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#41 mslf500

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 06:46 AM

We use the tap water at our condo for washing produce and brushing our teeth. Never had a problem in the 6-7 years we have done that.

We use bottled water for hydration.
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#42 Carey

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 07:42 AM

[quote name='imkennedy' date='09 February 2012 - 11:17 PM' timestamp='1328851059' post='17720']
I am waiting for further information from my Food Science colleague about the correct concentration of bleach. Stay tuned. (PS, actually I am Ian, not Sr.)

Charles is correct, Ian, I'm using an abbreviation of Seņor because I'm too lazy-arse to find the character map and put in a ~ tilde. I should switch to a Spanish keyword really but I hate the design feature which requires the two fingered salute to produce the oft used "@" character.

We will wait for that info on the cloro and, once again, your help is most appreciated with this.

I have another favor to ask of you and Charles -- could you start a new topic, Ian, an copy and paste the rooftop jumping into that and then you copy and paste your answer, Charles. Interesting topic but it's hidden away here. Once that's done, I'll delete what is written on that subject in this thread.
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#43 CZMDM

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:49 PM

wow, i wash my veggies and fruit with my pozo water, shake the excess water off, and eat.
never had a single sick family member or guest (local or statewide), nor when i took a dish elsewhere and served to many.
like charles, i often use lechuga larga (romaine). but sometimes when the lettuce doesn't look great, i will buy the romaine lettuce hearts (3 to a bag) and one of the brands has been profundly cleaned with pozo water. i never found a piece of dirt on them.



We wash all of our stuff in the sink with tap water and have done so for about 12 years. Never have been sick. We cook with tap water. I wash my toothbruch with it, but don't drink it. I don;t drink the water from the tap in the USA either.

I would never, ever drink water from a well here. There is a very high incidence of kidney stones with people who have drank that water for a long time.
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#44 Charles

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 06:43 PM

Mike, I am pretty much in total agreement. I would never drink CAPA water, but used it for everything else, cooking, brushing teeth etc. My extreme measures were based upon my times in Chiapas. Today they probably have the same corporate farm brands we do. I did drink the city tap water in San Cristobal de las Casas limitedly. It did taste good. When Capa used to rotate the water supply from colonia to colonia each getting about 2 or 2 1/2 hours to fill your cisterns. I almost wanted to catch the water at the street connection as it had so much chlorine, straight from the street would have been perfect for washing white clothes.

In Chiapas back then it was pretty much all fresh from their milpas and I knew the prime fertilizer was from the composted out house material. There was no question, it was grown in human and animal waste, not chemical insecticides nor fertilizer.

Pozos scare me today. There have been so many, I'll call them well points if that is correct drilled to drain the streets. I see areas downtown where people are still using their ancient pozo, but they may have a dozen drains drilled in the street in their block to drain all the cr*p from the street. Too much polluted waste water introduced into close proximity to active wells. For me the water does not pass through enough rock to filter out more than the big pieces.

When I first heard of giardia in the 1970s early 1980s,in the United States, I heard horror stories from the Park Service, people stranded in wilderness, too weak to hike, emergency helicopter rescues. I had traveled a good bit previously in remote parts of Latin America and everyone knew there were all kinds of parasites, including some wicked ones. As giardia was slowly spreading in the U.S. most wilderness water supplies were contaminated, but then it started showing up in municipal water supplies.

I first contracted giardia in Costa Rica. I knew I needed to see a doctor and get treatment, it wasn't going away. When the doctor confirmed it, I asked, "you're sure, without a doubt"? Is that all? It wasn't fun, I don't like taking Flagyl.

I have long maintained I felt as secure here as in the States unless I grew it myself or knew the farm and farmer. Now in the state I find myself, until my normal immune system gets back to 1/2 normal, I feel more caution is merited. I have never used bottle water for brushing teeth or had any of the common paranoia associated with Mexico. If and when i return to the states, I'll be more careful there. The one thing of our pueblo in Alaska. It has the most pure and delicious tap water, Glacial water filtered through 800 feet of granite and the main well is less than 100 yards. They use no treatment whatsoever,no chlorine, no charcoal, nothing.
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#45 nauticab

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 07:01 PM

i don't drink tap nor well water... all filtered here too. same in the states with few exceptions. i used to sell water filters and i know what tap water has in it and i don't want my liver to work that much harder to get those chemicals out.
once i have my kitchen island designed and installed, i will connect an underwater filter system to drink the water (after getting it tested by someone to test the effectiveness of the filter) from there. otherwise, it is all crystal water for me.
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#46 imkennedy

