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Erin Huffstetler

Is Sun Tea Dangerous?

By June 29, 2007

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Sun tea is a popular and frugal drink, but is it a safe one? Not according to Snopes.com and more notably the Centers for Disease Control, which have both published information about the potential for sun tea to harbor dangerous bacteria. To find out more about what could be lurking in your tea check out:

Need a Substitute for Your Beloved Sun Tea?

Then, try refrigerator tea. It'll give you the same flavor you're used to, but none of the bacteria concerns. Ahh . . . now that's refreshing!

June 29, 2007 at 5:48 pm
(1) Alice says:

I have been making sun tea in a 1 gallon glass jar for over 15 years and haven’t died yet. What a bunch of hogwash.

July 3, 2007 at 7:40 pm
(2) Dana says:

You obviously haven’t been killed in a hit-and-run, either. Would you deny they happen to others? It’s not like it’s a major inconvenience to use your refrigerator instead of your back porch for tea-brewing. Considering that bacteria are becoming more and more difficult to fight with antibiotics, and all. (Germs kill more people than hit-and-runs do.) Sometimes I don’t know why scientists bother teaching the rest of us about stuff they find out, but if you’re that determined to blow off this particular finding, I guess it’s Darwin in action. *shrug*

July 4, 2007 at 9:10 am
(3) your mom says:

here’s the thing, everybody:

i’d rather die from sun tea than be afraid of sun tea.

now that we have officially scared ourselves of everything – (i mean, what’s left? popping the heads off dandilions? hopscotch? key lime pie??) – let’s take a minute to remember one simple fact:

we are indeed going to die.

all of us.

you too.

maybe even today.

so it’s not the inconvenience or the sentimentality of the sun tea. it’s just: sun tea. and i refuse to be afraid of it, or of the bacteria it may harbor.

the reason germs are more difficult to fight with antibiotics is because we take too many antibiotics. let the body work a little, learn to withstand some germs, develop a healthy immune system. harder to do now that there is antibacterial spray, soap, air freshner, etc etc etc, but geez.

and let’s say you do it, you go on ahead and drink sun tea anyway, (damn the torpedoes! full speed ahead!!) and the unthinkable happens: you DIE from sun tea. well, so be it. we’re going to die from something. please god let me be so lucky as to die from sun tea.

we are spending our whole lives trying to stay alive instead of living. life is dangerous! life is uncertain! life can be scary, yes! but we have it so good here that we forget that it’s going to end someday relatively soon for each of us alive right now. and i am assuming this applies to you, too: if you have a computer and are capable of reading this, take a moment to reflect on how extremely lucky you are in the spectrum of human experiences. you are not, most likely, in Darfur. you probably aren’t being shot at by gang members or insurgents. you most likely HAVE a refrigerator. take a moment to reflect on the fact that you, reader, are alive, and probably safe, and relatively comfortable, else you would scarcely be reading about the $%#& dangers of SUN TEA.

we think this is how it’s always going to be and get attached to life and comfort and come up with crazy ways to insure we get to keep it, to stay alive and comfortable as long as possible. we go to school and spend years “learning” things we may never need to know and that may not interest us, things which we promptly forget as soon as our “test” is over, to increase the likelyhood of getting a job that we most likely are not passionate about, would not be doing if not for the money, to buy things we may not need, to increase the chances that we will still be able to be comfortable in our old age, so that we don’t have to think about dying. and we defend with our lives sometimes our “right” to these things.

everyone! get up from your computers right now! go into the kitchen, grab some tea bags and a glass jar filled with nice cold water, and set it out on the front porch. i hereby declare it national sun tea day in america! take back your life by proudly showing you REFUSE to be afraid of sun tea. and while you’re at it, if you’re not doing something you love, i mean really love, every day: sit back with your deeee-licious glass of sun tea and ask yourself: what am i waiting for.

i say this with deepest love and respect, and wish you peace.

rock on, sun tea rebels.

July 4, 2007 at 9:18 am
(4) Grace says:

Refrigerator tea is a safer alternative. So is cold-brewed coffee–you can find recipes on the internet (since the beans have been roasted, there’s not the danger of harboring bacteria acquired in the field). I’ve visited a tea plantation in China as well as public markets. The worry of e-coli contamination is not an abstract one. The tea grows close to the ground, and there’s nothing to prevent animals (or people) from , well, contaminating it. Not that it happens all the time, but if you wash your vegetables that come out of the ground, it’s the same principle. The tea is dried and, for oolong and black tea, fermented, but never washed until you put it in water.

