Cross Contamination

Answers to your qestions about moving to, and living in, Peru,
captsirl
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Cross Contamination

Postby captsirl » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:33 am

Why don’t people here get sick?
I have had guest over for dinner and watched to my horror as they tasted the seasons on the raw chicken marinade.
I still have this fear when I’m at the major stores here and they have poultry in the same display case as the beef. None of them seem to meet any health codes.
So I’m asking. Are there no bacteria here? I’m not saying the stores are dirty. Just asking do they not have cross contamination here. They poke with those forks indiscriminately from poultry to beef and pork.
Why don’t people get sick?


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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby susita83 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:42 am

captsirl wrote:Why don’t people here get sick?
I have had guest over for dinner and watched to my horror as they tasted the seasons on the raw chicken marinade.
I still have this fear when I’m at the major stores here and they have poultry in the same display case as the beef. None of them seem to meet any health codes.
So I’m asking. Are there no bacteria here? I’m not saying the stores are dirty. Just asking do they not have cross contamination here. They poke with those forks indiscriminately from poultry to beef and pork.
Why don’t people get sick?


Used to it I guess? My grandma does that too and never gets sick.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby simonmac » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:53 am

Food preparation standards and food hygiene in general here are not the same as in the US or Europe, that's for sure. My local bodega here in Trujillo for example has pieces of raw chicken sitting around on exposed counters waiting for customers to choose their cut, the air temperature is 28 degrees C, there are flies everywhere, dogs come in and have a sniff around, etc. Yet people don't seem to suffer from the kind of consequences that you might expect.
Now I'm not a doctor or a bacteriologist but my guess would be that people are simply used to the bugs that must be in the food. In the case of the chicken in my bodega, well not to put too fine a point on it but the flesh must be alive with bacteria.
Prepare your own food whenever possible, there is every ingredient that you could ever wish for available fairly cheaply here, it's not difficcult to eat healthily. My favourite stuff is the seafood, the peppers, asparagus, artichokes.......oh and the fruit obviously.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby sbaustin » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:54 am

Almost every Peruvian I know gets sick quite often from food related illness. Me personally, after avoiding aji in the summer and mayo year round, it only hits me maybe one time per year.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby renodante » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:34 am

my theory is constant exposure to that stuff makes you immune to a lot of it
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby Kelly » Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:11 pm

Yeah, every Peruvian I know has frequent stomach issues, but it's always blamed on drinking soda, or drinking something cold, or eating some combination of foods like something with milk too soon after ceviche.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby chi chi » Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:02 pm

I think your body get's immunity for bacterias if you are continiously exposed to it.

Expats often get sick when they just arrived in a country but after some time they get immunity for diseases and bacterias.
Often people get sick because they are not used to the kind of food.

I always buy my food at markets. Fish, meat and poultry are displayed in the open air without cooling. I always go to the market early around 5 am. So, everything is still fresh. Still, somehow, I think that the food that hasn't been sold the day before will be displayed again the next day.

What I learned when I studied for chef was ''smell'' and ''touch'' the food to find out if it's fresh. It's not because it ''looks'' fresh, that it is fresh. A 5 days old chicken brest or steak can look fresh too. You just have to put some water with oil on it.

In Europe and the US, they are a lot of healthinspections. But don't think that they are really clean.

Do you really think if a steak drops on the floor, that they will throw it away??? I worked in Michelin rated restaurants and five star hotels and have rarely seen someone washing his hands before starting his shift or when he comes back from the toilet.

Do you know what they do in the kitchen with the food of rude customers or people who complain about the staff??? It really happens that the toilet seat gets cleaned with a steak prior to serving to a rude customer.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby captsirl » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:12 pm

LOL Chi Chi today your on the mark today. Been there done that.
I have been here 4 years or more. Your very lucky to be where you can get fresh seafood. I supplied it for many years and Lima does not keep any good seafood unless you just have never had better. I just cant be leave they are not taught better here yet. Especially the major food changes. They should set the example.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby chi chi » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:22 pm

captsirl wrote:I have been here 4 years or more. Your very lucky to be where you can get fresh seafood.


At the mercado in Magdalena, they sell fresh seafood. I was used to buy it there when I lived in Lima.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby captsirl » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:34 pm

chi chi wrote:
captsirl wrote:I have been here 4 years or more. Your very lucky to be where you can get fresh seafood.