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 07:54 PM

Charles, you are probably right about the food safety issue. But if anyone wants more information on bleach, here is the scoop. One teaspoon of fresh unscented bleach per gallon of water, soak for 5 minutes and rinse. If the produce is dirty, rinse first before the bleach treatment because chlorine will react with organic material without affecting bacteria. Here are two links with more information

http://www.foodsafet...e/produce2.html

http://pods.dasnr.ok...3/FAPC-116web.p

Unlike Microdyn, at least you know what you are dealing with.
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#47 Charles

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 02:27 AM

imkennedy, Thanks for the links, I saved both and they provide food for thought. Tonight I wanted some tomatoes to cook with ground meat. We had a couple of those reddish fruit things they sell at Mega that look sort of how tomatoes used to look.As a test of physical endurance, I set my goal on reaching the small Mayan fruit market across from Conalep. They don't carry that much, cater to some of the people who sell items on the street(need banana leaves?)

They really weren't that great today, but always have basic, a got one white onion, handful of limes, I selectively picked out five nice, ripe red tomatoes, $14 pesos. You know how those special lights all the stores have to make things look good? You wander to other parts of the store and wonder how you picked them out. Well these looked better in the semi dark shelf, that stuff with the evil, deceptive lighting. Walking home, I knew I had salad tomatoes, sort of a rarity, way too good to cook. Of unknown origin, looked like truck farm, not corporate. I did wash well in tap water, gently washed a little sponge with dish detergent (not suggested in article).

What me worry, Used a package of the "washed, ready to eat greens assortment, four tomatoes you could smell when you sliced open the first. Fine chopped some red onion, just some slivers of red pepper, two cheeses, bacon bits, Juice of a lime, top off with a splash of balsamic vinegar, Delish! No chlorine, no worried, I felt the tomatoes merited just a bit more than simple rinse (could see a little dirt).

It is hard to find ingredients that good that when put together taste that well. Was it 100% safe, I don't think anything is, but that was way worth taking any potential risk. I be thrilled if I need Flagyl once every 20 to 50 salads. I try to use common sense, but I haven't worried about produce here anymore than my concerns buying vegetables in Canada, stuff shipped north on barges from Seattle, but my neighbor grown under extreme ideal conditions, everything perfect except the soil is all from Super Fund toxic clean up.
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#48 Carey

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 09:38 AM

http://www.foodsafetysite.com/educators/competencies/consumers/produce/produce2.html

http://pods.dasnr.ok...3/FAPC-116web.p

Unlike Microdyn, at least you know what you are dealing with.


Again, thanks for your intrepitude, Ian. Is that a word? Or am I spelling it wrong? Anyway, first link works. Second is a pdf doc that comes up unreadable.

From the first doc I take it, as you said, 1 t unscented bleach per gal and soak 5-10 minutes. I note that the article stresses that the bleach must contain sodium hypochlorite and NO phosphorous so that will have to be checked.

So
1. Wash produce carefully with tap water
2. Soak 5-10 minutes in a solution of 1 gal tap water and 1 teaspoon unscented bleach less than 6 months old and containing sodium hypochlorite but not phosphorous
3. Rinse throughly -- article says to rinse produce thoroughly under running water. And this is the part that concerns me a little because to rinse thoroughly under running water gets you right back where you started with tap water on your produce. Grrr. If you let the produce dry throughly, you'd be okay. Or you could just dunk it in a gallon of bottled water for awhile and hope for the best. Grrr again but getting closer

Thanks
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#49 Charles

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 11:42 AM

I open the second document fine with Internet Explorer, if you're using fire fox you might try the other. For lettuce, spinach, greens in general, they're my primary concern. I want it clean, but conserve the crispness. My method of madness when I feel merited, takes up the kitchen. I'll use cold water from the refrigerator for any final rinse. You could use Cristal water, you could boil a pot of water in advance, even boil a pot full of Cristal water the day before and let chill over night in refrigerator. A five minute soak in cool water as a final rinse and prep for the drying.