July 4, 2007 at 10:18 am
(5) Alice says:

The chances of my being run down by a drunk person are greater than dying from drinking sun tea. Do you drink? Do you drive? Why isn’t everybody up in arms about drunk drivers, people talking on their cell phones when driving and doing a lot of other things when driving. I’m 73 years old, yes I will die but I’d rather die from drinking sun tea than a drunk driver or someone driving who is under the influence of some other illegal drug.

July 4, 2007 at 10:36 am
(6) MO says:

Hooray! for Alice and your mom!!! Be a rebel and drink that sun tea. I’m barely 40 and we “lived” outside – in the dirt *gasp*- and even played in the sandbox (with no lid) and probably ate some of the sand, too. My mom told us what don’t kill you makes you stronger and I think that goes for tragedy, dirt, sun tea and a miriad of other things. I think everyone would be well served and more healthy if they went outside and got some bacteria on ‘em and in ‘em!

July 4, 2007 at 4:33 pm
(7) Larry says:

I love the altitudes of these folks. Rock on sun-tea drinkers!!!

Psst!!……. I’m gonna out and buy a gallon jug and make me …..

July 4, 2007 at 5:28 pm
(8) Liz says:

Recently I put a gallon jug of herbal sun tea out all day, brought it in to drink and it was already fermenting and tasted horrible – I had to toss the entire gallon jug. I’ve been making refrigerator tea for some time and it has a wonderfully clean taste, very refreshing. And it’s easy – just put it in the refrigerator overnight and you have tea ready to go. That’s my route. This just confirms it.

July 4, 2007 at 6:44 pm
(9) Cindy M says:

I was surprised that the refrigerator tea tasted just as good to me if not better than the sun tea. I will say I get sick of the media constantly trying to scare me to death with all the health scares. You either have good genes or you don’t, to my way of thinking. So much obsession with the body and physical health is just a waste of time.

July 4, 2007 at 10:33 pm
(10) Frugal says:

How can they cook safely in solar ovens if tea in a jar is not to be used? Frugal

July 5, 2007 at 5:21 am
(11) becca w says:

‘your mom’ and alice-i love both your comments! this reminds me of a recent rant i went on to a freind: several weeks back i went out to run some errands. beautiful midwest day,75 degrees,afternoon. i saw only 1 child outside. he was probably 9 or 10, fully loaded with helmet,knee pads, elbow pads,training wheels, and riding his bike up and down a 10 foot driveway,back and forth. and i saw not one other child out for the several hours i was out and about. i assume all the children were indoors because their parents are so afraid to let them play outside due to fear. i will sarcastically assume that this child of brave parents was probably wearing sunscreen and bugspray :)

July 9, 2007 at 12:58 pm
(12) erindreg says:

Why would anyone want to drink something knowing that it can potentially make you sick? I don’t understand. Do you leave food out all day and still it?

July 15, 2007 at 5:53 pm
(13) Pat says:

I read the Snopes article (doesn’t About have an Urban Legends Guide?) and got a different take on it. Sun tea is perfectly safe if you’re sure to clean your container very well. It’s not the sun tea that is a problem, it’s the possibility of bacteria already in the container.

Also, ultraviolet light from the sun kills microbeasties. That’s a known fact.

A little logical thinking goes a long way.

Perhaps this “caution” may be from the same woman who sued McDonald’s for giving her hot coffee…

July 6, 2008 at 2:11 pm
(14) Jayne says:

I guess I’m confused. Why is making refrigerated tea ok and sun tea not? I thought the whole idea was to reach a temperature of 195 to kill bacteria. That doesn’t happen in the fridge.

July 6, 2008 at 11:43 pm
(15) mg says:

at refrigerator temperatures, most bacteria will either not grow at all or will grow very slowly.

July 18, 2008 at 5:05 pm
(16) Chris says:

U know, i’ve drank sun-tea my entire life, and just because people find bacteria in it, does not mean i’m going to stop drinking it. I’ve made refrigorator tea, boiled tea, instant tea. Theres something about letting the tea steap in the sun that gives it a distinct flavor. Maybe its the bacteria that taste good.

Anyhoo i have never been sick from sun tea, nor have i ever met anyone thats ever been sick from sun tea. Seems like were not suppose to do anything these days. In my opinion, its the ones who obsess over bacteria that makes them ill from it, MENTALLY ILL. Bacteria is all around us people, just keep your tea pitchers clean, and keep on brewing.


