Rotary Wheel – July 31, 2012


From the July 24, 2012 meeting:



Janet Nelson is coordinating this effort to collect school supplies for students in need in our community.  In lieu of donating school supplies, tax deductible donations can be made via writing a check to West Des Moines Human Services for this project.  You can then give your check to Janet.  Remember, time is of the essence as the start day for the new school year is just around the corner. 



Janet is also heading up the Root Beer Float fundraiser for Special Olympics and could use a few volunteers to staff the event to be held on August 18th.  This is also a good way to involve family and friends!



Doug Hillman announced that future invoices will be sent out electronically via email.  To make Doug’s job easier, please confirm he has your correct (and best!) email address.  Once you get your invoice, please take care of it promptly so he does not need to follow up with you!



Orange juice sales at our booth at the downtown farmers market remain robust.  While many volunteer slots have been filled, several remain.  Please check the schedule for when more help is needed and sign up if you can.  If you have difficulty signing up, let President Chris Nelson know and he can help you out.



….was Mike Schnoes.  Mike has been a Rotarion for quite some time.  He is a CPA and now offices in Waukee in a recently purchased building.  He and his wife Jean also own the Waukee ice cream shop right next door.  Contrary to what many may think, the extreme heat is not conducive to high ice cream sales volume.  Instead, something in the low to mid 80’s is much better.  Here’s hoping that we all experience those temps in the near future!



 Pastor Michael Foss introduced our speaker:  Dr. Jeff Rissman.  The discussion was not your typical lunch topic but did involve food; its proper preparation; and risks to some people with some types of foods.  The topic was Post Diarrheal Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (D+HUS). 


Pastor Foss experienced this event by way of his grandson Ethan who contracted it.  What “it” was consisted of E-Coli bacteria.  At one point, it did not look promising for Mike’s grandson and they thought they would lose him.  What started with diarrhea progressed to include abdominal pain; bloody stools; and then a negative impact on renal function; a drop in platelet count, and a shut down of kidney function.  In some cases, this can be fatal.  Ethan has since recovered and hopefully will not have any long term effects from this but that is not yet entirely certain.


All of us have E-Coli bacteria in our systems.  That is a good thing.  The bad thing is when another type of bacteria attaches to it and enables the E-Coli to now produce a toxin.  Generally speaking, this can result from eating contaminated produce (perhaps irrigated with farm wastes/manure) or by eating undercooked hamburger or other ground meat products. 


The illness progresses from pre-symptomatic to Phase I (four day incubation); Phase II (diarrhea and pain); Phase III (3%-5% mortality rate) and finally recovery (can carry the bacteria for a month). 


Hamburger can be an issue as it comes from many sources (animals) that are ground up.  The toxins may be on the outside of one piece of beef that when ground can become incorporated into it.  To avoid an issue with this, fully cooking the hamburger is the only certain way to eliminate this risk.  This is not much of a risk with steaks as the bacteria would be on the outside surface and killed via the heat of cooking.  Vegetables can also be an issue in some cases.  If farms are irrigated with water containing manure, etc., that can create the same type of issue. 


Individuals with weaker immune systems are most at risk (includes babies and the elderly). 


Treatments used to involve antibiotics.  The issue with that is some bacteria have survived and created “super” strains that are resistant to that treatment.  Modern treatment is now more of being supportive (giving fluids, restricting salt, etc.). 


Ongoing issues remain.  Approximately 80% of the antibiotics given are to animals in this country.  While in the short term it may seem like a good idea, resistant strains of bacteria can result. 


To mitigate risk, one should understand where their food comes from (local ground beef vs. mass produced) and be careful about using unpasteurized milk, juices, and vegetables from unknown sources (remembers some of the lettuce and sprout scares of recent years). 


In summary:  undercooked steaks are still ok!  Undercooked ground beef is not!