Even a Blind Squirrel Finds a Nut PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 July 2008 15:50

serrano.jpgWell the band of bumbling, fumbling investigators, a.k.a. The FDA, has finally found the source of the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak that has infected over 1,200 people in the U.S.  Surprise, suprise the origin has been tracked to imported serrano peppers from a farm in Nuevo Leon, Mexico.  The rare strain of salmonella was found in both the farm's serrano peppers and it's irrigation water.

Let's see, in the three months the FDA has been investigating the outbreak the following theories have been proposed by the organization which controls our vital food supply:

  • Tomatoes, yes it's definitely tomatoes.  From the U.S. somewhere, let's go state by state and figure out where the salmonella isn't coming from.  Ya, that should buy us some time, we'll tell everyone what hay doesn't contain the needle
  • Ok everyone, rest assured we're sure these types of tomatoes from these 30 or more states are fine
  • Uhhh, sorry.  Just kidding, maybe tomatoes aren't the source.  Maybe it's peppers, ya that's it peppers
  • Well maybe it's just jalapeño peppers and we still can't rule out tomatoes.  Again, we don't want to upset our foreign food producers, so let's just focus on the U.S. again
  • Eh, cough, cough, sorry Mexico, looks like the jalapeño's may be coming from you after all
  • Oh boy (wiping beads of sweat from their brows), the peppers are most definitely coming from Mexico and they're serrano's not jalapeño's.  This is really complicated, we're trying our best (not to upset all the countries we import food from), peppers shouldn't be consider food anyway.

So the FDA may have finally determined the real source of the outbreak which has hospitalized over 240 people in 43 states and D.C.  Congratulations for placing so many people at risk, costing millions in tax dollars and lost revenue to finally isolate the source of this insidious and extremely rare form of salmonella. Give yourself a round of applause for doing your jobs.

Hopefully this is the conclusion of the three month demonstration on the woeful inadequacies of this agency.  Or maybe we'll find out next week that it was another type of pepper.  For now, perhaps it's best to lay off the salsa.  Stay safe, stay healthy and stay GermAware everyone.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 16:31
FDA makes Keystone Cops look competent PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 12 July 2008 17:41

keystonecops.jpgWith over a thousand, yes one thousand, cases of Salmonella Saintpaul being reported, the Keystone Cops, also known as the FDA, have finally decided to inspect shipments from Mexico for the bacteria. Actually, it would be an insult to the Keystone Cops to compare them to the FDA. At least the Keystone Cops were a team of actors portraying a group of incompetents (btw, if you haven't seen a Keystone Cops clip, check one out here),the FDA on the other hand are supposed to safeguard the U.S. food supply and are really inept.

The FDA originally believed tomatoes to be the culprit but now have admitted that other produce may be the source including cilantro, jalapeño peppers, serrano peppers, scallions and bulb onions. At the onset, the investigation seemed to intentionally ignore imports and focus on domestic sources. Just to put the current regulations in perspective less than 1% of all food that is imported into the U.S. is inspected which includes locations such as Mexico, China and India. Even the United Fresh Produce Association, which is a trade group,is now asking for federal safety regulations to help alleviate consumers' fears. Assuming the FDA does enact stricter controls, this is yet another example of a government agency implementing changes after the damage is done.

It is also important to recognize that the strain of Salmonella that is causing these illnesses is rare: Salmonella Saintpaul. Given this specific strain, the FDA should be aggressively pursuing the source in all possible locations including exports. Like the Keystone Cops, the FDA are bumbling their way through this crisis seemingly looking everywhere else except the most obvious spot. The FDA had developed a "safe list" for sources of red tomatoes that are supposedly Salmonella free, however given their track record to date can the list really be trusted.

Stay tuned my fellow germaware for the next installment of the FDA's Salmonella show. Although the Keystone Cops are easy to enjoy for their exaggerated frivolity, the situation with our food supply is no laughing matter. Stay safe, stay healthy and stay GermAware.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 July 2008 16:35
You pay, you hope and they laugh. Why! PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 July 2008 09:35

holding_hands.jpgThe heat was oppressive, the kids were splashing and the lady next to me was trying to strike up a conversation.  This is how I've been spending Saturday mornings lately, trying to stay awake while observing others in their quest to conquer a fear of water, learn how to float or maybe even skim across the glassy surface eagerly clutching a bright orange foam pad.  Ah, nothing like a hot, humid day at the pool.  On this particular morning, the lady next to me, let's call her Sally, was telling me about a recent call to a psychic she had made.

"You actually called a psychic," I said in disbelief.  Sally was very open about her desire to find her true soul mate, coming off a series of disappointing relationships.  Her friend recommend this dial-a-psychic.  Sally had tried everything she could think of and making an emotional call to a stranger she had never met face to face seemed her only option.  I asked Sally how the call went. "Well...," she began and over the course of the next half hour, Sally spilled her guts to me about how the advice seemed decent, however more calls resulting in more money being spent were needed.

I was both amazed and outraged that a person in such a vulnerable state would be enticed to spend even more money for advice to attain something that is free.  Let me explain.  Sally is not alone, her situation is not unique.  What Sally is seeking, plain and simple is happiness.  It seems everything is costing more and more these days whether it be gas, a hamburger or a simple movie.  We have grown use to shelling out money for these items.  Happiness my friends is free.  Yes, free.  Yet people are spending millions of dollars to get it.

We certainly live in a confusing world and the basic elements of happiness have been distorted and equated with material possessions or some mystical level of knowledge.  In our service oriented society, the Sally's of the world are willing to spend their hard earned money to complete strangers in their hope to attain happiness.  Perhaps it's my cynical side, however do these supposed experts really believe that they can help these people.  To me it seems they simply are taking advantage of the situation and laughing all the way to the bank.

Well folks, I won't charge you a single penny for my advice.  No, I won't be telling you the meaning of life or how to be completely and utterly content.  What I will ask is why do you continue to enable these scammers and pay for happiness when it is truly free for the taking?  You won't find it by making expensive phone calls, going to useless seminars or reading countless books.  Happiness won't fly off the page and hit you in the face.  You can't be given happiness my friends, you don't even need to find it.  You simply need to take it.  Yes, you may believe that's too simple, but listen to your heart not the scammers.

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Last Updated on Friday, 11 July 2008 14:10
Gather round the campfire PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 07 July 2008 10:08

campfire.jpgHowdy there partners.  I invite you to gather round the old campfire to hear me spin some exciting tales.  No, we haven't gone Western here at GermAware, just trying to figure out a way to pull together a collection of seemingly unrelated points into a single, cohesive post.  Ah forget it, here are a few points that I have been collecting over the weekend and wanted to subject you to now that the work week has started once again: 

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 16:40
Starbucks loses some foam PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 July 2008 14:55

starbucks.jpgAh, the guilty pleasures of life.  Come on, we all have them.  Some are more me-time oriented like a long bath, reading the newspaper or perhaps taking a stroll through the park.  Others have a monetary cost such as escaping to a movie that doesn't involve cartoon characters, getting a new CD or indulging in a pint of Ben & Jerry's.  Ok, maybe not the whole pint, always seems to be scavengers around.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 12 July 2008 20:48
Attack of the killer tomatoes PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 June 2008 09:52

tomatoes.jpgI recently went to my favorite burger joint and ordered a cheeseburger with extra cheese, lettuce, mustard, and tomato.  According to the FDA, the tomatoes in my state are salmonella free and have been re-introduced on many menus.  Well, the server quickly informed me in a manner that suggested he had made this statement at least 1000 times already that day, tomatoes were still not on the menu due to the salmonella outbreak.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 July 2008 11:13
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