: 212 degrees for 20 minutes. You can call whatever you do, whatever you
: prefer. It doesn't kill all the bacteria. It's usually the tougher
: bacteria you need to kill. Wiping your cutting board with a dry paper
: towel kills/removes some bacteria, too.
Can you point to a single example of someone who's gotten seriously ill from the
bacteria in their showerheads?
Or, better, a properly controlled study reaching statistical significance?
The world, including the skin all over your body, is teeming with bacteria.
If you tried to kill them all,
a) you couldn't
b) you shouldn't
c) you might increas the chances of making a favorable environment for a
-- Andy Barss (also drinks tap water)
I don't worry about the shower head. Yet. I just recently read about
the majority of beaches (Florida or all of US) having contamination by
antibiotic resistant bacteria. That is no joke - it is pretty much
endemic in hospitals and nursing homes and is, truly, something to worry
about (along with docs and nurses who "don't have time" to wash their hands.
Article few years back about sea otters off coast of OR dying from
feline diseases carried by domestic cats via sewage outflow.
My most immediate concerns are being hospitalized and picking up a nasty
infection and for my grandchildren who participate in organized sports
and who might acquire infection to these nasty bugs. I'm a retired
nurse and have seen a few bad outcomes.
As usual these news articles contain so little fact that you cannot make any
reasonable judgement on the surrounding conditions and solutions except for
a panic reaction, which many people do.
For example, was this using well water that was contaminated or treated
municipal drinking water with chlorine added, as this is supposed to keep
the mains, pipes etc. clean. Was this a shower that was used several times
every day or only once in a while, as this could affect any accumulation of
bacteria. How did they supposedly clean the shower head with bleach, did
they use the lazy way and wipe the outside, or did they dip the head quickly
in a bowl of bleach or did they remove the head and let it soak for several
minutes or up to an hour.
Without any real facts it is impossible to determine if the article is
really true, or grossly exaggerated or a just local phenomenon.
Exactly. In this case I was just curious. And that led to removing the
BTW as mentioned by firstname.lastname@example.org ............... the Dept of Health
requirement here is that hot water for washing dishes be at least 160
deg F. (They used to come and measure it when we ran a school
cafeteria!) Whereas water for children's hand washing must be a lot
lower; to avoid scalding.
So we have our domestic hot water tank set sufficiently high and it is
that hot water than is fed to the dishwasher.
The dishwasher even on a medium or economy setting goes through
several wash 'cycles'. Also we run the tap for a moment before
starting the dishwasher to ensure hot water has reached the kitchen,
because we have some 25 feet of half inch copper between tank and
Thanks for the comments.
Not trying to Michael Moore!
On cutting boards you can forget about the dish washer. For one thing you
can kill the wood and for another you are lucky you have wood cutting boards
as the wood tends to kill off the pathogens due to the mechanical
difficulties of the woods surface.
All you need to do is to use soap or detergent to break the fats or oils on
the surface and rinse really well, then dry. Surprisingly the plastic
cutting boards are the problem as the bugs thrive in the depths of the
little slices making them virtually imposable to kill. Another nasty thing
in the kitchen is that scrubbing sponge. To kill the nasties there a quick
trip through the microwave works well as the steam is heated to autoclave
temps and wipes out the buggers.
About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
If I worried, or even believed any of the studies in regards to
health, I would be in a bubble. It amazes me that people believe this
all this shit because it was either on TV or the Internet. Medias are
creating most of these scares of which very few can be proven.
I am also under the belief that most bacteria will only help the body
build up its own defenses, which is what it will naturally do. Only in
extreme cases is any antibiotic needed.
Hank <~~~runs with scissors
The FDA outlawed wood because it couldn't be run through a washer.
Scientists who may have been partial to wood found that if they made
cuts on a wooden board and cleaned it with a sponge and dishwashing
liquid, they couldn't find bacteria on the surface. Bacteria below the
surface were found days later, though.
If they cut on dry boards, swelling would have trapped the bacteria that
didn't wash off. With the old, wet boards I've used, the results might
not have been so good.
Some cut on counters or plates, not boards. Statistically, people with
wooden boards have half the risk of food poisoning, and those with
plastic or glass have twice the risk. Glass? Glass doesn't have slices
to trap bacteria, does it?
Statistically, washing a cutting board between uses does not affect a
person's risk of food poisoning. Whatever board you use, washing should
get rid of most of the bacteria. If it doesn't reduce the risk of
food poisoning, it sounds as if cutting boards are not a significant danger.
The risk is 23 times higher for people who undercook chicken. I think
that's why glass is statistically more dangerous than wood. A person
who undercooks chicken sounds careless. Isn't a careless person likely
to choose whatever board looks easiest to care for? That would be
plastic or glass.
I like to heat a wet dish rag or sponge in a closed container in the
microwave. The closed container helps steam distribute the heat. It
wouldn't reach autoclave temperatures until the steam was gone, and then
it might scorch.
