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Your Food May Be Poisoning You!
Here's How to Fight and Prevent Bacterial Infections

On May 5, 1996, more than 6,000 elementary school children in Sakai, a city near Osaka, Japan, came home very, very sick. It turns out they were suffering from food poisoning. During the height of the ensuing epidemic, 9,000 people were felled by the bacterial infection. Seven died.  

I don't have to tell you how dangerous bacterial infections can be. The three strains of bacteria causing this current outbreak included a strain of e. coli 0-157:H7 that has NEVER been seen before. A different strain of e. coli killed those four kids at a Jack-In-The-Box in California three years ago. 

Just because you don't eat school lunches in Japan doesn't mean you are not at risk. On July 6, 1996, President Clinton announced new Department of Agriculture regulations for food safety. The new law still allows 49.9 percent (that's almost half, gang) of the ground turkey sold in your supermarket to contain salmonella. The percentage falls to 44.6 percent for ground chicken and 20 percent for whole chickens. The stats are better for beef. Only 7.5 percent of ground beef and 2.7 percent of other cuts can test positive for this pathogen. 

Fortunately, the new law, called the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points program, has no tolerance for e.coli 0157:H7, which is caused by fecal infection. Of course, (and this is the cynical me talking) we can only feel safe if we assume U.S. meat and poultry providers have absolute integrity and care more about your health than the health of their pocketbooks. They won't mind losing millions of dollars if they find this nasty critter among their carcasses, will they? 

So, in my humble opinion, it's up to you to protect your health against these virulent bacterial invaders. 

Your body's biochemistry holds the answer. Bacterial infections occur when the body does not have enough copper. Women in their child bearing years are extremely susceptible to bacterial infections the first eight days after the start of menstruation. Their hormones cause their copper levels to fall naturally at this time. These women are the safest the week before they menstruate. That's when their natural cycle automatically raises their copper levels. 

Knowing this, you change your diet to protect yourself from bacterial invasion. If it's already too late and you're already sick, these recommendations will hasten your journey back to health. I call this program "the grocery store solution" because simple foods and vitamin supplements can speed your recovery safely. 

What exactly are the steps to protect yourself and your family? The best way to prevent a bacterial infection is to : 

  1. Eat foods high in copper. They will build up the body's natural storehouse of copper. 

    Copper rich foods include almonds, avocado, bran flakes, brazil nuts, chocolate, crab, grapes, liver, lobster, haddock, herring, mushrooms, pecans, peanut butter, sesame seeds, shrimp, sunflower seeds, trout and walnuts. 

  2. Stop taking vitamin C, vitamin A and any multi-vitamin with zinc. These supplements cause the body to lose copper. In fact, taking too much vitamin C makes one MORE susceptible to bacterial infections. 

  3. Take one Nutri-Bac capsule with meals three times daily. (Children only need one at dinner.) Dr. David Watts, a Texas physician with a doctorate in nutrition, has created a special supplement to help the body fight off bacterial infections naturally. The supplement, which is approved by U.S. federal authorities, is made up of more than 10 different ingredients designed to aid the body's endocrine system in creating a copper rich environment. If you eat properly, this capsule can be quite effective against bacterial infections. It works OK if you ignore the eating prescriptions. 

The other way to prevent food poisoning is to take great pains when preparing food. Here are my helpful hints: 

  1. At the grocery store, make sure the clerk bags raw meat and poultry separate from other foods, especially produce. This slashes the risk of contamination. 

  2. Wash your hands, knives, cutting boards and counter surfaces before AND after handling raw food. Soapy water will work. But after reading "The Hot Zone," I wash my counters with bleach just to be sure. 

  3. Do not defrost foods at room temperature. Defrost in the refrigerator or in the microwave oven. Don't give those bugs a chance to breed. 

  4. Once the meat or poultry has been thawed, wash it in cold water.  

  5. Wash all produce thoroughly. You have no idea what fertilizer was used. 

  6. Cook food completely. The flesh of chicken should be white, not pink. Meat is safe at medium, which is just a blush of pink. 

  7. It's best not to stuff poultry. 

  8. Don't roast a bird partially today and finish up tomorrow. You're creating a perfect environment for microbes to be fruitful and multiply. 

  9. Put a glass dish on top of the food you're cooking in the microwave. Microbes can survive on the surface of microwaved foods. But a ceramic dish will trap steam, which will kill them. Plastic wrap will not do this. 

  10. I put all my dishwashing sponges and the brushes I use to scour pots in the microwave. I blast them for two minutes, practicing mass genocide on the microbes. 

Hopefully, these hints will work like a cross keeping vampires away. Because bacterial infections can sure bite!

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