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Mara10

Nothing Left To Eat

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I recently posted that I am a freshly self-discovered gluten intolerant American in Germany. Since then I've had to cross corn and lactose off of my list of safe foods. When I stopped eating those two categories I felt wonderful but now there is a lot of drama with this E. Coli business. They say to stay away from almost every vegetable because it might be contaminated. I've been eating meat and fruit and feeling really lousy. I'm very new at gluten intolerance and this makes it much more of a challenge. Its hard not to panic, I'm running out of edible things that are healthy for me. I think root veggies are safe, any recipes, ideas?

Yours, Mara

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I've read about it but am not really well-versed on the E. Coli scare in Europe. Wouldn't it be safe to cook the veggies? Or buy canned or frozen veggies that have been processed long before this recent scare?

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what about rice? green beans? anything canned? anything frozen? seaweed?

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What a horror for you. Lettuce, cucumbers, other greens and a really virile strain of E. Coli in Europe.

I'd go for root vegetables. It seems like if you peeled the cucumber, the bacteria couldn't invade. We've had E-Coli tomato break outs down here, and I wondered if it was from people not washing the fruit, or if that bacteria could prosper in the actual tomato. I always thought the acid from the tomato would kill E-Coli, or nature wouldn't let it grow in a tomato.

You can still make really good gluten-free foods without greens or cukes. We're roasting a chicken tonight with home grown herbs, lemon & onion. I'll give up the salad tonight for you. Hope nobody you know/love had the bad greens, and good luck.

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What a horror for you. Lettuce, cucumbers, other greens and a really virile strain of E. Coli in Europe.

I'd go for root vegetables. It seems like if you peeled the cucumber, the bacteria couldn't invade. We've had E-Coli tomato break outs down here, and I wondered if it was from people not washing the fruit, or if that bacteria could prosper in the actual tomato. I always thought the acid from the tomato would kill E-Coli, or nature wouldn't let it grow in a tomato.

You can still make really good gluten-free foods without greens or cukes. We're roasting a chicken tonight with home grown herbs, lemon & onion. I'll give up the salad tonight for you. Hope nobody you know/love had the bad greens, and good luck.

The news here said it can get inside.... :blink:

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Doesn't cooking kill E. Coli? I'd certainly avoid raw veggies (like salads).

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Doesn't cooking kill E. Coli? I'd certainly avoid raw veggies (like salads).

That is my thought as well. Just eat well washed and cooked veggies and it shouldn't be a problem. The latest news says beansprouts are suspected: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/06/06/scientists-say-beansprouts-not-cucumbers-are-to-blame-for-killer-e-coli-outbreak-115875-23182485/

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Doesn't cooking kill E. Coli? I'd certainly avoid raw veggies (like salads).

I don't think it does. There was an outbreak of it here years ago at Jack In The Box with burgers.

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I don't think it does. There was an outbreak of it here years ago at Jack In The Box with burgers.

The burgers were undercooked. That is why the e coli was not killed and people got sick.

When there was an e coli outbreak here in CA a few years ago, it traced back to raw spinach - except they never did find the exact source, but they found the probable farm fields where it happened, after nobody was supposed to eat salads for weeks and weeks. That was unique, in that instead of the e coli being on the spinach, like from contacting somebody with an infection or some cow poop from run-off, it was in the spinach.

They are saying this new case in Europe, like that spinach e coli outbreak, can be a case of "lateral transmission." Lateral means sideways. It means a bacteria made a leap not from animal to animal, but from animal to another species, a vegetable. How does this happen? One possibility is that plant breeders were using animal genes in creating GMO vegetable characteristics. . If you totally want to get the heebie - jeebies from comprehending a new term, look it up.

Paper from May 1998 - 13 years ago - pdf download http://www.ask-force.org/web/HorizontalGT/Nielsen-HGT-rare-1998.pdf

for instance, the frequent insertion of antibiotic resistant genes in GMPs (Genetically Modified Plants) has raised questions about the possible transfer of engineered genes to indigenous microbes in the soil. It is known that opportunistic pathogenic microorganisms of soil origin with novel antibiotic resistance patterns can emerge.