I'll go with bath towels spread out on table. Fluff lettuce multiple times and carefully fold over the bath towel. Paper towels are a good supplement for excess water extraction. Then I carefully make bundles, rolling up good double handfuls of greens with several paper towels, damp is fine, to put into quart size zip locks. Gentle suck out remaining air and seal. This works for me in Alaska when I might have one day to buy close to expiration date greens. I use it here when I feel merited. It is work, but it takes up space, get out of my way, but I wind up with a measured amount, that stays "fresh or its crispness" well beyond any printed expiration date. The condensed size units allow efficient use of my very limited refrigerator space.

With regard to Paula's post way back, #33?, I hate the idea that you are losing all the "good germs" and you need to have a scorched earth policy to get rid of the bad. But even with these efforts, the rare, but sometimes fatal, E coli and problematic giardia and cousins will still remain.

Ian, your words, "Unlike Microdyn, at least you know what you are dealing with". Bleach/chlorine may have its limitation, but I really hate something that I feel is deliberately deceitful. Science brought us improvements in food safety, we have been able to be lax in the last few decades. Since the government seems headed toward less regulation, fewer inspections and personnel, culturally as a whole, changes may be needed in our fast food, ready to microwave diets. The whole nature of being able to buy more items already prepared, we're gaining convenience, but it comes at a price. Time for increased personal responsibility, governments seem to show more concern for the corporate that for the welfare of the people.

Sixty years ago when cast iron was the common cookware, that trace amount of iron made for a lot less anemia. Easy to clean, love that Teflon came with a price.
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#50 imkennedy

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 12:00 PM

"Again, thanks for your intrepitude, Ian."
Ineptitude might be the word you are looking for.
The best advice for food is avoid the center of the supermarket and stick to the outsides where the food is minimally or not processed at all. A bit of washing can do no harm. You could let the water dry but you might end up with an unpleasant chlorine flavor. But I do not think it is particularly harmful as long as you stick to the recommended concentration. If it tastes bad, then do not eat it and use a quick rinse with bottled water. All told, probably better than nothing. Necessary? Not sure.
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#51 Carey

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 01:25 PM

Opening link 2 from Ian in IE worked. Thanks Chas. From this article I take it that one must also take into account water with low acid/high base ph. Which, of course, is what comes out of the tap here big time -- low ph, high calcium water.

So it appears the best and easiest bet is:

#1. Pre wash produce in tap water
#2. Measure out a gallon of bottled water into a plastic bucket or tile sink (so no corrosion problems with metal). Add 1 teas bleach that is less than 6 months old, contains no fragrances or additives and definitely contains sodium hypocholorite and NO phosphorous.
#3. Add produce and allow to soak 5-10 minutes.
#4. Drain produce and rinse in another gallon of bottled water.

So now I am off to the store to look at the labels on the various forms of 'cloro' on offer.
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#52 Charles

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 09:56 PM

One ridiculous wrench in the works -- only in Cozumel -- no measuring spoons. I have some I brought down but they're metal. Oh well.


Dori has a variety of measuring devices besides syringes. I find the syringes far easier than cups with markings. http://www.csgnetwor...suretable2.html

One teaspoon = 5ml/5cc (standard syringe size sold, cheaper at Similares Three teaspoons = one tablespoon = 15ml or 15 cc. I can suggest both with and without the needle. Lots of assorted measuring cups and devices related to measuring medicines. Just convert kitchen measurements to medical/chemical units if needed.
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#53 nauticab

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 11:01 PM

i am sorry, but perhaps your bad stomach bout you had years ago carey has made you overly cautious.
all this research and mixing this that and the other and wasting 2 gallons, 2 GALLONS, of perfectly good drinking water to clean and disinfect a salad is just too much. IMHO.
the restaurants do NOT go to these measures. most people just soak their veggies in tap water with a few drops of microdyn (i know, i know), shake them off, and serve.
i have not heard about horrible bouts of bichos in anyone in the past few years. people in the states have more bichos (internal parasites) than people here, it is just that in the states, the docs are NOT taught about parasites and don't realize that most of their health problems are from not cleansing their system. so it seems more prevalent here, when in fact, it is likely THE SAME as in the states, but people are not aware.
i have not taken the bicho drug in about 7 years.
i wash my veggies in tap water, or well water, if very dirty, soak in microdyn, shake it off and eat.
your local restaurant probably does the same.
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#54 Carey

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 07:47 AM

Actually, it's too much trouble and too much water to do this with lettuce. But I'm talking about an entire grocery load of vegetables and fruit -- a bucket full. And Ima gonna do it. Bottled water from Cristal costs 20 pesos for 5 gallons. So using two gallons for produce is costing you what? 65 cents? To each their own and I do realize that I may be getting slightly carried away. It has become a question of getting interested in the science of it and liking to see it through to the end.

