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If you worry about mad cow desease, don't do fix menu....

If you worry about mad cow desease, don't do fix menu....

Mar 25th, 2001, 07:17 AM
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If you worry about mad cow desease, don't do fix menu....

I went to a recommended restaurant in Rome. The menu was fixed which means you'll take whatever they give you. The menu did not say beef but said meatballs and veal. Since the menu said veal we thought it was veal in the beginning. After 2 bites I was sure it's beef. Being a trustful person I am, I thought the chefs should know what they were doing. That evening I went to another restaurant and the waitress said they were not serving beef at all because there were 6 cases of mad cow desease there(meaning in Rome or Italy?). They stressed that restaurants should not serve beef. I was just checking the website of madcow desease. I am wondering if there is any means of checking if one has it. If you are paranoid like me, don't go to those restaurants.
Mar 25th, 2001, 07:25 AM
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Last time I checked veal was beef, just baby beef, which means it's just as likely to carry mad cow disease. To me if I saw "meatballs" on the menu my first assumption would be beef - why did you think it would be something else?
Mar 25th, 2001, 07:51 AM
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I thought veal was lamb. Am I wrong? This whole thing scares me, also. What about cheese? Has anyone heard if that's supposed to be safe from BSE? I'm sure it's only a matter of time before we, in the US, are as educated on this as the Europeans.
Mar 25th, 2001, 08:52 AM
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No, veal is beef. Lamb is sheep, which is also susceptible to it's own form of spongiform encephalopathy called "Scrapie". If you are worried stick to pasta. If you do a search on this forum for Mad Cow disease you'll find all kinds of info on the subject. I've heard differing opinions on the subject of cheese. Personally, I can give up meat, but not cheese. I figure I'm far more likely to die of heart disease than Mad Cow disease - but I still eat cheese!
Mar 25th, 2001, 08:53 AM
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I wasn't thinking. I was walking alot and was hungry. Meatballs can be pork. i guess I had wanted the restaurants to take the responsibity instead of myself. I found out that wasn't a good idea that's why I took the time to post to caution people.
Mar 25th, 2001, 09:32 AM
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Please, dear friends, relax. There have been a few isolated cases of Creutzfeld Jacob disease (the human form of Mad Cow disease), but that is certainly not a reason not to eat beef. Meat is strictly controlled now and food in Europe is as safe as it can be. The chance that you have a car accident on your way to the airport is MUCH bigger than that you will ever be seriously sick from the food you eat in Europe.
Mar 25th, 2001, 09:45 AM
the turnip
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Cheers to Sjoerd for injecting soem reasonableness into the discussion.
Mar 25th, 2001, 10:19 AM
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Mo--you wanted the restaurant to take the responsibility for what? Telling you that veal is beef? Do you also want them to take the responsibility for telling you that trout is fish? That mutton is sheep? Come on. What type of animal did you *think* veal came from?

And I'm really stunned at your report that a waitress said that restaurants should not serve beef "at all." Are you absolutely sure that's what she said? Sounds a bit specious to me. Sjoerd's right; people are completely going overboard with panic over something that's less likely to affect your travels in Europe than lost luggage or an accident in your airport taxi.
Sjoerd's right.
Mar 25th, 2001, 11:09 AM
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I don't want to comment upon the safety of eating beef in Europe. However, I would like to ask what the chances of having a car accident or losing your luggage has to do with the chances of getting CJD? The answer, obviously, is NOTHING! Simply because your chances of having an accident or losing your luggage are greater than your chances of getting CJD does not in the least reduce your chances of getting CJD.
Trying to convince someone that something is safe simply because some unrelated thing is less safe is foolish and illogical.
Mar 25th, 2001, 11:16 AM
playing it safe
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Since there are clearly alternatives to beef, why not just opt for other things? There are plenty of other wonderful offerings of food in Europe. Just as we'll drive "carefully", we'll eat "carefully", too. Why take a chance since there is a known risk?
Mar 25th, 2001, 12:27 PM
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So where CAN we get current and objective info on mad cow? I would like to know the latency period before an animal tests positive.

Mad-cow.org seemed a bit hysterical, and not too easy to navigate.
Thank you.
Mar 25th, 2001, 12:33 PM
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...web-footed friends. My mother the duck and all my brother and sister ducklings would sure like you to eat beef while you are in Europe.

<<Why take a chance since there is a known risk?> - - umm, because it's nutritious and tastes good? and because the risk is infinitesimally low?

Mar 25th, 2001, 12:38 PM
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Re-posting since my last post vanished in cyberspace.

Do any of you know of an objective web site for mad cow? I checked mad-cow.org, but couldn't find the answer to my question: Do we know the length of the latency period before an animal tests positive?

Thank you, k
Mar 25th, 2001, 11:28 PM
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Forget informed medical advice.
Go to www.italianwaitress.com!

Variant CJD has never actually been proved to be caused by eating beef, possibly because it is so rare that its hard to get a statistical result.
Some doctors now say it could be a mutation from "normal" CJD caused by pesticides or high manganese/low copper trace metal environments.(the pesticide theories have been there since the start,Private Eye ran a long series of articles about it, the metals ones are fairly recent but the evidence is there)

The jury is still out on the BSE/V-CJD link, so you'll find it hard to get definite advice from anyone honest.
Cases are still rare but the incubation period is long.
Mar 26th, 2001, 04:28 AM
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Some of your comments are very interesting. I haven't thought of comparing getting mad cow disease to getting into a car accident. All I was thinking was that I wasn't thinking and I shall warn other people. I would have had given the issue some thought if I had read something about it beforehand. I also wish that I had known more Italian language to ask questions. That was a wonderful delicious meal by the way. Not only the food was great, the atmosphere was homely and relaxed.
I believe life is precious and one shall take the optimal care of oneself. That's why I eat mostly organic food(it tastes a whole lot better too) and don't mind spending alot of time preparing meals and I serve my friends the same.
The witress did say that restaurants should not serve beef. That was said in English. I actually read that alot of restaurants in Europe are importing beef from Australia, that explains the increase in price.
One last word:I just want to share with those who might find this piece of information helpful. I simply wish that I had asked question before I sat down since one doesn't get to choose in a fixed menu.
Mar 26th, 2001, 05:01 AM
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Kalena, try these sites:

Center for Disease Control: "Questions and Answers on BSE and CJD

Centre for Disease Control, Travellers' Health: "Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy ("Mad Cow Disease") and New Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (nvCJD)

World Health Organization Fact Sheet: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)

Hope this helps,

- Quicksilver -
Mar 26th, 2001, 06:27 AM
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Thanks Quicksilver. These are very helpful websites.
Mar 26th, 2001, 01:51 PM
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Yes, thank you, Quicksilver for these references. This is precisely the kind of information I was looking for.

The latency period seems to be from 4 - 10 years. Even though the CDC considers the risk for infection extremelly small for European travelers, it seems prudent to stick to muscle meats while in Europe if eating meat at all. It also makes you wonder how well enforced the 1997 FDA ban has been, with the recent confirmend cases of BSE in Vermont sheep. Although those appear to have been imported herds?

I'll continue to check those sites. Thank you very much for taking the time.
Aloha, k
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