This article we will discuss the top kombucha hazards associated with brewing and drinking kombucha. The main hazard with kombucha is usually the unsanitary conditions related to brewing your own kombucha tea. This will be a Three Part Article, beginning with an interesting post by the FDA Talk Papers. Below is the transcript in its entirety:
FDA CAUTIONS CONSUMERS ON
“KOMBUCHA MUSHROOM TEA”
FDA has been receiving inquiries about “Kombucha mushroom tea” — a product which has been mentioned in media reports lately for many uses, from inducing a general state of well being to treating diseases such as AIDS and cancer. FDA has not approved this product as a treatment for any medical condition. The following information can be used to answer questions:
Kombucha mushroom tea, also known as “Manchurian tea” or “Kargasok tea,” is not actually derived from a mushroom, but from the fermentation of various yeasts and bacteria. A starter culture is added to a mixture of black tea and sugar, and the resulting mix is allowed to ferment for a week or more.
The product contains considerable quantities of acids commonly found in some foods such as vinegar, and smaller quantities of ethyl alcohol. Because the acid could leach harmful quantities of lead and other toxic elements from certain types of containers– some ceramic and painted containers and lead crystal — such containers should not be used for storing Kombucha tea.
The unconventional nature of the process used to make Kombucha tea has led to questions as to whether the product could become contaminated with potentially harmful microorganisms, such as the mold Aspergillus. Such contamination could produce serious adverse effects in immune-compromised individuals.
FDA studies have found no evidence of contamination in Kombucha products fermented under sterile conditions. FDA and state of California inspections of the facilities of a major Kombucha tea supplier also found that its product was being manufactured under sanitary conditions.
However, the agency still has concerns that home-brewed versions of this tea manufactured under non-sterile conditions may be prone to microbiological contamination. FDA will continue to monitor the situation and encourages consumers to consult appropriate health professionals for the treatment of serious diseases.
Let that simmer, and in Part 2 I will respond with my personal opinion along with some other articles from other various kombucha experts. Till then I hope you learned just a little bit more on the topic of Kombucha Hazards.