Page 8 - preparation of tea
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Based on these preparation techniques and the absence of a cross contamination risk potential, “fecal coliform” counts or reports of E.coli should be eliminated.
As a word of caution, tea leaves, as with most plant foods such as vegetables, may carry species of bacteria known as Klebsiella and Enterobacter species which are not harmful but frequently are respon- sible for false-positive fecal coliform tests indicating fecal contamination. Many times journalists, and specifically the test laboratories they have employed have used improper methods for testing which have led to errors and thereby improper test interpretations.
If a restaurant is cited for bacteria or E.coli or fecal contamination in tea, please immediately contact the Tea Association of the U.S.A., Inc. or the National Restaurant Association. These entities can provide the testing laboratory with the proper FDA recommended testing procedures which should prevent both the restaurant and the media from being embarrassed by a false positive reporting.
IV. Health Benefits of Tea
An Overview of Research on the Potential Health Benefits of Tea
Introduction
Tea is an ancient beverage steeped in history and romance and loved by many. In fact, so popular is tea that it is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world after water. Although tea had a modest beginning (it was discovered by accident), its popularity spread from its origins in China to Western Europe and the Americas. Throughout history, tea has been believed by many to aid the liver, destroy the typhoid germ, purify the body and preserve mental equilibrium. Over the past few decades, scientists have taken a closer look at the potential health benefits of tea and have discovered that much of the folklore about tea may actually be true.
How Tea Works in the Body
Tea contains flavonoids, naturally occurring compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals, which scientists believe, over time, damage elements in the body, such as genetic material and lipids, and contribute to many chronic diseases. Recent research has explored the potential health attributes of tea through studies in humans and animal models, and through in vitro laboratory research. For the most part, studies conducted on Green, Black and White Tea, which are both from the Camellia Sinensis plant, have yielded similar results.
Tea’s Role in Cardiovascular Health
Human population studies have found that people who regularly consume three or more cups of Black Tea per day have a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. Clinical studies suggest that the risk reduc- tion associated with Black Tea consumption may be due to improvement in some risk factors for cardio- vascular disease, including blood vessel function, platelet function and a reduction in oxidative damage.
While researchers are still examining the various mechanisms by which tea flavonoids function, some studies suggest multifunctional mechanisms, meaning that several mechanisms work in tandem to col- lectively improve markers for cardiovascular health. Important areas of tea and cardiovascular health research include blood vessel and endothelial function, or the ability of the blood vessels to dilate to allow for proper blood flow, serum cholesterol levels and Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol oxidation. Each of these factors impact the risk of myocardial infarctions (heart attacks), stroke and cardiovascular disease.
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