May 23, 2009 at 6:38 pm
(17) Paul says:

I like the comment Chris made “Maybe its the bacteria that taste good”

Probably so…

June 17, 2009 at 1:51 pm
(18) Chrisopher Mohr says:

Whether or not sun tea is good for you, it takes too long to make. Get a gallon jug and put into it about ten tea bags(experiment until you find the right amount of tea bags that work for you) and fill the jug with hot water from the faucet. In about half an hour shake up the jug, remove the tea bags, fill a glass with ice cubes and enjoy. Put the rest of the tea in the fridge. Lemon and sugar can be added to the jug or to the glass. Have it your way.

June 17, 2009 at 1:59 pm
(19) ns says:

What a crock!!!!!!! Go ask Alice.

June 17, 2009 at 2:10 pm
(20) Jim in Omaha says:

Agree with most comments on this subject. If Sun-tea is unsafe because the water hasn’t been boiled, then so is the water coming out of your tap – and no one is advocating boiling ALL the water we drink. Tap water is not cold enough to inhibit bacterial growth, nor hot enough to ‘kill ‘em where they strand’…

I think I’m more at risk from the deteriorating ozone layer than I am a jug of sun-tea. To me, this is a complete NON-issue.

June 17, 2009 at 2:39 pm
(21) johnR says:

Folks, the reason tea has caught on so well as a healthful beverage in Asia is that it is BOILED. People noticed that tea drinkers died less frequently than non-tea drinkers. They decided that tea was good for you.( most water throughout the world is dirty)

June 17, 2009 at 3:06 pm
(22) What's His Name in Mankato says:

I’ve found that mixing a little grenadine and vodka in sun tea tends to kill a lot of the little critters….

June 17, 2009 at 5:33 pm
(23) samIam says:

Mr. Mohr,
Hot water from the Hot water heater is not for drinking. You have you ever flushed you water heater?

June 17, 2009 at 7:01 pm
(24) Karine says:

This is the biggest bunch of Bunk I have ever heard of .. I live in Arizona and we have made suntea for centuries! If I listen to all the negative reports that came out over the years – I be dead from starvation as well.. No wonder Americans are such a sick bunch – everything has to be germ free so their bodies have no defense in their system for bacteria .. A certain amount of bacteria is needed to be healthy.

June 18, 2009 at 12:42 am
(25) Bryan says:

#24 Karine wrote:
“This is the biggest bunch of Bunk I have ever heard of .”

I already discredit a comment when I read exaggerative comments like “the biggest bunch of Bunk.” Well, if this is the biggest then you clearly don’t search the web or read much.

As a medical researcher and health advocate, I’m always amazed by ignorance out there — especially from people clearly ill-informed about health and medicine. Karine’s comment is typical.

First, let’s look at her “logic.” She wrote:
“I live in Arizona and we have made suntea for centuries!”

So what? You seriously need a basic class in Statistics or even Critical Thinking. How do you know that people haven’t gotten sick from it? Have you done epidemiological studies to see if there are correlations with gastrointestinal distress, cancers, immune disorders, etc? How do you know the long term effects? Cancers and ulcers, for example, happen far in the future.

Why are you so dismissive of medical experts? Based on what? On “centuries” of experience? Reliable epidemiological modeling wasn’t even a science until late last century. So was there a CDC in the 19th century? Just how was data for suntea collected? By word of mouth? Is that what you consider science? Is that what you want taught in medical school?

Here’s more evidence of Karine’s ignorance of the subject: “No wonder Americans are such a sick bunch – everything has to be germ free so their bodies have no defense in their system for bacteria .. A certain amount of bacteria is needed to be healthy.”

Er, get out a basic textbook on immunology. Germ free? Have you heard of e. Coli? How about Enterobacteriaceae, enterococci, bifidobacteria, and Bacteroides? Our healthy intestines are estimated to have about 100 TRILLION organisms, comprising of 300-1000 different species. Does that sound germ-free to you?

The existing flora in our guts live in balance with our body, with many actually helping its function. Why would you want to upset that balance and introduce a foreign organism, especially ones that the CDC deems harmful? Are you seriously claiming that it helps maintain a normal immune system? WRONG. Adult immune systems are generally not helped by DIETARY introduction of a pathogen. Yes, it may help to expose infants to environmental pathogens, but as adults, our immune systems are established and the introduction of pathogens may actually cause an allergic reaction and possibly even death from anaphylatic shock. Your logic simply doesn’t make sense. Even with children, oral introduction is NOT the way to go.

Karine, you may want to live in the 17th century but it is completely irresponsible to post such misinformation. I feel sorry for those around you, who give you credence. Seriously, go get a real medical textbook for information rather than The National Enquirer. Or just ask your physician.

