Today, during our meeting, we decided the research project topic. The two foods we had narrowed down to were apple cider or lemons. The team decided on lemons. We also talked about possible solutions for problems with lemons. One of the biggest problems with lemons is human contact with the lemons. The lemons are loaded down with all sorts of disgusting bacteria. Also, the cutting boards and knifes used to cut the lemons are most likely yucky, too. Maybe the cutting boards were recently used to cut uncooked meat or other foods that could possibly carry bacteria that will get inside the lemons.
Today, Julia, Natalie, and I (Tristan) had a phone call with Professor Anne LaGrange Loving. She has recently tested lemons at 21 restaurants. What she found is greatly disturbing. She swabbed about 70 lemons, and found that 69.7% of them were loaded with bacteria. Some of the lemons had bacteria on the rind AND the flesh. Some of the lemons carried fecal bacteria. Yuck! Prof. Loving says that she thinks that the lemons possibly get contaminated from workers not washing their hands, using cutting boards that have been used to cut meat, and from contaminated knives. She also says that it would help if waiters and waitresses wore gloves to prevent human contamination. We also talked about solutions for this problem. We talked about scanners that could scan to make sure that your food was safe, disinfecting knife blocks, and machines to wash, cut, and distribute lemons without human contact.
Did you know that…
lemon juice, both from freshly squeezed lemons and packaged lemon juice sold for cooking, contains citric acid and is sometimes used to dissolve brown heroin for injection?
There is research showing that lemon juice can carry fungal infections, which can infect the heart (endocarditis) and eyes (candidal endopthalmitis). The candidal fungi lives on the skins of the lemons when they are growing on the tree, when the lemons are processed the fungus is transferred to the juice.
Among needle exchange workers attending our safer injecting courses during 2000/1, there was a rapid increase in awful stories of eyesight loss due to candidal endopthalmitis amongst their clients.
This was almost caused by the difficulties drug users were experiencing in buying citric acid, and the resulting increase in the use of lemon juice and vinegar as acidifiers, and was a significant part of the reason we were so motivated to source and supply sachets.
Candidal fungal contamination of vinigar is also possible.
This information was copied from http://www.exchangesupplies.org
Today we presented our research ideas to each other. We talked about how temperature affects food, and what food contamination the FDA says is, “OK”.