:ph34r:

Chinese scientists have miraculously and quickly decoded the latest little bugger's DNA genome, and Surprise! It's a Chimera. Aka a hybrid.

http://www.biofortified.org/2011/06/german-ehec-strain-is-a-chimera/

The novel germ has some virulence abilities of a class of pathogenic E. coli bacteria called entero-aggregative E. coli (#EAEC). It has similarities to a bacterial strain called EAEC 55989 , which was isolated in the Central African Republic and is known to cause serious diarrhea. EAEC typically carry extra mini-chromosomes called plasmids. The German outbreak strain has the typical plasmid genes of EAEC bacteria as well as shigatoxin genes seen in EHEC germs.

Shigatoxin. See Shigella dysenteriae "dysentery" see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiga_toxin and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shigella_dysenteriae'>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shigella_dysenteriae and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shigella shigella is only naturally found in humans and apes. (maybe that should be past tense, was?) e coli can be carried in host animals like ruminants which can be shedding it without it making them sick.

An e coli - shigella cross ? :blink:

USA Today sort of downplayed the 'how could this have possibly happened' angle and made it sound like it was just a natural gene swap. (never mind where antibiotic resistance comes from, or what the implication can be when a super bug is resistant to 14 kinds of antibiotics) http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/columnist/vergano/2011-06-03-e-coli-biology_n.htm

They also note the this new strain is targeting adult women instead of the elderly and children.

_________

Cook your vegetables. After handling raw ones, wash your hands well, and be sure to wash the utensils that prepped the vegetables well and wipe down your counters with a solution of water with just bleach in it and a paper towel, or alcohol and water mixed together to form a disinfectant. (don't mix bleach and soap, it forms a poison gas.)

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Hey :) Sorry to hear you are having such trouble.

Off the top of my head I would suggest root vegetable soups/stews, meat added or not.

Chilli, using canned tomatoes rather than fresh.

Curries, again using canned/frozen

What is the status on frozen vegetables in Germany? Frozen peppers work well in cooking, but not so well in salads (I really did try that :blink: )

As far as cucumbers and fresh tomatoes go, is it possible to plant some up yourself? Tomatoes are dead easy to grow and plants should be available at this time of year. Mine are just flowering so will have a crop in a couple weeks all being well.

you may also have some success with cut and come again lettuce. Ours is thriving right now and only took 3 weeks or so to get to the point where we could crop it. If you don't have the ground space, tomatoes can be grown in gro bags, the lettuce will be ok in a planter. Not sure about cucumber since I tend to grow that in the ground inside the greenhouse.

In the uk you can also purchase hanging baskets with cherry tomatoes or planters with peppers in.

Good luck with it all, and I really hope this e coli thing passes quickly :(

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I don't think it does. There was an outbreak of it here years ago at Jack In The Box with burgers.

If you're referring to the outbreak in Western WA about 15 years ago, a friend of mine's young son died in that outbreak. It was caused by undercooked ground beef. There was some research I read just recently on E. Coli. in cattle and that grass fed cattle had much lower levels (almost non-existent in some cases) and different, less virulent strains than grain fed cattle.

....<snip>....That was unique, in that instead of the e coli being on the spinach, like from contacting somebody with an infection or some cow poop from run-off, it was in the spinach. They are saying this new case in Europe, like that spinach e coli outbreak, can be a case of "lateral transmission." Lateral means sideways. It means a bacteria made a leap not from animal to animal, but from animal to another species, a vegetable. How does this happen?

....<snip>....(never mind where antibiotic resistance comes from, or what the implication can be when a super bug is resistant to 14 kinds of antibiotics)

....<snip>....Cook your vegetables.

Yeah, I was following that outbreak. That was disturbing. And the lateral transmission issue is just ONE of the things about GMOs that scares me.

<sarcasm>Genetically Modified Organism - isn't that such a nice way of saying "Hey, we played around with something we don't fully understand and might have put the equivalent of a pocket nuke in your food? But don't worry, it's ok, the government bureaucrats say so, oh but by the way, don't drink raw milk!" </sarcasm>

And better yet, grow your own vegetables and know where they come from. We used rabbit and cow manure for years on our gardens and never got sick once from using it. And there were eight of us kids, plus the dog. :) Of course my childhood memories now include the memory of hauling rabbit manure in the wheelbarrow from the barn up to the gardens in 90 degrees weather.... :lol:

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Thank you for all the great advice and heads up on how this E.Coli thing is turning out... Ironically enough I developed most of the symptoms of E.Coli poisoning and had to find a clinic today. Its just Acute Gastroenteritis (joy) but I was really trying not to panic there.