June 18, 2009 at 12:59 am
(26) Brianna says:

I agree with Bryan. If you think it’s okay to leave tea basking in the sun for many hours, then you’re also okay with leaving food out unrefrigerated for long periods. The situation is exactly the same. Yet most people would prefer not to leave their food outside overnight.

Experts say that moisture-rich foods should never be left out for more than 2 hours, and that bacteria can double every 20 minutes.

Boiling the water only helps to a certain extent. Unless you adhere to the guidelines for canning, bacteria in the air immediately returns to the bottle. Again, let’s look at your dinner foods. Most were cooked above the temperature that would kill bacteria. Yet it still gets spoiled.

You guys who say that you don’t care about the risks are certainly welcomed to keep consuming it. After all, look how many people still smoke despite the known dangers. But don’t be arrogant and claim that the CDC is wrong (where is YOUR proof?). Acknowledge the facts and then admit that you don’t care. And just like smoking, don’t be irresponsible and subject your children to the risks.

Karine: your posts is incredibly ignorant and illogical. I only took a freshman courses in biology and critical thinking and even I know that your conclusions are wrong.

June 18, 2009 at 1:07 am
(27) JIMB says:

I just want to point out that being out in sunlight gives the perfect temperature to breed bacteria, approx 70-90 degrees. Furthermore, it’s usually humid (which doesn’t much matter since the tea itself is moisture). It is the EXACT OPPOSITE to the environment for fighting spoilage. A cool, dark, dry place. We’ve all heard that recommendation, and a fridge fits that perfectly. The outdoor sun environment is the opposite: It PROMOTES spoilage. Think about it.

June 18, 2009 at 1:43 pm
(28) malena says:

What on earth is sun tea? I live in England and although tea is common place, sun is not so much, that may be why sun tea is not known here.Please enlighten me!

June 19, 2009 at 12:35 am
(29) Shawn says:

Malena (28) asked, “What on earth is sun tea?”

Simply put tea bags and cold water into a pitcher and put it in sunlight to brew. In several hours, you’ll have tea. Most recipes don’t even ask that the water be boiled or that the container be covered. That allows germs and insects into the tea and multiply in the warm sun.

The “recipe” was invented centuries ago before the use of electricity, refrigeration or even knowledge of germs (Pasteur, 19th century). That’s why it’s shocking to me that people would do it today, given modern sanitary methods of cooking. Worse, they refuse to believe the studies showing the risks. Notably, populations that make sun tea are generally more rural, older, poorer and less educated (note that I wrote “GENERALLY”).

I mean, would you leave raw fish out in the sun for several hours to cook?

June 19, 2009 at 1:47 am
(30) Brad says:

I agree with Shawn that the people who defend Sun Tea, and especially those who brew it, are generally less educated. My grandparents and to a lesser extent my parents were among them. After college and just some basic biology, I swore off the stuff and my parents agreed. There is simply no reason for it. For examples of what I mean by less educated just look at the defenders on this board, i.e. the first message said that she’s been making sun tea for 15 years but hasn’t died yet. That’s the kind of backward hick logic I’m talking about.

June 19, 2009 at 2:30 am
(31) NursePatti says:

Oh my god, I am amazed by the ignorance of some of these posts. Just look at the first message, from Alice. She wrote that she’s been making sun tea for 15 years but haven’t die yet so the medical report must be “hogwash.” Talk about arrogance and stupidity. Has she heard about cancer and heart disease? Many people smoke for 15 years before cancer is detected, and likewise for eating high fat. And many toxins collect in the body before effects are seen.

Then she wrote on July 4, 2007: “Why isnt everybody up in arms about drunk drivers”

What is she talking about??? People aren’t up in arms about drunk drivers??? Er, there are laws about it! And people are sued and incarcerated. Do we do that over sun tea. get real, Alice.

FInally, she wrotes, “Im 73 years old, yes I will die but Id rather die from drinking sun tea than a drunk driver”
Again, absolutely no connection at all. Sun tea has nothing to do with drunk driving, so it’s not a matter of choosingone over the other. And Alice, you want to risk yourslf, go ahead. But don’t go around telling others that it’s not risky and dont expose others, especially children, to the risk. I bet you also smoke in front of babies because you don’t care about the risk.

June 27, 2009 at 10:22 am
(32) Juliet says:

Bryan – Somehow your expertise in clinical research left you oblivious to the fact that e.coli is not the bacteria at issue in regards to sun tea; it’s alcaligenes viscolactis. It’s a bacteria that is present in tap water and the worst it will do is cause diarrhea. When this bacteria is present in sun tea it makes the tea cloudy and ropey. Just as people would not drink chunky or filmy milk, they would not drink cloudy tea with tendrils floating in it.