Of course everyone can and should do exactly as they please. But microdyne does NOT work. That is one bottom line about which I am sure so if you want to save some moolah, Nauticab, there's a place to start not buying that stuff.

I should also say that I didn't just have one case of the bugs back in the old days. I had FOUR cases of it. 3 amoebiosis and 1 giardia. So, yes, I am cautious and have not been ill in 7 years. I will partly attribute this fact, however, to switching from El Cenote water (what a rube I was!) to San Andreas or Cristal.
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#55 nauticab

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 11:01 AM

i actually bought a teeny tiny bottle of microdyn about 6 years ago...and it is still over half way full. so honestly, i hardly ever use it.
about the water waste, i am talking about the waste, not the money. but like you said, to each his own. i hope you find a simple solution though and if others have chronic stomach issues, that they can benefit from the research here.
HOWEVER, for the majority of the readers here, it is likely not necessary to go thru such extreme measures with your produce. if i was a newbie reading this, i would likely freak out about eating a carrot. so to you newbies, relax. if you get a bout of amoebas, there is a little pill you take and you are better in a few days. giardia is a diff case of course, but not anywhere near as common.

and if you are stateside and are wondering, get a parasite test and you will find that 90% of ALL AMERICANS have parasites. even dr oz says it and admits that US docs have NO CLUE as to how prevelent they are and modern medicine is only attacking the symptoms but leaving the bugs to grow becasue they fail to test for it. here, it is common practice.
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#56 Carey

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 12:56 PM

It is true that the medicines to get rid of amoebiosis are readily available and can even be gotten without a scrip at any drug store. Everyone who gets it has different symptoms and after you've had it once, you generally know when you've got it again because of that. With me I get extremely dizzy and nauseous with the runs that don't go away. For others it can be something as simple as a coffee smells funny to them all of a sudden.

A simple lab test of a stool sample can tell you if you have it and then you can just pop the pills for a few days and you're all set. It's all do it yourself. You just take a sample in to Landy, the big, pretty lady who owns the lab that is behind the old Ace hardware on the corner of 30 and 5 Sur, now home to a store full of furniture and Mexican style decos. Drop it off and come back 24 hours later for the report.

A lot of old-timers actually take the drugs prophylactically once per year. But I personally do not think that's a good idea at all. But, again, to each their own. And Nauticab is correct not to get all worked up over this. I just got on a tear which I do sometimes. I am the dog that won't let go of the bone until I get resolution. Which I finally, more or less did.
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#57 Charles

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 02:18 PM

My "contribution" in this thread is over what I perceive is you are fairly safe in Mexico now, but the risk is every bit as great in the States. The sometimes measures that I employee are both for here and in the States. I grew up in Florida. I grew up with small truck farms, families selling fruit and vegetables on the side of the road. A farmer might be using 2 to 20 acres. Life was good, diets were fairly healthy and many, many people had their own gardens. I grew my first crop of tomatoes when I was seven years old.

I heard of giardia only because I was getting into extreme isolation sites backpacking solo. My school was working closely with the National Park Service and in the private sector, the school was producing many Outward Bound instructor leaders for wilderness experience, "personal growth" geared to spoiled rotten rich kids who were too old or too big to spank (and could be armed) or more likely middle age professionals, bored with their lives and seeking a physical, but what was a surprise it was mostly mental challenge, an experience interacting with nature in the wild. Deliverance with out the banjos or the hillbilly population.

I went solo into extreme isolated areas, I didn't want people with me, but among the experienced elite, few would contemplate my expeditions. My routes and destinations were largely guided by intuition. The San Fransisco earthquake of 1906 caused a number of springs to dry up in the Grand Canyon area and other arid regions in the five States I did most of my activities. Very few potential water sources, all potentially contaminated. Giardia, amoebas those are parasites only in extreme third world locations, most interesting in National Geographic programs, but with the exception of squared shaped Mexican ice cubes in mixed drinks(round ones are OK said the ships), something Americans will only see on TV.

