Bean Sprouts Have Toxin - Careful When Eating Healthy

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by TerriM, Apr 26, 2003.

  1. TerriM

    TerriM New Member

    Hi, saw this article on Dr. Andrew Weil's site . . . thought I should share it with everyone . . . Love, Terri

    Last fall the FDA issued a health advisory warning consumers of the risks associated with eating raw sprouts because of an outbreak of E. coli associated with alfalfa sprouts. The advisory also included raw and undercooked mung bean sprouts.

    I have long advised against eating bean sprouts raw because of toxins they contain that are only broken down by cooking. (The toxin in alfalfa sprouts is canavanine, which can harm the immune system.) The current problem for which the FDA issued its warning concerns outbreaks of foodborne illnesses stemming from the bacteria Salmonella or E. Coli. The symptoms these bacteria cause include diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramping and fever, which can last for several days. While unpleasant, these infections generally aren’t a great threat to healthy people but can be dangerous to children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

    Between 1995 and 1998 there were nine outbreaks of foodborne illnesses in the United States affecting more than 1,200 people caused by Salmonella or E. coli due to consumption of raw bean sprouts. Incidentally, samples of both imported and domestic fruits and vegetables have also been found to be contaminated with Salmonella and E. coli. The best way to protect yourself from infection is to wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water and avoid cross-contaminating one food with another by washing your hands, utensils and cutting boards after using them for one type of raw food and before using them again for another.

    As for bean sprouts, don’t eat them raw or lightly cooked. In the case of alfalfa, that means not eating them at all, since cooking turns the delicate sprouts to mush. According to the FDA not even homegrown sprouts can be safely eaten raw because many outbreaks have been due to contaminated seeds. If the bacteria are in or on the seed, they can flourish during sprouting even under clean conditions. Insist that sandwiches and salads in restaurants and delis be served without alfalfa sprouts, and if and when you do eat other bean sprouts, make sure that they’re thoroughly cooked.

  2. MemoryLane

    MemoryLane Member

    For the same reason, never eat cut or sliced melon from a salad bar or an all-you-can-eat buffet.

  3. TerriM

    TerriM New Member

    You mean the melons because of the foodborne illness correct . . . ?? Hopefully they don't have any toxins . . . I was actually referring to the toxin aspect (in addition to the pathogen issue) . . . Terri
  4. TerriM

    TerriM New Member

    A few years ago I think there was a foodborne illness outbreak involving strawberries . . . I may be getting two stories confused, because one type of produce from Chile I believe was infected with a pathogen and I think strawberries were found infected from hepatitis traced back to migrant workers . . . I used to work for the food processor and remember reading about these in the news and hearing about them at work also. Terri
  5. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    ....that plants make their own pesticides too, in order to protect themselves from bugs. Most people aren't bothered, but those of us with messed up immune systems should not eat any of the following more than once every couple of weeks: button mushrooms, basil, celery, peanuts. Peanuts produce Afalatoxin, which is a potent liver carcinogen. Kids really should not eat P&J sandwiches more than once every ten days. This is why peanuts are so much cheaper than other nuts....they don't need all the expensive pesticides that the other crops do...they make their own!
  6. sofy

    sofy New Member

    I eat tons of these but always cook them. I cook them cuz sprouts so often have mold that you cant see. I often put them in the freezer and they cut up real easy when frozen. They look like little bits of spice in my eggs and everything else. They dont have the gas problem that the grown up vegetable has.
  7. MemoryLane

    MemoryLane Member

    E.coli is considered food poisoning. I am a member of several Food Safety organizations and cut melons and sprouts are never adequately chilled, making them a prime medium for bacteria growth. This is one of the reasons the FDA approved a food grade Hydrogen Peroxide for use in the food industry. As a side note, commercially offered fresh fruit juices should be avoided, particularly apple juice and cider. Check your labels on purchased Juices and make sure they have been pasteurized.

    Also, a few years back, there were random tests done on restaurants that offered open bowls of (wrapped) mints or other candies for guests at the checkout counter or in the lobby. They found that 75% of these random lots were contaminated with E.coli.

    Also, freezing does not kill E.Coli, only pastuerization. However, recently, it has been found that the combination of white wine's high levels of malic and tartaric acids with the alcohol content attacks and kills the germs of E.coli and Salmonella. A food scientist in San Francisco, Mark Daeschel, is developing this product and working on a patent for a wine-based disinfectant for use in the food industry.


