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Gary350
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E-Coli 0157 from Cow Manure

I saw this on TV this is very scary stuff. E-Coli bacteria can infect your garden vegetables if you fertilize your garden plants with cow manure. About a month ago there was an outbreak of E-Coli in grocery store lettuce & Chipotle restaurants. E-Coli is found in meat and vegetables, the problem has been getting worse for 10 years. About 3% of BEEF in the grocery store contains E-Coli. If you eat uncooked vegetables or meat not cooked well done your at risk of getting E-Coli. Doctors still do not know why several people can eat E-Coli contaminate food and only 1 person gets sick from it. There is about 10% chance you will be infected with E-Coli if you eat infected food. 98% of the people that become sick from E-Coli 0157 will die, if you do not die from the infection you may be brain dead or have extreme health problems.

I sometimes buy cow manure in bags now I'm not sure I want to anymore. I was planning to buy a pickup truck load of garden soil manure mix from the garden center in another month but not sure I want to now. If my garden gets contaminated with E-Coli I wonder if it will always be infected. It is educational to know how E-Coli gets into our food.

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Re: E-Coli 0157 from Cow Manure

E-Coli occurs naturally in dirt pretty much everywhere you go.

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Gary350
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Re: E-Coli 0157 from Cow Manure

webmaster wrote:E-Coli occurs naturally in dirt pretty much everywhere you go.
TV said nothing about that. They made it sound like a man made problem we should all be worried about.

pepperhead212
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Re: E-Coli 0157 from Cow Manure

There are countless strains of E. coli out there, many benign, and many beneficial. However, many of the strains that cause illness have become resistant to antibiotics, due to the excessive use of
them.
I came down with one of those "superbugs" back in early November. After testing the DNA of this bug they gave it a number, but said that no other cases had appeared in this area - the closest out west somewhere, and there was no record of where it is being spread from. I had not eaten any meat or the types of vegetables thought to spread it, nor had I eaten at any restaurants. However, the first question that 3 different doctors asked me was if I had recently been visiting any hospitals or nursing homes - two places than we can contract these bugs. Turns out, this is where I was repeatedly, before coming down with the infection, as my Mom was in both of them.
I was in the hospital for 6 days, then I had to give myself IV antibiotics at home for 12 days. I consider myself lucky, considering what I have read about some of those strains of E. coli.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: E-Coli 0157 from Cow Manure

The reason lettuce and similar crops are the most common ones behind E-coli disease outbreaks is that they fertilize them by spraying a slurry of fresh manure and water ON the leaves. If you fertilize your soil in the ordinary way and you use well composted manure, you will be in no danger. Always wash store bought produce well.
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Re: E-Coli 0157 from Cow Manure

Wow pepperhead, so sorry to hear you had been scary ill. SO glad to hear you have recovered after all that — IV at home and stuff? ... wow. :shock: I’ve been super busy taking care of my aged parents as well.


...contaminated produce — I’ve Also heard that it could be the water they are using to wash/rinse the so called “pre-washed” veggies and salad greens. Apparently people think you can eat them right out of the bag.
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Re: E-Coli 0157 from Cow Manure

After washing the produce, I wipe it down/dry it off with a paper towel. Amazing how much brown dirt residue stains the paper towel after the produce has been washed.

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Re: E-Coli 0157 from Cow Manure

Ummmm, Please look up E-coli on Wikepedia.

Hey, I grew up on a farm, Dad had milk cows, so twice a day out to the barn to milk cows. E-coli is found in the manure, of course plenty of that around a herd of cows. Once I was sitting there on a milk stool milking away when the cow went berserk and raised her foot and kicked me, bucket and stool over into the gutter. Well this spooked the cow behind and she decided it was time to void everything, so there I lay in the gutter covered from head to foot in milk and cow "whatzit"......... but guess what? I survived.
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Gary350
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Re: E-Coli 0157 from Cow Manure

jal_ut wrote:Ummmm, Please look up E-coli on Wikepedia.

Hey, I grew up on a farm, Dad had milk cows, so twice a day out to the barn to milk cows. E-coli is found in the manure, of course plenty of that around a herd of cows. Once I was sitting there on a milk stool milking away when the cow went berserk and raised her foot and kicked me, bucket and stool over into the gutter. Well this spooked the cow behind and she decided it was time to void everything, so there I lay in the gutter covered from head to foot in milk and cow "whatzit"......... but guess what? I survived.
I grew up on the farm too and we all lived too. LOL. I never thought of it like that until you mentioned it. I know what you mean about cows they all have a personality just like people some are harder to get along with than others. Grandpa had a milk cow that kept kicking over the milk bucket we had to get rid of that cow. During the rainy season the barn & barn lot was a mix of mud and cow manure. If your shoes got stuck it the mud really bad someones you fall flat on your face. Grandma will not let you in the house looking like that so you have to take a bath in the pond even if it is 35 degrees outside so you better learn not to fall down. During the summer cow pies were dry and flat like a frisbee we use to throw them at each other and have contests to see who could throw one over the barn. LOL. James your right cow manure is full of E-Coli me an my 11 cousins all lived. Aunts, uncles, grandparents all lived too. I have been away from the farm too long.
Last edited by Gary350 on Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:12 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Gary350
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Re: E-Coli 0157 from Cow Manure

James, I think cow manure is ok to say I see a lot of posts where people talk about using cow manure in the garden. Cow manure is sold in bags at Lowe's, Home Depot, Farmer Co-op, Amish Garden store, the bags all say, COW MANURE on the bag. If I buy a truck load of cow manure the sales receipt always says, Cow Manure. There is a bakery in town that sells a pastry called, Cinnamon Sugar Crisp it is about 8" diameter and 3/8" thick it looks exactly like a cow pie. Every time I order one I tell the lady to give me one of those cow pie looking things. She always laughs and says, I wish everyone had a since of humor. LOL.