At the mercado in Magdalena, they sell fresh seafood. I was used to buy it there when I lived in Lima.

Pure garbage, sorry I'm used to the best
Last edited by captsirl on Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby BobLowry » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:49 pm

I think there is some immunity to bacteria from meat exposed and cross-contaminated from nearby poultry and other meats. However, cooking to the proper temperatures in critical. Most bacteria cannot survive temps of 160 degreed F. This means the internal temp has to get to at least 160. Wash the chicken in cold water and cook it until done. Many Peruvian dishes have chicken that is boiled. Water and condiments are a bigger danger I think - especially mayonnaise. Just my 2 cents worth.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby simonmac » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:43 am

Well said Bob, a good two cents worth. Any idea where I can get a thermometer for kitchen purposes here ? i.e. one of those nice western gadgets that let's you measure the temperature of a joint of meat whilst it's cooking.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby chi chi » Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:21 pm

BobLowry wrote:I think there is some immunity to bacteria from meat exposed and cross-contaminated from nearby poultry and other meats. However, cooking to the proper temperatures in critical. Most bacteria cannot survive temps of 160 degreed F. This means the internal temp has to get to at least 160. Wash the chicken in cold water and cook it until done. Many Peruvian dishes have chicken that is boiled. Water and condiments are a bigger danger I think - especially mayonnaise. Just my 2 cents worth.


Before cooking any meat or fish, I was it with water and a little bit clorox. Vegetables and fruit should also be washing with water and a little bit clorox.

Like Bob said, Mayonaise is dangerous. Just like anything that's prepared with eggs. Milk products are all dangerous too.
It's better to make your own mayonaise. So, it's fresh and not full of all chemicals they put in it. Real mayonaise is yellow. Not white. The white colour is obtained by putting chemicals in it.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby chi chi » Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:23 pm

captsirl wrote:
chi chi wrote:
captsirl wrote:I have been here 4 years or more. Your very lucky to be where you can get fresh seafood.


At the mercado in Magdalena, they sell fresh seafood. I was used to buy it there when I lived in Lima.

Pure garbage, sorry I'm used to the best


Right, it's not the best but not everybody can afford the fish at Tottus or Metro.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby captsirl » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:03 pm

Right, it's not the best but not everybody can afford the fish at Tottus or Metro.[/quote]
Right you are.
But I still keep better bait on the boat
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby falconagain » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:13 pm

I never understood why a Coastal city like Lima has fish that is more expensive
than meat.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby captsirl » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:55 pm

If you go to the market on the ocean in Mariflores before sun up you will find out why. The air freight containers are being packed to leave Lima for the North American Market. The undesirable fish are left for local market. A lot of times with the heads removed so you can't see the cloudy eyes and gray gills. Bonita and Bunkers or what we use as bait are actually sold as Tuna at Plaza Vea . Very Oily fish . I smell it all the time cooking in the restaurants in Megalomania. That is why most of the dishes you get here are soup stock base. Its easy to cover up the strong tasting fish. Or they fry it until you can use it for a roof tile. The waters here are rich with big eye tuna and sword fish. But until people learn what they are missing, we will never see it. The farm raised fish is not bad . You can substitute the trout here for salmon and if you like cat fish like this southern boy does, you got it maid here. But I truly miss delicacy's like Oyster, Conch and Lobsters the fun stuff.
Now in China Town you can find good fresh Shrimp for under 20 soles pr kilo. But you got to do some walking and looking in the back doors of the restaurants.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby susita83 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:47 am

My husband's cousin is a fisherman and he lives in San Bartolo, sells to all the local restaurants and the family too :D Never had fresher fish ever!
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby captsirl » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:45 am

susita83 wrote:My husband's cousin is a fisherman and he lives in San Bartolo, sells to all the local restaurants and the family too :D Never had fresher fish ever!



This is very true . I do drive down there early in the morning looking for specials when I get the craving for something good . Pucasana is another good spot. But I mean seriously. You don't just say lets have fish / lol /
You can by fresh or fairly fresh Dorado here because its caught in all the oceans around the world so no one buys it at the auction. And All the farm raised fish is fresh. But farm raised fish is a little tasteless. But in the end the boats that pack the fish in an ice cooler and have the better species are auctioned off by 5 am and out of the country. All my boats had large ice boxes and the fish was flipped right in as they were caught and its a world of difference. The smaller fisher men her just throw them on the decks and there in pretty bad shape by noon time. But they still sell them so what do ya do.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby chi chi » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:42 am

Best fish, I've eaten was at El Sauce village at La Laguna Azul in San Martin. Fresh from the lake.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby falconagain » Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:41 pm

susita83 wrote:My husband's cousin is a fisherman and he lives in San Bartolo, sells to all the local restaurants and the family too :D Never had fresher fish ever!