July 8, 2009 at 7:20 am
(33) 15247 says:

Juliet, I’m laughing at your ridiculous interpretation of what Bryan said. I’m always appalled at this sort of stupidity. So many people assimilate what they read very poorly, or pay no attention what is actually being said. Bryan never said anywhere in his post that e. Coli (or any of the other types of bacteria he mentioned) has anything to do with sun tea. He was speaking about bacteria in general, in relation to another post that made inaccurate assertions. He was using those bacteria as examples in order to make a point. This should have been obvious to anyone with even a minimal amount of intelligence. You are the only one who is “oblivious”. Next time you decide that you want to come across as intelligent by trying to make someone else look stupid, you’d better think twice.

I ran across this article a few minutes ago while looking for creative iced tea recipes. It’s the first I’ve heard of it. In the past, I occasionally made sun tea, and can’t specifically recall being sick from it. However, in light of this information, I think it makes good sense to follow some precautions and make iced tea another way.

Why are so many of you talking about what will or can “kill” you? The point with the sun tea is not that you will die from it, but that it could potentially make you feel ill to varying degrees. Have you ever had indigestion or felt a bit queasy without knowing why? Quite often we ingest things that cause mild to moderate symptoms that we certainly do not “die” from, and it’s often difficult to pinpoint why, or to know what it was that made us feel that way. Mild illness is usually passed off without much concern. Sometimes we just figure it was a virus, or something that did not agree with us.

I can’t recall that I’ve ever felt sick from sun tea, but obviously there is a potential, and I’d rather not put myself in that situation. The rest of you can do whatever you choose. We are all free to make our own choices. I’m not looking to prevent myself from “dying”, but I personally do not like feeling ill.

July 22, 2009 at 4:40 pm
(34) Kelly says:

“Alice” and “your mom” how dare you enjoy a simple pleasure, and worse you dare to defend your choice in the matter. These “Educated” folks are always right you know. I’m not knocking education I think everyone should have one, but part of that education should be learning to enjoy the life you are trying to build for yourself. I feel sorry for all these “Educated holier than thou” types that deny themselves the pleasure of Sun tea on a hot summer afternoon after a long day of hard work. These are the poor souls that are wasting their lives looking for purpose and meaning but are forgetting to live. Grandmas cooking wasn’t good because it was a daily chore but because she understood that if it was worth doing it was worth enjoying when it was finished. But I have the feeling i’m wasting my breath, because if you cant find joy in a simple pleasure like sun tea and your not smart enough to see that the posts you are trying so hard to discredit are not so much about food safety than they are about a way of life that you and your kind don’t understand and frankly are worse off for it. And if that’s “backward hick logic” then ill wear that badge with honor. Oh and “Bryan” why don’t you turn that superior intellect inward and sort your you need to belittle someone you know nothing about over a comment on a blog

July 31, 2009 at 10:22 am
(35) Research says:

I would question the cleanliness of the person who prepared their sun tea. Did they practice proper handwashing techniques? Was their kitchen clean?
Was the jar that was used washed properly? Did they use fresh tea bags and clean water?

Anyway, if you have time…read these links..very informative.

Don’t Make Sun Tea (plus a reward for a skilled reader)

Is It Safe to Drink Iced Tea? (printed in 1996)

on page 2

Sun Tea Winner (Plus a Rant About Information Drift)

August 16, 2009 at 6:33 pm
(36) Jeff says:

The comment about sun-tea brewers being “uneducated” is totally ridiculous. I’m college educated and brewing a batch right now. Yes, as we speak I am allowing bacteria to multiply in some tea in my backyard. Why am I not afraid? Because you shouldn’t be afraid of bacteria. Only some are harmful, and the typical strand in question, Alcaligenes viscolactis, has never been linked to a single death. Look it up!

Being deathly afraid of silly little bacteria is simply no way to live. Why do you think “clean freaks” get sick more often than the average person. By disinfecting everything all the time, you are completely destroying your immune system.

Alright, well I’m off to drink a batch of the good stuff. I’ll let you know if it kills me! *wink*

August 18, 2009 at 1:08 am
(37) ben says:

The comments read like another case of scientific knowledge versus common sense. Obviously, if there are strands in your tea or it smells or tatstes funny, throw it out, clean the container and start over. Some people need the CDC (presumably) to tell them this, while the majority of humanity doesn’t.

READ the links Research posted (and many thanks). The risk is hypothetical, and the CDC or any other agency can’t say sun tea is safe given the hypothetical risk. It is all about food handling, i.e. sun tea is no less safe than any other food as long as it does not become contaminated during preparation or on the tea farm.

