Posted 22 June 2008 - 10:45 PM
Yeah..the instructions to do it at home are faulty. They should be saying "DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK" "DO THIS AT YOUR PERIL." I can't imagine anyone would want to do and this was surprised to notice recently that these instructions appear in a reputable reference for country living. I think this is like the Amish who can rice...people do it, but it's not a good idea.
Pasteurization is the only process that kills bacteria properly in any dairy product. The temperature at which food is dehydrated is not sufficient to kill the bacteria in eggs or milk.
Salmonella might not seem so bad to some people--a little intestinal discomfort, they think.Yet it can kill you. Botulism could kill you. And, if your body goes into a huge immune reaction to a foodborne pathogen, it can cause you lifelong harm--if it doesn't kill you.
My father in law loved raw oysters despite that his wife, a nurse, warned him not to eat them, especially in third-world countries. He ate raw oysters in South Africa...and there, a common foodborne pathogen is Campylobacter jejuni. He was ill, with flu-like symptoms, vomiting, etc. But then, he lost his balance and fell. They were camped out at Victoria Falls at the time. Doctors thought he reactivated an old neck injury and wanted to operate. But what had actually happened was that his body had such a huge reaction in his immune system that it set up Gillian Barre Syndrome, which basically fries your nerve endings so electric messages can't get to your brain. If left unchecked, you stop breathing and your heart stops beating because your brain can't send the electrical impulses necessary to the organs keep them going. If my MIL had listened to doctors there, and allowed them to operate, the anaesthetic would have killed him due to the syndrome.
Well, he's alive, but almost died getting out of Africa on a stretcher. My MIL had to buy six tickets because the stretcher took up room on the plane...and then we had to hire an air ambulance to get him to Los Angeles from Atlanta.
If I hadn't been writing about foodborne pathogens for years, the doctors would not have known immediately what was wrong. I asked my MIL soon as she got to the US if he had eaten raw oysters and she confirmed. She had not connected this to the oysters because that was a week earlier--but the incubation period of the severe reaction is about 7 to nine days..
I told her to tell the docs he likely had a reaction to a pathogen from eating raw oysters. I told her he probably had Guillian Barre. She immediately agreed and began berating herself for not thinking of it herself. Within hours of their landing at the medical center, doctors confirmed Gillian Barre--and said that us telling them about the raw oysters and possible jejuni strain likely saved FIL from dying. He was only hours away from total shut down, they said. They said without us knowing those facts, they would not have filtered his blood right away like they did.
At that point, nobody else had thought about this possiblity. In South Africa the strain of Campylobacter jejuni is often linked to that syndrome!
He needed transfusions, too. It was too late to keep him from being completely paralyzed, but it did save his life. He can walk in a limited way but now has to use a scooter to get around.
So...if you think Darlene is raining on your parade, just ask me for more horror stories about foodborne pathogens. I made my living writing about this stuff. I could curl your hair and then straigthen it again....
And what goes on in the food industry that you don't hear about is enough to make you want to grow your own, can your own, dry your own. If I were not a prepper, I would still be doing this because at least I know I'm following proper procedures.
Be glad we have the FDA. At least there are some regulations.