Back in 1992 I ate some delicious and huge shrimp in Miami Downtown. Each shrimp was
3 inches x 6 inches and the flavor was excellent, it was fried and breaded right in front of
you. Just out of curiosity I asked the owner who supplies his shrimp and he told me: "It
is not local it is actually imported from Peru". Well it looks like they got the last of if
because I was never able to find the same shrimp anywhere again.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby captsirl » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:29 pm

falconagain wrote:
susita83 wrote:My husband's cousin is a fisherman and he lives in San Bartolo, sells to all the local restaurants and the family too :D Never had fresher fish ever!


Back in 1992 I ate some delicious and huge shrimp in Miami Downtown. Each shrimp was
3 inches x 6 inches and the flavor was excellent, it was fried and breaded right in front of
you. Just out of curiosity I asked the owner who supplies his shrimp and he told me: "It
is not local it is actually imported from Peru". Well it looks like they got the last of if
because I was never able to find the same shrimp anywhere again.



Also some of the best Lodestars come From Peru / LOL / I want it here
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chi chi
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby chi chi » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:23 am

http://www.google.com.pe/imgres?q=green ... x=64&ty=89

I´ve never seen restaurants selling them. Few places in Peru sell them.

And they are so nice. I buy them a few times a week. Nice soup can be made with them.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby susita83 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:05 am

falconagain wrote:
susita83 wrote:My husband's cousin is a fisherman and he lives in San Bartolo, sells to all the local restaurants and the family too :D Never had fresher fish ever!


Back in 1992 I ate some delicious and huge shrimp in Miami Downtown. Each shrimp was
3 inches x 6 inches and the flavor was excellent, it was fried and breaded right in front of
you. Just out of curiosity I asked the owner who supplies his shrimp and he told me: "It
is not local it is actually imported from Peru". Well it looks like they got the last of if
because I was never able to find the same shrimp anywhere again.


Sounds like the shrimp we get when we're in Peru. They make a delicious ceviche de mariscos with it and also arroz con mariscos (my hubs favorite). When I cook it here in the states, we have to use the little New England shrimp from the fish market (still very fresh) and it's just not the same. Camaroncitos chiquititos.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby jcn7vc » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:28 pm

falconagain wrote:Back in 1992 I ate some delicious and huge shrimp in Miami Downtown. Each shrimp was 3 inches x 6 inches and the flavor was excellent, it was fried and breaded right in front of you. Just out of curiosity I asked the owner who supplies his shrimp and he told me: "It is not local it is actually imported from Peru". Well it looks like they got the last of if because I was never able to find the same shrimp anywhere again.

Have you ever had fresh shrimp in Alaska? 8)
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby chi chi » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:30 pm

The chifas sell delicious shrimps.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby renodante » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:39 pm

i guess i can't tell the difference between super fresh and lame fish.

ignorance is bliss sometimes i suppose.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby Kelly » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:01 pm

Not all the fish in Plaza Vea is bad - sometimes the crabs are still moving, they're so fresh.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby captsirl » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:03 pm

[quote="Kelly"]Not all the fish in Plaza Vea is bad - sometimes the crabs are still moving, they're so fresh.

LOL you right "sometimes"
But in all fairness the farm raised fish is fresh
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby Ruud » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:16 pm

BobLowry wrote:I think there is some immunity to bacteria from meat exposed and cross-contaminated from nearby poultry and other meats. However, cooking to the proper temperatures in critical. Most bacteria cannot survive temps of 160 degreed F. This means the internal temp has to get to at least 160. Wash the chicken in cold water and cook it until done. Many Peruvian dishes have chicken that is boiled. Water and condiments are a bigger danger I think - especially mayonnaise. Just my 2 cents worth.


My observation is that it is not the cooking process that puts you at risk. I would say most meat I get served if often overcooked. Chicken breast is sliced, just like beef and liver.

