Last week's MMWR (I promised a weekend update, I know, but Roxanne was all out of sorts over Purim and her upcoming birthday and just sort of suck the wind out of my sails) had a good piece on people getting e. coli infections from milk. The milk in question is unpasteurized milk bought from a "cow share" program on an unlicensed and uninspected farm. There are like five kinds of wrong going on here. While I am not so foolish as to assume that all of my industrial food is pure and clean, I do like knowing that some of the basics of modern animal husbandry and food chain management, like pasteurization, are going on, especially in the milk that I feed to my children. Why take the chance, especially with milk, which is basically just cow juice anyway?
In related news, my workplace is experiencing an outbreak of a gastrointestinal illness among our patients and clinical staff. I'll be vague about the details due to Ground Rule #2 and the delicate stomachs of you, the reading public. Suffice to say: not a good scene. It is oddly quiet on the halls, with most people confined to their rooms or floors, few visitors and most events canceled. And I. like most of my colleagues, have become an obsessive hand washer. I don't even touch the elevator buttons with my hands - perversely, I use a spare black yarmulke that I keep in my briefcase in the not rare event that I need to attend a funeral on short notice as a prophylactic - and I have a big canister of Clorox wipes on my desk, leftovers from Roxanne's days on the little potty. Just charming.