major customer who set a standard of 99.93% pure, and they put a very high value on consistency from batch to batch.

So the manufacturer would check each batch and add enough adulterant to their highly purified product to get it down to 99.93% and everyone was happy.
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Old 12-22-2015, 11:38 AM   #32
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The quality death spiral is interesting. When you couple this with the almost hypersensitive social media and pseudo news business, you end up with a scene where the original producers of some products (be it food or other materials) are run out of business when flaws are found. Taken to extremes, we kill the business locally, and begin to bring the product in from other places. Sometimes from places where we have little regulation or visibility of how quality is maintained.

Are we in a better place? Or did we simply suppress the bad news?

Many years ago I would end up going through the kitchens and back storage rooms of a number of very high end hotels and their associated restaurants. The food looked much better on the plates out front.

I am not ready to start only eating goo from a sterilized foil packet.
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:01 PM   #33
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3 hundred years ago most people drank wine or beer because water was not safe. The Pilgrims landed where they did because they were running out of beer.
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Old 12-22-2015, 01:59 PM   #34
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As I recall, when e coli outbreaks at restaurants could be tracked to an identifiable source, many came about because uncooked food such as lettuce (or precooked food) came into contact with residue from raw meat during food prep.
I haven't seen anything indicating that any such cross-contamination occurred at any of Chipotle's restaurants with regard to the recent cases.
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Old 12-22-2015, 02:09 PM   #35
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The details of the current Chipotle investigation make me think that if you're really concerned about food safety, you'll avoid not only Chipotle restaurants but any restaurant serving raw food. No salads. No fruit at breakfast. No fresh toppings such as tomatoes or leafy produce of any kind. And cooked foods must be very cooked.

They are reporting sick individuals who did NOT eat at Chipotle's as well as those that did. I hope the fact that Chipotle's is large enough to be a popular media target and also has deep pockets so will automatically be popular with litagation fans isn't causing the investigations to be too focused.

We all need to remember that you can't be too careful when scrubbing fresh produce for home consumption.
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Old 12-22-2015, 02:22 PM   #36
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The details of the current Chipotle investigation make me think that if you're really concerned about food safety, you'll avoid not only Chipotle restaurants but any restaurant serving raw food. No salads. No fruit at breakfast. No fresh toppings such as tomatoes or leafy produce of any kind. And cooked foods must be very cooked.

We all need to remember that you can't be too careful when scrubbing fresh produce for home consumption.
The 'fresh' food you eat could have been on the other side of the planet two days ago; who knows what was going on before and during transit?

At the same time, I've seen some pretty scary treatment of food grown 'locally' before and during it's own transit to market. Just because it was grown a few miles away at a local farm doesn't always mean that it was treated respectfully and carefully; many times just the opposite of something coming from a factory farm with better controls.

Scrub it and boil it!
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Old 12-22-2015, 03:48 PM   #37
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Scrub it and boil it!
Marko, how do you feel about bagged green salads like are often sold at Trader Joe? They are extremely handy for someone like me who lives alone, and also cheaper than trying to make a salad with assorted ingredients since for a household of one, some will inevitably be wasted.

I use many bagged greens, but I always cook them for taste and safety.

I eat raw fish, but only at a quality sashimi restaurant or oyster bar, or if I am doing it at home, that I buy from a Japanese fish market. Those guys are as picky as I am about their fish.

I also need to go to Ballard to buy some pickled herring. Christmas could not exist without freezer chilled vodka and pickled herring!

Ha
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Old 12-22-2015, 03:56 PM   #38
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Marko, how do you feel about bagged green salads like are often sold at Trader Joe? They are extremely handy for someone like me who lives alone, and also cheaper than trying to make a salad with assorted ingredients since for a household of one, some will inevitably be wasted.

I use many bagged greens, but I always cook them for taste and safety.

I eat raw fish, but only at a quality sashimi restaurant or oyster bar, or if I am doing it at home, that I buy from a Japanese fish market. Those guys are as picky as I am about their fish.

I also need to go to Ballard to buy some pickled herring. Christmas could not exist without freezer chilled vodka and pickled herring!

Ha
Had sushi last night. As you say, "those guys are picky about their fish". I do eat salads from a bag sometimes but generally I stay away from vegetables overall. My 86 year old mom hasn't eaten a vegetable in over 60 years...
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Old 12-22-2015, 04:00 PM   #39
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A Chipotles restaurant just opened a few weeks ago near here. Although it may be the quality death spiral, I do not foresee the time coming when we eat there. From my perspective the company has a system-wide problem and a few years after it's fixed I may consider eating there. But probably not. For me, their reputation is shot and they might just as well close up shop and go home.

The newspaper periodically publishes the results of health dept. restaurant inspections. It isn't hard to spot the ones that consistently have problems and we avoid those too.
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Old 12-22-2015, 04:01 PM   #40
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Marko, how do you feel about bagged green salads like are often sold at Trader Joe? They are extremely handy for someone like me who lives alone, and also cheaper than trying to make a salad with assorted ingredients since for a household of one, some will inevitably be wasted.

I use many bagged greens, but I always cook them for taste and safety.

I eat raw fish, but only at a quality sashimi restaurant or oyster bar, or if I am doing it at home, that I buy from a Japanese fish market. Those guys are as picky as I am about their fish.

I also need to go to Ballard to buy some pickled herring. Christmas could not exist without freezer chilled vodka and pickled herring!

Ha
Of course you could do like expats in Indonesia in the late 1980s and wash all greens in Clorox. (produce there on sumatra was quite suspect).
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