No, it is the cooking practices that contaminate your food.

What I have seen:

- grilled meat on a barbecue was put on the side because it was done. Fresh chicken parts were put on the same pile...... Taking grilled meat of the grill with hands that just before touched raw chicken

- Raw chicken (and meat) is washed in the kitchen sink before cooked. An hour later in the same sink the dishes are washed. Sometimes even use that green scotch to rub the last feathers of the chicken. Later the same scotch is used for the pans and dishes.

- The same knife that is used to cut the chicken and meat is used to chop unions, tomatoes, lettuce for the salads on the same chopping board.

- Cooked food is saved outside the refrigerator for latecomers or leftovers for dinner. Beans even overnight.
The perfect circumstances for growing bacteria. Especially in the area where I live, average temperature 25-30 C.

Oh and I agree with Kelly. If you get sick, it will be blamed on the cold soda, the drinking water, or walking in the rain, but not on bad cooking practices.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby chi chi » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:33 pm

Ruud wrote:My observation is that it is not the cooking process that puts you at risk. I would say most meat I get served if often overcooked. Chicken breast is sliced, just like beef and liver.

No, it is the cooking practices that contaminate your food.

What I have seen:

- grilled meat on a barbecue was put on the side because it was done. Fresh chicken parts were put on the same pile...... Taking grilled meat of the grill with hands that just before touched raw chicken

- Raw chicken (and meat) is washed in the kitchen sink before cooked. An hour later in the same sink the dishes are washed. Sometimes even use that green scotch to rub the last feathers of the chicken. Later the same scotch is used for the pans and dishes.

- The same knife that is used to cut the chicken and meat is used to chop unions, tomatoes, lettuce for the salads on the same chopping board.

- Cooked food is saved outside the refrigerator for latecomers or leftovers for dinner. Beans even overnight.
The perfect circumstances for growing bacteria. Especially in the area where I live, average temperature 25-30 C.


That isn´t too bad after all.

I´ve seen much worser things when I was in Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Somalia.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby amigorick » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:10 pm

We thoroughly wash all food and use a bit of bleach with all veggies and fruit. Also use bleach on cutting boards, knives, etc. Also we tend to make a lot of soups, stews, etc that slimmer for a long time just to careful. But we do eat at local restaurants here in Iquitos too, but always check general cleanliness and the bathroom to see if there is soap and water. If not, we won't eat there - but with time we have found many places we feel comfortable with. But you never know and are always taking a bit of risk both at home and at restaurants. Gotta eat and can't worry about everything!

I did get quite sick last month with some nasty critters. First time in 12 years of visiting. Doctor explained that the majority of people here have parasites but no symptoms. He also explained that this particular parasite has eggs everywhere in the soil and water. He said that you can even get it by inhaling dust when traveling by motorcar! Treatment was simple. Three pills at night for 2 nights took care of the little monsters.

Anyhow the doctor recommends that I take an inexpensive intestinal parasite test twice a year. I think that's good advice for everyone.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby Kelly » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:12 pm

We were told that too, when the boys were little, that they (well, the whole family) should be treated for parasites every 6 months. I don't know if it's always been necessary, but we've done it since then.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby captsirl » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:39 pm

What is the treatment and what are the symptoms?
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby Kelly » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:47 pm

I don't remember the name of the stuff, but it's pills that we take. When the boys were younger, there was a liquid.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby rama0929 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:32 pm

That's why I drink so much when there, I figure the alcohol's a sterilizing agent 8)

:D
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby amigorick » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:32 pm

Brand name is "Quantrel", but generic is available. I think I paid 4 soles per pill.

www.tumedico.com.ve/vademecum.jsp?id_la ... dicina=455
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby captsirl » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:38 pm

Kelly wrote:I don't remember the name of the stuff, but it's pills that we take. When the boys were younger, there was a liquid.

OK that's all you had to say.
Got it in my meds case all the time ( COMBANTRIN by Pfizer )
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby renodante » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:10 am

i almost never get sick anymore. probably because i have all kinds of crazy organisms comfortably living in my gut by now.
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Re: Cross Contamination

Postby chi chi » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:37 am

rama0929 wrote:That's why I drink so much when there, I figure the alcohol's a sterilizing agent 8)

:D



I drink everyday a 7 Raices after dinner. That for sure kills all bacterias.

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