Fast Food Wraps and Salad Over 400 people have been sickened by eating food, salad wraps and other things that contain fresh (uncooked) veggies at different fast food chain restaurants because May 1, 2018. Others recently became sick after eating prepared salads or using vegetables bagged as salad ingredients brought home from food store chains. Some people who like to lick the spoon after mixing homemade or prepackaged cake or cookie dough also got sick on account of the flour (already recalled) or eggs (salmonella) in the combination. Why have things like fresh vegetables and flour suddenly become a potential health threat? Nobody will like the answer, but it is the truth. I’ve been writing about this for over twenty years. In the late 1990s and early 2000s a good deal of people began to become seriously ill and some died after eating fresh veggies or prepared foods which contain them such as salads, tacos, wraps and so on. Others got sick from raw batter and some fruits. Please note that this wasn’t just your average case of food poisoning caused by stale or undercooked food. These cases involved possible killers like campylobacter, e coli and listeria. Why so many instances and how did they get into our food? You might be thinking this has to do with home cooks and restaurant employees not washing fresh veggies before using them in something like a salad, sandwich or wrap. Sadly, that has not been the problem. Dirt and outside contaminates like pesticides can be washed off vegetables. Washing will do nothing for veggies infected with campylobacter, e coli and listeria. There are more cases of vegetables infected with these contaminants now than ever before. For several years the exact groups of migrant workers and their children picked U.S. grown produce. They tended to move around the nation because they had work most of the year. When there was no create to harvest, they obtained jobs in food processing plants. However, since fast food franchises and chain restaurants became extremely popular in the 1980s and 1990s, growers grew more and there was a need for larger numbers of people to select and help harvest their crops. This caused a huge influx of fresh faces from Mexico and South American Nations. The old joke (and even a movie name ) says,”Don’t drink the water south of the border.” Why? Since the water supply in a number of these poor countries is dangerously contaminated with all kinds of bacteria. That’s because raw sewage is dumped into whatever water is available to move it away from populated areas in areas lacking treatment centers. This fact is proven by the regular pollution of seawater off San Diego beaches which is sometimes so contaminated with Mexican sewer that swimming is dangerous. Oftentimes the same freshwater that’s badly contaminated with sewage is used for drinking and washing clothes. Because this has gone on for so long, the people in those places have built up immunities to the majority of the contaminates. However, they remain in their bodies. Sometimes growers do not offer any or appropriate portable restroom facilities for pickers or workers. Contaminates in their bodies end up in the ground. Likewise, food processing plants that don’t enforce handwashing or other food safety procedures wind up with the same problem if their employees make physical contact with food through touch or perspiration. Dangerous bacteria are sucked up into crops through the water they absorb from the ground. That type of contamination can’t be washed out; it is in the food. The exact same is true if bacteria gets into processed food through carelessness. Testing helps with processing centers, but it is usually too late to catch all of the tainted food products in time to keep everybody safe. Last year raw vegetables and some fresh fruit made one in six people in the united states and Canada sick. Far more than became sick due to undercooked or tainted beef, chicken, pork or fish. We do not have the immunities that the pickers and food workers have to fight off harmful contaminants. So what could be done? There are some things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from these dangers. Scientists disagree with each other on the advantage of microwaving, but it’s worked for me and my family for years. Fruits, well I can only suggest that you buy fruit and veggies grown in the united states. There are also many ways to cook fruit and still retain its flavor and health benefits. Then, there are always fruit pies (yum). Cook eggs and meats thoroughly and avoid unpasteurized milk and cheeses. Beware of meats or seafood processed and produced in other countries.