My doctor said no dairy of any kind, and no meat, just rice and bread<--obviously doesn't work for me. So I'm going to be a rice, carrot, and potato gal for a little while.

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The only problem is that you have to cook your food to an internal temperature of 160 F to kill E. Coli. The only way to determine that is with a meat thermometer and cooking vegetables to that temperature would likely leave you with a disgusting plate full of mush with little nutritional value left.

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I think y'all are misunderstanding what this bacterium is. It is 100% natural, nothing to do with laboratory GMO. Reporters are misusing "GMO" to get Google hits and sensationalize the articles.

Here.

http://www.biofortified.org/2011/06/natural-gmos-part-85-speed-matters-era7-bioinformatics-provide-e-coli-ehec-genome-annotation/

And another that explains bacterial DNA exchange.

http://www.biofortified.org/2011/06/german-ehec-strain-is-a-chimera/

Basically, bacteria swap bits of DNA by trading natural plasmids through conjugation. They're always "trying on new DNA for size" and if it gives an evolutionary advantage, like virulence in this case, a new strain will stabilize. Otherwise they eventually throw out the worthless plasmids. This is a completely natural process that bacteria use instead of sexual reproduction to evolve. Most biology students learn about F-plasmids in first year college bio.

In the case of this bacterium, as well as a natural plasmid, it got some DNA from a virus. Every now and then a bacteriophage - a virus that lives on bacteria - will be defective and get DNA from a host bacterium when it reproduces instead of it's normal genome. If it infects another bacterium it passes on the bacterial gene rather than killing the bacterium leading to a natural gene transfer. The gene the E. coli picked up from a virus was one that taught it to make shigatoxin. The combination of a virulence plasmid and shigatoxin makes a very dangerous "superbug", but it all came about naturally.

By the way, can someone please link a RELIABLE source saying the bacteria are inside the vegetables? That doesn't make much sense to me.

As far as safety, I would go for root vegetables that I can scrub, peas in the pod where you shell them out and throw away the pod, or vegetables that are good boiled for a while like beets, collards, or string beans. Also, nothing organic!

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By the way, can someone please link a RELIABLE source saying the bacteria are inside the vegetables? That doesn't make much sense to me.

I heard that on several different news stories. NPR did an interview with a doctor from the US CDC who stated that it can live inside - http://www.npr.org/2011/06/02/136897193/scientists-probe-why-e-coli-strain-is-so-virulent

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I heard that on several different news stories. NPR did an interview with a doctor from the US CDC who stated that it can live inside - http://www.npr.org/2011/06/02/136897193/scientists-probe-why-e-coli-strain-is-so-virulent

Thanks. That's a little unusual...and scary. I guess it's because the strain is sticky and can get in where there a little damage? Usually they tell you bacteria are on the outside and to wash stuff.

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Thanks. That's a little unusual...and scary. I guess it's because the strain is sticky and can get in where there a little damage? Usually they tell you bacteria are on the outside and to wash stuff.

Another scary part is that it's so hard to wash off the outside of the produce, too. It's hard to get away from e Coli, like you said - it's just part of nature. And it lives in/on us, too - that's why we wash our hands before we eat.

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I heard that on several different news stories. NPR did an interview with a doctor from the US CDC who stated that it can live inside - http://www.npr.org/2011/06/02/136897193/scientists-probe-why-e-coli-strain-is-so-virulent

Thanks for the link, Jen. I read the article, but may have missed the audio portio you were referring to. The article didn't reference that E-Coli could be growing in the vegetable.

There have also been problems with green onions. Remember the popular mexican chain restuarant that had E-Coli from the green onions?

That makes sense. There are all those little crevices in a green onion. Even if you wash them well before chopping them, you can't be certain that they're fine if they could possibly have been contamminated with an e-coli virus. And they're usually used as a garnish or lightly sauted, so they don't meet the cook test.

To the OP, I'm glad you didn't eat any of the offending foods, sorry about the gastritis. I wish you well on your way to recovery.

You can't have apples?

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Thanks for the link, Jen. I read the article, but may have missed the audio portio you were referring to. The article didn't reference that E-Coli could be growing in the vegetable.

Second to bottom sentence. :)

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