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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traillium View Post
    Can you cook it, i.e., heat it and keep it above sanitization temperature for long enough to kill germs? If yes, and if really hungry, perhaps I’d eat it. Otherwise, what’s a bit of hunger?

    I’d also be wanting to know that the little bugger hadn’t emptied his bladder and bowel in my food …

    Mice pee and poop constantly, so there is likely some residue even if not immediately apparent.

  2. #22
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    Most germs and viruses do not survive a long time outside of their host, so while it's disgusting, IMHO its safe to eat food that got gnawed on by mice a few days later.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Most germs and viruses do not survive a long time outside of their host, so while it's disgusting, IMHO its safe to eat food that got gnawed on by mice a few days later.
    This is not correct in the US or Europe

    https://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/index.html

    Just sweeping a shelter out and being exposed to the dust can expose someone to Hantavirus.

  4. #24
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    I don't know much about hantavirus, but a quick onlinesearch indicates, that the virus can stay infectious for several days, and the most likely way of infection is breathing it in.
    So if you wait for a few days until you eat the possibly infected food, you may be quite safe because either most or all of the virus' in your food had died (sorry, do virus really die? Or just go inactive?), and then ist not clear whether you can get infected at all by eating virus-infected food? Maybe your stomac acids would kill the virus anyway?
    And, as a funny side fact, most likely you will eat your clean food first anyway, until you out of sheer hunger go to the mouse food.

    Im no MD, but just memorized the rule of thumb, that the more dangerous a germ or virus is, the less likely it will survive outside of ist host and outside very specific conditions.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Most germs and viruses do not survive a long time outside of their host, so while it's disgusting, IMHO its safe to eat food that got gnawed on by mice a few days later.
    Unfortunately science trumps opinion in this case. Depending on conditions, the Hantavirus and Plague can remain active from 7 to 90 days (especially when protected from sunlight) and can be carried through the air via dust from wind or sweeping and contracted by breathing it in long after the mouse is gone.

    As far as eating food that rodents have gnawed on, you may want to consider the Leptospirosis virus which is found in rodent urine and can remain active for 180 days after release can be ingested. Additionally, it can be absorbed through the skin and casual contact, meaning the wrapper you handle to eat food the mouse has enjoyed first may carry the virus that enters your body through minor cuts on fingers.

    These are a few of the unseeable hazards that exist in nature, along with norovirus problems wherever people gather.

  6. #26
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    OK, let me do a rewording:
    If the mice had nibbed at the corner of a chocolate bar, I'd break the corner off and eat the rest.
    If mice had been inside a bag of gorp and all over it, I'd most likely thrash the whole bag.
    Honestly, I'm not so much afraid of some rare virus, but find it disgusting generally.
    The way I lived my childhood in a rural setting was full of animals of all kinds (mice being the least horrible ones), and dirt, and all possible infections.
    We still survived.

    But then, I've never been at an AT shelter and have no idea how dangerous the local mice are.
    And yes, the one time I was at an US campground where hanging the food on designated steel racks was mandatory (Phantom Ranch, Grand Canyon), in the night we watched some kind of huge squirrel jumping (flying?) onto our properly hung food bag and eating our Mars bars.
    Last edited by Leo L.; 07-19-2019 at 09:17.

  7. #27

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    Does cuben fiber help thwart the buggers? Wondering if a zpacks food bag might help

  8. #28
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    Not on the AT, but whenever we had mice encounters, it was on some heavily used camspot, And they gnawed through anything that was in their way. Even through the rim of a Tupperware box.

  9. #29
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    I now always hang my food bag under what others call a mouse mobile... serves the same purpose as the poster that says they hang with thin cable the mice can't climb. In this case, the can (or other object) prevents the mouse from climbing down the string to get to the food.
    Since I started using one, I have not had any mouse damage... but I have not been doing it long enough to know if it works or I'm just lucky.

    Another trick that worked (until the mouse was able to access my bag from a neighboring hang) was to inflate the food bag with air. The mouse could climb down the cables onto the top of my bag, but then could not climb down the side of the bag to get to the food at the bottom. I know this worked to some degree because the first time I tried it at a campsite I was by myself, in the morning,I found mouse poop on top of my bag but the bag itself was undamaged.

  10. #30
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    As others have stated I have grown weary of doing hangs and worrying about my food, so I have gone to a bear canister full time. The weight penalty is easily negated by the piece of mind I have when I go to sleep every night. Plus it makes a dang fine camp chair.

    To answer the question about eating the food after a mouse has breached it, this is not based on anything medical but I wouldn't eat it unless it was necessary (i.e. it was the only food I had left)...and even then I'd maybe not eat it if my trip was close to being over.
    AT: 2007-2019 (45 sections)
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  11. #31
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    Had a mouse get into a food bag many, many years ago. Skipped eating the everything bagel that morning. Couldn't tell the difference between the poppy seeds and mouse poo...

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