Giardia has spread a great deal in the U.S. in the last 30 years, my opinion is that it has spread a great deal. But a huge part of the situation now is they actually test and recognize it, in local lakes and streams, in private well water, in large and small city reservoirs. It is everywhere, more than widespread, as Nauticab said, few deal with testing and let's treat the symptoms. It was only I believe in the 1980s that simple stool testing became available. What left an impression on me in my training was descriptions, first hand accounts from people that swallowed a "capsule on a string" or it was passed through the nose, allowed to travel the distance and time required and then it was pulled out for analysis.

My first confirmed case of Giardia in Costa Rica, it was seriously unpleasant, left me really drained, tired after walking a few blocks and I didn't want to go too far from a restroom. It was not the dread disease, make sure you save at least one round for your gun if needed. Assorted things were fairly common here in the 1990s, it was not unusual to be treated once a year for year round residents. Some people took a program of Flagyl every six months whether confirmed needed or not. I have had Giardia and or assorted amoebas at least 6-7 maybe eight times in Mexico. But probably not in the last 13 years and my time on the island has grown more limited, seven months max, most likely to change to days in the future, certainly not months.

If I should live in the U.S., I have such limited options. I don't trust the health care nor could I afford to use it, but I have such limited confidence in the system, if I actually wanted health care and medical treatments, I might seek out Costa Rica, Mexico or even perhaps Cuba in that order. Although I am walking distance from Canada and still have a wad of loonies in hand, we are blocked from health treatments in Canada unless covered under a trip insurance plan that a seasonal resident of the border would be disqualified.

On Nauticab's theme, my biggest pet peeve is H pylori, since my wife has almost died from it twice. It is an organism that is so common in persons maybe over the age of 45, certainly age 50. Due to changes in the sanitation and processing, I understand it is rare or uncommon in persons under the age of 30. About 85-90% of the people that have it will never exhibit any symptoms. It causes ulcer, leads to bleeding ulcer and you may die from loss of blood. Since this "bugger' hides in the lining of the stomach, it goes unnoticed and it takes the shotgun method to eliminate it. Most people that have it will go all their lives without experiencing any symptoms. The organism and treatment was discovered in the late 1980s I believe. The U.S. through the NHI, CDC and assorted medical medias put out the word, first to gastric-specialists, then more urgently to general practitioners. Ulcer are most likely caused by H pylori, it requires multiple antibiotics to treat. Stop prescribing antacids and bland diets, STOP IT! More than a decade later a survey was made and some gastric specialists had made the change, but most of the front line general medical practitioners had missed that one totally. Once again after the year 2000, information was pumped out by the government to the medical system which was largely ignored. I can't count the number of doctor or hospital visits made, prescriptions filled as well as painful stomach and related suffering for years. Even I didn't pick up anything from my constant, obsessive research, I'll trust my judgement and take my own responsibility form of self diagnosis, self treatment.

Finally after years, literally on the verge of collapse from loss of blood, she wound up in the hospital here (Clinica Villanueva). Their plan was to stabilize, determine the extant and then most likely give a treatment for H pylori. What in the hell is H pylori, what does it do and how is it treated I asked. The simple reply from the team of Mexican doctors, that is what causes ulcers, the most probably situation here and ulcers need to be treated with antibiotics. My initial research into that topic was primarily concerning how the government had repeatedly put out the information into the right hands and it had been ignored for more than a decade. Another forum member Traveler, wound up in a clinic in Cancun at about the same time.

Is Carey excessively concerned? Most people, most of the time will be OK without extraordinary measures. The bad ones that make the press, the ones that can kill you, especially in an immune compromised condition that I am in now, E Coli is a great example. Of course many of the risks are prevented by cooking, just like boiling water. But preventive measures for E coli and most assorted other adventures are 95% effective. That is only 5% ineffective. One time out of 20. Would you take the ferry to the mainland if it sank one out of 20 times? Put on your life preserver and you will most likely be picked up within five hours and not have to live underwater. If you're real lucky a Russian mobster's yacht will pick you up.

If you are sensitive, if it is a personal choice you want to try to prevent or willing to risk, but don't think you are safe in the U.S. and it is only the water and square ice cubes you have to worry about in Mexico. I have always and continue to use tap water to brush my teeth, I use tap water and then a final Cristal rinse on most vegetables, but on occasion, when I intuitively think it is merited, I'll use some chlorine. I will not use colored drops, colored to look like something more than they are. I know the limitations of chlorine, but there is no deceit. Not safe for colored clothes and other fine delicate fabrics.
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