Jul 14, 2010, 8:43 AM
Your post reminds me of how carelessly meat and other food products are handled all over Mexico and especially in Chiapas where we live part of each year - and often become ill through water, food and even airborne bacteria simply from the act of breathing. Serious digestive illnesses are commonplace in Southern Mexico among locals and foreigners alike so this is a serious issue. Not that it┤s not a serious issue where we live at Lake Chapala as well; it┤s just worse in Southern Mexico.
In fact, in San Cristˇbal de Las Casas, where it is normally cool because of the altitude, locals dislike the March/April warm season which coincides with the mango season because it is common down there for digestive and respiratory illnesses to become widespread from airborne bacteria as human and other animal fecal matter dry out in the surrounding hills. (NOTE: Lots of folks don┤t have indoor plumbing in Chiapas - just surrounding fields.)
I have no sympathy for farmers and ranchers selling dangerous meats, fish, poultry, produce and fruits because they are poor and are trying to salvage their marginal operations but it is not just the poor food producer who is doing this. In San Cristˇbal, one of the world┤s famous soft drink manufacturers sold tainted "purified" drinking water that made many people quite ill and some water purification plants we frquently pass on the street in town are not very clean. The local press in Chiapas often report incidences of local butcher shops selling uninspected, tainted meat intermixed with wholesome meats and a few months ago the city shut down the city┤s main slaughterhouse citing extremely filthy conditions there* which is the reason we only buy meats and poultry sold at establishments such as Sam┤s Club or Bodega Aurrera while down there. We also diligently wash and disinfect all fruits and produce we plan to eat raw.
When we first moved to Lake Chapala in 2001 when the lake had seriously receded, we walked our dogs almost daily on the expansive beach from La Floresta to San Juan Cosala where there were, in those days, many truck farms, cattle herds and even one utterly (udderly?) filthy dairy operation all producing meat, produce, fruit and unpasteurized milk on the toxic lake bed that were subsequently sold in the chapala area through local merchants and, since the produce was sold mostly locally, it looked just fine.
A few years ago, Guadalajara┤s MURAL reported on a survey that found e-coli in 90% of the raw salsa served in local restaurants in Guadalajara and 50% of salsas sold in restaurants in Houston, Texas.
* Believe me, if the city┤s main slaughterhouse was closed by the city for "extremely filthy conditions", that means extremely filty conditions indeed by the standards of Chiapas. You can bet that after it was re-opened, if it was, it was still filthy by any standard the reader would anticipate.
(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Jul 14, 2010, 1:59 PM)