    [This Message was Edited on 04/27/2003]
  8. TerriM

    TerriM New Member

    I read the article about the mints too . . . it was from people going in the bathroom, not washing their hands and then taking a mint . . . YUCK!!!! At the office where I used to work we had a candy jar on the front desk. Whenever I got candy for it it was individually wrapped, but sometimes people brought in open items (i.e. jelly beans or something) and I wouldn't touch that stuff with a 10 foot pole after reading that article! Bike messengers would come in and grab out of it all the time . . . :) Terri
  9. TerriM

    TerriM New Member

    The reason I wanted to post about this is that as Klutzo says we are already compromised and need to be more careful than the general public in these types of things . . . we are affected more by lots of thing . . . :) Love, Terri
  10. MemoryLane

    MemoryLane Member

    This one of the reasons I never bye Jelly Bellys or other "open bin" candies - even wrapped ones. I see kids grazing from these bins all the time and also on dessert bars where they offer toppings and sprinkles - YUCK, indeed.

    Incidentally, there was also a warning issued by the FDA on cellophane wrapped candies from Mexico. Apparantly, there is an unacceptible level of lead in the wrappers. This is of particular concern, because they know children eat more candy than adults and the amount found was high enough to be toxic to a child's system.


  11. TerriM

    TerriM New Member

    do you have any idea what brand the candies were? I can't really eat candy right now (not eating sugar and not tolerating it either), but my aunt buys candy for her grandchildren a lot and one of them (4 year old) has leukemia . . . she needs to be very careful about what she is giving them. Thanks for the heads up! Love, Terri

    p.s. Lane, I saw you mention once that you love refinishing furniture (hope you are careful being around chemicals). I love antiquing and was a dealer (in addition to my corp job) before I got sick. I love painting, never could tolerate the fumes, but sure don't believe in painting nice wood furniture. My best friend with Fibro has done refinishing for years, I told her before to be careful of the chem's. (I have CFS) . . . anyway, I saw an antique store on the side of the road called "Memory Lane" and thought of you.
  12. MemoryLane

    MemoryLane Member

    Note: State Health Departments as far north as Washington State, have re-issued this warning locally.

    April 25, 2001
    Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA
    U.S. FDA Press Releases - #7080001 Lead in Candy Wrappers

    FDA Alerts Public to Possible Health Risk Associated with Certain Tamarind Candy Lollipops from Mexico

    FDA is warning consumers to avoid purchasing or consuming tamarind candy lollipops labeled Dulmex brand “Bolirindo” because of high levels of lead that may be associated with the product - especially its wrapper. People, especially children, who consume high levels of lead can suffer serious damage to their central nervous systems - sometimes leading to permanent neurological damage.

    Routine lead level testing of children conducted by the California Department of Health Services revealed at least three cases where 2 year old children may have suffered elevated lead levels as a result of contact with this candy. These findings lead the California Department of Health Services and FDA to analyze this product for lead contamination. Although sampling and analyses of this product continues, preliminary findings indicate that at least the lollipop wrapper’s exterior may have exceedingly high concentrations of lead (21,000 parts per million).

    In light of these preliminary findings and reported injuries FDA is urging consumers not to consume these lollipops and to keep them out of childrens’ hands. Eating the lollipops may expose them to dangerously high levels of lead, especially if the candy becomes damp or if the wrapper is chewed or eaten. Anyone who suspects they or their child may have consumed these lollipops may want to consult their doctor about having their lead level checked.

    The product is a soft, dark brown, tamarind fruit candy lollipop on a white or orange stick. It is wrapped in an orange-red wrapper with “BOLIRINDO” in white lettering and picture of a brown tamarind fruit. The product is known to be distributed in California, but may also be present in other parts of the country, particularly in Southwestern states.

    The Dulmex candies and their wrappers may contain dangerously high levels of lead. The source of the lead appears to be the ink used on the candy wrappers, in this case now the orange ink, as well. The candies include coconut rolls, tamarind rolls, and tamarind lollipops. The rolls may be re-packaged under the brand names "Casa de Dulce," "Juanita's," "Payaso," or "Mojave." The lollipops are commonly packaged under the name "Bolirindo."


    Yes, I do love to refinish (and demolish for remodeling), but have not had the motivation in a long time. Fortunately, my husband is well knowledgeable in the use of chemicals and has "saved" me from myself many times. :eek:)

    That's sweet that you thought of me when you saw that sign. I used that name from my love of Sock Monkeys when I was little and all things like that, now past. I bought this T-shirt, at our local Cracker Barrel restaurant because it had a Sock monkey on the front. It wasn't until after I got home that I realized what else the shirt had on the front: "It's hard to be Nostalgic, When you can't remember anything". I laughed because I thought how approriate for our brain fog.


    [This Message was Edited on 04/27/2003]