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Re: E-Coli 0157 from Cow Manure

E.coli is a common gut bacteria. In the right place it serves a useful purpose as can symbiotically help its host with vitamin K synthesis. Most forms of e.coli and other gut bacteria are not only common in warm blooded organisms, including humans, but our guts would not be as healthy without them. Normally they live in the large intestine and for organisms that are cylindrical in shape, like us, the inside of the gut is technically still outside of the host organism. Just as skin protects our outside, the lining of the digestive system protects us by keeping bacteria where they belong. The walls of the small intestine are designed to absorb nutrients from the food that is broken down. The large intestine removes most of the water and that is where e.coli and other bacteria normally live.

Manures are safe as long as they have been properly cured or hot composted to kill pathogens. They are a problem when you have contamination by fresh manures or runoff from farms and animals kept upstream. It can also be transmitted by people who don't wash their hands thoroughly after going to the bathroom and especially if they are already sick. In a healthy gut good bacteria keep the bad ones in check. If you have too many bad ones, that is when you don't feel well. Cooking food thoroughly usually will kill salmonella and e. coli. The more processed a food, like hamburger meat which may come from more than one animal and if any animal was contaminated with fecal material and mixed in a batch, it would be a an excellent breeding ground. Processed foods should be cooked thoroughly. Vegetables that are not cooked should be washed thoroughly and any suspicious ones thrown out.

I remember years ago there was an outbreak of e.coli 0157 which is a particularly bad strain associated with raw vegetables and undercooked meat. It had contaminated a batch of hamburger that was sent to fast food restaurants on the West coast and some children died from eating undercooked hamburgers and some adults got sickened. A batch of the contaminated meat also made it to Hawaii, but no one here got sick, because most people here will not eat hamburger that is not well done and been killed at least two times. if it is pink or bloody, most people will refuse to eat it. So, the restaurant here that got the contaminated meat always cooked the meat till it was well done and in the process killed the bacteria and rendered it harmless.
Asians which make up a large part of our population, rarely eat their vegetables raw in a traditional diet. That is because they know where their food comes from and poor sanitation is common in Asia so they know what they need to do to prevent sickness. You either cook or pickle it.
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Re: E-Coli 0157 from Cow Manure

Thanks, imafan. Good summation.

Been reading this with interest. The entire cycle of life fascinates me. "Remember man that thou art dust and to dust you shall return." Symbiosis. Biodiversity, bioremediation.

Anecdotally, my former inlaws were in the Garden State, as was my family. My FIL grew up on a Depression era farm, had a tech executive career and gardened for vegetables as an avocation and into retirement. He sold specialty things on occasion to restaurants. Because of his rural roots he was pragmatic, but because of his urban career he selectively forgot some things he once knew. He hit on the idea of composting horse farm manure and using that to enrich his soil. Great. No one has ever thought of that before. :?

We had to thin root crops one time and I would select a few radish or carrot or turnip culls and rinse them off under the old fashioned pump from the well. This was in the northwest of the state. Excellent well water. After I ate the few cleaned roots and tops, he looked at me in alarm. "You know I use manure on those crops?" Of course I did. I also knew where he got it, how he composted it, when he added it to his soil.

Back at the condo, my MIL was prepping some supermarket button mushrooms. I try not to argue with people about their kitchen myths, but she wanted to make a salad without cleaning the mushrooms. I insisted on cleaning them, with a paring knife and damp paper towel. She remonstrated with me. I finally told her that those little brown flecks were not mushroom gill as she thought but sterilized steer manure in which the commercial farmers grew them. Told her I knew it was acceptable as clean, but I just had to improve on it. She was horrified, and actually peeled her mushroom caps after that, and tossed away the stems entirely.

And last week, my sister bought sliced button mushrooms and wanted to use them without washing. Thirty years later and people are still confused about the relative safety of manures.

Any strain of E.coli can make you ill, but know that it always originates in the intestines of some animal. The bacteria actually doesn't live all that long outside of a host. In compost, or a manure pile, or in gardening applications, the E.coli has long been dead. Fresh fecal matter will have a few days of colonization. After that, aeration and solarization will take care of it.

When you get fresh produce, you don't know how it's been handled or treated. Even when the package says "supermarket ready" you still should clean it.

Of course I've picked wild things and eaten them without washing. I know the risks, know that contamination can even come from rain splashing up. But in commercial food packaging, there is always the chance that someone sprayed a fresh manure laden broth over them or a fieldhand or an animal with questionable bathroom habits brushed up against them. In the packaging plant, people track stuff in on their boots, bring germs in on their hands and in their coughs. What do people think the dark marks on a white eggshell are?

And it isn't just E.coli to concern us.

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Re: E-Coli 0157 from Cow Manure

" and some children died from eating undercooked hamburgers and some adults got sickened."

Always cook hamburger till all the red is gone.

Manures can be used on the garden plot to fertilize the soil, but put them on in the fall and till them in. Don't use manures while your crops are growing.
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