So, if you are worried about sun tea, then you may also want to boil your salad, raspberries, and peanut butter just to be on the safe side, since, unlike sun tea, there have been documented cases of contamination with these food items. Or you could just go with sterilized tube feeding administered in a sterile environment by technicians trained in CDC-approved sterilization methods…

A more interesting question is whether or not sun tea contains as many antioxidents, essential oils, vitamins, minerals, etc. as tea made with hot water. Any answers?

September 6, 2009 at 6:41 pm
(38) Aaron says:

Amen Ben. I would also like to know what type of bacteria are present, and what life threatening effects that they will have on people. Last time I checked my tap water, it was full of chlorine, and other chemicals that kill microbes. If the process is sanitary, and timed properly, I can’t imagine that sun tea could harm anyone. I came from a family of 8 that drank a ton of it growing up and nobody ever became ill.
I guess this is where science and common sense clash. I would have to say that this discussion is borderline paranoid for many here. Some people here need to stop acting like programable robots! It is good to question things! What can happen in a laboritory does not always happen in real life. Just ask the millions of people that have drank sun tea and “lived” to tell about it.

June 11, 2010 at 11:17 am
(39) Jason says:

I think a lot of you “Common sense” folks are completely, totally overreacting.

Science brings us facts, what we do with them is up to you. No, no one here is telling you to be deathly afraid of Sun Tea. But an actual, real, scientifically proven risk has been identified.

The fact that you, or your friends, or your cousin hasn’t gotten sick or died from Sun Tea doesn’t negate the fact that it’s a breading ground for bacteria. Anecdotes don’t change scientific fact.

Long ago and far away people said, “The Earth doesn’t move around the sun, that’s hogwash, look at the sky, moron.” Yet science has proven that this is not the case.

Go ahead, drink your Sun Tea, but now you know the risks and can make an informed choice. Before, you didn’t know and assumed it was 100% safe. Chances are someone DID get sick but you didn’t connect the dots because you assumed it was safe.

Now you know if little Jonny starts vomitting or craps his pants, it might’ve been the sun tea from yesterday.

Look, when you find out that something you thought was 100% safe isn’t, don’t blow a gasket. Now you know. And now you can make an educated choice.

For me, I prefer to take risks KNOWING what they are. But it seems like other people would rather not know, or would rather say science is lying than just face those risks and accept them.

I don’t think “the media” is trying to scare you about things and if you get that impression, that’s your hangup filtering the message. Risk exists, everywhere, and it’s not scare tactics to acknowledge them, or take them into consideration.

Nobody’s saying you should live in fear, but it seems like a lot of you think the rest of us SHOULD live in ignorance.

August 11, 2010 at 3:57 pm
(40) Teresa says:

Boy I sure hope no one here eats cheese, or beer…lol

August 13, 2010 at 12:48 pm
(41) Shagger says:

The bacteria in Sun tea kills more people each year than Great White sharks! Its a FACT people! RUN AWAYYYYYYY.

FYI – Great White sharks are responsible for about 8 deaths a year.

Seriously, can we stop the pussification of America here? Man up people and live on the edge, sheesh!

August 28, 2010 at 8:33 pm
(42) lucid says:

Count me with the sun tea makers…

And I’ll caution the countervailing “educated” group who defend the institutions of the CDC and college “education” …. don’t hide behind your education and call everyone else ignorant hicks. It does nothing to help your credibility, even if you have a degree.

Besides, the majority of people wouldn’t have to worry about a compromised immune system if the gov’t didn’t dump fluoride into the water supply, (which compromises our immune system and thyroid)

Good luck finding that knowledge in a college biology textbook.

May 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm
(43) Ben says:

A lot of you sound like educated damn fools !

May 17, 2011 at 4:42 pm
(44) dan says:

there is nothing,..i repete “nothing” that is 100% safe…no CDC aproved medications,…no CDC aproved foods, nothing….not one single thing is 100% safe….

some monkey with a coton swab, swiped a little tea on a petri dish…and now sun tea is dangerous…lol…good greif….i guess since they have to pay these self proclamed experts anyway…they might as well waste the money on the dangers of sun tea….because aparently there not enough people dying of HIV in the world.

June 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm
(45) shelby says:

after reading this i went and poured some sun tea i made… on top was a bunch of white spots so i looked closer and it was a little white bug swirling on the top! what is this?! its been sitting in my fridge for two days

July 13, 2011 at 3:46 pm
(46) LazyTeaBrew says:

Quick take your refrigerator mock sun tea out of the frig.

