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ecoli at cix.compulink.co.uk ecoli at cix.compulink.co.uk
Wed Aug 18 15:45:09 EST 1999

Right on the comment makers.
There IS too much b......t put about concerning hygiene and most of it 
is misdirected.
On antibiotics I find the current concern about their use very sad as I 
remember being the conference secretary for a conference at Nottingham 
University (UK) in 1962(yes 1962) when the topic was "Antibiotics in 
Agriculture" and warnings were given about the potential rise of 
resistant strains. Fat lot of good it did ! 

Excessive hygiene in the wrong place seems to lead to children having 
poor immunological systems which drop them in trouble when poor hygiene 
does strike.(Usually from the dud end of the food industry)

On food hygiene, I have a theory that much of the epidemic of food 
poisoning that seems to be hitting the UK and USA is connected to the 
advent of food supermarkets and especially "out-of town" food markets. 
The scenario works like this. Everyone is very busy working long hours 
and no time for frequent food shopping (contrast continental Europe). So 
you take the car the supermarket once a week (or even once a fortnight), 
bring back loads and loads of food AND CRAM THE FRIDGE UNTIL IT CAN'T 
As an academic microbiologist I know only too well that even with a lab 
full of trained (?) scientists, nothing seems able to prevent them from 
overloading refridgerators. Think what they might do at home. even 
worse, think what nonscientists might do.
I would love to have the authority to empower a force of "food police" 
to have right of entry to check the temperatures of domestic 
refridgerators. I think the explanation for "food poisoning epidemics" 
would soon appear.

Phew - wanted to say that for some time.

Peter Harris
University of Reading, UK
Microbiologist 40 years (so there ! :-))

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