7 September, 2013
How a Foodie Ends up with E. coli
I know you guys count on recipes when I post here, but I wanted to share an experience with you that might help save some of you from future sickness. I do not want to create panic as this does not apply to all people, but only to those that have weakened immune systems such as former or current cancer patients (it’s been ten years since my radiation therapy and my system is still weak), young children/babies and seniors that are in poor health.
As a foodie, I always rinse any produce that I don’t peel or cook but I did not know that the virulent strain of E.coli known as O157:H7 requires a mild detergent wash, then rinse in order to be safer for people with immune system issues. (This strain is not overly common in our everyday produce, but it does occur. My case was caused by imported green grapes.)
Most people might get mild stomach discomfort from eating food infected with various strains of E.coli. Sometimes so minor they pass it over as just a slight “bug” and forget about it. For those with weakened immunity, the bacteria will affect us much more rigorously and may not just go away on its own. I struggled with symptoms for nearly three weeks before finally seeing my doctor, thinking I was just run down or stressed. By the time I went to the doctor I could not keep any food or liquids down or in me and it was a violent case. Now that I am taking a powerful probiotic and eating very small amounts of bland food (Cream of Wheat has been my saving grace!), I am starting to gain some strength back.
I hope you all take care to clean your produce carefully, and if you or anyone you know has a weakened immune system, please pass this information on, and advise them to use a mild detergent to actually wash their produce before consuming it. You may save yourself or someone you love a LOT of grief!