Same URL

on average, 9.8 million/milliliter at 20C and 27.5 million/milliliter at 6C

For you college educated peoples notice that the ‘bad guy’ you are trying to save us from grows three times faster in cold temps verses room temp.

July 28, 2011 at 11:48 pm
(47) Me, Myself, and I says:

Ok here I sit reading this wild blog. I have a good deal of people on one side screaming a common sense approach to life. And on the other there are those taking a serious scientific approach to it.

Those with there common sense come off as…well…do I really need to say it? You shouldn’t just look at it as “I didn’t die from it”.

Those with the scientific approach com off as…”It’s going to kill us all”. You should always remember that anything can kill us.

I’m not gonna set here and rip on both sides. Both make valid points, but both need to take everything into account.

1) Yes bacteria from ill prepared foods can kill us. I don’t know about either side of this argument, but I wash my hands when dealing with raw meat, eggs, and other potential contaminants. Its just “common sense”! Why wouldn’t you do everything to clean the jug and water too?

2) Yes a little bacteria can be good to keep your immune sytem on its toes. (Keep in mind the age of the individual)
If you are brewing your sun tea in an open pitcher or jug of course extra bacteria is going to get in there. Perhaps a jug with a lit that has a good seal would fix this. The little bacteria that is present. And if you know your immune system is a risk factor for you given age or if you have some circumstances that already weaken your immune system, why would you drink something that has that risk anyway?

Proper food handling and sense enough to not drink tendril tea may be what is separating those who do and do not get ill from sun tea.

Before we all just sit here and rip on each others ideals, why don’t we look at our own views first.

Suntea drinkers enjoy and be safe.
Non-Suntea Drinkers relax a bit, too much stress can kill you…lol

July 29, 2011 at 9:47 pm
(48) Christina says:

Please, tell me why people are so sensitive about sun tea? I mean come on! Get real! More than half of the people who are complaining about the bacteria that sun tea may or may not harbor, most likely don’t wash their hands before pepraring foods, you don’t use seperate cutting boards for meat and vegetables, you don’t freak out and find the nearest hand sanitizing station after you’ve opened a public door. This would be why America’s health situation is crap! Your body is meant to fight off bacteria. I think the majority of these people need to go back to health class.

July 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm
(49) Ron says:

I have drunk sun tea for a long time, and many others I am sure. I have NEVER been sick from it. I made some today, I will indulge and drink, hell I may drink from the same glass my spouse drinks from…GAAAAASP!!!!!
I have also played catcher without a protective cup (it was my best game ever, not 1 ball got by me!) I have rode a bicycle without a helmet, drunk from the garden hose, shared a soft drink with my germ infested friends, and rode in the back of a pick up truck…oh what fun that was!
I really enjoy a lot of the comments here, especially from the sun tea rebels! You germophobes need to relax and enjoy what little time you are granted on this planet, and if you live in The United States of America, consider yourself one of the lucky few, the population of the U.S. makes up between 3 and 4% of the entire world. Enjoy your sun tea, there are many who can’t even afford the tea much less a fancy glass jar with a spigot, or even worse, a refrigerator to cool it down.

July 30, 2011 at 5:37 pm
(50) Ron says:

I have drank sun tea for years, form the comments I see…many others have also. I have never been sick from it.
Here are a few other “dangerous” things I’ve done: Rode a bicycle without protective gear, drank from the garden hose, shared a soft drink with my germ infested friends, rode in the back of a pick up truck……GAAAAAAAASP!
Germophobes and “Educated” try enjoying life for once, you only have once to enjoy it, try laughing too! In fact, read your comments, I guarantee you will get a real good laugh out of it!
I know many persons who are so consciencious about germs and not getting any on them or in them that they are sick quite often, why? weakened immune system…no tolerance! I think I’ll go enjoy some of my bacteria ridden sun tea I just brewed….and laugh while I’m at it……….

August 26, 2011 at 12:46 am
(51) mike says:

Eat more possum..wash thouroughly first..enjoy!

September 6, 2011 at 8:34 pm
(52) clay says:

i have been enjoying sun tea all my life as many others who have posted. do i worry about bacteria? sure i do, but if i avoided it for that reason i would have to avoid almost all the food i eat also. processed or not.

i think the bacteria problem in tea is one that really only exists harmfully in long brew times, i dont leave my sun tea out for any longer than it takes to brew to my liking, typically thats only about 45mins one hour tops. i also keep my jug very clean and i think that goes a long way also.

i put the whole sun tea thing in the category of solar ovens and slow cooking, bacteria will grow, its everywhere and i think ingesting small amounts of it may do some good, like penicillin.

i remember once i didnt clean out my jug and i could actually see bacteria growth, very small black spots. that really tought me to pay attn and clean everything

i enjoy stove top tea brewed in a pot also, and i have done fridge tea.

