A friend posted a link to this story: http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/02/health/cyclospora-outbreak/index.html. It's about an outbreak of Cyclospora due to contaminated salad mix served in Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurants in Nebraska. They buy their salads pre-mixed from a manufacturer in Mexico.
Yeah, I know, Nebraska's a long way from here. But it could just as easily have been here, and Hubby suggested Olive Garden for dinner the other night (we didn't go, but the local diner we did go to was clearly using a salad pre-mix also).
For transplant patients like Babygirl (and their Moms!) this type of story is flat-out terrifying. We were recently told that we could loosen up a little on our vigilance with making salads at home. But it's clear that in US restaurants we must maintain our vigil.
While we were in Paris, each salad that we ate was clearly made fresh. There was never any evidence of dirt or wilt or the dryness you see when a shredded carrot has been sitting for a bit. It may have been a mistake, but I felt very comfortable letting Babygirl eat salads there. Here, not so much.
The article above doesn't say that anyone got life-threateningly sick. But for Babygirl and people like her, the risk is different: Her immune system is being shut down on purpose to save her transplanted kidney. She wouldn't be able to fight this off.
And the outcome could be appalling.
As I prep for beach week, I've bought ingredients for things we always eat there. One of the things I need is a chunk of salami. Since cold cuts pose a Listeria risk, I have to get this chunk as safely as I can. I ask the clerk to open a fresh salami sausage, disinfect surfaces, scissors and knives, get fresh gloves and so on. I was suitably impressed by the guy who served us in Walmart this week. He clearly didn't know WHY I needed him to do it, but he did everything I asked and even thought to disinfect the scale. Beat the crap out of this chick: http://kidneedsakidney.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-lighter-side-of-journey.html who didn't get it and clearly didn't care.
Add all of this to the many reasons why having our own garden makes so much sense. Killing people with food? How scary is that?
PS That reminds me - pack the food thermometer for the beach!