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Re: HACCP "Rules"
Let's use some common sense in this discussion about encountering human pathogens.
The simple solution is to wash your hands, face, etc. Wash your food before you eat it.
Most of us wash our hands and our bodies for the simple reason that each time we go to the toilet, we get E. coli, and any other human pathogen in that room, transferred to our surfaces. Humans encounter pathogens all the time.
We deal with that bacterial load in two ways. By washing them off our surfaces with soap. And, by letting competition with the "good guy" bacteria and fungi - that grow using the "good guy" bacterial and fungal foods released with sweat or perspiration - kill the human pathogens. The "bad guys" don't survive on a healthy body surface.
Your body surface is aerobic and has competitive bacteria and fungi growing on it. Only when you are sick, and your body defenses not what they should be, can the pathogens win the competition on your body surface. Or if you never wash, and certain areas of your body become anaerobic. Thus the need for cleanliness in a sick person's presence.
The simple solution for E. coli getting onto crop surfaces is to wash the surfaces before consumption, or treat with heat adequate to kill the pathogens. The heat treatment is generally called cooking.
Please, let some common sense be part of this discussion. There's a difference in getting human pathogens on the surfaces of food plants that might not be washed before being consumed (thus the 90 to 120 day rules), and getting human pathogens on your surfaces, a hazard that occurs everyday from a variety of sources.
Everytime you touch a door handle in a public building, or even in your house, you are probably picking up an enormous load of human pathogens. So why not go ballistic about that? Touching a door handle is much more hazardous than the bacteria you might get on your body surfaces from spraying a manure solution, or poorly made compost tea.
The simple solution is to wash your hands. When applying manure, the simple solution is to wash the pathogens off yourself and your food before you eat. Simple, but effective.
President, Soil Foodweb Inc.