I prefer to bring cloths and sponges to a boil with a little sodium
percarbonate. The bleach improves the sanitizing, and the washing soda
helps remove greasy soil which could soon harbor bacteria colonies.
Thank you. So the USDA recommended plastic but didn't outlaw wood.
I'd like to find out the difference between this research, which picked
up bacteria on plastic but not wood, and the research with different
At the end, the article mentions the statistical research I mentioned.
Those statistics indicate that people who regularly clean their cutting
boards after cutting meat are more likely to contract sporadic
salmonellosis. That and the statistical finding that people with glass
cutting boards are more likely to contract the sickness lead me to
believe the relationship with cutting boards is not cause and effect.
Perhaps people who don't methodically clean their cutting boards are
more likely to cook only what they can eat in one sitting, and that
makes food poisoning less likely.
"...It revealed that those using wooden cutting boards in their home
kitchens were less than half as likely as average to contract salmonellosis
(odds ratio 0.42, 95% confidence interval 0.22-0.81), those using synthetic
(plastic or glass) cutting boards were about twice as likely as average to
contract salmonellosis (O.R. 1.99, C.I. 1.03-3.85); and the effect of
cleaning the board regularly after preparing meat on it was not
statistically significant (O.R. 1.20, C.I. 0.54-2.68).
I think you are reading this wrong. I read that the folks using wood boards
are half as likely to have contacted the disease
That and the statistical finding that people with glass
Here I think you are attempting to get the data to support your assumptions.
If I understand the statistical study, they looked at folks that had
contacted food poisoning and then went looking for a cause. I read that
they suspect plastic and glass boards are the culprits more often than the
The study by UC Davis concludes that wood boards are safe to use:
"We believe, on the basis of our published and to-be-published research,
that food can be prepared safely on wooden cutting surfaces and that plastic
cutting surfaces present some disadvantages that had been overlooked until
we found them. "
And that plastic boards may be making folks sick:
"...we regard it as the best epidemiological evidence available to date that
wooden cutting boards are not a hazard to human health, but plastic cutting
boards may be."
About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
Not a scientific study by the sound of it. Not controlled lab
conditions. I suspect that if there is less contamination of food from
wood cutting boards it is because those who use wood are very likely to
be more skilled and knowledgeable cooks. Primary is rinsing meat and
poultry from the package before continuing with preparation because
contamination, esp. e coli, comes from gut fluids of animal during
butchering. The article mentioned people who don't cook chicken
thoroughly, which adds strength to the argument. Yuck! Rare chicken!
"The effect of cleaning the board regularly after preparing meat on it
was not statistically significant." The likelihood of getting sick
depends on how many salmonella you eat at once. If you cut contaminated
chicken on a plastic board, the bacteria on the board before washing
must be 10,000 times more than those in the slits after washing. So if
boards are a health hazard, the odds ratio ought to be 1000 or so.
The data saying glass and plastic are equally dangerous came from
another report of the same study. If ever there was a cutting board
that would wash clean, wouldn't it be glass? If people with glass
boards are twice as likely to get sick and it doesn't matter if they
clean their glass boards, they must be getting salmonellosis some other way.
Here's an abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1342320
The study included 120 patients and 265 control subjects. It noted that
because the patients were self-selected, there may be alternative
explanations of the statistics. I see another problem. Experts
estimate that 35 cases are unreported for every one reported. So the
study is about the 3% of cases who went to a doctor; of those, it's
about the ones who chose to participate.
Cutting boards aren't even mentioned in the abstract. The study found
an odds ratio of 24 for those who had eaten undercooked chicken, 10 for
those who had recently been abroad, 6 for diabetics, 4 for those on
hormone replacement therapy, and 2 for those who had recently received
I assume the epidemiological study they mean is the Kass study, which my
link abstracts. If the study did not find that those who cleaned their
boards were less likely to get sick, I don't see much significance in
the finding that a certain group of patients were somewhat more likely
than the control group to use boards of glass or plastic.
Undercooked chicken, foreign travel, and diabetes would probably include
almost all the 120 patients.
I imagine a dinner where a housewife wants to impress guests would be
risky. She may be trying a new recipe. She's trying to have a lot of
tasks come out on schedule. She may not test the chicken to be sure
it's cooked through, and it may then sit at an ideal temperature for
salmonella to multiply.
Several guests may see their doctor afterward, and they may want to
participate in the study because they want to know what made them sick.
To cook for the group, the hostess was likely to use a plastic or
glass board because it's large and easy to clean. The hostess says she
washed the board after each use. Statistically, this sort of thing
could make it appear that glass is more dangerous than wood and washed
boards are no safer than unwashed boards.
on 9/16/2009 2:51 PM (ET) email@example.com wrote the following:
Nope. I'm saying that any bacteria in the water is the same coming from
the faucet or the shower head, and one drinking from the faucet is
putting that bacteria in the body, which could be more dangerous than
showering with the same water.
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