June 29, 2012 at 7:27 pm
(53) Tim says:

What a bunch of BS, I would love to see the report from the CDC!! I looked it up on their website and their is nothing published about Sun tea safety risks. Not denying bacteria may grow, but dont listen to people that speak out of their butt and have no proof to back up such bold statements!!!

July 8, 2012 at 3:55 pm
(54) Eric says:

I too am a scientist and truly believe that society would be a little better off if we used a little more science to make our decisions, however just because a report comes out doesn’t mean that it’s the absolute truth.
This report looked simply at the idea of bacteria multiplying and growing in warm humid temperatures which is VERY TRUE but it forgot to include the fact that UV rays from the sun will kill bacteria and purify the water. This technique had been used for years and even some water filtration plants are using UV rays to kill bacteria for municipal supplies. The science on this is overwhelming as well and probably was not considered by those publishing this report.
The one problem that can happen is after you bring your sun tea in out of the sun you should refrigerate it since even opening the lid will allow bacteria to enter the jar and multiply if you leave it at room temperature for a few days.
So sun tea drinkers raise a glass and know that youre safe to drink your sun tea and will probably live longer due to the health benefits from not being afraid to drink this delicious beverage! Just make sure to refrigerate your tea once you bring it in out of the sun 

July 9, 2012 at 9:10 pm
(55) Dalton says:

I’m facinated while reading these posts. It seems that everyone merely enjoys arguing with one another. Such a silly topic to get all worked up over.

July 9, 2012 at 9:20 pm
(56) RS says:

I didn’t know when I clicked on this article that the comments would be so philosophical. I think people argue about things like sun tea out of sheer boredom. Because honestly, do you really care that much if people see it exactly how you do? If they want to make tea in the sun and risk ingesting bacteria, who cares?

July 12, 2012 at 9:56 am
(57) April says:

I decided to look up sun tea because my mom had just made a batch. To my surprise I found that it could be harmful. Before I was going to tell my mom she needs to throw it out I decided to look a little more into it. I found this website. But unfortunately this website gave me absolutely no help at all. You are all adults fighting over sun tea. That’s all it is. I’m a teenage girl and a lot of the comments here are more catty than the high school girls I deal with. But to the upside, reading this was a entertaining way to start my day. I am now going to try to find a little more reliable source on sun tea:)

July 12, 2012 at 9:58 am
(58) Hannah says:

HaHa! this is all quite funny coming from adults

April 30, 2013 at 6:38 pm
(59) Chawee Fweebaws says:

Tea not hurt you! What are you Dumb!?!?!

August 20, 2013 at 4:40 pm
(60) savageheart says:

I will go with centuries of proven methods ovet a couple of scientific studies any day. I’ve been drinking sun tea for 38 years now. Never have I gotten sick or died from it. I use fresh tea bags and I clean the old pickle jar that I brew it in. Using tap water. And sun light does purify. One of your educated folks purifies water in 3rd world countries with only water in glass bottles and sunlight. Granted it takes 3 to 6 weeks but it works. Also the temperature controlled food is used to cover corporate asses so they wont get sued. I can’t count how much money I’ve lost with my wife throwing out perfectly good food because it sat out for more than five minutes on the counter because of her deli training at safeway. Just because your college educated doesn’t mean its correct. Millions of people have survived since the beginning of time without a degree.

August 26, 2013 at 11:37 pm
(61) kathy says:

omg now I know it was the sun tea that gave me a horrible stomach ache and the runs….thanks for the valuabe info.

September 11, 2013 at 8:19 am
(62) JAK in Fla. says:

I made sun tea yesterday and for the first time noticed some whitish material floating around in the nicely colored tea. I thought it was mold. I am allergic to mold and house dressing in restaurants closes up my throat for a few minuets and everyone thinks I am choaking. It is the mold in the dressing which sits out in the kitchen and is not pasturized.
I got online to ask,”mold in sun tea harmful?” Now I am a believer! That stuff had to be microorganisims, bacteria, colonies of Cryptosporidiosis or whatever.
The previous time that I had made sun tea I had washed the container afterwards, but had left the tea in the glass container until I finished it a day or two later. It had the cover on so I was ignorant of the fact that there can be bacteria factories in tea in which the water for making it has not been hot enough to kill the forign microorganisms. Tea lovers beward. Dump, dump, clean, clean, boil, boil.

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